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by Will Purcell
The diamond and specialty minerals stocks box score on Friday was a mediocre 90-96-124 as the TSX Venture Exchange fell seven points to 704. Rough diamond prices edged ever so slightly lower this week, ending a puny but steady six-week increase that followed a more energetic decline. According to Paul Zimnisky's global rough diamond price index, rough prices hit an all-time high in mid-February, topping a previous high set in the spring of 2011. Prices remain 3 per cent below their February high despite the recent gains.
While rough prices are up over 30 per cent in the past five years, they are up the same amount over the past decade, as prices stagnated through most of the 2010s, following the sharp two-year rally that followed the Great Recession. Diamond miners are hoping that the same pattern does not hold true after the just ended two-year rally following the COVID collapse, but the charts are eerily comparable.
With rough prices roughly double where they were in the heady days before the Great Recession, one might expect diamond promoters to be beating back investors armed with cash. Not so, unfortunately, and many intriguing projects continue to mold away for want of work.
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