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02.02.2023
Mountain Province Diamonds Announces Fourth Quarter 2022 Production and Sales Results, and Guidance for 2023

TSX and OTC: MPVD

TORONTO and NEW YORK, Jan. 19, 2023 /CNW/ - Mountain Province Diamonds Inc. ("Mountain Province", the "Company") (TSX: MPVD) (OTC: MPVD) today announces production and sales results for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2022 ("the Quarter" or "Q4 2022") from the Gahcho Kué Diamond Mine ("GK Mine"). All figures are expressed in Canadian dollars unless otherwise noted.

Q4 and FY 2022 Highlights

  • 1,621,800 carats recovered during Q4 at an average grade of 1.96 carats per tonne. Full year 2022 production of 5.52 million carats against guidance of 5.60 - 5.80 million carats.

  • In 2022, approximately 2.7 million carats were sold at an average value of $146 per carat (US$112 per carat) for total proceeds of $388.8 million (US$297.3 million). This compared to 3.2 million carats sold at an average value of $94 per carat (US$75 per carat) for total proceeds of $298.4 million (US$236.9 million) in FY 2021.

  • Ore mined on a full year 2022 basis was 4.1 million tonnes against guidance of 3.75 – 4.30 million tonnes. Ore processed on a full year 2022 basis was 3.1 million tonnes against guidance of 3.0 – 3.2 million tonnes.

Mark Wall, the Company's President and Chief Executive Officer, commented:

"After a very challenging start to the year, primarily due to a spike in Covid cases at the GK Mine, a detailed recovery plan was developed and executed resulting in quarter over quarter improvement through 2022.  We closed out 2022 with the refinance of our bonds, including reducing our total debt by approximately US$60 million compared to this time last year.  We now enter the 2023 cold weather and ice road resupply season with good momentum and a backdrop of a resilient rough diamond market."

Q4 and FY 2022 Production Highlights (All figures reported on a 100% basis unless otherwise stated)

  • 10,144,844 total tonnes mined during the quarter, a 6% decrease on comparable period (Q4 2021: 10,812,723). 33,947,188 total tonnes mined during FY 2022, a 4% decrease from comparable period (FY 2021: 35,447,014).

  • 705,924 ore tonnes mined during the quarter, a 31% decrease on comparable period (Q4 2021: 1,019,671). 4,113,648 ore tonnes mined during FY 2022, a 16% increase from comparable period (FY 2021: 3,561,417).

  • 828,644 ore tonnes treated during the quarter, a 2% increase on comparable period (Q4 2021: 813,308). 3,102,219 ore tonnes treated during FY 2022, a 1% increase from comparable period (FY 2021: 3,082,572).

  • 1,621,800 carats recovered during the quarter at an average grade of 1.96 carats per tonne, 7% higher than comparable quarter (Q4 2021: 1,511,253 carats at 1.86). 5,519,309 carats recovered during FY 2022 at an average grade of 1.78 carats per tonne, 12% lower than comparable period (FY 2021: 6,229,042 carats at 2.02).

Q4 and FY 2022 Production Statistics






2022 Q4

2021 Q4

YoY Variance

Total tonnes mined (ore and waste)

10,144,844

10,812,723

-6 %

Ore tonnes mined

705,924

1,019,671

-31 %

Ore tonnes treated

828,644

813,308

2 %

Carats recovered

1,621,800

1,511,253

7 %

Carats recovered (49% share)

794,682

740,514

7 %

Recovered grade (carats per tonne)

1.96

1.86

5 %

 


FY 2022

FY 2021

YoY Variance

Total tonnes mined (ore and waste)

33,947,188

35,447,014

-4 %

Ore tonnes mined

4,113,648

3,561,417

16 %

Ore tonnes treated

3,102,219

3,082,572

1 %

Carats recovered

5,519,309

6,229,042

-12 %

Carats recovered (49% share)

2,704,461

3,052,231

-11 %

Recovered grade (carats per tonne)

1.78

2.02

-12 %


Q4 and FY22 Sales Performanc
e

Q4 2022 diamond sales totaled 757,830 carats sold at an average value of $127 per carat (US$94 per carat) for total proceeds of $96.3 million (US$71.3 million) in comparison to 808,739 carats sold at an average value of $105 per carat (US$83 per carat) for total proceeds of $85.2 million (US$67.5 million) in Q4 2021

During FY 2022, 2,656,387 carats were sold at an average value of $146 per carat (US$112 per carat) for total proceeds of $388.8 million (US$297.3 million) in comparison to 3,158,418 carats sold at an average value of $94 per carat (US$75 per carat) for total proceeds of $298.4 million (US$236.9 million) in FY 2021.

Sentiment in the rough diamond market remains resilient despite some recent turbulence. Strong diamond jewellery sales during the holidays and lower rough diamond supply volumes from the major producers are expected to maintain these stable prices through to the Company's upcoming January sale.

Medium to longer-term, the Company's outlook for rough diamonds remains positive. Retail diamond jewellery sales in the important US market confirm a growing preference for smaller, lower priced diamonds which align well with the diamond profile of the GK Mine.

2023 Guidance (all figures quoted on a 100% basis unless otherwise specified)

The Company wishes to provide operating and cost guidance for 2023, as follows:

  • 37 – 42 million total tonnes mined (ore and waste)
  • 4.1 – 4.5 million ore tonnes mined
  • 3.2 – 3.5 million ore tonnes treated
  • 5.6 – 6.1 million carats recovered
  • Production costs of $127 - $137 per tonne treated
  • Production costs of $70$80 per carat recovered
  • Sustaining Capital Expenditure of $7 million (49% share)

About Mountain Province Diamonds Inc.

Mountain Province Diamonds is a 49% participant with De Beers Canada in the Gahcho Kué diamond mine located in Canada's Northwest Territories. The Gahcho Kué Joint Venture property consists of several kimberlites that are actively being mined, developed, and explored for future development. The Company also controls 107,373 hectares of highly prospective mineral claims and leases surrounding the Gahcho Kué Mine that include an Indicated mineral resource for the Kelvin kimberlite and Inferred mineral resources for the Faraday kimberlites. Kelvin is estimated to contain 13.62 million carats (Mct) in 8.50 million tonnes (Mt) at a grade of 1.60 carats/tonne and value of US$63/carat. Faraday 2 is estimated to contain 5.45Mct in 2.07Mt at a grade of 2.63 carats/tonne and value of US$140/ct. Faraday 1-3 is estimated to contain 1.90Mct in 1.87Mt at a grade of 1.04 carats/tonne and value of US$75/carat. All resource estimations are based on a 1mm diamond size bottom cut-off.

For further information on Mountain Province Diamonds and to receive news releases by email, visit the Company's website at www.mountainprovince.com.

Caution Regarding Forward Looking Information
This news release contains certain "forward-looking statements" and "forward-looking information" under applicable Canadian and United States securities laws concerning the business, operations and financial performance and condition of Mountain Province Diamonds Inc. Forward-looking statements and forward-looking information include, but are not limited to, statements with respect to operational hazards, including possible disruption due to pandemic such as COVID-19, its impact on travel, self-isolation protocols and business and operations, estimated production and mine life of the project of Mountain Province; the realization of mineral reserve estimates; the timing and amount of estimated future production; costs of production; the future price of diamonds; the estimation of mineral reserves and resources; the ability to manage debt; capital expenditures; the ability to obtain permits for operations; liquidity; tax rates; and currency exchange rate fluctuations.  Except for statements of historical fact relating to Mountain Province, certain information contained herein constitutes forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are frequently characterized by words such as "anticipates," "may," "can," "plans," "believes," "estimates," "expects," "projects," "targets," "intends," "likely," "will," "should," "to be", "potential" and other similar words, or statements that certain events or conditions "may", "should" or "will" occur.  Forward-looking statements are based on the opinions and estimates of management at the date the statements are made, and are based on a number of assumptions and subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements.  Many of these assumptions are based on factors and events that are not within the control of Mountain Province and there is no assurance they will prove to be correct.

Factors that could cause actual results to vary materially from results anticipated by such forward-looking statements include the development of operation hazards which could arise in relation to COVID-19, including, but not limited to protocols which may be adopted to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and any impact of such protocols on Mountain Province's business and operations, variations in ore grade or recovery rates, changes in market conditions, changes in project parameters, mine sequencing; production rates; cash flow; risks relating to the availability and timeliness of permitting and governmental approvals; supply of, and demand for, diamonds; fluctuating commodity prices and currency exchange rates, the possibility of project cost overruns or unanticipated costs and expenses, labour disputes and other risks of the mining industry, failure of plant, equipment or processes to operate as anticipated.

These factors are discussed in greater detail in Mountain Province's most recent Annual Information Form and in the most recent MD&A filed on SEDAR, which also provide additional general assumptions in connection with these statements. Mountain Province cautions that the foregoing list of important factors is not exhaustive. Investors and others who base themselves on forward-looking statements should carefully consider the above factors as well as the uncertainties they represent and the risk they entail. Mountain Province believes that the expectations reflected in those forward-looking statements are reasonable, but no assurance can be given that these expectations will prove to be correct and such forward-looking statements included in this news release should not be unduly relied upon. These statements speak only as of the date of this news release.

Although Mountain Province has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual actions, events or results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause actions, events or results not to be anticipated, estimated or intended.  There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Mountain Province undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements if circumstances or management's estimates or opinions should change except as required by applicable securities laws. The reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Statements concerning mineral reserve and resource estimates may also be deemed to constitute forward-looking statements to the extent they involve estimates of the mineralization that will be encountered as the property is developed. Mineral resources are not mineral reserves and do not have demonstrated economic viability.

Further, Mountain Province may make changes to its business plans that could affect its results. The principal assets of Mountain Province are administered pursuant to a joint venture under which Mountain Province is not the operator. Mountain Province is exposed to actions taken or omissions made by the operator within its prerogative and/or determinations made by the joint venture under its terms. Such actions or omissions may impact the future performance of Mountain Province. Under its current note and revolving credit facilities Mountain Province is subject to certain limitations on its ability to pay dividends on common stock. The declaration of dividends is at the discretion of Mountain Province's Board of Directors, subject to the limitations under the Company's debt facilities, and will depend on Mountain Province's financial results, cash requirements, future prospects, and other factors deemed relevant by the Board.

SOURCE Mountain Province Diamonds Inc.

For further information: Mark Wall, President and CEO, (416) 361-3562, info@mountainprovince.com; Matthew MacPhail, Chief Technical Officer, (416) 361-3562, info@mountainprovince.com

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