Mountain Province set for big board changes

The Gahcho Kué diamond mine is located on federal land in Canada's Northwest Territories. Source: Mountain Province Diamonds.

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Mountain Province Diamonds Inc. [MPVD-TSX, NYSE] on Monday May 6 announced big changes to its board of directors, including the appointment of Brett Desmond, son of Dermot Desmond, who is best known in global soccer circles as a major shareholder of the Glasgow Celtic.

Brett Desmond is one of three new board nominees who will be up for election at the company’s 2019 annual meeting. The other two are Tom Peregoodoff and William Lamb. They will replace Peeyush Varshney, Carl Verley and Bruce Dresner, who will not be standing for re-election.

Peregoodoff was CEO of Peregrine Diamonds, which owned the Chidliak diamond project in Nunavut until it was acquired by De Beers in September, 2018. William Lamb was most recently the CEO of Lucara Diamond Corp. [LUC-TSX, LUCRF-OTC] until he retired in February, 2018. Brett Desmond’s father Dermott Desmond has requested a second board nominee in recognition of this recently increased shareholding in Mountain Province, which now stands at nearly 30%.

Brett is an investment professional with 20 years of experience in banking, corporate financing and asset management. However, he does not appear to have any professional experience in mining diamonds.

“We are very pleased to welcome Tom, William, and Brett to the board and look forward to their contributions as we execute our strategy to deliver long-term value to shareholders,” said Mountain Province Chairman Jonathan Comerford.

Mountain Province advanced on the news, rising 1.43% or $0.02 to $1.42. The shares trade in a 52-week range of $1.09 and $3.72.

Mountain Province and De Beers Canada are joint venture partners in the Gahcho Kue diamond mine in Canada’s Northwest Territories. It is a fly-in-fly out operation, located 280 km northeast of Yellowknife, NWT.

Gahcho Kue is the world’s largest new diamond mine and is expected to produce an average of 4.5 million carats per year (100%) over an initial 12-year lifespan.  Production during the first five years (2017 to 2021) is expected to average 5.4 million carats annually.

Mountain Province recently completed the acquisition of Kennady Diamonds Inc. by way of a court-approved plan of arrangement.

Kennady Diamonds controls 100% of the Kennady North diamond project located in the Northwest Territories. Kennedy North is adjacent to the Gahcho Kue Mine. Prior to the acquisition, Kennady had focused on expanding its high-grade diamond resource along the Kelvin-Faraday kimberlite corridor as well as identifying new kimberlites outside the corridor.

To date, an indicated resource of 13.62 million carats of diamonds contained  in 8.50 million tonnes of kimberlite, with a grade of 1.60 carats/tonne and an average value of US$63/carat, has been defined  for the Kelvin kimberlite and an inferred resource of 5.02 million carats contained in 3.27 million tonnes of kimberlite with a grade of 1.54 carats per tonne and an average grade of US$98/carat, has been defined for the Faraday kimberlites, using a one-millimetre diamond bottom cut-off size.


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