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by Will Purcell
The diamond and specialty minerals stocks box score on Thursday was a great 127-56-117 as the TSX Venture Exchange added 12 points to 921. What a difference a week makes. No, the curve of rough diamond prices has indeed not flattened -- not much, at least -- according to last week's edition of Paul Zimnisky's global rough diamond index. Prices added another 0.6 per cent last week, putting prices up nearly 2 per cent in the past month. Two weeks ago, Mr. Zimnisky's index indicated that prices were down slightly over the previous month but as he points out, the weekly calculation "is subject to revision," perhaps as far back as the most recent calendar quarter, to account for late data.
Mr. Zimnisky now has rough prices up a whopping 33.3 per cent -- a full third -- over the previous 12 months and they appear to be up nearly 40 per cent from the bottom of the COVID-19 cliff, when the global diamond sector shuttered under lockdown. Rough prices are nevertheless still 5 per cent lower than a decade ago and perhaps 10 per cent below their all-time high in early 2011, when demand briefly outstripped supply curtailed by the Great Recession mine closures. There is a clear similarity with the situation today, but diamond miners are hopeful the price surge will continue.
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