Gem Diamonds recovers another +100 carat diamond from its Letšeng mine


26 Jun 2013

Gem Diamonds Limited (LSE: GEMD) is pleased to announce the recovery of a 100 carat, white, Type IIa diamond from the Letšeng mine in Lesotho on 22 June 2013.

This rough diamond is the third diamond over 100 carats in size to be recovered from Letšeng since May this year. The recovery of a 164ct D Colour Type IIa diamond, which was 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.

Letšeng’s June export achieved an average price of US$2 087 per carat, for a total value of US$22 million. This compares to an average value of US$1 599 per carat which was achieved for the first three tenders in the year.

Other Operational Progress:

At the Letšeng mine, the four new secondary and tertiary crushers have been successfully installed on schedule and on budget, and are 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.

The development of the Ghaghoo mine in Botswana continues to progress satisfactorily. The sand portion of the access decline has now been successfully completed and the recovery plant is 90% 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.

Gem Diamonds CEO, Clifford Elphick stated:

“Letšeng 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.”

For further information:
Gem Diamonds Limited

Sherryn Tedder, Investor Relations
Tel: +27 (0) 11 560 9600
Mob: +27 (0) 83 943 4505

Pelham Bell Pottinger

Charles Vivian / James MacFarlane
Tel: +44 (0) 207 861 3232

About Gem Diamonds:

Gem Diamonds is a leading producer of high value diamonds. The Company owns 70% of the Letšeng mine in Lesotho as well as 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 dollar per carat kimberlite diamond mine in the world. Since Gem Diamonds’ acquisition of Letšeng in 2006, the mine has produced four of the top twenty largest white gem quality diamonds recorded.

Gem Diamonds has a growth strategy based on the expansion of the Letšeng mine and the development of the Ghaghoo mine, while maintaining its strong balance sheet. The Company seeks to maximise revenue and margin from its rough diamond production by pursuing cutting, polishing and sales and marketing initiatives further along the diamond value chain. With favourable supply/demand dynamics expected to benefit the diamond industry over the medium to long term, particularly at the high end of the market, this strategy positions the Company well to generate attractive returns for shareholders in the coming years.