Stornoway Announces Additional Renard Diamond Recovery Results
21 Carat Diamond Recovered from 500 Tonne Lynx Dyke Sample
December 13, 2007
Stornoway Diamond Corporation (TSX-SWY) is pleased to provide diamond recovery results on three additional large scale samples recently acquired from the Renard project in north-central Québec, a 50:50 joint venture with SOQUEM INC. ("SOQUEM"). The three samples comprise a 500 tonne trench sample extracted from the Lynx kimberlite dyke, and two additional samples collected from the Renard 3 and Renard 4 kimberlites during the recently completed Renard bulk sampling program. Included in the parcel of diamonds recovered from the Lynx sample was a stone with a weight of more than 21 carats. Complete diamond recovery data for the three samples, utilizing both x-ray sorter and grease table recovery circuits, are as follows:
CEO Eira Thomas stated, "The recovery of a 21 carat diamond in an exploration size sample from the Lynx dyke is a spectacular result. Large, high value gems are important value drivers for a potential Renard diamond mine and it is encouraging to see these diamonds being regularly recovered at each stage of assessment. These new diamond results represent part of the ongoing work to arrive at the first formal resource calculation for the Renard project, which is anticipated late in the first quarter, 2008".
The new samples have been processed in support of a program of geological modeling and National Instrument ("NI") 43-101 compatible resource work that is being conducted by Stornoway and AMEC Americas Ltd. within the context of the Renard pre-feasibility study, the principal author of which is Agnico-Eagle Mines Ltd. The geological context of each sample is given below.
The Lynx dyke system is a zone of continuous or semi-continuous kimberlite dykes located approximately 2 kilometers west of the Renard cluster of kimberlite pipes and extending for a strike length of at least 3.7km. Individual components of the dyke system have previously been referred to as "Lynx", "Lynx South" and "Lynx North". The current sample was collected during the summer from "Lynx South" at two separate trench locations and processed in three batches. 528.97 carats of diamonds were recovered from a total dry tonnage of 494.3 tonnes for an overall diamond recovery of 107 carats per hundred tonnes (cpht) for stones retained on a +1 DTC screen. The 21 carat stone was broken during sample processing and was recovered in principally three large fragments, the largest of which weighs 11.73 carats. The stone is estimated to have had an original weight of more than 23 carats prior to breakage and is described as a brown gem quality octahedron. A photograph of this diamond can be found on the Stornoway website at http://stornowaydiamonds.com/news/2007/dec07/.
Between 2004 and 2006, Stornoway's wholly owned subsidiary Ashton Mining of Canada Inc. ("Ashton") and its JV partner SOQUEM collected a series of samples from surface boulders and trenches at various locations along the Lynx dyke system that returned individual sample diamond contents of between 36 and 256 cpht. The largest diamond recovered during these programs was a 5.66 carat light brown gem quality octahedron.
These previously reported diamond recovery results from the various components of the Lynx dyke system are summarized in the following table:
The 588 carat parcel of Lynx diamonds recovered to date will now allow a preliminary estimate of average diamond value to be determined for this dyke system. The valuation will be used in support of studies ongoing to determine the suitability of the Lynx kimberlite to form a high grade resource amenable to extraction by shallow stripping or trenching during the early commissioning and ramp-up period of a potential Renard diamond mine. Should such stripping prove feasible, the nearby Hibou and North anomaly dykes have the potential to provide additional, near-surface resources. To this end, samples from the Hibou and North Anomaly dykes, weighing 31 and 28 tonnes respectively, have been collected and are currently undergoing final diamond recovery. Results from this sampling will provide greater definition of the diamond content of these two bodies.
Renard 4 sample 4003 was collected in 2006 as part of the Renard 4 bulk sampling program. In total, 2,100 tonnes of kimberlite in six sub-samples were extracted from a single surface trench excavated within the northern complex zone ("NCZ") of Renard 4, a distinct unit of complex geology outcropping at the northern limit of the kimberlite. Diamond recovery results for the first five sub-samples (Stornoway press release dated August 14, 2007) comprised 2,213 carats of diamonds with a combined dry sample weight of 1,659 tonnes for an overall diamond recovery of 133 cpht for stones retained on a +1 DTC screen. Individual sub-samples exhibited recovered diamond contents of between 80 and 184 cpht. Sample 4003, the sixth Renard 4 sub-sample, has now returned 508.60 carats of diamonds from a total dry tonnage of 439.6 tonnes for an overall diamond recovery of 116 cpht for stones retained on a +1 DTC screen.
Complete diamond recovery results now reported from the Renard 4 bulk sample are as follows:
In a diamond valuation exercise undertaken in September 2007 by WWW International Diamond Consultants Ltd. the original parcel of diamonds recovered from the Renard 4 NCZ received a modeled "base case" diamond price estimate of US$69 per carat compared to US$109 per carat for the Renard 2 and Renard 3 valuation parcels. The Renard 4 sample differed from the others in that it had an apparent relative absence of larger diamonds, and its lower modeled price estimate was principally a function of this finer diamond size distribution. The Renard 4 NCZ carries a high diamond content and is accessible at surface, but it is not representative geologically of the bulk of Renard 4, which is comprised of a tuffisitic kimberlite breccia with affinities to the "kimb2a" tuffisitic kimberlite breccia observed in Renard 2. Hence, it is uncertain whether the Renard 4 NCZ bulk sample, with an apparently finer diamond size distribution, may be taken as representative of the diamonds contained in the larger part of Renard 4, or whether the coarser diamond characteristics observed in the Renard 2 and Renard 3 are more applicable.
Sample 4003 was processed in order to increase the size of the parcel of diamonds recovered from the Renard 4 NCZ and to assist in determining the exact nature of the Renard 4 NCZ diamond size distribution. Sample 4003 has a higher average stone size than the previous Renard 4 samples, and a diamond size distribution closer to that exhibited by Renard 2 and Renard 3. These new data will now be incorporated into the ongoing Renard resource work, which may include a restatement of average diamond value for the Renard 4 kimberlite.
Renard 3 sample 3105 was collected in 2007 from the underground decline established within the Renard 3 kimberlite. In total, 2114 tonnes of kimberlite in thirteen sub-samples were extracted from across the breadth of Renard 3. Diamond recovery results for the first twelve sub-samples (Stornoway press release dated June 20, 2007) comprised 2,681 carats of diamonds from a combined dry sample weight of 1,928 tonnes for an overall diamond recovery of 139 cpht for stones retained on a +1 DTC screen. Individual sub-samples exhibited recovered diamond contents of between 78 and 223 cpht. Sample 3105 has now returned 117.78 carats of diamonds from a total dry tonnage of 185.2 tonnes for an overall diamond recovery of 64 cpht for stones retained on a +1 DTC screen.
Sample 3105 was processed in order to give greater definition to the "kimb3b" tuffisitic kimberlite breccia within Renard 3, which comprises a minor part of the Renard 3 kimberlite and a small portion of the exposed kimberlite within the Renard 3 decline. It was selected, deliberately, to give greater grade control on a geological unit within Renard 3 previously observed to have a low diamond carrying capacity. The results from sample 3105 are consistent with those obtained from earlier, smaller-scale sampling.
Complete diamond recovery results now reported from the Renard 3 bulk sample are as follows:
Scientific and Technical Data
Diamond results reported in this release are based on sample processing by a 10 tph DMS plant owned by Stornoway (through Ashton) and SOQUEM in joint venture, and operated by Stornoway, and on the recovery of diamonds from concentrate at Stornoway's wholly owned and operated mineralogical laboratory in North Vancouver, British Columbia. All three samples were processed during October and November 2007. Quality assurance protocols and actual operating procedures for the processing, transport and recovery of diamonds under the Renard Project sampling programs, including arms-length security provisions, conform to industry standard Chain of Custody provisions and are subject to the review of AMEC Americas Ltd. who have been contracted to provide third party accreditation for program data.
For the Renard bulk sample program, and associated large tonnage sampling programs such as at Lynx, individual kimberlite samples are prepared through a primary jaw crusher prior to introduction to the 10 tph DMS. To facilitate production of a heavy mineral concentrate, -20mm material is fed directly into the DMS and +20mm material is reduced through a secondary cone crusher set at 10mm. Within the DMS, -6mm coarse reject "floats" are re-crushed and re-circulated. During the processing of the current samples a 1.0mm by 12.0mm slotted screen was employed within the DMS. The use of this screen can be expected to produce a minimum stone size greater than that retained on a +1 DTC screen which is approximately equivalent to a 0.85mm square mesh screen. However, the bottom cut-off screen sizes used on the DMS will result in under-recovery of smaller diamonds and will not allow a direct comparison with previously reported diamond contents. Following delivery to North Vancouver, the resultant DMS concentrate was then processed twice through x-ray sorter equipment to generate a final concentrate which was hand sorted to extract diamonds. A grease table finish was used to recover diamonds from all x-ray sorter rejects. As part of Stornoway's ongoing QA/QC program, DMS tails, concentrate residues and other materials are also subject to audit. Any significant changes to the recovered diamond grades provided above will be reported when available. The Renard bulk sample program is managed by Dave Skelton, P.Geol., Senior Project Manager. Stornoway's diamond exploration programs are conducted under the direction of Robin Hopkins P.Geol, Vice President, Exploration, a Qualified Person under NI 43-101 and he has reviewed and approved the contents of this release.
Stornoway Diamond Corporation
Stornoway Diamond Corporation is one of Canada's leading diamond exploration and development companies, involved in the discovery of over 155 kimberlites in six Canadian diamond districts. The Company benefits from a diversified diamond property portfolio, a strong financial platform and management and technical teams with experience in each segment of the diamond "pipeline" from exploration to marketing.
SOQUEM is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Société générale de financement du Québec ("SGF"). The SGF, the Quebec industrial and financial holding company, has as its mission to undertake economic development projects in the industrial sector in cooperation with partners and in compliance with the economic development policies of the Government of Quebec.
On behalf of the Board
STORNOWAY DIAMOND CORPORATION
/s/ "Eira Thomas"
Chief Executive Officer
This news release may contain forward looking statements, being statements which are not historical facts, including, without limitation, statements regarding potential mineralization, exploration results, resource or reserve estimates, anticipated production or results, sales, revenues, costs, "best-efforts" financings or discussions of future plans and objectives. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove accurate. Such statements are necessarily based upon a number of estimates and assumptions that are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results and future events to differ materially from those anticipated or projected. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the Company's expectations are in Company documents filed from time to time with the Toronto Stock Exchange and provincial securities regulators, most of which are available at www.sedar.com. The Company disclaims any intention or obligation to revise or update such statements.