Canadian miner Mountain Province Diamonds said that 2018 has seen a strong start in rough diamond markets. "The first two sales of the year substantially exceeded expectations, and prices have firmed across all product categories since the second half of 2017," said Interim President and CEO David Whittle. The company reported a net income of CAD$17.2 million for the full year which ended December 31, 2017.
Commercial production at the Gahcho Kué diamond mine, the largest diamond ‘new’ diamond mine discovered in the last 13 years, commenced on March 1, 2017. The third quarter of 2017 was the first full quarter of reported earnings from mine operations following the start of commercial production. "2017 was a milestone year for Mountain Province as we transitioned from development into commercial production. For 2018, production is expected to increase from 2017 to between 6.3 and 6.6 million carats recovered at an average grade of 2.02 to 2.12 carats per tonne.”
The jewelry segment in North America and Asia reported a robust holiday season resulting in a restocking demand within the cutting and polishing market. Positive sentiment within the diamond mid-market created a good competitive environment for the companies’ tenders, said Whittle.
“Seasonally, the first few sales of a year are traditionally strong, but the results of our first couple of sales in 2018 have well exceeded the expectations that we had going in. And in light of the headway that we faced with sales and rough diamond market conditions, I think our operations showed the remarkable resiliency through the financial results that we’ve generated for 2017.”