Diamonds: A cocktail of optimism, pessimism in the midst of Covid-19 pandemic

Rough & Polished’s Mathew Nyaungwa recently attended a webinar organised by CIBJO Communications to examine consumer demand at the time of the Covid-19 pandemic, importance of data, financial models and lab grown diamonds. The webinar, chaired by Edward...


How Russkiye Samotsvety is coping with the current downturn

One of the key issues facing most Russian companies today is the need for an objective assessment of the new consumption decline due to the quarantine, as well as making forecasts for a way out of it. According to a RBC-Petersburg’s study made in June...

03 august 2020

Global rough diamond sales down 80-90% in value in Q2 –Zimnisky

The COVID-19 pandemic, which is spreading across the globe, having originated from China’s Wuhan has left diamond traders and buyers at sixes and sevens. Traditional diamond tenders were cancelled around March as governments imposed travel restrictions...

27 july 2020

Indian diamond and polishing industry requires forward integration - Dinesh Navadiya

Dinesh Navadiya is now the Regional Chairman (Gujarat Region) of The Gems & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) of India for the 3rd term. He is also the Director on the Board of the Gem & Jewellery Skill Council of India (GJSCI)...

20 july 2020

GJEPC will focus on demand generation for diamonds and jewellery in the next two years

Mr. Vipul P Shah, Vice Chairman, GJEPC and also CEO & Managing Director of Asian Star Co. Ltd. has a rich experience in the diamond industry. His business acumen and professional conduct have contributed significantly in transforming a diamond manufacturing...

13 july 2020

Firestone Diamonds continues with care, maintenance at Liqhobong

21 july 2020
Firestone Diamonds’ 75% owned Liqhobong Diamond Mine, in Lesotho remained on care and maintenance during the quarter ended 30 June 2020 at a cost of $3.2 million. 
The decision to place the mine onto care and maintenance was due to the COVID-19 pandemic which resulted in nationwide lockdowns in South Africa from 26 March 2020 and Lesotho from 29 March 2020.
It was also taken in order to preserve the group's cash resources for as long as possible, in light of the uncertainty regarding the ability to sell and likely prices to be realised at future diamond sales. 
"The company has gone through a painful process to implement the care and maintenance phase which we believe is in the best interest of its shareholders and lenders,” said Firestone chief executive Paul Bosma. 
“We are determined to make our cash last as long as possible so that operations can resume once the market recovers for the categories of diamonds predominantly recovered from Liqhobong.”
He said Firestone’s focus will be on concluding financing arrangements with ABSA bank for a capital deferral and continue to work closely with shareholders and bondholders to chart the way forward. 
Net working capital outflows for the quarter were $3.1 million and comprised mainly payments to creditors which resulted in a reduction in creditors' balances from $3.4 million at the end of March 2020, to $1.0 million at the end of June 2020. 
Meanwhile, Firestone said no sales of diamonds took place during the quarter. 
The company had 64 700 carats of diamond inventory which it intends to split into separate parcels to be sold in the future to test the market in order to determine if prices have recovered sufficiently to justify restarting the mine.
Firestone forecasts to dispose of the first parcel of diamonds during the fourth quarter of the 2020 calendar year in order to generate cash to fund operational requirements.

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