CHIBOUGAMAU - (Kitco News) -- Quebec Premier Jean Charest announced the $331 million extension of route 167 to the Otish Mountains as part of his Plan Nord project in Northern Quebec.

Initially included in the original Plan Nord announcement on May 9, Premier Charest gave the official announcent late this morning at a press conference at city hall in Chibougamau.

The $331 million announcement will include a $44 million commitment from Stornoway Diamond Corporation, whose Renard project will become the first diamond mine in Quebec.

The Renard project will be located on the stretch of road that is being extended. 30 million carats are expected to be mined over the next 25 years.

Quebec delegate of transport Norman MacMillan said roadwork could begin as early as autumn 2011.

Construction is expected to carry on into 2015. Route 167 is being extended 243 kilometers from Chibougamau into the Otish Mountains in Northern Quebec.

Premier Jean Charest (Second from the Left) At Press Conference in Chibougamou

By Alex L├ętourneau of Kitco News

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