In the sale held in Antwerp from 6 to 10 February 2017 all 75,936 carats offered for sale were sold at an average price of US$107 per carat. There were over 90 companies viewing the goods and more than 38 companies being successful.
The average price per carat achieved was very pleasing, considering that the carats sold were recovered from the predominantly lower quality ore areas and are not necessarily representative of the run of mine ore. As previously announced, the Company will only realise consistent run of mine results post ramp up, when it will have mined ore from across the whole pipe.
The higher quality diamonds were competitively bid for during the sale. The best stone, a 37 carat type 2a internally flawless white stone was sold for well over US$1.0 million. A number of yellow and fancy yellow stones included in the sale also achieved competitive prices, with interest being exceptionally strong in these categories.
Stuart Brown, Chief Executive Officer, said, “Prices were strong in the better quality diamonds, with the prices for the smaller stones being reflective of the current weaker market conditions but pleasingly we sold all of the stones offered for sale.To have recovered some exceptional white and fancy coloured stones at this early stage is extremely pleasing and we believe that the Liqhobong orebody will, over time, prove to be an exciting one. We would like to take the opportunity to thank our partners in the Lesotho Government for their vital support in bringing the Liqhobong mine into production and cooperation in selling our diamonds."