June 18th, 2024

Stornoway Diamonds to lay off 425 workers as operations halt at Quebec mine

By The Canadian Press on October 27, 2023.

Quebec's provincial flag flies in Ottawa on June 30, 2020. Stornoway Diamonds Inc. says it is suspending operations at its Renard mine located in northern Quebec. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

MONTREAL – Stornoway Diamonds Inc. says it is suspending operations at its Renard mine in northern Quebec.

The Montreal-based diamond company says 75 of the 500 workers will stay on board to maintain the mine’s assets and facilitate a return to normal operations.

That leaves some 425 workers temporarily laid off from the mine, which sits about 700 kilometres north of Quebec City as the crow flies.

The 37-year-old company attributes the shutdown to growing uncertainty around global diamond prices.

The price of rough diamonds – unpolished, uncut stones – has plummeted over the past 18 months, falling by nearly a third since March 2022 to lows not seen in years as post-pandemic consumers steer clear of new luxury goods.

Stornoway says it has begun to place itself under the protection of the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act in order to restructure its business and turn its finances around.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 27, 2023.

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