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by Will Purcell
The diamond and specialty minerals stocks box score on Friday was a dreary 70-118-112 as the TSX Venture Exchange fell 13 points to 1,018. "One man's junk is another man's treasure," goes the adage, but with development projects, the order is often reversed. Ken MacNeill's Star Diamond Corp. (DIAM) has several now dated studies suggesting that its Star-Orion South project in central Saskatchewan is indeed a treasure, but the company has long struggled to convince potential co-venturers of the project's value in context of a big buy-in deal -- or better yet -- a big buyout agreement.
The company did arrange an option deal with Rio Tinto Exploration Inc. (RTEC) in mid-2017, but the terms were an uncomfortable pill for Star Diamond's loyal but weary retail shareholders to swallow. Those investors are now growing impatient with the current legal impasse in which their company is trying to prevent RTEC from claiming a 60-per-cent interest in the project and then presenting huge cash calls to dilute its underfunded junior partner away.
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