Gahcho recovers over 6.8mn carats!
Mountain Province Diamonds Inc announces its financial and operating results for the 4Q 2019 and the full year FY 2019. The Company also announces the filing of a technical report for the Company's Gahcho Kué Mine entitled, Gahcho Kué Mine Technical Report. The Report is effective December 31, 2019, is dated March 1, 2020, and was prepared in compliance with National Instrument Standards for Disclosure of Mineral Projects. All figures are expressed in Canadian dollars unless otherwise noted and are unaudited.
According to the Operational Highlights for Q4 and FY 2019, about 11,089,408 total tonnes mined during the quarter, a 2% decrease in the comparable period (Q4 2018: 11,365,990). 43,224,827 total tonnes mined during FY 2019, a 4% increase from comparable period (FY 2018: 41,444,057).
1,977,438 carats recovered during the quarter at an average grade of 2.11 carats per tonne, 28% higher than the comparable quarter (Q4 2018: 1,545,786 carats at 2.06). 6,820,631 carats recovered during FY 2019 at an average grade of 1.90 carats per tonne, 2% slightly lower than comparable period (FY 2018: 6,936,894).
Market Highlights for Q4 and Full Year 2019
In Q4 2019, 771,799 carats were sold at an average value of $84 per carat (US$64 per carat) for total proceeds of $65.0 million (US$49.2 million) in comparison to 822,548 carats sold at an average value of $86 per carat (US$65 per carat) for total proceeds of $70.5 million (US$53.6 million) in Q4 2018.
During FY 2019, 3,284,520 carats were sold at an average value of $84 per carat (US$63 per carat) for total proceeds of $276.3 million (US$208.2 million) in comparison to 3,252,491 carats sold at an average value of $96 per carat (US$74 per carat) for total proceeds of $311 million (US$240 million) in FY 2018.
Sentiment in the rough diamond market became slightly more optimistic towards the end of 2019 and remained relatively positive in early 2020 during the first selling cycle of the year. However, the rapid global spread of a novel coronavirus has reversed that momentum coincident with the surge in volatility in global capital markets.
Though the full extent of the impact of COVID-19 is still unknown at the moment, the Company believes, that like many other businesses, the COVID-19 will have a material impact on 2020 sales. At this stage, the Company withdraws all guidance metrics while the COVID-19 impacts continue to be assessed on an on-going basis.
Mountain Province President and CEO Stuart Brown commented: "2019 was certainly another challenging year for the diamond market. Despite this the Gahcho Kué Mine had an exceptional year of production in FY 2019, achieving all its operational metrics, with a notable highlight being the 12% increase in the plant's throughput capacity.
The operational performance and increased plant treatment capacity helped the Gahcho Kué Mine navigate through the challenging diamond market resulting in the company generating positive free cash flow and continuing to voluntarily reduce its debt.
The 2020 year started off positively with a continuation of good production and a confidence-boosting January sale in Antwerp. This positive momentum has now been swept aside by the COVID-19 virus that is having a devastating effect on the world. Together with De Beers Canada and our stakeholders, we are assessing a range of mitigating actions.
Our immediate focus is to maintain a sense of calm while focussing on the health and safety of all our employees, contractors, our immediate communities and their families as we implement procedures to protect all of them. We are also taking all the necessary precautions to protect the mine site. We will be monitoring the situation very closely and update the market accordingly."