Industry News by Nemesis

Lower Grades Hit Mountain Province Production

October 27, 2019


Production at the Gahcho Kué mine failed to meet Mountain Province’s expectations in the third quarter, as bad weather led to the mining of lower-grade ore.

Ore from the asset yielded 1.7 carats of rough diamonds per tonne in the three months ending September 30 — 28% lower than the same period a year ago. Total output fell to 1.5 million carats versus 1.8 million in 2018, even as the amount of material treated increased 17% to 890,325 tonnes.

“The severe weather conditions encountered during the earlier part of the year caused delays in the mine-plan schedule, and access to the planned higher-grade blocks of the orebody was limited,” Mountain Province, which owns 49% of the asset, said last week. De Beers holds the remaining 51%.

Additionally, output suffered as a result of ongoing plant modifications to increase the amount of ore processed daily, the company explained.

“Higher plant throughput capability as a result of the ongoing plant modifications, and subsequent need for more ore sources, required the processing of all available ore sources, which mostly consisted of lower-grade-ore tonnes, all of which are reflected in the lower grades and carats recovered.”

Revenue for the July-to-September period fell 27% to $41.6 million from the sale of 791,252 carats, while the average price dropped 28% to $53 per carat.

Mountain Province expects total full-year production at Gahcho Kué to meet its original forecast of 6.6 million to 6.9 million carats, as it moves to the higher-grade portion of the mine in the fourth quarter, it added.

Image: Gahcho Kué mine. (Mountain Province)


Source: Rapaport

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