Lucara Forecasts Revenues Between US$ 170 Mn-US$ 200 Mn in Operating Outlook for 2019
Lucara Diamond Corp. has forecast a revenue of between US$ 170 million and US$ 200 million for this year, in its recently released operating outlook for 2019.
“These projections include "Specials" which are diamonds that are 10.8 carats and larger but exclude the sale of any truly unique diamonds such as the 1,109 carat Lesedi la Rona and the 813 carat Constellation,” Lucara said, elaborating further. “Specials are consistently recovered from the Karowe diamond mine and contribute a significant percentage of the Company's annual revenue. Diamonds recovered are expected to be between 300,000 carats and 330,000 carats and diamonds sold are expected to be between 300,000 carats and 320,000 carats.”
The Company expects to pay out an annual dividend of C$ 0.10 per share; which dividend is expected to be paid quarterly in four equal installments in April, June, September and December of 2019.
In 2019, operating cash costs for Karowe are forecast to be between US$ 32.00 - US$ 37.00 per tonne processed, and thus expected to be “significantly lower than in 2018”. For the last year operating cash cost per tonne processed is expected to touch between US$ 38.00 and US$ 42.00 (consistent with prior guidance).
The Company added that operating cash costs, excluding waste mining, are expected to be between US$ 21.00 and US$ 24.00 per tonne processed this year, “with the significant push back to access the higher-grade South Lobe ore substantially complete in the first half of 2019”.
While ore mining and tonnes processed are projected to be between 2.5 million and 2.8 million tonnes, “matching 2018's record mill throughput”; waste mining is expected to be between 6.0 million and 9.0 million tonnes, “down significantly from 2018 levels”, Lucara reported.
The Company stressed that the completion of a Feasibility Study for underground mine advancement is a “key focus” for this year, with an allocation of US$ 14.8 million in the 2019 budget. The plan is to complete geotechnical and hydrogeological drilling programmes, economic and other studies which were started in 2018.
Eira Thomas, President & CEO commented: "Having stabilised and significantly improved our mining operations at Karowe in 2018, Lucara is now focused on optimising the base business and pursuing a suite of high potential, organic growth opportunities. The completion of a feasibility study examining the potential for underground production and Life of Mine expansion at Karowe from 2026 until at least 2036, remains a top priority for 2019. In addition, we will continue to systematically ramp up diamond sales through Clara, our transformational, proprietary digital sales platform that successfully completed its first trial sale in December 2018."
She added: "Our focus at Karowe in 2019 will be on driving operational efficiencies, increased productivity and cost control, and maximising cash flow. The waste stripping bottleneck is now behind us and we expect stripping ratios to steadily improve towards the end of the calendar year, enabling improved access to high value, south lobe ore."