London, England — MININGREVIEW.COM — 14 July 2008 – Gem Diamonds Limited – a global diamond producer pursuing an accelerated growth strategy through targeted acquisitions and the development of existing assets – has announced that beneficiation trials on the intense and vivid yellow diamonds produced by its Ellendale mine have been successfully completed with a recent tender of polished yellow diamonds in Antwerp.
A company announcement here revealed that four intense and vivid polished yellow diamonds totalling 15.7 carats had been sold on tender in Antwerp for an average price of US$28 860 (R230 880) per carat. The diamonds had been cut and polished from 28.5 carats of rough by Matrix Diamond Technology using their proprietary diamond mapping and cutting technology. Included in the collection was a 7.1-carat cushion-cut vivid yellow diamond which sold for US$52 000 (R416 000 per carat and a 2.3 carat cushion-cut vivid yellow diamond which sold for US$19 000 (R152 000) per carat.
Gem Diamonds CEO Clifford Elphick commented: “The success of this beneficiation trial supports management’s view of the significant additional margin that can be captured from the cutting and polishing of Ellendale’s top diamonds, and we are very encouraged by the results.”
The company recently commenced successful cutting and polishing trials on a selection of its high quality white diamonds from the LetÅ¡eng Mine in Lesotho.
The Gem Diamonds statement also quoted coloured diamond expert Professor Eddy Elzas – the owner of the largest collection of coloured diamonds in the world – as saying that prices had increased by more than 500% in the last twelve years.
Established in July 2005, Gem Diamonds listed on the main board of the London Stock Exchange in February 2007, raising US$636 million (R5 billion). It is currently capitalised at approximately US$1.3 billion (R10.5 billion) and had US$184 million (almost R1.5 billion) of cash on its balance sheet at 2007 year end.