Diamonds await sale by tender

The Lets’eng Mine recently discovered two diamonds which weigh bigger than 100 carats and are currently in Antwerp, Belgium waiting for the close tendering for the highest bidder to buy them.
Speaking in an interview, Lets’eng Communications and Community Relations Officer Mr. Lebohang Chefa said previously, the Mine used to make its own preliminary evaluation but has since stopped to allow for the close tendering process.
‘We are not at this stage aware of how much they will cost until the tendering process has been completed,’ he commented.
Mr. Chefa said the mine transport the discovered stones once a month to Belgium in Antwerp for the sales through close tendering, adding that the two diamonds will not be given names like the previous onee the reason being that only those weighing over 300 carats are named due to their high value.
He reiterated that the discovery of the two diamonds last week came after a long drought of such stones dating almost two years ago in 2015.
The Gem Diamonds Ltd. had announced that it has discovered two diamonds bigger than 100 carats at its Lets’eng mine based in Mokhotlong, bringing the struggling mine a step closer to ending a drought of large stones.
In a press release Gem Diamonds Ltd said it had unearthed a 104.73 carat D colour type IIa diamond and a 151.52 carat type I yellow diamond at its Letseng mine on June 12.
The company said the type IIa diamonds contain very little or no nitrogen atoms and are the most expensive stones.
Up until then, Gem had reported just one large discovery this year, after unearthing a 114 carat diamond in April.
‘Letseng is renowned for the size and quality of its stones, with an average sales price of almost $2,000 (M26,000) a carat, the highest in the industry.
Yet the company has suffered recently from a lack of big finds and discovered just five stones bigger than 100 carats last year, fewer than half as many as it found in 2015,’ it stated.
Gem gained 2.2 percent to 93.5 percent a share, paring this year’s decline to 15 percent.
While the latest finds will offer some reassurance to investors, they are not even close to the biggest found at Letseng.
In 2015, Gem sold a 357-carat stone for $19.3 million and in 2006 found the 603-carat Lesotho Promise.
Gem Diamonds is a leading global diamond producer of high value diamonds. The company owns 70 percent of the Lets’eng mine in Lesotho while the Government owns 30 percent shares and 100 percent of the Ghaghoo mine in Botswana.
The Lets’eng mine is famous for the production of large, top colour, exceptional white diamonds, making it the highest dollar per carat kimberlite diamond mine in the world.
Since Gem Diamonds acquisition of Lets’eng in 2006, the mine has produced four of the 20 largest white gem quality diamonds ever recorded.

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