The average selling price at the high-value Letšeng mine in Lesotho fell in the third quarter because of lower sales of 100-carat-plus stones, owner Gem Diamonds said.
The miner sold 37,990 carats from Letšeng for a total of $61.5 million, achieving $1,619 per carat, implying a 31 percent decline over the average price reported a year ago. The sales took place at three tenders held during the quarter that ended September 30.
Prices have remained “robust,” insisted Gem Diamonds chief executive officer Clifford Elphick, even as a “continued paucity of large high-value diamonds” had a negative effect.
Production at Letšeng, known for its high-value output, slumped 17 percent to 24,388 carats because the “worst weather conditions experienced since the Letšeng mine opened” limited access to the pits. Output at the company’s Ghaghoo mine in Botswana dived 76 percent to 7,720 carats.