The 169.16 carat diamond

LSE-listed Gem Diamonds has recovered a 169 carat, top white colour Type IIa diamond from its Letšeng mine in Lesotho.

This is the seventh diamond of over 100 carats recovered in 2018.

Earlier in March this year the company recovered a 152 carat, top white colour Type IIa diamond.

In January the company announced the recovery of two +100 carat diamonds from Letšeng. The high quality diamonds included one 117 and one 110 carat, D colour Type IIa diamond.

Gem Diamonds consistently recovered +100 stones in 2017.

Commenting on the company's full year 2017 financial results which have just been released CEO Clifford Elphick stated:

“The second half of 2017 saw Gem Diamonds begin to benefit from the operational improvements implemented during the year, with a significant improvement in the recovery of the large diamonds from Letšeng.

"The market for the mine’s large, high quality white rough diamonds remained strong over the course of 2017, a trend which has continued into early 2018.

"We are pleased to have recently announced that The Lesotho Legend sold for the remarkable sum of US$40 million.

"This is believed to be the fifth largest gem quality diamond ever recovered and is testament to the world class calibre of the Letšeng mine.

"The focus on enhancing the efficiency of our operations identified a potential of US$20 million of annualized and once-off efficiency and cost reduction initiatives at the end of last year.

"A target has now been set of obtaining US$100 million of cash savings by the end of 2021, with an ongoing target of US$30 million per year thereafter.

"With the benefits of the efficiency programme bearing fruit, a positive market outlook, and an investment case underpinned by the proven quality of the Letšeng mine, we look to the future with confidence,” concludes Elphick.