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The 15.23-carat fancy intense orangey-pink diamond has been cut in a heart shape, and is one of three stones cut from a 46-carat rough mined at the Lulo sit in Angola.  Image credit: Lucapa Diamond Company
The 15.23-carat fancy intense orangey-pink diamond has been cut in a heart shape, and is one of three stones cut from a 46-carat rough mined at the Lulo sit in Angola. Image credit: Lucapa Diamond Company

Australian mining company unveils large heart-shaped pink diamond

Lucapa, a diamond mining company headquartered in Western Australia, has announced that a 46-carat pink rough it mined in March has now been cut and polished into three stones, including a 15.2-carat heart shape.

The pink diamond was unearthed at the Lulo Mine in Angola, which Lucapa operates alongside the Angolan state diamond mining company, Empresa Nacional de Diamantes (Endiama), and private firm Rosas & Petalas.

In addition to the heart shape – graded as fancy intense orangey-pink with VVS1 clarity by the Gemological Institute of America – it has also yielded a 3.3 carat pear-shape and a 2.3 carat pear shape.

Stephen Wetherall, Lucapa chief executive
Stephen Wetherall, Lucapa chief executive
“These diamonds are about to become even more scarce. This bodes well for the sale of the 15.2 carat polished pink diamond”
Stephen Wetherall, Lucapa

Pink diamonds were first discovered at Lulo in 2014, when a four-carat pink was unearthed. However, the 46-carat rough is the largest gem-quality rough colour diamond recovered to date from the site.

The rough was cut and polished in partnership with South Africa’s Safdico, with Lucapa and its mining partners retaining a portion of the proceeds when the stones are sold.

Last year, Angola’s diamond deposits – believed to total 180 million carats – were opened to private investment and foreign buyers, and the nation’s president João Lourenço announced plans to nearly double the country’s annual diamond production to 14 million carats within the next four years.

Endiama estimates it lost $US300 million in revenue per year for a decade under the previous buying structure, which saw its diamonds sold at below market rate to just three companies.

Dr José Ganga Júnior, chairman Endiama, said of the Lulo pink, “The results obtained from this diamond are a reflection of the new government policies for the Angolan diamond sub-sector. They also constitute physical and visible evidence of the great potential of the Lulo Mine, which due to the quality and characteristics of the diamonds it has produced, boosts our confidence in the future of the national diamond industry.”

Stephen Wetherall, CEO Lucapa, added, “[Pink diamonds] are rare and constitute less than 0.1 per cent of global diamond production. With the recent closure of the renowned Argyle underground mine in Australia, which produced ~90 per cent of the world’s natural pink diamonds, these diamonds are about to become even more scarce.

"This bodes well for the sale of the 15.2 carat polished pink diamond and other diamonds derived from this unique value accretive polishing partnership."

The Argyle Mine's last day of operation was 3 November. While no other mine has matched its rich deposit of pink diamonds, small quantities of the stones have been found in Russia, Botswana, and Brazil, as well as Angola.

 

 

More reading:
End of an era: Argyle Mine officially closed
Fancy colour diamonds found in Botswana as Argyle closure approaches
Australia’s diamond production to plummet 99 per cent with Argyle closure
Diamond leaders conference held in Dubai
Aussie miner finds new pink diamond source?
 











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