Firestone and joint venture project partner Sekoko Resources continued the progression of the Waterberg definitive feasibility study during the quarter.
The DFS is one of the conditions precedent for a sales memorandum of understanding with local utility Eskom being converted into a sales agreement for 10 million tons per annum of coal.
The DFS is in its final draft stage and being reviewed by the company’s technical team.
Firestone said based on discussions with strategic stakeholders as well as other arrangements and deadlines, project start-up and pre-production is expected to commence in January, with first production of a saleable product to begin in the second half of 2014.
The first stage of the project is to develop the Smitspan mine.
During the quarter, the company completed the second phase of drilling on the project.
Drill samples have been submitted to the laboratory and results are expected within the next few weeks.
A further 55 boreholes are planned to upgrade the inferred portion of the resource to indicated levels.
During the June quarter Sekoko released an interim resource statement, covering the Smitspan and nearby Massenberg properties.
Tonnage of 1090Mt measured, 69.04Mt indicated and 23.27Mt inferred for Smitspan and Massenberg was reported.
A contract has been negotiated with Sable to maintain and update the project’s geological database.
Meanwhile, negotiations for the purchase of surface rights commenced with the surface rights holders, with results expected next quarter.
Firestone said during the quarter it had continued discussions with interested parties regarding future funding for Firestone and discussions were ongoing.
“The company received notification during the quarter that the Waterberg Coal Company’s off-market takeover bid for all the ordinary shares in Firestone had been extended to 30 July 2013,” Firestone said.