Stornoway Diamond Corporation started processing ore at its flagship Renard mine, signaling the first diamond production in Canada’s Quebec province.
The company said commercial production will be achieved once processing has been maintained for 30 days at 60 percent of the plant’s capacity. The mine is expected to reach full capacity within nine months and subsequently produce 1.8 million carats per annum in the first 10 years at an average valuation of $155 per carat.
Initial production is based on ore recovered at the Renard 2-Renard 3 open pit and supplemented from a stockpile of over 1 million tonnes of ore. The stockpile will enable Stornoway to sustain its planned ramp up of the operation, the company explained.
“The commencement of diamond production at Renard comes exactly two years and five days since we broke ground for mine construction,” said Matt Manson, Stornoway’s president and chief executive officer. “Our focus now turns to the efficient ramping-up of the process plant and the reconciliation of our principal mineral resource and mine operating parameters.”
Renard is Canada’s first diamond mine in the Quebec province whereas other operations such as the Ekati, Diavik, Gahcho Kué and Victor mines are located in the Northwest Territories. Renard shares climbed 5 percent on the Toronto Stock Exchange following the announcement on Friday.