Lucapa is to revive full-scale diamond mining at Merlin, in Australia’s Northern Territory, after two decades.
The miner this week completed the $6m purchase of the deposit through its wholly-owned subsidiary Australian Natural Diamonds (AusND) from liquidators.
The mine was operated by Rio Tinto until it was bought by North Australian Diamonds, now known as Merlin Diamonds, in 2004. But the company did very little commercial processing and was wound up last May.
The mineral lease for Merlin contains 11 previously discovered kimerberlite pipes in three clusters with an existing 4.4 million carat JORC 2012 compliant mineral resource.
Lucapa, which also has interests in Angola and Lesotho, hopes to have it operational within two years.
“The successful development of Merlin will be transformative for Lucapa as the delivery of the company’s third producing mine will expand our production base and revenues considerably elevating Lucapa into a mid-tier diamond producer,” said Lucapa managing director” Stephen Wetherall. “We look forward to releasing the scoping study shortly.”
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