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by Will Purcell
The diamond and specialty minerals stocks box score on Tuesday was a mediocre 77-88-136 as the TSX Venture Exchange rose fractionally to 623 and polished diamond prices slipped 0.1 per cent. Michel Fontaine's Albert Mining Inc. (AIIM), a five-cent stock late last week, continued its surge today, adding three cents to 16 cents on 21.63 million shares. Over 51 million shares of Albert, a Quebec-based gold and diamonds explorer, have traded in the past four days. Mr. Fontaine, president and chief executive officer, told the regulators Friday, just as the rally was gathering steam, that he had no idea why. (They have not bothered asking again.)
Dermot Desmond and Stuart Brown's Mountain Province Diamonds Inc. (MPVD) gained five cents to $1.34 on 66,000 shares. The stock, which has regularly been setting nine-year lows this year, reeled to another one earlier this week, dipping as low as $1.27 in intraday trading Monday. The stock traded as high as $7.18 in 2016, just as its 49-per-cent-owned Gahcho Kue mine in the Northwest Territories was getting under way. Since then, disappointingly low rough diamond prices have prevailed. They are about half of what had been projected in the company's 2014 feasibility study and barely one-third of what Patrick Evans, the company's former president and CEO, had once promoted as being possible.
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