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by Will Purcell
The diamond and specialty minerals stocks box score for Monday was a positive 102-88-120 as the TSX Venture Exchange fell one point to 621. Dermot Desmond and Mark Wall's Mountain Province Diamonds Inc. (MPVD) fell two cents to 58 cents on 117,000 shares.
Mountain Province had a decent 2022 despite a rough start, as soaring rough diamond prices made up for the company's lowest diamond production since its 49-per-cent-owned Gahcho Kue mine, 250 kilometres northeast of Yellowknife, opened in the fall of 2016. The company is bubbling with optimism for this year, as its woes appear in the past, but sinking rough diamond prices may again be a problem.
Gahcho Kue produced 5.52 million carats in 2022, down from the 6.23 million it yielded the year before, and just below its revised guidance of 5.6 million to 5.8 million carats. That was discouraging, as the predicted range had been lowered from the 6.3-million-to-6.7-million-carat range that Mountain Province revealed at the start of 2022. The decrease was the result of a Pitman bearing failure in the primary crusher, and a temporary halt to production when COVID-19 cases spiked early in the year.
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