Gem Diamonds Limited, the London Stock Exchange quoted junior diamond miner, was bullish about its future following the recovery of a 100 carat at its Letseng operation while at the same time expressing confidence about its planned mining activities in the Central Kgalagadi Game Reserve (CKGR).
“Gem Diamonds is pleased to announce the recovery of a 100 carat, white, Type IIa diamond from the Let┼íeng mine in Lesotho on 22 June 2013,” the company stated in statement on Wednesday.
Letseng is renowned of its rear and rich diamonds and the latest find of a diamond of over 100 carats make it the third biggest since May this year.
That comes right on the heels of the recovery of a 164 carats D Colour Type IIa diamond, which 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.
Cliff Elphick, Chief Executive Officer for Gem Diamonds praised the move saying “Let┼íeng has recovered a third rough diamond over 100 carats within the last 2 months. Mining will steadily increase in the higher value and higher grade Satellite pipe in H2 of this year, and it is anticipated that revenues will therefore show a resulting increase.”
Let┼íeng’s June export makes it one of the richest mines by value by achieving an average price of US$2 087 per carat, for a total value of US$22 million against an average value of US$1 599 per carat which was achieved for the first three tenders in the year.
In an update posted on its web site on Wednesday it also announced the installation of four new secondary and tertiary crushers at its Letseng operation. The crushers are said to have been “on schedule and on budget and 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,” it said.
Meanwhile, the development of the Ghaghoo mine within the CKGR in Botswana is said to progressing satisfactorily.
“The sand portion of the access decline has now been successfully completed and the recovery plant is 90 percent 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.