Fatalities at Gem Diamonds' Botswana mine delays production until 2014

Gem Diamonds (LON:GEMD) said initial production at its Ghaghoo underground mine project in Botswana would be delayed until the first half of 2014 after an accident yesterday resulted in the death of two workers.

In a statement, the London-listed diamond producer, said the two contract workers died when the ground collapsed at the face of the tunnel development.

The company added a full assessment of the accident's impact on the project timeline and overall costs is ongoing.

Gem Diamonds owns two production mines, the Letšeng mine in Lesotho and the Ellendale mine in Australia.

Letšeng is famous for the production of large, top colour, exceptional white diamonds, making it the highest average dollar per carat kimberlite diamond mine in the world. Since Gem Diamonds’ acquisition of Letšeng in 2006, the mine has produced four of the twenty largest white gem quality diamonds ever recorded.