Gem Diamonds uncovers 442 carat diamond at prolific Lesotho mine

London-listed Gem Diamonds has announced the recovery of a 442-carat type II rough diamond at its iconic Letšeng mine in Lesotho.

The company said that the find was one of the largest gem quality rocks to be recovered this year. The last stone over 100 carats found at the mine was a 183-carat white, Type IIa rock in February.

Since acquiring Letšeng in 2006, Gem Diamonds has mined more than 60 white gem quality diamonds over 100 carats each, making it the world’s highest dollar per carat kimberlite diamond operation.

“The recovery of this remarkable 442-carat diamond, one of the world’s largest gem-quality diamonds to be recovered this year, is further confirmation of the calibre of the Letšeng mine and its ability to consistently produce large, high-quality diamonds,” said Gem Diamonds’ chief executive Clifford Elphick.

“It is also a fitting testament to the dedication of the employees in the group to have recovered such an extraordinary diamond, whilst at the same time maintaining strict adherence to health and safety precautions during the global pandemic.”

The CEO added that a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the diamond will be used to fund a special community project approved by the Lesotho government.