Mountain Province Diamonds reports 3,158,418 carats were sold at an average value of $94 per carat (US$75 per carat) for total proceeds of $298.4 million (US$236.9 million) in FY2021.
This compared with 3,329,289 carats sold at an average value of $68 per carat (US$51 per carat) for total proceeds of $227 million (US$171.3 million) in FY 2020.
Mark Wall, President and CEO, said 2021 was an excellent year for the Gahcho Kué diamond mine operations and managing through the COVID-19 pandemic to finish 1% below production guidance was testament to the management of the operations.
"At the same time to finish with a preliminary cost per tonne about 2% below the bottom end of the cost range is an excellent result. We end the year with production very close to guidance, lower costs and increased revenue based on a rising demand and strengthening diamond prices, which is a great platform to commence 2022."
Q4 and FY 2021 Summary
- 1,511,253 carats recovered during Q4 at an average grade of 1.86 carats per tonne. Full year 2021 production of 6.23 million carats against guidance of 6.30 - 6.50 million carats
- Preliminary unaudited mine level costs on a full year 2021 basis were $61 per carat against guidance of $58-$63 per carat and $123 per tonne treated against guidance of $125-$135 per tonne treated.
- Ore mined on a full year 2021 basis was 3.6 million tonnes against guidance of 3.3 – 3.5 million tonnes. Ore processed on a full year 2021 basis was 3.1 million tonnes against guidance of 3.15 – 3.3 million tonnes.
- The additional ore tonnes mined were predominantly due to modelled waste tonnes representing as ore tonnes, which is positive for both 2021 and the life of the mine.
- The mine continues to manage the COVID-19 impacts to operations through a 100% vaccinated workforce and thorough testing protocols.
Sentiment in the rough diamond market continues to be buoyant, the company reports, with strong diamond jewellery sales during the holidays and lower rough diamond supply volumes from the major producers expected to maintain positive momentum this month.
Medium to longer-term, the company's outlook for rough diamonds remains positive. Retail diamond jewellery sales in the important US market confirm a growing preference for smaller, lower priced diamonds which align well with the diamond profile of the Gahcho Kué Mine, it notes.
The closure of the Argyle diamond mine combined with reduced global rough diamond production is expected to further support prices as demand to replenish inventories of these diamond categories continues.
Q4 and FY 2021 Production Highlights (All figures reported on a 100% basis unless otherwise stated)
- 10,812,723 total tonnes mined during the quarter, a 10% increase on comparable period (Q4 2020: 9,796,823). 35,447,014 total tonnes mined during FY 2021, a 1% decrease from comparable period (FY 2020: 35,870,474).
- 1,019,671 ore tonnes mined during the quarter, a 21% increase on comparable period (Q4 2020: 840,261). 3,561,417 ore tonnes mined during FY 2021, an 8% increase from comparable period (FY 2020: 3,286,843).
- 813,308 ore tonnes treated during the quarter, a 10% increase on comparable period (Q4 2020: 736,138). 3,082,572 ore tonnes treated during FY 2021, a 5% decrease from comparable period (FY 2020: 3,245,941).
- 1,511,253 carats recovered during the quarter at an average grade of 1.86 carats per tonne, 1% lower than comparable quarter (Q4 2020: 1,521,617 carats at 2.07). 6,229,042 carats recovered during FY 2021 at an average grade of 2.02 carats per tonne, 4% lower than comparable period (FY 2020: 6,518,261 carats at 2.01).