Archive

  • Firestone Diamond has announced the recovery of a 46-carat white, makeable diamond from its Liqhobong Mine in Lesotho. The stone was recovered undamaged and will go on sale at the next tender which is scheduled to take place in Antwerp at the end of January 2019. The miner's sold a similar stone in Antwerp, a 67.6-carat white makeable for $900,000. 

  • Lucapa Diamond Company, which only two weeks ago commenced its commissioning of the 1.1Mtpa (million ton per annum) treatment plant at the high-quality Mothae kimberlite open-pit diamond mine in Lesotho, will be holding its first ever tender of Mothae diamonds in Antwerp, starting November 12. The Mothae treatment plant, which incorporates two XRT diamond recovery circuits, will be ramped up to its nameplate capacity throughout the December quarter.

  • 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.

  • All signs are pointing upward for Lucapa Diamond Co. these days, with the exception of their rough diamond sales in Q3, which fell by 49% as the miner withheld several exceptional, large and premium-value specials (+10.8 ct.) for sale at a later date. This parcel (pictured) includes a 46-carat pink, and top-color Type IIa white diamonds weighing 114, 85, 75, 70, 62, and 43 carats respectively.

  • Firestone Diamonds posted solid production amid middling sales results in Q1 2019 (ended 30 September 2018), but its majority-owned Liqhobong Diamond Mine in Lesotho got off a strong start to the second quarter after selling its third most valuable stone to date. The start of Q2 was highlighted by the second sale of the 2019 financial year, where the diamond miner sold a total of 102,835 carats for US$8.2 million on October 26, including a 68 carat white diamond, the third most valuable stone sold to date for just under US$10 million, and a 20 carat yellow diamond.

  • Lucapa Diamond Company has commenced its commissioning of the 1.1Mtpa (million tonne per annum) treatment plant at the high-quality Mothae kimberlite open-pit diamond mine in Lesotho (Lucapa 70%; Gov't of Lesotho 30%), despite the challenges of the winter snowfalls in the Maluti Mountains (altitude > 3,000 metres).

  • 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. 

  • CEO of Australia’s Lucapa Diamond Company, Stephen Wetherall, paid a visit to Antwerp recently, where The Diamond Loupe caught up with him. We encountered an optimistic CEO that is clearly excited about the future of Lucapa, and justifiably so. The growing miner operates, together with its partners in Angola, the highest-value and most promising alluvial diamond project in the world - the Lulo Diamond Project.

  • Firestone Diamonds has just completed its first full year of production at the Liqhobong Diamond Mine (75% Firestone, 25% Government of Lesotho), ending an "eventful" year with mixed results. The company describes their first full year of production as "characterised by exceptional operational performance", as Firestone achieved their carat recovery guidance and exceeded their tonnage treated while operating at significantly lower cost than expected, and maintained an unblemished safety record.

  • 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.

  • Lucapa Diamond Company today announced that a selection of large, premium-value Lulo diamonds will be the first Lulo production sold through new marketing channels being introduced as part of Angola’s diamond sector reforms, which represent a milestone for Angola's rough diamond trade. Additionally, Lucapa has exported its first parcel of ~2,500 carats of diamonds recovered from the Mothae kimberlite diamond mine in Lesotho to the global diamond trading centre of Antwerp, Belgium. 

  • 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).

  • Namakwa Diamonds, the majority owner of the KAO mine in Lesotho, has announced the discovery and upcoming sale of its latest exceptional find, a 29.59 carat Fancy Pink diamond, named ‘The Rose of KAO’. The Rose was found on 12 June this year at Namakwa Diamond’s flagship mine KAO in Lesotho (owned 74.99% by Namakwa Diamonds, the rest by the government of Lesotho). The Rose will be shown and tendered in Antwerp with Bonas-Couzyn NV during KAO's fourth sale of the year (KAO-1804) from late September to early October.

  • 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 (LSE: GEMD) recoverd a 100.5 carat, top white color Type IIa diamond from the Letšeng mine in Lesotho, the eleventh diamond of over 100 carats in 2018. Just past the halfway mark of the year, Gem Diamonds has already surpassed its large diamond recovery from 2017 (8), more than doubles that of 2016 (5) and is the first time they have recovered 11 such stones since 2015. It is the first in +100 recovery in H2 of 2018, following a remarkable string of recoveries in the first half of the year. The miner dug up its 10th massive gem in early June: a 102-carat diamond.

  • Firestone Diamonds, a new diamond producer with operations focused in Lesotho (Liqhobong Diamond Mine, owned 75% by Firestone and 25% by the Government of Lesotho), reports it achieved "exceptional operational performance result[ing] in several new production-related records during the final quarter." Specifically, its Q4 recoveries were 36.8% higher than Q3 at 263,512 carats, resulting in a full year total of 835,832 carats, within guidance of between 800,000 and 850,000 carats.

  • 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.

  • Firestone Diamonds, a new diamond producer with operations focused in Lesotho, announced that Paul Bosma has been appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer with effect from July 1 2018, following Stuart Brown's decision to step down as CEO and Director of the company. Firestone writes in its statement that Paul Bosma has more than 24 years' experience in the mining industry, of which 14 years have been in the diamond sector where he worked for De Beers. He joined Firestone in 2014 as the Mineral Resources Manager and in 2016 became General Manager of Liqhobong mine.

  • 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.

  • Firestone Diamonds, which mines the Liqhobong mine in Lesotho (75% Firestone, 25% government of Lesotho) reports an increase in production during the third fiscal quarter ended 31 March 2018, as the higher grade led to a 6.6% rise in diamond recoveries despite challenging conditions due to above average rainfall during the wet season.

  • The Lucapa Diamond Company has announced it has secured major investment backing from a new cornerstone investor and existing shareholders to advance its diamond projects and continue delivering on its growth strategy. The US$12.7 million (A$16.5 million) placement, at no discount to market price, will enable Lucapa to immediately launch an extensive follow-up exploration program, including further drilling, at the Brooking diamond discovery in Western Australia’s West Kimberley region, the company states.

  • 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.

  • 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. 

  • Australian junior miner Lucapa Diamond Company has recovered the first diamonds from its 70% owned Mothae kimberlite mine in Lesotho, the company reports in an ASX announcement. The diamonds were recovered through the existing bulk sampling plant and infrastructure at Mothae, which has been refurbished ahead of schedule, as part of the previously announced bulk sampling program (BSP).

  • London-based miner Gem Diamonds recently rocked the diamond world with the announcement of its latest remarkable recovery from the Letšeng mine in the Kingdom of Lesotho: a 910-carat, D color Type IIa diamond. It is the fifth-largest gem quality diamond ever recovered and is of the highest quality. The Diamond Loupe had the opportunity to sit down with Gem Diamonds CEO Clifford Elphick and Commercial Director Glenn Turner at the Gem Diamonds office in Antwerp. (see a photo of the diamond in annex below)

  • Gem Diamonds, the London-based miner operating the Letšeng mine in Lesotho, recovered more carats, more large diamonds and sold them at a higher price in 2017 than in 2016, the company announced in their Q4 2017 Trading Update. They have also started 2018 on a roll, announcing on 15 January 2018 the landmark recovery of an exceptional quality 910 carat, D Colour Type IIa diamond - the largest diamond to be mined to date at Letšeng and also believed to be the fifth largest gem quality diamond ever recovered.

  • 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.

  • Firestone Diamonds, which mines the Liqhobong mine in Lesotho (75% Firestone, 25% government of Lesotho) saw production decline somewhat in the second fiscal quarter ended 31 December 2017, as the average price achieved increased. 180,709 carats were recovered (Q1: 199,007 carats), reflecting the treatment of ore from a lower grade block resulting in a lower grade achieved of 18.8 cpht (Q1: 21.1cpht).  However, the miner expects to see an increase in grade in the second half of FY2018 as mining moves to higher grade areas of the pit.

  • Gem Diamonds this morning announced the recovery of an exceptional quality 910-carat, D color Type IIa diamond from the Letšeng mine in Lesotho, making it the fifth largest gem-quality diamond ever recovered in history and the third largest in a century, behind only Lucara Diamonds' 2015 discovery of the 1,009-carat Lesedi La Rona.

  • 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 announced the recovery of a high-quality 202-carat, D color Type IIa diamond from the Letšeng mine in Lesotho. It is the seventh diamond of over 100 carats to be recovered to date in 2017 from Letšeng. In 2016, Gem Diamonds unearthed just five diamonds larger than 100 carats.
     
  • 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. 

  • Lucapa Diamond last week adopted a new development plan for the high-value Mothae kimberlite diamond project that foresees increases in targeted production, cash flows and mine life. The improvements to targeted production and cash flows include: a 22% increase in diamond production to 498k carats, a 30% increase in kimberlite material mined to 25 million tons and a 12% increase in mine life to 13.5 years.

  • Firestone Diamonds reports 199,007 carats were recovered Liqhobong Diamond Mine in Lesotho (owned 75% by Firestone and 25% by the Gov't of Lesotho) during the quarter ended 30 September 2017, ending the period, "slightly above all our anticipated production targets", said CEO Stuart Brown. Included in the recoveries were the largest diamond recovered to date, a 134 carat light yellow stone, as well as 45 specials (larger than 10.8 carats). This compares to 54 specials in the previous quarter. The 134 carat yellow diamond will be included in its next sale in Antwerp. 

  • Australian junior miner Lucapa Diamond Company today announced it has secured $15 million in debt financing to bring its high-value Mothae kimberlite diamond project in Lesotho into production in 2018. The secured US$15 million three-year debt facility has been arranged with private Singaporean company Equigold. It is repayable in eight quarterly payments commencing December 2018, by when Lucapa expects Mothae to be in steady state production under its Phase 1 development plan.

  • Firestone Diamonds sold a total of 195,330 carats at their latest tenders in July and September 2017 in Antwerp, netting total sale proceeds of US$13.5 million, including the sale of the company's second >US$1 million stone. Nonetheless, the average value per carat fell to $69 from $107/ct.

  • 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.