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Gem Diamonds, Lucapa Kick Off Year With 100-Carat+ Diamond Finds

Gem Diamonds' Letseng mine in Lesotho

It appears as though 2018 is slated to be another year for large diamonds as both Gem Diamonds and Lucapa announced major large-size finds from their Lesotho and Angola mines respectively.

Gem Diamonds announced that it had unearthed two D-colour Type IIa diamonds weighing 117 and 110 carats from its Letseng mine in Lesotho. The Letseng mine is a known source of large stones and the new finds follow the seven stones larger than 100 carats unearthed in 2017, five in 2016 and a dozen in 2015. Gem Diamonds sold a 357-carat stone for $19.3 million in 2015. In 2006, it unearthed the 603-carat Lesotho Promise.

At an elevation of 3,100 metres (10,000 feet), Letseng is the highest diamond mine in the world. Despite having an extremely low ore grade of less than 2 carats per 100 tons, the mine’s large-diamond fines have given it one of the highest returns in terms of dollar value per carat.

Lucapa Diamond Company also announced that it had discovered two large diamonds — one weighing 103 carats and the other 83 carats — at its operations in Angola. Lucapa’s biggest-ever find was a 404 carat stone that sold for $16m in 2016.

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