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Letšeng mines yet another spectacular gem


Staff Reporter

Letšeng Diamonds, a distinguished figure in the diamond mining sector, proudly announces a significant milestone—the recovery of a high-quality 294.94 carats Type II white diamond.

The revelation brings forth excitement and recognition for Letšeng Diamonds’ continued excellence in diamond extraction.

In an official statement issued yesterday, Letšeng Diamonds expressed their delight, stating: “We are pleased to announce the recovery of a high-quality 294.94 carats Type II white diamond on the 9th of January 2024 at the Letšeng Diamonds Mine.”

The Type II classification, denoting the diamond’s chemical purity, further accentuates its rarity, making it a coveted find in the industry.

This remarkable discovery not only elevates Letšeng Diamonds’ prestige but also solidifies Lesotho’s position as a significant player in the global diamond market.

The Letšeng Diamonds Mine, situated at an elevation of 3200m in the Maloti Mountains in Mokhotlong, has long been acknowledged for producing large, high-quality diamonds, making vital contributions to the country’s economy.

Letšeng Diamonds (Pty) Ltd, holding the mining lease granted in 1999 by the government, boasts two shareholders—Gem Diamonds Limited, owning 70 percent, and the government, retaining the remaining 30 percent.

The mine, initially operated by De Beers from 1977-1982, experienced a revival in 2004 and was acquired by Gem Diamonds in late 2006 for US$118.5 million.

Since the takeover, Letšeng has consistently delivered remarkable returns for its shareholders, with annual production escalating from 55,000 carats in 2006 to an impressive 106,704 in 2022.

The Letšeng Diamonds Mine has also earned a reputation for yielding historic diamonds. In January 2018, the recovery of the 910-carat white diamond, famously named the Lesotho Legend, marked a historic moment, becoming the fifth-largest diamond globally.

Other notable discoveries include the 550-carat Letšeng Star in August 2011, the 478-carat Leseli la Letšeng (‘Light of Letšeng’) in 2008, the 493-carat Letšeng Legacy in 2007, and the 603-carat Lesotho Promise in 2006. Letšeng has thus played a pivotal role in producing five of the largest rough white gem diamonds on record. Additionally, the 601-carat Lesotho Brown was unearthed from the mine in 1967.

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