Industry News by Nemesis

Firestone Diamonds Sells All Liqhobong Mine Goods at First Sale

February 13, 2017

Firestone Diamonds plc sold all 75,936 carats offered for sale at the first sale of diamonds recovered from its Liqhobong mine in Lesotho.


The sale was held in Antwerp from February 6 to 10, with proceeds of $8.14 million and an average price per carat of $107.


More than 90 companies viewed the goods, and over 38 companies bid successfully, the firm said.


"The average price per carat achieved was very pleasing, considering that the carats sold were recovered from the predominantly lower quality ore areas and are not necessarily representative of the run of mine ore," Firestone said in a statement. "As previously announced, the company will only realize consistent run of mine results post ramp up, when it will have mined ore from across the whole pipe.


"The higher quality diamonds were competitively bid for during the sale. The best stone, a 37-carat type IIa internally flawless white stone was sold for well over $1.0 million. A number of yellow and fancy yellow stones included in the sale also achieved competitive prices, with interest being exceptionally strong in these categories."


The company expects to hold two sales per quarter, with the second sale expected to be late in the fourth quarter of 2017 and the company will update the market on the result of future sales on a quarterly basis going forward.


Stuart Brown, Chief Executive Officer, commented: "We are very pleased to have undertaken Firestone's first sale of diamonds from Liqhobong and with the results achieved. We look forward to better results as we gradually increase our mining to all areas of the pit and increase our run of mine production over time.


"Prices were strong in the better quality diamonds, with the prices for the smaller stones being reflective of the current weaker market conditions but pleasingly we sold all of the stones offered for sale. To have recovered some exceptional white and fancy colored stones at this early stage is extremely pleasing and we believe that the Liqhobong orebody will, over time, prove to be an exciting one.


Liqhobong is 75 percent owned by Firestone and 25 percent by the government of Lesotho.


Source: Idex

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