Gem Diamonds 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.
GEM DIAMONDS LIMITED Mining News
Rough diamond prices were expected to continue climbing “across the market” this year, London-listed Gem Diamonds said on Monday.
The board of London listed African diamond miner, Gem Diamonds Limited (LSE: GEMD), has green lit plans to expand the company’s 5.6 million tonnes per annum Letšeng mine in the Kingdom of Lesotho (“Lesotho”) by almost double its current capacity; to 10 million tonnes per annum at an estimated cost of US$280 million funded from existing cashflow.
Gem Diamonds' Letšeng mine continued to polish its reputation as the world's richest source of large diamonds, the London-listed company reported in a management statement covering July to October. 15 diamonds were found that were sold for more than $1 million and 50 roughs fetched prices greater than $20,000/ct; one fancy pink went for $156,000 /ct. Letšeng also recovered 171 diamonds greater than 10.8 ct in size. Excluding the 550ct Letšeng Star sold for $16.5 million last month, the mine averages sales of $2,425/ct. No wonder then that the board will meet this month on a feasibility study expanding capacity 75%.
London-listed Gem Diamonds said in a statement on Monday that it will drill four boreholes in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve in partnership with VOX United, a non-governmental organisation to provide the bushmen or Basarwa living in the reserve with water. The community is locked in a bitter battle with the Botswana government which accuses them of depleting the park's natural resources, while the Basarwa say that the government is violating their rights by trying to relocate them and that their impact on the environment is negligible.
Gem Diamonds says it is in very early stage talks with Canadian-listed Lucara Diamond Corp over a possible merger. "These discussions are at a very early stage and there can be no certainty the contemplated merger will occur or of the timing or terms of any such transaction," Gem Diamonds said in a statement on Monday.
With Japan the third biggest buyer of global jewellery, Tuesday was a tough day for London-listed Gem Diamonds to announce results.