Canadian miner Mountain Province Diamonds Inc., a 49% participant with De Beers Canada in the Gahcho Kué diamond mine located in Canada’s Northwest Territories, today announced its recently completed seventh diamond sale in Antwerp was the largest to date in terms of volume and value. A total of 463,000 carats were sold for proceeds totalling US$27.1 million, a 30% increase over the preceding sale proceeds despite there being significantly fewer fancies and specials on offer in this sale, as De Beers Canada was the successful bidder for the main component of the fancies and specials associated with this sale assortment.. Mountain Province moved 463,000 carats at the latest sale. All lots on offer were sold.
This was the Company’s largest single sale to date in terms of both total value and carats sold, with carat volume reflecting strong production throughput and grade at the mine as well as the opportunity to fast-track just over 85,000 carats of smaller size diamonds into this sale. As a result, the realized value per carat from this sale was averaged down to $59 per carat, with a normalized* value per carat of $72 - both of which represent their lowest average value to date, but "generally consistent with the year-to-date adjusted realized sale value of approximately US$75 per carat." They explain, "As a result of a procedural change by the Government of the Northwest Territories to expedite processing of the Company’s smaller sized goods for royalty valuation purposes, the Company is able to bring such diamonds to market sooner than was previously the case. A portion of such accelerated goods was included in this seventh sale, and the remainder will be included in subsequent sales."
Reid Mackie, the Company’s Vice President Diamond Marketing, said, “It is encouraging to see Mountain Province’s sales process and customer bidding continue to deliver robust levels of competition. Attendance and average bids per lot were consistent with previous sales, and this sale saw our highest level of lots won by return customers. This demonstrates that, in spite of current trading conditions being somewhat challenging, our diamonds are becoming well established in the market and their positive manufacturing results continue to engender customer support.” Further, they note that at the Gahcho Kué mine site, the joint venture partners have approved a fall exploration program focused on an area referred to as the Southwest Corridor, with a total budget of $2.3 million. In the course of stripping activity this area has been recognized as containing diamondiferous kimberlite that is not included in the project resource statements.
*(The company explains that "Normalized" means adjusted for goods accelerated or deferred, and includes fancies and specials acquired through bid by De Beers Canada Inc. They explain that diamonds sold at individual sale events will not directly reflect run-of-mine production from specific processing periods.)