Quebec’s Renard underground mine has achieved its full design capacity of 6 000 t/d, with Stornoway Diamond Corp on Tuesday declaring the underground ramp-up completed.
Over a 20-day period ended on August 29, ore mucked and trucked to surface averaged 6 039 t/d, against a budgeted design capacity of 6 000 t/d.
Ore production is now being sourced from 16 active draw-points developed on four mining panels at the 290 m level of the Renard 2 kimberlite.
Ore processing during this period averaged 7 085 t/d, with underground feed supplemented with ore derived from the Renard 65 openpit, as planned.
“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,” said Stornoway president and CEO Matt Manson.
“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 orebody. Mining and processing for the remainder of the year will be focused on ore mucked from these higher quality panels.”
Meanwhile, pending the achievement of positive free cash flow, Stornoway has approached its lenders and key stakeholders to seek greater financial flexibility. The company said that amendments would include modifications to its existing financing agreements.
“Discussions with stakeholders are ongoing, progressing positively, and at an advanced stage.”