- Firestone Diamonds said first-half net losses narrowed after production commenced at its Liqhobong diamond mine in the southern African nation of Lesotho.

The company booked a net loss of $7.8m compared to a loss in the previous corresponding period of $8.8m.

It also benefited from a tax credit, with pre-tax losses actually deepening to $10.3m, from $4.1m.

Revenue was $26m compared to no revenue being recorded a year earlier.

'In our first six months of full scale production at Liqhobong, processing rates were above expectations, while costs continued to remain below our targeted levels,' chief executive Stuart Brown said.

'To address the lower than expected diamond values, we announced a revised mine plan at the end of the period, which is designed to maximise cash flow in the shorter term while we address diamond value recoveries.'

'The company entered the second half of the financial year on a strong financial footing, having raised $25m at the end of the period, while also proposing revised terms on its credit facility, as it embarks on its revised mining plan.'

'With the strong retail season and the conservative sales volumes from all the major producers towards the end of 2017, we have seen a very encouraging start to 2018 for the rough market, with our first sale of the calendar year realising an average value of $82 per carat.'

At 2:49pm: [LON:FDI] Firestone Diamonds PLC share price was 0p at 7.15p

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