Discovery adds sparkle to ailing sector – by Nelson Bennett (Business In Vancouver – December 15, 2015)

On November 19, Lucara Diamond Corp. (TSX:LUC) stock shot up 30%, closing at $2.10 per share on news that the Vancouver junior mining company had just made the second-biggest diamond discovery in history.

The diamond, a 1,111-carat Type IIa stone found three days earlier at the company’s Karowe mine in Botswana, was spectacular news for a sector that has otherwise been struggling with falling diamond prices and high operating costs – both of which were blamed for De Beers’ recent decision to shutter its Snap Lake mine in the Northwest Territories.

Lucara announced its historic find on November 18; the next day, it announced it had also pulled up an 813-carat white diamond (the sixth-largest) and a 374-carat stone.

The largest diamond ever unearthed was the 3,106-carat Cullinan diamond discovered in South Africa in 1905.

“I think everyone’s reaction is one of being stunned,” said Ken Armstrong, CEO of North Arrow Minerals (TSX-V:NAR), a Vancouver diamond exploration company that has also had some promising discoveries lately. “To get two of the largest gem-quality diamonds ever mined to come out of the same deposit in probably a 48-hour period is pretty unfathomable.”

But something else happened in the diamond mining business on the same day that Lucara discovered the 1,111-carat stone that got less notice.

Paragon Diamonds – the Guernsey-based miner that bought a 70% stake in a Lucara property in Lesotho for $6.5 million – announced it was floundering.

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