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by Will Purcell
The diamond and specialty minerals stocks box score on Monday was a weak 66-78-156 as the TSX Venture Exchange rose six points to 601 and polished diamond prices fell 0.3 per cent. Dermot Desmond's Mountain Province Diamonds Inc. (MPVD) continues to gyrate near its nine-year low. The stock, $7.18 in the fall of 2016, slumped steadily from there, hitting $1.08 in mid-April. It then rallied, getting to $1.65 in mid-May, but a new downturn took it to a new low of $1.07 last week. It rallied to $1.49 on Monday but today it dipped to $1.22 before ending the day up two cents to $1.35 on 228,000 shares. The company's diamond prices at its Gahcho Kue mine are barely half of what had been projected and the status of its Kennady North project remains unclear.
Ken MacNeill and George Read's Star Diamond Corp. (DIAM) is still stuck like glue near its 20-cent perch despite some pleasant and at least partly unexpected news. Mr. Read, the company's senior vice president and nowadays its chief promoter, says that Rio Tinto PLC, his company's co-venturer on the Fort a la Corne diamond project in central Saskatchewan, has resumed trenching the first of 10 holes at the mammoth Star kimberlite. The partners started the work with some excitement last fall, but Rio Tinto called off the first hole at just 37 metres after a critical piece of equipment, a desanding unit, failed to keep up with the cutter rig.
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