Written in the stars: Lucara Diamond sells rough diamond for a record $63million
Lucara Diamond Corp has sold its ‘Constellation’ diamond, weighing in at 813 carats, for an unprecedented $63million – a record for a rough cut diamond.
The Constellation diamond was found in the Karowe mine in Botswana, the same mine where the “Lesedi la Rona” diamond was also discovered in November 2015. The Lesedi la Rona is expected to bring up to $90million in a June auction this year.
Following the sale, the diamond mining company has entered a partnership with Nemesis International DMCC with Lucara keeping a 10% interest in the net profit of any future sales of the resultant diamonds.
William Lamb, President and CEO of Lucara Diamond Corp, said, "The sale of the 813 carat diamond is the highest price ever achieved for a rough diamond, breaking all records. This achievement solidifies our reputation in the jewellery industry as one of the most important sources of diamonds of the very highest quality."
"We look forward to the next stage of Lucara's development with the sale of the spectacular 1,109 carat, Lesedi La Rona diamond which will take place at Sotheby's London on June 29, 2016." he said.
Read the May 2016 issue of Mining Global magazine
Lynas revenue jumps 21% as rare earth prices jump
Australian miner Lynas Rare Earths posted a 20.6% rise in revenue in the March quarter as selling prices for the key metals it mines hit record highs amid strong demand, particularly for neodymium and praseodymium (NdPr).
NdPr is used in magnets for electric vehicles and windfarms, in consumer goods like smartphones, and in military equipment such as jet engines and missile guidance systems.
The company said it plans to maintain production at 75% however, as it seeks to continue to meet covid-19 safety protocols and grapples with shipping difficulties. Shares in Lynas fell 6.1% after the results.
“They have faced a few logistics issues, and it would be good to know when they are going to start lifting their utilisation rates a bit,” said portfolio manager Andy Forster of Argo Investments in Sydney.
“Pricing has been pretty strong although it may have peeled back a bit recently. I still think the medium, long-term outlook is pretty good for their suite of products.”
Lynas post ed revenue of A$110mn ($85.37mn) for the three months to the end of March, up from A$91.2mn a year earlier as prices soared.
It said its full product range garnered average selling prices of A$35.5/kg during the March quarter, up from $23.7 in the first half of the financial year. “While the persistence of the covid crisis, especially in Europe, calls for careful forecasts for our business ahead, we see the rare earth market recovering very quickly,” said Lynas, the world’s largest rare earths producer outside China.
Freight demand has spiked during the pandemic, while the blockage of the Suez Canal in March delayed a shipment to April.
Lynas’ output of 4,463 tonnes of rare earth oxide (REO) during the quarter was marginally lower than 4,465 tonnes from a year earlier.