Gem Diamonds, which holds a 70 percent share in Let?eng Diamonds (Let?eng), in partnership with the government of Lesotho,┬áwhich owns the remaining 30 percent, is to establish a cutting and polishing facility in Dubai, in an effort to ‘capture additional margin post the mine gate’.
Following successful beneficiation trials on diamonds from the Let?eng Mine in Lesotho, and its Ellendale Mine in Australia, the miner acquired the intellectual property from Antwerp-based Matrix Diamond Technology, as well as the machinery to set up a beneficiation centre in Dubai. The diamond cutting and polishing centre is due to be operational by early 2009.┬á
“The Let?eng Mine in Lesotho produces 60 percent of the world’s large white high-quality rough diamonds. These stones, together with the rare fancy yellow diamonds produced from the Ellendale Mine in Australia, are sold to retailers all over the world which provides an additional source of revenue and margin for the company,” says Clifford Elphick, Chief Executive Officer of Gem Diamonds.
The company is also planning to start diamond mining in the Central Kgalgadi Game Reserve.