Karowe LoM to extend upto 2040 with UGP

Mar 02, 2024
Lucara Diamond Corp., 166 carat diamond (CNW Group/Lucara Diamond Corp.)

The Karowe, Under Ground Project (UGP) is designed to access the highest value portion of the Karowe orebody, with initial underground carat production predominantly from the highest value eastern magmatic/pyroclastic kimberlite unit.  The underground expansion is expected to extend Life of Mine (LoM) to at least 2040.

In an update to the Karowe UGP schedule and budget was announced. This update was initiated in response to slower than planned ramp up to expected sinking rates in 2022, and, to account for time incurred to complete grouting programs while mining through the water-bearing geological zones.

These chemical grouting programs took longer than anticipated due to a combination of high-water volumes in the sandstone lithologies between 870 and 752 metres above sea level in depth (144 metres to 262 metres below the shaft collar) and technical challenges associated with the transition to main sinking.

The updated schedule incorporates a 28% increase in the duration of construction, extending the anticipated commencement of production from the underground from H2 2026 to H1 2028. The revised forecast of costs at completion is $683.0 million, a 25% increase to the May 2022 estimated capital cost of $547 million.

The forecasted increase of $136.0 million in estimated capital to reach project completion is predominantly related to increased schedule duration and related labour costs (approximately 56% of the total increase), grouting costs (approximately 20% of the total increase), with the balance of the increase attributable to owner’s costs, procurement, and indirect project costs.

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