VANCOUVER (miningweekly.com) – Quebec-based diamond producer Stornoway Diamond Corp has recorded first sales of precious gems from its Renard mine, raking in $7.6-million from the sale of 38 913 ct.
Renard diamonds were sold at auction, held between November 14 and 23, in Antwerp, Belgium, fetching on average $195/ct.
Stornoway advised that recent events in India surrounding demonetisation had impacted pricing and demand for certain smaller and lower quality items and, as a result, a quantity of these were withdrawn from the sale, to be sold at a later date.
However, because of a higher than expected proportion of small diamonds recovered during the ramp-up period, the result of this first sale cannot be taken as representative of the longer-term pricing profile of the project, the company said, adding that it was the first introduction of Quebec diamonds to the market and a price discovery exercise.
President and CEO Matt Manson stated that the Renard project’s production ramp-up continued to exceed expectations, and three tender sales had been scheduled for the first quarter of 2017.
Stornoway reported that as of November 15, it had processed 244 623 t of ore grading 1.07 ct/t for total production of 261 353 ct, well above the company's 2016 guidance for production of 220 000 ct at a grade of 0.97 ct/t. This positive grade reconciliation in the openpit raises the potential for the company to declare commercial production at Renard by year-end.