Mar 26, 2020

Operations Suspended at Mothae Mine Following Declaration of 21-Day Lockdown in South Africa

Lucapa Diamond Company Limited and its partner, the Government of Lesotho, have together decided to suspend operations at the joint venture Mothae Diamond Mine in Lesotho. 

This follows the announcement by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa that South Africa’s National Coronavirus Command Council will impose a 21-day nation-wide lockdown commencing midnight South African time on Thursday 26 March 2020. 

“The lockdown will impact the ongoing operations of the Mothae kimberlite diamond mine in Lesotho (Mothae), particularly on the flow of essential mining supplies and services across the border from South Africa,” Lucapa explained. 

The Company expressed its confidence that if the situation changed, and a decision was taken to re-open the mine in the near-term, mining and processing operations can be restarted relatively quickly.

“The lockdown imposed by the South African Government and other restrictions imposed to restrict the spread of coronavirus will potentially trigger default clauses in the Group’s loan agreements,” Lucapa added.  “However, as set out in the ASX announcement of 30 January 2020, Mothae is currently in discussions with the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa (“IDC”) regarding the restructure of the IDC debt facility. The negotiations are at an advanced stage and the Company will update the market once concluded.” 

Lucapa reiterated that it is also in discussions with companies associated with its two biggest shareholders, New Azilian Pty Ltd and Equigold Pte Ltd, regarding their corporate loan facilities. Lucapa will update the market once these discussions conclude.