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Lucara Sales Slip as Market Slows in Second Half

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JOSHUA FREEDMAN • 04-03-2023

Sales at Lucara Diamond Corp. fell in 2022 as a softening of polished demand led to a slowdown in the rough market during the second half of the year.

Revenue dropped 7% to $212.9 million, the miner reported Tuesday. Sales volume declined 14% to 327,028 carats, with the average price down 6% at $506 per carat. Production from the company’s lucrative Karowe mine in Botswana slipped 9% to 335,769 carats.

While sales grew in the first half of 2022, global economic and geopolitical uncertainties deepened in the remaining months, and holiday sales were weaker than in 2021, management explained. A decrease in rough prices during the second half impacted revenue, which ended up in the middle of the company’s guidance range, said Lucara CEO Eira Thomas.

Net profit jumped 70% to $40.4 million for the year, reflecting lower depreciation charges and other accounting gains.

In the fourth quarter, revenue dropped 27% year on year to $42.5 million, while sales volume went down 21% to 81,264 carats.

Revenues from Lucara’s supply deal with HB Trading dropped 23% to $24.1 million for the three months, as last year’s figure included deliveries of more high-value stones. The miner is contracted to sell all its rough diamonds above 10.8 carats to the Antwerp-based manufacturer at a price based on the estimated polished value. It also receives a top-up if the final product fetches a higher figure than predicted.

Market activity and prices have improved this year, the miner noted.

“Despite rising global economic uncertainties, our outlook for 2023 and beyond remains optimistic as global supply shortages continue to play out in the market,” Thomas said.

Image: Rough sorting at the Karowe mine. (Lucara Diamond Corp.)

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