Lucara Diamond Corp. has recovered yet another massive diamond in Botswana, at a site previously owned by giant De Beers.
The 472-carat light brown stone is the third largest found by Vancouver-based Lucara at the Karowe mine. The site has proven a windfall for the Canadian miner which now produces some of the biggest and best diamonds in the world.
“The early sampling work that was done on Karowe was done with equipment that really was not optimal and they ended up breaking a lot of diamonds,” Chief Executive Officer Eira Thomas said in a telephone interview Thursday. “When we went into commercial production we expected to do better but we had no idea that the diamonds that were being broken were so much larger. ”
The largest stone uncovered at the site, the 1,109-carat Lesedi La Rona, was sold by Lucara last year for $53 million, or $47,777 a carat. A 373-carat chunk that broke off the Lesedi sold for $17.5 million.
In 2016, Lucara sold the most expensive rough gem on record, the 813-carat Constellation, for $63 million. Although smaller than the near tennis-ball sized Lesedi, The Constellation earned a higher price per carat because of its superior quality.
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