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KAROWE PROGRESS UPDATE
May 7, 2012 (LUC – TSX, LUC – BSE, LUC – NASDAQ OMX First North) … Lucara Diamond Corp. (“Lucara” or the “Company”) is pleased to provide a progress report on its 100% owned Karowe Mine in Botswana.
Commissioning activities at the Karowe mine were completed during April 2012 and the process facilities have been handed-over to operations. Ramp-up to full production is in progress with a target of 50% of the design throughput during May and 75% in June. At the end of the second quarter the operations should be operating, as scheduled, at the full design capacity of 350 tonnes per hour.
Greater than 10,000 carats of diamonds were recovered from 28,000 tonnes of ore processed during April. As previously reported the grade in the upper benches of the North Lobe exceeds 32cpht. The ore mined during April had a resource grade of 34cpht, and the recovered diamonds have confirmed this. The mine production plan for the remainder of 2012 includes ore from the North and Centre Lobes and will deliver an average ore grade of approximately 20cpht.
On May 3, 2012, the Company held an official Karowe diamond launch in Gaborone and was pleased to host at the event the Hon. Dr. P. H. K Kedikelwe, Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water resources, key government officials, Botswana industry leaders and diamondtaires from Botswana who will participate in the sale of Karowe diamonds. The event was well attended which is a good indication of the interest in a new sustainable source of rough diamond from Botswana, the world leader in diamond production. Viewing for the first sale of Karowe diamonds will be held in Gaborone during the first week of June.
An on-line auction will then take place on June 11, 2012. It is expected that up to 40,000 carats will be available at this sale.
William Lamb, President and CEO, commented, “Excellent progress continues to be made at Karowe. The attendance at the diamond launch in Gaborone was evidence of a strong diamond market and a keen interest in the quality goods which Karowe will be producing. Our focus will remain on the ramp-up activities which will culminate in sustainable operations at design capacity by the end of the quarter and the first cashflow from Karowe. ”
Updated pictures from the Karowe mine site and of the diamonds which will be presented for sale can be found on the company’s website: www.lucaradiamond.com