North Vancouver Laboratory
The North Shore facility was originally established in 1994 by Ashton Mining of Canada (“Ashton”). At that time the laboratory consisted of a one tonne/hour Dense Media Separation "DMS" plant, equipment for conducting heavy mineral processing and diamond observation circuits. In 1997 a microdiamond circuit was added to aid in the assessment of new kimberlite discoveries. In 1998 an X-ray flowsort circuit was added for extraction of diamonds from the DMS concentrates.
The laboratory was moved to its current location (Unit 116-980 West 1st Street) in 2004 and the DMS was upgraded to a five tonne/hour plant. After Stornoway’s 2007 purchase of Ashton , the X-ray flowsort circuit was upgraded, a grease table circuit was added and much of the heavy mineral processing equipment was removed.
Also during 2007 a ten tonne/hour DMS was built on-site at the Renard Project in Quebec to process the bulk sample kimberlitic material to a concentrate that was then shipped to the North Vancouver lab for final processing and diamond recovery.
Microlithics in Thunderbay
Located in Thunderbay, Ontario, Microlithics Laboratories is an independent mineral process laboratory that provides services exclusively to Stornoway and its affiliates including:
Dense Media Separation
Indicator Mineral Processing
Indicator Mineral Extraction from Rock
The DMS plant is owned by Stornoway, and operated by Microlithics Laboratories. Purchased new from Dowding, Reynard and Associates of South Africa and delivered in November of 2005, it is used to assess and evaluate diamond exploration properties in the grassroots to advanced stage in our extensive portfolio.
Quality Assurance and Quality Control Statement
Stornoway utilizes industry-standard quality control (QC), quality assurance (QA) and "chain of custody procedures" in all aspects of its field and laboratory operations.
Strict quality control and chain of custody procedures are followed in the field before samples are shipped to any laboratory. Field practices are designed to reduce the possibility of sample being contaminated and include the use of unique sample numbers, bar codes, security seals and secure storage.
Industry standard chain of custody procedures are followed for all aspects of shipping and handling from the time a sample leaves the field until it arrives at the laboratory.
Stornoway's internal laboratory utilizes standard Quality Assurance and Quality Control ("QA/QC") procedures in all aspects of its operations. The QA/QC programs were developed from guidelines published by the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) and the International Standards Organization (ISO), commonly referred to as ISO Guide 25 (1990) and the ISO-9000 series Guidelines. All QA/QC work is monitored by the Process Geologist/Quality Control Specialist who reports directly to the Laboratory Manager.
QA/QC testing is conducted on five to ten per cent of the samples and includes blind spiking of samples and regular testing and calibration of all equipment using reference standards and blank samples. Records generated at all stages are archived, and corrective measures are implemented whenever any aspect of the laboratory procedure does not conform to standards.
QA/QC and security programs are also maintained in the diamond recovery circuits. They include testing and calibration of all equipment using standards and blanks; audits of reject material; archived record-keeping of all procedures and data; and corrective guidelines to correct a procedure that does not conform to standards.
Robin Hopkins, Professional Geologist and Stornoway's Vice President, Exploration, is responsible for the design and conduct of field programs and the verification and quality assurance of the analytical results generated in the laboratory.