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Mountain Province Diamonds announced full year 2018 results

22 march 2019

mountainprovince_logo.pngMountain Province Diamonds Inc. announced its financial and operating results for the full year ended December 31, 2018. 
Total sales revenue rose to C$311 million (US$240 million) compared to C$170 million in 2017 (US$134 million) at an average realised value of C$96 per carat (US$74) 2017: C$85 per carat, (US$68).
Full year Adjusted EBITDA of C$139.2 million up 33% (2017: C$103.4 million). Dividend paid of $0.04 per common share totaling C$8.4 million (2017: nil). 
Net loss for full year 2018 at December 31, 2018 was C$18.9 million or C$0.10 loss per share (2017: net income C$17.2 million or C$0.11 earnings per share). Included in the determination of net loss for the full year at December 31, 2018 are unrealized foreign exchange losses of C$32 million, on the translation of the Company's USD-denominated long-term debt. The unrealized foreign exchange losses are a result of the weakening of the Canadian dollar versus US dollar. It should be noted that the weakening Canadian dollar compared to US dollar is beneficial to the Company as sales are made in US dollars and operating costs are incurred in Canadian dollars.
Gahcho Kué Mine exceeded upper end of FY2018 guidance of tonnes treated, 3,194,000 tonnes (2017: 2,775,000 tonnes) and recovered a record 6,937,000 carats (2017: 5,934,000 carats).
Average recovered grade up 4% above the original budget at approximately 2.17 carats per tonne ("cpt") (2017: 2.14 cpt).
3,253,000 carats sold in 2018 (2,656,000 in 2017), included in the 2018 sales were over 500 (2017: 250) gem quality stones exceeding 10.8 carats, including the recovery of an exceptional 95 carat white stone and a 60 carat fancy vivid yellow stone, further validating the mine as a producer of exceptional quality high value diamonds.
Mountain Province President and CEO Stuart Brown commented:
"Financial Year 2018 was Mountain Province's first full year of commercial production at the new Gahcho Kué Mine and we are pleased with its operational performance … Financial Year 2019 is expected to be another strong year of production. We are confident that we will meet or exceed, our production targets as we have done in the last two years. Along with our Joint Venture Partner, De Beers Canada, we are working on various short and medium-term initiatives which will have a positive impact on the future of the Gahcho Kué Mine.»
The Company also delivered very good results from its sales process, selling all of its production made available during 2018 which translated into good operating margins.
Brown also noted that the rough diamond market experienced a relatively difficult finish to the year with price pressure in the smaller and lower quality diamond categories, although there was a stabilisation of prices towards the end of the year and so far the company have seen a small improvement in the lower quality categories at the start of 2019.
The Company's longer-term view of the fundamentals of the diamond business remain positive and combined with the quality of the Gahcho Kué Mine with its long life and high margins. «We believe we are well positioned for the future to benefit even more with improved diamond prices. 2019 is a year of innovation and assessing how to improve the returns to shareholders and I am positive that the work we are doing together with De Beers will deliver on this throughout the year ahead," Brown said.

Alex Shishlo, Editor of the Rough&Polished European Bureau in Brussels