Stornoway Diamond Corporation
TSX : SWY

Stornoway Diamond Corporation

March 18, 2011 09:30 ET

Stornoway Welcomes Quebec Budget Announcement of Financing for the Route 167 Extension Providing All Season Road Access to Renard

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - March 18, 2011) - Stornoway Diamond Corporation (TSX:SWY) welcomes the recent announcement made during the reading of the 2011 Québec Budget that the Québec Government will commit to the development of the Route 167 Extension under the auspices of the "Plan Nord", the strategic initiative to develop northern Québec. The Route 167 Extension (also known as the "Route des Monts Otish") will provide year round highway access to Stornoway's Renard Diamond Project by way of the communities of Mistissini and Chibougamau. Construction is expected to commence this year.

The Renard Diamond Project is a 50:50 joint venture with DIAQUEM INC. ("DIAQUEM"), a wholly-owned subsidiary of SOQUEM INC. ("SOQUEM"), itself a wholly-owned subsidiary of Société générale de financement du Québec ("SGF"), the Québec government's main industrial and financial holding company. On February 10, 2011, Stornoway announced that an agreement to acquire DIAQUEM'S 50% interest in the Renard Diamond Project had been approved by shareholders and is expected to close on April 01, 2011, on which date Stornoway will have acquired 100% ownership of the project. The transaction will make DIAQUEM a significant shareholder of Stornoway. A Bankable Feasibility Study and an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment at Renard are on schedule for completion in the 3rd quarter of 2011.

In introducing the 2011 Budget on the floor of the National Assembly on March 17th, 2011, Québec's Minister of Finance, Raymond Bachand stated, "The Plan Nord will both facilitate and supervise private investments on the (northern Québec) territory…by making the territory accessible, with the financial contribution of developers. Major land, marine and air transportation infrastructure projects will open up the territory to facilitate tourism development as well as mining or energy development. One such example is the extension of Route 167 north of Mistissini to the diamond deposits in the Otish Mountains, which will make a vast territory accessible to the development of mining and tourism. That work will begin this year".

Minister Bachand continued by saying: "I am announcing that, over the next five years, the Québec government is prepared to invest up to $500 million in equity interests in private projects promising a developmental effect in the territory covered by the Plan Nord. Like the investments already made by the Société générale de financement (du Québec), for example its interest in Stornoway Diamond Corporation, these investments will be made with an eye to profitability".

It is expected that the Route 167 will be constructed as a 260 km-long, 70 km/hour two lane gravel-top highway under the supervision of the Québec Ministry of Transport. The road will be designated as a multi-service provincial highway connecting Renard to the end of the current Route 167 at Lac Albanel (Temiscamie), and will provide access to a number of other prospective mining projects as well as the new Albanel-Temiscamie-Otish Park. It is expected that further details on the nature and schedule of road construction will be released shortly.

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 May 2010, Stornoway filed a National Instrument 43-101 compliant technical report for the Preliminary Assessment at Renard that estimated the project to have the potential to produce approximately 30 million carats of diamonds over a 25 year mine life, with a pre-tax Net Present Value of C$885 million (at an 8% discount rate) and an Internal Rate of Return of 24.8%. National Instrument 43-101 compliant Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resources currently stand at 23.8 and 17.5 million carats respectively, with a further 23.5 to 48.5 million carats classified as a non-resource, "potential mineral deposit". All kimberlites remain open at depth. Total capital investment is currently estimated to be $511 million, with an average operating expenditure of approximately $67 million per year and a workforce of 300 people. Readers are referred to the technical report in respect of the Renard Diamond Project for further details and assumptions relating to the project.

About 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 seven 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.

About SGF

Société générale de financement du Québec (sgfqc.com), an industrial and financial holding company, has a mission to carry out economic development projects, particularly in the industrial sector, in cooperation with partners and in compliance with accepted profitability requirements and with the economic development policy of the Québec government. As part of its mandate, SGF is authorized by the Québec government to go beyond its traditional role as an equity investor by offering complementary solutions, such as loans, debentures or preferred or convertible shares.

SOQUEM, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Société générale de financement du Québec, is to undertake exploration, development and mining activities throughout the province of Québec.

Last September, the government announced the amalgamation of Société générale de financement du Québec and Investissement Québec, effective April 1, 2011. The merger will enable the organizations to combine their extensive expertise, offer Québec businesses a broader range of solutions and better support them throughout all stages of their operations, from start-up to export projects.

On behalf of the Board

STORNOWAY DIAMOND CORPORATION

Matt Manson, President and Chief Executive Officer

This document contains "forward-looking information" within the meaning of Canadian securities legislation and "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. This information and these statements, referred to herein as "forward-looking statements" are made as of the date of this document and the Company 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 potential mineral deposits; (ii) the amount of future production over any period; (iii) net present value and internal rates of return of the proposed mining operation; (iv) capital costs and operating costs; (v) mine expansion potential and expected mine life; and (vi) expected time frames for completion of permitting and regulatory approvals, completion of a Feasibility Study and making a production decision. 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" 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.

All forward-looking statements are based on Stornoway's or its consultants' current beliefs as well as various assumptions made by and information currently available to them. Many of these assumptions are set forth in the news release and include: (i) estimates of net present value and internal rates of return; (ii) estimates of potential production and duration of mine life; (iii) estimated completion date for the Feasibility Study; (iv) required capital investment and estimated workforce requirements; (v) receipt of regulatory approvals on acceptable terms within commonly experienced time frames; (vi) the assumption that the partners will make a production decision, and that decision will be positive; (vii) anticipated timelines for the commencement of mine production. Although management considers these assumptions to be reasonable based on information currently available to it, they may prove to be incorrect. Many forward-looking statements are made assuming the correctness of other forward looking statements, such as statements of net present value and internal rate of return, which are based on most of the other forward-looking statements and assumptions herein. The cost information is also prepared using current values, but the time for incurring the costs will be in the future and it is assumed costs will remain stable over the relevant period.

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 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, risks relating to variations in the grade, kimberlite lithologies and country rock content within the material identified as mineral resources from that predicted, variations in rates of recovery and breakage; the greater uncertainty of potential mineral deposits, developments in world diamond markets, slower increases in diamond valuations than assumed, risks relating to fluctuations in the Canadian dollar and other currencies relative to the US dollar, increases in the costs of proposed capital and operating expenditures, increases in financing costs or adverse changes to the terms of available financing, if any, tax rates or royalties being greater than assumed, results of exploration in areas of potential expansion of resources, changes in development or mining plans due to changes in other factors or exploration results of Stornoway or its joint venture partners, changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined, risks relating to receipt of regulatory approvals or settlement of an Impact and Benefits Agreement, the effects of competition in the markets in which Stornoway operates, operational and infrastructure risks and the additional risks described in Stornoway's most recently filed Annual Information Form, annual and interim MD&As, 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. When relying on our forward-looking statements to make decisions with respect to Stornoway, investors and others should carefully consider the foregoing factors and other uncertainties and potential events. Stornoway does not undertake to update any forward-looking statement, whether written or oral, that may be made from time to time by Stornoway or on our behalf, except as required by law.

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