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Diamond & Specialty Minerals Summary for June 17, 2020

2020-06-17 18:55 ET - Market Summary

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by Will Purcell

The diamond and specialty minerals stocks box score on Wednesday was a positive 74-65-161 as the TSX Venture Exchange fell two points to 559. Rough diamond prices suffered a bit of a relapse last week, according to diamantaire Paul Zimnisky's global rough diamond price index. Prices fell about 0.3 per cent, leaving the index up 0.6 per cent over the past month but essentially flat since the COVID-19 crisis imploded the rough market in late February and early March. Prices are down about 13 per cent in the past year, nearly all the loss occurring since early February. At that point, rough prices had managed a two-point gain since the fall low and things were looking up, said many analysts -- just as worrisome numbers of people were falling ill in Italy.

The biggest COVID casualty among diamond miners is back in the news this week. Dennis Washington's Dominion Diamond Mines, under Companies Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) bankruptcy protection since late April, is suing its 60-per-cent co-venturer at Diavik, Rio Tinto's Diavik Diamond Mines Inc. (DDMI). Dominion is alleging DDMI has breached their agreement by operating the mine in a manner that demonstrates "willful misconduct and gross negligence."

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