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by Will Purcell
The diamond and specialty minerals stocks box score for Friday was an upbeat 93-72-129. The TSX Venture Exchange rose 13 points to 795 while polished diamond prices were flat. James Nelson's Spearmint Resources Inc. (SRJ) closed unchanged at seven cents on 4.31 million shares. The company has been silent since it wrapped up a first phase of exploration at its Clayton Valley lithium project in southern Nevada in mid-March.
Matt Manson's Stornoway Diamond Corp. (SWY) gained one cent to 58 cents on 338,000 shares. The company's rough diamond prices are looking up -- a bit -- but its diamond production at the Renard mine in north-central Quebec lagged significantly during the first quarter. As a result, Stornoway could miss its 2018 production target, and perhaps its revenue projection, unless it can exceed its targets for the rest of the year.
Stornoway's first quarter revenue was an encouraging $56.4-million on sales of nearly 400,000 carats in the first quarter, compared with $52.6-milion on sales of nearly 487,000 carats in the final three months of 2017. The company averaged $112 (U.S.) per carat in the latest quarter, handily above the $86 (U.S.) per carat that it averaged in the previous three months. Mr. Manson, president and chief executive officer, says that the strong performances in sales and pricing were the result of an improved size and quality mix of rough diamonds, as well as rising prices for the Renard rough.
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