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Mountain Province Diamonds announced 4Q and full year 2019 production and sale results

28 january 2020

mountainprovince_logo.pngMountain Province Diamonds Inc. announced production and sales results for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2019 ("the Quarter" or "Q4 2019") from the Gahcho Kué Diamond Mine. 
In Q4 2019, 771,799 carats were sold at an average value of $84 per carat (US$64 per carat) for total proceeds of $65.0 million (US$49.2 million) in comparison to 822,548 carats sold at an average value of $86 per carat (US$65 per carat) for total proceeds of $70.5 million (US$53.6 million) in Q4 2018.  
During FY 2019, 3,284,520 carats were sold at an average value of $84 per carat (US$63 per carat) for total proceeds of $276.3 million (US$208.2 million) in comparison to 3,252,491 carats sold at an average value of $96 per carat (US$74 per carat) for total proceeds of $311 million (US$240 million) in FY 2018.  
Sentiment in the rough diamond market became slightly more optimistic towards the end of 2019 and has remained relatively positive as the market prepares for the first selling cycle of 2020. 
The Company's medium to long term outlook for rough diamonds, remains positive. The major producers reported lower levels of sales through 2019 which, together with the stronger retail selling season, will help normalise inventory levels in the cutting centers. In addition, anticipated mine closures over the next 12 – 18 months will help to establish a more balanced supply and demand equilibrium in the diamond market. Importantly, consumer confidence and spending remain strong, particularly in the US and Greater China which together account for approximately 65% by value of global retail sales of diamond jewelry.
Q4 and FY 2019 production results were better than the Company's expectations, with recovered carats for FY 2019 coming in higher than the revised guidance of 6.7 – 6.8 million carats, attributable to the strong operational performance in Q4 2019. 
The plant treated 936,903 tonnes and recovered 1.98 million carats in Q4 2019, 25% and 28% higher than was achieved in Q4 2018 respectively.  
During FY 2019, the plant treated a record 3.58 million tonnes of ore, 12% higher than was achieved in FY 2018, demonstrating that the plant modifications of the past 12 months have been successful and the plant throughput capacity has significantly increased.
The Company also expects that Q4 2019 and FY 2019 costs will be in line with revised guidance previously provided.
Stuart Brown, the Company's President and Chief Executive Officer, commented: "Mountain Province enjoyed an exceptional year of production in FY 2019, achieving all its operational metrics. The highlight being exceeding plant throughput by 12%, compared to FY 2018… The diamond market however was somewhat difficult in 2019 with prices declining further in some categories. Nonetheless positive signs started to surface late in 2019 and strengthening early in 2020. Retailers across all sectors of the luxury market have been reporting stronger than expected holiday season sales with very strong growth in online sales also boosting diamond retail sales". 

Alex Shishlo, Editor of the Rough&Polished European Bureau