LUCARA TO SEARCH FOR PARTNER TO SELL THE “LESEDI LA RONA” DIAMOND
Lucara Diamond Company is still mulling the best way to sell its 1,109-carat rough diamond, named Lesedi La Rona, which it found in its Karowe mine nearly two years ago. According to Mining Weekly, the company is “considering forming a partnership to sell the stone if it still does not have a deal in the next six to eight weeks”.
Back in June 2016, the stone failed to find a buyer at a Sotheby’s auction. It missed its reserve price of $70 million as the highest bid came in at $61 million. It is the largest gem-quality rough diamond to have been discovered in over a century, and the largest gem-quality diamond in existence today.
According to CEO William Lamb, Lucara continues to receive offers. He added that the company “is mulling one or two options for an outright sale, but such bids have failed to meet financial scrutiny in the past”. He noted: “If that doesn’t pan out … within the next six to eight weeks we will most fully look to enter into a partnership. I think we’ve got to. It’s been almost two years since we recovered the stone and the market is, I think, chomping at the bit, waiting to see what the outcome from that is going to be”.
In a report from mid-july, several diamond insiders were quoted as saying that the stone may have to be cut and polished in order to sell. Panmure Gordon mining analyst Kieron Hodgson, quoted in Mining Weekly, summarizes the common opinion voiced by others: “When is a diamond too big? I think we have found that when you go above 1 000 ct, it is too big – certainly from the aspect of analyzing the stones with the technology available. At the end of the day, it’s about understanding what the stone can produce. And the industry now doesn’t work on hunches as much as it used to 20 to 30 years ago”.
Oded Mansori, RDH managing director, said: “It would be a mistake for Lucara to hold onto the Lesedi .[…] Maybe next week, there will be a larger stone […] Miners have more advanced technology, this is why we see these large stones coming up all of a sudden. I think that Mother Nature has some more surprises waiting for us”.