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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 14 December 2018

Miner unearths diamonds of more than 100 carats in Lesotho

The mining firm has found 117ct and 110ct D color Type IIa diamonds - the most expensive variety

A model posing with an uncut 1109-carat diamond named 'Lesedi La Rona' at Sotheby's auction house in London. Gem Diamonds Monday said it has found 117 carat and 110 carat D color Type IIa diamonds -- the most expensive variety -- at the Southern African Letseng mine. Ben Stansall /  AFP
A model posing with an uncut 1109-carat diamond named 'Lesedi La Rona' at Sotheby's auction house in London. Gem Diamonds Monday said it has found 117 carat and 110 carat D color Type IIa diamonds -- the most expensive variety -- at the Southern African Letseng mine. Ben Stansall / AFP

Gem Diamonds has discovered two huge diamonds, each bigger than 100 carats, at its Lesotho mine in southern Africa.

It unearthed the 117ct and 110ct D color Type IIa diamonds at the Letseng mine, Gem said in a statement on Monday. Type IIa diamonds contain very little or no nitrogen atoms and are the most expensive stones.

After the find, the company’s stock rose as much as 8.2 per cent in London trading.

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It is a good start to the year following Gem’s discovery of at least seven stones bigger than 100ct in 2017 and five the year before. It recovered a dozen diamonds bigger than 100ct in 2015.

Still, recent finds does not compare with the largest at Letseng, renowned for the quality and size of its stones. Gem sold a 357ct stone for US$19.3 million in 2015 and in 2006 found the 603ct Lesotho Promise.

Lucapa Diamond Coompany also had a good new year, announcing on Monday it had discovered 103ct and 83ct diamonds at its operations in Angola. The company’s biggest-ever find was a 404ct stone that sold for $16m in 2016.