Stornoway Diamond shares down on $37 million loss, departure of CEO

Shares in Canada’s Stornoway Diamond Corp. (TSX:SWY) plummeted Wednesday after the miner reported a net loss of $37.6 million for the three months ended Sept. 30 and announced that chief executive officer Matt Manson will leave at the end of the year.

Mason will be replaced by chief operating officer Patrick Godin, who joined Stornoway in 2010 and was appointed to the board of directors in 2011. Manson, who has been with Stornoway since 2005, will provide support to Godin in 2019, the company said.

The Montreal-based diamond producer said revenue for the period stood at $29.4 million, thanks mainly to two sales held in the quarter, totalling 184,620 carats, which brought proceeds of $24.8 million, or $103 per carat (CAD$134).

Stornoway has focused its efforts this year on expanding its flagship Renard diamond project in north-central Quebec.

Third quarter diamond production was 329,306 carats produced from the processing of 597,761 tonnes of ore at an average grade of 55 carats per hundred tonnes (“cpht”), Stornoway said. Grade and carat recoveries during the quarter improved by 39% and 47% respectively compared to the second quarter with the mining of higher grade ore, the company stated. Stornoway has focused its efforts this year on expanding its flagship Renard diamond project in north-central Quebec.

Shares in the company were trading down 14% in Toronto to C$0.24 by 11:55 am EST.

While Stornoway produces a variety of stones, it is more exposed to the low quality end of the market, and those diamonds are currently selling for much less now than five years ago due to an unforeseen oversupply.

Stornoway, and rivals Petra Diamonds and Mountain Province Diamonds, have all lost more than two thirds of their value in the past two years.