Our journey

The Firestone Diamonds Journey…

Since 2014, Firestone Diamonds has undergone a rapid transformation, turning its focus to the development of its Lesotho-based Liqhobong Diamond Mine (‘Liqhobong’), whilst exploring ways to unlock and maximise value from its Botswana assets. With production from Liqhobong generating returns, the Company is well positioned to benefit from the shortage of new diamond mines and over time the potential decline in production from the ageing portfolio of current large scale producers coming on stream and the ongoing rising demand for quality rough diamonds.

Liqhobong was first discovered in the late 1950s, and over the past 60 years it has been through a series of feasibility studies and trial mining phases, none of which proved to be financially viable. In 2010, Firestone acquired its 75% interest, with the Government of Lesotho holding the remaining 25% and successfully completed all the required work to finalise a detailed definitive feasibility study and subsequently raised the necessary funds to begin building the mine in 2014. The mine build was completed in October 2016 and the mine is now nearly complete with the ramp up phase to steady state production.

The Firestone Diamonds Journey…

Building a world-class diamond mine

Following the positive restructuring initiatives of 2013 and successful $225 million fundraising in 2014, development and construction activities started at Liqhobong in July 2014. First production was achieved in October 2016 allowing Firestone to start reaping its rewards, and achieve its strategy of becoming a mid-tier diamond producer.

The Firestone Diamonds Journey…

Liqhobong timeline

1950’s Ore bodies discovered in the Maluti Mountains of northern Lesotho.
1990’s First large scale evaluation programme undertaken on the Main Pipe.
Comprised satellite and main pipes – 8.6 hectare of kimberlite pipe, contains probable Diamond Reserve of 9.5 million carats.
2005 Production commenced at Satellite Pipe.
2007 Definitive Feasibility Study for development of Main Pipe commenced.
2008 Production suspended at Satellite Pipe.
2010 Liqhobong was acquired by Firestone Diamonds from Kopane Diamonds for US$71 million.
2011 Production restarted by Firestone Diamonds. Pilot plant, produced in excess of 325,000 carats.
High incidence of fancy yellow stones and potential for large stones.
2012 Completed DFS which set out the basis for an open pit mine with a 15 year life, producing 3.6 million tonnes per annum, yielding in excess of 1 million carats.
2013 Restructuring in place, new CEO, Stuart Brown joined Firestone Diamonds.
Production suspended immediately.
Update the DFS, revalidated initial capital expenditure for the Project and confirmed economics for Liqhobong.
2014 Firestone raised US$222.4 million to bring Liqhobong into production, targeting 1 million carats per annum.
Construction activities commenced.
2015 Revised Mine Plan completed. Base case, post financing, NPV of US$389 million (8% discount rate), IRR of 42%, payback of 4.1 years.
2016 Construction completed.
First diamond recoveries commenced, recovery of special stones and fancy yellow diamonds.
2017 First sale in February.
110 carat gem-quality light yellow diamond recovered.