Philip Kenny, chairman and co-founder of Firestone Diamonds, has resigned from the southern Africa-focused company.
A second-generation Irish entrepreneur, he has left the company (now producing from Liqhobong in Lesotho and the BK11 mine in Botswana, but still losing money) to ‘pursue other business interests’ at a time when its shares languish at a fraction of their 1998 AIM float price.
Lucio Genovese, a South African mining financier with experience as Moscow chief for mining and metals trading giant Glencore and at Swiss-based buy-out specialist InCentive Capital, has replaced Kenny in the chair at Firestone.
The company produced 34,000 carats in the year to last June and lost £2.8 million pre-tax on revenues of £2.4 million.
Tim Wilkes, who became London-based Firestone’s chief executive officer last year, points out that it was Kenny who spearheaded the company’s acquisition in 2010 of Liqhobong, which is hoped to play a key part in a planned ramp-up of annual production to one million carats in 2014.
Rough diamond prices have fallen some 30 per cent since their peak last summer, but the market is hoping for renewed strength in Chinese and Indian demand this year.
Floated 14 years ago at 114p, Firestone shares have fallen from 36.5p to 12.25p within the past year. They could have some speculative appeal as a recovery punt.
Published in September 2015 this annual research report provides a comprehensive overview of cash shells on the Main Market, AIM and PLUS landscape. You can purchase the directory at the pre-order price with a 15% saving (+VAT). Offer valid until 6th October 2015. Order your copy today.
The most comprehensive review of AIM directors' pay available, and this year includes a record sample of 1000+ AIM-quoted companies. The full report is available to order for £385 + VAT. Click here for more info
Latest small-cap and growth company news
Daily coverage of small-cap company stocks on London's junior markets AIM and PLUS, breaking news, stock research and latest share price information for investors. Full sector coverage with all the latest news on smaller listed companies, updated several times a day with financial reports, trading statements and links to further web resources.
As another AIM-listed Chinese stock hit the buffers in the shape of China Rerun, we spoke to GTS Chemical non-executive director Derek Welch about "corporate governance from a distance". Like its peers, GTS looks very cheap; but gaining credibility will take time.
Internet security specialist Corero (AIM: CNS) has announced a significant new contract win. Worth $0.7m, the contract provides “distributed denial of service” (DDoS) protection across the customer’s worldwide operations.
Tungsten (AIM: TUNG) listed two years ago to take advantage of a huge market opportunity. The concept is very appealing and early enthusiasm saw the shares almost hit 400p. Ambitious start-ups often take a lot longer to work than first imagined however, as highlighted by the recent AGM statement.