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Firestone's Liqhobong Tender Nets $5M

May 14, 2012 5:57 AM   By Deena Taylor
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RAPAPORT... Firestone Diamonds sold a total of 67,148 carats from its Liqhobong mine for $4.7 million or an average $71 per carat at two tenders held during the company's first quarter.

The junior miner noted that while prices for better-quality diamonds are strengthening and in some categories the prices have crept up to levels not seen since June 2011, the prices of brown diamonds, near-gem quality and small stones remains depressed and under pressure.

In April, Firestone recovered an unbroken 74-carat light yellow stone, the largest stone to date from Liqhobong, while a 39-carat light yellow diamond and a white 26-carat diamond, both fragments from much bigger stones were recovered in March. These three diamonds will be sold at Firestone's upcoming tender in the second quarter and the company indicate that Liqhobong can produce large high-quality diamonds.

The company noted that production at Liqhobong was affected during the quarter as a result of plant modifications to increase tonnage throughput. The company is planning a second maintenance shutdown in June aimed at decreasing the breakage of larger diamonds. The company is also in the process of reviewing it strategy for its exploration portfolio.

Following the completion of a $23 million fund raising effort and operational restructuring during the first quarter, the company is in a stronger financial position, with sufficient cash resources to meet working capital requirements, according to Firestone.

The company also appointed South African based chartered accountant Grant Ferriman as its chief financial officer as of July 1, 2012. Ferriman is currently group financial controller of Mwana Africa Plc. His appointment follows the resignation of Angus Ogilvie as finance director during April 2012.
Tags: Deena Taylor, Firestone Diamonds, Liqhobong
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