Currency Gains Bolster Firestone Earnings

RAPAPORT…

Firestone Diamonds’ bottom line improved in the second half of 2016 as its Liqhobong mine operation in Lesotho benefited from the appreciation of the local currency against the U.S. dollar.

Total comprehensive income stood at $9.7 million during the six-month period, compared
with a loss of $31.5 million the previous year, the company reported on Tuesday.

The Liqhobong mine recorded a lower value
of debt in the local currency as the dollar fell 7.9% against the Maloti, with
other currency-related gains resulting as well, Firestone said in a statement.

Excluding these gains, however, the miner’s loss after tax
almost doubled to $8.8 million from $4.6 million a year ago.

Production at Liqhobong started in October, with
the first two diamond sales occurring in February and March in Antwerp. The combined sales fetched $13.7 million for 127,590 carats of rough, achieving
an average price of $107 per carat.

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