Stornoway Provides 2009 Exploration Outlook


Stornoway Diamond Corporation (TSX-SWY) is pleased to provide an outlook for planned exploration activities in 2009. Despite the currently challenging market conditions for resource equities, Stornoway intends to conduct modest programs of value-driven exploration focused on our key, advanced projects. It is anticipated that all exploration expenditures will be financed from current cash resources, and work will be tailored so as to provide the most efficient use of funds. Expenditures are planned for the following areas:

  • Mineral resource expansion and optimization at the Renard Diamond Project. Pending joint venture approval, this work program will include drilling and sampling on the Renard 2, Renard 3 and Renard 9 kimberlites leading to an update of the National Instrument ("NI") 43-101 mineral resource statement. Diamond results from a 500 tonne sample acquired from the Hibou Dyke in 2008 are expected shortly, and represent the first element of this work program.
  • Advanced assessment of the Aviat Project. This work program will include the processing of a 200 tonne sample collected from the Eastern Sheet Complex in 2008, expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2009. Pending the results of this sampling, Stornoway will initiate desktop studies to review potential mining methods at Aviat and, subsequently, the optimum sampling strategy for achieving a NI 43-101 compliant mineral resource estimate at this large scale project.
  • Ongoing assessment of Stornoway's extensive grass roots exploration portfolio, including opportunistic drill testing as appropriate.

President and CEO Matt Manson stated, "The 2009 program balances prudent management of Stornoway's cash resources with the opportunity to add substantial value to our two most advanced projects. At the same time, our team will remain focused on exploiting new discovery prospects as they become available, both within our existing project portfolio and through emerging, external opportunities. Stornoway starts 2009 with a sound cash position, no debt and advanced Canadian diamond assets with compelling growth potential."

A more comprehensive overview of Stornoway's 2009 exploration objectives is provided below.

Renard Diamond Project, Foxtrot Property (Stornoway 50%)

The Foxtrot Property, which includes the Renard kimberlite pipes and the Lynx-Hibou system of kimberlite dykes, is a 50:50 joint venture with SOQUEM INC. ("SOQUEM"). Stornoway recently reported a positive Preliminary Assessment at Foxtrot (Stornoway press release of December 15, 2008), and a NI 43-101 compliant mineral resource comprising 7.0 million carats of Indicated Mineral Resources (11.6 million tonnes at an average grade of 60 carats per hundred tonnes, or "cpht") and 4.5 million carats of Inferred Mineral Resources (7.2 million tonnes at an average grade of 63 cpht). Extensive upside has been identified in the form of an additional 9 to 21 million carats classified as potential mineral deposit (14 to 32 million tonnes ranging from 31 to 164 carats per hundred tonnes).

Mineral Resources are not Mineral Reserves and do not have demonstrated economic viability. In addition, the potential quantity and grade of any potential mineral deposit is conceptual in nature, and it is uncertain if further exploration will result in the target being delineated as a mineral resource. Consequently, the evaluation of a large quantity of potential mineral deposit at Renard will be the prime focus of the joint venture in the coming year. If confirmed as additional mineral resource, it offers the potential to extend the preliminary mine life and enhance the project's economics prior to a formal production decision. A program of drilling and sampling focused on potential mineral deposit associated with the Renard 2, Renard 3 and Renard 9 kimberlites has been developed and is currently under review by the joint venture.  Following approval, drilling will be undertaken in both winter and summer campaigns so as to best optimize operational efficiency and site access. It is expected that this work will lead to a revision of the Renard NI 43-101 mineral resource statement later in the year. Priority during the drill campaign will be given to delineating potential mineral deposit at depths accessible within the current conceptual mine plan as defined within the Preliminary Assessment. At the same time, drilling will be undertaken with a view to upgrading inferred mineral resources within Renard 2 and Renard 3 to the higher confidence indicated mineral resource category.  

An important component of this work will be the delineation of the Renard 2 "bulge", a zone of hybayssal kimberlite breccia that lies separate from, but adjacent to, the Renard 2 pipe and extending from surface to at least 230m depth. The Renard 2 bulge has a potential diamond content of between 0.5 and 1.5 million carats (0.6 to 0.9 million tonnes ranging from 85 to 164 carats per hundred tonnes), much of which lies within the Renard 2 pit design and is currently designated as waste. In 2008, in support of its classification as potential mineral deposit, a 64.3 kilogram sample of drill core previously acquired from the bulge was processed for diamond recovery by caustic dissolution. A total of 65 diamonds were retained on a 0.106mm square mesh sieve, including three commercial sized diamonds retained on a 1.18mm square mesh sieve, the largest of which weighed 0.49 carats. The three largest stones had dimensions measuring 4.368 x 3.648 x 2.784mm, 2.162 x 1.695 x 1.653mm and 2.035 x 1.504 x 1.149mm. Full diamond recovery results are given below:




Dry Kilograms

0.106 to 0.150mm

0.150 to 0.212mm

0.212 to 0.300mm

0.300 to 0.425mm

0.425 to 0.600mm

0.600 to 0.850mm

0.850 to 1.18mm

1.18 to 1.70mm

1.70 to 2.36mm

2.36 to 3.35mm

3.35 to 4.75mm















The high diamond content and coarse diamond size distribution characteristics of this sample suggest that the Renard 2 bulge can be expected to have similar grade and value attributes as the hypabyssal kimberlite seen within the main body of Renard 2, and as such has the potential to have a significant impact on project economics.

The first element of the Renard resource expansion and optimization program will be the receipt of diamond recovery results from a 500 tonne sample of kimberlite extracted by trenching from the Hibou Dyke in 2008. The Hibou Dyke represents an additional 1.6 million tonnes of potential mineral deposit located close to surface and adjacent to the Renard pipes. The current large tonnage sampling was undertaken to establish a more authoritative diamond grade and valuation for Hibou in support of its potential elevation to a mineral resource category compliant with NI 43-101, and its incorporation into the Renard conceptual mine plan. Final diamond recovery of the Hibou dyke sample is underway and fully audited results are expected shortly.

Aviat (Stornoway 90%)

The 486,000 acre Aviat Project, located on the Melville Peninsula in eastern Nunavut, Canada, is a joint venture between Stornoway (90%) and Hunter (10%), with Stornoway holding 100% of the diamond marketing rights. Highlights of a recent independent conceptual study completed by SRK Consulting ("SRK") for Aviat's Eastern Sheet Complex ("ESC"; Stornoway press release of October 07, 2008) include:

  • 12.4 to 16.0 million tonnes total content of kimberlite material from a conceptual model of four kimberlite dykes of the ESC; one interpreted dyke, ES 1 (previously known as the composite A267 body), spans an area of some 260 hectares and represents about 78% of the total kimberlite volume.
  • 235 carats per hundred tonnes (cpht) +/- 30 cpht conceptual estimate of total diamond content, assuming 100% recovery of stones in all size fractions down to a +1.00 mm bottom cut-off and based on limited micro and macro diamond data collected during the 2003 to 2007 field campaigns.
  • An estimate of 24.1 to 40.3 million carats in the ground, using the conceptual range of total content of kimberlite material, conceptual estimate of total diamond content and an allowance for approximately 5% internal dilution within the conceptual model.

The potential quantity of diamonds that can be inferred from the above estimates is conceptual in nature and does not constitute a mineral resource. The reader is cautioned that to date there has been insufficient exploration to define a mineral resource according to CIM Definition Standards for Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves for the ESC, and it is at this stage uncertain if further exploration will be able to delineate a mineral resource for the ESC. 

During the 2008 field season, Stornoway collected a 202 tonne (wet) sample of the ES 1 sheet, comprising 45 tonnes from the original AV6 outcrop and 157 tonnes from the original AV2 outcrop, during the summer field program (Stornoway press release of September 8, 2008). Stornoway previously reported a diamond content of 162 cpht from 20.6 tonnes of kimberlite collected at the AV2 site, including the recovery of a 3.64 carat gem quality white dodecahedron (Stornoway press release of January 29, 2008).

Processing to recover commercial sized diamonds from the 202 tonne sample is underway. It is expected that this sample will be large enough to give a more authoritative indication of diamond content and an initial indication of diamond value within this portion of ES 1. Preliminary diamond recovery data are expected in late February or early March of 2009. The results of this work, coupled with the conceptual study, will allow an estimate of contained value within the laterally contiguous, shallowly dipping ESC complex, and will be an important catalyst for future work. This will include desktop studies of economic potential, possible mining methods, and advanced exploration requirements. Depending on the results of this work, future work may include larger scale bulk sampling and scoping level mining studies.

Churchill (Stornoway 41.86%)

The Churchill Diamond Project is a joint venture between Stornoway (41.86%) and Shear Minerals Ltd (58.14%; "Shear"), and comprises the diamond rights to more than 800,000 acres located near the communities of Rankin Inlet and Chesterfield Inlet in the Kivalliq region of Nunavut. Shear is the Project operator. Work is presently focused on continued exploration of new promising indicator mineral trains and geophysical anomalies as well as the evaluation of a system of significantly diamond-bearing, vertically-emplaced kimberlite dykes that have returned sample grades of up to 2.18 carats per tonne. Stornoway elected not to participate for its share of the 2008 exploration budget and, consequently, its ownership could potentially dilute from 41.86% to 37.7%.  

Outstanding exploration results expected from the 2008 Churchill work program include macrodiamond results from approximately 26.1 wet tonnes of the Notch kimberlite, additional microdiamond analyses from drilling and prospecting discoveries, and indicator mineral results from till samples (Stornoway press release of November 28, 2008). The 26 tonne sample will be processed using dense media separation ("DMS") to provide a preliminary assessment of commercial diamond content (stones >0.85 mm) and stone quality (Stornoway press release of September 24, 2008).

An estimated diamond content of 82 cpht previously reported for the Notch kimberlite (Stornoway press release August 01, 2007) was derived from DMS processing of a 4.93 tonne (dry) sample collected at surface from the 1.5m wide vertical kimberlite dyke. The Notch kimberlite is located 15 km southwest of the Kahuna dyke in the Sedna Corridor and trends for more than 3 km based on geophysical interpretation. The three largest diamonds from the 4.03 carat parcel (stones >0.85mm) were 0.129, 0.11, and 0.108 carats. A total of 11 drillholes from seven setups have been drilled into the Notch kimberlite trend. 

Grassroots Projects

Stornoway maintains an interest in a further 46 projects in 5 territories or provinces of Canada. Several of these projects have un-sourced kimberlitic indicator mineral anomalies suggestive of a diamondiferous kimberlite source on property, and are drill-ready with secure, long-term land tenure. During 2009, Stornoway's technical team will conduct an in depth assessment of the Company's extensive database so as to prioritize those projects with the best potential for an economic discovery. The best projects will be tested on an opportunistic and cost-efficient basis as appropriate. Stornoway's team has an industry leading track record of kimberlite discovery, and remains open to new, external discovery opportunities as they arise.

Scientific and Technical Data

Diamond results derived from caustic dissolution and reported above are based on work completed by Microlithics Laboratories, Thunder Bay, Ontario, an independent mineral process laboratory. Stornoway's diamond exploration programs are conducted under the direction of Robin Hopkins P.Geol. (NT/NU), Vice President, Exploration. The Renard Diamond Project is managed by Dave Skelton, P.Geol. (AB/QC), Vice President, Project Development. Both Mssrs. Hopkins and Skelton are Qualified Persons under NI 43-101, and have reviewed the content of this press release.


SOQUEM is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Société générale de financement du Québec ("SGF"). The SGF, the Québec industrial and financial holding company, has as its mission to undertake economic development projects in the industrial sector in cooperation with partners and in compliance with the economic development policies of the Government of Québec.

Stornoway Diamond Corporation

Stornoway Diamond Corporation is one of Canada's leading diamond exploration and development companies, involved in the discovery of over 200 kimberlites in six Canadian diamond districts. The Company benefits from a diversified diamond property portfolio, a strong financial platform and management and technical teams with experience in each segment of the diamond "pipeline" from exploration to marketing.

On behalf of the Board
/s/ "Matt Manson"
Matt Manson
President and Chief Executive Officer

For more information, please contact Matt Manson (President and CEO) at 416-304-1026
or Nick Thomas (Manager Investor Relations) at 604-983-7754 or toll free at 1-877-331-2232
**  Website:  Email: **

This news release may contain forward looking statements, being statements which are not historical facts, including, without limitation, statements regarding potential mineralization, exploration results, resource or reserve estimates, anticipated production or results, sales, revenues, costs, "best-efforts" financings or discussions of future plans and objectives. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove accurate. Such statements are necessarily based upon a number of estimates and assumptions that are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results and future events to differ materially from those anticipated or projected. Any statements made regarding a NI 43-101 Preliminary Assessment of a project includes inferred mineral resources that are considered too speculative geologically to have the economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as mineral reserves, and there is no certainty that the Preliminary Assessment will be realized. References to NI 43-101 Resource Calculations are Mineral Resources and are not Mineral Reserves and therefore do not have demonstrated economic viability. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the Company's expectations are in Company documents filed from time to time with the Toronto Stock Exchange and provincial securities regulators, most of which are available at The Company disclaims any intention or obligation to revise or update such statements.