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by Will Purcell
The diamond and specialty minerals stocks box score on Friday was a discouraging 59-124-127 as the TSX Venture Exchange fell five points to 612. Dermot Desmond's Mountain Province Diamonds Inc. (MPVD) tumbled eight cents to 47 cents -- and was as low as 42 cents midday -- on 2.45 million shares despite a two-month silence.
Mountain Province will reveal its 2022 results in two weeks but things may be looking up. A boost in rough diamond prices this week has put a rosier hue on Paul Zimnisky's global rough diamond price index. The chart still shows a 52-week low in early January, some 13.4 per cent below the all-time high set in mid-February of 2022, but the index has now retraced about one-fifth of the decline, so that it sits just 10.9 per cent below the record high and is at its highest since early October.
Meanwhile, De Beers is offering a mixed message with its February sale of rough. The company says that its second sale of 2023 grossed just under $500-million (U.S.), 9 per cent higher than in January but a 24-per-cent decline from its February sale in 2022. Al Cook, De Beers's new chief executive officer, says that some of its customers are deferring purchases until later in the year, given the economic uncertainty at the time they were making their planning decisions at the end of 2022.
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