Wednesday, June 5, 2024
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Gem Diamonds Unearths 172-Carat Stone at Letšeng Mine

London— Gem Diamonds (LON: GEMD) has announced the discovery of a 172.06-carat Type IIa white diamond at its Letšeng mine in Lesotho. This significant find, made on June 2nd, marks the seventh diamond over 100 carats recovered at the mine this year.

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Type IIa diamonds are among the most valued and collectible gemstones, known for their exceptional purity as they contain minimal to no nitrogen atoms in their crystal structure.

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The Letšeng mine is renowned as one of the world’s top ten diamond operations by revenue and is notable for being one of the highest-altitude diamond mines globally, situated at 3,100 meters (10,000 feet) above sea level.

Despite this significant discovery, the diamond mining industry is facing challenges due to weak demand for diamond jewelry in the US and China and the growing popularity of cheaper, lab-grown diamonds. In 2015, lab-grown diamonds were barely a presence in the market. By last year, they accounted for over 10% of the global diamond jewelry market, according to industry specialist Paul Zimnisky.

The market capitalization of small to medium-sized diamond mining companies, including Canada’s Lucara (TSX: LUC), South Africa’s Petra (LON: PDL), and Gem Diamonds itself, is around $100 million or less. This is a fraction of the value of the large stones they aim to discover.

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