RAPAPORT… Gahcho Kué, billed as the largest and richest of the new diamond mines, is now “weeks rather than months” from launching more than 20 years after it was first discovered in Canada’s Northwest Territories. Patrick Evans (pictured below), president and chief executive officer of Mountain Province, took time out to speak with Rapaport News about the prospects for the mine, which Mountain Province co-owns with De Beers, and what the diamond market can expect from this new source of rough.
Rapaport News: When will you hold your first sale given that production is slated for the third quarter?
Patrick Evans: Sales will depend on how quickly production builds up. It will take the processing plant around six months to reach commercial production, which is about 70 percent of capacity. We expect to take about eight months to reach full capacity.
If we’re able to start up in the next month or two we anticipate production will be around 1 million carats by year end, of which about 500,000 carats will go to Mountain Province. In that scenario we expect to have at least one sale this year, probably in November. If production goes better than expected, we may have a sale in September and again in November. We’d like to have 80,000 to 100,000 carats before we hold our first tender.
Rapaport News: How do you plan to sell your share of production?
Evans: We’ll be selling via open tender in Antwerp. Bonas will be handling our sales and we anticipate 10 sales per year.
Rapaport News: How does one become a buyer?
Evans: Bonas will be inviting people to participate in the tenders. There will be stipulations and we’re relying on Bonas to guide us with best practices. But it’s unlikely that qualified buyers will need to meet a minimum volume or value threshold with their purchases.
For the rest of this interview, click here: http://www.diamonds.net/news/NewsItem.aspx?ArticleID=57416