The Lesothos-based project is a joint venture between Firestone which holds 75 percent, and the Government of Lesotho which possesses the additional 25 percent.
Firestone Diamonds (LSE:FDI), a new diamond producer with operations focused in Lesotho, has released its quarterly update on operations at its Liqhobong diamond mine The Lesothos-based project is a joint venture between Firestone which holds 75 percent, and the Government of Lesotho which possesses the additional 25 percent.
As quoted from the press release:
First Quarter ended 30 September 2018 summary
- First lost time injury recorded in the quarter after 6.7 million hours worked LTI-free since July 2014, with the employee returning to work three days later;
- 240,733 carats recovered at a grade of 23.8 carats per hundred tonnes (“cpht”) (Q4-FY18: 263,512 carats at a grade of 25.7 cpht)
- 1,012,323 tonnes of ore treated, (Q4-FY18: 1,025,647 tonnes);
- Cost per tonne treated of US$10.05 (Q4-FY18: US$10.98), substantially lower than FY19 guidance of US$15-16 per tonne treated;
- A total of 194,206 carats sold in first sale of the financial year (Q4-FY18: 261,985 carats), realising revenue of US$13.5 million (Q4-FY18: US$18.6 million);
- Average value of US$70 per carat (Q4-FY18: US$71 per carat), below expectation mainly due to a deterioration in prices received for the smaller, lower value run of mine (“ROM”) stones; and
- Net cash at the end of the quarter of US$25.7 million (Q4-FY18: US$27.8 million).
“The first quarter was a good start to our financial year and it is pleasing that the positive operational momentum from the previous quarter was maintained. We held one sale during the quarter which was impacted by lower average values realised for the smaller, lower quality ROM stones. However, from a total revenue perspective, the impact was partly offset by higher sales volumes. We completed our second sale of the financial year post the quarter end, and pleasingly, the strong demand for our special stones offset the continued pricing pressure on the ROM stones, resulting in an improved average value realised of US$79 per carat. During October we also recovered our largest stone to date, a 326 carat near-gem diamond which provides further evidence of Liqhobong’s large stone potential and importantly, the ability of the treatment plant to recover larger stones intact,”Paul Bosma, CEO, commented.