Letšeng Diamonds (Pty) Ltd has unearthed a 122-carat rough white diamond.
This is Letšeng’s first 100-carat-plus stone this year.
“Letšeng discovered an exceptional quality D-colour Type II diamond on 5 March 2023,” the company announced in a statement this week.
Letšeng is known for producing a large supply of rough diamonds over 100 carats. However, the number of stones of that size has been declining over the years.
Last year, the mine retrieved only four diamonds of that calibre, compared to six in 2021 and 16 in 2020.
The company said lack of special-size stones had dented its revenue, with sales falling six percent to US$186.6 million in 2022.
Letšeng is jointly owned by Gem Diamonds, a leading global diamond producer of high value diamonds and the Lesotho government. Gem Diamonds owns 70 percent of the mine while the remainder is owned by the government.
Gem generated $56.6m in revenue for the third quarter of 2022 achieving an average price of $2,028 per carat. This compares to $1,589 per carat in the corresponding quarter of the previous financial year, the company said.