UK-based Firestone Diamonds has discovered a small type 2B blue diamond and 28 type 2A diamonds at its Liqhobong mine in Lesotho, South Africa.
Identification of the diamonds was carried out by the company's independent diamond valuation consultants, First Element, while preparing the diamonds for tenders in Gaborone and Antwerp.
Following recent recoveries at Liqhobong, the diamond mining and exploration company has reported a significant increase in the colour and quality of recovered diamonds; additionally fragments of a diamond over 200 carat were also identified.
With the discovery of the small but significant blue diamond, the Lesotho mine is now noted as diverse in terms of diamond assortment, having the potential to produce diamonds of high quality and size.
Recovery of type 2A diamonds marks the identification of rare, white and colourless type 2 stones, which comprise only 2% of the known kimberlite resources across the globe.
First Element CEO Johan Erikson commented, "The increased recovery of unbroken, higher quality good colour crystals in the middle and coarser size fractions currently on tender should bolster the prices of the company's stones."
Firestone CEO Tim Wilkes further noted, "The increase in quality and the potential for very large stones to be recovered through an expanded treatment plant is extremely exciting and demonstrates the value the company is gaining from the current pilot plant operation."
From a definitive feasibility study, the company expects to enhance production from 200,000 carats to over 1,000,000 carats annually by 2015 via a fit-for-purpose treatment plant.
The plant serves to recover large diamonds in excess of 100 carats, while reducing breakage.
Image: Firestone has identified rare diamonds from its Liqhobong mine in Lesotho. Photo: Firestone Diamonds plc.