In a Press Release dated 15th January, 2018, London-listed Gem Diamonds Ltd., a leading producer of high-value diamonds in the world and the owners of Letšeng Mine in Lesotho and the Ghagoo Mine in Botswana, has announced the discovery of an exceptional quality 910-carat, Type IIa, D-color rough diamond, from its Letšeng Mine in Lesotho, the world’s highest diamond mine as well as the world’s highest dollar-per-carat kimberlite diamond mine. The announcement was followed by a sharp rise in the share price of Gem Diamonds Ltd. of more than 15% in the London Stock Exchange.
The 910-carat rough diamond is the largest ever recovered at the Letšeng Mine after the recoveries of 603-carat Lesotho Promise in 2006, the 553-carat Letšeng Star in 2011 and the 493-carat Letšeng Legacy in 2007. The 910-carat rough diamond is also the fifth largest rough diamond ever discovered in the world after the recoveries of the 3,106-carat Cullinan Diamond in 1905; 1,109-carat Lesedi La Rona in 2015; 995-carat Excelsior Diamond in 1893 and the 969.80-carat Star of Sierra Leone in 1972.
Commenting on the recovery of the extraordinary diamond, Clifford Elphick, Gem Diamonds’ CEO said, “Since Gem Diamonds acquired Letšeng in 2006, the mine has produced some of the world’s most remarkable diamonds, including the 603 carat Lesotho Promise. However, this exceptional top quality diamond is the largest to be mined to date and highlights the unsurpassed quality of the Letšeng mine. This is a landmark recovery for all of Gem Diamonds’ stakeholders, including our employees, shareholders and the Government of Lesotho, our partner in the Letšeng mine.”
A mining analyst at Liberum Capital, Ben Davis, speculated in a research note to investors that the diamond could be worth as much as US$40 million (33 million euros). The 603-carat Lesotho Promise recovered by Gem Diamonds in 2006 was sold for US$12.4 million, or $20,498 per carat, to Graff Diamonds, which owns a 15% stake in Gem Diamonds. Last year, Graff also purchased the 1,109-carat Lesedi la Rona rough diamond, the second largest rough diamond in history, for US$53 million, or $47,790 per carat.