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Gem Diamonds took a $170m impairment against its mothballed Ghaghoo mine in Botswana, pushing the company into a deep attributable loss for the year exacerbated by the recovery of fewer diamonds larger than 100 carats at its key Lesotho mine. Gem, which is listed in London, reported an attributable loss of $159m for the year to end-December compared to a profit of $52m the year before. Before the exceptional item charge of $176m, which included the closure of a South African business, attributable profit was $18m, down from $42m a year earlier. Gem withheld its dividend payment, pointing to the erosion of its cash balance and its desire to strengthen its balance sheet this year from proceeds from its Letseng mine in Lesotho, which the company says is the highest dollar per carat kimberlite mine in the world. Gem’s nonexecutive chairman Roger Davis said he would resign after 10 years in the position. No replacement was named. While the Letseng mine met its weather-affected targets fo...

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