Gem Diamonds’ revenue nearly tripled in the first quarter amid strong demand for its rough and the sale of the fifth-largest diamond in history.
Revenue surged 174% year on year to $106.2 million for the three months ending March 31, the miner said Thursday. The company sold 32,412 carats from its Letšeng mine in Lesotho across two tenders during the period.
In March, the company sold the 910-carat, D-color, type IIa Lesotho Legend for $40 million, or $43,912 per carat. It also earned $3.7 million, or $56,028 per carat, from the sale of a 66.27-carat diamond, and sold a further 14 diamonds for more than $1 million each, it said. As a result, the company’s overall average price leaped 98% to $3,276 per carat for the quarter.
Production from Letšeng jumped 32% to 33,526 carats, with the miner recovering seven diamonds larger than 100 carats during the period, including the Lesotho Legend.
“It is encouraging to see the improvement in the frequency of large-diamond recoveries during the period,” said Gem Diamonds CEO Clifford Elphick. “The market for Letšeng’s high-quality diamonds has remained robust over the period.”
Gem Diamonds owns 70% of the Letšeng mine, with the state holding the remaining shares. Last week, the Lesotho government announced its intention to renew the miner’s lease on Letšeng until 2034.
Gem Diamonds is planning to offload the Ghaghoo mine in Botswana, its other deposit, and has begun a formal sales process for the asset.