In its sale of rough diamonds during the first half of 2010, Gem Diamonds noted an appreciation in the prices of the roughs sold, but the value of its overall rough sales remained flat at $105.3 million, and production levels remained low.
Average price of diamonds sold from Letseng mine in Lesotho increased 32 percent y-o-y to $1,728 per carat. Sales from the mine dipped by 3 percent to $71.8 million in H1’10.
Sale of rough diamonds from Ellendale mine rose 9 percent to $33.5 million and average price by 171 percent to $434 per carat in H1’10. According to the company, the prices are moving up under the influence of increasing demand from India and China and a recovering demand in the US. In the second quarter of 2010, sale from Letseng included 23 diamonds that sold for over $20,000 per carat, and 245 roughs of over 10.8 carats sold in the first six months of the year.
Its production levels at Letseng and Ellendale mines remained low in the said period, which the company attributed to operational challenges at the mines. Letseng mine produced 44,748 carats, a reduction of 5 percent from production levels of H1’09, while Ellendale mine in Australia produced 81,501 carats.