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by Will Purcell
The diamond and specialty minerals stocks box score on Wednesday was a weak 74-107-119 as the TSX Venture Exchange fell eight points to 955. Dermot Desmond and Stuart Brown's Mountain Province Diamonds Inc. (MPVD), unchanged at 56 cents on 586,000 shares, has new information that raises questions about one of the three big and important kimberlites at its 49-per-cent-owned Gahcho Kue mine, 250 kilometres northeast of Yellowknife. The results, from a big bulk sample of the Tuzo kimberlite, raise new concerns about the value of the diamonds within the pipe, concerns that compound earlier worries about Tuzo's grade.
Mountain Province and De Beers Canada, its majority co-venturer at Gahcho Kue, collected two "focused mining samples" from Tuzo late last year. The two tests, which weighed a combined 87,000 tonnes, produced 121,860 carats, or about 1.4 carats per hundred tonnes. The grade was roughly as expected -- perhaps a bit better -- although the processed rock presumably did not include any of the big chunks of granite embedded within the kimberlite. That country-rock dilution lowered the Tuzo reserve to 1.2 carats per tonne across 16.1 million tonnes. Another 11 million tonnes are inferred at greater depths and that minimally-diluted kimberlite averages 1.36 carats per tonne.
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