Mountain Province Diamonds Inc. on Jan. 26 said it sold 49,420 carats of diamonds at about US$127 per carat for US$6.3 million in proceeds, in its first diamond sale.
About 75% of the parcels offered were sold, while the balance, which represents smaller, predominantly brown and lower quality diamonds, was withdrawn due either to no bids being received or unacceptably low bids.
In addition, the company said ramp-up production at its 49%-owned Gahcho Kué diamond mine in Canada's Northwest Territories began ahead of schedule Aug. 1, 2016. De Beers SA holds a 51% stake in the mine, which officially opened in September.
The company processed 515,000 tonnes of kimberlite recovering 862,000 carats at an average grade of 1.67 carats per tonne at Gahcho Kué from the ramp-up to Dec. 31, 2016.
During the fourth quarter of 2016, the plant processed about 412,000 tonnes of ore recovering 697,000 carats, on a 100% basis. Mountain Province's attributable share totaled 341,000 carats.
The company ended the year with about 70,000 tonnes of ore stockpiled.
The next diamond sale is scheduled to commence Feb. 20 and will occur once every five weeks thereafter.