Sub-Sahara Mining & Industrial Journal
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Lesotho: Letšeng Recovers 370 Carat Diamond

LETŠENG Diamonds has continued with its impressive performance of recovering top quality diamonds, with the latest find being a high quality 370-carat Type II white diamond, from its mine in Mokhotlong.

Gem Diamonds, which owns 70 percent of Letšeng Diamonds with the remainder being held by the government, announced its latest find in a statement this week.

“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 in its statement.

This latest diamond discovery comes after another huge find of a high quality 254-carat Type II, white diamond on 4 May 2021.

The finds are the latest in the long line of impressive performances by the Letšeng Mine which also saw the recovery.

In the last trading update detailing Gem Diamonds’ operational and sales performance from 1 January 2021 to 31 March 2021, it was highlighted that the mine had produced 29 010 carats during the period under review. It raked in US$43 9 million (about M614, 6 million) compared to US$47, 3 million (about M662, 2 million) it got during the same period in 2020.

The average price achieved for the period was US$1 630 (about M22 820) per carat for the 26 916 carats sold during the period. Five diamonds sold for more than US$1 million (about M14 million) each generating US$12, 4 million (about M173, 6 million) during the same period.

Gem Diamonds chief executive officer (CEO), 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,” Mr Elphick said.

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