Tuesday, June 4, 2024
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Gem Diamonds Unearths Sixth 100+ Carat Stone in 2024

London— Africa-focused miner Gem Diamonds (LON: GEMD) has discovered a 212.9-carat Type II white diamond at its Letšeng mine in Lesotho. This find, made on May 28th, marks the sixth diamond exceeding 100 carats recovered at the mine this year.

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Type IIa diamonds, prized for their rarity and purity, contain minimal to no nitrogen atoms in their crystal structure, making them highly valued and collectible. In contrast, boart diamonds are low-quality stones typically used as abrasive powders.

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The Letšeng mine, situated at an elevation of 3,100 meters (10,000 feet), is one of the world’s top ten diamond operations by revenue and the highest-elevated diamond mine globally.

Despite these significant discoveries, diamond miners face challenges due to weak demand for diamond jewelry in the US and China and the growing popularity of cheaper laboratory-grown diamonds. In 2015, lab-grown diamonds were barely a competitor to natural diamonds, but by last year, they accounted for over 10% of the global diamond jewelry market, according to industry expert Paul Zimnisky.

The market valuations of smaller diamond mining companies, such as Canada’s Lucara (TSX: LUC), South Africa’s Petra (LON: PDL), and Gem Diamonds, hover around $100 million or less. This valuation is only a fraction of the potential worth of the large stones they aim to find.

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