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Gem Diamonds Recovers 100-Ct. Diamond at Letšeng

Jun 26, 2013 2:27 AM   By Deena Taylor
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RAPAPORT... Gem Diamonds recovered a 100-carat white, type IIa diamond from the Letšeng mine in Lesotho.  Clifford Elphick, Gem Diamonds' CEO, reported that the company has recovered three diamonds weighing more than 100 carats at Letšeng in the past two months.

During May, the company recovered a 164-carat, D type IIa diamond that sold for $9 million into a partnership arrangement and a 103-carat yellow diamond that was sold at the company's tender.

Gem Diamonds reported that revenue from Letšeng's June production achieved a total of $22 million, or an average price of $2,087 per carat, compared with an average price of $1,599 per carat achieved at the first three tenders of the year.

The company added that four new secondary and tertiary crushers have been successfully installed at Letšeng on schedule and on budget and are operational. Mining has commenced as planned in the higher-value, higher grade satellite pipe, which should result in improved revenue as the build-up of satellite pipe ore contributes to overall production for the remainder of 2013, the company explained.

In Botswana, progress is being made at the company's Ghaghoo mine. The sand portion of the access decline is complete while the recovery plant is 90 percent complete. Tunneling has begun through the more competent basalt rock. Phase 1 will see the first kimberlite ore accessed in mid-2014, allowing the company to achieve its planned production of 230,000 carats per year.
Tags: Deena Taylor, Gem Diamonds, Letšeng
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