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Gem Diamonds’ 4Q Letšeng Sales Decline as Prices Dip

Feb 3, 2016 8:05 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... Gem Diamonds sold $64.3 million worth of stones from its Letšeng mine in Lesotho in the fourth quarter that ended December 31. The figure was 5 percent below the $67.7 million reported by the company a year earlier as the average price of goods dropped.

The average price achieved, including carats extracted at rough value for polishing, fell 1.1 percent year on year to $2,117 per carat from two Letšeng tenders held during the period, according to a statement February 3. The company sold 30,357 carats, 4 percent fewer than a year before. Production from the mine increased 14 percent to 29,100 carats.

Wholly-owned subsidiary Gem Diamonds Botswana recovered 24,294 carats from the Ghaghoo mine in the African country, the statement added.

For 2015 as a whole, sales from Letšeng decreased 15 percent over 2014 to $236.3 million. By volume, sales declined 6 percent to 102,778 carats, with the average price dropping 9 percent to $2,299 per carat. Full-year production was essentially flat at 108,579 carats. Diamond recovery from Ghaghoo was 91,499 carats for the year.

"It is pleasing to see that the prices achieved for Letšeng’s diamonds during the fourth quarter have remained robust despite the challenging market conditions experienced throughout this period,” said Clifford Elphick, Gem Diamonds' chief executive officer.

Gem Diamonds' first Letšeng tender of 2016, currently underway in Antwerp, has been well attended and sentiment is upbeat, the statement added.
Tags: Gem Diamonds, Ghaghoo, Lesotho, Letšeng, mining, Rapaport News
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