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Tough trading conditions keep Gem Diamonds mired in the 90% club

The diamond sector is going through a prolonged patch of soft pricing

Gem Diamonds Limited -
The company's Letšeng mine is famous for high quality stones

Gem Diamonds Ltd (LON:GEMD) has renewed its mining lease at the famous Letšeng mine, following discussions with the Lesotho Mining Board.

The news came in a third-quarter trading update, in which the company said it continues to trim costs in the face of a tough diamond market in which pricing has been weak for some time.

Gem's attributable profits during the first half of 2019 dropped £6.6mln from £26.8mln a year earlier.

Accordingly, the group said, US$7mln has been trimmed from the capital expenditure budget.

During the third quarter, the company recovered four diamonds greater than 100 carats, bringing the total to seven for the nine-month period to 30 September 2019.

It also sold 25,631 carats during the quarter, achieving an average price of US$1,417 per carat, down more than US$80 per carat on the figure for the second quarter.

At the end of the period, the group had US$ 21.9mln of cash on hand of which US$17.6mln was attributable to Gem Diamonds. The group's net debt position at the period end was US$ 11.6mln.

Gem’s shares have halved in value over the last year, and are currently trading at 61p.

Since listing the company has lost more than 90% of its value.

Quick facts: Gem Diamonds Limited

Price: 63.5 GBX

LSE:GEMD
Market: LSE
Market Cap: £88.25 m
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