Mountain Province Diamonds has secured credit approval for a $370m loan to finance the construction of Gahcho Kué diamond mine in Northwest Territories, Canada.

The company has replaced Deutsche Bank with Bank of Nova Scotia as lead arranger; however, Natixis and Nedbank continue to work on the transaction.

Mountain Province CEO Patrick Evans said: "Significant progress was made to complete due diligence prior to the end of 2014 and credit approval has now been received from the lead arrangers."

The loan is subject to certain conditions, including agreement on facility documentation and syndication and drawdown is subject to arrangement of a cost overrun facility.

As of 2014, development on the Gahcho Kué was over 50% complete and is said to be on schedule to commence first production in the second half of 2016.

Gahcho Kué is a joint venture between De Beers Canada and Mountain Province with 51% and 49% stakes respectively.

The project is said to have a cluster of four diamondiferous kimberlites with three of them having a probable mineral reserve of 35.4 million tons grading 1.57 carats per ton for diamond content of 55.5 million carats.