Management at the new $185m Liqhobong diamond mine in the mountains of Lesotho is trying to tackle the issues resulting in a disappointing first year of operations, resulting in the need for a capital raising and a call to the bank to restructure its debt. Liqhobong is 75% owned by Firestone Diamonds, an Alternative Investment Markets-traded firm in London headed by former De Beers chief financial officer and joint CE Stuart Brown, who is candid as to the reasons why the mine has not performed to expectations and what needs to be done. Firestone has implemented a plan that sliced off a third of the mine’s 15-year life as management seeks the higher-value part of the kimberlite deposit, which is an ancient carrot-shaped volcanic pipe carrying diamonds to the earth’s surface from deep within the crust. Liqhobong is close to Gem’s Letseng diamond mine, which is famed for producing large diamonds. However, breakages and the quality of the diamonds coming from the kimberlite Firestone fi...

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