Mountain Province says Q1 2022 diamond production impacted by lower than planned grades
(Kitco News) - Mountain Province Diamonds (TSX: MPVD) reported yesterday that 1,185,156 carats were recovered at the Gahcho Kué Diamond Mine in Q1 2022, 15% lower than last year's comparable quarter (Q1 2021: 1,392,128 carats).
The company said that during the first quarter of 2022, additional unmodeled resource was encountered, carrying a lower grade than planned mining areas.
According to a press-release, the incremental, previously unmodeled Kimberlite will be incorporated into the stockpile strategy throughout 2022, with the net effect of increasing Life-of-Mine ore tonnes and cash-flow while also decreasing processed grade.
Additionally, the company noted that recovered grade in the quarter was impacted by higher-than-planned mining dilution and pointed out that initiatives are underway to correct this going forward.
During the quarter, 506,567 carats (the company’s share) were sold for total proceeds of US$66.7 million resulting in an average value of US$132 per carat.
This is a 52% increase relative to the average value per carat in Q4 2021 of US$86 per carat, reflecting the increase in demand across the rough diamond market, and the fact that upstream stock levels are now believed to reflect operating inventories only, the company said.
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President and CEO Mark Wall commented, "The discovery of incremental, previously unmodeled Kimberlite ore is a positive for the operation and reflects the significant opportunities for additional diamonds to be discovered at the Gahcho Kué mine.
“Additionally, I'm pleased to say that the operational effects of the late-2021/early 2022 Omicron outbreak at site are now largely behind us and the unplanned failure at the primary crusher is repaired, with additional crusher optimization opportunities identified. After a slower than expected Q1 we are working with our joint venture partner to make the necessary improvements."
Mountain Province Diamonds is a 49% participant with De Beers Canada in the Gahcho Kué diamond mine located in Canada's Northwest Territories. The Gahcho Kué Joint Venture property consists of several kimberlites that are actively being mined, developed, and explored for future development. The company also controls 107,373 hectares of prospective mineral claims and leases surrounding the Gahcho Kué Mine.