Canadian exploration company Lucara Diamond is set to mine between 2.5Mt and 2.8Mt of ore and produce between 270,000ct and 290,000ct next year.
Based on the company’s production guidance for next year, the company expects to process between 2.4Mt and 2.7Mt of ore.
The company forecasts up to $200m in diamond sale revenues.
Lucara Diamond president and CEO William Lamb said: “The company is forecasting to mine robust volumes from the high-value south lobe and continuing waste mining to complete the push back at the Karowe mine to fully access south lobe ore.
“In 2018, we continue to advance our internal growth projects, including the pre-feasibility study for an underground mine at Karowe, as well as our exploration portfolio.
“Following the successful completion of the MDR and sub-middles projects, as well as the expected completion of the cut 2 waste push back in early 2019, operating and capital costs are forecast to be significantly reduced going forward, contributing to free cash flow in future periods.”
For the 2017 financial year, a total of up to 1.6Mt of ore is expected to be mined.
Following positive outcome from the preliminary economic analysis (PEA) related to a potential underground mine at Karowe, the company is proceeding with a pre-feasibility study, which is slated for completion in the second quarter of next year.