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Gem records ‘stronger’ diamond prices at Letšeng

29 january 2014

Gem Diamonds said it recorded “stronger” diamond prices at Letšeng mine in Lesotho during the fourth quarter period ended 31 December 2013.
It said an average value of $2,533 per carat was achieved for the three exports during the period under review from $2,022 per carat recorded the in the previous quarter and $1,741 per carat during the first half of 2013.
“As mining at Letšeng has moved more into the Satellite pipe in Q 4 2013, we have seen an expected improvement on the quality of diamonds produced,” said company chief executive Clifford Elphick.
“This, together with a strong market saw the final tender of 2013 realise over $ 3,000 per carat.”
He said this firmer trend in rough prices for Letšeng’s high value diamonds looks set to continue this year.
At Ghaghoo, in Botswana, the company intersected a kimberlite on Level 0 and the main decline was 50m from the break-off to the first production level.
Construction of the plant was now complete with commissioning set for the second quarter of the year.
Elphick said a separate $25 million facility had been signed for capital expenditure at Ghaghoo and the group ended 2013 with a strong cash position some $10 million higher than at the half year.
Meanwhile, the company recorded a fatal accident at the Ghaghoo mine which resulted in the death of one of its employees this month.

Mathew Nyaungwa, Editor in Chief of the African Bureau, Rough&Polished