TOMRA XRT technology recovers massive diamond at Lucara’s Karowe mine

Lucara Diamond Corp claims to have found and recovered one of the largest diamonds in recorded history at its Karowe operation in Botswana.

The 1,758 ct diamond was recovered through Lucara’s X-ray Transmission (XRT) circuit, commissioned in April 2015 by TOMRA Sorting Mining.

Lucara said it is the largest diamond recovered in Botswana, and the largest diamond to be mined at Karowe to date. It comes on top of the 1,111 ct diamond the company recovered in 2015.

“Weighing close to 352 g and measuring 83 mm x 62 mm x 46 mm, the diamond has been characterised as near gem of variable quality, including domains of high-quality white gem,” Lucara said.

Since commissioning of the XRT circuit in 2015, a total of 12 diamonds in excess of 300 ct have been recovered at Karowe, including two greater than 1,000 ct, from a total production of around 1.4 Mct. Of the 12 plus-300 ct diamonds recovered, 50% were categorised as gem quality with 11 sold to date generating revenue in excess of $158 million, Lucara said.

Geoffrey Madderson, Diamond Segment Manager for TOMRA Sorting Mining, said: “As the largest diamond ever recovered by a mechanical process, it reinforces the unparalleled value XRT offers kimberlite and diamond mining companies. Lucara’s innovative strategy, in combination with TOMRA’s world-class sensor technology, has once again proved an enormous success.”

Eira Thomas, Lucara’s CEO, said: “Lucara’s technologically-advanced, XRT diamond recovery circuit has once again delivered historic results. Karowe has now produced two diamonds greater than 1,000 ct in just four years, affirming the coarse nature of the resource and the likelihood of recovering additional, large, high quality diamonds in the future, particularly as we mine deeper in the orebody and gain access to the geologically favourable EM/PK(S) unit, the source of both of our record breaking, plus-1,000 ct diamonds.”