Lucara Diamond said it is looking beyond Karowe mine as there is a possibility of a prolonged lifespan as the operations goes underground. Chief Operating Officer of the company, Paul Day said in Letlhakane that Karowe has every chance of running far in excess of its original design life.
“There is a good chance that one day Karowe will develop an underground operation to take the life of this mine beyond that originally planned into 20135 or beyond,” Day said.
“We are already looking for Karowe2. Recently, the Ministry of Mines and Energy were awarded 2 X exploration packages and we will start an accelerated exploration program in these two areas in the very near future,” he added.
Day said the plant upgrade is the gateway to the future for Karowe.
“We are entering uncharted territory; we are going in to part of this orebody that scares off lesser geologist, miners and metallurgists, and even lesser investors….,” he said.
“My message is we here at Karowe are going to be the first diamond mine in the world to use XRT technology as a primary diamond recovery.”
Day was speaking at a celebration to mark the mine’s achievement of 1 million carats. Karowe is a hard rock, open pit mine with a plan depth of 324 m and has a significant population of Type IIa stones. The mine is based on the AK6 kimberlite pipe, which is part of the Orapa Kimberlite Field (“OKF”) in Botswana.