Mountain Province’s share of production from the new Gahcho Kué diamond mine in Canada amounted to 424,830 carats in the first quarter, though the company reported lower sale prices than anticipated.
The Toronto-based miner held three sales of pre-commercial production during the quarter, it said Tuesday. Those rough diamonds came mainly from the upper levels of the 5034 kimberlite’s northeast lobe, which has lower-quality diamonds than that kimberlite’s average. As a result, average prices failed to meet expectations, the company explained.
However, the miner predicted prices would rise as market conditions improved and production shifted to the higher-value center lobe. The company will release sales figures for the first quarter on May 11.
“The unexpected headwinds from demonetization in India compounded customary weakness during the price-discovery period,” said Mountain Province CEO Patrick Evans, referring to the Indian government’s decision in November to invalidate 86% of currency notes. The move sapped liquidity from large swathes of the diamond-manufacturing sector.
Gahcho Kué — in which Mountain Province has a 49% stake — reached commercial production on March 1. The company expects the mine to yield 4.4 million carats of rough diamonds this year, including those attributed to co-owner De Beers.