Gem Diamonds Letšeng Mine’s Average Price Per Carat Rises in Q4 2017 to US$ 2,217

Letseng mine

Gem Diamonds Limited in its trading update of the Group’s operational and sales performance for the period from October 1, 2017 to December 31 2017 (Q4 2017), reported that it had achieved an average price of US$ 2,217 per carat for the period, up 19% from US$ 1,858 per carat realised in Q3 2017, for production from the Letšeng Mine.

The Company sold a total of 31,476 carats during the period for US$ 69.8 million; an increase of 21% from 25,909 carats sold in Q3 2017 for a revenue of US$ 48.1 million.

“During the Period, a 58.38 carat white diamond achieved US$ 61,905 per carat, making it the highest price per carat achieved for a Letšeng rough white diamond for 2017,” Gem Diamonds nnounced. “Further contributing to the achieved US$ per carat for the year was a 7.87 carat pink diamond which achieved US$ 202,222 per carat, making it the second highest price per carat achieved by a Letšeng rough diamond.”

Gem Diamonds also noted the recovery of some exceptional and large diamonds.

In 2017 the Company recovered seven gem quality diamonds greater than 100 carats, of which the largest was a 202.16 carat Type IIa diamond, recovered in November 2017.

Gem Diamonds said that it had sold 38 diamonds for more than US$ 1.0 million each, generating a revenue of US$ 94.8 million during 2017. “This is an improvement on 2016 where 34 diamonds sold for more than US$ 1.0 million each, generating revenue of US$ 73.7 million,” the Company declared.

Also, in January 2018, Gem Diamonds had announced what it called the “landmark recovery” of an exceptional quality 910 carat, D Colour Type IIa diamond. This, Gem Diamonds said was “the largest diamond to be mined to date at Letšeng and also believed to be the fifth largest gem quality diamond ever recovered”.

Further, in January 2018 (post reporting period) Gem Diamonds recovered four diamonds greater than 100 carats, weighing 149.43, 117.67, 116.98 and 110.63 carats. A high quality 8.53 carat pink diamond also featured in the recoveries in January.

The Group had a net cash position of US$ 1.4 million at the end of the period, reflecting an improvement of US$ 13.2 million from the Q3 2017 net debt position of US$ 11.8 million,the Company reported.

“The Group had US$ 47.7 million cash on hand at the end of the Period of which US$ 35.2 million is attributable to Gem Diamonds,” the Company stated. “At Period end, US$ 46.3 million of available facilities had been drawn down with undrawn and available facilities of US$ 36.2 million.”

Gem Diamonds’ CEO, Clifford Elphick commented: “The recovery of the 910 carat diamond is a landmark for all of Gem Diamonds’ stakeholders, including our employees, shareholders and the Government of Lesotho, our partner in the Letšeng mine. It is also encouraging to see that the improvement in the recovery of greater than 100 carat diamonds is continuing into 2018, with five greater than 100 carat diamonds recovered in the first month of 2018. This is largely attributable to the ongoing technical improvements made at the Letšeng mine.”

He added: “Significant progress has also been made on the business efficiency and optimisation programme. Further details will be released in the Full Year 2017 results on 14 March 2018.”

Letšeng treated a total of 1.3 million tonnes of ore during the period, 54% of which was sourced from the Main pipe, and 46% from the Satellite pipe.

For the full year, tonnes treated stood at 6.44 million tonnes, marginally below guidance of 6.5 million tonnes due to the reduced feed rate, the Company said.

Pic Cap:The Letšeng Mine
Pic Courtesy: Gem Diamonds Limited

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