Gahcho Kué Mine adjusts to COVID-19
NWT operation produces 1.79M carats of diamonds during Q3 North of 60 Mining News – October 16, 2020
Last updated 10/15/2020 at 3:37pm
Mountain Province Diamonds Inc. Oct. 15 reported increased production at Gahcho Kué during the third quarter as crews at the Northwest Territories diamond mine adjust to COVID-19 protocols.
A total of 9.88 million metric tons of ore and waste material was mined at Gahcho Kué during the third quarter. This is down about 16% from mine production during the same period of 2019.
The lower quarterly mine production compared to same period last year is reduced personnel, travel restrictions, revised health and safety protocols on site, and new operating procedures to reduce the risk of COVID-19.
While production is down compared to pre-pandemic levels the mining rate during the third quarter was significantly higher than the 6.84 million metric tons mined during the second quarter of this year.
"We are pleased with the latest quarterly production figures considering the impacts of COVID-19 on operations over the past few months. We have dramatically improved our mining operations from the previous quarter (Q2 2020) by achieving 30% more in total tonnes mined and we expect this trend to continue into the next quarter," said Mountain Province Diamonds President and CEO Stuart Brown. "Total carats and grades were also higher in Q3, primarily as a result of mining from the 5034 pit where grades are higher than other parts of the ore body."
A total of 821,049 metric tons of ore averaging 2.19 carats of diamonds per metric ton was processed during the third quarter, compared to 890,325 metric tons at 1.72 c/t diamonds during the third quarter of 2019.
As a result, Gahcho Kué produced 1.79 million carats of diamonds during the third quarter of 2020, a 17% increase over the 1.53 million carats during the same period of 2019.
In September, Mountain Province announced it received US$89 million from its first traditional commercial diamond sale since before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Overall, things are starting to trend in the right direction for the Company considering the ongoing challenges of COVID-19," said Brown.
Mountain Province owns a 49% joint venture interest in the Gahcho Kué Mine – De Beers Canada Inc. owns the remaining 51%.