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by Will Purcell
The diamond and specialty minerals stocks box score on Tuesday was a weak 60-93-147 as the TSX Venture Exchange fell four points to 588. Larry Reaugh's American Manganese Inc. (AMY) jumped four cents to 23.5 cents on 2.49 million shares. There ha been no news in a week from the company, which is planning to recycle cathode and anode material from used lithium-ion batteries.
Terry Tucker and Samer Khalaf's Tango Mining Ltd. (TGV), unchanged at 1.5 cents on 210,000 shares, is applauding the performance of its contract miners at the Oena alluvial diamond project in northwestern South Africa. From early May through early July, Tango s main contractor, Bluedust 7 Pty. Ltd., recovered 206 diamonds weighing a total of 407.76 carats from 131,460 tonnes of material. The minuscule average grade, 0.31 carat per hundred tonnes, is balanced by the hefty diamond value, which averaged $1,265 (U.S.) per carat.
These are not small gems. The average stone size was nearly two carats, and some big diamonds bolstered the average diamond value. An 18.2-carat gem sold for $2,850 (U.S.) per carat and a 19.87-carat stone fetched nearly $4,360 (U.S.) per carat. Those two stones accounted for nearly $140,000 (U.S.) of the total $515,800 (U.S.) that the entire parcel returned. Still, the profit margins are thin, as the rock value averaged just less than $4 (U.S.) per tonne. The profitability of Oena is largely Bluedust's worry, as Tango Mining collects 25 per cent of the gross income of net diamond sales from the gravels and 40 per cent of gross income of net diamond sales from pan tailings and bantam material.
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