June 12, 2012 / 2:28 PM / in 6 years

Lucara Diamond falls on lukewarm response to auction

June 12 (Reuters) - Shares of Lucara Diamond Corp fell 18 percent to a nearly five-month low on Tuesday after the company said it failed to sell all the diamonds it had offered through a new online auction system.

Africa-focused Lucara, which owns the Karowe mine in Botswana and the Mothae project in Lesotho, said on Monday it sold 30 lots of diamond for $5.6 million, out of the 35 lots it had put up for sale.

The company fully owns the Karowe mine, which is its only producing mine.

“It is a direct reflection of the current status of global markets that not all diamonds were sold during this first auction,” Chief Executive William Lamb said in a statement.

The weakness in the diamond industry has forced companies such as Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton to plan an exit from the business.

Shares of the company were down 15 Canadian cents at 85 Canadian cents on the Toronto Stock Exchange. The stock was the third-biggest percentage loser on the exchange. (Reporting by Aftab Ahmed in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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