Gem Diamonds says the extreme weather conditions that have recently been experienced across the Maluti Mountains in Lesotho, where the Letšeng mine is located, has also damaged the overhead power lines that supply the mine with electricity.
Resultantly, standby generators installed at the Letšeng mine have been used to mitigate some of the impact, allowing the plants to operate, albeit at reduced rates.
The Lesotho Electricity Company is currently on site carrying out repairs to the damaged overhead power lines, with external power supply expected to be fully restored in the short term.
During the period of adverse weather, Letšeng provided accommodation and food to approximately 250 local people who were unable to cope during the severe weather.
Gem Diamonds say that its full year guidance for ore tons treated and operating costs may need to be re-assessed as a result of the setback but due to the strong operational performance during the first half of 2016, carats recovered are not expected to be affected materially, with full year carats recovered likely to be within the original guidance.
The company will provide an updated view of the current year’s operational guidance with the announcement of the company’s half year results in 17 August 2016.