Firestone Diamonds has Restarted Production at Liqhobong Mine

Mining and Exploration
07/11/2019 14:29

After a nearly month-long cessation of production activities due to power outages, Firestone Diamonds resumed production at its 75% owned Liqhobong Mine in Lesotho on October 26. The company successfully commissioned rented diesel generators and the processing plant is currently operating at between 80% and 90% of full capacity as the new power generation system is being optimised. The generators are expected to be used to generate power until grid power is restored from the Muela Hydropower Station, which, according to the Lesotho Electricity Company, is scheduled to take place on 1 December 2019. Normal operating costs are expected to increase by the cost of renting the gensets and of the associated diesel consumption.

In early October, Firestone announced a production disruption due to intermittent power supply. The Muela Hydropower Station commenced a two month maintenance shutdown on October 1, at which time ongoing supply was to be provided by Eskom, South Africa's power utility company, but the mine experienced unexpected voltage fluctuations that severely disrupted operations.