CEO of Diamond Miner Lucapa Stepping Down
Stephen Wetherall, who has been with the company for nearly a decade, will exit at the end of July.
The board has appointed Nick Selby, executive director of operations, as interim CEO while the company searches for Wetherall’s replacement.
After working at De Beers, Gem Diamonds and Kimberley Diamonds Ltd., Wetherall joined Lucapa in 2014 when it was still in the exploration phase.
Today, the company has interest in two active diamond mines, the Lulo mine in Angola (40 percent stake), which has been in commercial production since 2015, and the Mothae mine in Lesotho (70 percent stake), which opened in 2019.
The mines are known for producing 100-carat-plus colorless and natural color diamonds, including the 2022 discovery of the 170-carat “Lulo Rose,” said to be the largest pink diamond found in 300 years.
Through its subsidiary, Australian Natural Diamonds Pty. Ltd., Lucapa acquired the Merlin Diamond Project, a mine in Australia’s Northern Territory. The company expects to complete a feasibility study in the second quarter of this year.
Lucapa and its project partners also are exploring for primary source kimberlite or lamproite pipes at Lulo in Angola, the Brooking project in Australia, and the Orapa Area F project in Botswana.
In addition to overseeing its growth, Wetherall navigated the company through the COVID-19 pandemic and, earlier this month, announced it had repaid all its interest-bearing loans.
Lucapa did not give a reason for Wetherall’s departure, though he said in a statement, “This is an appropriate time for me to take on other challenges and whilst I step aside, it is with a lot of pride that I leave a group of exceptionally experienced and talented people to continue to advance Lucapa’s vision.
“I look forward to our continued association and watching them continue to deliver.”
The company said it plans to engage him as an independent consultant going forward.
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