JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) - LSE-listed Gem Diamonds' CEO Clifford Elphick is pleased that the improvement in the recovery of greater than 100 ct diamonds at its Letšeng mine, in Lesotho, has continued into this year.
"This is largely attributable to the ongoing technical improvements made at the Letšeng mine," he said on Friday.
Last month, the company announced the recovery of a 910 ct, D-colour Type IIa diamond - the largest diamond to be mined to date at the mine.
A further four diamonds greater than 100 ct - weighing 149.43 ct, 117.67 ct, 116.98 ct and 110.63 ct - were recovered in January.
Meanwhile, Gem sold 31 476 ct of diamonds in the fourth quarter of 2017 - a 21% improvement on the 25 909 ct sold in the third quarter. The company achieved an average price of $2 217/ct for the period, a 19% increase on the $1 858/ct achieved in the third quarter.
Seven gem-quality diamonds greater than 100 ct were recovered during 2017, of which the largest was a 202.16 ct Type IIa diamond.
Thirty-eight diamonds sold for more than $1-million each, thereby generating revenue of $94.8-million during 2017.