Named Wilson, the kimberlite is the first to be discovered in the Gahcho Kué Joint Venture (GKJV) leases in 20 years and it lies within the openpit mine plan for the Tuzo kimberlite.
"The discovery of Wilson demonstrates the high exploration potential of the GKJV area, and after a 20-year discovery hiatus, it confirms that we are on track for discovering new kimberlites in this region. This discovery also heightens our focus on the potential for more discoveries in the corridor between the GKJV and the Kelvin-Faraday kimberlites," CEO Stuart Brown said.
The Wilson kimberlite lies within 200m of the Tuzo kimberlite, starting within 18m from surface and extending to at least 207m depth. Three-dimensional modeling of the drill results suggests Wilson is elongated north-south and has roughly vertical contacts with country rock along its length.
The company said a greater volume of kimberlite was present to the north, and the kimberlite also remained open to the north. The 3D projection, based upon 18 drill holes, shows a flattened profile around a vertical access.
"This means Wilson could at a minimum displace waste from the mine plan, or the openpit could be adjusted to accommodate mining more of the Wilson kimberlite," BMO Capital Markets analyst Edward Sterck said in a note to investors.
Microdiamond analysis had showed the kimberlite is diamondiferous, but a bulk sample for macro diamond recoveries might be needed to prove economic viability, Sterck said.
"This could be undertaken using large diameter drill rigs or it may make more sense to undertake a bulk sample when pre-stripping the Tuzo openpit. Assuming Wilson is economic, at a minimum it could reduce the stripping ratio for Tuzo, or the openpit could be adjusted to accommodate mining more of the Wilson kimberlite. This would add incremental production to the mine plan."
The Tuzo pipe is expected to come online during the second half of 2020. The GKJV involves Mountain Province (49%) and De Beers (51%).
The Wilson kimberlite is named after Alice Evelyn Wilson (1881-1964), who is officially recognised as Canada's first female geologist.
The news did little to move the company's (TSX:MPVD) Toronto-listed stock on Tuesday, which closed flat at C$1.47, capitalising the company at $308.86 million. The equity is trading 23% lower since early January and has seen its value slip 54% in the past 12 months.