Gem Diamonds

Gem Diamonds is a British-based global diamond mining business. It is headquartered in London and is listed on the London Stock Exchange. In 2017, the company generated a profit of $20.8 million.[2]

Gem Diamonds Ltd.
Public (LSE: GEMD)
IndustryDiamond Mining
HeadquartersLondon, England, UK
Key people
Harry Kenyon-Slaney, Chairman
Clifford Elphick, CEO
Revenue$214.3 million (2017)[1]


The business was founded by Clifford Elphick in July 2005.[3]

The company acquired Letšeng diamond mine in 2006, and has since found five of the 20 largest known white gem quality diamonds, elevating the mine to the highest dollar-per-carat kimberlite diamond operation in the world.[4]

The company was first listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2007.[5]

In 2007, the company began diamond prospecting on traditional Bushmen lands in Botswana. Survival International alleged that the company had not carried out sufficient consultation with the Bushmen, many of whom have been forced from their homes.[6]

Construction of the first phase of a mine, Ghaghoo, located 45 km within the Eastern border of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve began in 2011.[7] It is a controversial matter as the government of Botswana has allowed for mining exploration and construction within a game reserve originally intended for the Bushmen and the wildlife they subsist on. While one cannot directly prove the government's intentions, a year before this exploration began the government started the forced removal of the Bushmen from their lands.

Significant gem discoveries

In 2006, the company announced that it had found a diamond of 603 carats (120.6 g) at the Letseng diamond mine in Lesotho, which became known as the Lesotho Promise.[8]

In January 2018, a larger stone was discovered at Letseng, measuring 910 carats (182 g) — the fifth-largest gem-quality diamond ever found.[9][10] Named the Lesotho Legend, the gem sold in Antwerp, Belgium to Samir Gems on 12 March 2018 for $40 million.[11][12]

In March 2018, the company announced recovery of its seventh diamond over 100 carats at Letseng during the first quarter of 2018, a "top white colour Type IIa diamond," measured at 169 carats (33.8 g).[13][14]

Several of Gem Diamond's significant finds in Lesotho have been purchased by Graff Diamonds.


The Company has mines in the following locations:

See also


  1. Preliminary Results 2011
  2. [ "Gem Diamonds Annual Report and Accounts" (2017), Gem Diamonds Limited, B.V.I., 2018.
  3. Gem Diamonds May Close Mine Following Price Plunge Bloomberg, 1 April 2009
  4. Jamasmie, Cecilia "Gem Diamonds shares on fire as miner finds 910-carat rock",, January 15, 2018. Retrieved March 14, 2018.
  5. Gem Diamonds sparkles in R4bn London IPO Mining Weekly, 14 February 2007
  6. Controversy stalks Gem Diamonds’ Botswana project, October 30, 2007. Accessed on March 2, 2009.
  7. Gem Diamonds Operations Overview.
  8. Lesotho diamond put up for sale BBC News, 5 October 2006
  9. Jamasmie, Cecilia "Gem Diamonds shares on fire as miner finds 910-carat rock",, January 15, 2018. Retrieved March 14, 2018.
  10. Gem Diamonds Archived 2018-01-15 at the Wayback Machine, January 15, 2018.
  11. Gibbs, Alexandra "‘The Lesotho Legend': The fifth-largest gem diamond in history sells for $40 million", CNBC, 13 March 2018. Retrieved March 14, 2018.
  12. Rapaport "910ct. Lesotho Diamond Sells for $40M",, March 13, 2018. Retrieved March 14, 2018.
  13. Reuters "Gem recovers 169 ct diamond at Letšeng", Mining Weekly, March 14, 2018. Retrieved March 14, 2018.
  14. Gem Diamonds "RECOVERY OF 169 CARAT DIAMOND" (Gem press release), March 14, 2018. Retrieved March 14, 2018.
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