The 70-carat white gem was extracted undamaged and will be sold at a Firestone diamond tender later this year.
The 70-carat gem was unearthed undamaged and will be sold at a Firestone diamond tender later this year.
This is the second large stone recovery from the Liqhobong mine in recent months. In December, a 46-carat diamond was discovered, which was sold at a recent auction for US$1-million.
Firestone Diamond CEO, Paul Bosma, commented on the most recent diamond discovery: “The 70-carat stone was recovered in the northern, low-grade part of the pit where the bulk of our mining will take place in the coming months. Although the market for the smaller stones has been under pressure, we’ve seen continued demand and good prices realized for special stones.”
The Liqhobong diamond mine is co-owned by Firestone, which holds 75 percent, and the Government of Lesotho, which possess the remaining 25 percent.
Firestone first began developing the Lesotho-based project in 2014, with commercial diamond production commencing in July 2017.
Over the last decade, Lesotho has established itself as viable source of diamonds and a hospitable jurisdiction for mining. The country now hosts a number of well-known diamond productions established by industry leaders, such as the Letšeng Mine operated by Gem Diamonds (LSE:GEMD) and Lucapa Diamond’s (ASX:LOM) Mothae mine.
At Liqhobong, Firestone has made several significant recoveries with the largest being a 326-carat near gem unearthed in October 2018. In 2017, a gem-quality 110-carat light yellow diamond was discovered at the site.
The mine is believed to hold a, “high incidence of fancy yellow stones and potential for large stones,” notes the company website.
Shares of Firestone Diamond were up 14.62 percent on Tuesday (February 12), trading at GBP 2.90.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Georgia Williams, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.