- Lesotho-focused gem producer Firestone Diamonds reported a deeper annual loss, pinned on lower diamond prices and an impairment charge.

Pre-tax losses for the year through June amounted to $50.5m, compared to losses of $17.5m on-year. Revenue fell 8.7% to $57.2m.

The company said a $41.6m impairment charge had resulted from 'continued challenging conditions in the diamond industry'.

The widening loss came despite a 21% increase in total tonnes mined to 8.1m.

'The year's performance was solid from an operational perspective, as we delivered results within our guidance range for all items within our control,' chief executive Paul Bosma said.

'From a diamond pricing perspective, it was a tough year, particularly for the smaller, lower value goods and these conditions are expected to persist for the foreseeable future until the end of 2020 when global rough supply is expected to reduce.

Bosma said the company had 'continued to engage with its debtholders' and made 'good progress to ensure it can sustain operations through the current downturn'.

At 8:12am: [LON:FDI] Firestone Diamonds PLC share price was -0.13p at 0.65p

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