The 472-carat diamond recovered at Karowe.
Lucara Diamond Corp. found a 472-carat, light brown diamond at its Karowe mine in Botswana, billing it as the third-largest diamond found at the mine.
Although large, the light-brown color of the diamond may weigh on its value.
"I would say if it was D-color white it would fetch upwards of US$20 million," diamond analyst Paul Zimnisky told S&P Global Market Intelligence, referring to a more premium diamond category.
"However, given the color, it's probably worth under US$10 million, maybe even closer to US$5 million."
Still, Zimnisky said good marketing may push up the price of the 472-carat stone. He said it was "very nice looking," and there may be more upside if it is touted as a "very special brown diamond."
Lucara may also benefit from climbing diamond prices. In recent months, both polished and rough diamond prices have been on the rise after hitting lows in 2017, according to recent data compiled by Zimnisky. Rough diamond prices are up 2% in 2018.
Zimnisky also forecast decreasing rough diamond supply over the next few years.
Lucara said April 12 that during the first quarter, it recovered 218 "specials" — diamonds over 10.8 carats — and four stones over 100 carats apiece. Full results for the period will be released May 8.
A pre-feasibility study on transitioning to underground mining at Karowe, in a bid to extend the mine's life from 2026 to 2036, is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
A company spokesperson had not responded to a question about pricing of the 472-carat diamond as of press time.
Lucara sold a 1,109-carat diamond recovered at Karowe for US$53 million in September 2017.