Higher Recovered Grade Has Mountain Province Beating Production Forecasts

Mining and Exploration
27/10/2017 11:32

Canadian miner Mountain Province Diamonds, a 49% participant with De Beers Canada in the Gahcho Kué diamond mine located in Canada’s Northwest Territories, announced in its third quarter Production Report it is well on its way to exceeding its full-year 2017 production guidance. In the third quarter of 2017, the GK Mine treated approximately 823,000 tons of ore through the process plant (14% greater than current forecast) and recovered approximately 1,825,000 carats on a 100% basis (19% greater than current forecast) for an average grade of approximately 2.22 carats per ton which, according to David Whittle, the Company's Interim President and CEO, "remains substantially above the 1.62 initially projected for 2017." The Company’s attributable share (49%) of third quarter diamond production was approximately 894,000 carats. 

"Given the continuation of our strong plant performance and favourable grade experience at the GK Mine," Whittle said, "we are well on track to meet and exceed our current full-year 2017 production guidance of 2,720,000 tons processed and 5,500,000 carats recovered on a 100% basis." For the year to date, total carats recovered at the GK Mine has exceeded 4.3 million carats - 2.11 million of which belong to Mountain Province - with a recovered grade of 2.07 carats per ton. Back in August, De Beers and Mountain Province raised GK's 2017 production guidance by 25% to 5.5 million carats recovered (MP = 2.7m cts on a 49% basis) from 4.4 million carats previously (2.2 million carats on a 49% basis). Guidance on carats sold for full-year 2017 has accordingly been increased by 20% to 2.4 million carats from 2.0 million previously. 

Mountain Province sold 353,000 carats for $21.3 million at its eight sale of the year in October in Antwerp, with an average price of $60 per carat, and a "normalized" price of $63 per carat ('Normalized' to adjust for goods accelerated or deferred, and to include fancies and specials acquired through bid by De Beers Canada Inc.); this followed its largest sale to date in September, 463,000 carats at $59 per carat. MP explained their prices achieved in the eighth sale are consistent with what is happening in the industry generally, and reflects the seasonally slow period in the rough diamond sector around Jewish and Hindu New Years' holiday periods. Also, similar to the seventh sale, realized value per carat in the eighth sale reflects the inclusion of significantly fewer fancies and specials than previous sales, as well as a finer size distribution experienced in the summer's production.

Said Reid Mackie, the Company's Vice President Diamond Marketing, "The October tender sale saw our highest levels of competition to date with an average of 11.8 bids per lot and 145 companies attending.  This strong participation reflects continued deepening of Mountain Province's customer base and interest in our diamond offering.  The result is that Mountain Province's sell through rate is one of the highest among major producers, despite recent market corrections and the traditionally slow lead up to the Diwali holiday period."