Stornoway Commences Fall Drilling At Renard - High Potential To Expand Project Resources
August 26, 2010
Stornoway Diamond Corporation (TSX-SWY) is pleased to announce the commencement of a fall program of exploration drilling at the Renard Diamond Project, located in North Central Québec. The Renard Diamond Project is a 50:50 joint venture between Stornoway Diamond Corporation and SOQUEM Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Société générale de financement du Québec ("SGF"), the Québec government's main industrial and financial holding company.
The upcoming drill program is a continuation of a step-out program of deep drilling first initiated last winter (Stornoway Press Release dated April 14, 2010), and is designed to assess the size and composition of several kimberlite pipes outside the established mineral resource. This step-out drilling is part of an ongoing effort to determine the overall scope of the potential mineral resources at the project within the context of the ongoing mine design and mine permitting activities. A total of four deep drill holes are planned for the Renard 3, 4 and 65 kimberlites. In addition, a single hole will be drilled at the Renard 1 kimberlite which, although not part of the current mineral resource, has been identified as having the potential for a high diamond content following a review of historical sampling data.
Matt Manson, President and CEO commented: "During 2009, limited deep delineation drilling, principally at Renard 2, resulted in a tripling of the project's mineral resources. We are excited to commence this new program which has the potential to grow the resources further. Our geological models suggest that the Renard kimberlite pipes are less eroded and larger at depth than previously thought, providing significant exploration upside for the project. Our step out drilling is specifically designed to prove this upside. At a time when large diamond resources in good mining jurisdictions are becoming increasingly scarce, Renard ranks amongst the world's best undeveloped diamond deposits."
Renard Geological Modeling and Resource Estimation
In the most recent National Instrument ("NI") 43-101 compliant mineral resource statement (Stornoway Press Release dated December 8th 2009) the Renard Diamond Project was estimated to contain a total Indicated Mineral Resource of 23.0 million carats (26.5 million tonnes at 87 carats per hundred tonnes, "cpht") and a total Inferred Mineral Resource of 13.3 million carats (17.8 million tonnes at 75 cpht). An additional 26.8 to 45.7 million tonnes, containing between 12.2 and 26.5 million carats, was characterized as a potential mineral deposit (or "PMD"). For the Renard kimberlite pipes, this PMD was determined by projecting reasonable kimberlite volumes from the base of the Inferred Mineral Resources to a common depth of 700m below surface. The projections on Renard 3, 4 and 65 were subsequently tested during the winter 2010 drill program. Drill intersections demonstrated that each of these pipes was significantly larger at depth than previously assumed, and that geological models constructed for each pipe may have understated the project's PMD. The reader is cautioned that the potential quantity and grade of any PMD is conceptual in nature, and it is uncertain if further exploration will result in the target being delineated as a mineral resource. Further, mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.
The fall 2010 drill program is designed to provide further deep delineation on each of Renard 3, 4 and 65 to better quantify the PMD and, if possible, allow for the conversion of portions of this material to Inferred Mineral Resources. The drilling will be accompanied by microdiamond sampling for diamond content modeling, but no large scale macro-diamond sampling.
Step-Out Drilling: Renard 3, 4 and 65
The winter 2010 drill program at Renard resulted in the discovery of a significant thickness of kimberlite in an untested location on the eastern side of Renard 3 at 373 meters below surface. It also expanded both the southeastern extent of Renard 4 and the eastern extent of Renard 65, at 759 meters and 383 meters below surface respectively.
The new drilling will seek to confirm the apparent eastern expansion of Renard 3's southern lobe, where it measures approximately 35 x 45 meters. The single hole will extend an existing historical inclined drill hole across the body to the west-southwest, perpendicular to the winter drilling. The target area is outside of the current Inferred Mineral Resource but above the base of the current conceptual mine plan, which currently extends to a depth of 395m at Renard 3.
At Renard 4, a single drill hole will test the northwest extent of the body within the currently modeled PMD at about 600 meters below surface, on the opposite side of the pipe from the winter drilling, and will facilitate collection of microdiamond samples from two of the most volumetrically significant kimberlite units at depth. This hole will also determine kimberlite dilution within these lithologies and help to define the size of the body at this level for ongoing mine planning.
Renard 65 is represented in its entirety in the most recent NI 43-101 compliant mineral resource statement as PMD, with a low range estimate based on its projection to 280 meters below surface and a high range estimate based on projection to 700 meters below surface. The first hole will extend a previous vertical hole in the northern end of the oblong pipe from 200 meters below surface to about 600 meters below surface. The purpose of the hole is to demonstrate continuity of kimberlite at depth and to establish the type and nature of lithologies present beneath current drilling. The second hole will be drilled from south to north along the entire length of the oblong body, initially targeting a poorly defined magmatic unit for which an estimated diamond content has not yet been established (Stornoway Press Release dated July 13, 2010). Measured dilution data and additional sampling data from multiple kimberlite facies across the body will also be an important component of this work.
Exploration Drilling: Renard 1
The Renard 1 kimberlite is situated less than 500 meters north of Renard 65, and was originally discovered in 2001. Geological modeling of the early drill data has suggested the presence of approximately 9.1 million tonnes of kimberlite to a modeled depth of about 280 meters below surface. Three primary kimberlite lithologies comprise the body, representing about 5.6 million tonnes of tuffisitic kimberlite, 2.5 million tonnes of transitional kimberlite and 1.0 million tonnes of hypabyssal kimberlite. These kimberlite lithologies are similar to that recognized in the other Renard bodies currently comprising the mineral resource and, like the other bodies, Renard 1 exhibits a halo of non-kimberlitic country rock breccia ("CRB") and cracked country rock ("CCR"). Between 2001 and 2003, approximately 264 kilograms of mostly hypabyssal kimberlite were analysed for their micro-diamond content, and some 10.3 tonnes of composited material were processed through a commercial dense media separation plant as a series of samples between 300 and 1,500 kilograms in size, returning diamond content results between 0 and 16 cpht. It is now appreciated that this early sample processing incorporated significant amounts of the non-kimberlitic halo material (CRB and CCR) and that the potential diamond content of this large body may be understated. Consequently, a single hole at Renard 1 has been included in the fall drill program to better reconcile the pipe shape with the associated geophysical anomaly and historical drill results, to re-test each of the kimberlite's principal lithologies with industry standard microdiamond analysis, to quantify dilution, and to permit a correlation with other bodies currently in the mine plan.
About Stornoway Diamond Corporation
Stornoway Diamond Corporation is one of Canada's leading diamond exploration and development companies, involved in the discovery of over 200 kimberlites in seven 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. Stornoway's diamond exploration programs are conducted under the direction of Robin Hopkins, P.Geol. (NT/NU), Vice President, Exploration, a Qualified Person under NI 43-101. Mr. Hopkins has reviewed the contents of this press release.
Société générale de financement du Québec (sgfqc.com), an industrial and financial holding company, has a mission to carry out economic development projects, particularly in the industrial sector, in cooperation with partners and in compliance with accepted profitability requirements and with the economic development policy of the Québec government. As part of its new mandate, SGF is authorized by the Québec government to go beyond its traditional role as an equity investor by offering complementary solutions, such as loans, debentures or preferred shares.
SOQUEM, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Société générale de financement du Québec, is to undertake exploration, development and mining activities throughout the province of Québec.
For more information, please contact Matt Manson (President and CEO) at 416-304-1026
or Nick Thomas (Manager Investor Relations) at 604-983-7754, toll free at 1-877-331-2232
Pour plus d'information, veuillez contacter M. Ghislain Poirier, Vice-président Affaires publiques de Stornoway au 418-780-3938, firstname.lastname@example.org ou
Sophie Alarie, Directrice Marketing et Relations publiques à la SGF au numéro 514-876-9368, email@example.com ou Pierre Bertrand, Directeur général de SOQUEM 819-874-3773 ; firstname.lastname@example.org
** Website: www.stornowaydiamonds.com Email: email@example.com **
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