Daily News: May 1, 2015

Blackstone Invests in Stornoway Diamond


Stornoway Diamond announced Blackstone Tactical Opportunities, an affiliate of Blackstone, acquired a meaningful equity position in Stornoway and a minority ownership interest in the Renard diamond stream by way of a secondary market transaction with Orion Mine Finance.

“The Stornoway team are talented operators, uniquely situated to bring the Renard mine to production on time and on budget. Our partnership with Stornoway is consistent with our strategy of backing best-in-class managers and exceptional assets in the mining industry.”

The Renard diamond stream was concluded in July 2014 by FCDC sales and marketing, a wholly owned subsidiary of Stornoway, by which FCDC agreed to sell a 20% undivided interest in diamonds produced from the Renard Diamond Project for an up-front payment of $250 million. Following the Blackstone-Orion transaction, Orion remains the majority owner of the Renard stream interest and continues to be the second largest shareholder with an approximately 20% stake in Stornoway’s issued and outstanding common shares.

Matt Manson, president and CEO, commented “We are very happy to welcome Blackstone as a shareholder and streaming partner in the ongoing development of the Renard Diamond Project. Blackstone’s transaction with Orion is additional validation of the good progress being made by the Stornoway team and in the long term fundamentals of the diamond mining sector. Blackstone’s global presence and their long-established status as one of the world’s leading investment firms make them ideally suited to Stornoway as we work to build a world class diamond mining company.”

“Blackstone is excited to partner with Stornoway and Orion in the development of this high-quality diamond asset with significant resource potential,” said Jasvinder Khaira, managing director of Blackstone Tactical Opportunities. “The Stornoway team are talented operators, uniquely situated to bring the Renard mine to production on time and on budget. Our partnership with Stornoway is consistent with our strategy of backing best-in-class managers and exceptional assets in the mining industry.”

Oskar Lewnowski, chief investment officer of the Orion Mine Finance Group, commented “As one of the largest investors dedicated to the mining industry since 2004, we are delighted to introduce Blackstone to the Renard project. We continue to have a great amount of confidence in Stornoway’s management team and maintain our support for the Renard Project as a leading shareholder and the majority stream buyer.”

The Renard Diamond Project is fully financed and permitted for development of an open pit and underground diamond mine that is expected to produce an average of 1.6 million carats per year over an initial 11-year mine life, representing approximately 2% of global diamond supply by value. The project remains on schedule for plant commissioning beginning in late 2016 and commercial production in the second quarter of 2017.

Montreal-headquartered Stornoway is a Canadian diamond exploration and development company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange.