Archive

  • Gem Diamonds has been granted permission by the government of Lesotho to reopen its Letšeng Mine following the three week lockdown, with effect from Monday 27 April. The country will remain on lockdown for more than another week, until May 5. The miner said it is taking all of the necessary precautions to protect its people. The mine is located in the Maluti Mountains of Lesotho at an elevation of 3,100 m (10,000 ft). It is the world's highest diamond mine.

  • Gem Diamonds is seeking alternative methods to keep revenue flowing during the days of the coronavirus lockdown. Today they announced that the first round of the flexible tender sales process concluded on 26 March 2020 and raised US$12.1 million for a selection of Letšeng’s large, high quality diamonds.

  • Gem Diamonds yesterday announced that its profit for 2019 took a plunge as weaker diamond prices and fewer large diamond recoveries put pressure on a miner whose product was expected to shelter it somewhat from a challenging market. Gem's profit for the year from continuing operations fell 71% to $15.0 million from $52.4 million in 2018, while its attributable profit lost 77%, falling to $7.1 million from $31.7 million a year ago. The stock market was not kind to Gem's share price, which this week sunk to an all-time low.

  • Gem Diamonds dug up a 114-carat high quality D color diamond on 2 March 2020 at the Letšeng mine in Lesotho. It is the second stone larger than 100 carats they have unearthed this year. The previous one was an exceptional 183-carat white Type IIa diamond receovered a month ago (3 February 2020). That very same day, the company said, they also recovered another two high-quality diamonds, one of 89 carats and the other of 70 carats.

  • Gem Diamonds, the London-based miner that operates the famous Letšeng mine high in the mountains of Lesotho, reported a major uptick in its fortunes in the fourth quarter of 2019 as revenue for the period (Oct. 1 - Dec. 31) increased 41% over the previous quarter on a near-equal rise in the volume of carats sold and the average price per carat. The improved performance was sorely needed, as even with the Q4 increases the miner's 2019 fell by a third in a difficult market. 

  • Gem Diamonds officially rang in the new year with the recovery of an exceptional 183-carat white Type IIa diamond on 3 February 2020. On the same day, the company said, they also recovered another two high-quality diamonds, one of 89 carats and the other of 70 carats, from the Letšeng mine in Lesotho.

  • Gem Diamonds recovered a 114-carat Type 1 yellow diamond on 9 December 2019, the miner reported this afternoon. It is the 11th diamond weighing more than 100 carats to be recovered at the Letšeng mine in Lesotho in 2019, and the fourth yellow diamond that tops the 100-carat milestone. The miner recovered a 114.2-carat yellow diamond from the mine in August, as well as a 135- and 134-carat yellow earlier this year. Letšeng is renowned for known for yielding large, high-quality stones.

  • Gem Diamonds unearthed a 93.5 carat top-quality white Type IIa diamond from its Letšeng mine in Lesotho on 30 November 2019, which followed the recovery of two diamonds weighing more than 100 carats earlier in the month: a 120-carat, high-quality, white, type IIa diamond and a 125-carat, low-quality stone. In a recent meeting of shareholders, however, a significant number - nearly 25 percent - voted against reelecting CEO Clifford Elphick to the company’s board in an effort to force approval of share buybacks and dividends.

  • Leading producer of high-value stones Gem Diamonds recorded modest declines in Q3 compared to Q2, reporting fewer carats sold, lower revenue and average prices achieved for its goods from the Letšeng mine in Lesotho. A year-over-year comparision, however, paints a picture of a more substantial decline and reflects the realities miners are facing in this slumping market.

  • Gem Diamonds recovered a 161-carat high quality white Type IIa diamond at the Letšeng mine on 28 October 2019. The lastest find is the fifth exceptionally-sized (+100 carat) white diamond unearthed this year. Together with three yellows stones larger than 100 carats the miner recovered this year, their total number of exceptional finds now sits at eight.

  • Gem Diamonds on September 11 recovered a D-color, type II diamond weighing 127 carats from its Letšeng mine in Lesotho. The lastest find is the fourth exceptionally-sized (+100 carat) white diamond unearthed this year. Together with the three yellows stones larger than 100 carats recovered this year, their total of exceptional finds now sits at seven: the miner this year has recovered gem-quality white diamonds weighing 123.5, 127, 140 and 161 carats to go with gem-quality yellows weighing 114.2, 134 and 135 carats.

  • Gem Diamonds first half 2019 results took a downturn as the miner recoverd fewer large stones at its Letšeng mine in Lesotho, while the average prices achieved per carat - while still the highest in the business - fell well below their averages over the past three financial halves. While year-over-year comparisons are somewhat skewed by the very high bar set in in H1 2018, revenue from the sale of rough stones was down 44% to $94.5 million compared with $168 million in H1 2018, though it was not too far off revenue from the previous half (H2 2018), which totaled $99 million.

  • Gem Diamonds has unearthed a 114.2-carat yellow stone from its Letšeng mine in Lesotho, making it the fourth major recovery of a colored diamond from the mine this year and the sixth gem-quality stone larger than 100 carats since the year began. 

  • Replicating the first-half results of 2018 was always going to be a challenge for Gem Diamonds, and against that high bar the miner came up short in H1 2019.

  • Gem Diamonds recovered a 123.5-carat high-quality Type II white diamond at its Letšeng mine in Lesotho on Saturday, 20 July, the company announced this week. This find brings to three the number of white diamonds weighing more than 100 carats the miner has unearthed this year, and it is its second in the month of July. Gem recovered a similar 'high-quality white diamond' weighing 140 carats July 6, 

  • Gem Diamonds has unearthed a 'high-quality white diamond' weighing 140 carats from its Letšeng mine in Lesotho, making it the second white diamond larger than 100 carats recovered this year as well as the fourth of this magnitude in 2019.

  • Gem Diamonds has unearthed a 135-carat yellow from its Letšeng mine in Lesotho, making it the third major recovery of a colored diamond discovery from the mine this year. Gem recovered an exceptional, 134-carat Type I yellow diamond back in April - the first yellow stone of that magnitude since they dug up a 151.52-carat yellow diamond nearly two years ago.

  • Gem Diamonds has sold its Ghaghoo mine in Botswana to Pro Civil, a local company, for $5.4m (R77m), bringing to an end Gem's struggles with the underground mine that never lived up to its expectations. Pro Civil, a company registered in Botswana, will acquire Gem Diamonds Botswana Proprietary and the Ghaghoo mine, which has been on care and maintenance since March of 2017.

  • While the volume of carats Gem Diamonds sold in Q1 2019 (Jan. 1 - March 31) from its Letšeng mine in Lesotho fell by 18% from the previous quarter to 27,335 carats, those sales packed a punch, generating $51.9 million in value, a 24% increase from Q4 2018. Still, the miner could not keep pace with its torrid start to 2018.

  • Gem Diamonds has recovered an exceptional, 134-carat Type I yellow diamond from Letšeng Mine in Lesotho, the miner's third important find in recent weeks and its second remarkable colored stone this year. It has been nearly two years since Gem Diamonds recovered a yellow stone of that magnitude.

  • Gem Diamonds said its third quarter (ended 30 September) production from its Letšeng mine in Lesotho rose 27% compared to Q2 2018, and the miner has raised its production and sales guidance for the year. Gem Diamonds now anticipates is full-year output to reach 120 to 124 million carats, up from the 114 to 118 million carats announced last March. The announcement follows improved mining efficiencies and strong production during the period. The miner also projects to sell 118,000 to 122,000 carats, up from 112,000 to 116,000 carats announced previously.

  • Gem Diamonds has recovered a 357 carat light brown high-quality diamond trom its 70 percent-owned Letšeng mine in Lesotho, representing the 13th stone larger than 100 carats the miner has unearthed this year, a company record. The latest find is Gem's second-largest this year, with their largest being the 910 carat Lesotho Legend, a D color Type IIa diamond recovered in January, which sold for $40 million last March. 

  • Ari Epstein, CEO of the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), along with several representatives from the Antwerp diamond industry today met King Letsie III of Lesotho in Brussels. Lesotho, a mountainous country fully surrounded by South Africa and numbering only two million inhabitants, is the world’s seventh most important diamond-producing country in terms of value. Lesotho’s entire diamond production, worth $342 million in 2017, is traded on the Antwerp market.

  • Gem Diamonds, which operates the Letšeng mine in the mountainous kingdom of Lesotho in southern Africa, famous for producing the world’s most valuable stones, is in the midst of a banner year as a record number of large diamond recoveries (+100ct) pushed revenue to $167.7 million, up 81% from $92.9 million in H1 2017. The company set a half year record of ten diamonds greater than 100 carats, including the recovery of the 910 carat Lesotho Legend, which was sold in March to an Antwerp company for $40 million ($43,912 per carat).

  • Gem Diamonds has recovered a 138 carat, top white color Type IIa diamond from the Letšeng mine in Lesotho. This recovery is now the twelfth diamond of over 100 carats in 2018, and a record for the Company in terms of the number of diamonds of over 100 carats recovered in a year.

  • Gem Diamonds Limited today announced the recovery of yet another large, high-quality diamond, this time weighing 115 carats. The stone is top white colour Type IIa diamond, recovered from the Letšeng mine in Lesotho. This is the ninth diamond of over 100 carats recovered in 2018, already exceeding the total number of diamonds of over 100 carats recovered in 2017.

  • A veritable bonanza of large diamond recoveries, including the 910-carat Lesotho Legend, a high-quality diamond unearthed on 15 January - the second largest gem quality diamond recovered in the past century - sent Gem Diamonds' revenues soaring to the tune of an 174% increase in Q1 2018.

  • London-based miner Gem Diamonds has announced that the government of Lesotho, represented by the Prime Minister and Minister of Mining, has confirmed their intention to renew the mining lease of the high-value Letšeng mine until 2034. The mining lease may be further extended if necessary in relation to any underground development of the mine thereafter. The full terms of the renewed mining lease are subject to a statutory negotiation process with the Lesotho Mining Board and, when agreed, will be contained in a new mining lease agreement.

  • Gem Diamonds returned to profit in 2017 as it recovered seven diamonds over 100 carats, but the miner's prospects are looking even better for the year ahead, as today's announcement of the recovery of a 169 carat stone is the seventh diamond of over 100 carats recovered already in 2018. Gem returned to profitability for the year ending 31 December, recording a profit before tax of $30.3m, up from a loss the previous year of $124.1m; profit after tax was $17.2m (-$144.1m) and attributable profit was $5.5m (-$158.8), after exceptional items.

  • Gem Diamonds this morning announced the sale of the "Lesotho Legend": the exceptional quality 910 carat D colour Type IIa diamond recovered from the Letšeng mine in January 2018 achieved a price of US$40 million on tender in Antwerp on 12 March, 2018. It is the fifth largest gem-quality diamond ever recovered in history and the third largest in a century.

  • London-based miner Gem Diamonds has announced the recovery of an exceptional quality 149 carat, D color Type IIa diamond, with excellent shape, from the Letšeng mine in Lesotho, the highest dollar per carat kimberlite diamond mine in the world. This is the fourth high quality diamond of over 100 carats recovered so far this year, and follows closely upon the recovery of the exceptional 910 carat diamond announced on 15 January, 2018.

  • Gem Diamonds has announced the recovery of high-quality 117 and 110-carat, D colour Type IIa diamonds from the Letšeng mine in Lesotho, famed for its large, Type IIa stones that often achieve the highest dollar per carat rough prices in the world. The London-based company recovered seven such stones in 2017 after unearthing only five in 2016. 

    At their summer tender in 2017, Gem Diamonds achieved an average price of $2,397 per carat, making it the highest achieved dollar value per carat for a tender since September 2015. 

  • Gem Diamonds, which owns 70% of the Letšeng mine in Lesotho, reports they recovered 30,774 carats during Q3 2017 (July 1 - Sept. 30 2017), up 23% from 24,999 carats in Q2 2017 and up 26% YoY, as the grade of recovery increased 14% to 1.88 cpht. This is a welcome return to form for Letšeng. During the three month period, the junior miner achieved an average price of $1,858 per carat, up 4% from $1,779 per carat in H1 2017. This included an average price of $2,397 per carat for the July tender, making it the highest achieved US$ per carat for a tender since September 2015. 

  • Gem Diamonds has recovered a 115 carat, D color Type IIa diamond from the Letšeng mine in Lesotho, of which it is 70% owner, with the Kingdom of Lesotho owning the remaining 30%. After a year of declining large diamond recoveries (5) and prices (-26%) in 2016, the company has recovered six +100 carat diamonds so far this year, achieving an average price of $1,779 per carat in the first half of the year, marking a 20% increase than the $1,480 per carat achieved for the prior six-month period (H2 2016). 

  • Gem Diamonds, which owns 70% of the Letšeng mine in Lesotho - famous for the production of large, high quality, exceptional white diamonds - and 100% of the Ghaghoo mine in Botswana, reported a 14% drop in revenue for H1 2017, to $92.9m from $109.1m a year earlier. The poor results from Letšeng were reportedly due to a 12% fall in carat recovery (50,478), as well as a decline in average diamond prices, which fell to $1,779 from $1,899 y-o-y.

  • Gem Diamonds has released its H1 trading update showing improvement in the discovery of highly valuable diamonds from Letšeng mine in Lesotho, as well as a strong uptick in sales prices for its large stones, but are investors convinced that real recovery is on the horizon? After a year of declining large diamond recoveries (5) and prices (-26%), the company has recovered five +100 carat diamonds since the end of March alone (4 in reporting period, 1 just after) and has seen its pricing increase to an average of US$1,779 per carat for the period, up 20% from US$1,480 per carat in H2 2016.

  • Gem Diamonds Limited has recovered yet another exceptional rough stone, this time a high quality 126 carat, D color Type IIa diamond, from the Letšeng mine in Lesotho. After a bit of a dry spell in 2016, Letšeng mine has now yielded three +100 carat diamonds in the last month alone, including the recovery of two high quality diamonds in June 2017: a 104.73 carat diamond and a 151.52 carat yellow diamond.