Two huge diamonds discovered in Lesotho


Gem Diamonds Limited has discovered two huge diamonds, each bigger than 100 carats, at its Lesotho mine in southern Africa.
It unearthed the 117 carat and 110 carat 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.
The company’s stock rose as much as 8.2 percent in London trading.
It’s a good start to the year following Gem’s discovery of at least seven stones bigger than 100 carats in 2017 and five the year before. It recovered a dozen diamonds bigger than 100 carats in 2015.
Still, recent finds don’t compare with the largest at Letseng, renowned for the quality and size of its stones. Gem sold a 357-carat stone for $19.3 million in 2015 and in 2006 found the 603-carat Lesotho Promise.
Lucapa Diamond Co. also had a good new year, announcing on Monday that it had discovered 103 carat and 83 carat diamonds at its operations in Angola. The company’s biggest-ever find was a 404 carat stone that sold for $16 million in 2016.
Angola’s central bank will hold an auction on Tuesday to sell foreign currency to commercial banks, its first since saying it will abandon a dollar peg, according to three people familiar with knowledge of the matter.
The kwanza will probably be allowed to depreciate at the auction as the central bank shifts to a trading band, the people said, asking not to be identified because they aren’t authorized to speak publicly on the matter. About $100 million of foreign currency will be offered at the auction, one person added.
Angola, Africa’s second-largest oil producer, will join a long list of commodity exporters exporters— from Russia to Egypt, Kazakhstan, Nigeria and Uzbekistan—that have floated or devalued currencies in a bid to end crippling shortages of foreign exchange and revive economic growth. The kwanza has been fixed at 166 against the dollar since April 2016, but trades at 430 per dollar in the black market.— Bloomberg

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