Stornoway Diamond Corp. [SWY-TSX] has officially opened its 100%-owned Renard Diamond Mine at a ceremony with M. Pierre Arcand, Québec’s Minister of Energy and Natural Resources and Minister responsible for the Plan Nord attending, as well as current and former staff members, project stakeholders and local community members.
The approximate 200 attendees included M. Jean Boucher, Member of the Quebec National Assemby for Ungava, Chief Richard Shecapio, Chief of the Cree Nation of Mistissini, Mme Manon Cyr, Mayor of Chibougamau and M. Steve Gamache, Mayor of Chapais.
Matt Manson, President and CEO of Stornoway, said, “Today’s opening ceremony marks the culmination of approximately 20 years of work to bring the Renard Project from a greenfield exploration concept to a fully operating new diamond mine. A long list of individuals can claim a share in the success of this enterprise. While we celebrate the official opening ceremony today, our production ramp-up continues and we remain on schedule to achieve commercial production by the year end.”
Patrick Godin, COO, commented, ‘’Our company has relied for many years on its mineral resources, its shareholders, its employees and its stakeholders; and the strength, commitment, determination and ability of these four mainstays are what make us the most proud today“
An archived video recording of the opening ceremony will be available on Stornoway’s website at www.stornowaydiamonds.com
The Renard Diamond Mine is located approximately 250 km north of the Cree community of Mistissini and 350 km north of Chibougamau in the James Bay region of north-central Québec. On July 8, 2014, Stornoway announced the completion of a $946 million project financing transaction to fully fund the project to production, and construction commenced on July 10, 2014. Processing of ore commenced on July 15, 2016.
In March 2016, Stornoway released the results of an Updated Mine Plan and Mineral Reserve Estimate in March 2016. The study highlighted the potential of the project to become a significant producer of high value rough diamonds over an initial 14-year mine life. NI 43-101 compliant probable reserves stand at 22.3 million carats. Total indicated resources, inclusive of the reserve, are pegged at 30.2 million carats, with a further 13.35 million carats classified as inferred resources, and 33.0 to 71.1 million carats classified as non-resource exploration upside.
Average annual diamond production is forecast at 1.8 million carats over the first 10 years of mining, at an average valuation of US $155/carat based on March 2016 terms. All kimberlites remain open at depth.