Prices at Gem Diamonds’ latest small-stone tender dropped 18% versus its previous sale in November due to the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent economic crisis, the company said Thursday.
“The results of the Letšeng small-diamond tender are resilient given the difficult circumstances under which the tender was held, caused by the ongoing COVID-19 situation,” said Gem Diamonds CEO Clifford Elphick.
The sale, which was held in Antwerp, closed Wednesday with proceeds of $7.8 million. The miner canceled the tender of large diamonds from its Letšeng mine in Lesotho, which began March 16 and was scheduled to run until March 25, due to travel restrictions imposed by the Belgian government, it noted.
To replace the large-diamond tender, Gem Diamonds intends to institute a flexible direct-sale process, which will include both direct sales and partnership arrangements, it reported. The company will hold any diamonds not sold through this procedure for a future sale.
Image: The Letšeng mine. (Gem Diamonds)