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by Will Purcell
The diamond and specialty minerals stocks box score on Monday was a discouraging 50-100-150 as the TSX Venture Exchange fell three points to 596. Rough diamond prices inched a bit further out of the basement this week, increasing 0.2 per cent. While they are still 5 per cent lower than five years ago, they are up 0.2 per cent over the past week and up 2 per cent since they set a nine-year low last fall.
Despite the weak rough diamond market, Lukas Lundin and Eira Thomas's Lucara Diamond Corp. (LUC), down eight cents to $1.55 on 811,000 shares, is still making money. The company declared a 2.5-cent dividend for its first quarter after reporting a profit of $7.4-million (U.S.) - not the bounty of cash that it pulled in a few years ago, but still a tidy sum given the woes of the diamond sector these days. Lucara began selling its diamonds in a blended tender in the latest quarter, unlike the first several years of mining in which it sold its biggest and best gems in one or two separate sales each year, which made the company's quarterly results quite erratic.
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