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Rio Tinto continues Star bulk sample testing

Rio Tinto is reportedly moving forward with testwork on bulk samples collected last year from the Star diamond project in south-central Saskatchewan, where it has become locked in an increasingly bitter dispute with its junior joint venture partner Star Diamond Corporation.
Rio Tinto continues Star bulk sample testing Rio Tinto continues Star bulk sample testing Rio Tinto continues Star bulk sample testing Rio Tinto continues Star bulk sample testing Rio Tinto continues Star bulk sample testing

Bulk sample recovery at the Star-Orion diamond project in Saskatchewan

The  8,271 wet tonne bulk kimberlite sample material is being shipped offsite for recovery and process assessment.

Star Diamond Corp filed documents in a Saskatchewan court last month alleging Rio Tinto was engaging in "bad faith predatory practices" aimed at diluting Star's stake  in what could become the province's first commercial diamond mine east of Prince Albert.

The law suit was filed after Saskatoon-based Star company objected to Rio Tinto's exercise of options to acquire a controlling stake in the Star-Orion South project for circa-C$75 million. Its statement of claim alleges Rio Tinto spent $103 million, double the budgeted exploration cost, to complete less than one-third of the work, and breached terms of the long-term JV deal by not sharing drilling results.

A 2018 preliminary economic assessment indicated Star-Orion could yield up to 66 million carats over 38 years from a surface mine, generating a 19% IRR and C$2 billion after-tax NPV (7% discount).

Shares in Star Diamond (DIAM:TSX) traded at 24c Thursday, capitalising the company at $103 million (US$73 million). They were at C53c early in January this year.