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by Will Purcell
The diamond and specialty minerals stocks box score on Wednesday was a bleak 77-111-122 as the TSX Venture Exchange fell three points to 590. Alphamin Resources Corp. (AFM), a high-grade tin miner in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, closed unchanged at 80 cents on 2.02 million shares.
Sandeep Singh's Osisko Gold Royalties Ltd. (OR), down five cents to $16.80 on 508,000 shares, has had another solid quarter mining diamonds at Renard, in central Quebec. Osisko, a gold royalty company as its name suggests, became a reluctant diamond miner in 2019 when Stornoway Diamond Corp. went bankrupt under mountains of debt that its struggling mine could not support. As a result, Osisko, which provided several peaks to that craggy range, ended up with a 35.1-per-cent interest in Renard, with three of its fellow creditors owning the rest.
Old Stornoway and its doomed shareholders were in the right place at the wrong time, it appears, as Osisko and its fellow shareholders of new Stornoway now have Renard running well. The post-COVID-19 surge in rough diamond prices is a key factor, but it appears that the new owners kicked in enough cash to solve many of Renard's operating woes -- the biggest of which was the operation's nasty habit of breaking many of the largest and most valuable diamonds into lesser gems, shards, and worst of all, dust.
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