Stornoway Provides Update on Recent Renard Resource Development Activities
LONGUEUIL, Quebec, Nov. 07, 2018 — Stornoway Diamond Corporation (TSX-SWY; the “Corporation” or “Stornoway”) is pleased to provide an update on recent resource development activities on the Renard 3 and Renard 4 kimberlites at the Renard Diamond Mine. Since earlier this year, Stornoway has been conducting a program of drilling and sampling at Renard with the goal of converting certain Mineral Resources to Mineral Reserves, and of accelerating the mining of both the Renard 3 and Renard 4 ore bodies in the Renard mine plan. Results to date are as follows:
- Renard 3 successfully delineated to a depth of 315 meters, supporting its inclusion in the Renard production schedule above the 290 meter mining level in 2019, several years earlier than currently planned.
- Renard 4 successfully sampled from surface, with approximately 3,000 carats recovered to date, including three “special” stones, supporting its potential development as a new open pit source of ore to supplement underground mine feed to the Renard process plant.
Matt Manson, President and CEO, commented: “The update provided today covers activities that have been ongoing at Renard during the course of this year to expand and accelerate ore supply options within the Renard Mine Plan. The Renard 3 work is about accelerating the mining of high grade ore in our production schedule, and maintaining over the long term a blend of ore from two sources in the underground mine as we go deeper. The Renard 4 work is about expanding our understanding of the diamond population at the top of the ore body prior to developing a potential new open pit. This would require a water retention structure within Lagopède Lake, but would allow us to take advantage of the expanded plant processing capacity offered by our new ore-sorting circuit. The results of both of these resource development programs have been encouraging. We expect to see the benefits of the Renard 3 work already in the 2019 production schedule, and we anticipate proceeding to the next stages of economic study, community consultation and permitting following the completion of the Renard 4 work, which remains ongoing at this time.”
Renard 3 was mined between 2016 and April 2018 in the Renard 2-Renard 3 open pit to a depth of 120 meters. The current Renard mine plan (referred to as the “March 2016 Renard Mine Plan”) contemplates the mining of Renard 3 by underground methods between 2026 and 2027 following the completion of mining at Renard 2. As of December 31, 2017, Renard 3 comprised 0.78 mcarats of Probable Mineral Reserves (1.15 mtonnes at 68 carats per hundred tonnes, “cpht”) below the base of the open pit to a depth of 255 meters, and 0.61 mcarats of Inferred Mineral Resources (0.54 mtonnes at 112 cpht) to a depth of 405 meters. In addition, a Target for Further Exploration has been estimated at between 3.5 and 6.3 mcarats below the Inferred Mineral Resources. In 2014, in drilling undertaken on the Renard 2 kimberlite, Renard 3 was interpreted to have been intersected fortuitously over 126.6 meters at a vertical depth of approximately 1,000 meters. The implied true width of this intersection was a minimum 47 meters, supporting the potential for mineable widths at Renard 3 even at a considerable depth.
During the course of 2018, Renard 3 has been successfully delineated in 5,345 meters of detailed drilling between 255 and 290 meters of depth, with additional intersections of kimberlite confirmed over mineable widths to as deep as 315 meters below surface, below which Renard 3 remains open. The new drilling has confirmed the expected location and width of Renard 3, and the continuation at depth of the high grade Renard 3dg and 3h units that support the body’s high grade estimate in the Mineral Resource statement. Renard 3 continues to be open at further depth.
The new data are being incorporated into a revised geological model and Mineral Resource estimate for Renard 3, with a view to the incorporation of new Renard 3 Mineral Reserves above the 290 meter level into the 2019 mining schedule. This will allow two underground sources of ore feed to be mined simultaneously, and provide additional high grade ore feed to supplement Renard 2 production.
In the March 2016 Renard Mine Plan, the Renard 4 kimberlite is scheduled for underground mining between 2026 and 2029, following the completion of mining at the Renard 2 and Renard 3 kimberlites. As of December 31, 2017, the Renard 4 kimberlite comprised 4.44 mcarats of Indicated Mineral Resources (7.25 mtonnes at an average grade of 61 cpht), including 1.67 mcarats of Probable Mineral Reserves (3.46 mtonnes at an average grade of 48 cpht) in the underground mine plan, as well as 1.99 mcarats of Indicated Mineral Resources (2.93 mtonnes at an average grade of 68 cpht) between surface and 140 meters depth, and 2.46 mcarats of Inferred Mineral Resources below the Mineral Reserves (4.75 mtonnes at an average grade of 52 cpht).
Stornoway is investigating the potential for open pit mining at the Renard 4 and nearby Renard 9 kimberlites to supply additional ore feed earlier in the mine life. Such a pit would allow the extraction of a portion, or all, of the approximately 2 million carats of diamonds in the top 140 meters of Renard 4. These diamonds are contained within the project’s Indicated Mineral Resources, but are outside the current Mineral Reserve as they occur in the area of the proposed crown pillar for the Renard 4 underground mine.
During July and August of this year, a surface bulk sample of approximately 13,546 tonnes was excavated from the Renard 4 kimberlite at a site where it occurs close to surface adjacent to Lagopède Lake. In 2007, a 2,104 tonne surface sample located on a nearby outcrop of the high grade Renard 4d unit returned 2,722 carats of diamonds for a grade of 129 cpht. The new sampling is designed to recover parcels of diamonds from the lower grade Renard 4a and 4b units which comprise the remainder of the Renard 4 diatreme.
A total of 11,646 tonnes of sample were processed through the main Renard process plant during a three-day period in September. In addition, approximately 1,900 tonnes of material are being processed through Renard’s 10 tonne per hour bulk sampling plant. Diamond recovery from concentrate is being conducted at Renard, and at Stornoway’s Vancouver exploration office. Sample processing and diamond recovery is ongoing. However, to date, a parcel of 574 carats of diamonds have been recovered from the Renard 4b unit (1,287 tonnes at 45 cpht), and 2,444 carats have been recovered from the Renard 4a unit (10,359 tonnes at 24 cpht). Of note, three “special” stones have been recovered so far: a 14.89 carat white octahedral gem, a 12.42 carat white octahedral gem, and a 11.12 carat brown clivage stone. Initial indications are that the grade, size distribution and quality assortment of the diamonds recovered are consistent with previous sampling.
The results of the current sampling will be used to support an economic assessment for the development of a Renard 4-Renard 9 open pit, which will require a water retention structure within Lagopède Lake. If successful, such a pit would provide sufficient ore to take full advantage of the increased process plant capacity created by the introduction of the new ore-sorting circuit.
ABOUT THE RENARD DIAMOND MINE
The Renard Diamond Mine is Quebec’s first producing diamond mine and Canada’s sixth. It 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. Construction on the project commenced on July 10, 2014, and commercial production was declared on January 1, 2017. Average annual diamond production is forecast at 1.8 million carats per annum over the first 10 years of mining. Readers are referred to the technical report dated January 11, 2016, in respect of the September 2015 Mineral Resource estimate, and the technical report dated March 30, 2016, in respect of the March 2016 Updated Mine Plan and Mineral Reserve Estimate for further details and assumptions relating to the project.
Disclosure of a scientific or technical nature in this press release was prepared under the supervision of M. Patrick Godin, P.Eng. (Québec), Chief Operating Officer and Mr. Robin Hopkins, P.Geol. (NT/NU), Vice President, Exploration, both “qualified persons” under National Instrument (“NI”) 43-101.
ABOUT STORNOWAY DIAMOND CORPORATION
Stornoway is a leading Canadian diamond exploration and production company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol SWY and headquartered in Montreal. A growth oriented company, Stornoway owns a 100% interest in the world-class Renard Mine, Québec’s first diamond mine.
On behalf of the Board
STORNOWAY DIAMOND CORPORATION
/s/ “Matt Manson”
President and Chief Executive Officer
For more information, please contact Matt Manson (President and CEO) at 416-304-1026 x2101
or Orin Baranowsky (CFO) at 416-304-1026 x2103 or Alexandre Burelle (Manager, Investor Relations and Business Development) at 450-616-5555 x2264 or toll free at 1-877-331-2232
Pour plus d’information, veuillez contacter Alexandre Burelle (Directeur, Relations avec les investisseurs et développement des affaires) au 450-616-5555 x2264, firstname.lastname@example.org
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