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Large Stones Prove Profitable for Gem Diamonds

Sale of 910-carat Lesotho Legend boosts miner’s first-half earnings.
Sep 5, 2018 9:44 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT...
Gem Diamonds swung to a profit in the first half of the year, boosted by the sale of large, high-quality stones from its Letšeng mine in Lesotho.

Profit was $24.2 million for the period ending June 30, versus a loss of $2.9 million last year, the company reported Wednesday.

Sales rose 81% year on year to $167.7 million for the six months, from 61,596 carats, with the average price at Letšeng up 54% to $2,742 per carat. The company sold 25 stones for more than $1 million each, with the largest of those, the 910-carat Lesotho Legend, fetching $40 million.

“Letšeng’s improved recoveries combined with the discovery and subsequent sale of the Lesotho Legend has generated a strong set of results,” said CEO Clifford Elphick. “Letšeng produced a record number of diamonds greater than 100 carats for any six-month period in the mine’s history.”

Gem Diamonds recovered 10 diamonds larger than 100 carats during the first six months at Letšeng, and last month unearthed another two, making this a record year for such finds.

The company also owns the Ghaghoo mine in Botswana, which it is in the process of selling.

Image: Gem Diamonds
Tags: Botswana, Clifford Elphick, Gem Diamonds, Ghaghoo, Lesotho, Lesotho Legend, Letšeng, mining, Rapaport News
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