LETŠENG Diamond Mine in Mokhotlong has recovered a massive 114- carat diamond.
“A high quality 114 carat Type I white diamond was recovered at Letšeng on 16 July 2022,” majority shareholder, Gem Diamonds said in a recent statement.
This is the mine’s fourth stone above 100 carats in the past two months.
According to Letšeng Diamond Mine, the latest discovery closely followed that of an “exceptional-quality” 245-carat rough on June 11, a 125-carat diamond on May 31, and a high-quality, 129-carat stone on May 23.
The United Kingdom-based Gem Diamonds owns 70 percent of the Letšeng mine shares, while the remaining 30 percent is held by the government of Lesotho.
Letšeng mine is said to be the highest dollar per carat kimberlite diamond mine in the world.
In keeping with this reputation, the latest trading update released by Gem Diamonds for the period 1 January 2022 to 31 March 2022 shows that 28461 carats of diamonds were sold at an average price of US$1831 per carat.
The number of carats sold this year reflects a six percent increase on the 26961 carats that were sold in the first quarter of 2021. The 2022 first quarter average price per carat is 12 percent higher than the 2021 first quarter price of US$1630 per carat.
These impressive sales enabled Letšeng to rake in US$52, 1 million from the sale of the rough diamonds – a 19 percent increase from the US$43, 9 million achieved from sales for the first quarter of 2021.
The 28 461 carats sold during the first quarter of 2022 also compare favourably with the 24 790 carats sold in the fourth quarter of 2021 (October to December 2021) at US$50 million.
“During the period (first quarter of 2022), Letšeng paid a dividend of US$13, 4 million,” Gem Diamonds states in the trading update.
“This resulted in a net cash flow of US$8, 9 million to Gem Diamonds and a cash outflow from the Group of US$0, 5 million relating to withholding taxes and US$4 million in respect of the Government of Lesotho’s share of the dividend.
“The highest price achieved in the period was US$66 059 per carat for an 8, 41 carat pink diamond. The highest price achieved during the period for a white diamond was US$53 834 per carat for a Type II a white diamond. Nine diamonds sold for more than US$1 million each, generating revenue of US$16, 2 million during the period,” the company said.