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Kopane Suspends Lesotho Diamond Production

Dec 1, 2008 6:59 AM   By Avi Krawitz
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RAPAPORT... Kopane Diamond Developments has suspended production at its Liqhobong development project in Lesotho due to the current "severe" economic and market turbulence. In a news release, the company noted that economic conditions had caused diamond prices to fall by between 30 percent and 50 percent since October 2008, adding that it was still not clear when they will return to previous levels.

“The suspension of mining operations at Liqhobong will conserve cash and prevent the unnecessary and unprofitable depletion of our diamond resources,” said Tim Read, Kopane's chairman. “It is our opinion that rough diamond prices will recover in the longer term once consumer confidence is restored.”

Kopane owns 75 percent of Liqhobong Mining Development Company (LMDC), which operates the project. The Lesotho government owns the remaining 25 percent.

LMDC has produced 340,000 carats of diamonds at Liqhobong since operations commenced at the end of 2005. The project’s main pipe has an indicated and inferred resource of nearly 30 million carats and the potential to produce at a rate of over one million carats a year, Kopane reported.

Tags: Government, Kopane, Lesotho, Production
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