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SNC-Lavalin awarded contract for Quebec diamond mine in James Bay region

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MONTREAL - SNC-Lavalin (TSX:SNC) has signed a contract with Stornoway Diamonds Inc. to provide project, engineering and construction management services for a diamond mine located in Quebec's James Bay region.

The value of the contract was not announced, however the company said the work included will cover roughly $425 million of the planned capital spending at the project.

The Montreal engineering and construction company says it will manage the building of the mineral processing plant, a liquid natural gas power plant and other on-site utilities, including service buildings, water treatment facilities and infrastructure. Work 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. (TSX:SWY) in a remote area 350 kilometres north of Chibougamau in Northern Quebec. Anticipated average diamond production of 1.6 million carats per year.

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.

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version incorrectly stated the value of the SNC-Lavalin contract.

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