As Canada’s Lucara Diamond seeks new mines, tech fuels growth – by Nichola Saminather (Reuters Canada – May 1, 2019)

TORONTO (Reuters) – Lucara Diamond Corp, which has recovered two of the largest diamonds in recent history, is turning to technology to ensure growth in an industry where new mine acquisitions remain elusive.

For the Vancouver-based junior miner, that means using advanced technology like sorting based on atomic density to boost value from its Karowe mine in Botswana, and also diversifying away from mining into an online diamond sales platform.

“Diamond mines are extremely rare… we haven’t been able find the perfect asset, but we continue to look,” Lucara Chief Executive Eira Thomas said in an interview. “In the meantime, we thought it was important to establish a growth agenda.”

While bigger companies like Anglo American’s De Beers AK Alrosa PAO invest in advanced technologies, Lucara is “by far the industry leader” among the remaining smaller miners, said independent analyst Paul Zimnisky.

“Lucara has one depreciating and depleting asset, so they do need to look long term,” Zimnisky said. “They’re carving out a unique niche for themselves.”

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