Lucapa Diamond Company has recovered a 235-carat, gem-quality stone at its Lulo alluvial mine in Angola. It's the second-largest ever recorded at Lulo, the mine that produced the famous 404-carat “4 de Fevereiro” diamond in 2016.
The Lulo Diamond Project in Angola, which is owned by Lucapa and its partners — Empresa Nacional de Diamantes E.P. and Rosas & Petalas — has earned a reputation for producing some of the largest and highest-value diamonds in the world.
The rough gem called 4 de Fevereiro was eventually cut into the largest D-flawless diamond ever offered at auction. The 163-carat emerald-cut stunner set in an emerald and diamond necklace by de Grisogono fetched $33.7 million at Christie’s Geneva in 2017.
Lucapa's mining operations have been riding a wave of success. Only one week ago, the miner announced that it had unearthed a 208-carat gem-quality diamond from Mining Block 550, which is immediately south of Mining Block 19, an area which has yielded 8 +100 carat diamonds. Earlier in October, Lucapa had announced the recovery of a 123-carat gem from Mining Block 19.
The 235-carat stone was the 40th +100 carat and 4th +200 carat diamond to be recovered from the mine.
Lulo diamonds are unique because they are classified as alluvial — a diamond eroded over eons from its primary source and discovered in a secondary location downstream. Since the discovery of alluvial diamonds at Lulo in 2015, geologists have continued to seek the kimberlite pipes upstream of the Cacuilo River valley that would have been the primary source of these spectacular stones.
“Lulo continues to demonstrate it is a prolific producer of large diamonds," said Lucapa Diamonds Managing Director Nick Selby. "To unearth three +100 carat diamonds — with two being over 200 carats — in such a short space of time from different areas of the concession, makes us more determined to find the primary source, by dedicating even more resources to the exploration program.”
Later this month, Lucapa's three recent noteworthy finds will be included in a special tender organized by Sodiam E.P in Luanda, Angola's capital city.
Angola produced 8.7 million carats in 2022 (ranking 6th worldwide), and grossed $1.9 billion — a number topped only by Botswana and Russia. The high value is a testament to a finer grade of rough material generated by Angolan mines.
Credits: Images courtesy of Lucapa Diamond Company.