The most valuable stone recovered to date at Aim-listed Firestone Diamonds’ Liqhobong mine, in Lesotho, was sold in March, along with a number of other high-value diamonds.
The company’s sales for the third financial quarter, ended March 31, included the record 70 ct white diamond and a 46 ct white diamond, while the company reported signs of recovery in prices realised for the smaller, lower-value goods.
Firestone achieved a solid average selling price of $80/ct for the quarter.
A total of 211 268 ct were sold in the reporting period for $16.8-million, compared with the 191 735 ct sold in the company’s second financial quarter.
Firestone recovered 155 206 ct in the reporting period, compared with the 224 947 ct recovered in the second quarter.
Firestone mined 1.2-million tonnes of waste, as planned, during the quarter under review and was on track to meet its full-year guidance of between 4.3-million and 4.8-million tonnes.
The company treated 862 838 t of ore during the period, compared with 884 252 t in the prior quarter, which was marginally lower owing to unforeseen plant equipment failures during January.
Firestone reported a lower average grade of 18 ct per hundred tonnes (cpht), compared with 25.4 cpht in the prior quarter, mainly owing to ore from the lower-grade northern part of the pit being mined and treated.
Subsequent to the reporting period, the company recovered a notable 72 ct makeable yellow diamond, a 22 ct makeable white diamond and an 11 ct fancy light-pink diamond, which will go on sale at a tender in early May.
CEO Paul Bosma confirmed that, during the final quarter of the company’s financial year, mining would return to the higher-grade southern part of the pit.