Stornoway Diamonds has suspended operations at its Renard mine in Canada amid the prolonged slowdown in demand for rough.
“The growing uncertainty of the diamond price in the short and medium term, coupled with the significant and sudden drop in the price of the resource on the world market, has had a major impact on the company’s long-term financial situation,” Stornoway said Friday. “This was in part due to the halt in the import of rough diamonds to India, and [in part to] the global geopolitical climate.”
The company will put Renard on care and maintenance to “preserve the assets and facilitate a rapid return to normal operations,” it explained. It will keep 75 of its 500 workers on staff to perform necessary tasks.
Stornoway will also seek creditor protection under the Canadian Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA), which allows financially troubled corporations owing more than $5 million to restructure their businesses and avoid bankruptcy. As part of this effort, the miner is “implementing a process for soliciting investment and sale proposals,” it added.
The Indian diamond-manufacturing sector announced in September that it was implementing a two-month moratorium on rough imports, from October 15 to December 15, to help reduce some of the oversupply that has built up in the midstream due to weak industry demand.
This is not the first time Stornoway has sought creditor protection under CCAA. In 2019, one of its creditors, Osisko Gold Royalties, acquired and revived the company during a restructuring process. Under the new ownership, the miner restarted operations in 2020 following a six-month halt due to Covid-19.
Main image: The Renard mine. (Stornoway Diamonds)