Stornoway Diamond Corp. poured the first concrete for the processing plant at its Renard diamond project in early April. The project is located in the James Bay region of Quebec, 350 km north of Chibougamau. Specialized concrete work for the plant’s foundations is scheduled to continue through the spring and early summer before the erection of structural steel begins in June.

The Renard plant building is scheduled to be completed and heated by the fourth quarter of this year, allowing the installation of the temperature sensitive crushing and recovery circuits through the first half of 2016. The plant is scheduled to be energized in the second half of 2016, with wet commissioning beginning in the fourth quarter of that year. A 10-month commissioning ramp-up is planned, with a view to achieving commercial production in the second quarter of 2017 and full production by the summer of 2017.

The Renard plant will have name-plate capacity to process 2.2 million mt/y based on 78% overall plant utilization. The project is expected to produce an average of 1.6 million carats/y over an initial 11-year mine life at an average valuation of $190/carat.

The engineering and field support services relating to the Renard plant and its diamond recovery circuits are being undertaken by DRA Americas and AMEC Americas under the coordination of SNC Lavalin.

The Renard project has NI 43-101-compliant mineral reserves of 17.9 million carats. Total indicated mineral resources, inclusive of the mineral reserves, stand at 27.1 million carats, with a further 16.85 million carats classified as inferred resources, and 25.7 million to 47.8 million carats classified as non-resource exploration upside.