Mountain Province Diamonds said the development of its Gahcho Kué diamond mine in Canada is progressing according to plan and budget. The project is more than 80 percent complete and on track for first production in the second half of 2016, according to a company statement December 7.
“We continue to make excellent progress at Gahcho Kué. Key areas of focus over the next six months are commissioning of the primary crusher and diamond plant, as well as preparation for operational readiness,” said Patrick Evans, Mountain Province’s president and chief executive officer.
The project is meeting the company’s lending group’s targets and the final 2015 draw-down against the project finance facility has taken place. During 2015, a total of $158 million has been drawn down against the $370 million loan facility. The company is fully funded up to commercial production and has a $75 million cost overrun facility in place.
Mountain Province owns 49 percent of the mine and operates it in a joint venture with De Beers Canada. Following the cessation of mining by De Beers at another Canadian mine, Snap Lake, 41 employees were transferred from there to Gahcho Kué. Another 60 workers will make the same move next year as the mine prepares for production, Mountain Province added.