Stornoway Diamond Corp (TSX: SWY) has closed its previously announced financing transactions with private equity firm Orion Mine Finance Group, Ressources Québec, an affiliate of Investissement Québec, and the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec. Funding will be applied to the construction of the Renard Diamond Project in the James Bay region of north-central Québec. In total, $946 million was committed through a combination of senior and subordinated debt, equity issuances and other facilities. The Montréal-based Stornoway said the deal represents the largest ever project financing package for a publicly listed diamond mining company.
Stornoway Announces Closing of Comprehensive Financing Package to Fund Renard Through to Production
MONTREAL, QUEBEC–(Marketwired – July 8, 2014) – Stornoway Diamond Corporation (TSX:SWY)(the “Corporation” or “Stornoway”) is pleased to announce that it has closed its previously announced financing transactions (the “Financing Transactions”) with Orion Mine Finance, Diaquem Inc. and Ressources Québec (wholly-owned subsidiaries of Investissement Québec), and the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec. The Financing Transactions are intended to provide a comprehensive funding package for the construction of the Renard Diamond Project. In total C$946 million(1) has been funded, or committed for funding, through a combination of senior and subordinated debt facilities, equity issuances, an equipment financing facility with Caterpillar Financial, and the forward sale of diamonds. Taken together, these transactions represent the largest ever project financing package for a publicly listed diamond company.
Concurrent with the closing announced today, approximately C$464 million1 in aggregate gross proceeds from the public and private offerings of subscription receipts and the private offering of convertible debentures has been released to the Corporation (subject to the payment of certain transaction costs) to allow the immediate commencement of project construction. The proceeds of the senior secured loan, the purchase and sale agreement for the forward sale of diamonds, the equipment financing facility and the cost overrun facility (if and when needed) will be made available to Stornoway in due course in accordance with their terms.
Stornoway was advised on the Financing Transactions by its financial advisors, Scotiabank and Dundee Capital Markets, and by its legal advisors, Norton Rose Fulbright.
About the Renard Diamond Project
The Renard Diamond Project is located approximately 250 km north of the Cree community of Mistissini and 350 km north of Chibougamau in the James Bay region of north-central Québec. In November 2011, Stornoway released the results of a Feasibility Study at Renard, followed by an Optimization Study in January 2013, which highlighted the potential of the project to become a significant producer of high value rough diamonds over a long mine life. Probable Mineral Reserves, as defined in National Instrument 43-101 – Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects (“NI 43-101”), stand at 17.9 million carats. Total Indicated Mineral Resources, inclusive of the Mineral Reserve, stand at 27.1 million carats, with a further 16.85 million carats classified as Inferred Mineral Resources, and 25.7 to 47.8 million carats classified as non-resource exploration upside. Readers are cautioned that the potential quality and grade of any target for further exploration is conceptual in nature, there has been insufficient exploration to define a Mineral Resource and it is uncertain if further exploration will result in the target being delineated as a Mineral Resource. All kimberlites remain open at depth. Readers are referred to the technical report dated December 29th, 2011 in respect of the November 2011 Feasibility Study for the Renard Diamond Project, and the technical report dated February 28th, 2013 in respect of the January 2013 Optimization Study, for further details and assumptions relating to the project. Disclosure of a scientific or technical nature in this press release was prepared under the supervision of Robin Hopkins, P.Geol. (NT/NU), Vice President, Exploration, a “qualified person” under NI 43-101.
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”
President and Chief Executive
This press release contains “forward-looking information” within the meaning of Canadian securities legislation. This information and these statements, referred to herein as “forward-looking statements”, are made as of the date of this press release and the Corporation 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 completion 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; (xi) the economic benefits of using liquefied natural gas rather than diesel for power generation; (xii) sources of and anticipated financing requirements; (xiii) the effectiveness of the various elements of the Financing Transactions and the use of proceeds therefrom; and (xv) the impact of the Financing Transactions on the Corporation’s operations, infrastructure, opportunities, financial condition, access to capital and overall strategy. 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”, “schedule” 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 by Stornoway or its consultants 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 prospects and 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, anticipated financial performance, regulatory developments, development plans, exploration, development and mining activities and commitments. Although management considers its assumptions on such matters to be reasonable based on information currently available to it, they may prove to be incorrect. Certain important assumptions by Stornoway in making 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 completion of the Route 167 extension and the impact on the development schedule at Renard; (vii) market prices for rough diamonds and the potential impact on the Renard Diamond Project; and (viii) future exploration plans and objectives. Additional risks are described in Stornoway’s most recently filed Annual Information Form, annual and interim MD&A, the final short form prospectus filed for the marketed public offering and other disclosure documents available under the Corporation’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 uncertainty as to whether further exploration of exploration targets will result in the targets being delineated as mineral resources; (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) uncertainty of 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; (xii) changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined; (xiii) risks relating to the 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) execution risk relating to the completion of the Route 167 extension; (xvi) future sales or issuances of Common Shares lowering the Common Share price and diluting the interest of existing shareholders; (xvii) Stornoway being unable to meet its diamond delivery obligations under the purchase and sale agreement for the forward sale of diamonds, (xviii) Stornoway’s ability to comply with its obligations under the various agreements forming part of the Financing Transaction and to draw on the funding available under those financing elements, and (xviii) the additional risks described in Stornoway’s most recently filed Annual Information Form, annual and interim MD&A and the final short form prospectus filed for the marketed public offering, 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, and new, unforeseeable risks may arise from time to time.
(1) All figures assume a C$:US$ conversion rate of $1.10.
President and CEO
Director, Investor Relations
Toll free at 1-877-331-2232
M. Patrick Godin
Vice-président et Chef des opérations de Stornoway
Stornoway Diamond Corporation
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