FIRESTONE STARTS BOTSWANA ASSETS DISPOSAL PROCESS

Firestone Diamonds, Botswana’s leading diamond development company has started the disposal process for its Botswana assets.

The assets, which will be sold through a competitive disposal process to be managed by South Africa-based corporate finance adviser Questco, include the BK11 mine which had been placed on care and maintenance in February 2012 when Firestone decided to focus on its interests in Lesotho.

“The board is of the view that its Botswana operations present a rare opportunity that has the ability to deliver strong returns under the ownership of an operator or operators for who it would be a core asset,” Firestone has said in a statement.

The company pointed out that the BK11 mine plan showed 11.5-million tons of potential production over a ten-year life-of-mine, at an average grade of 8.5 carats per hundred tons, while there was also potential to substantially improve the yield from the BK11 treatment plant with the introduction of further capital investment.

Further, Firestone noted that the mine had fully commissioned electrical power infrastructure that had been ready to be connected when the mine was placed on care and maintenance.

High-quality infrastructure was also in place owing to the existence of Debswana’s mines – a 50:50 partnership between the Botswana government and diamond major De Beers – in the region.

In addition, core holes drilled down to depths of 250 m had indicated primary kimberlite and continuity to depth.

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