Lucara CEO Eira Thomas Replaced by William Lamb
The move comes after news surfaced that the Karowe mine’s underground expansion will take longer and cost more than expected.
Thomas started Lucara in 2007 with Swedish-Canadian billionaire Lukas Lundin and friend and mining executive Catherine McLeod-Seltzer after contributing to the discovery of the pipes that became the Diavik Diamond Mine in Canada.
One of the few women chief executives in the largely male-dominated world of mining, Thomas had headed Lucara as president and CEO since 2018.
In a statement released late Monday, Lucara said Thomas has been “integral” to the success of the development and success of the company’s key—and only active—asset, the Karowe mine in Botswana.
It said: “The board would like to acknowledge the special contributions Eira has made over her many years of involvement with Lucara in her capacity as a director, and specifically over the last five years as CEO,” noting her spearheading of the company’s innovative sales agreement with manufacturer HB Antwerp and leading the commercialization of its digital sales platform, Clara.
“More recently under Ms. Thomas’ leadership, the Karowe Mine achieved peak operational performance and she and her team arranged for a senior secured project financing debt package of $220 million enabling the underground expansion to advance.”
While Thomas was integral to securing funding to take Karowe underground, the company recently announced the underground project will take longer and cost more than originally estimated.
Her replacement, Lamb, served as Lucara CEO from May 2011 to February 2018 and oversaw the construction of the original Karowe mine and its facilities.
He also was head at Lucara when the miner discovered and sold the 1,109-carat “Lesedi La Rona” diamond, which Graff Diamonds bought for $53 million in 2017.
The company said his experience is “ideally suited to advancing the company’s key underground project to a successful completion.”
Lamb has been working in mining project development and operations for 25 years.
Prior to heading Lucara, he spent a decade at De Beers, working for six of those as a process plant manager for De Beers Canada, and has served on the boards of several public mining companies.
The company confirmed that his appointment is effective immediately.
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