Huge diamond found in ‘remarkable’ Lesotho mine, but what’s it worth?


A London-based mining company said Monday it has recovered a huge diamond from a Lesotho mine in which it is a majority owner. Gem Diamonds Limited
GEMD,
+0.95%
 said it believes the 910-carat diamond is the fifth-largest gem-quality diamond ever found.

The company described the diamond as “an exceptional quality, D colour Type IIa diamond from the Letšeng mine, the highest dollar-per-carat kimberlite diamond mine in the world.”

“Since Gem Diamonds acquired Letšeng in 2006, the mine has produced some of the world’s most remarkable diamonds, including the 603-carat Lesotho Promise,” said Clifford Elphick, Gem Diamonds’ CEO, in a press release. The diamond is the largest find from the mine, which is owned in partnership with the Lesotho government.

Gem did not put a dollar value on the diamond and did not say how it will sell it. Bloomberg reported that Lucara Diamond Corp. sold a 1,109-carat diamond for $53 million last year, but got a record $63 million for a smaller 813-carat stone it found at the same time in 2015.

“The pricing of diamonds is hugely variable and driven by a multitude of factors,” Ben Davis, an analyst at Liberum Capital Markets, told the news service. “But assuming that there are no large inclusions running through the diamond, we initially estimate a sale of $40 million.”

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Elphick touted the “remarkable” history of the Lesotho mine “famous for the production of large, top color, exceptional white diamonds.” It has produced a number of large diamonds in the last 12 years, including:

  • 2006: Lesotho Promise (603 carat)

  • 2007: Lesotho Legacy (493 carat)

  • 2008: Leseli La Letšeng (478 carat)

  • 2011: Letšeng Star (550 carat)

  • 2014: Yellow (299 carat)

  • 2015: Letšeng Destiny (314 carat)

  • 2015: Letšeng Dynasty (357 carat)

Gem Diamonds is a leading global diamond producer. The company owns 70% of the Letšeng mine in Lesotho and 100% of the Ghaghoo mine in Botswana.


View more information: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/huge-diamond-found-in-remarkable-lesotho-mine-but-whats-it-worth-2018-01-15

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