In its latest trade update, Gem Diamonds, the mining company that operates the high value diamond Letšeng mine in Lesotho, presented a remarkably good report considering the impact of the pandemic on the global diamond industry.
Gem Diamonds reports that its Q3 Antwerp tender results achieved an average of US$2,215 per carat, exceeding (pre-covid) H2 2019 prices. The strong results, excluding a little under US$30m of proceeds of the September tender that arrived after the Q3 period ended, and continued cost control are further boosting the miner's balance sheets, to positive cash flow. The latest tender in September included the sale of the 439 carat Letšeng Icon. The miner reopened the mine in Q2 and has fully resumed all activitities at the Lesotho Letšeng operation, including waste mining activities in July.
In a Q&A following the announcement of interim results, GEM Diamonds CEO Clifford Elphick said the company is not pursuing any of Petra's assets. "They are lovely assets but there is a massive debt pile and everyone looks at this in the same way … We’re near the end of all this.”, Elphick said. In the first half of 2020, GEM Diamonds reported a US$1.7 million loss, compared to a US$ 4.2 million profit in the same period last year, and the Letseng mine production forecast was adjusted to 96,000ct down from 100,000ct.
Gem Diamonds announced the recovery of a massive 442ct Type II rough at its Letšeng mine in Lesotho, one of the larger high quality stones recovered this year. The discovery is welcome news at a time when the global pandemic is putting a lot of strain on the global diamond industry, miners in particular. The London listed company's stock jumped 10.7% as the news came out. "A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this diamond will be used to fund a special community project, as agreed with our partners the Government of Lesotho", Clifford Elphick CEO of Gem Diamonds commented.
According to MiningMX, GEM Diamonds, operating the high-quality diamond yielding Letšeng mine in Lesotho, halved its net debt to $5.5 million (compared to $10.1 million at the end of 2019) as a result of improving efficiency and successfully reducing costs, such as management salary cuts that remain in place, as well as higher than expected sales results, with an average of $1,707 per carat in the first half of the year.
In a statement Gem Diamonds has announced it has sold all large diamonds during its latest Antwerp tender, organized in strict compliance with COVID-19 measures. The company realized an average $/ct price of $1707 in H1, up from an average $/ct of $1687 in H1 and $1506 in H2 2019 respectively. A 13 carat pink diamond achieved $40,110 per carat, and a 61 carat white Type II diamond achieved $31,400 per carat. 15 diamonds sold in H1 2020 for in excess of $1 million each and one diamond for over $5 million.
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 held a tender of small diamonds in Antwerp from the Letseng mine in Lesotho, earning $7.8 million at the sale which concluded earlier this week. The miner called the results "resilient" given the circumstances, as the average price per carat fell 18% below the like-for-like prices reached at the last small diamond tender held in November last year before the Covid-19 economic crisis.
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 today announced it has appointed Ms. Mazvi Maharasoa, who served as the Chief Executive Officer of Letšeng Diamonds from 2009 to 2017, as a non-executive director. Maharasoa has over 20 years' of senior management experience, more than 10 of which in the mining sector. Prior to her time as CEO of Letšeng Diamonds, she served as its resident director for two years. Ms. Maharasoa was also the founder and president of the Lesotho Chamber of Mines (2016).
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 unearthed a 161-carat top-quality Type II white diamond at the Letseng mine in Lesotho on 21 March 2019. It is the first recovery announced of a diamond weighing more than 100 carats in 2019, but not their first major find of the year. Last month, Gem recovered a high-quality 13.33-carat Type I pink diamond, which sold for $8,750,360 in Antwerp.
Gem Diamonds Ltd. has sold a 13.33 carat pink diamond on tender in Antwerp for $8,750,360. The price achieved sets a new high on a dollar per carat basis for a Letšeng diamond, at $656,933. For the sake of comparison, over the course of the 2018, Gem recovered a 138.28-carat white diamond which achieved US$60,428 per carat - the highest dollar per carat for a white rough diamond during the year - and a a 4.06 carat, pink diamond that earned US$64,067 per carat - the highest price per carat achieved during 2018.
Gem Diamonds, which operates the Letšeng mine in Lesotho, recovered four high-quality diamonds larger than 100 carats in January 2018 and never looked back, riding a record number of +100-carat diamond recoveries in a single calendar year (15) to increased revenues and profit, but they have declined to pay out a dividend. The first big find of the year was the exceptional 910-carat Lesotho Legend, which the miner sold last March for $40 million.
The state of the diamond mining industry as 2019 enters full swing is concerning to many throughout the trade. The fall in prices of small, lower-quality diamonds, a staple of many miners, had participants at the Africa Mining Indaba last week concerned about the sustainability of their operations if the market does not correct this year, with some even concerned about their survival.
Gem Diamonds recovered a high-quality 13.33 carat, pink colour Type I diamond from the Letšeng mine in Lesotho on 7 February 2019. The prices for diamonds of this color of diamond are typically exceptional. In the first half of 2018, when Gem recovered 10 rough stones larger than 100-carats at its Letšeng mine, the highest price achieved was $62,433 per carat for a 2.26-carat pink diamond.
Gem Diamonds had a banner year in terms of recoveries, sales and average prices acheived for its diamonds unearthed from its Letšeng mine in Lesotho. In addition to setting a company record for recoveries in a single year of diamonds larger than 100 carats (15) and of diamonds larger than 20 carats (257), in 2018 Gem's carats recovered increased by 13% to 126,875 carats (2017: 111 811 carats), sales jumped 29% to $267 million from $207 million, and the average price rose by 10% to $2,131 per carat, up 10% from $1,930 per carat in 2017.
Gem Diamonds brought 2018 to a close much in the same way that it opened the miner's banner year - with the unearthing of a 125-carat high quality white, Type IIa diamond - recovered from the Letšeng mine in Lesotho. It was the fifteenth diamond greater than 100 carats the London-based miner recovered in 2018. The recovery, which took place on December 20, following the December 19 announcement of the recovery of high quality 101 carat and 71 carat white Type IIa diamonds, both recovered within a twenty four hour period.
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.