Stornoway Diamond Corporation (TSX-SWY) is pleased to announce the completion and filing of an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) for the Renard Diamond Project located in North Central Qu?bec. The submission of the ESIA, which was authored by Roche Ltd., is an important milestone in the permitting of the project. It follows upon the completion of a positive Feasibility Study for Renard in mid-November, and the release of a Certificate of Authorization for the Route 167 Extension highway development project by the Minist?re du D?veloppement durable, de l’Environnement et des Parcs of Qu?bec (the “MDDEP”) in early December.
Matt Manson, Stornoway’s President and CEO, commented: “The Renard ESIA is a comprehensive document that incorporates many years of social and environmental baseline study and stakeholder consultations within the communities of Mistissini, Chibougamau and Chapais. In particular, it has benefitted from the participation of individual community members in the Renard Environmental Exchange Group which has met regularly throughout 2011 in the Cree community of Mistissini. The Renard ESIA describes a small-footprint project with modest impacts on local land, water and air quality, all of which are well within existing Quebec and federal standards. At the same time, the project offers substantial economic benefits in the form of long term employment and business opportunities across the James Bay region of Qu?bec.”
The Renard Diamond Project falls under the environmental protection regimes of the James Bay and Northern Qu?bec Agreement (the “JBNQA”) and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. The purpose of the Renard ESIA is to allow the relevant Quebec and federal regulators to properly assess the impact of the project and to seek input from local stakeholders on the proposed development. In this context, the Renard ESIA has been filed with both the MDDEP and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (the “CEAA”). Subject to a schedule to be established by the Review Committee of the JBNQA (“COMEX”) and the CEAA, it is currently expected that public hearings will be held in the first half of 2012 and, upon the satisfaction of all regulatory requirements, the project will be eligible for the receipt of Qu?bec and federal Certificates of Authorization by the middle of 2012. Once the provincial and federal administrators have issued authorizations for project development, final mine permits will be sought from the MDDEP, the Minist?re des Ressources Naturelles et de la Faune, and all relevant federal authorities.
The Feasibility Study for the Renard Diamond Project that was released on November 16th 2011 contemplates an 11 year mine life based on an initial National Instrument (“NI”) 43-101 compliant Mineral Reserve of 18 million carats (23.0 mtonnes at an average grade of 78 carats per hundred tonnes). Stornoway has also developed a Long Term Business Plan (“LTBP”) based on the project’s total Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resources to a depth of 700m, all of which are within the scope of the Feasibility Study mine infrastructure. The LTBP contemplates a longer mine life, and an increased production rate within the scope of the process plant’s design parameters. In accordance with NI 43-101, the project’s Inferred Mineral Resources are not included in the Feasibility Study economic analysis. However, in order to allow a proper assessment of the project’s full environmental and social impact, the Renard ESIA is based upon the extended mine plan contained within the LTBP, which thus forms part the project’s public disclosure under applicable federal and provincial legislation. A copy of the ESIA will be available on the Stornoway website at http://stornowaydiamonds.com/renard/esia.
About the Renard Diamond Project
The Renard Diamond Project is located approximately 250 km north of the Cree community of Mistissini and 350 km north of Chibougamau in the James Bay region of North-Central Qu?bec. In November 2011, Stornoway released the results of a Feasibility Study for Renard that highlighted the potential of the project to become a significant producer of high value rough diamonds over a long mine life. Current NI 43-101 compliant Probable Mineral Reserves stand at 18.0 million carats, with a further 17.5 million carats classified as Inferred Mineral Resources and 23.5 to 48.5 million carats classified as non-resource exploration upside, as detailed in Stornoway’s press release dated November 16th, 2011 (the “FS press release”). All kimberlites remain open at depth. Pre-production capital cost stands at C$802 million, with a life of mine operating cost of C$54.71/tonne giving a 68% operating margin over an initial 11 year mine life. Production start-up is scheduled for 2015. In addition to the FS press release, readers are referred to Stornoway’s company profile on Sedar (www.sedar.com) for further details and assumptions relating to the Renard Diamond Project. A technical report for the Feasibility Study announced on November 16th will be filed with regulatory authorities and made available on Sedar on or before December 31, 2011.
About Stornoway Diamond Corporation
Stornoway is a leading Canadian diamond exploration and development company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol SWY. Our flagship asset is the 100% owned Renard Diamond Project, on track to becoming Qu?bec’s first diamond mine. Stornoway also maintains an active diamond exploration program with both advanced and grassroots programs in the most prospective regions of Canada. Stornoway is a growth oriented company with a world class asset, in one of the world’s best mining jurisdictions, in one of the world’s great mining businesses.
On behalf of the Board