Stornoway Announces the Successful Completion of the Final Public Hearings for Renard in Mistissini and Chibougamau
Project Permitting on Track for Completion in 2012
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Aug. 30, 2012) -Stornoway Diamond Corporation (TSX:SWY) is pleased to announce the successful completion of public hearings on the Renard Diamond Project held by the Review Committee ("COMEX") established under the James Bay and Northern Québec Agreement (the "JBNQA"). The COMEX hearings were held in Chibougamau and Mistissini on August 28th and 29th, and are expected to be the final round of public consultation prior to the determination of the project's eligibility to receive its global Certificate of Authorization. The Certificate of Authorization is the principal regulatory approval needed to advance the project to the construction and mining stages, and is expected to be assessed prior to the end of the year.
The Renard Diamond Project falls under the environmental protection regimes of the JBNQA and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. The Renard Environmental and Social Impact Assessment ("ESIA") was filed in December 2011 with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency and the Québec Ministère du Développement Durable, de l'Environnement et des Parcs. Public hearings on the ESIA, held separately by the federal and Québec regulators, are an important step in the mine permitting process, and are designed to gauge the overall social acceptability of the proposed development. As with the federal consultations held in June, attendance in both communities for the COMEX hearings was considerable, and comments received on the project were overwhelmingly positive.
Since the project was originally discovered, Stornoway and its predecessor companies have demonstrated a commitment to responsible social engagement with the communities most impacted by the proposed development. In March of this year Stornoway entered into an Impacts and Benefits Agreement, the "Mecheshoo Agreement", with the Cree Nation of Mistissini ("CNM") and the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) / Cree Regional Authority. In July, Stornoway announced a Declaration of Partnership with the communities of Chibougamau and Chapais. Stornoway believes its pro-active approach to community engagement, and the project's strong social acceptability, has been fully appreciated during the mine permitting review process.
The Renard ESIA, as well as the project's Environmental Baseline Study and Restoration Plan, are available in their entirety on Stornoway's website (www.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 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