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Source: Lucapa Diamond Company
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  • Lucapa Diamond (LOM) has been granted approval to return to scaled mining operations at its Lulo alluvial mine in Angola
  • Following the declaration of a State of Emergency in Angola on April 1, Lucapa had to put Lulo into a state of care and maintenance
  • A new presidential decree has now lifted certain restrictions, allowing essential industries to return half of their employees to the workplace
  • Lulo will recommence operations on an adjusted schedule to try and make the most of its reduced staff numbers
  • Lucapa’s Mothae mine in Lesotho is still under care and maintenance due to strict COVID-19 regulations in the country
  • The company says it is now exploring inventory financing solutions to guarantee it has a means to navigate the crisis
  • After losing around a third of their value since the start of April, Lucapa shares are bouncing back – they’re up 4.3 per cent to 4.9 cents each

Lucapa Diamond (LOM) has been granted approval to return to scaled mining operations at its Lulo alluvial mine in Angola.

Virus hiatus

Following the declaration of a State of Emergency in Angola on April 1, Lucapa had to put Lulo into a state of care and maintenance. A new presidential decree has now lifted certain restrictions, allowing essential industries to return half of their employees to the workplace.

Lucapa’s Mothae mine in Lesotho is still under care and maintenance due to strict COVID-19 regulations in the country.

Lucapa and Mothae management continue to work with the Lesotho government to draw a roadmap back to production at the site.

The way forward

Lulo will recommence operations on an adjusted schedule to try and make the most of its reduced staff numbers.

A two-shift, six-day-per-week roster will be introduced to return the mine to more than 50 per cent of its capacity, using only half the previous staff numbers.

The new regime will be fully compliant with all health and safety requirements to ensure the wellbeing of Lucapa staff and contractors as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

Mothae is going to be a longer game. Lucapa says it will “continue to review recommencement scenarios for the Mothae diamond mine,” to ensure operations can ramp up as soon as stop-work orders are lifted.

However, it seems this hangs entirely on the will of the Lesotho government, and Lucapa is unlikely to receive special treatment compared to other services in the country.

The state’s embattled government is still reporting zero official cases of COVID-19, but the nation is still under lockdown. With several suspected cases and a relative lack of testing ability to properly assess the true impact of the virus, it is entirely unsure when and how the country will return to business as usual.

Lucapa says it is now exploring inventory financing solutions to guarantee it has a means to navigate the crisis in the current demand and price environment.

The company will provide updates on any advances at both Lulo and Mothae in due course.

After losing around a third of their value since the start of April, Lucapa shares are bouncing back – they’re up 4.3 per cent to 4.9 cents each as at 11:30 am AEST.

LOM by the numbers
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