Star-Orion South diamond project, Canada – update

Aerial view of the Satr-Orion project

Photo by Star Diamond Corp

15th December 2023

By: Sheila Barradas

Creamer Media Research Coordinator & Senior Deputy Editor


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Name of the Project
Star-Orion South diamond project.

Fort à la Corne diamond district of central Saskatchewan, Canada.

Project Owner/s
Fort à la Corne Joint Venture (JV) comprising Star Diamond Corp and Rio Tinto Exploration Canada.

Project Description
A preliminary economic assessment (PEA) has determined that an estimated 66-million carats of diamonds could be recovered from a surface mine over a 34-year life-of-mine.

The PEA envisages the development of two openpits, initially Orion South, followed by Star, using conventional openpit methods.

Conventional hydraulic excavators and haul trucks create a starting “key” for three bucket wheel excavators to remove the sand and clay overburden from the kimberlite. Conveyor belts will transfer the sand and clay from the excavators to the nearby overburden waste area. The exposed kimberlite will be lightly blasted and conventional hydraulic shovels will load the rock into trucks. These trucks will transfer the rock to an in-pit feeder and the kimberlite will be delivered to the processing plant using a conveyor belt.

The processing facility will have the capacity to process 45 000 t/d of kimberlite using autogenous milling, followed by screening, X-ray transmission diamond recovery and dense-media separation of heavy mineral concentrate.

The recovery section will use X-ray technology, with grease as the scavenging technology to recover the low-luminescence diamonds. The diamonds will be sorted into parcels at the on-site sorting facility.

Potential Job Creation
Not stated.

Net Present Value/Internal Rate of Return
The project has an after-tax net present value, at a 7% discount rate, of $2-billion and an internal rate of return of 19%, with a payback of 3.5 years after the start of construction.

Capital Expenditure
Preproduction capital expenditure is estimated $1.41-billion.

Planned Start /End Date
Not stated.

Latest Developments
Star Diamonds’ technical team is once again focused on the technical investigation and evaluation of the project.

The renewed focus on the technical investigation marks a crucial phase for Star Diamonds, which is preparing a revised mineral resource estimate (MRE) for the project.

This updated estimate will serve as a cornerstone for a prefeasibility study (PFS), on which a production decision can be based.

The scoping of an updated PFS will start in early 2024.

An estimated C$3-million in flow-through funding is required for 2024 to cover the revised resource estimate, the technical team expenses, scoping of the PFS, overall site management and environmental compliance.

Additional financing of at least C$3-million to C$5-million will be needed to cover the costs of the updated engineering work required by the PFS in the latter part of 2024 and early 2025.

Star Diamonds has reported that it will buy Rio Tinto’s 75% interest in the Fort à la Corne JV.

Key Contracts and Suppliers
SGS Canada, DRA Americas and ENGCOMP Engineering and Computing Professionals (PEA).

Contact Details for Project Information
Star Diamond Corp, tel +1 306 664 2202 or email

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter



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