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Gem Diamonds lowers 2022 guidance despite solid Q3

Letšeng is the world’s highest dollar per carat diamond mine. (Image from: Gem Diamonds’ presentation.)

Africa-focused Gem Diamonds (LON: GEMD) has cut its production guidance for 2022 after a difficult October, but said it continued to benefit from high diamond prices.

The miner suspended production in October for two days at its Letšeng mine in Lesotho, to allow for votes in a general election. Additionally, a secondary crusher broke down at its Plant 2 and it also experienced power disruptions. 

Repairs to the secondary crusher have been completed and the plant is running at normal capacity, Gem Diamonds said, noting that as result of the issues affecting its operations in the three months to September 30, Gem Diamonds said its full-year guidance for ore treatment now sits at 5.45 million tonnes, down from a previous range of 5.6 to 5.8 million tonnes.

The company said it recovered 25,018 carats during the quarter, taking the year-to-date total to 80,174 carats, down from 82,266 carats in the same period last year.

Revenue in the period reached $56.6 million, compared with $47.3 million for the third quarter of 2021. The average price achieved in the three months was $2,028 a carat compared with $1,589 a carat in the same quarter last year.

About $15 million of the company’s revenue was generated from four diamonds greater than 100 carats.

Large, high-value diamonds over 100 carats recovered at the mine contribute between 70% and 80% of the company’s revenue every year

Gem Diamonds expects carat recovery and sale guidance for the year of104,000 carats, down from a previous 112,000 to 116,000 carats range, with sales of roughly 105,000 carats, down from around 110,000 to 114,000 carats previously.