July 29, 2014 / 8:26 AM / 3 years ago

Gem Diamonds revenue shines on higher prices

July 29 (Reuters) - Gem Diamonds Ltd on Tuesday reported an 80 percent jump in first-half revenue from its flagship Letseng diamond mine in Lesotho, driven by higher prices.

Shares in the company rose as much as 8 percent in morning trade. They were up 6.2 percent at 206.25 pence at 0820 GMT, making the stock one of the top percentage gainers on the London Stock Exchange on Tuesday morning.

The company, which is also developing the Ghaghoo mine in Botswana, said revenue from Letseng grew to $147.8 million in the six months ended June 30

The London-listed miner said the average value per carat from the first five tenders of the year soared 58 percent to $2,747.

“An exceptional half for Gem Diamonds, with strong operational performance coinciding with healthy average values,” Westhouse Securities analyst Rob Broke wrote in a note.

Gem Diamonds said it was on track to pay a maiden dividend at the end of the financial year and that it had $114 million in cash as at June 30.

The company also said the first sale of diamonds from Ghaghoo mine is scheduled to take place before the year end. (Reporting by Esha Vaish and Karen Rebelo in Bangalore; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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