Eira Thomas, one of the few women to head a diamond mining company, is stepping down as president and CEO of diamond miner Lucara Diamond Corp. after five years.
She will be replaced by William Lamb, the same person whom she took the reins from in 2018. Lamb headed Lucara from May 2011 to February 2018, and will serve as company director as well as president and CEO.
When Thomas joined the company, it purchased digital sales platform Clara, and the company’s statement announcing her departure raised the possibility that she might continue her involvement with the program, or that it might leave with her.
“We look forward to working with Eira on exploring options to maximize the value of Clara for all stakeholders,” said director Adam Lundin in a statement.
Lamb has over 25 years’ experience in mining project development and operations. Prior to coming to Lucara, Lamb worked for De Beers from 1998 to 2008.
Lucara owns the Karowe Diamond Mine in Botswana, which has become a steady supplier of abnormally large diamonds—including, in the past month, a 1,080 ct. gem.
A company statement paid tribute to Thomas’ accomplishments as CEO, including “an innovative diamond sales strategy for Lucara’s production of rough stones greater than 10.8 carats through [an] agreement with HB Antwerp; “the commercialization of Clara”; and achieving “peak operational performance at Karowe” as well as arranging “for a senior secured project financing debt package of $220 million enabling the [mine’s] underground expansion to advance.”
But Karowe’s underground expansion has hit several speed bumps, and in July, the company admitted that its construction will take longer and be more expensive than it originally anticipated.
Thomas co-founded Lucara in 2007, along with Lukas Lundin and Catherine McLeod-Seltzer. In 2020, Thomas was the subject of a profile in The New Yorker: “The Woman Shaking Up the Diamond Industry.”
At the time of publication, Lucara’s stock was trading at 38 cents a share.
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