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SNC-Lavalin gains engineering deal for Quebec diamond mine

SNC Lavalin offices in downtown Montreal,Quebec.

MARIO BEAUREGARD/THE CANADIAN PRESS

SNC-Lavalin has signed a contract with Stornoway Diamonds Inc. estimated at more than $425-million to provide project, engineering and construction management services for a diamond mine located in Quebec's James Bay region.

The Montreal engineering and construction company says it will provide services for the mineral processing plant, a liquid natural gas power plant and other on-site utilities, including service buildings, water treatment facilities and infrastructure. Construction is expected to be finished by December 2016.

The roughly $1-billion project is Quebec's first diamond mine and is being developed by Stornoway Diamond Corp. in a remote area 350 kilometres north of Chibougamau in Northern Quebec. Anticipated average diamond production of 1.6 million carats per year.

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Stornoway, based in Longueuil, Que., has said commercial production is scheduled to begin in the second quarter of 2017.

The Quebec government has said the 30 months it will take to build facilities will create about 600 jobs, while mining activities will create 475 direct and 600 indirect jobs.

Once mining gets underway, the mine is expected to make Quebec the sixth-largest producer of diamonds in the world.

Stornoway secured $946-million in funding for the Renard mine with Investissement Quebec and the Caisse de depot et placement, Quebec's largest pension fund manager, both participating in the financing.

The province has a 29 per cent investment in the project, which Economic Development Minister Jacques Daoust has said will translate into $1-billion in taxes and interest for the province.

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