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Lucara gigantic stone shakes Canadian markets

This week Lucara Diamond Corp which started this year on a high note with regards to digging out larger precious stones discovered a 223 carat high white gem diamond and its share price responded by a hot wave which slightly shook the Canadian markets, going up by 8.28 percent or moving up by 14 cents from $1.69 to $1. 83.

A market observation shows on 15 February the share price was at $1.69 and it went up to $1.83 the same time when Lucara announced its 223 carat diamond. This was after the share price was moving at a slow but fluctuating pace of between $1.67 and $1.68 since 7 February 2019 prior to the big announcement of the 223 carat gem on 19 February 2019 which showed a significant rise of 8.28 percent in the share price. In the Swedish market the new discovery by Lucara only increased by 1.59 percent while in Botswana the share price remained unmoved at P16.00 even after the big announcement.

Lucara’s primary listing is in the Toronto Stock Exchange(TSX), has secondary listing in the Botswana Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq Stockholm all under the share code “LUC”. Lucara is registered in Toronto, Canada and 100 percent Karowe Mine in Letlhakane where the recent 223 carat high white gem diamond discovery was made.

The latest 223 carat mined from the Botswana soil is expected to be showcased alongside its other large counterparts, the 127 carat which was discovered just ten days into 2019 and the 240 carat which was found eighteen days later still on this year, at the upcoming diamond tender closing on 7 March 2019. The next sale date for Lucara diamonds is 7 March 2019 and the viewings, which are open for Gaborone, Botswana only, will be on 24 February and 7 March 2019.

Lucara President and Chief Executive Officer Eira Thomas commented: “2019 is off to a great start, with several, high quality diamonds in excess of 100 carats having been recovered by mid February, a testament to the strong, stable operating environment that has prevailed at Karowe since late 2018. The 127 carat, 240 carat and 223 carat gems will be made available for sale alongside other exceptional, single diamonds at our first diamond tender of the year, closing on March 7, 2019.”

Last year Thomas lauded Botswana’s Karowe mine’s significant contribution to Lucara’s production, especially with regards to producing big gems. The Lucara president called Karowe operations “stabilized and significantly improved our mining operations.” Diasmond experts believe Karowe has positioned itself as Lucara’s flagship with the production of larger diamonds.

Ever since laying its sharp mechanisms on Karowe in 2012 a total of 129 diamonds in excess of 100 carats have been mined and last year 33 precious stones were dug up. There have been 12 larger than 300 carats in size diamonds mined by Lucara and five of them were recovered in 2018. When touting Karowe last year after an avalanche discovery of further larger diamonds Thomas said the Letlhakane mine “has consistently delivered large, high-value diamonds throughout its history.” The Karowe open pit is reported to boast reserves of 2.6 million carats extending out to 2026.

Karowe is known to produce the historic 1109 carat Lesedi La Rona diamond, the largest rough diamond to be found in more than a century. Lesedi La Rona which was dug up in Karowe in November 2015 is also the third largest diamond ever found and the second largest of gem quality-only the non-black gem Sergio and the gem-quality Cullinan were larger. The largest diamond to be produced by Lucara was insured for P1.2 billion and was sold for P530 million to British jeweler Graff Diamonds

Another giant gem coming out of the Karowe open pit was the 813 carat Constellation which was purchased by Swiss jeweler De Grisogono for P631 million. Both Lesedi La Rona and Constellation have been rated Type IIa by the Gemological Institute of America. Type IIa diamonds are the most valued and the purest type of diamonds. They are regarded as rare and coveted subgroup and are chemically pure and often show extraordinary optical transparency.

Next month Clara Diamond Solutions is expected to have a field day when selling the large three diamonds which have just been discovered in two months.  Clara, wholly owned by Lucara, is the digital sales platform that uses proprietary analytics together with cloud and blockchain technologies to modernize the existing diamond supply chain, driving efficiencies, unlocking value and ensuring diamond provenance from mine to finger.

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China’s GDP expands 3% in 2022 despite various pressures

2nd February 2023
China’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) expanded by 3% year-on-year to 121.02 trillion yuan ($17.93 trillion) in 2022 despite being mired in various growth pressures, according to data from the National Bureau Statistics.

The annual growth rate beat a median economist forecast of 2.8% as polled by Reuters. The country’s fourth-quarter GDP growth of 2.9% also surpassed expectations for a 1.8% increase.

In 2022, the Chinese economy encountered more difficulties and challenges than was expected amid a complex domestic and international situation. However, NBS said economic growth stabilized after various measures were taken to shore up growth.

Industrial output rose 3.6% in 2022 over the previous year, while retail sales slightly shrank by 0.2% data show that fixed-asset investment increased 5.1% over 2021, with a 9.1% hike in manufacturing investment but a 10% fall in property investment.

China created 12.06 million new jobs in urban regions throughout the year, surpassing its annual target of 11 million, and officials have stressed the importance of continuing an employment-first policy in 2023.

Meanwhile, China tourism market is a step closer to robust recovery. Tourism operators are in high spirits because the market saw a good chance of a robust recovery during the Spring Festival holiday amid relaxed COVID-19 travel policies.

On January 27, the last day of the seven-day break, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism published an encouraging performance report of the tourism market. It said that domestic destinations and attractions received 308 million visits, up 23.1% year-on-year. The number is roughly 88.6% of that in 2019, they year before the pandemic hit.

According to the report, tourism-related revenue generated during the seven-day period was about 375.8 billion yuan ($55.41 billion), a year-on-year rise of 30%. The revenue was about 73% of that in 2019, the Ministry said.

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Jewellery manufacturing plant to create over 100 jobs

30th January 2023

The state of the art jewellery manufacturing plant that has been set up by international diamond and cutting company, KGK Diamonds Botswana will create over 100 jobs, of which 89 percent will be localized.

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Investors inject capital into Tsodilo Resources Company

25th January 2023

Local diamond and metal exploration company Tsodilo Resources Limited has negotiated a non-brokered private placement of 2,200, 914 units of the company at a price per unit of 0.20 US Dollars, which will provide gross proceeds to the company in the amount of C$440, 188. 20.

According to a statement from the group, proceeds from the private placement will be used for the betterment of the Xaudum iron formation project in Botswana and general corporate purposes.

The statement says every unit of the company will consist of a common share in the capital of the company and one Common Share purchase warrant of the company.

Each warrant will enable a holder to make a single purchase for the period of 24 months at an amount of $0.20. As per regularity requirements, the group indicates that the common shares and warrants will be subject to a four month plus a day hold period from date of closure.

Tsodilo is exempt from the formal valuation and minority shareholder approval requirements. This is for the reason that the fair market value of the private placement, insofar as it involves the director, is not more than 25% of the company’s market capitalization.

Tsodilo Resources Limited is an international diamond and metals exploration company engaged in the search for economic diamond and metal deposits at its Bosoto Limited and Gcwihaba Resources projects in Botswana.  The company has a 100% stake in Bosoto which holds the BK16 kimberlite project in the Orapa Kimberlite Field (OKF) in Botswana.

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