Letseng mine in Lesotho produced 112,367 carats in 2011, a record yield for the mine, the company reported on Thursday. Goods from the mine, known for their high value, averaged $2,543 per carat in the fourth quarter.
The company extracted in 2011 184 diamonds that sold for more than $20,000 p/c, contributing about 70% of Letseng’s revenue.
Among the high value diamonds was a 550 carat, Type IIa, D color diamond named Letseng Star. The diamond was valued at $16.5 million and sold to the company's manufacturing joint venture.
"The fourth quarter of 2011 saw rough diamond prices down from their highs in the first half of the year due, in the main, to the continuing effects of the Eurozone crisis," said Gem Diamonds CEO, Clifford Elphick.
"However, the last two Letseng tenders of the year saw an improvement in demand, with a modest strengthening of prices in most categories," Elphick added.