GEM Diamonds realised $12.1m in sales from the first round of its newly instituted Letšeng flexible tender process.
The flexible tender process was put in place owing to travel bans placed on customers by the Belgian government and the governments of the company’s clients as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The results of the initial round of the flexible tender sales process for a selection of Letšeng’s large diamonds demonstrates the continued demand for these high quality diamonds,” said Clifford Elphick, CEO of GEM Diamonds in a statement.
“The $12.1m raised from the sale maintains revenue and cash flow during the current challenges of the Covid19 global pandemic.”
GEM Diamonds requires a strong showing for its larger diamonds – for which Letšeng has world renown – following an 18% decline in average prices for small diamonds following the end of a tender in Antwerp on March 18. That tender realised $7.8m.
Lower grades from Letšeng’s satellite pipe and lower selling prices saw lower revenue and a decline in share earnings for GEM Diamonds the year ended December 31. The average price achieved during the period decreased 23% to $1,637 per carat.
On March 30, De Beers cancelled its third sight for the 2020 financial year owing to travel restrictions placed on buyers as a result of COVID-19.
It would “… continue to seek innovative ways to meet sightholders’ rough diamond supply needs in the coming weeks,” it said.