Firestone Diamonds gave a cautious outlook for the coming year, expecting continued sluggish market conditions to impact rough prices.
“From a diamond-pricing perspective,  was a tough year, particularly for the smaller, lower-value goods, and these market conditions are expected to persist for the foreseeable future until the end of 2020 when global rough supply is expected to reduce,” said CEO Paul Bosma in a performance update published Friday.
The company, which owns the Liqhobong mine in Lesotho, reported revenue fell 8% to $57.2 million for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2019. The miner recorded a net loss of $56.9 million versus a loss of $14.2 million the previous year. Sales volume dropped 7% to 774,830 carats, while the average sales price declined 3% to $73 per carat. Liqhobong’s production slid 1% to 829,458 carats.
In addition to the subdued market, operations were affected by power outages during October, which cast doubt on Firestone’s ability to meet its scheduled debt repayments in the near term. The company received a deferral from ABSA bank for its short-term capital requirements and continues to engage with lenders to ensure it can sustain operations through the current downturn, Bosma added.
Image: Sunset view of the Liqhobong mine in Lesotho. (Firestone Diamonds)