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MEI Online: Commodities: Non-Metallic Ores: Diamond: Latest News: June 8th 2013


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:: Gem Diamonds Recovers Third 100-carat Diamond in Four Weeks


Gem Diamonds Limited has announced the recovery last week of a 100-carat, white, Type IIa diamond from its Letšeng mine in Lesotho.

This rough diamond is the third diamond of more than 100 carats in size to be recovered from Letšeng since the end of last month. The recovery of a 164-carat D Colour Type IIa diamond, which was sold for US$9 million into a partnership arrangement; and the recovery of a 103-carat yellow diamond, sold on tender, were both announced on 31 May 2013.

Letšeng’s June exports achieved an average price of US$2,087 per carat, for a total value of US$22 million. This compares to an average value of US$1,599 per carat achieved for the first three tenders in the year.

Four new secondary and tertiary crushers have been successfully installed at the Letšeng mine on schedule and on budget, and are now operational. Mining has commenced as planned in the higher value, higher grade Satellite pipe. It is anticipated that this will result in improved revenues as the build-up of Satellite pipe ore contribution to overall production ramps up for the remainder of 2013.

Development of the company’s Ghaghoo mine in Botswana continues to progress satisfactorily. The sand portion of the access decline has now been successfully completed and the recovery plant is 90% complete. Tunnelling has commenced through the more competent basalt rock, and Phase 1 will see the first kimberlite ore accessed in mid-2014. This will result in planned production of 230,000 carats per annum at a mining rate of 720,000 tonnes per annum.

Gem Diamonds CEO Clifford Elphick commented: “Mining will steadily increase in the higher value and higher grade Satellite pipe in H2 of this year, and we expect revenues will therefore show a resulting increase."




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