Gaborone, Jan. 5, 2021 Botswana has renewed a mining licence for Karowe Mine, owned by Canadian miner, Lucara Diamond Corp.
Lucara is currently a leading independent producer of large good quality Type IIa diamonds from Karowe Mine in Botswana
“The renewal of Mining Licence No 2008/6L in respect of its AK06 (Karowe) Mine has been approved by Botswana’s Minister of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security,” Eira Thomas, President and Chief Executive Officer, said in a statement issued on the Botswana Stock Exchange on Monday.
According to Thomas the renewal is effective 4 January, 2021 for a period of 25 years, securing Lucara’s mining rights until 2046 and marks a critical step in the formal sanction of the Karowe underground expansion project.
“The receipt of our mining licence renewal and extension to 2046 is an important milestone for the Karowe underground expansion project, paving the way for the completion of a supplemental debt financing and full project sanction later this year,” said Thomas.
Meanwhile the Karowe underground expansion project continued to advance in 2020 under a revised US $22 million budget in response to COVID-19, focused on time critical-path items, detailed engineering and design, and limited earth works and geotechnical studies.
Thomas says the company continues to explore debt financing options for the underground expansion.
The underground expansion programme has an estimated capital cost of US$514 million and a five-year period of development, with first ore anticipated from underground in 2026.