An aerial view of Lucara’s Karowe open-pit mine.
Highlights for the year ended 31 December 2019 include:
- Total revenues of $192,5-million (2018: $176,2-million) or $468 per carat (2018: $502 per carat) during fiscal year 2019 (guidance: $170-million to $180-million).
- Strong operational performance at Karowe, including record production through the plant in 2019:
- Total tonnes mined of 9,8-million (guidance: 9,5-million to 10,9-million).
- Ore and waste mined were 3,3-million tonnes and 6,5-million tonnes respectively.
- Ore processed totalled 2,8-million tonnes (guidance: 2,5-million to 2,8-million tonnes).
- 433 060 total carats recovered, including 29 990 carats recovered from previously milled material (guidance: 400 000 to 425 000 carats).
- 2019 was another strong year for the recovery of specials (single diamonds in excess of 10,8 carats) from direct milling ore with 786 stones totaling 24 424 carats recovered, including 31 diamonds in excess of 100 carats, of which two stones were in excess of 300 carats including the historic 1 758 carat Sewelô diamond. Specials were also recovered in treatment of historic, pre-XRT recovery tailings, including a 375 carat stone in Q3 2019. No further treatment of historic recovery tailings is expected.
- Operating cash costs for the year ended 31 December 2019 were $31,88 per tonne processed (2018: $39,92 per tonne processed) compared to the full year forecast cash cost of $32 – $37 per tonne processed (Non-IFRS measure). Operating cash cost per tonne processed was positively impacted by a combination of higher tonnes processed and lower overall tonnes mined as planned in 2019 following the completion of a waste stripping campaign in 2018. Cost optimisation initiatives and favourable foreign exchange contributed to the lower operating cash cost per tonne compared to guidance. Operating cash costs for 2020 are expected to continue to trend between $32 and $36 per tonne processed.
- Clara completed its first year of operations with a total of 15 sales, 27 customers and volume transacted of $8,4-million. Development activities were completed under budget at $0,4 million in 2019. Clara is poised to achieve significant growth in 2020 with the addition of further customers and third-party production.
- Adjusted EBITDA for the year ended 31 December 2019 was $73,1-million compared to adjusted EBITDA for the same period in 2018 of $60,5-million, an increase of 21% (Non-IFRS measure).
- Net income for the year ended 31 December 2019 was $12,7-million ($0,03 per share) compared to net income of $11,7-million ($0,03 per share) in 2018.
- As at 31 December, 2019, the company had cash and cash equivalents of $11,2-million and no debt. In 2019, the Company invested $29-million in the business, primarily towards the completion of an underground feasibility study, and improvements to plant and equipment to maximise carat recoveries. The Company's $50-million credit facility was available for use as at 31 December 2019.
- During the first three quarters of 2019, the company paid a CA$0,025 quarterly dividend, returning $22,4-million (CA$0,075 per share) to shareholders in 2019 (2018: $30,3-million or CA$0,10 per share). Since inception in June 2014, the company has paid dividends of $271-million (CA$349-million).
Eira Thomas, President & CEO comments:
“Our strong operating results for 2019 reflect Lucara's continued focus on safe, reliable operations, which has delivered increased productivity at lower costs and provides a solid foundation to support our next stage of growth – an underground expansion at Karowe which has the potential extend our mine life to 2040, add net cashflow of $1,22-billion and gross revenues of $5,25-billion,” says Eira Thomas, president and CEO.
“Our second business, Clara, continues to deliver solid results and is on track to steadily grow third party supply to the platform over the course of the coming year. In 2019, Lucara also continued to explore ways to maximise the value it receives for its diamonds. Our ground-breaking agreement with Louis Vuitton in January 2020 is another example of how we are delivering on this commitment. Through this agreement, we will demonstrate that greater collaboration within the supply chain can unlock value and increase transparency from mine to consumer."