Sunday, May 22, 2022

Firestone Diamonds goes up BSE board

Firestone Diamonds Plc is to blaze-the-trail for a series of Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) listings as the domestic economy resurrects from the worst industrial class action in its history.

The local economy has been in a state of gloom in the last eight weeks as civil servants embarked on a national strike that resulted in the worst economic and political leadership ratings outside a recessionary period.

The London Alternative Investments Markets (AIM) quoted diamond mining outfit will start floating on the BSE tomorrow Monday at 20 pence per share ÔÇô a bid to resuscitate the already dampened confidence in the market — against its trading price of 31.50 British sterling pounds at Friday close.

In a statement on Friday, the company stated that it will float 323, 964 111 shares on the Foreign Venture Capital Board of the BSE, ending months on end about its prospects of listing on the local bourse.

The listing is expected to be accompanied by a big champagne celebration as the company also prepares for a second diamond tender by end of June.

Firestone Diamonds listing will break long period of floating draught on the BSE as it will be followed by the debut of Letole La Rona on Wednesday. The two companies will be closely followed by Botswana Diamonds to the board within a week.

The new developments clear the air on the long awaited secondary listing of Firestone Diamonds on BSE after argument raised by BSE on whether it has fully complied with Company’s Act of Botswana.

Last month, Firestone Diamonds’ lawyers successively argued that it should be exempted from the rules of Botswana’s Company Act since its subsidiary, which is incorporated in Botswana, has already complied.

BSE regulatory stance has delayed the listing of the diamond mining laity, which has been itching to list on the local bourse with a view of opening up opportunities for Botswana citizens.

“I think the decision taken by BSE now is more instructive and other mining companies that are aiming to list on the BSE will use the same argument,” sources have contended.

Other foreign-controlled companies that are lining up to list on the BSE are Botswana Diamonds, Hana Mining and Lucara Diamond and all have assets in Botswana.

Firestone Diamonds operates the BK11 mine, which is near Orapa ÔÇö a place dubbed the best diamond address with the street name being Orapa. Orapa mine is the world’s biggest diamond mine, which was discovered in 1969.

BK 11 is some 20 kilometres south-east of Orapa mine and five kilometers north east of Lucara Diamond’s AK 6 proposed mine.

The move is expected to bolster the presence of the company in the local scene as it already supports government initiatives of having parallel diamond trading activities to that of De Beers’ controlled Diamond Trading Company.

Diamonds are a backbone of Botswana’s economy, contributing over 40 percent of the GDP ÔÇô including the downstream activities – and accounts for over 50 percent of government revenue.
Firestone Diamonds Plc is also involved in diamond exploration near Jwaneng mine and Tsabong areas where its finds have been described as “encouraging”.

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