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by Will Purcell
The diamond and specialty minerals stocks box score for Tuesday was a 77-77-123 draw. The TSX Venture Exchange fell one point to 700 while polished diamond prices remained flat. Matt Manson's Stornoway Diamond Corp. (SWY) gained one-half cent to 42.5 cents on 201,000 shares. There has been no news in a month.
Ken MacNeill and George Read's Star Diamond Corp. (DIAM) lost one cent to 21 cents on 110,000 shares. The company's stock sits in promotional purgatory as investors await the start of the first bulk sample of the Star-Orion South project in several years. The wait may be longer than most would prefer, although Star promises that its co-venturer, Rio Tinto PLC, will start the test before the end of the year. If so, and if the dig and the processing go flawlessly, Star and Rio could have the results, and Rio Tinto's decision about what to do next, before Shore's annual meeting next year.
Rio Tinto signed an agreement with Bauer Maschinen GmbH covering the "manufacture, supply and operation" of a Bauer BC 50 cutter mounted on a Bauer MC 128 duty-cycle crane to extract kimberlite to depths of up to 250 metres. (There is some risk with the plan, as the equipment has not been used to such depths before.) Nuna Logistics Ltd., which will deliver the equipment, will also have its hands full: The crane is 10.5 metres long, 6.3 metres wide and weighs over 170 tonnes, with a maximum boom length of over 54 metres.
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