Stornoway Reports First Quarter 2019 Production and Sales Results
LONGUEUIL, Québec, April 09, 2019 — Stornoway Diamond Corporation (TSX-SWY; the “Corporation” or “Stornoway”) announces production and sales results at the Renard Diamond Mine for the quarter ended March 31, 2019. Highlights are as follows:
- 429,506 total carats sold in two tender sales for gross proceeds1 of $47 million2 at an average price of US$83 per carat ($110 per carat2). In terms of total carats sold, pricing and gross proceeds, this represents increases of 38%, 8% and 47% over the fourth quarter of 2018, respectively. First quarter diamond sales represent diamonds recovered during the fourth quarter of 2018.
- First quarter diamond production was 444,562 carats recovered from the processing of 582,613 tonnes of ore at an average grade of 76 cpht. Carats recoveries decreased by 8% compared to the fourth quarter of 2018, principally due to mechanical issues at the front end of the process plant related to very cold weather in January and February. In March, the process plant surpassed its budgeted daily rate with an average of 7,209 tonnes processed per day.
- Stornoway has made the decision to suspend open pit mining operations starting in April, as the current stockpile of Renard 65 open pit ore is sufficient to meet planned process plant feed requirements into the second quarter of 2020.
Patrick Godin, President and CEO of Stornoway, commented “Sales in the first quarter were significantly higher than the previous quarter on the good production results of the last three months of 2018, which was the first full quarter with fully ramped-up underground operations. The average pricing obtained increased as well, primarily due to improvements in the quality of the goods and the mix sold. The rough diamond market, however, did not show notable improvement from the fourth quarter. Processing results were down sequentially on mechanical issues at the plant experienced in January and February, but March showed modest outperformance versus budgeted daily rate, and we are confident that this rate can be maintained looking forward and believe that the small underperformance relative to budget in the first two months will be caught up over the balance of 2019. We have taken the decision to temporarily halt production from the Renard 65 open pit, as current Renard 65 ore stockpiles are sufficient to maintain its planned contribution to the process plant’s feed into the second quarter of 2020. As such, no effect on revenue in 2019 is to be expected. Surface equipment operators were trained and have begun transitioning to our underground operations.”
FIRST QUARTER SALES RESULTS
Two tender sales were completed during the first quarter from diamonds that were recovered between October 6 and December 27, 2018. Table 1 summarizes first quarter sales results, and compares these results to those of the first and fourth quarters of 2018. Table 2 provides a breakdown between run-of-mine and supplemental diamonds sold.
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