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Lesotho : 30,774 carats of diamonds discovered from July to September in Letšeng mine - ....: : : :....

Lesotho : 30,774 carats of diamonds discovered from July to September in Letšeng mine

Publié le mercredi 1er novembre 2017, par

LSE-listed Gem Diamonds Ltd unearthed 30, 774 carats of diamonds in Letšeng mine, in Lesotho, during the period from 1 July to 30 September, corresponding to the third quarter 2017.

This represents 23% quarter to quarter increase of diamond recovery up from 24,999 carats in second quarter 2017, the company on 31 October reported. During the period under review, the company achieved an average price of 2,397 $US per carat for the tender that took place in July,” making it the highest achieved US$ per carat for a tender since September 2015”, it said.

In the meantime, it achieved an average price of 1,858 $US per carat, representing 4% increase up from 1,779 $ US per carat recorded in the first half of the year 2017. But in the nine months to September 2017, the British diamond company sold 24 diamonds from Letšeng mine for more than 1 million $US each and harvested 56.9 million $US of revenue.

Gem Diamonds’ CEO, Clifford Elphick commented : "The market for Letšeng’s high-quality diamonds has remained firm over the period with the July tender achieving nearly 2,400 $US per carat”. He enjoyed that carats recovered during the period were up by 23% over the prior period. He underscoring that the group-wide efficiency and cost reduction review is progressing well and has already identified annual and once off cost savings of US$ 20 million. This is “an increase of US$ 5 million over the figure announced at the time of our interim results”, Clifford Elphick explained.

The Letšeng mine is located in the Maluti Mountains of Lesotho, at an average elevation of 3,100 metres above sea level. It is famous for the production of large, top colour, exceptional white diamonds. Over the past five years Letšeng has grown to be one of the largest open pit diamond mines in the world, processing ore from two kimberlite pipes, the Main pipe 17.0ha and the Satellite pipe 5.2ha.

Gem Diamonds has 70% ownership, against 30% for the government of Lesotho, of Letšeng mine that it acquired in 2006 for 118.5 million $. Since then, the mine produced four of the 20 largest white gem quality diamonds ever recorded. The portfolio of Gem Diamonds includes 100% ownership of Ghaghoo mine situated near the south-eastern border of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve in Botswana. This first underground diamond mine in Botswana consists of a 10.4ha kimberlite pipe, and has an insitu value of 4.9 billion US$.