London, England — MININGREVIEW.COM — 02 September 2010 – Firestone Diamonds “’ a UK-based diamond mining and exploration company with operations in Botswana and South Africa “’ says it has reached earthmoving and production plant capacity targets ahead of schedule, and has recovered a high quality diamond at its BK11 mine in Botswana, raising expectations for the average value of output at the mine.
Revealing this in a statement issued here, the company said early diamond recoveries had included a 13.74 carat stone, with an estimated value of US$5 000 (R37 500) per carat.
“This recovery is very significant and confirms our expectation that larger diamonds will be recovered at BK11,” chief executive Philip Kenny said in a statement.
Firestone said it would comfortably exceed the target production of 1.5Mpta at its BK11 production plant once the phase 2 commissioning was completed in the fourth quarter of 2010.
The company, which had agreed to buy rival Kopane Diamond Developments for US$71 million (R532 million) to get its hands on Kopane’s Liqhobong kimberlite project in July, said plans developed in relation to the mine were at an advanced stage.
But it added that a plant it had been building for Debswana Diamond Company at a Botswana mine would be delayed to allow Debswana to focus on certain higher priority projects. The construction of the modular tailings treatment plant at the Jwaneng mine had been expected to start in the first half of 2011 and reach full production in late 2012.