Angola unearths its biggest diamond ever – an enormous 400 carat diamond worth $20 million

In a little over a year since it began operations in Angola, Australian diamond mining company, Lucapa, has just discovered an enormous 400-carat diamond in the Lulo region of Lunda Norte province, Western Angola.

The company announced its recovery yesterday and since then its shares have seen a rapid increase from below $0.325 to $0.425. The 404.2-carat diamond which weighs about 80 grams is said to be the biggest diamond ever unearthed in one of Africa’s largest countries and the 27th biggest recorded in the world.

Before now, the Angolan Star, a 200 carat diamond recovered in 2007 was Angola’s largest diamond, while the previous largest to be recovered in the Lulo region was 133.4 carats.

Given the average price of $3,250 per carat, Angola’s largest and latest diamond is worth over a million dollars on its weight alone, when cut and mounted unto a piece of jewellery, it’s price value is bound to increase. Lucapa chairman Miles Kennedy said the diamond could be valued at more than $20 million. “We’re not used to valuing 400-carat diamonds, but if we look at other diamonds slightly less weight than this, you’re looking in the order of $20 million,” Mr Kennedy told Radio Australia.

Reports by Business Insider pegs Lucapa’s recorded diamond revenue at $8.1 million as at December 2015. Since the Perth based company started operations at Lulo a year ago, 10,372 carats have been recovered, excluding the latest find.

The Lulo gem - 404.2 carat diamond Credit - Business Insider
The Lulo gem – 404.2 carat diamond
Credit – Business Insider

Lucapa and its partners Endiama and Rosas & Pétalas are most proud of their latest achievement, the company’s CEO, Stephen Wetherall said, “We have always emphasised the very special nature of the Lulo diamond field and this recovery, together with the other 100 carat-plus diamonds recovered this year alone, is further evidence of that.”

The sale of this diamond is sure to generate huge cash for the company, which the chairman, Mr Kennedy, has said will be used to expand Lupaca’s operations in the area.

Most diamond mining operations in Angola is done by multinational companies like Lucapa, and public organisations. In the first quarter of 2015, the Angolan government approved diamond mining rights to small scale mining consortiums in a total area of nearly 500 square kilometres in the northern interior of the country.

Angola is the third largest producer of diamonds in Africa, but only 40 percent of the diamond-rich territory in the country has been explored. And though mining contributes 12 percent of the country’s GDP (excluding oil), diamond exploration accounts for over 90 percent of the sector.

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