Mountain Province Diamonds, which is 49% joint-ventured up with the Canadian arm of the world’s leading diamond company, De Beers, on the planet’s largest new diamond mine, the 10.35k-acre Gahcho Kue project at Kennady Lake up in the Northwest Territories (just 66 miles east of De Beers’ Snap Lake diamond mine on federal lands), took some time out today to update markets on the healthy status of the project’s development.
With everything on-track for a production start by Q3 2016, Gahcho Kue stood at 17% completion with the close of last month and both parties have been noted by De Beers as being quite happy with overall progress to date. Confidence is running high in the JV with no changes to their projected development schedule. The full Land Use Permit and Class A Water Rights look well in hand for the target date of sometime in the second half of this year and we should see a feasibility update by the end of March. The feasibility update will have the latest reserve statement, as well as timely capital/operating cost estimates and the latest project economics, with additional details on project financing emerging as the study becomes available.
Equipment and supplies have been steadily streaming into the site over the 2014 ice road, with some 670 truckloads having already arrived and another 100 set for the end of the month. The JV now has roughly 120 people on-site prepping and this number will definitely rise as the year advances, with a 700-person target set for the peak construction interval. All work to date has been free of any lost-time injuries and the JV already has the prefab units on-site for their main camp. With the airstrip construction started and a usage target for both the airstrip and the main camp set for around the middle of the year, things are now really starting to pick up at Gahcho Kue.
They have eight large (17.7 cubic feet each) fuel tanks installed and construction of two even larger tanks has commenced (63.6k cubic feet each), with fuel stockpiling towards a twelve-month operational window already under way. Deep drilling efforts have been brisk, with the first three holes at the Tuzo Pipe targeting approximately 2,460-foot depths started last month and subsequently sticking at around the 1,300-foot mark. They are currently still going at the first hole via a wedge re-drill about 300 feet up and have now brought in a second rig to expedite the process, leaving markets to lick their lips over a forthcoming update on more details of their drilling progress.
There are four distinct diamondiferous kimberlites at Gahcho Kue (5034, Hearne, Tuzo and Telsa) and while the smaller Tesla target is not in the mine plan (only about an acre), it will likely be exploited towards the end of the mine’s life. The three primary targets at Gahcho Kue contain a probable mineral reserve of some 31.3M tonnes at 1.57 carats per tonne (49M CT total). All data contained in today’s update was prepared under supervision of NI 43-101 Qualified Person, MDM’s chief geo and a veteran geologist in his own right, Carl G. Verley, P.Geo. (University of British Columbia, 1974), a registered Professional Geoscientist with the British Columbia Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists.
For more information on Mountain Province Diamonds, visit www.MountainProvince.com
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