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Gem Diamonds Raises Full-Year Forecast

Nov 1, 2018 8:01 AM   By Rapaport News
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 Gem Diamonds has increased its production and sales outlook for the year after robust output during the third quarter, it said Wednesday.

The miner now expects to recover 120,000 to 124,000 carats from its Letšeng mine in Lesotho for the whole of 2018, compared with a forecast of 114,000 to 118,000 carats it provided in March. It also anticipates selling 118,000 to 122,000 carats, up from 112,000 to 116,000 carats.

The changes followed improvements in mining efficiencies and grades during the quarter ending September 30, it explained. Production grew 16% year on year to 35,755 carats for the period, with the miner recovering two stones larger than 100 carats.

Quarterly sales rose 16% to $55.7 million as a 17% jump in sales volume to 30,275 carats outweighed a 1% decrease in the average price to $1,841 per carat. It sold eight diamonds for more than $1 million each, with a 138.20-carat, type IIa rough fetching $60,428 per carat — the highest average price for a Letšeng diamond during the quarter.

“The demand and prices for Letšeng’s large, high-quality white rough diamonds has remained firm,” the company noted.

The company will spend $3 million on a plant at Letšeng that uses new technology to identify and extract diamonds within kimberlite ore, it added. The facility — which will start operating in the second quarter of 2019 — is part of a strategy to improve early detection of diamonds and reduce breakages.

Image: Letšeng mine in Lesotho. (Gem Diamonds)
Tags: Gem Diamonds, Lesotho, Letšeng mine, Rapaport News
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