Lucapa Diamonds suspends its Lesotho operations
JOHANNESBURG - AUSTRALIA’S Lucapa Diamond Company has announced the suspension of its mining operations at its mine in Lesotho, as the mountain kingdom imposes a two week hard lockdown from midnight to curb the spread of Covid-19.
The miner said that it had decided to suspend operations at the Mothae kimberlite mine with appropriate care and maintenance, and security measures.
Lucapa managing director Stephen Wetherall said that mining and processing operations would be restarted when the lockdown ends.
“Our priority is to ensure the health and safety of our valued teams on site. The suspension is expected to be temporary in nature as it is a mine operational health and safety decision, not a market limitation. Lucapa continues to engage with its financiers through this period as the diamond market continues its positive trajectory,” said Wetherall.
Mothae Diamonds achieved the highest US$ per carat price ever achieved at a sale on the first sale of diamonds in 2021 when it sold a parcel of 4 676 carats of rough diamonds were sold for a total of $5.6 million (R85.42 million) or $1 198 per carat.
This is the highest average $ per carat price achieved by Mothae on the sale of any run of mine production parcel.
On Tuesday Lesotho Prime Minister, Moeketsi Majoro, on Tuesday imposed a 14-day nation-wide lockdown at midnight Lesotho time tonight as infections surged in the mountain kingdom.
Reports said the tighter lockdown included a ban on all outbound international travel by Basotho nationals.