Stornoway Diamond Corporation is pleased to report that it has completed diamond recovery from the Renard 65 bulk sample recently collected at Stornoway's 100% owned Renard Diamond Project located in north-central Quebec. In total, 962.8 carats of diamonds larger than a +1 DTC size sieve were recovered from 5080.8 dry tonnes.
The size of the diamond sample recovered and the incidene of large diamonds are consistent with Stornoway's expectations for the Renard 65 kimberlite at this sample location.
The objective of the Renard 65 bulk sample was the collection of approximately 1,000 carats of Renard 65 diamonds for valuation purposes. Having achieved this objective, a diamond valuation exercise has been scheduled to take place shortly in Antwerp, Belgium.
As previously announced (Stornoway press release dated December 11th 2012) the largest diamond recovered from the sample was a 9.78 carat white octahedral gem with a preliminary valuation of $7,000 per carat. The next largest diamond was a 6.41 carat white gem also of high quality, with a preliminary valuation of $4,700 per carat.
The Renard 65 bulk sampling is being undertaken with a view to the potential conversion of material that is currently classified as an Inferred Mineral Resource to an Indicated Mineral Resource and, if warranted, to a Mineral Reserve for inclusion in the project's mine plan. Within the larger Renard Mineral Resource inventory, Renard 65 contains an Inferred Mineral Resource of 3.7 million carats (representing 12.9 million tonnes at an average grade of 29 carats per hundred tonnes) to a depth of 290m, with an exploration potential estimated at between 6.8 and 13.7 million carats (29.5 to 41.6 million tonnes at between 23 and 33 cpht) from 290m to 775m in depth. The reader is cautioned that mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability. In addition, the potential quantity and grade of any exploration target is conceptual in nature, and it is uncertain if further exploration will result in it being delineated as a mineral resource.
The current bulk sample was extracted from a site that is known to represent a lower grade portion of the kimberlite, but which is easily accessible from surface. In 2008, a 266 tonne trench sample from the same location returned 51.8 carats for a diamond recovery of 19 cpht, identical to the current result.
Large Diamonds in Exploration Samples at Renard
A feature of the Renard Diamond Project has been the incidence of large, high value stones that have been recovered at each stage of exploration sampling since the project's discovery in 2001. The current Renard 65 bulk sample has continued this trend. In 2003 a white octahedral gem of at least 4 carats was discovered embedded in drill core at Renard 65. During the Renard bulk sampling program of 2007 a 15.46 carat top light brown "makeable" gem was recovered from Renard 2, a 10.15 carat white octahedral gem was recovered from Renard 3, and a broken 21.53 carat brown octahedral gem was recovered from the Lynx Dyke in three pieces of 11.73, 5.96 and 3.94 carats. In all, at least seven large stones have now been recovered from Renard with values in excess of US$4,000 per carat.
Scientific and Technical Data
Diamond results reported in this release are based on dense media separation (DMS) processing work completed by Stornoway at its wholly owned and operated 10 tonne per hour (tph) DMS plant situated in northern Quebec. Kimberlite was prepared through a primary jaw crusher, with -50 mm material fed directly into the DMS which is configured to recover stones retained on a 1.0 x 12.0mm slotted screen. Recovery of +1 DTC diamonds from the DMS concentrate was carried out at Stornoway's wholly owned diamond laboratory in North Vancouver whereby concentrates were processed through x-ray sorter equipment with a grease table finish to generate a final concentrate which was hand sorted to extract diamonds. Quality assurance protocols, security and actual operating procedures for the processing, transport and recovery of diamonds conform to industry standard Chain of Custody provisions. As part of Stornoway's ongoing QA/QC program, all aspects of the bulk sample program are subject to audit. Any material changes to the recovered diamond contents provided above will be reported when available.
Mr. David Skelton, P.Geo. (QC), P.Geol (AB), Vice President, Project Development for Stornoway is a Qualified Person as defined under National Instrument ("NI") 43-101 and was responsible for supervising the Renard 65 bulk sample program on the Renard Diamond Project. Mr. Robin Hopkins, P.Geol. (NT/NU), Vice President, Exploration for Stornoway is a Qualified Person as defined under NI 43-101 and was responsible for supervising the diamond recovery. Messrs. Skelton and Hopkins have reviewed and approved the scientific and technical information contained in this release. Diamond valuations were performed by Mr. Shlomo Tidhar of Galaxy Diamond Expertise (HK), a consultant to Stornoway.
About the Renard Diamond Project
The Renard Diamond Project 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. In November 2011, Stornoway released the results of a Feasibility Study at Renard, followed by an Optimization Study in January 2013, which highlighted the potential of the project to become a significant producer of high value rough diamonds over a long mine life. Probable Mineral Reserves as defined under NI 43-101 stand at 17.9 million carats, with a further 17.5 million carats classified as Inferred Mineral Resources, and 23.5 to 48.5 million carats classified as non-resource exploration upside. All kimberlites remain open at depth. Pre-production capital cost stands at an estimated C$752 million, with a life of mine operating cost of C$57.63/tonne giving a 67% operating margin over an initial 11 year mine life. Readers are referred to the technical report dated December 29, 2011 in respect of the November 2011 Feasibility Study for the Renard Diamond Project, and the press release dated 28th January 2013 in respect to the January 2013 Optimization Study, for further details and assumptions relating to the project.