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Canadian-headquartered Lucara Diamond Corporation has announced plans to reappoint William Lamb president and CEO of the company, as well as director, succeeding Eira Thomas.

Lamb brings to the board 25 years of experience in mining project development and operations, including a previous stint as Lucara CEO between 2011 and 2018.

During his original tenure at Lucara, he was responsible for the construction of the Karowe mine and its facilities, in Botswana.

He also has prior diamond and other mining company expertise gained through projects, process engineering and operations with fellow mining company De Beers, as well as through serving on several public mining company boards.

Thomas co-founded Lucara in 2007, alongside Lukas Lundin and Catherine McLeod-Seltzer, before taking on the role of president and CEO in 2018.

The board has acknowledged the contributions that Thomas has made over the years, including the introduction of an innovative diamond sales strategy for Lucara’s production of rough diamonds greater than 10.8 ct in weight through an agreement with HB Antwerp.

Thomas also led the commercialisation of Lucara’s digital diamond sales platform Clara and helped the Karowe mine achieve peak operational performance.

Lucara chairperson Paul Conibear lauds Thomas for her leadership skills, focus on operational excellence and ability to harness technology and innovation to strengthen the company. He says Thomas has been undoubtedly integral in the success of the Karowe mine.

Lundin comments that Thomas has laid the groundwork for further value-add at the Karowe mine, for the benefit of all Lucara stakeholders, including the surrounding communities.

He says the company will continue to work with Thomas on exploring options to maximise the value of Clara.

The openpit Karowe mine produces large, high-value diamonds and has, since 2015, yielded four diamonds weighing more than 1 000 ct each.

Lucara is also developing the Karowe underground expansion project to access the highest-value portion of the Karowe orebody and extend mine life to at least 2040.

However, it announced in July that the production start date had been moved out by a year-and-a-half to the second half of 2028. This has also resulted in an increase in project costs to an estimated $683-million, from the previous estimate of $547-million.