LONDON (Alliance News) – Diamond mining company Firestone Diamonds PLC said on Monday it reached full nameplate targets in its last financial quarter, as it completes commissioning activities for the Liqhobong plant in Lesotho.
For the three months ended June 30, 925,000 tonnes of diamond were treated, up from 639,000 in the quarter before, bringing the total for the full financial year to 2.0 million tonnes, at the upper end of the company’s guidance range of between 1.8 and 2.0 million tonnes.
204,000 carats were recovered at a grade of 22 carats per hundred tonnes, also an increase from 103,000 carats at a grade of 16.1 carats per hundred tonnes in the third quarter. For the full year, 365,000 carats were recovered at an average grade of 18.6 carats per hundred tonnes, ahead of the guidance of 360,000 carats.
Firestone recovered 54 special stones, which are larger than 10.8 carats, up from 31 special stones in the last quarter, bringing the total for the full year to 112.
Finally, diamond sales in the year were 310,376 carats, creating sale proceeds of USD27.8 million, achieving an average price of USD90.0 per carat.
Following the completion of commercial production testing, Firestone has now started commercial production at Liqhobong, ceasing the capitalisation of project expenditure from July 1.
The Liqhobong Diamond mine is currently 75% owned by Firestone and 25% owned by the government of Lesotho.
“I am delighted to report that Firestone has finished its financial year with another extremely strong quarter. The commissioning and ramp up process at Liqhobong has been very successful, particularly in terms of mining and treatment and to have achieved commercial production within eight months of start-up is an exceptional record. I am exceedingly proud of the team’s performance and in particular the safety record, which we continue to strive to protect. I look forward to reporting on the next financial year where Firestone expects to realise its vision of becoming a mid-tier diamond producer,” said Chief Executive Officer Stuart Brown.
Shares in Firestone Diamonds were up 3.4% at 39.40 pence on Monday.
By Dayo Laniyan; email@example.com
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