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Stornoway Provides Update on Renard Powerline Study

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RobertJames   Wednesday, 07/04/12 08:27:09 AM
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Stornoway Provides Update on Renard Powerline Study

LONGUEUIL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - July 4, 2012) -Stornoway Diamond Corporation (TSX:SWY) is pleased to report that it has received the results of a feasibility study on a 161kV powerline to supply grid power to the Renard Diamond Project, Stornoway's 100% owned flagship asset located in north-central Québec.

The powerline study was conducted on behalf of Stornoway by Hydro-Québec, the provincially owned utility. Capital cost is estimated at $173.6 million for a 159 kilometer long line between Renard and the Laforge 1 hydro-electric generating station. The December 2011 Renard Project Feasibility Study contemplates on-site power generation using diesel fueled gensets, with a pre-production capital cost of C$802 million and an average operating cost of C$54.71/tonne. A powerline would represent additional capital cost to the project, but a potential saving in operating cost. Based on a Hydro-Québec tariff "L" of $0.0583/kWh, it is estimated that the operating cost savings would be approximately C$9/tonne based on the operating parameters contained within the Feasibility Study.

The Hydro-Québec powerline has been designed to support multiple users, including potential mine development projects located to the south of Renard. Hydro-Québec will require that Stornoway finance the powerline's cost upfront, and have proposed a capital rebate should these other projects be connected in the future. On this basis, Stornoway estimates that the powerline as currently configured will yield only a marginal net economic benefit to the Renard Project over the initial 11 years of Mineral Reserve-based mine life, but will produce a more positive economic return over the longer mine life that would be achieved should the project's total Mineral Resource be developed.

Consequently, Stornoway will not proceed with the powerline proposal as presented by Hydro-Québec, and will pursue the initial development of Renard based on the diesel fueled genset configuration contained within the Renard Feasibility Study. Stornoway will seek to develop a powerline to Renard on a more cost efficient basis as a second phase capital investment following the completion of mine construction, and based upon the future potential development of the project's large Inferred Mineral Resource and exploration upside.

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 Québec. 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. 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. 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. Readers are referred to the technical report dated December 29, 2011 in respect of the Renard Diamond Project for further details and assumptions relating to the project.

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 Québec'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


Matt Manson, President and Chief Executive Officer

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