Mountain Province Diamonds has issued a "Production Report" for Q3 ended 30 September 2016, stating, "Ramp-up production at Gahcho Kué commenced on August 1, 2016 ... The plant has processed approximately 130,000 tons of ore and produced 198,000 carats on a 100% basis, of which the Company’s 49% share is approximately 97,000 carats. The first sale of the company's 49% share of the run-of-mine production will take place on open tender in Antwerp, slated for January 2017, and about every five weeks thereafter." The partners implement a system whereby they bid against one another for the production of fancy colored and special (+10.8 ct) diamonds on nearly a monthly basis. The bid for August fancies and specials was won by De Beers; the bid for September production was won by Mountain Province, and includes a 50.25-ct gem quality diamond and three fancy yellow diamonds weighing between 3 and 5 ct. The fancies and specials now owned by Mountain Province will be included in the company's January 2017 sale, Mountain Province stated.
Patrick Evans, president and CEO, commented: “We are very pleased that ramp-up production commenced six weeks ahead of schedule. Mining and processing continues to progress well and Gahcho Kué remains on track to achieve commercial production in early 2017." He adds that, “The 50-carat diamond recovered in September is the largest diamond recovered to date and provides further confirmation that the Gahcho Kué has a population of large, high quality gem diamonds. It is also exciting to see a population of good size fancy yellow diamonds, which offers encouragement that we’ll see further fancy diamonds as the production ramps up.”