Firestone Diamonds soars on largest find to date at Lesotho mine
Shares in Africa-focused Firestone Diamonds (LON:FDI) skyrocketed on Tuesday after the company announced it had recovered a 134 carat gem-quality light yellow diamond from its Liqhobong mine in Lesotho.
The precious rock, the miner said, it’s the largest diamond recovered by the company to date.
Firestone Diamonds believes this recovery, the second of over a hundred carats since production at Liqhobong began in October last year, reinforces the potential for large stones at the operation as the company continues early stage mining.
The company’s stock jumped 18% to 23 pence on the announcement and was still trading almost 17% higher in London to 22.80p by 3:07PM local time. Year to date, however, the shares have lost over 55% of their value, which is in line with what has happened to most diamond companies.
Small producers, mainly focused on mines in southern Africa and Canada, have seen their stocks drop more than 30% during the past year due to issues ranging from mine setbacks and political fights to low prices for certain types of stones.
This is not the first time this year Firestone bumps into a significant diamond at the Lesotho mine. In April, it recovered a 110-carat gem-quality light yellow diamond at the operation.
In the past year, the miner has recovered 22 stones carats at Liqhobong larger than 10.8 carats, the industry cut off for an exceptional stone, including a 37-carat white diamond.