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by Will Purcell
The diamond and specialty minerals stocks box score for Tuesday was a weak 68-84-138. The TSX Venture Exchange gained one point to 829 while rough diamond prices rose 0.4 per cent over the past week and are now up 3 per cent this year. It is too soon for hats and horns, however, as rough prices are still off 12 per cent since 2013.
Matthew Wood's Five Star Diamonds Ltd. (STAR), down 1.5 cents to 18 cents on 80,000 shares, has completed what it calls an "initial bulk sampling" of the M3 kimberlite on its Maravilha project in Minas Gerais, Brazil. The description contains more than the average dose of promotional hyperbole -- the total weight of the test was just 1.04 tonnes -- but the result was encouraging. The kimberlite produced 658 stones that the company called macro and microdiamonds, although the latter were in far greater supply and contributed significantly to the total diamond weight, reported at 0.629 carat.
In all, the sample produced 22 commercial-sized diamonds large enough to sit on a 0.85-millimetre sieve. Those stones weighed 0.41 carat, for an average grade of 0.41 carat per tonne. The largest stone weighed an encouraging 0.125 carat, offering hope that M3 will contain some larger diamonds, but the size distribution curve suggests that the pipe is no Karowe, nor is it on par with most of the economic pipes found in Canada. Nevertheless, the sample grade ranks at the high end of the kimberlites found in Brazil and, better still, the tiny diamond parcel has some redeeming qualities.
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