Gem Diamonds revenue faltered in the first quarter as demand waned and the miner sold fewer large, high-value stones from its Letšeng mine in Lesotho.
Sales slid 30% year on year to $36.7 million for the three months ending March 31, the company said last week. Sales volume fell 10% to 25,687 carats, while the average price decreased 22% to $1,431 per carat.
The result reflected an unfavorable comparison with the same period in 2022, when rough demand was strong, driving prices up.
Additionally, the company sold seven diamonds for more than $1 million each during the quarter, contributing $11.1 million to the total revenue. That compares with nine diamonds a year ago, for $16.2 million. A 6.63-carat, pink diamond, which sold for $282,889 per carat, garnered the highest price. Meanwhile, the best price for a white diamond was $34,441 per carat.
However, revenue rose 13% from the fourth quarter of 2022, with sales volume up 14%. The average price was flat.
Production for the period slipped 2.3% to 27,774 carats as the company mined lower-grade ore. During the period, Gem Diamonds recovered a 122-carat, white, type II diamond, which it plans to sell in the second quarter, it added.
Image: The Letšeng diamond mine. (Gem Diamonds)