UK-based diamond mining company Firestone Diamond has reported diamond output of 72,833 carat tons (ct) during the six months to December 2012 at its Liqhobong mine, in Lesotho.

The production was recorded at an average grade of 24.8 ct per hundred tons (cpht).

Half yearly production demonstrates an increase from 69,319ct at an average grade of 33.5 cpht in the comparative period of the previous year.

Also, the average capacity of the plant was raised to 100t per hour, reported Mining Weekly.

In addition, the company expects that the full-year production to reach between 160,000 ct and 180,000 ct.

Firestone stated that over the period its operations have delivered higher quality and increased variety of color, which includes the discoveries of the rare type 2B blue diamond and the type 2A diamonds.

Meanwhile, it is keen on exploring its full potential following the commissioning of main treatment plant by second quarter of 2015, which will push the overall diamond production capacity to one-million carats a year.

Firestone also reported revenues of $8.1m during the 2013 interim period grossed from sales of 79,071 ct, at prices of $102 per carat on average, up from $2.5m reported in the first half of the previous financial year when 42,803 ct were sold at an average price of $59 per carat.