The company said the sale, held in Antwerp, Germany in February, generated total sale proceeds of $8.14 million from the diamonds recovered from the mine, which is 75%-owned by Firestone Diamonds and 25% by the government of Lesotho.
Firestone Diamonds’ first sale of diamonds saw over 90 companies viewing the goods and more than 38 companies “being successful”.
“The average price per carat achieved was very pleasing, considering that the carats sold were recovered from the predominantly lower-quality ore areas and are not necessarily representative of the run of mine ore,” said Firestone Diamonds CEO Stuart Brown, who noted that the company will only realise consistent run of mine results post ramp up, when it will have mined ore from across the whole pipe.
According to Brown, the higher quality diamonds were competitively bid for during the sale. The best stone, a 37 carat type 2a internally flawless white stone, was sold for well over $1 million.
A number of yellow and fancy yellow stones included in the sale also achieved competitive prices, with interest being exceptionally strong in these categories.
In terms of pricing received, Brown noted that prices were strong in the better quality diamonds, with the prices for the smaller stones being reflective of the current weaker market conditions, but pleasingly all of the stones offered for sale, were sold.
Firestone Diamonds expects to host two sales per quarter going forward. The second sale is expected to be in late Q1 2017 and Firestone Diamonds will update the market on the result of future sales on a quarterly basis going forward.
“We are very pleased to have undertaken Firestone’s first sale of diamonds from Liqhobong and with the results achieved,” said Brown.
“We look forward to better results as we gradually increase our mining to all areas of the pit and increase our run of mine production over time. To have recovered some exceptional white and fancy coloured stones at this early stage is extremely pleasing and we believe that the Liqhobong orebody will, over time, prove to be an exciting one.”