Mountain Province Diamonds Inc. announced positive sales results to round out a very tough year and the good news was marked by the discovery of the largest gem quality diamond yet at Gahcho Kue Mine.
The 157.4 carat recovered gem diamond is “of exceptional quality,” Mountain Province stated in a Dec. 16 news release.
The enormous gem is expected to be offered for sale during the first quarter of 2021, the release states.
By comparison, the largest gem-quality diamond found at the Diavik mine was a 187.7-carat stone, known as Foxfire, in 2016. The Ekati mine produced a 186-carat gem-quality diamond, also in 2016. The largest stone overall in North America came from Diavik in 2018: a 552-carat yellow diamond, close to the size of a chicken egg.
Wednesday’s announcement from Mountain Province included positive news of 956,348 carats sold during the quarter for total proceeds of $80.2 million, resulting in an average value of $83.82 per carat.
Mountain Province, 49 per cent owner of the Gahcho Kue mine in a joint venture with De Beers Canada, stated that continued price recovery took place over the quarter “with most sales categories finishing above pre-Covid-19 values.
Rough diamond sales for 2020 are now completed, the release states.
“The diamond industry has faced immense challenges during 2020 so to end the year with such a strong sales performance is very encouraging,” Stuart Brown, Mountain Province’s president and CEO said. “Rough diamond prices, in the larger and better-qualities, have been exceptional, and pleasingly we saw further improvement in the smaller and lower quality diamonds, which we believe will continue to strengthen in 2021. We look forward to building on this positive momentum in the new year and put what has been a difficult 2020 behind us as the world starts the road to recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Brown added that the finding of the largest diamond in the mine’s history was a “boost to the morale” for the company.
“It shows that the mine, although a high-volume producer of predominantly smaller diamonds, does produce diamonds of exceptional size and quality,” he said.