Lucara has announced that the application for the renewal of its Karowe mining licence has been approved for a period of 25 years.
The new licence will allow Lucara to continue mining for diamonds until 2046 and marks a “critical step” in the formal sanction of the Karowe underground expansion project.
The Karowe underground expansion project, which continued to advance in 2020 under a revised $22m (£16m) budget in response to Covid-19, focused on “time critical-path items”, detailed engineering and design, and limited “earth works and geotechnical studies”.
The company said it will continue to explore “debt financing options” for the underground expansion for those amounts which are expected to “exceed” the group’s cash flow from operations during the construction period.
Eira Thomas, president and CEO for Lucara, said: “The receipt of our mining licence renewal and extension to 2046 is an important milestone for the Karowe underground expansion project, paving the way for the completion of a supplemental debt financing and full project sanction later this year.
“Lucara is grateful for the confidence and support demonstrated by the Government of Botswana as we work to expand our operations at Karowe underground, for the benefit of the Government and the people of Botswana together with Lucara’s shareholders. We look forward to continued cooperation and a mutually rewarding partnership with the Government of Botswana.”