Stornoway Diamond Corp. has begun mine construction at its Renard diamond project near the Otish mountains in north-central Quebec. Project construction has been fully mobilized, with plant commissioning now scheduled for late 2016 and commercial production expected in the second quarter of 2017.
The Renard project is located in the James Bay region of Quebec, approximately 250 km north of the Cree community of Mistissini and 350 km north of Chibougamau.
Mine development is based on an optimization study completed in January 2013, which followed a feasibility study completed in November 2011.
Renard mine production during the first two years of operation will be predominantly from an open pit. Production from an underground mine will begin during the second year.
|An overhead view of current mine camp facilities at Stornoway’s Renard diamond project in north-central Quebec (Photo courtesy of Stornoway Diamonds)|
Underground ore will be mined by blasthole shrinkage methods on the mine’s 250-m, 430-m, and 610-m development levels, with initial access via a decline. Shaft access is planned for development later in the mine life.
Processing plant design calls for throughput capacity of 2.2 million mt/y. Mine life is planned at 11 years, with diamond production averaging 1.6 million carats/y.
The Renard project’s NI 43-101-compliant probable mineral reserves stand at 17.9 million carats. Indicated mineral resources, inclusive of the mineral reserve, total 27.1 million carats. A further 16.85 million carats are classified as inferred, and 25.7 million to 47.8 million carats are classified as non-resource exploration upside. All of the Renard kimberlites remain open at depth.