Diamond mining majors start 2018 with a bang after African discoveries

Two diamond miners in Gem Diamonds and Lucapa Diamond have both announced the discovery of significant finds, including two over the 100 carat range, at their African flagship sites.

Gem Diamonds unearthed a 117-carat and a 110-carat D color Type IIa diamond at its Letšeng mine in Lesotho, continuing in much the same vein as 2017 when the company recovered a series of 100+ carat stones at the site.

In fact, since the start of last year Gem has found nine 100+ carat diamonds and since acquiring Letšeng in 2006, it has found four of the 20 largest white gem quality diamonds ever recovered.

Gem’s rival diamond miner Lucapa also revealed the discovery of two high-quality stones at its Lulo mine in Angola. The Australian firm’s latest finds measured 103-carat and 83-carat respectively.

The company’s largest ever discovery was a 404-carat white rock that sold for US$16 million in 2016. The diamond was also the largest every recovered in Angola, where the industry is a key contributor to the economy.

Likewise, diamond mining is an important component of Lesotho’s economy, contributing up to 10% of the Southern African enclave’s GDP.