Stornoway Diamond Reaches Commercial Production at Renard

Stornoway Diamond Corp. has achieved commercial production at its Renard diamond mine in the James Bay region of north-central Québec, commercial production being defined as an average processing rate of 60% of plant nameplate capacity over a 30-day period. Nameplate capacity at Renard is 6,000 metric tons per day (mt/d).

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the entire Renard team on achieving this important milestone well within schedule and budget, and with quality workmanship from the beginning,” said Stornoway President and CEO Matt Manson. “The attainment of commercial production marks the end of the project’s capital expense period, and our final capital costs are forecast to be comfortably within the reduced C$775 million estimate set out in February 2016. Our production ramp-up continues, with three diamond sales scheduled for the first quarter of 2017.”

In March 2016, Stornoway released the results of an updated Renard mine plan and mineral reserve estimate. The study highlights the potential of the project to become a significant producer of high-value rough diamonds over an initial 14-year mine life. Average annual production is forecast at 1.8 million carats/ year over the first 10 years of mining, at an average valuation of US$155/carat.

Renard’s probable NI 43-101 compliant mineral reserves stand at 22.3 million carats. Total indicated mineral resources, inclusive of mineral reserves, stand at 30.2 million carats, with a further 13.35 million carats classified as inferred mineral resources and 33 million to 71.1 million carats classified as non-resource exploration upside.

Mining operations in the Renard 2-Renard 3 open pit began in 2015 and are expected to provide the bulk of ore production until 2018, when production from an underground mine is scheduled to begin. The Renard 2-Renard 3 pit will be developed at a stripping ratio of 2.54:1 to a depth of 130 m.

Underground ore will be sourced from the Renard 2 kimberlite exclusively between 2018 and 2027 and from Renard 3 and Renard 4 between 2027 and 2029. A blast-hole shrink stoppage method with panel retreat will be used at Renard 2, based on production levels at 290, 470, 590 and 710 m depth. Long-hole stoping will be utilized at Renard 3, with one production level at a 250 m depth based on the current limit of indicated mineral resources. Blasthole stoppage beneath a crown pillar will be employed at Renard 4.

As featured in Womp 2017 Vol 02 -