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Small-Stone Shortage Buoys Mountain Province

Dec 7, 2021 7:34 AM   By Rapaport News
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Mountain Province saw solid fourth-quarter sales as demand for lower-value rough grew amid supply gaps.

The miner brought in $67.5 million from the sale of 808,739 carats during the period, it said Monday. The average price of $83 per carat was the third-highest for any quarter in the company’s history and the highest since the first quarter of 2018.

A year ago, the 49% owner of the Gahcho Kué mine in Canada reported sales of $61.7 million and an average price of $65 per carat for the equivalent period of 2020.

Appetite for Mountain Province’s brown, lower-quality and smaller goods has risen amid global production drops, partly resulting from the closure of Argyle, the miner explained. Rio Tinto’s mine in Australia, while famous for its exceptional pinks, was also one of the most important sources of high-volume, low-value diamonds.

“The price acceleration that we’ve seen leading into the final quarter of the year has continued, most notably in the smaller size fractions of our diamonds,” said Mark Wall, who took over last month as Mountain Province’s CEO.

At the recent December sale, the last of the year, the company sold 388,573 carats for $33.3 million, clocking up an average value of $86 per carat. The strong showing “further reinforces our confidence in a robust diamond market heading into 2022,” Wall added.

Full-year sales came to $236.9 million, compared with the $171.3 million the miner reported a year earlier.

Mountain Province operates a joint venture at Gahcho Kué with De Beers, which owns the remaining 51% of the deposit.

Image: Large and fancy-color diamonds from Gahcho Kué. (CNW Group/Mountain Province Diamonds)
Tags: Argyle, Australia, Canada, De Beers, Gahcho Kué, Mark Wall, mountain province, Rapaport News, Rio Tinto
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