Gem Diamonds saw sales of rough from its Letšeng mine in Lesotho slip in the first half amid a decline in the average price and a slowdown in demand.
Rough sales for the six months that ended June 30 dropped 28% year on year to $71.6 million, while sales volume fell 9% to 52,163 carats. The average price plunged 21% to $1,373 per carat, the miner reported Tuesday.
The company sold a total of 12 diamonds for more than $1 million each, generating revenue of $21 million, it said. The highest price achieved was $282,889 per carat for a pink diamond weighing 6.63 carats, the third-highest per-carat price for a rough diamond from Letšeng. Meanwhile, the highest price for a white diamond was $34,441 per carat for a 58.07-carat, type IIa rough.
“The global rough-diamond market has experienced a downturn in 2023,” the company noted. “A decrease in the number of large, high-value diamonds recovered, combined with market pressure, has negatively impacted the average dollar per carat and revenue achieved during the period.”
Output from the site came to 50,601 carats, an 8% drop versus the first six months of 2022. Gem Diamonds recovered two rough stones greater than 100 carats. It sold one during the period and will sell the other in the third quarter.
Gem Diamonds has decreased its full-year guidance for the total tonnes of ore it plans to treat. However, it maintained its forecast for production and sales volume thanks to the recovery of higher-grade ore. The grade improved 12% year on year during the first half.
Image: The 6.63-carat pink diamond. (Gem Diamonds)