Stronger prices for higher-value rough diamonds lifted Mountain Province’s 2018 sales, as the company sold its entire production for the year.
The miner’s sales surged 79% year on year to $240 million in 2018, according to Rapaport calculations. Sales volume increased 64% to 3.3 million carats, with the average selling price up 6% to $74 per carat, it reported Wednesday.
Diamond sales were in line with the company’s expectations, as prices for better-quality, larger goods remained strong throughout the year, the miner noted. Mountain Province achieved commercial production at Gahcho Kué in March 2017, so sales for that year were only from 10 months of full-scale operations.
"We had a strong start to 2018 with price increases in most rough-diamond categories,” said Reid Mackie, vice president of diamond marketing. “Low-quality and smaller-sized rough diamonds did experience price pressure during [the second half of] 2018, but our sales process attracted sufficient demand to achieve the selling of all our production for the year. We expect to see more interest in the first-quarter rough sales, where the market is traditionally stronger."
Mountain Province sold 822,548 carats in the fourth quarter at an average price of $65 per carat, yielding $53.6 million in revenue for the three months ending December 31.
The miner expects production to range from 6.6 million to 6.9 million carats in 2019. In 2018, it recovered 6.9 million carats.
Mountain Province owns 49% of Gahcho Kué and receives a proportional share of run-of-mine production for sale. De Beers holds the remaining 51%.
Image: Gahcho Kué mine. (Mountain Province)