Gem Diamonds has announced the recovery of a 114 carat, D color Type II diamond of exceptional quality from the Letšeng mine in Lesotho. The Letšeng mine is well-known for the production of large, top colour, exceptional white diamonds, making it the highest dollar per carat kimberlite diamond mine in the world. Since Gem Diamonds' acquisition of Letšeng in 2006, the mine has produced four of the 20 largest gem-quality white diamonds ever recorded.
This is a welcome recovery as Gem Diamonds fell to an annual loss in 2016 as the decline in the recovery of diamonds larger than 100 carats had a "disappointing impact" upon revenue and cash flow. The miner recovered fewer +100 carat diamonds (5) compared to 2015 (11). Commenting on their 2016 annual results, Clifford Elphick, Chief Executive of Gem Diamonds said, "Demand and prices achieved for the large, high quality diamonds recovered from Letšeng have remained firm, but the decline in 2016 in the recovery of diamonds larger than 100 carats has had a disappointing impact upon revenue and cash flow. This recovery rate is consistent with the normal, short term variability of the resource. Based on a detailed geological understanding of the resource, we remain confident that Letšeng will continue to produce exceptional diamonds."