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Lucara revenue declines

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Lucara owns source of massive stones, Lesedi La Rona and Sewelo, Karowe Mine

KEABETSWE NEWEL

During the second quarter (Q2) of 2019, revenue at Lucara Diamond Corp totalled $42.5 million (over P450 million), a major decline compared to the $64.5 million (over P680 million) seen during the 2018 Q2.

In May 2019, Karowe Mine, which is owned by Lucara achieved a significant milestone, passing two years without a lost time injury. In April 2019, the largest diamond to be mined at Karowe to-date was recovered, unbroken, weighing 1,758 carats.

Subsequently named Sewelô following a contest open to Batswana, this near gem quality diamond is the largest diamond recovered in Botswana and one of the largest diamonds recovered in recorded history, superseding the spot held by the 1,109 carat Lesedi La Rona recovered at the same mine in 2015.

A further revenue of $91.2 million (P1 billion approximately) for the six months ended June 30, 2019 (H1 2019) from two tenders surpassed revenue of $89.9 million (P952 million) for the six months ended June 30, 2018 (H1 2018) in which two regular stone tenders and one exceptional stone tender was held.

Continued excellent operational performance at Karowe has driven a strong 63 percent operating margin (H1 2018: 65 percent) and adjusted EBITDA year-to-date of $38.6 million, an increase from the $37.5 million recorded in 2018.

As at 30 June 2019, the company had cash and cash equivalents of $7.1 million (P75 million approx). Funds drawn on the credit facility were $5.0 million (P53 million) utilised for working capital, leaving $45 million (P477 million) available on the facility at June 30, 2019. Lucara paid a quarterly dividend of CA$0.025 per share on June 20, 2019.

Rough diamonds with a value of $2.9 million (over P30 million) were sold through the Clara platform during H1 2019 and total revenues of $3.5 million (P37.1 million) have been achieved since sales began in December of 2018. Clara’s customer base has also grown from four to 20 during the first half of the year and sales continue to ramp up according to plan.

Eira Thomas, President and CEO commented: The largest diamond to be unearthed in Botswana’s 50+ year history and the second +1,000 carat diamond to be recovered at Karowe in just four years, Sewelô, the 1,758 carat near gem that was recovered undamaged in April, is a testament to Karowe’s remarkable geological endowment and the strong operating environment that prevails at the mine.

“During the second quarter, Lucara continued to deliver safe, reliable, record diamond production. Having focused on operational improvements to drive performance, carat recoveries have significantly increased and costs have gone down. Overall average prices achieved for our diamonds during the first half of the year have settled at $463 per carat and reflect a higher contribution of fine (smaller) diamonds, with continued strong recoveries of single diamonds larger than 10.8 carats that contribute to more than 70% of our revenues.

“Lucara continues to achieve high margins for its diamonds and is actively pursuing organic growth opportunities, including Clara, its proprietary, cloud based, digital, rough diamond marketplace that continues to ramp up and has now completed a total of 7 sales since December 2018.”

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