Firestone Diamonsds

Gordon

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Posted in response to a request from the chat room:

12Dec2000 08:46

Firestone Diamonds sees contiuned growth in Diamond mrkt; returns to FY profit

LONDON (AFX) - Firestone Diamonds PLC said it returned to profit for the
year to June 30, on increased turnover of 765,917 stg against 84,409 previous.

It added demand for rough diamonds was exceptionally strong, resulting in a
number of price increases during the year.

Its Avontuur Mine saw a 543 pct increase in diamond production to 12,989
carats, and an 8 pct increase in gem quality diamond prices to 105 usd per
carat, it added.

The increase in production generated sufficient cash flow to finance all of
its operational and exploration expenditures in South Africa during the year and
contributed significantly to development costs at the Oena Mine, it added.

Its acquisition of an 87.5 pct interest in the Oena Mine was the most
significant development during the year, adding it has excellent exploration
potential, and is estimated to contain a substantial resource of large, high
quality diamonds, it said.

Commercial scale mining is expected to commence in early 2001, following
which it expects Oena to make a significant contribution to the company's
profits and cash flow over its projected ten-year life, it said.

It added good progress was made at its exploration projects in South Africa
and Botswana and positive results were obtained.

Referring to the diamond market it said De Beers' sales for 2000 is forecast
to reach a new record of 5.87 bln usd, a 12 pct increase on the previous record
of 5.2 bln reached in 1999.

Prices for gem quality rough diamonds increased several times during the
year, with sales of Avontuur production benefiting as a result, it added.

Severe supply shortages in larger size, better quality rough diamonds, such
as those produced at Oena, resulted in significant price increases at this end
of the market, it added.

It posted a pretax profit for the period of 413,249 stg against loss 40,185
previous, with earnings per share of 1.1 pence against loss per share of 0.3
pence previous.

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Source: Updata Newstore