Mountain Province Diamonds Inc. recovered more than 1.76 million carats (ct) from 811,171 metric tons of ore at its Gahcho Kué mine in Canada’s Northwest Territories during the second quarter. Q2 diamond production was 14% higher than Q2 2020 and 27% greater than Q1 2021. The mine processed a 3% more ore increase than Q2 2020 and 30% more than Q1 2021. The grade for Q2 averaged 2.17 ct/mt, a 10% increase relative to Q2 2020.
The company credited the improvement in mining and processing performance to an increase in operating days. The mine experienced a 22-day operational stand-down in February. Additionally, ongoing recruitment drives for relief operators, improving weather conditions, as well as targeted equipment availability improvements have led to an improvement in mining rates.
“We’re pleased to see production increasing in the second quarter, and expect the historically productive summer months to drive the recovery into Q3,” said Stuart Brown, President and CEO, Mountain Province Diamonds. “With the first of the year complete and a sizeable stockpile of ore in front of the plant, we expect to hit our 2021 production guidance of 6.3 to 6.5 million ct recovered.”
A total of 718,549 ct were sold during Q2, which generated C$64.7 million ($52.6 million), resulting in an average value of C$90/ct ($73/ct).
In a joint venture with De Beers, Mountain Province Diamonds operates Gahcho Kué, widely considered to be the world’s largest and richest new diamond mine. The company also owns 100% of the Kennady North Project and continues to explore for diamonds in the Northwest Territories through targeted drill programs.