603 CARAT WHITE DIAMOND RECOVERED AT LETŠENG DIAMOND MINE IN LESOTHO

Back

04 Oct 2006

Gem Diamond Mining Company of Africa Ltd (Gem Diamonds) and its partner the Government of the Kingdom of Lesotho (Lesotho Government), the owners and operators of the Letšeng Diamond Mine in Lesotho, Southern Africa, are delighted to announce the recovery of a 603 carat white diamond at Letšeng.

The diamond, named the Lesotho Promise is the largest reported find this century and ranks as the 15th largest diamond ever found. The stone is an exceptional colour, rated D, the top colour for diamonds. The largest diamond previously found at Letšeng was the 601 carat Lesotho Brown, recovered in 1967.

Letseng, which is situated in the Maluti Mountains in Lesotho, is a world class mine, renowned for the quality and size of its diamonds. Its revenue per carat is currently unsurpassed in kimberlite diamond mining.

The Lesotho Promise is being put up for sale today, 4 October 2006, through a private tender in Antwerp. The tender process is expected to be completed by Monday, 9 October, with an announcement of the winning bid on the same day at the Antwerp World Diamond Centre, the HRD, in Antwerp.

Lesotho's Minister of Natural Resources, Dr Khaketla said:

"We are proud that a Lesotho diamond has made history for a second time. The "Lesotho Promise" heralds an auspicious start to our partnership with Gem Diamonds at Letšeng. Furthermore it comes at a time when the Kingdom of Lesotho is celebrating 40 years of independence."

Clifford Elphick, CEO of Gem Diamonds said:

"This exceptional find reinforces the excellent potential of Letšeng. Gem Diamonds, has always been confident about the potential of Letšeng and we are delighted to commence our partnership with the Government of Lesotho by recovering a stone of this size and historic significance. We hope that this will be a symbol of Letseng's continuing success."

For further information:

Gem Diamond Mining Company of Africa Ltd.

Clifford Elphick, CEO
Kevin Burford, CFO
Tel: +27 11 325 7652

Merlin

Bridget Fury / Lachlan Johnston
Tel: +44 20 7653 6620

About Gem Diamond Mining Company of Africa Ltd (Gem Diamonds)

Gem Diamond Mining Company of Africa Ltd

Gem Diamonds is a specialist diamond mining group with assets concentrated in Africa. The Group was founded in July 2005 by Clifford Elphick, a highly experienced diamond mining executive, who was previously Managing Director of E Oppenheimer & Son. Gem Diamonds has a balanced portfolio of assets, including early stage exploration projects right through to Letšeng, a producing diamond mine with strong, positive cashflow. It is the operator of and owner of a majority stake in the successful Letšeng diamond mine in Lesotho, with the remainder being held by the Government of Lesotho. It also has interests in exploration projects in the Longtshimo and Tshumbe-Lubembe regions of the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Mambere River region in the Central African Republic.

Gem Diamonds has assembled an experienced team, with combined experience of 150 years in the mining industry. The directorate comprises Clifford Elphick as Chief Executive Officer, Terry Stewart as Chief Operating Officer, Kevin Burford as Chief Financial Officer and Glenn Turner as Commercial and Legal Director. Senior executives include Peter Heap, Nick Selby and Graham Wheelock.