Firestone Diamonds said it will commence commercial mining operations on its B/K11 kimberlite project near Letlhakane Village in Botswana, with production likely to begin by mid 2010 and full production by the end of 2010.

Firestone Diamonds chief geologist Polite Khutjwe said in September 2009 the Botswana Department of Environmental Affairs approved the social and environmental impact assessment study report for the project.

“The initial life of the mine was expected to be approximately ten years,” Khutjwe said.

He said work was currently underway to evaluate the kimberlite’s depth to find out if the lifespan can be extended.