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by Will Purcell
The diamond and specialty minerals stocks box score on Friday was an enthusiastic 111-55-134 as the TSX Venture Exchange fell one point to 727. Rough diamond prices did better last week, resuming their slow, almost painful recovery after a sudden 12-per-cent COVID-induced drop in early spring. Prices edged upward 0.3 per cent last week, according to Paul Zimnisky's global rough diamond price index, and have now regained 7.7 per cent from their nadir. Of course, there is a long way to go, as prices are nearly 8 per cent below their 2015 level and are about 25 per cent below their 2011 peak.
Dermot Desmond and Stuart Brown's Mountain Province Diamonds Inc. (MPVD) rose one cent to 43.5 cents on 80,000 shares. The company's 49-per-cent-owned Gahcho Kue mine has plenty of diamonds left to mine, which is fortunate, since it is probable that there will be little or no exploration for replacement carats this winter.
Mr. Brown, president and chief executive officer, says that the company and its partner, De Beers Canada, "have halted all long-term, non-core capital and exploration projects to reduce foot traffic to and from site." (He means air traffic, of course: Even with Mountain Province's austerity programs, it does not expect its miners to walk from Yellowknife to the mine, 250 kilometres northeast of Yellowknife.)
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