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Mountain Province Diamonds Announces Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2021 Production Results, Preliminary Unaudited Cost Results

A selection of rough and polished diamonds recently recovered from the Company’s Gahcho Kué mine Mountain Province Diamonds Inc. (" Mountain Province " or the " Company ") (TSX: MVPD) (OTCQX: MPVD) today announces production, sales and preliminary.

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A selection of rough and polished diamonds recently recovered from the Company's Gahcho Kué mine

Mountain Province Diamonds Inc. (" Mountain Province " or the " Company ") (TSX: MVPD) (OTCQX: MPVD) today announces production, sales and preliminary unaudited cost results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2021 ("the Quarter" or "Q4 2021", and "the Year" or "FY21) from the Gahcho Kué Diamond Mine ("GK Mine"). All figures are expressed in Canadian dollars unless otherwise noted.

Q4 and FY 2021 Summary

  • 1,511,253 carats recovered during Q4 at an average grade of 1.86 carats per tonne. Full year 2021 production of 6.23 million carats against guidance of 6.30 - 6.50 million carats
  • Preliminary unaudited mine level costs on a full year 2021 basis were $61 per carat against guidance of $58 - $63 per carat and $123 per tonne treated against guidance of $125 - $135 per tonne treated.
  • Ore mined on a full year 2021 basis was 3.6 million tonnes against guidance of 3.3 – 3.5 million tonnes. Ore processed on a full year 2021 basis was 3.1 million tonnes against guidance of 3.15 – 3.3 million tonnes.
  • The additional ore tonnes mined were predominantly due to modelled waste tonnes representing as ore tonnes, which is positive for both 2021 and the life of the mine.
  • The mine continues to manage the COVID-19 impacts to operations through a 100% vaccinated workforce and thorough testing protocols.

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

"2021 was an excellent year for the Gahcho Kué operations.  Managing through the COVID-19 pandemic to finish 1% below production guidance is testament to the management of the operations.  At the same time to finish with a preliminary cost per tonne about 2% below the bottom end of the cost range is an excellent result.  We end the year with production very close to guidance, lower costs and increased revenue based on a rising demand and strengthening diamond prices, which is a great platform to commence 2022."

Q4 and FY 2021 Diamond Sales

As previously reported, Q4 2021 diamond sales totaled 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 comparison to 957,120 carats sold at an average value of $84 per carat ( US$65 per carat) for total proceeds of $80.2 million ( US$61.7 million ) in Q4 2020.

During FY 2021, 3,158,418 carats were 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 comparison to 3,329,289 carats sold at an average value of $68 per carat ( US$51 per carat) for total proceeds of $227.0 million ( US$171.3 million ) in FY 2020.

Sentiment in the rough diamond market continues to be buoyant. Strong diamond jewellery sales during the holidays and lower rough diamond supply volumes from the major producers are expected to maintain this positive momentum 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 Gahcho Kué Mine.  The closure of the Argyle diamond mine combined with reduced global rough diamond production is expected to further support prices as demand to replenish inventories of these diamond categories continues.

Q4 and FY 2021 Production Highlights (All figures reported on a 100% basis unless otherwise stated)

  • 10,812,723 total tonnes mined during the quarter, a 10% increase on comparable period (Q4 2020: 9,796,823). 35,447,014 total tonnes mined during FY 2021, a 1% decrease from comparable period (FY 2020: 35,870,474).
  • 1,019,671 ore tonnes mined during the quarter, a 21% increase on comparable period (Q4 2020: 840,261). 3,561,417 ore tonnes mined during FY 2021, an 8% increase from comparable period (FY 2020: 3,286,843).
  • 813,308 ore tonnes treated during the quarter, a 10% increase on comparable period (Q4 2020: 736,138). 3,082,572 ore tonnes treated during FY 2021, a 5% decrease from comparable period (FY 2020: 3,245,941).
  • 1,511,253 carats recovered during the quarter at an average grade of 1.86 carats per tonne, 1% lower than comparable quarter (Q4 2020: 1,521,617 carats at 2.07). 6,229,042 carats recovered during FY 2021 at an average grade of 2.02 carats per tonne, 4% lower than comparable period (FY 2020: 6,518,261 carats at 2.01).

Q4 and FY 2021 Production Statistics

Q4 2021 Production Figures






2021 Q4

2020 Q4

YoY
Variance

Total tonnes mined (ore and waste)

10,812,723

9,796,823

10%

Ore tonnes mined

1,019,671

840,261

21%

Ore tonnes treated

813,308

736,138

10%

Carats recovered

1,511,253

1,521,617

-1%

Carats recovered (49% share)

740,514

745,592

-1%

Recovered grade (carats per tonne)

1.86

2.07

-10%

FY 2021 Production Figures






FY 2021

FY 2020

YoY Variance

Total tonnes mined (ore and waste)

35,447,014

35,870,474

-1%

Ore tonnes mined

3,561,417

3,286,843

8%

Ore tonnes treated

3,082,572

3,245,941

-5%

Carats recovered

6,229,042

6,518,261

-4%

Carats recovered (49% share)

3,052,231

3,193,948

-4%

Recovered grade (carats per tonne)

2.02

2.01

1%

About the Company

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 .

Qualified Person

The disclosure in this news release of scientific and technical information regarding Mountain Province's mineral properties has been reviewed and approved by Tom E. McCandless , Ph.D., P.Geo., and Matthew MacPhail , P.Eng, MBA, both employees of Mountain Province Diamonds and Qualified Persons as defined by National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects.

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 the ability to negotiate and enter into binding documentation, the ability to obtain approval of the parties, regulators and shareholders on terms acceptable to Mountain Province, 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 negotiating stances taking by the parties, the ability to obtain approval of regulators, parties and shareholders, as may be required, on conditions acceptable to the parties, 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

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SOURCE Mountain Province Diamonds Inc.

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Type-I interferon stops immune system ‘going rogue’ during viral infections

Hamilton, ON (May 17, 2022) – McMaster University researchers have found not only how some viral infections cause severe tissue damage, but also how…

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Hamilton, ON (May 17, 2022) – McMaster University researchers have found not only how some viral infections cause severe tissue damage, but also how to reduce that damage.

Credit: Georgia Kirkos/McMaster University

Hamilton, ON (May 17, 2022) – McMaster University researchers have found not only how some viral infections cause severe tissue damage, but also how to reduce that damage.

 

They have discovered how Type I interferon (IFN) stops the immune system ‘going rogue’ and attacking the body’s own tissues when fighting viral infections, including COVID-19.

 

Their paper was published in the journal PLOS Pathogens today.

  

Senior author Ali Ashkar said IFN is a well-known anti-viral signalling molecule released by the body’s cells that can trigger a powerful immune response against harmful viruses.

 

“What we have found is that it is also critical to stop white blood cells from releasing protease enzymes, which can damage organ tissue. It has this unique dual function to kick start an immune response against a viral infection on the one hand, as well as restrain that same response to prevent significant bystander tissue damage on the other,” he said.

 

The research team investigated IFN’s ability to regulate a potentially dangerous immune response by testing it on both flu and the HSV-2 virus, a highly prevalent sexually transmitted pathogen, using mice. Data from COVID-19 patients in Germany, including post-mortem lung samples, was also used in the study.

 

“For many viral infections, it is not actually the virus that causes most of the tissue damage, it is our heightened immune activation towards the virus,” said Ashkar, a professor of medicine at McMaster.

  

First co-author of the study and PhD student Emily Feng said: “Our body’s immune response is trying to fight off the virus infection, but there’s a risk of damaging innocent healthy tissue in the process. IFNs regulates the immune response to only target tissues that are infected.

 

“By discovering the mechanisms the immune system uses that can inadvertently cause tissue damage, we can intervene during infection to prevent this damage and not necessarily have to wait until vaccines are developed to develop life-saving treatments,” she added.

 

“This applies not just to COVID-19, but also other highly infectious viruses such as flu and Ebola, which can cause tremendous and often life-threatening damage to the body’s organs,” said first study co-author Amanda Lee, a family medicine resident. 

 

Ashkar said the release of harmful proteases is the result of a ‘cytokine storm’, which is life-threatening inflammation sometimes triggered by viral infections. It has been a common cause of death in patients with COVID-19, but treatment has been developed to prevent and suppress the cytokine storm.

 

Ashkar said that steroids like dexamethasone are already used to rein in an extreme immune response to viral infections. The authors used doxycycline in their study, an antibiotic used for bacterial infections and as an anti-inflammatory agent, inhibits the function of proteases causing the bystander tissue damage.

 

Lee added: “This has the potential in the future to be used to alleviate virus-induced life-threatening inflammation and warrants further research.” 

 

The study was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

 

-30-

 

Editors:

Pictures of Ali Ashkar and Emily Feng may be found at https://bit.ly/3wmSw0D

  

 

 


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mRNA vaccines like Pfizer and Moderna fare better against COVID-19 variants of concern

A comparison of four COVID-19 vaccinations shows that messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines — Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna — perform better against the World…

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A comparison of four COVID-19 vaccinations shows that messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines — Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna — perform better against the World Health Organization’s variants of concern (VOCs) than viral vector vaccines — AstraZeneca and J&J/Janssen. Although they all effectively prevent severe disease by VOCs, the research, publishing May 17th in the open access journal PLOS Medicine, suggests that people receiving a viral vector vaccine are more vulnerable to infection by new variants.

Credit: Carlos Reusser Monsalvez, Flickr (CC0, https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/)

A comparison of four COVID-19 vaccinations shows that messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines — Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna — perform better against the World Health Organization’s variants of concern (VOCs) than viral vector vaccines — AstraZeneca and J&J/Janssen. Although they all effectively prevent severe disease by VOCs, the research, publishing May 17th in the open access journal PLOS Medicine, suggests that people receiving a viral vector vaccine are more vulnerable to infection by new variants.

By March 2022, COVID-19 had caused over 450 million confirmed infections and six million reported deaths. The first vaccines approved in the US and Europe that protect against serious infection are Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, which deliver genetic code, known as mRNA, to the bodies’ cells, whereas Oxford/AstraZeneca and J&J/Janssen are viral vector vaccines that use a modified version of a different virus — a vector — to deliver instructions to our cells. Three vaccines are delivered as two separate injections a few weeks apart, and J&J/Janssen as a single dose.

Marit J. van Gils at the University of Amsterdam, Netherlands, and colleagues, took blood samples from 165 healthcare workers, three and four weeks after first and second vaccination respectively, and for J&J/Janssen at four to five and eight weeks after vaccination. Samples were collected before, and four weeks after a Pfizer-BioNTech booster.

Four weeks after the initial two doses, antibody responses to the original SARS-CoV-2 viral strain were highest in recipients of Moderna, followed closely by Pfizer-BioNTech, and were substantially lower in those who received viral vector vaccines. Tested against the VOCs – Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta and Omicron – neutralizing antibodies were higher in the mRNA vaccine recipients compared to those who had viral vector vaccines. The ability to neutralize VOCs was reduced in all vaccine groups, with the greatest reduction against Omicron. The Pfizer-BioNTech booster increased antibody responses in all groups with substantial improvement against VOCs, including Omicron.

The researchers caution that their AstraZeneca group was significantly older, because of safety concerns for the vaccine in younger age groups. As immune responses tend to weaken with age, this could affect the results. This group was also smaller because the Dutch government halted use for a period.

van Gils concludes, “Four COVID-19 vaccines induce substantially different antibody responses.”

#####

In your coverage, please use this URL to provide access to the freely available paper in PLOS Medicine:

http://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1003991

Citation: van Gils MJ, Lavell A, van der Straten K, Appelman B, Bontjer I, Poniman M, et al. (2022) Antibody responses against SARS-CoV-2 variants induced by four different SARS-CoV-2 vaccines in health care workers in the Netherlands: A prospective cohort study. PLoS Med 19(5): e1003991. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1003991

 

Author Countries: The Netherlands, United States

 

Funding: This work was supported by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) ZonMw (Vici grant no. 91818627 to R.W.S., S3 study, grant agreement no. 10430022010023 to M.K.B.; RECoVERED, grant agreement no. 10150062010002 to M.D.d.J.), by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (grant no. INV002022 and INV008818 to R.W.S. and INV-024617 to M.J.v.G.), by Amsterdam UMC through the AMC Fellowship (to M.J.v.G.) and the Corona Research Fund (to M.K.B.), and by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 program (RECoVER, grant no. 101003589 to M.D.d.J). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.


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Pfizer Jab In Young People Only 20% Effective After 60 Days, 0% After 5 Months

Pfizer Jab In Young People Only 20% Effective After 60 Days, 0% After 5 Months

Authored by Zachary Stieber via The Epoch Times,

The Pfizer…

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Pfizer Jab In Young People Only 20% Effective After 60 Days, 0% After 5 Months

Authored by Zachary Stieber via The Epoch Times,

The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine turned negatively effective after five months, according to a new study.

A health care worker fills a syringe with Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine in a file image. (Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images)

Researchers with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) analyzed test results from sites across the United States and determined that the vaccine was 60 percent effective two to four weeks after 12- to 15-year-olds got the second of the two-dose primary regimen.

But the effectiveness, measured against symptomatic illness, quickly plummeted, hitting 20 percent around month two and zero around month five.

After that, recipients in the age group were more likely to be infected by COVID-19.

Vaccine effectiveness “was no longer significantly different from 0 during month 3 after the second dose,” the researchers wrote in the study, which was published by the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Pfizer, its partner BioNTech, and the CDC didn’t respond to requests for comment.

The analyzed tests were performed between Dec. 26, 2021, and Feb. 21, 2022. Some 47,700 tests among 12- to 15-year-olds were included, with about half being unvaccinated. The testing data was on the Increasing Community Access to Testing, a program funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that contracts with pharmacy chains to perform drive-through testing. The testing data was supplemented by information in questionnaires filled out by adults with the adolescents.

Limitations of the study included vaccination being self-reported.

The study was funded by the U.S. government.

The study also found that vaccine effectiveness against symptomatic infection plunged quickly for those 5 to 11 years old, starting at 60 percent but hitting 23 percent just one month later.

One way to combat the negative effectiveness, researchers said, was to get a booster dose.

Of the 906 12- to 15-year-olds who got a third, or booster, dose, the effectiveness was measured at 71 percent two to six weeks after receipt.

Other studies, though, show that the protection from a booster, like that from the primary regimen, quickly wanes.

“Given the well-established pattern of waning mRNA VE after 2 doses and early evidence of waning of booster dose protection in adults, monitoring the duration of protection from booster doses in adolescents will be important,” researchers said.

Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are built on messenger RNA (mRNA) technology. VE refers to vaccine effectiveness.

In another study published by the same journal on May 13, New York researchers reported the gap of infection and hospitalization risk between unvaccinated and vaccinated youth narrowing over time, with vaccinated 5- to 11-year-olds being infected at a rate of 62 per 100,000 and unvaccinated being infected at a rate of 70 per 100,000.

That was an incidence rate ratio of 1.1; the rate ratio for 12- to 17-year-olds was 2.

The protection also waned considerably against hospitalization over time, researchers found.

They said that the findings support “efforts to increase vaccination coverage in children and adolescents.

Tyler Durden Tue, 05/17/2022 - 13:36

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