Gem Diamonds produced 25,559 carats from its Letseng mine in Lesotho in the third quarter, ending November 14, a 9% rise on the previous quarter. An average value of $2,022 per carat was achieved for two exports in the third quarter, compared with $1,855 per carat in the second quarter and $1,741 per carat in the first half of this year. The miner’s October and November 2013 exports achieved an average of $2,139 per carat and $2,406 per carat respectively.
The diamond company said 13 rough diamonds achieved a value in excess of $1 million each during the period, totaling 22 for the year to date, and 26 rough diamonds which achieved prices greater than $20,000 per carat in the period (totaling 78 for the year to date). A total of 178 rough diamonds greater than 10.8 carats in size were recovered in the period, equating to 77% of Letseng’s revenue for the period. (476 diamonds greater than 10.8 carats have been recovered for the year to date, totaling 73% of Letseng’s revenue for the year to date).
Gem Diamonds CEO Clifford Elphick said, “The installation of the new cone crushers is complete and we believe that this will enable us to better harness the value of the Letseng mine as we look to reduce diamond breakage. The development of the new mine at Ghaghoo is progressing well and is on track for the first production to be run through the Plant in H2 of next year."