African diamond firms on COVID-19 response, recent developments

Rough & Polished recently contacted several diamond producers and exploration companies with operations in Africa to establish how their operations were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and what they are doing to alleviate the impact. We also sought...

01 june 2020

“Get Diamonds” platform will soon be available in Russian, Hindi, Arabic and any other languages as per demand from any countries

A first-generation diamantaire Yoram Dvash, currently serving as the Acting President at World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) and the President of the Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE), launched his diamond manufacturing and trading...

25 may 2020

Sustainability is the only way forward - Rahul Jauhari

Rahul Jauhari, Sr Vice President of Global Sales & Marketing, Star Rays, has forged ahead professionally for more than 14 years garnering experience in Business Development, Luxury Lifestyle Consultancy, Market Analysis, Global Fashion / Luxury trend...

18 may 2020

Keeping global supply chains functioning vital – De Beers

Diamond giant, De Beers has said that it is essential to keep global supply chains functioning in view of the substantial impact of Covid-19 on the industry. Group spokesperson David Johnson told Rough & Polished’s Mathew Nyaungwa in an exclusive interview...

11 may 2020

Gabon courts foreign investors to grow fledgling diamond sector

Diamond production in Gabon, which has been a member of the Kimberley Diamond Certification Process since 2018, is currently dominated by artisanal miners. The artisanal miners are producing about 300 carats per month, according to Gabon’s director of...

05 may 2020

Firestone seeks to issue ordinary shares to service interest on bonds

03 october 2019

firestone_diamonds_logo.pngFirestone Diamonds will seek approval from its shareholders for, among other things, the continued issue of ordinary shares of 1 pence each as interest payments under the terms of the $30 million Series A Eurobond debt facility to Pacific Road and Resource Capital.  
“The company wishes to continue to service the interest on the Series A Bonds through the issuance of ordinary shares to the bondholders and is therefore seeking approval to issue up to 195,309,376 Series A interest shares…,” it said.
The Series A Bonds are repayable in two tranches, $20 million due on 4 August 2022 and $10 million due on 3 January 2023.
Firestone previously issued ordinary shares to pay quarterly interest, which had accrued in respect of the Series A Bonds. 
However, due to consequences of the takeover code, and the terms of the Series A Bonds, it requires independent shareholder approval to permit the bondholders to receive further ordinary shares from 30 September 2019 without triggering a mandatory offer to shareholders.
Meanwhile, Firestone said although the group's cash balance was $21 million as at 30 September 2019, the trading environment remains difficult and as a result it is actively engaging with its debtholders to ensure it can sustain operations through the current downturn. “However further deterioration in the financial or trading position is possible and may have material implications for the solvency of the company independently of the passing of the resolutions,” it said.
Trading conditions continue to be challenging due to the ongoing depressed pricing of rough diamonds across the industry as well as fewer valuable stones recovered resulting in lower than expected average values being realised.

Mathew Nyaungwa, Editor in Chief of the African Bureau, Rough&Polished