QUEBEC – Montreal’s Stornoway Diamond Corp. continues with the Renard diamond mine development on time and on budget. The project, 350 km north of Chibougamau in the James Bay region, is expected to reach commercial production in the first half of 2017.
In numbers released for Q1 2016 ending July 31, 2015, the company noted that overall construction is 35% complete, 2% ahead of the timeline. However, engineering progress lags 7%; it is only 80% complete. Nonetheless, manpower at the site averaged 329 workers, of which 24% were Crees of the Eeyou Istchee during July. Incurred costs and commitments at the end of the quarter were $402.5 million, or 50% of the budget.
Stornoway reported that at the end of July, principal construction on the process plant, power plant, maintenance facility and primary crusher were not only started but well advanced. The maintenance facility and mill building are expected to be done by the end of September and October, respectively.
Overburden and waste rock removal from the Renard 2-3 and 65 pits totaled 3.27 million tonnes at July 31, or 88% of plan. Mining at Renard 2-3 is expected to create a kimberlite stockpile of 700,000 tonnes by the time mill commissioning begins next year. Cold weather during March and April plus difficult initial ground conditions meant that the ramp for the underground mine has reached only 486 metres, or 96% of target.
Stornoway said it ended the first quarter with cash, cash equivalents and short term investments of $270.1 million. The amount will cover mine development, financing and corporate costs for the remainder of 2015.
The latest September 2015 photos from the Renard project are posted at StornowayDiamonds.com.