In a press release dated March 5, 2014, Gem Diamonds Ltd. the world’s leading producer of high-value diamonds, announced the sale of the two 160+ carat diamonds recovered from their Letseng la Terai mine in Lesotho at the end of January 2014. The successful sale took place at the Company’s end of February diamond tender held in Antwerp.
The two rough diamonds – a 162.06-carat Type II diamond and a 161.74-carat Type I diamond – achieved top prices at the tender in keeping with their respective colors, clarities and expected polished yields. The 162.02-carat Type IIa diamond sold for US$ 11.1 million, or US$ 68,687 per carat, and the 161.31-carat Type Ia diamond sold for US$ 2.4 million, or US$ 14,636 per carat.
Both diamonds were recovered in largely undamaged condition at the Letseng mine in January 2014, since the company modified the two kimberlite processing plants to minimise damage to the diamonds during processing, confirming the effectiveness of the modifications put in place.
Gem Diamonds Ltd. presently owns two production diamond mines; the Letšeng mine in Lesotho and the Ellendale mine in Australia; and also the Ghaghoo mine, currently in development in Botswana. The Letšeng mine is famous for the production of large, top colour, exceptional white diamonds, making it the highest average dollar per carat kimberlite diamond mine in the world. Since Gem Diamonds’ acquisition of Letšeng in 2006, the mine has produced four of the twenty largest white gem quality diamonds ever recorded.