MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwired - Jan 28, 2014) - Stornoway Diamond Corporation (SWY.TO) is pleased to provide an update on the Pikoo and Qilalugaq exploration projects, which are subject to option agreements with North Arrow Minerals Inc. (TSX VENTURE:NAR)("North Arrow"; see Stornoway press release dated March 14, 2013). Under the terms of the option agreements, North Arrow may acquire an 80% interest in each project, subject to a one-time back-in right of Stornoway's. To earn its interest, North Arrow must fund and complete a pre-defined exploration program specific to each project (the "option work programs").
Pikoo Project, Saskatchewan
During 2013, North Arrow completed a ten drill hole program of 2,002 meters at the Pikoo project, located approximately 120 kilometres east of La Ronge, Saskatechewan. The most significant discovery was kimberlite PK150, which is interpreted to be a 10 to 15 m wide, near vertical body, intersected over a 75 m strike length and open to depth and along strike. On November 5, 2013, North Arrow announced that a 209.7 kg sample of drill core from PK150 had returned 745 diamonds larger than the 0.106 mm sieve size, including 23 commercial sized diamonds larger than the 0.85 mm sieve size with a total weight of 0.2815 carats. The 2013 drilling program and the related diamond content analysis fulfilled the requirements of the Pikoo option work program.
Stornoway considers the early drill results from the Pikoo project to be encouraging. Stornoway has not exercised its back-in right under the Pikoo option agreement, but has indicated to North Arrow that it intends to participate in ongoing exploration and evaluation of Pikoo, to be conducted under an 80% (North Arrow) / 20% (Stornoway) participating joint venture arrangement. Exploration plans for 2014 are expected to include a kimberlite indicator mineral till sampling program designed to discover additional kimberlites within the 33,000 ha property.
Qilalugaq Project, Nunavut
The Qilalugaq Diamond Project, located on the Rae Isthmus of Nunavut, close to the hamlet of Repulse Bay, includes the Qilalugaq kimberlite pipes and the Naujaat system of kimberlite dykes. The project includes the 12.5 hectare Q1-4 kimberlite, the largest kimberlite pipe in the eastern Canadian Arctic. In June 2012 Stornoway announced an Inferred Mineral Resource at Q1-4 of 26.1 million carats from 48.8 million tonnes 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.
To fulfil the terms of the Qilalugaq option agreement, North Arrow has informed Stornoway that it intends complete a 1,500 tonne bulk sampling program at the Q1-4 kimberlite to recover a diamond parcel of approximately 500 carats of commercial sized diamonds larger than the 0.85 mm sieve size. This diamond parcel will be used to better determine diamond grade, size distribution, and value. The Qilalugaq work program is expected to commence in July of this year, with an estimated budget of $3.7 million, to be fully funded by North Arrow.
The 2013 Pikoo drilling program was conducted under the direction and supervision of Barbara Kupsch, P.Geol., project manager for the Pikoo Project. Stornoway's diamond exploration programs are conducted under the direction of Robin Hopkins, P.Geol. (NT/NU), Vice President, Exploration, a Qualified Person under NI 43-101. Mr. Hopkins has reviewed and approved the contents of this 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 and headquartered in Montreal. Our flagship asset is the 100% owned Renard Diamond Project, on track to becoming Québec's first diamond mine. 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.
On behalf of the Board
STORNOWAY DIAMOND CORPORATION
/s/ "Matt Manson"
Matt Manson, President and Chief Executive
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 recovered grade, average ore recovery, internal dilution, mining dilution and other mining parameters set out in the Feasibility Study or the Optimization Study; (v) assumptions relating to gross revenues, operating cash flow and other revenue metrics set out in the Feasibility Study or the Optimization Study; (vi) mine expansion potential and expected mine life; (vii) expected time frames for completion of permitting and regulatory approvals and making a production decision; (viii) the expected time frames for the construction of a mining grade road by Stornoway and completion generally of the Route 167 extension and the financial obligations or costs incurred by Stornoway in connection with such road extension; (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 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 Stornoway's ability to achieve its 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) required capital investment and estimated workforce requirements; (ii) estimates of net present value and internal rates of return; (iii) receipt of regulatory approvals on acceptable terms within commonly experienced time frames; (iv) the assumption that a production decision will be made, and that decision will be positive; (v) anticipated timelines for the commencement of mine production; (vi) anticipated timelines related to the construction of a mining grade road by Stornoway and completion generally of the Route 167 extension and the impact on the development schedule at Renard; (vii) anticipated timelines for community consultations and the impact of those consultations on the regulatory approval process; (viii) market prices for rough diamonds and the potential impact on the Renard Project's value; and (ix) future exploration plans and objectives. Additional risks are described in Stornoway's most recently filed Annual Information Form, annual and interim MD&As, and other disclosure documents available under the Company's profile at: www.sedar.com.
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 or the implementation of the existing Impact and Benefits Agreement with aboriginal communities; (xiv) the effects of competition in the markets in which Stornoway operates; (xv) operational and infrastructure risks; (xvi) technical, environmental, permitting and execution risk relating to the construction by Stornoway of a mining grade road forming part of the Route 167 extension, (xvii) 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.