Gem Diamonds Limited has reported on its operational performance for the first quarter of 2016 ended March 31, which showed that the value of the first three tenders of 2016 increased 13 percent.
Gem Diamonds said that production at its Letsĕng Mine in Lesotho increased 28 percent in the first quarter to 28,698 carats compared to 22,472 carats in the first quarter of 2015. Production was down by around 1 percent on the fourth quarter of 2015.
The amount of ore treated increased 14 percent at Letsĕng to 1.62 million carats, and the average recovered grade was 1.77 carats per hundred tons, a 12-percent increase over the same period a year previously.
Production from the company’s Ghaghoo Mine in Botswana fell 5 percent to 11,029 carats compared to 11,559 carats in the first quarter of 2015. However, when compared to the fourth quarter of 2015, production plummeted 55 percent from its 24,294 carat level. Gem Diamonds said that a production slowdown and cost reduction plan had been implemented at the plant. A parcel of 14,114 carats was sold for $2.3 million in the quarter (US$ 160 per carat).
The company announced that 47 diamond greater than 4.8 carats were recovered during the first quarter, including three diamonds larger than 10.8 carats, the largest of which is a 12.99-carat diamond.
“The prices achieved for Letšeng’s top quality and large diamonds have remained steady and have contributed to an average price of US$ 1 938 per carat for the first three Letšeng tenders,” said Gem Diamonds’ CEO Clifford Elphick.