Lesotho digs up another huge gem

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Maseru – The world’s highest dollar-per-carat mine, Lesotho’s Letšeng Diamonds, has unearthed another mega gem, this time a high quality 370-carat Type II white diamond.

Gem Diamonds, which owns 70 percent of Letšeng Diamonds with the remainder being held by the Government of Lesotho, said the find followed another of a high quality 254-carat Type II white in early May.

“Gem Diamonds Limited is pleased to announce the recovery of a high quality 370-carat Type II white diamond from the Letšeng Mine in Lesotho, the highest dollar-per-carat kimberlite diamond mine in the world,” the company said this week.

In its last trading update covering January 2021-March 2021, it was highlighted that the mine had produced 29,010 carats in the first quarter of the year, raking in US$43,9 million compared to US$47,3 million in the same period in 2020.

The average price achieved for the period was US$1,630 per carat for the 26,916 carats sold. Five diamonds sold for more than US$1 million each.

Gem Diamonds CEO, Mr Clifford Elphick, said carat production during the period went up 11 percent.

Although the production from the mining mix was “not as impressive as the second half of 2020”, with fewer large diamonds recovered due to the areas accessed under the mining plan, prices achieved on a like for like basis remained strong for Letšeng’s high value diamond production.

“It is anticipated that the mining mix should improve over the coming months as the richer parts of the satellite pit are accessed in accordance with the mine plan,” said Mr Elphick.

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