By Ashley Davis
Gem Diamonds dug up this 135-carat yellow diamond this month at the Letšeng mine in Lesotho. The miner is selling its Botswana operations, leaving Letšeng as its sole mine.
London—Gem Diamonds has announced the sale of the Ghaghoo diamond mine in Botswana.

The mine is part of the sale of Gem Diamonds’ entire Botswana operation, Gem Diamonds Botswana Proprietary Limited.

The miner said in a statement issued last week that a Botswana company, Pro Civil Ltd., has entered into a binding agreement to purchase 100 percent of the share capital of Gem Diamonds Botswana.

The Ghaghoo mine has been on care and maintenance since 2017. At the end of 2018, Gem Diamonds Botswana reported a $4.9 million loss and $3.9 million in total assets.

Pro Civil paying $5.4 million for the shares and assuming all environmental liability tied to Gem Diamonds Botswana.

Gem Diamonds said that the Botswana government has been consulted about the sale and, pending regulatory approval, it should be completed by the end of the third quarter.  

Gem Diamonds CEO Clifford Elphick commented: “This sale is in line with our strategic objective to dispose of non-core assets.  Gem Diamonds remains focused on optimizing production and efficiency at the Letšeng mine in Lesotho.  On behalf of Gem, we wish the Pro Civil team well for the future, and I would also like to thank the government of Botswana for its assistance during the sale process.”

Gem Diamonds owns 70 percent of Letšeng, which is known for producing large gem-quality white and colored diamonds like the 13.33-carat pink it sold for nearly $9 million in March.

On its website this week, Gem Diamonds noted the recovery of the latest large gem at Letšeng, a 135-carat, Type I yellow diamond.



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