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Firestone Diamonds denies report of Jwaneng Tailings project delay, on-track for production in 2011

In response to an article in the Botswana Guardian, Firestone Diamonds (AIM: FDI) said that the Jwaneng Tailings project remains on schedule to commence production at the end of 2011, with full production to be reached in 2012. The company said the articles’ assertion that the completion had been postponed is incorrect, and Firestone has confirmed this with its domestic partner, Debswana.

In the Botswana Guardian on the 19 March, it was reported that "Debswana this week stated that they have postponed the completion of the Jwaneng Tailings project for the next two years". 

Firestone also noted that its negotiations with Debswana in relation to the Jwaneng tailings project are at an advanced stage and it expects to update investors shortly. As previously stated, Firestone has been in contract negotiations with Debswana, expected to be concluded in Q1 2010, over the construction and operation of a tailings plant.

Earlier this month, the company announced its intention of a secondary listing on the Botswana Stock Exchange in order to attract greater interest among domestic investors and emphasising the company’s focus on it Botswana operations. "Firestone has made a substantial investment in its Botswana operations, which are now the primary focus for the company”, Firestone chief executive Philip Kenny commented.

Production at Firestone’s BK11 kimberlite is due to commence in Q2 2010.  According to Firestone, with over 25,000 square kilometres around the major Orapa and Jwaneng mines and the entire Tsabong kimberlite field, it is the largest holder of mineral rights in Botswana's diamondiferous kimberlite fields.

“With BK11 due to commence production shortly, and more than 100 kimberlites in our licence areas in the Orapa, Jwaneng and Tsabong regions, we believe that we have a successful future ahead of us in Botswana and look forward to growing our shareholder base in Botswana", Kenny added.

Disclosure: The author holds no positions in the company