Large-Stone Deficit Dents Gem Diamonds Sales
Gem Diamonds’ revenue fell in 2022 as the availability of special-size stones dropped.
Sales from the company’s Letšeng mine in Lesotho declined 6% to $188.6 million for the year, it said Wednesday. Sales volume slipped 2% to 107,498 carats, with the average price decreasing 4% to $1,755 per carat.
During the year, Gem Diamonds unearthed four rough stones greater than 100 carats, compared to six a year earlier and an average of eight annually since 2008. It recovered 199 diamonds over 20 carats in 2022, versus 225 in 2021. However, demand for the company’s rough remained strong, and its tenders were well attended, it said.
Production for the full year fell 7% to 106,704 carats. The drop was in part due to a planned decrease at the mine’s main pipe, but was also a result of a short-term shutdown for the Lesotho general election and power outages caused by electricity provider Eskom.
Though production and sales both fell from 2021, the figures were higher than the annual guidance Gem Diamonds issued at the start of the year. It had forecast output would be 104,000 carats, while sales volume would come to 105,000 carats.
Revenue for the fourth quarter slid 35% year on year to $32.4 million. The average price slumped 29% to $1,438 per carat, while sales volume went down 9% to 22,509 carats. Production for the period plunged 20% to 26,530 carats.
Image: Rough diamonds from the Letšeng mine. (Gem Diamonds)