Stornoway Diamond announced the completion of the first sale of its Renard Mine diamonds, which took place between the 14th and 23rd of November, in Antwerp Belgium. Reportedly a total of 38,913 carats were sold at an average price of US$195 per carat accounting for proceeds of US$7.6 million. Last month the Canadian Corporation announced they would be going on sale two months prior to what had previously been anticipated.
Matt Manson, President and CEO of Stornoway, commented “The diamonds sold in this first sale represent a portion of our production recovered during the initial commissioning and ramp-up of the Renard project during August and September.” 153 diamantaires in Antwerp attended the tender, suggesting that interest levels for the product assortment was high.
Mason did comment on how India’s “demonetization has impacted pricing and demand for certain smaller and lower quality items and, as a result, a quantity of these were withdrawn from the sale.” Due to the adjusted stock “the result of this first sale cannot be taken as representative of the longer term pricing profile of the project.”
This tender was the first introduction of the Québec-sourced diamonds to the market and served as an exercise to test the waters in terms of price. “We look forward to growing our sales profile over the next few months. The project’s production ramp-up continues to exceed our expectations, and three tender sales have been scheduled for the first quarter of 2017.”
Ore processing from Renard commenced in July and has already surpassed the fiscal year’s guidance of 220,000 carats at an average grade of 97 carats per hundred tonnes. As of November 15, 244,623 tonnes of ore had been processed for an attributable carat production of 261,353 carats, representing an average grade of 107 carats per hundred tonnes. The company expects to reach commercial production, which translates to 60% of capacity, by year-end. The Corporation estimates average production will reach 1.8 million carats annually for the initial 10 years of the mine, at an average of US$155 per carat in March 2016 terms. The Renard Mine has a life expectancy of 14-years.