Stornoway Diamond Corp. (TSX:SWY) announced production and sales results at the Renard diamond mine for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2017.
Highlights are as follows:
- Fourth Quarter diamond production of 398,267 carats produced from the processing of 518,817 tonnes of ore with an attributable grade of 77 carats per hundred tonnes (“cpht”), compared to a plan of 415,940 carats from 540,000 tonnes at 77 cpht (96%, 96% and 100% respectively).
- FY2017 diamond production of 1.64 mcarats produced from the processing of 1.96 mtonnes of ore with an attributable grade of 84 cpht, compared to a plan of 1.69 mcarats from 2.00 mtonnes at 85 cpht (97%, 98% and 99% respectively).
- Fourth Quarter sales of 453,646 carats sold in two tenders (2017 sales #8 and #9) for gross proceeds 1 of $49.1 million 2, at an average price of US$86 per carat ( $108 per carat 2).
- FY2017 diamond sales of 1.7 mcarats sold in nine tenders and three out of tender sales for gross proceeds1 of $186.2 million 3, at an average price of US$85 per carat ( $109per carat 3).
- Approximately 1.6 mcarats to be produced from the processing of 2.5 mtonnes of ore at an average grade 65 cpht.
- Of the 1.6 mcarats produced, approximately 1.1 mcarats are expected to be larger than +7 DTC sieve size (+3mm) with average pricing between US$125 and US$165 per carat. Approximately 0.5 mcarats are expected to be smaller than +7 DTC sieve size (-3mm) with average pricing of between US$15 and US$19 per carat.
- Approximately 1.6 mcarats to be sold in 9 tender sales, to be operated through the offices of Stornoway’s sales agent Bonas Couzyn in Antwerp, Belgium.
- Cash operating costs per tonne processed 4 of $56 to $60 per tonne ( $87 to $92 per carat) and capital expenditures 4 of $82 million.
Matt Manson, president and CEO, commented:
We are pleased that in our first year of production at the Renard Mine we are reporting carats, tonnes and grade results broadly in line with guidance. This is a strong testament to the dedication of our operating team and the quality of our Mineral Resource estimates. We continue to see a lower price environment for our diamond sales, in part due to what has been a challenging rough diamond market for a new producer, and in part due to the lower than expected quality and size attributes of our initial production as we process its recovery.
For the Stornoway team, 2018 will be a year of process improvement in diamond recovery, as well as focus on the initiation and ramp-up of our underground mine. It will also be a year with renewed focus on the future at Renard, with opportunities evident to us in processing expansion, resource conversion, and new exploration. Most importantly, we will seek to continue the excellent EH&S performance that we achieved in 2017, with no lost time injuries amongst Stornoway personnel or environmental derogations against permits recorded during the course of the year