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JOHANNESBURG - Australia's Lucapa Diamond said on Monday it had recovered the first diamonds from its recently purchased Mothae mine in Lesotho.

Lucapa said the diamonds were recovered through the existing bulk sampling plant and infrastructure at Mothae, which had been refurbished ahead of schedule.

"The initial diamond recoveries - sourced from residual material and kimberlite stockpiles that are not included in the Mothae JORC resource - were observed during a site visit to Mothae by Lucapa representatives, advisors, brokers and investors following the Mining Indaba Conference in Cape Town," the company said.

"The largest of the diamonds recovered in the first test run was 6.6 carats," it added.

The Australian producer owns 70 percent of Mothae, while the Lesotho government has a 30 percent stake.

Lucapa spokesman Mark Drummond told the African News Agency on the sidelines of last weeks's mining indaba that it planned to commission Mothae, bought from the Lesotho government for U.S.$9 million, later this year.

Drummond said this would make Lucapa, which also owns the Lulo diamond mine in Angola, the only company in the world mining large, premium diamonds from two separate projects.

- African News Agency (ANA)