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by Will Purcell
The diamond and specialty minerals stocks box score on Friday was a ho-hum 66-74-161 as the TSX Venture Exchange fell two points to 611 and polished diamond prices edged lower. Sheldon Inwentash and Arno Brand's Gratomic Inc. (GRAT), which had struggled to 16.5 cents before running out of steam in mid-January, closed unchanged at nine cents on 4.42 million shares today. The company has a graphite project in Namibia, and it is promoting graphene for use in high-performance tires.
Ken McNeill and George Read's Saskatchewan diamond promotion, Star Diamond Corp. (DIAM), lost one cent to 22 cents on 612,000 shares. The company's stock has been holding its own through a long, cold Saskatchewan winter that investors must endure before a big bulk sampling program gets under way on the Star pipe, a key part of the Star-Orion South project in the Fort a la Corne area that Star Diamond and Rio Tinto PLC hope to mine some day. Star Diamond's retail shareholders hope that day comes soon, but Rio Tinto has nearly six more years to produce a feasibility study and make a production decision on what would then be its 60-per-cent-owned project. Unfortunately, Rio Tinto appears to be sticking to the timetable laid out in its 2017 option agreement.
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