Australia-based niche diamond producer Lucapa Diamond has completed the expansion project at the Mothae Kimberlite Mine in Lesotho, Africa, which was designed to increase nameplate capacity by 45% from ~1.1 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) to ~1.6Mtpa.
Lucapa, which recently recovered a 215-carat diamond at Mothae, said in a statement that the processing plant was handed back to the production team after completion of the installation of the new scrubber bypass conveyor, the new primary jaw crusher and other associated upgrades.
“The upgraded processing plant is being re-commissioned and is being ramped up to its new increased capacity,” it says in the statement.
“It is expected that Mothae will complete this ramp up by the end of the month and will then operate at the new expanded capacity from the beginning of Q2 2021.”
Lucapa Managing Director Stephen Wetherall said the project was completed on-time, within budget and with no safety incidents recorded.
“The completion of the Mothae expansion project on-time and within budget, despite the challenges created by the Covid-19 pandemic earlier in January, is a credit to the Mothae management, staff and contractor teams,” he said.
“Lucapa and the GoL look forward to the increased recoveries and economy of scale benefits this expansion was designed to provide.”