Mountain Province Diamonds has announced improved production and sales results for the first quarter of 2020, though their sales are currently on hold. In Q1 2020, Mountain Province sold 659,318 carats at an average value of $99 per carat (US$75 per carat) for total proceeds of $65.4 million (US$49.2 million) in comparison to 643,739 carats sold at an average value of $94 per carat (US$71 per carat) for total proceeds of $60.7 million (US$45.8 million) in Q1 2019.
The miner's Q1 2020 production figures featured a 70% increase in tonnes of ore mined which led to just a 4% increase in ore tonnes treated and a 4% increase as well in the number of carats recovered: a total of 1,655,121 compared to 1,584,552 carats in Q1 2019. Mountain Province's 49% share of those carats totaled 811,009 carats (Mountain Province is a 49% participant with De Beers Canada Inc. in the Gahcho Kué diamond mine located in Canada's Northwest Territories). The recovered grade (carats per tonne) improved a single percentage point to 1.83.
The company also reports that it has drawn US$25 million from its revolving credit facility amid the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. As reported previously in the press release dated March 17, 2020 , the company's formal sales in Antwerp have been suspended until further notice as a result of the global lock down of nonessential services. In addition, and at the present time, the Gahcho Kué Mine and Plant continue to operate albeit the virus has impacted operations and performance due to a decision to send home employees and contractors from remote Northwest Territories communities and those at higher risk of serious complications from COVID-19.
Stuart Brown, the Company's President and Chief Executive Officer, commented: "Our Q1 2020 production figures were in line with expectations and slightly improved compared to the equivalent period last year. Looking ahead however, and as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, our full year 2020 production guidance will be revised. We are currently working through various planning scenarios to fully assess the impact on production and will communicate this to the market when we have more clarity and certainty on what the future may look like."