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'Exceptional' diamond unearthed in Lesotho
5 August 2014 - Gem Diamonds Ltd said it has recovered a 198-carat white diamond from its flagship mine in Lesotho that should fetch 'an exceptional price' when sold this year. Gem Diamonds recovered the type IIa diamond from its Letseng mine at the end of July. The company said the diamond displays no fluorescence. The Letseng mine, in the Maluti mountains of Lesotho, is known for its large white diamonds. Since Gem Diamonds acquired a 70 per cent stake in 2006, the mine has unearthed four of the 20 largest white gem-quality diamonds ever recorded. (more)

Lesotho: Textile industry gets a lifeline
24 November 2011 - The Lesotho Government plans to spend 100 million maloti (US$12.7 million) over the next two years in an effort to breathe life into the crucial textile industry. 'The objective... is to stabilize employment in the textile industry and provide capital for companies so that they can take advantage of the global [economic] recovery,' Dr Timothy Thahane, Minister of Finance and Development planning, told IRIN. 'It's harder for African countries to stay competitive, but this industry is really important to the Lesotho economy, so we have to do what we can.' (more)

Two large diamonds from Lesotho's Letseng mine sell for $22.7 million
25 November 2010 - Gem Diamonds Ltd has sold two major gems found at its Letseng mine in Lesotho for a total of $22.7 million. The London-listed company said it sold the 196-carat and 184-carat rough white diamonds by tender in Antwerp to the South African Diamond Corporation (SAFDICO). Also, at the normal tender for Letseng's output, a 4.68-carat rough blue diamond was sold for $155,000 per carat, the highest price per carat achieved for a Letseng rough diamond, the company said. (more)

Lesotho: Gem Diamonds recovers 185 carat diamond at Africa mine
2 November 2010 - Gem Diamonds Ltd said it found a 185-carat rough white diamond at its Letseng mine in Lesotho in southern Africa. The exceptional rough diamond is the second of two large, white diamonds to be recovered from the Letseng mine, following the recovery of the 196-carat white diamond on 24 August. (more)

Lesotho: Gem Diamonds finds 196 carat rough white diamond
7 September 2010 - Gem Diamonds Ltd said it found an exceptional 196 carat rough white diamond at its 70-per cent owned Letseng mine in Lesotho. Gem has found three of the world's twenty largest diamonds since it acquired the mine in mid 2006 including the 603 carat Lesotho Promise, recovered in August 2006, which sold for $12.4 million. The government of Lesotho owns the remaining 30 per cent of Letseng. (more)

Lesotho mine yields one of world's largest diamonds
21 September 2008 - Miners in the southern African kingdom of Lesotho have found one of the world's largest diamonds, a near-flawless white gem weighing nearly 500 carats, mining group Gem Diamonds said on Sunday. The diamond was discovered in the Letseng Mine on 8 September, the company said in a statement. Letseng is one of the most productive mines in history -- four of the world's 20 largest rough diamonds have been found at the mine, including the three largest found this century. (more)

Lesotho sees growth from diamonds, water
3 July 2008 - Lesotho sees its economic growth rising in coming years due to diamond mining and a new water project, its trade minister said on Thursday. The trade minister sees growth rising from 4 to 6-7 per cent. While Lesotho's highlands water project exports water to South Africa's commercial heartland around Johannesburg, the trade minister said the lowlands project would concentrate on supplying Lesotho itself, using irrigation to boost agriculture. (more)

Lesotho: 494-carat diamond found
13 September 2007 - A 494-carat diamond, believed to be the 18th largest in the world, has been found at a mine in Lesotho, a government official said Thursday. The stone was an exceptional quality white diamond, said Natural Resources Minister Monyane Moleleki. A 603-carat stone was uncovered last year at the same mine. (more)

Kingdom of Lesotho receives ratings boost on stable outlook, diamond production
29 August 2007 - Fitch Ratings reported that Lesotho's credit strengths continue to be its strengthened public finances, as a result of exceptional Southern African Customs Union ('SACU') revenues over the past four years, and external balance sheet as SACU revenues have facilitated a faster build-up of official reserves and enabled the government to prepay some of its commercial external debt. Diamond production starting in 2004 has helped diversify Lesotho's exports and brought increased growth. (more)

Lesotho: Textiles making a comeback
4 July 2006 - Lesotho's single largest employer, the textile industry, has made a remarkable comeback, setting an example for the region and giving thousands back their jobs. (more)

Short Summaries of Top Stories

Lesotho: Loss of WTO textile quotas could cost jobs
15 December 2004 - As many as 50,000 workers in Lesotho, a tiny African mountain kingdom, could lose their jobs after World Trade Organization textile quotas are lifted on 1 January, trade union leaders warned Wednesday. (more)


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