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by Will Purcell
The diamond and specialty minerals stocks box score on Tuesday was an 86-86-128 draw as the TSX Venture Exchange fell four points to 620 and polished diamond prices edged higher. Dermot Desmond's Mountain Province Diamonds Inc. (MPVD) remains stuck near the $1.50 mark in the absence of good news. Today it was unchanged at $1.51 on 669,000 shares.
Dr. Stewart Blusson's Archon Minerals Ltd. (ACS: $0.60) is planning its first work on its West Buffer diamond project in years. (Or so it appears: One must always check to be sure that a promise in the company's quarterly reports has not atrophied into boilerplate. Fortunately, this appears to be a current promise.). Dr. Blusson is cheering an increase in exploration at Diavik "after a hiatus of more than 10 years," work that he calls "much-needed brownfield sampling assessment" -- essentially a new look at previously explored ground.
Archon will benefit from its royalty on the 13-hectare Jay pipe, if the now private Dominion Diamond Corp. ever puts it into production. (Even Dr. Blusson points out that Jay "could take years to permit and start mining," deftly avoiding mention of the construction challenges of building a mine within the waters of a northeastern bay of Lac de Gras.) In the shorter term, he points to the 11 smaller pipes with a combined area of about 30 hectares that are in small drainable lakes and which could be fast-tracked to production -- here comes the weasel -- if warranted.
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