Mountain Province Diamonds (TSX: MPVD, OTC: MPVD) has reported a 15% year-on-year decrease in first quarter production at its 49%-owned Gahcho Kué diamond mine, located in the Northwest Territories.
While tonnage was up – the entire operation mined 1 million tonnes of ore in the most recent quarter, a 98% increase compared to last year’s 515,000 tonnes – grades were down 25% year-on-year at 1.68 carats per tonne. The mine produced 1.18 million carats of diamond this year compared to 1.4 million carats in the first quarter of 2021.
Last year’s first quarter production figures were marred by a 22-day shutdown in February following an outbreak of Covid-19 at the site.
This year the mine, which is operated by 51% owner De Beers, encountered “additional unmodeled resource” carrying a lower grade than the planned mining areas, the company said.
“The discovery of incremental, previously unmodeled kimberlite ore is a positive for the operation and reflects the significant opportunities for additional diamonds to be discovered,” the company’s CEO Mark Wall said in a press release.