Lucapa Diamond Co. continues to make progress in paying down its debt

Lucapa Diamond Company deepened its debt further after repaying A$10.5 million to New Azilian, a company associated with the company’s non-executive director Ross Stanley. Assets held as collateral were also released.

The Lesotho diamond producer has now erased A$17.6 million of debt from its balance sheet in the past 14 months, a critical development, according to CEO Stephen Wetherall.

“Our three financiers, New Azilian, Equigold and South Africa’s IDC (Industrial Development Corporation), have been instrumental in partnering with Lucapa to achieve successes on our mines and exploration assets,” said said Wetherall.

“Our financiers not only provided the necessary funding for mineral development and exploration, but also the understanding and patience when the diamond industry stumbled at the start of the pandemic in 2020 and our operations were impacted.”

The company, which also mines diamonds in Angola, reported preliminary earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of A$22.3 million for the 12 months to December 31. Lucapa is due to release full results by the end of the first quarter.

Diamond producers around the world have noticed a strong market recovery after the dark days of the Covid pandemic. Due to the requirement for physical inspections of goods, the diamond sector has been heavily disrupted by travel bans during the pandemic.

Eira Thomas, CEO of Toronto-listed Lucara Diamond Corporation, said the outlook for the diamond sector was for “one of the strongest diamond markets we’ve seen in the better part of a decade.”

This echoes a statement from Petra Diamond who said last week that there had been a critical positive structural shift in the diamond market due to dwindling new reserves and mid-term inventory depletion. .

Tana T. Thorsen