Diamond mining company Mountain Province Diamonds has reported a near-return to pre-pandemic sales for the company.
Its production levels are still down on both the first and fourth quarters of 2020, but expectations are that these will return to normal now that sales are strong again.
During Q1 2021, 602,773 carats were sold for total proceeds of CAD$54.2 million (£31.3 million), which equates to an average of CAD$90 (£52) per carat.
This is a 6% increase relative to the average value per carat in Q4 2020 of $85 (£49) per carat, and a near-return to pre-pandemic levels seen in Q1 2020.
Meanwhile, 625,582 ore tonnes were treated last quarter, a 31% decrease relative to Q1 2020, and a 15% decrease relative to Q4 2020.
The company cited an unplanned 22-day operational stand-down in February due to measures taken to limit the spread of Covid-19 at the Gahcho Kué mine.
Mountain Province Diamonds president and CEO, Stuart Brown, said: “The impact of the Covid-19 outbreak at the mine during the quarter was very unfortunate, particularly with all the additional safety protocols and avoidance procedures that were in place.
“This highlights the ease with which the virus can spread. Pleasingly, the plant has continued to perform well and we are starting to catch up on the carat production deficit.
“This together with the continued price increases seen as well as the relative stability in the markets, is encouraging.
“With global vaccination rates increasing, we’re beginning to see a path to a return to normalcy, and with it the potential for continued diamond market recovery.”