Mountain Province Diamonds says that it expects the Gahcho Kué mine in Canada, a JV with De Beers (51% owner), to surpass its 2018 production guidance of 6.6 million carats. Output is then expected rise to a range of 6.6 million to 6.9 million carats in each of 2019 and 2020, followed by 6.8 million to 7.1 million carats in 2021. The miner says the production guidance over the three-year period 2019 to 2021 is evidence of a sustainable and smooth mining rate as the mine performance maintains a steady state.
"As we look forward to 2019 and beyond, our business plan demonstrates the quality of our core asset and the excellent work that the operations team has carried out over the past year; both in exceeding the targets for the current year, and building a stronger longer term business plan that should extend the life of mine beyond 2028" said Stuart Brown, the Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “2018 has certainly been a difficult year for producers in the industry. The first half of the year was relatively calm with modest price increases seen across all categories of diamonds; however, from July onwards we have witnessed some price pressure, particularly in the smaller, lower quality diamond space. We did see a slight price improvement in the smaller lower quality goods in our recent 9th sale where we again sold all our available production. The improved sales performance was encouraging as we head into the peak diamond retail season, which if successful should hopefully translate into an improvement of confidence in the rough diamond market in 2019.” MPD also said its latest bid (against De Beers) for fancies and specials was successful. Included in the lot was an exceptional 60 carat vivid yellow sawable stone, the first one of this size and quality to come from the mine.
Mountain Province also said that 2018 has been a busy year for exploration, and that additional drilling will be undertaken to further delineate the extension of mineralization at the 5034 and Tuzo ore bodies. The miner said it will also be conducting additional enhancement work on its 100%-held Kennady properties.