Gem Diamonds’ Revenue Rises in Q1 2022

Gem Diamonds

Gem Diamonds’ revenue in Q1 2022 (ending March 2022) has gone up 4% quarter-on-quarter and 19% year-on-year to $52.1 million, IDEX Online reports.

The miner, which owns 70% of the Letseng mine in Lesotho, sold 28,461 carats during the quarter – a rise when compared to the 24,790 carats it sold in the previous quarter. However, prices fell from $2,018 to $1,831, according to the report.

Clifford Elphick, Gem Diamonds’ CEO, said: “We remain confident about the outlook for diamond prices, particularly for Letseng’s large high-value diamonds with an average price of $1,831 per carat achieved during the period. Prices achieved on a like-for-like basis continued the largely upward trend from 2021.”


Gem Diamonds Unearths 370ct. Rough

Gem Diamonds 370.00 carat Rough Diamond

Gem Diamonds has recovered a 370-carat rough stone in Lesotho, the second over 100 carats in one week.

The “high-quality,” white, type II diamond came from the company’s Letšeng mine, known for producing large diamonds, it said Monday. The new find follows the discovery of a high-quality, 254-carat, white, type II diamond the miner reported on May 4.

The miner has unearthed three 100-carat-plus diamonds so far this year, including a 146.9-carat rough in January. Although output of large stones was sluggish in the first quarter as the company mined lower-value areas, it is still ahead of last year’s discovery of two stones greater than 100 carats by the middle of May.

In 2020, Gem Diamonds produced a total of 16 diamonds larger than 100 carats.


Gem Diamonds ramps up production in Lesotho

GEM diamonds

Gem Diamonds announced Thursday that the company produced 29,010 carats at its Letšeng mine in Lesotho, which is 11% more than in Q1 2020 – 26,110 carats.

The company’s revenue for the period was US$43.9 million Q1 2020 – US$47.3 million and an average price achieved for the period was US$1,630 per carat Q1 2020 – US$1,615 per carat.

The company said that 5 diamonds sold for more than US$1.0 million each, generating revenue of US$12.4 million during the period.

The group ended the period with US$26.9 million of cash on hand excluding US$8.2 million of the March tender proceeds received after the period end. During the period, Letšeng paid the remaining dividend of US$10.0 million which was declared in 2020.

CEO Clifford Elphick commented, “It is pleasing to see that carat production during the period was up some 11% on the same period in 2020 and that the average price of US$1,630 per carat was also slightly up on Q1 2020. 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.”

The company said it anticipates 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.

Gem Diamonds is a leading global diamond producer of large high value diamonds. The company owns 70% of the Letšeng mine in Lesotho and is currently in the process of selling its 100% share of the Ghaghoo mine in Botswana. The Letšeng mine is famous for the production of large, exceptional white diamonds, making it the highest dollar per carat kimberlite diamond mine in the world.

Source: Vladimir Basov Kitco

Dividend-paying Gem Diamonds working on technologies to reduce diamond damage

clifford elphick

Diamond mining and marketing company Gem Diamonds is advancing innovative technologies that reduce diamond damage by extracting rock nonmechanically and being able to see diamonds in a certain size of rock, Gem CEO Clifford Elphick said on Thursday when the London-listed company reported positive operational and financial results, the Covid-19 pandemic notwithstanding.

On revenue of $189.6-million and underlying operational earnings of $53.2-million, Gem directors have proposed dividends of 2.5c a share in a year in which it recovered 16 diamonds larger than 100 ct each compared with 11 in 2019.

Gem achieved an average value of $1 908/ct, with the highest value of $38 827/ct achieved for a white rough diamond.

Its Letšeng mine, located in the Maluti mountains of Lesotho, is known for the recovery of large quality diamonds, including 2020’s 439 ct Letšeng Icon, which the company displayed during the presentation, along with six other large stones, one of them an 112 ct yellow diamond.

Gem Diamonds owns 70% and the Lesotho government 30% of the mine’s holding company Letšeng Diamonds.

Elaborating on damage-reducing technologies, Elphick said at the presentation covered by Mining Weekly: “There are two aspects to it. The one is to get the diamonds out of the rock using non-mechanical means. We’ve ticked the box there. That has gone well and we’re very comfortable with the final stage of the process.

“The first stage of the process was to see the diamonds in the rock. That didn’t deliver as well as we thought it might do. We have brought that plant back to Johannesburg. We have pulled it apart, taken out what wasn’t working. We’re busy putting it back together again. Of course, as things move, computing power improves. The detection units are improving as well as the pixilation capabilities, and so we are upgrading that plant and moving to pilot plant two.

“The ambition remains the same: to be able to see diamonds in a certain size of rock and then to be able to eject them at the speed which is required to meet a commercial need. We can do this at slow speeds but that doesn’t really help us. It’s a question of improving and making this faster. So, technology advances, we seem to rush forward and then crawl forward and then have a rush forward, and that’s exactly where we are. We’ve got a team coming here from Europe in the next month to take this forward to the next step,” Elphick outlined.

Letšeng has an opencast life-of-mine that stretches to the 2030s. “We’ll need to start looking at the underground, and that will come at some point in time,” said Elphick.

On Gem’s climate-change adaption plan, Elphick spoke of a lot of work going into the company’s adoption of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: “A lot of work goes into this and we make a major effort there,” he said.

On the 2020 diamond market, he noted that demand growth, particularly in China, the US, India and Australia, was showing strong post-Covid recovery, which was pushing its way through to stock market valuations. “And we know there’s a correlation between stock market valuations and diamond prices; that correlation was a little bit disturbed, but is now back, we think, with diamond prices rising quite strongly. Inflation started to appear but very much recent information it seems as it’s not quite as frothy as one might have expected, but no doubt as the world roars back from the Covid crisis, we may well see some inflation, and, of course, that’s helpful for diamond prices,” he said.

He described the 2020 holiday retain season as being strong, with the maturing Chinese and Indian consumer markets continuing to show strong growth trends.

Midstream inventory and debt levels decreased substantially and this part of the diamond pipeline was in relatively much better shape than for some time.

“And we’re not finding, at this point, the synthetic diamonds are having any impact on the demand or the prices for the sorts of goods that the Letšeng orebody delivers,” he said, adding that being the highest dollar per carat kimberlite producer was a good position to be in.

“We’ve had a good year in terms of recoveries on almost all categories, but particularly the top end,” he said.

Elphick said Gem had been participating in trials to capture additional value, involving its goods being polished into the high-end luxury brands strategy, and the company was capturing some of the additional value between rough and polished and finding its way into the brand. So far we’ve had a good experience and we’re pushing these trials out further to see what it might mean in the longer term. We’re quite excited about that,” Elphick said.

Mining Weekly put these two questions to Gem relating to going green and decarbonising:

What steps is Gem taking to be carbon neutral. Is Gem replacing fossil electricity with renewable energy, and when will Gem likely be carbon neutral? Or will the company opt for carbon offsets?
What value does Gem place in potentially becoming a miner and a marketer of carbon-neutral diamonds, or is the market not demanding decarbonised diamonds currently?
In response, Elphick said: “Diamonds are carbon so it is difficult to sell non-carbon diamonds. I’m not trying to be facetious, but we haven’t got into this in as much detail as your question is assuming.

“There is a big debate on the footprint of mining and there’s quite a complicated answer. There is a little bit of work being done particularly on man-made diamonds to what their carbon footprint and how their carbon footprint is hugely in excess of naturally mined diamonds.

“If you wouldn’t mind us coming back to you in time with a more considered answer to get into best practice, but at this point frankly I don’t have an intelligent answer to give you. Buying carbon offsets. That’s the same issue.

“With respect to replacing fossil electricity with renewable energy, we have looked at this in some detail, particularly solar and wind, and the combination. We have assessed this quite often and unfortunately the outcome of that is not good enough from a cost perspective to make a transition right now.

“It is moving in the right direction and there will come a minute when that is right. Of course, we have to also access, not just a straight-forward cost question, but the cost of not doing this and what that does to our contribution to the planet. It’s not just a simple cost answer, but just to give you comfort there that we have looked at this in great detail over a number of years,” Elphick said.

Profit for the year from continuing operations was $27.5-million and attributable profit from continuing operations $16.9-million.

Earnings a share from continuing operations were 12.1c and cash on hand $49.8-million as at December.

At Letšeng, 100 780 ct were recovered in the 12 months to December 31, with waste mined totalling 15.6-million tonnes.

Ore treated of 5.4-million tonnes was below the 6.7-million tonnes of 2019.


Miner Finds 442-Carat Diamond That May Be Worth $18 Million

442-Carat Diamond

A small diamond miner that has dug some of the world’s most valuable gems from a mountainous African kingdom has found another huge stone.

Gem Diamonds Ltd. said Friday it had an unearthed a 442-carat diamond at its Letseng mine in Lesotho. While it’s hard to establish a price for such stones before cutters can evaluate them, it could sell for as much as $18 million, Edward Sterck, analyst at BMO Capital Markets, wrote in a note.

Given the rarity of such large stones, demand for big diamonds has traditionally been resilient, even at times when the wider industry has struggled.

The Letseng mine is famous for the size and quality of the diamonds it produces and has the highest average selling price in the world. Two years ago Gem Diamonds found a 910-carat stone, the size of two golf balls, that sold for $40 million.

The find comes as the global diamond industry has been brought to its knees by the pandemic. Jewelry stores have closed and India’s cutting industry, which handles almost all of the world’s stones, has come to a halt. The miners that dominate the industry, De Beers and Russian rival Alrosa PJSC, have seen their rough diamond sales collapse.

“The recovery of this remarkable 442 carat diamond, one of the world’s largest gem quality diamonds to be recovered this year, is further confirmation of the caliber of the Letseng mine and its ability to consistently produce large, high quality diamonds,” Clifford Elphick, Gem’s chief executive officer, said in the statement.

Source: bloomberg

Gem Diamonds recovers 100 diamonds larger than 100 carats

em Diamonds 140 carat rough

Commenting on the results, Clifford Elphick, CEO of Gem Diamonds, says:

“Gem Diamonds delivered solid operational results which together with the targeted gains of the Business Transformation programme and continued emphasis on cost controls, confirmed our status as one of the lowest-cost producers in the industry.”

“The operational results were characterised by the achievement of all guided operational metrics and the recovery of 11 diamonds greater than 100 carats each, which also brought the total number of diamonds of greater than 100 carats recovered at the Letšeng mine to 100.

“This, together with a 13.32 carat pink diamond that was recovered and sold for a Letšeng record of US$656 934 per carat, reaffirms the unique quality of the Letšeng production.

“The Letšeng mining lease was renewed for an effective 20-year period which creates long-term stability for Letšeng.

“This, together with the continued emphasis on cost controls, positions the Company well for an upturn in the market for Letšeng’s quality production which appears to have begun.”

Source: miningreview