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Gem Diamonds says Letšeng H1 revenue up 80pc

30 july 2014

Gem Diamonds said that revenue from its Letšeng mine in Lesotho leaped 80 percent to $147.8 million during the first half of the year 2014.
It said in an update emailed to Rough&Polished that it increased its cash position to $114 million as at 30 June 2014 from $71 million recorded during the preceding half.
The Letšeng mine declared dividends of $40 million, which resulted in a net cash flow of $25 million to Gem Diamonds and a cash outflow from the group as a result of withholding taxes of $3 million and payments of the government of Lesotho’s portion of the dividend of $12 million.
Letšeng recorded a 29 percent jump in output to 54,678 carats during the period under review.
Gem said 53,799 carats of Letšeng diamonds were sold during the first five tenders of 2014. An average value per carat of $2,747 was achieved.
“This has been a strong half-year for Gem Diamonds with one of the best ever performances at Letšeng,” said Gem chief executive Clifford Elphick.
“This, reflects the current mine plan and the technical improvements and optimisation programmes which are taking place at Letšeng.”
Meanwhile, Gem said a “good progress” had been made with the development of the Ghaghoo mine, in Botswana.
It recovered its first diamonds at Ghaghoo during the period under consideration, underpinning long-term potential at the mine.
“The first diamonds produced during the commissioning of the plant have, as anticipated, been of a significantly higher quality and average size than those mined during the exploration phase,” said Elphick.
“A 20 carat and two 10 carat diamonds have been recovered from the first 2,400 carats recovered as at end of June 2014.”

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