Brighter outlook for Canadian diamonds
Mountain Province Diamonds, the Canadian mining firm in which financier Dermot Desmond has a 23.6pc stake, says that its Gahcho Kue mine holds substantially more of the rare gems than had been previously estimated.
A new independent survey reckons there are 12pc more indicated diamond resources and as many as 80pc more inferred resources at the Canadian site. That brings the indicated resources to 56.6m carats and inferred resources to 18.5m carats.
Mountain Province and global diamond giant De Beers are co-developing the mine. The companies hope it will be operational by 2015.
The company has just announced the results of its so-called Tuzo Deep drilling project at the site.
Mountain Province president and chief executive Patrick Evans said the company was in active discussions with De Beers to evaluate a follow-up drill programme to further test at the Tuzo site.
Mountain Province owns a 49pc stake along with De Beers Canada in the Gahcho Kue project, which is located in Canada's Northwest Territories. It's the world's largest and richest new diamond mine development.
The mine is expected to have a life of 11 years and to produce about 4.5m carats every year.
Mr Desmond, a shareholder in Independent News & Media, has been a long-time investor in Mountain Province via his Bottin vehicle.
Another Dubliner, businessman and property developer Desmond Sharkey, owns almost 7pc of Mountain Province.
Mountain Province has indicated it will be required to raise additional capital through equity or debt.