- Lucapa Diamond (LOM) is continuing the search for the hard-rock origin of the high-value alluvial diamonds being mined at the Lulo project in Angola
- The company and its partners believe they may be able to find the upstream source of the diamonds and mine them directly
- There are a number of promising kimberlite sites upstream which Lucapa will target as possible sources of the larger high-grade diamonds
- The potential to mine the mother lode(s) directly could dwarf the already rich alluvial resources downstream
- Lucapa Diamond is up 7.14 per cent on the market, with shares trading for 7.5 cents apiece
Lucapa Diamond (LOM) is continuing its search for the hard-rock origin of the high-value alluvial diamonds being mined at the Lulo project in Angola.
Diamonds in the stream
Alluvial resources are those found in or near river beds, typically washed downstream by the flow of water from one or more origin sources upstream.
The Lulo project has been a fruitful one, with many large, high-grade diamonds emerging from the gravels being mined there. Lucapa and its partners, Endiama and Rosas & Petalas, believe they may be able to find the upstream source of the diamonds and mine them directly.
Complex analysis of the size and frequency of type IIa diamonds across multiple recovery zones on the Cacuilo River indicate that if there’s a single source of the diamonds, it’s most likely in the Canguige catchment. If there are multiple sources of the stones, they may come from sites in both the Canguige and Cacuilo catchment areas.
The company believes there’s a high likelihood the Canguige catchment is the source of the precious gems. A sample taken from the Canguige stream yielded 45 diamonds – some of those the highly-prized type IIa diamonds Lucapa is seeking.
There are a number of promising kimberlite sites in the catchment which Lucapa will target as possible sources of the larger high-grade diamonds washing downstream.
Kimberlite pipes are known to host rich diamond resources. They’re created as molten rock within the earth flows up through fractures in the crust. The flow pushes diamonds and other rocks and minerals through the mantle before cooling and solidifying, leaving veins (or “pipes”) of diamond-encrusted rocks behind.
Lucapa is on the hunt for these pipes, as they may provide the opportunity to mine the diamonds directly from the source. The potential to exploit entire veins of diamonds in the rock, rather than just those which have been weathered out of the surface rock and washed downstream, provides a tantalising prospect for Lucapa and its partners.
So far the company has located five kimberlite pipes in the catchment and delineation drilling is underway to test each pipe for diamonds. There are also two other priority anomalies in the catchment area which Lucapa will test to determine whether they are kimberlites.
Lucapas is treating the exploration and testing of the kimberlites as a priority, as the already rich alluvial resources may be somewhat dwarfed if the mother lodes are located.
The company will provide updates on the search for the Lulo diamond sources as they come to hand.
Lucapa Diamond is up 7.14 per cent on the market, with shares trading for 7.5 cents apiece as at 2:28 pm AEDT.