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Letseng gems fetch high price

Mpeshe Selebalo

MASERU — Two large diamonds that were unearthed at Letseng Diamond Mine earlier this year fetched a staggering US$22.7 million (about M160 million) on the market on Wednesday.

The 196 carat stone, recovered at Letseng in August and the 184 carat stone which was unearthed in October, were sold at an auction in Antwerp, Belgium.

The diamonds were sold at an average price of US$59 833 (about M418 831) per carat.

The diamonds were sold to a company called SAFDICO in a special tender.

Letseng also announced that it had sold a 4.68 carat blue diamond for an average of US$155 000 (about M1.1 million).

This was the highest price per carat that had ever been achieved for a Letseng rough diamond.

The average price achieved for the November tender was US$2 354 per carat.

“It is very pleasing that Letseng`s diamonds continue to attract strong prices and I congratulate Safdico on their purchase of these two remarkable diamonds of top colour and outstanding clarity,” Clifford Elphick, Gem Diamonds chief executive said.

Elphick said the strong diamond prices were testament to the enduring value of the diamonds that Letseng produces.

Gem Diamonds is a London registered diamond mining company that holds a 70 percent stake in Letseng Diamonds.

The government of Lesotho holds the remaining 30 percent.

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