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by Will Purcell
The diamond and specialty minerals stocks box score on Wednesday was a weak 73-114-123 as the TSX Venture Exchange fell nine points to 660. Peter Swistak's Vertical Exploration Inc. (VERT) fell 2.5 cents to 11 cents on 6.27 million shares following Tuesday's six-cent drop on 2.46 million shares. The market appears displeased with the vague offtake deal the company has tentatively arranged for its St-Onge wollastonite project in Quebec.
Sean Roosen and Sandeep Singh's Osisko Gold Royalties Ltd. (OR) lost 42 cents to $13.01 on 477,000 shares. A gold royalty company, Osisko is a reluctant diamond miner in Quebec thanks to its ill-timed -- and arguably ill-thought-out -- acquisition of a 9.6-per-cent diamond stream on the Renard mine in north-central Quebec. Stornoway Diamond Corp. built the $800-million mine in the mid-2010s, aided by the financial backing of Osisko and three other key lenders, but the mine racked up big losses and carried Stornoway off to bankruptcy in 2019.
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