New diamond discovery in a Lesotho Mine! Africa-focused Gem Diamonds’ has recently announced its discovery of a 202-carat rough diamond at its flagship Letšeng mine in Lesotho. The stone is a high quality 202 carat, D colour Type IIa diamond, valued at $8m to $10m. This marks the 7th 100-carat plus stone found by the company this year alone.
Located in the Maluti Mountains of Lesotho, the Letšeng mine is the highest dollar per carat kimberlite diamond mine in the world, and is famous for having produced four of the 20 largest white diamonds ever recorded. Gem Diamonds, the leading producer of high-value diamonds, owns 70% of the mine, with the Government of the Kingdom of Lesotho owning the remaining 30%. Since shifting to the higher-grade K6 section of the main pipe earlier this year, the company has increased the number of stones discovered. In April, the company unearthed a 114-carat diamond and only a month later it found an 80-carat, D-colour Type-II diamond — one of the highest-quality diamonds to come out of the Letšeng mine. Following this came the diamond discovery of two diamonds bigger than 100 carats at the same operation — a 151.52-carat Type I yellow rock and a high quality 104.73-carat, D-colour Type IIa stone, as well as a 126-carat high quality D colour Type IIa diamond discovery in Letšeng. As such, Lesotho joins the long list of countries such as Angola in uncovering massive diamonds.
These discoveries will greatly support the company’s revenue and investor confidence. Investors reacted positively to the news, with the stock trading at 1.64% higher at 93 pence in June following the announcement. Quality of improved too. The company has noted an improvement in the size and quality of diamonds recovered at Letšeng with the US$/carat trending positively. “The market for Letšeng’s high-quality diamonds has remained firm and this is anticipated to continue into H2, 2017,” comments Gem Diamonds CEO, Clifford Elphick. “In addition, the revised life-of-mine plan was implemented during February, with the objective of reducing waste tons mined, improving near term cash flows. We expect to see the benefits emerge during 2017.”
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