Mountain Province Diamonds Inc. [MPVD-TSX, NYSE] on Monday released additional microdiamond and delineation results for a recently discovered kimberlite at its Gahcho Kue diamond mine in the Northwest Territories.
Gahcho Kue is a joint venture between De Beers Canada Inc. (51%) and Mountain Province (49). It is a fly-in-fly out operation located 280 kilometres northeast of Yellowknife.
Gahcho Kue is also 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.
Back in June, 2019, Mountain Province announced the discovery of the “Wilson” kimberlite on the Gahcho Kue property. The Wilson kimberlite is located roughly 200 metres east of the Tuzo kimberlite and was discovered during drill testing of geophysical and geological anomalies in the area. The company said it lies well within the open pit mine plan for the Tuzo kimberlite.
The new discovery was named after Alice Evelyn Wilson (1881-1964), who is officially recognized as Canada’s first female geologist.
Based on the first 18 drill holes, the company estimated a potential range of 1.5-3.0 million tonnes of kimberlite material.
Kimberlites are carrot-shaped geological structures that sometimes, but not always, contain diamonds in economic quantities.
No grade estimates were provided when the discovery was announced. But an initial microdiamond analysis on a small 115-kilogram sample yielded 480 diamonds, including an 0.28 carat colourless octahedral aggregate, the company said.
On Monday, the company said a total of 1.7 tonnes of kimberlite recovered from two drill holes at Wilson was treated for microdiamond recovery at the Saskatchewan Research Council, with a total of 5,564 diamonds recovered in the +0.075-millimetre size classes, including 86 +0.85 millimetre diamonds weighing a total of 2.23 carats.
Delineation drilling for Wilson has been completed with ten new drill holes intersecting a total of 409 metres of kimberlite over the 2,897-metre drilling program.
“These results, that follow on the discovery of Wilson earlier this year, are evidence that the life of Gahcho Kue Mine is still an open-ended opportunity,” said Mountain Province President and CEO Stuart Brown. “Wilson has the potential to make a valuable contribution to the mine, and it represents only the early results of our combined exploration efforts with De Beers to continue to add value through further discovery in the area,” he said.
The Wilson discovery resulted from renewed exploration in the immediate area surrounding the Gahcho Kue kimberlites. Drilling completed since the discovery was announced includes an additional 10 holes, which have further delineated the Wilson body, as well as kimberlite sheets that occur adjacent to and west of Wilson.
On Monday, Mountain Province shares were unchanged at $1.13. The shares are currently trading in a 52-week range of 91 cents and $2.