Sales grew at Firestone Diamonds in the second fiscal quarter as stronger volumes outweighed a lower average price, the miner reported Monday.
Proceeds from rough sales at the company’s Liqhobong mine in Lesotho increased 11% year on year to $13.9 million for the period ending December 31, according to Rapaport calculations. Sales volume rose 22% to 191,735 carats, with the miner achieving an average price of $72 per carat, compared to $80 the previous year.
“We had a reasonable second quarter…ending the financial half year with all our production parameters on track to meet guidance by year-end,” said CEO Paul Bosma. “The demand for the smaller, lower-value stones deteriorated further during the quarter, [however] it stabilized at the December sale.”
Firestone’s production rose 24% to 224,947 carats, aided by the late arrival of summer rain, which allowed the company to continue mining in the southern, higher-grade portion of the pit. The miner expects the grade to drop in the second half of fiscal 2019 when it returns to the northern portion of the pit during the rainy season, it said.
In July through December, the company unearthed 465,680 carats of rough. It is on track to meet its guidance of between 820,000 and 870,000 carats for the full fiscal year ending July 31, it added.
Image: Liqhobong mine. (Firestone Diamonds)