The run of large diamond finds by London-based miner Gem Diamonds keeps going, as the company has announced the recovery of yet another huge diamond of exceptional quality, this time a 152 carat, D color Type IIa diamond from the Letšeng mine in Lesotho, the highest dollar per carat kimberlite diamond mine in the world. This is the sixth diamond of over 100 carats recovered in 2018. The third of which was the recovery of the massive 910 carat diamond announced on 15 January, 2018, the fifth biggest diamond find in history.
Gem Diamonds only recoverd seven stones larger than 100 carats during the whole of 2017 and five the year before. In our January discussion with Gem Diamonds CEO Clifford Elphick and Commercial Director Glenn Turner at the Gem Diamonds office in Antwerp, we asked if there was any specific reason for the marked increase in large diamond recoveries so far this year, Elphick chalked it up to the intrdoction of new technologies and the fact that they are, "incredibly focused on this sort of diamond recovery. This is also part of the answer - we are looking for these stones and trying to recover them, with an added focus on trying to break fewer diamonds and deal with that issue. There is no ‘magic bullet’. I cannot point to one specific thing we are doing differently." The company has three XRT diamond sorting machines [Tomra’s X-ray transmission], and is also testing a pilot plant in the attempt to solve the issue of diamond breakage at the crushing stage of the recovery process, which results in the potential loss of large diamonds.