196 carat white diamond recovered at Letseng mine

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Preliminary examination shows sign of exceptional colour and clarity.

Gem Diamonds Limited and the Government of the Kingdom of Lesotho have announced that a 196 carat rough white diamond has been recovered from the Letšeng mine in Lesotho.

The rough diamond, which was discovered on August 24, is expected to achieve a substantial price per carat, as preliminary examinations indicate it is likely to produce top colour and top clarity polished diamonds.

Since Gem Diamonds’ acquisition of the Letšeng mine in mid 2006, it has produced three of the world’s twenty largest recorded diamonds, namely, the 603 carat Lesotho Promise, recovered in August 2006, which sold for US$12.4 million; the 493 carat Letšeng Legacy, recovered in September 2007 which sold for US$10.4 million; and the 478 carat Light of Letšeng, recovered in September 2008, which sold for US$18.4 million.

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Gem Diamonds chief executive Clifford Elphick said: “Letšeng continues to live up to its reputation as a unique producer of exceptional diamonds and the recovery of this remarkable 196 carat white diamond reinforces its position as one of the great mines in the diamond industry. In order to increase the returns from this world class asset, management is focused on a number of workstreams which aim to substantially expand production and increase value at Letšeng.”

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