In 2017, Lucapa secured a 70% interest in the advanced, high-value Mothae kimberlite project through an international tender run by the Government of the Kingdom of Lesotho (GoL), which retains a 30% interest.

Lucapa is on track to commence commercial production at Mothae in H2 2018 to complement the high-value diamond production from Lulo. 

In addition, Lucapa has refurbished the existing plant and infrastructure at Mothae to commence a bulk sampling program, the first diamonds from which were recovered in February 2018.

As part of the acquisition, the GoL has issued a new 10 year mining licence for Mothae, which has an automatic right of renewal for a further 10 years.

Mothae is located within 5km of Letseng, the highest $ per carat kimberlite diamond mine in the world. Like Letseng, trial mining has demonstrated Mothae to be a source of large and premium-value diamonds.

During the trial mining phase at Mothae, more than 23,000 carats of diamonds were recovered from ~600,000 tonnes of processed kimberlite material. This included 96 diamonds larger than 10 carats and individual stones of up to 254 carats. These diamonds were sold for US$17 million, with individual stones achieving sale prices of up to US$41,500 per carat.

Mothae is a well-defined kimberlite with a surface area of 8.8 hectares. The pipe has a JORC classified diamond resource of +1 million carats (to a depth of 300m) at an average modelled diamond value of US$1,063 per carat (Refer ASX announcement 24 March 2017).