The new chief is a company co-founder.

VANCOUVER, BC — Lucara Diamond Corp. announced that William Lamb is retiring from the role of CEO and stepping down from the board of directors.

Eira Thomas, a founder and director of the company, will be assuming the role of CEO. In addition, Catherine McLeod Seltzer, also a Lucara co-founder, will be joining the board.

Under Lamb's leadership, the company's flagship Karowe mine has evolved into one of the world's highest margin diamond mines and the foremost producer of large, Type IIA diamonds in excess of 10.8 carats, according to a press release. That includes the historic 1,109 carat Lesedi La Rona (second largest gem diamond ever recovered) and the 813 carat Constellation (sold for a record US$63.1 million).

Lamb plans to "remain closely associated with the Company in an ongoing role as a technical advisor," the release explains.

Assuming the role of CEO, Thomas brings more than 25 years experience in the mining industry, including 16 years with Aber Diamond Corp. (now Dominion Diamond), where she served in ever increasing roles from initial discovery as a geologist to vice president exploration and ultimately a director of the board. She was co-founder of Stornoway Diamond Corp., serving first as CEO and then as executive chairman. There she led the acquisition of the Renard diamond deposit which subsequently became Quebec's first diamond mine. In 2007, she founded Lucara with partners Lukas Lundin and McLeod Seltzer.

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Thomas most recently served as CEO of Kaminak Gold Corp., which was acquired by Goldcorp in 2016 for $520 million. Thomas is also a director of Suncor Energy.

McLeod Seltzer has been directly involved in more than $4 billion in corporate transactions in the past 25 years and has been instrumental in helping build a number of successful mineral companies, including Arequipa Resources, Francisco Gold, Miramar Mining, Bear Creek Mining, Stornoway Diamonds and Peru Copper Inc.

Meanwhile, Lucara also announced the acquisition of Clara Diamond Solutions Corp., described as "a company whose primary asset is a secure, digital sales platform that will transform how rough diamonds are sold, unlocking value for diamond producers and manufacturers alike." Clara uses proprietary analytics together with cloud and blockchain technologies to modernize the existing diamond supply chain. 

Lucara agreed to purchase Clara for a total up-front consideration of 13.1 million shares of Lucara (about $29 million in up-front consideration based on the closing price of Lucara common shares as of Feb. 22).

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