Lucara Diamond announced on Monday that the application for the renewal of mining licence for its Karowe mine has been approved by Botswana’s Minister of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security.
According to the company’s statement, the renewal is effective January 4, 2021 for a period of 25 years, securing Lucara’s mining rights to 2046 and marks a critical step in the formal sanction of the Karowe underground expansion project.
President and CEO Eira Thomas commented, “The receipt of our mining licence renewal and extension to 2046 is an important milestone for the Karowe underground expansion project, paving the way for the completion of a supplemental debt financing and full project sanction later this year. We look forward to continued cooperation and a mutually rewarding partnership with the Government of Botswana.”
The company said that the Karowe underground expansion project, which continued to advance in 2020 under a revised US $22 million budget in response to Covid, has an estimated capital cost of $514 million and a five-year period of development, with first ore anticipated from underground in 2026.
Lucara is a leading independent producer of large exceptional quality Type IIa diamonds from its 100% owned Karowe mine in Botswana.