Construction continues ahead of schedule, budget as Stornoway ramps up Renard

10th August 2016 By: Henry Lazenby - Creamer Media Deputy Editor: North America

VANCOUVER ( – Quebec-based diamond project developer Stornoway Diamond reported after market close on Tuesday that the Renard project remained ahead of schedule and on budget, according to the revised development plan.

The Montreal-based company advised that it had to date spent or committed 88% of the budget, or C$682-million, as at the end of the second quarter ended June 30.

At the end of the quarter, Renard construction was 97.4% complete, slightly ahead of the revised plan of 95.2%, while mining of the openpits was at 9.5-million tonnes, or 102% of the revised plan.

One project area behind plan was the underground mine development, but this too was catching up after management confirmed that there had not been any recurrence of the localised water issue in the underground mine, which had initially delayed development. Underground development currently stands at 1 842 m, or 85% of plan, an improvement from 82% of plan as at the end of May.

Stornoway reported in mid-July that ore processing at the plant had started, though it did not provide a progress update.

The company advised that it had ended the quarter with C$137.4-million in cash on hand and that it had received a further C$82.7-million from the 91.9-million common share purchase warrants exercised at a strike price of C$0.90 each, which were due to expire on July 8.

Stornoway expected to have excess financing capacity of C$197-million. Based on the progress of the production ramp up that has been achieved over the last few months, management now expects to make its first diamond sale in the next few months, as opposed to its previous guidance of early 2017.