Lucapa Chairman on Efforts to Find Angola’s Holy Grail: ‘It Will Be Worth It’


For more than nine years, Lucapa Diamond Company has successfully sourced large, high-value diamonds at its Lulo alluvial mine in Angola. In fact, the mining company just unveiled a 195-carat Type IIa diamond — the fourth +100-carat gem recovered this year and the 44th since alluvial operations commenced in 2015.

While the alluvial mine has yielded nearly a half billion dollars worth of diamonds — including four larger than 200 carats and one surpassing 400 carats — Lucapa’s new chairman, Stuart Brown, has his eye on a bigger prize.

Lulo’s alluvial diamonds are unique because they have been eroded over eons from their primary sources and discovered in secondary locations downstream.

Lucapa geologists are on a mission to seek Angola’s Holy Grail — the kimberlite pipe or pipes upstream of the Cacuilo River valley that would have been the primary source of the spectacular Lulo stones.

“Angola is a without doubt the biggest exploration target in the world and we are well versed in operating in Angola,” Brown noted. “The country is the fourth-largest diamond producer in the world and [many] of the diamond-rich provinces [remain] unexplored for primary-source kimberlites.”

Brown reported to his stockholders that Lucapa has one of the world’s most active kimberlite bulk sampling programs.

“Kimberlite exploration, like many other minerals exploration, is a long game, but we are now seeing real progress thanks to the capital investment made into the dedicated Kimberlite Bulk Sampling Plant,” he said.

To demonstrate how Lucapa is stepping up its game, the chairman reported that of the 35 kimberlites that have been sampled during 15 years of Angolan exploration, 25 of those were completed since the third quarter of 2022.

“There is a well-accepted view from the exploration geologists that Angola has the greatest potential to become a world diamond powerhouse with further discoveries of major new deposits,” Brown added. “We know that when we find the Holy Grail it will be worth it.”

The Lulo Diamond Project in Angola is jointly owned by Lucapa and its partners — Empresa Nacional de Diamantes E.P. and Rosas & Petalas.

The largest diamond ever unearthed at the Lulo mine was the 404-carat “4 de Fevereiro.” It was discovered in 2016 and eventually cut into the largest D-flawless diamond ever offered at auction. The 163-carat emerald-cut stunner set in an emerald and diamond necklace by de Grisogono fetched $33.7 million at Christie’s Geneva in 2017.

Credit: Image courtesy of Lucapa Diamond Company.

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