Liqhobong unearths 134-carat diamond



Bereng Mpaki

FIRESTONE Diamonds has announced the recovery of a 134 carat gem-quality light yellow diamond from its Liqhobong Mine in Mokhotlong district- a development which the company believes could lead to similar or bigger finds in future.

The 134 carat diamond is the largest gem the company has recovered as it prepares to commence full commercial operations following a M2.1 billion investment in the development of the mine’s infrastructure.

In April this year, the company recovered a 110 carat gem-quality light yellow diamond at the same mine.

“Firestone Diamonds plc, the AIM-quoted diamond mining company, is pleased to announce the recovery of its largest diamond to date, a 134 carat gem-quality light yellow diamond, from its Liqhobong Diamond Mine, located in Lesotho,” the company said in a statement this week.

“The Board believes this recovery, the second of over a 100 carats since production commenced, reinforces the potential for large stones at Liqhobong as the company continues early stage mining.”

Firestone is an international diamond mining company which is currently in the process of commencing full scale commercial production at the Liqhobong Diamond Mine. Firestone owns 75 percent shares in the mine while the government of Lesotho owns the remaining 25 percent.

Liqhobong mine has the largest production capacity of 1 million carats per annum in the country and this is expected to continue for at least the next 15 years of its mining lease agreement.

Lesotho is emerging as one of Africa’s significant new diamond producers, hosting Gem Diamonds’ Letšeng Mine, Firestone’s Liqhobong Mine and Namakwa Diamonds’ Kao Mine.

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