Last week, Candian diamond miner Stornoway Diamond Corporation achieved sustained underground mine production at the Renard Diamond Mine following its ramp-up to or above the mine’s design capacity, marking the completion of the underground mine. Matt Manson, President and CEO, commented: “Completion of the underground mine ramp-up at Renard has not been without its challenges. However, today’s news is validation of the design of the project, the quality of the Renard ore bodies, and the dedication of the Renard mining team and contractors." The transition to underground mining at the Renard mine impacted the company's carat recoveries and sales during the first half of the year, and took longer than anticipated, so miner will be very pleased to have this chapter in the mine's history behind it.
Stornoway is recovering a higher grade of diamonds from the underground portion of the mine and will continue to process ore from that area for the rest of the year, Manson added. "The assisted block cave is developing well and, as expected, the grade of diamond recoveries has increased as we have moved from the initial mining panel at the margin of Renard 2 into the panels closer to the centre of the ore body. Mining and processing for the remainder of the year will be focused on ore mucked from these higher quality panels.” Ore production has now reached 6,039 tons per day against a budgeted design capacity of 6,000 tons per day. It is now being sourced from 16 active draw-points developed on 4 mining panels at the 290m level of the Renard 2 kimberlite. Ore processing over a 20-day period ending August 29, 2018 averaged 7,085 tons per day, with underground feed supplemented with ore derived from the Renard 65 open pit, as planned.