Monday, April 19, 2021

Firestone Diamonds’ listing opportunities brightens

Firestone Diamonds Plc edged closer to its long held notion of listing on the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) as it beat hurdles of non compliance with the bourse’s rules pushing it to the level of the listing committee meeting scheduled for end of this month.

“I think it is an almost done deal. The BSE seems to have accepted the argument put forward by Firestone Diamonds’ lawyers (Armstrong & Associates). Now, the matter is slated to be discussed at the listing committee meeting to be held on May 26,” a close source said on Friday.

The lawyers argued for Firestone Diamonds to be exempted from the rules of the 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.

Currently, the company is listed on the more rigorous London’s Alternative Investment Markets (AIM).

“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,” the source added.

Other companies that are lining up to list on the BSE are Botswana Diamonds and Lucara Diamond and both 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. Firestone Diamonds Plc is also involved in diamond exploration near Jwaneng mine and Tsabong areas where its finds have been described as “encouraging.”

Last year, Firestone Diamonds said it was embolden by the results from BK11, especially with the resource from KW, which has a “high confidence grade” and diamond and diamond value estimates to be made. This is based on inferred resource of 12 million tones defined containing approximately 830,000 carats for the area.

“If the listing committee gives a green light on May 26, it can start trading within 24 hours if it so wishes,” a source said.

By Friday evening, Lucara was understood to be ramping up its exemption argument as was Botswana Diamonds whose ambitions were snarled in the same mud as Firestone Diamonds.

Botswana Diamonds has three assets in Botswana: AK 8, AK 9 and BK 5, which are all along the Orapa area.

Both AK 8 and AK 9 are former De Beers concessions and they were farmed to African Diamonds in 2004 following their joint venture that was called Boteti Diamond Project.

“Since 2004, we have explored the two kimberlites using the most advanced technologies. As for AK 8 we found that the kimberlite was bigger than what was originally thought although the grade was not that higher,” the company stated. BK 5 is thought that it could provide a stand-alone mine which will mean that we will have to build a plant or rent one.”

Further, Botswana Diamonds Plc has further interest in Cameroon, Central Africa Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo and Zimbabwe.

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