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by Will Purcell
The diamond and specialty minerals stocks box score for Friday was a so-so 72-67-123. The TSX Venture Exchange gained three points to 788 while polished diamond prices were steady. Dermot Desmond's Mountain Province Diamonds Inc. (MPVD) dropped eight cents to $3.86 on 81,000 shares. The company, which is getting great grades but disappointing diamond values from its Gahcho Kue mine, is working on a new mine plan and financial model to assuage its lenders.
Dr. Stewart Blusson's Archon Minerals Ltd. (ACS: $1.10) is waiting for its 25-year investment in the Buffer project, north of Lac de Gras in the Northwest Territories, to finally pay off. Archon is an enigma: It owes its majority shareholder and chief executive officer, Dr. Blusson, well over $55-million and it has more debts than assets, yet its market value is nearly $60-million. In June, the company avoided having to meet about $250-million in potential cash calls for its share of the cost of building a big mine at Jay, converting its 31.2-per-cent interest in the Buffer claims into a 2.3-per-cent gross production royalty in a deal with Dominion Diamond Corp. (DDC: $17.80).
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