Gem Diamonds has announced the recovery of a high quality 254 carat Type II, white diamond, from the Letšeng mine in Lesotho, the highest dollar per carat kimberlite diamond mine in the world.
“It is pleasing to see that carat production during the Q1,2021 is up some 11% on the same period in 2020 and the average price of US$1 630 per carat is also slightly up on Q1,2020,” said CEO, Clifford Elphick in last month’s Q1,2021 report.
Although the production from the mining mix was not as impressive as the second half of 2020, with fewer large diamonds recovered due to the areas accessed under the mining plan, prices achieved on a like for like basis remained strong for Letšeng’s high value diamond production.
“It is anticipated that the mining mix should improve over the coming months as the richer parts of the Satellite pit are accessed in accordance with the mine plan.”
Other Q1,2020 highlights included:
Letšeng paid the remaining dividend of US$10.0 million which was declared in 2020. This resulted in a net cash flow of US$6.7 million to Gem Diamonds and a cash outflow from the Group of US$0.3 million relating to withholding taxes and US$3.0 million in respect of the Government of Lesotho’s share of the dividend.
During the Period, Letšeng settled its 2020 income tax obligations resulting in a US$11.7 million payment to the Lesotho Revenue Authorities.
- Carats produced during the Period were 29 010 (Q1 2020: 26 110).
- Revenue for the Period was US$43.9 million (Q1 2020: US$47.3 million).
- Average price achieved for the Period was US$1 630 per carat (Q1 2020: US$1 615 per carat).
- Carats sold during the Period were 26 916 (Q1 2020: 29 298).
- 5 diamonds sold for more than US$1.0 million each, generating revenue of US$12.4 million during the Period.
- The 2021 production guidance, as reported on 11 March 2021, remains on target.
The targeted US$100 million in incremental revenue, productivity improvements and cost savings over the 4-year period to end 2021 remains on target to be delivered.