Stornoway Diamond Corp. is pursuing a $28.4-million pre-development capital program for 2012 at its 100%-owned Renard diamond project in north-central Quebec. Work includes detailed engineering and design, site preparation activities, and the ordering of long-lead items. As a component of the work program, Stornoway expects to enter into an EPCM contract covering project engineering, procurement, and construction management for the project’s process plant, water treatment plant, accommodation and maintenance facilities, and site utilities.

Stornoway’s mining team based in Longueuil, Quebec, will be expanded during the course of the year and will assume responsibility for design of the open pit and underground mine, design of the processed kimberlite containment facility, and security operations. Pre-development engineering on the project’s shaft and hoisting facilities will be initiated under a separate EPCM contract in the second half of the year.

The Renard diamond project is located in the James Bay region of Quebec, approximately 350 km north of Chibougamau. The project feasibility study, released in November 2011, highlights the potential of the project to become a significant producer of high-value rough diamonds over an initial 11-year mine life. NI 43-101-compliant probable mineral reserves stand at 18 million carats, with a further 17.5 million carats classified as inferred resources and 23.5 million to 48.5 million carats classified as non-resource exploration upside.

All kimberlites in the project area remain open at depth. Pre-production capital cost is estimated at C$802 million. Production start-up is planned for 2015.