Firestone Diamonds, which is ramping up to full production at a new diamond mine in Lesotho, has secured itself financial breathing space, raising $25m and renegotiating its debt with Absa as it adjusts a mine plan to target better-quality diamonds. Firestone, which is traded on London’s Alternative Investment Market, is headed by former De Beers chief financial officer and acting CEO Stuart Brown. The start of operations at Liqhobong was inauspicious as the realisation set in that the value of the rough diamonds was well below what had been planned. The mine plan was revised, cutting 76-million tonnes of waste extraction from the plan and cutting the life of the Liqhobong to nine years from 15. The mine started commercial production in July 2017 and the six months to end-December marked its first interim results with diamond revenue and operating costs. Firestone earned revenue of $25m for the period and generated a gross profit of $1.5m. Taking into account a host of other charges...

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