Liqhobong mine

UK-based mining and exploration firm Firestone Diamonds has increased the diamond value at its Liqhobong mine in Lesotho, South Africa.

The company improved its diamond valuation following the release of a report prepared by an independent mineral resources consultant, which analysed production at the mine over the past 22 months.

The base average diamond price, excluding potential large stones, is now expected to reach $107 per carat, compared to the previous value of $98 per carat.

Firestone recovered about 325,000 carats during September 2011 to July 2013 and the company noted that the definitive feasibility study (DFS) conducted in 2012 was based on a much smaller sample of 2,500 carats.

The study also included nine diamond fragments that were larger than 100 carats and three of the stones were calculated to have been 200 carats or larger.

Firestone Diamonds incoming chief executive officer Stuart Brown said the current range of increased diamond values at Liqhobong is encouraging and builds on the numbers outlined by the DFS.

“This latest analysis takes into consideration all the data available from the Pilot Plant since it commenced production in September 2011 through to July 2013, and the Board believes that these new figures further enhance the robust project economics for the Liqhobong project,” Brown added.

The company said it is also currently optimising the DFS model, with the results anticipated to be published once the review completes by the middle of the fourth quarter of 2013.

In October 2012, Firestone discovered a small type 2B blue diamond and 28 type 2A diamonds at the Liqhobong mine.

Image: The base average diamond price of Liqhobong mine is expected to reach $107 per carat. Photo: Courtesy of Firestone Diamonds.

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