The Botswana government has renewed a mining licence for its Karowe Mine, operated by Canadian miner, Lucara Diamond Corporation.
“The renewal of Mining Licence No 2008/6L in respect of its AK06 (Karowe) Mine has been approved by Botswana’s Minister of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security,” the company’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Eira Thomas, said in a statement issued on the Botswana Stock Exchange on Monday.
According to Thomas, the renewal was effective January 4, 2021, for a period of 25 years, securing Lucara’s mining rights until 2046 and marks a “critical” step in the formal sanction of the Karowe underground expansion project.
“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,” Thomas added.
She noted that the company would continue to explore debt financing options for the underground expansion.
The underground expansion programme is said to have an estimated capital cost of $514m and a five-year period of development, with first ore anticipated from underground in 2026.