Buoyed by strong financial results thanks to production from its diamond mine in Botswana, Canadian-based Lucara Diamonds Corp (TSE:LUC) will pay out C$172mln via a special dividend of C$0.45 per share. The company’s Board of Directors has approved the dividend payment, which substantially adds to Lucara’s progressive 2016 quarterly dividend of C$0.015 per share.
A total dividend of $0.465 per share will be paid out to shareholders who have a record of the company’s common shares at the close of business on September 2. Those shareholders will get paid on September 15.
“Lucara is rewarding its shareholders with a significant special dividend which is unprecedented in the industry,” said William Lamb, President and chief executive officer (CEO) of Lucara. The CEO explained the dividend was happening after the company generated strong financial returns. He called their Karowe mine in Botswana a “premier diamond deposit” that is producing high-quality stones, spurring a healthy cash balance for the company.
“Following this dividend payment, we will continue to maintain a strong balance sheet and continue to seek value accretive opportunities, which includes advancing our exploration and drilling program to increase the company’s resources,” Lamb added.
The Karowe mine is Lucara’s main producing asset, but the company is seeking out additional opportunities. Lucara is also exploring other sites and holds two previous stone prospecting licenses nearby the Karowe mine. Earlier this year, Lucara made history with the highest price ever obtained for the sale of a rough diamond, for a spectacular-sized precious stone recovered from the Karowe mine.
Botswana is a major participant in global diamond production, second only to Russia in its output. The region is generally considered to be a mining-friendly environment, thanks to relatively low levels of corruption and other related risk-factors.