Sourcing

Lucapa Sells Stake in Mothae Mine

SourcingJun 26, 2024

Lucapa Sells Stake in Mothae Mine

The Australian miner has signed over its 70 percent share in the diamond deposit to Lesotho company Lephema Executive Transport.

Lesotho Mothae mine
Lucapa’s decision to shed its stake in the Mothae Diamond Mine in Lesotho is part of a strategy to streamline its portfolio and focus on developing assets in Angola and Australia.
Subiaco, Western Australia— Australian miner Lucapa Diamond Co. Ltd. has announced it will sell its 70 percent stake in the Mothae Diamond Mine to local Lesotho company Lephema Executive Transport. 

Lephema has provided long-term mining services for the deposit, which is located in Lesotho, a small, landlocked kingdom encircled by South Africa.  

It will give Lucapa a nominal fee of 10,000 Australian dollars ($6,660) for the share. Lephema will also assume all liabilities and guarantee obligations relating to the Mothae mine, the mining company said. 

Site owner Mothae Diamonds will pay Lucapa AU$1 million ($665,900) in outstanding technical services payments. 

Following the completion of the agreement, which is expected to finalize Sept. 30, Lucapa will continue to provide technical services to Mothae for a minimum of three months. 

Lucapa said the Australian Securities Exchange confirmed shareholder approval is not required for the deal. 

Conditions of the sale include an approval from the Lesotho Ministry, as well as Lephema’s continuation of the off-take agreement Lucapa signed with Graff subsidiary Safdico, under which the manufacturer purchases 100 percent of the rough from Mothae. 
 
 Related stories will be right here … 

Mothae started mining and processing operations in January 2019. 

It has produced several high-value diamonds, including a 215-carat rough in 2021 and a 204-carat rough stone in 2022, as well as various fancy colored diamonds.

Lucapa announced in May that it was looking to offload its stake in the mine, which it owns in part with the Lesotho government, later calling it a non-core asset.

Lucapa Managing Director and CEO Nick Selby, who stepped into the role last summer, said the divestment is a “key step” in the company’s plan to streamline its portfolio and focus on developing its assets in Angola and Australia.

“This agreement is the result of a period of offer and negotiation involving Lucapa and several interested parties,” Selby said. “Lucapa wanted to, as far as possible, see this mine continue to operate and [Lephema is] best placed to achieve this.”

Lucapa owns a 40 percent stake in the Lulo alluvial diamond mine in Angola, with the remaining share split between state-owned Endiama and Rosas & Petalas, a private company. 

The miner was conducting feasibility studies at the Merlin Diamond Project in Australia’s Northern Territory, though the large-scale initiative was put on hold in November 2023.  

It’s also exploring for diamonds in Botswana and Western Australia. 

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