Firestone Diamonds says it sold 168 612 carats of diamonds in the first quarter of the company's 2020 financial year from the previous quarter’s 177 521 carats, realising revenue of $10.6 million at an average value of $63 per carat compared with $71 per carat, the last quarter.
It said average diamond values were lower than the previous quarter despite the sale of several notable stones which included a 37 carat fancy pink stone and a 55 carat fancy yellow stone, due mainly to the sale of fewer high value stones and a slightly higher proportion of smaller goods.
The prices realised for the smaller goods that make up the bulk of the company’s production by volume, remain subdued, impacted by a build-up of rough and polished inventory in the midstream.
“The company continues to engage with its debtholders to ensure it can sustain operations through the current downturn and further announcements in this regard can be expected in due course,” said Firestone chief executive Paul Bosma.
It said prices are expected to increase towards the end of 2020 as rough supply decreases as a result of continued reduced sales volumes by De Beers and Alrosa and the anticipated closure of the Argyle mine in Australia.
Meanwhile, Firestone produced 201 091 carats during the quarter compared with 208 572 carats in the fourth quarter of the financial year 2019.
“The recent power interruption is an unexpected setback for the company but we are doing our utmost to limit the negative impact on production by renting generators to get operations up and running again until the grid power is back online and stable,” said Bosma.
“We will advise on any adjustments to guidance in future quarterly updates."