Stornoway reports initial 26.1 million carat mineral resource estimate for the Qilalugaq Project, Nunavut
MONTREAL, QUEBEC–(Marketwire – June 12, 2012) – Stornoway Diamond Corporation (TSX:SWY) is pleased to announce the filing on SEDAR of a National Instrument ("NI") 43-101 technical report representing the first Mineral Resource estimate for the Q1-4 kimberlite pipe located at Stornoway's 100% owned Qilalugaq Diamond Project in Nunavut, Canada. The Qilalugaq Diamond Project includes the Qilalugaq kimberlite pipes and the Naujaat system of kimberlite dykes, and has been the focus of ongoing exploration and assessment work by Stornoway since it was optioned and subsequently acquired from BHPB Billiton Diamonds Inc. ("BHPB") in July 2006 and July 2010, respectively.
Highlights of the NI 43-101 technical report include:
- a total Inferred Mineral Resource for the Q1-4 kimberlite pipe of 26.1 million carats from 48.8 million tonnes total content of kimberlite with an average +1 DTC total diamond content of 53.6 carats per hundred tonnes (cpht) extending from surface to a depth of 205m;
- additional resource upside has been identified in the form of a target for further exploration for the Q1-4 kimberlite pipe of between 7.9 to 9.3 million carats from 14.1 to 16.6 million tonnes total content of kimberlite with an average +1 DTC total diamond content of 56.1 cpht, extending from 205m depth to 305m depth.
The reader is cautioned that mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability. In addition, the potential quantity and grade of any target for further exploration is conceptual in nature, there has been insufficient exploration to define a mineral resource, and it is uncertain if further exploration will result in the target being delineated as a mineral resource.
Matt Manson, President and CEO, commented: "As we focus on the financing and development of the Renard Diamond Project in Québec, we continue to nurture our pipeline projects that represent the company's future growth potential. The Qilalugaq Project, along with the Aviat Project on the Melville Peninsula of Nunavut, is one of our advanced exploration projects where previous work has delineated a large potential inventory of diamonds, but where we have only limited diamond valuation data. The Q1-4 kimberlite complex at Qilalugaq is large, easily accessible from the hamlet of Repulse Bay, and exposed at surface. We are very pleased to have reported such a large maiden mineral resource estimate at a project that, with the long term positive outlook on diamond prices, is becoming increasing compelling."
Qilalugaq Mineral Resource Estimate
The Qilalugaq Project comprises 114,961 hectares of land located on the Rae Isthmus, which connects the Melville Peninsula to mainland Nunavut. BHPB discovered eight kimberlites at Qilalugaq between 2003 and 2005. Stornoway optioned the property in July of 2006, and discovered an additional eight kimberlites between 2006 and 2010. All kimberlites are diamondiferous, and occur within a 26 x 3 km structurally favourable corridor. In July of 2010, Stornoway increased its ownership in Qilalugaq to 100% by providing BHPB with a 3% royalty interest in the project.
The 12.5 hectare Q1-4 kimberlite, the largest kimberlite pipe in the eastern Canadian Arctic, is situated approximately 8 km from tidewater, and less than 9 km from the hamlet of Repulse Bay. Q1-4 is interpreted as a complex, steep-sided, diatreme to root-zone kimberlite, with a lobate external shape. It is comprised of five phases of kimberlite: A28a, A48a, A48b, A61a and A88a, and has been geologically modeled to a depth of 305m below surface (see image: http://tinyurl.com/bqvtk6j). The pipe shape was defined from drill hole data, country rock and kimberlite outcrop exposures, and magnetic geophysical surveys. Kimberlite geology has been determined using detailed logging of drill core and results of petrographic studies and includes massive volcaniclastic kimberlite classified as "tuffisitic" kimberlitic breccia, lesser coherent "hypabyssal" kimberlite, and varying proportions of country-rock xenoliths.
The mineral resource estimate was authored by Geostrat Consulting Inc. ("Geostrat"), and comprises the integration of kimberlite volumes, density, petrology and diamond content-data obtained from 5,133 m of diamond drilling, 2,714 m of reverse circulation (RC) drilling, 2.9 tonnes of samples submitted for microdiamond analysis, 257.7 tonnes of samples submitted for macrodiamond sampling with 59.2 carats of diamonds (2,054 stones) recovered from RC drilling, 7.5 carats of diamonds (205 stones) recovered from surface trenching and 2.36 carats of diamonds (69 stones) recovered from HQ diameter diamond drilling. These data summarize the results of exploration programs conducted on the Qilalugaq Property by BHPB from 2003 to 2005, and by Stornoway from 2006 to 2012.
The technical report recommends proceeding to the collection of a large tonnage surface sample at Q1-4 to establish a diamond price estimate. Stornoway has submitted an application to the relevant regulatory authorities to allow it to pursue this program of work, subject to an investment decision to proceed.
Qualified Persons for the NI 43-101 Report
Mr. David Farrow, P.Geo. (BC) of GeoStrat is the independent Qualified Person responsible for the preparation of the mineral resource estimate section for the Qilalugaq Diamond Project. Ms. Barbara Kupsch, P.Geo. (AB) of Stornoway, a Qualified Person under NI 43-101, is responsible for the preparation of the remaining sections of the technical report and conducted Stornoway's diamond exploration programs for the Qilalugaq Property. Both of these Qualified Persons have reviewed and approved the contents of this press release.
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. Stornoway's diamond exploration programs are conducted under the direction of Robin Hopkins, P.Geol. (NT/NU), a Qualified Person under NI 43-101.
On behalf of the Board
STORNOWAY DIAMOND CORPORATION
Matt Manson, President and Chief Executive Officer
This press release contains "forward-looking information" within the meaning of Canadian securities legislation and "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. This information and these statements, referred to herein as "forward-looking statements", are made as of the date of this press release and the Company does not intend, and does not assume any obligation, to update these forward-looking statements, except as required by law.
Forward-looking statements relate to future events or future performance and reflect current expectations or beliefs regarding future events and include, but are not limited to, statements with respect to: (i) the amount of mineral resources and exploration targets; (ii) the amount of future production over any period; (iii) net present value and internal rates of return of the mining operation; (iv) assumptions relating to capital costs, operating costs and other cost metrics set out in the Feasibility Study; (v) assumptions relating to gross revenues, operating cash flow and other revenue metrics set out in the Feasibility Study; (vi) assumptions relating to recovered grade, average ore recovery and other mining parameters set out in the Feasibility Study; (vii) mine expansion potential and expected mine life; (viii) expected time frames for completion of permitting and regulatory approvals and making a production decision; (ix) future exploration plans; (x) future market prices for rough diamonds; and (xi) sources of and anticipated financing requirements. Any statements that express or involve discussions with respect to predictions, expectations, beliefs, plans, projections, objectives, assumptions or future events or performance (often, but not always, using words or phrases such as "expects", "anticipates", "plans", "projects", "estimates", "assumes", "intends", "strategy", "goals", "objectives" or variations thereof or stating that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will" be taken, occur or be achieved, or the negative of any of these terms and similar expressions) are not statements of historical fact and may be forward-looking statements.
Forward-looking statements are made based upon certain assumptions by Stornoway or its consultants and other important factors that, if untrue, could cause the actual results, performances or achievements of Stornoway to be materially different from future results, performances or achievements expressed or implied by such statements. Such statements and information are based on numerous assumptions regarding present and future business strategies and the environment in which Stornoway will operate in the future, including the price of diamonds, anticipated costs and ability to achieve goals. Certain important factors that could cause actual results, performances or achievements to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to: (i) estimated completion date for the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment; (ii) required capital investment and estimated workforce requirements; (iii) estimates of net present value and internal rates of return; (iv) receipt of regulatory approvals on acceptable terms within commonly experienced time frames; (v) the assumption that a production decision will be made, and that decision will be positive; (vi) anticipated timelines for the commencement of mine production; (vii) anticipated timelines related to the Route 167 extension and the impact on the development schedule at Renard; (viii) anticipated timelines for community consultations; (ix) market prices for rough diamonds and the potential impact on the Renard Project's value; and (x) future exploration plans and objectives.
By their very nature, forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties, both general and specific, and risks exist that estimates, forecasts, projections and other forward-looking statements will not be achieved or that assumptions do not reflect future experience. We caution readers not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements as a number of important risk factors could cause the actual outcomes to differ materially from the beliefs, plans, objectives, expectations, anticipations, estimates, assumptions and intentions expressed in such forward-looking statements. These risk factors may be generally stated as the risk that the assumptions and estimates expressed above do not occur, including the assumption in many forward-looking statements that other forward-looking statements will be correct, but specifically include, without limitation, (i) risks relating to variations in the grade, kimberlite lithologies and country rock content within the material identified as mineral resources from that predicted; (ii) variations in rates of recovery and breakage; (iii) the greater uncertainty of exploration targets; (iv) developments in world diamond markets; (v) slower increases in diamond valuations than assumed; (vi) risks relating to fluctuations in the Canadian dollar and other currencies relative to the US dollar; (vii) increases in the costs of proposed capital and operating expenditures; (viii) increases in financing costs or adverse changes to the terms of available financing if any; (ix) tax rates or royalties being greater than assumed; (x) results of exploration in areas of potential expansion of resources; (xi) changes in development or mining plans due to changes in other factors or exploration results of Stornoway; (xii) changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined; (xiii) risks relating to receipt of regulatory approvals; (xiv) the effects of competition in the markets in which Stornoway operates; (xv) operational and infrastructure risks; and (xvi) the additional risks described in Stornoway's most recently filed Annual Information Form, annual and interim MD&A, and Stornoway's anticipation of and success in managing the foregoing risks. Stornoway cautions that the foregoing list of factors that may affect future results is not exhaustive.
When relying on our forward-looking statements to make decisions with respect to Stornoway, investors and others should carefully consider the foregoing factors and other uncertainties and potential events. Stornoway does not undertake to update any forward-looking statement, whether written or oral, that may be made from time to time by Stornoway or on our behalf, except as required by law.
Stornoway Diamond Corporation
President and CEO
Stornoway Diamond Corporation
Manager Investor Relations
604-983-7754 or Toll Free: 1-877-331-2232