15 January 2018

Lesotho: Giant 910-Carat Diamond Found in Lesotho

Photo: Gem Diamonds
Gem Diamonds Limited is pleased to announce the recovery of an exceptional quality 910 carat, D colour Type IIa diamond from the Letšeng mine in Lesotho.

One of the world's largest diamonds has been found in the Letseng mine in Lesotho, a small country surrounded by South Africa. The diamond was found by UK mining company Gem Diamonds and could be worth up to $40 million.

A 910-carat diamond thought to be the fifth largest in the world has been found in the small southern African nation of Lesotho, diamond mining company Gem Diamonds said on Monday.

The diamond miner uncovered the D-color stone at the Letseng mine and described the 910-carat diamond as being of "exceptional quality."

"The diamond, the largest recovered from Letseng, is believed to be the fifth largest gem-quality diamond ever recovered," a Gem Diamonds statement said.

Read more: EU lawmakers vote to ban 'blood minerals'

Lesotho is a small enclaved country completely surrounded by South Africa. It has a population of about 2 million. More than 40 percent of the population live below the poverty line of $1.25 per day.

"Since Gem Diamonds acquired Letseng in 2006, the mine has produced some of the world's most remarkable diamonds, including the 603-carat 'Lesotho Promise,'" Gem Diamonds chief executive Clifford Elphick said in a statement.

Ben Davis, a mining analyst at Liberum Capital, speculated in a research note to investors that the diamond could be worth as much as $40 million (€33 million).

A rough diamond from Botswana, believed to be the biggest uncut diamond found in a century, sold for $53 million in September 2017.

law/ng (AFP, dpa)

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