July 11, 2014 10:51 am

Quebec’s renewed Plan Nord is betting on diamonds

EEYOU ISTCHEE JAMES BAY, Que. – Ground has been broken for Quebec’s first diamond mine.

Stornoway Diamond Corporation is developing the one-billion-dollar project in a remote area 350-kilometres north of Chibougamau.

The company — based in the Montreal suburb of Longueuil — predicts the mine will start production in the first half of 2017.

FACT FILE: Quebec’s Plan Nord

The Stornoway diamond mine is expected to yield 1.6-million carats a year over 11 years, but the company says it’s prepared to extend the mine’s life to 20 years.

The province has a 29-per-cent stake in the operation, which is expected to make the province the sixth-biggest producer of diamonds in the world.

Premier Philippe Couillard says work on the mine is a sign that “Quebec is open for business again.”

© The Canadian Press, 2014

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