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by Will Purcell
The diamond and specialty minerals stocks box score on Monday was a terrible 41-156-103 as the TSX Venture Exchange fell 18 points to 838 while polished diamond prices jumped 0.4 per cent. Ewan Mason and Ken MacNeill's Saskatchewan diamond company, Star Diamond Corp. (DIAM), fell another cent to 33 cents on 1.92 million shares.
Star's fate rests with the Star and Orion South kimberlites, where a 2018 preliminary economic assessment proposed a mammoth mine that would gnaw away for 38 years at the two huge kimberlite complexes. The economic potentials of even those two bodies are not yet set in stone; that determination awaits a Rio Tinto feasibility study, expected in a few years. Nevertheless, a third kimberlite, Orion North -- one that has given investors many a promotional up and geological down over the past 25 years -- still clings doggedly to life, at least in the minds of investors.
Orion North has four discrete vents, all discovered by De Beers Canada in the 1990s. De Beers, joined in the mid-1990s by Kensington Resources Ltd., flitted across the Fort a la Corne district like a drunken raven with vertigo, seeking to prove or kill dozens of kimberlite discoveries -- and in the end accomplishing neither before being forced out by Star Diamond. (Star acquired Kensington in a 2005 stock swap. It then bought out De Beers and its lesser partners and briefly added Newmont Corp. (NGT: $79.88) as a co-venturer a year later.)
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