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While the Haitian Senate is hopefully pontificating on the question of Mining in Haiti, and perhaps, if we are lucky, is on break for Haiti’s 3 days of National Mourning for Hugo Chavez (1), we propose the ungrateful task of examining the Haiti Mining Conventions.  As discussed yesterday, we think that the old Mining Conventions from 1997 approved or re-approved in May 2005 may indeed be the ones in current use.  Research, Exploitation and Concession permits are approved under and in the framework of the Mining Conventions.    

The Mining Convention currently held by Majescor-SOMINE SA was published in Le Moniteur on May 3, 2005, 160th yr, Special No. 2:
Mining Convention between the Haitian State and St. Genevieve Mining Company, Haiti “Societe Miniere Ste-Genevieve-Haiti” in view of realizing RESEARCH and EXPLOITATION at DOUVRAY, BLONDIN and FAILLE in the Northeast of Haiti.  However, the date at the bottom is February 1997.  Both Ste-Genevieve Group and KWG logos appear on the cover.  The Mining Convention currently divided between VCS Mining and Eurasian Minerals was published the next day on May 4, 2005, as Special No. 3.  Although within the two Conventions both research and exploitation permits are discussed, on the cover of this second Convention it only indicates that it is for exploitation.  This Convention is between the Haitian state and Citadelle Mining Company (“Societe Miniere Citadelle, SA”) in view of EXPLOITATION of the gold and silver deposits of GRAND-BOIS and MORNE BOSSA.  This Convention has SGV for Ste-Genevieve Group and KWG on the cover.     

Using these Conventions raises many questions:  Were these Conventions published in 1997 and re-published in 2005?  Or, only published in 2005?  Any way one looks at them, they appear obsolete/expired.  Additionally, new standards came into the world of mining after the Conventions were drafted in 1997, due to scandals such as Bre-X.  These include the Canadian NI-43-101.  This, in itself, is good reason for the Conventions to have been revised. As indicated in our last post, under the Conventions, the mining companies had 4 years maximum to do their research and provide feasibility studies and apply for an exploitation permit.  This would mean that they had until mid 2009.  The only loophole we have found on this point is Article 38 of both Conventions called “Force Majeure”.

ARTICLE 38:  FORCE MAJEURE

“Force Majeure” as defined in the two Mining Conventions includes all events, acts and circumstances independent of the will of the party such as “Acts of God”,  war or conditions imputable to war, declared or not,  insurrections, civil unrest, blockades, embargos, terrorist acts,  strikes or other social conflicts, riots, epidemics, acts of nature, earthquakes, flooding or other severe weather, explosions, fires, thunder, and arbitrary governmental acts (faits du Prince).  However, the Convention explains that any claim for Force Majeure needs to be placed in writing and that the delay should be of minimal duration.

While we suppose that this concept of Force Majeure was used to prolong the Research Permit phase we really do not see how.  The permits would have been expired well before the earthquake, which did not directly impact the Cap Haitien airport nor this area of Haiti anyway. The cholera outbreak, which would seem the sort of Force Majeure that would keep non-Haitian mining personnel away, also occurred after the Conventions would have expired and also has not seemed to slow them down.  These recent events seem to have had little impact on the mining companies’ enthusiasm for Haiti. We have found only one hurricane that impacted this region of Haiti between 2005 and 2009.  Most hurricanes have impacted other parts.  And, the time lost by a mining company from the hurricanes would probably not be enough to be worth filing paperwork.  

Ste-Genevieve Haiti had an inaugural ceremony, for mining research, at Trou du Nord on June 9, 2006 with Severin Lachapelle in attendance…making the May 2012 news on mining at Trou du Nord a sort of deja vu all over again moment.  And, what did Ste-Genevieve do between May 2005 and June of 2006?  We do suspect that the Conventions were both approved and published in 1997, as research was being done on these properties in July of 1997.  But, then again, if Remi Bosc is correct that KWG-Ste-Genevieve (now SOMINE) started 24 diamond drill holes at SOMINE’s Douvray property in January 1997 and finished in July 1997, maybe they did not care if they followed the law.  And, this is the period when Quebec attorney Severin “Steve” Lachapelle claimed to have been threatened and frightened by 200 peasants demanding an irrigation dam at Morne Bossa.(2)  We still wonder what an attorney was doing at Morne Bossa?  Was the St. Genevieve empire already unravelling in Canada and he was hiding out at Morne Bossa?  According to the Houston Chronicle, the peasants wanted water for irrigation for farming rather than mining, which creates water shortages.  So, perhaps he both extended the Convention and requested Canadian subsidized insurance for Force Majeures (civil unrest) due to allegedly being threatened, whereas the real delay would have been the legal and financial problems of the St. Genevieve Group.  But, this was eight years before the 2005 publication of the Conventions.  And, Morne Bossa does not appear to have been slowed down — on the contrary. Nonetheless, we have gotten many hours of much-needed laughter imagining Severin Lachapelle being chased by 200 angry peasants in endless circles around Morne Bossa!

And, so, we are back to the beginning.  We believed the Mining Conventions would have been invalid by summer of 2009, even allowing for some months of “Force Majeures”.  However, if Angelo Viard took over an exploitation permit, rather than an exploration permit, and he was renewing his exploitation permit, then that would appear to let him continue to work within the Citadelle Mining Convention.  That is, of course, if the 2005 Conventions were legal in the first place.  

Continuation:
Day 2, March 9, 2013

FEASIBILITY STUDIES AND RESEARCH PERMITS

Article 16.1 of the Mining Conventions clearly states that “During the period of validity of research permits…the Company shall prepare feasibility studies…”

Article 9.1 explains that within the 30 days of the entrance into validity of the Mining Convention, the BME (Bureau of Mines) will grant the research permit.  Article 9.4 of the St. Genevieve Convention and Article 9.3 of the Citadelle Convention clearly stiplulate that the duration of the research permit shall be for “two (2) years, renewable a single time for a period of two years maximum…”.  There are also limitations to the research permit within the 1976 Mining law, though it is less clear if the permit can be renewed once or twice, so it is unclear if the 1976 Mining law says four or six years maximum.  However, in these Mining Conventions it is abundantly clear that the research permits are a maximum total of four years only (i.e. up to two permits of two years each).       

Hence, the Research permits expired between May 3 and June 2, 2009 (St. Genevieve) and May 4 and June 3 2009 (Citadelle) (unless it is 30 working days or there were claims of Force Majeure, in which case it would be a bit longer).  The first article of the Conventions is “definitions” and includes a definition of Feasibility Study.  

FIRST ARTICLE OF THE CONVENTIONS DEFINITIONS:
FEASIBILITY STUDY

“Feasibility Study signifies a report stating the feasibility of the exploitation of an ore deposit within the perimeter, and laying out the program proposed for this exploitation, which should include, as guidelines, but is not limited to:

a)  The evaluation of the importance and of the quality of the exploitable ore reserves;
b) The determiniation of the possibility of submitting the ore to metallurigical treatment;
c) Planning of the mineral exploitation;
d) The presentation of a program of construction of the mine detailing the work, equipment, installations and supplies required for the commercial production of a potential deposit as well as effectuating the yearly forecasts;
e) A socio-economic impact statement for the project, with particular focus on the local populations;
f) An environmental impact statement for the project (earth, water, air, fauna and flora and human establishments) with the appropriate recommendations;
g)  Establishment of a plan relative to the commercialisation of products, including the points of sale envisioned, the clients, the conditions of sales and the price;
h) Complete financial projections for the period of exploitation”

Majescor’s February Corporate update has a section on p. 23, which describes their “2012-2013 Exploration strategy”…not Exploitation but Exploration… and includes “Start of full Environmental and Social Impact Studies”.  This is the strangest thing!  Not only should this have been completed by around June 2009 according to the Convention, but from a common sense perspective, WHY would the goverment give these companies Exploitation Permits when Research/Exploration has not been completed!?  Haiti does not have Exploration Permits per se but rather Prospecting Permits, which do not require a Convention and Research Permits which do.  The next stage of permit is Exploitation Permits which is actually a Mining Permit.  These are the permits accorded last December 21, and prior to doing proper studies!       

Continuation:
Day 3, Sunday, March 10, 2013   
   
What does it really mean that Majescor-SOMINE and VCS Mining were given the Exploitation Permits ahead of feasibility studies? Article 12c of the 1976 Mining law states that, in the context of the permitting process:  “c) Is meant by ‘Exploitation’ the operation that consists of extracting the mineral substances” … “This operation can extend to the first transformation, refining and commercialisation of the products.” And, so they can, in theory at least, start mining as of December 21, 2012, unless a notification is required in the Moniteur (and unless they did sign new Conventions, which would then have to be published in the Moniteur).

The Exploitation permits are automatically renewed, in five year periods, with no apparent requirements, and so it would seem left to the goodwill of the mining companies to carry out the required studies.  It would seem to mean that the Social Impact Assessment and Environmental Impact Assessment are going to be a farce:  a foolish show, a mockery, and a ridiculous sham, and one will be faced with a sort of “fait accompli”.  Having the Exploitation Permits probably helps the companies borrow more money, as well.

However, Majescor-SOMINE et. al. are fooling themselves, in a sense, because the government can still cancel the Exploitation permits, based on the following clauses:
“33.2 The Company will have for duty to conduct its mining operations in such a manner as to limit the risk of pollution and contamination to the environment and to protect the health and security of its personnel and of the local populations, in the internationally admitted limits.  

It engages itself, in particular to:  Have undertaken by a recognized firm an ecological study for the determination of local ecological, topographic, geotechnical, climatic and hydrological before production;” 

and it is clearly stated in Article 40.2 that “The present Convention shall be resiliated before its term in the following cases:  …. d)  case of major violation or fundamental inexecution of one or several of the clauses by the Company reserves made in case of Force Majeures which are expressly foreseen.”  We have discussed Force Majeures and we do not see that this is related to them having not yet finished the feasibility studies, after almost 8 years!  It goes on to say that the company has 30 days to rectify the matter starting at the date of reception of a written notification.  And, so they really must do the environmental impact study or the contract should be null and void.  So, Haiti does have maneuvering room on this, and other points, if they will only take it!    

This, of course, makes it even crazier that Majescor/SOMINE would demand Exploitation permits without proper impact studies and without even proper studies to prove that there is anything worthwhile to mine there!  Perhaps a better title to this post is “Those Crazy Mixed up Mining Companies”!  If their objective was to increase the Majescor stock value, it did not work. We guess that VCS Mining thought that news saying that they had an exploitation permit would help them borrow money.  Of course, as we have noted, VCS Mining is a special case because mining seems to have started already!  But, they are still responsible for much in the above clauses.      

Still, doing studies after they were given exploitation permits (or even started exploitation) is a farce.  This whole situation is like a very unfunny comedy act.          

Continuation:
Day 4, Monday, March 11, 2013

Let us take a look at the Annexes/Appendices on pp. 52-54 of the Ste. Genevieve Mining Convention and pp. 58-63 of the Citadelle Mining  Convention.  In here are the outlines of the steps that the Mining Companies promised to undertake for research and feasibility studies.  Turning to pp. 52-53 there is a “Research Work Plan” for Douvray, Blondin and Faille, which are the properties for which Majescor-SOMINE were given an exploitation permit last December.  There are five (5) phases of work described.  It is clear that Majescor-SOMINE have not finished all of these phases.  We pause for the moment at Phase 5, b-3 which is “Ecological impact studies encompassing earth, air, water, fauna, and human aspects”.  Strange and worrisome is that they forgot the flora or plants, including trees.  Or, maybe it is not strange as it is clear that surface mining has a destructive impact on trees and other flora, which are totally removed!  Other flora nearby or fed with waters poisoned from the mining can die.  Only certain plant types can grow after mining, without costly proper redressment.  At any rate, Majescor-SOMINE have not done these studies, by their own admission, nor has VCS Mining (though it is a bit late for them!).  VCS Mining needs a redressment plan.  According to the chart on p. 54 “Projects of Douvray, Blondin and Faille-Haiti, Feasibility Study, Estimation of Expenses and Chronology of Execution”, Phase 5 should have been completed in months 7 to 10, which should have been early 1998 or early 2006 (depending on if the Conventions were published in 1997 or only in 2005).  This “Research Work Plan” makes it even more abundantly clear that the environmental impact, as well as the many other incompleted tasks are to be done as part of Research Work and hence to be undertaken under a Research Permit and NOT an Exploitation Permit!      

Turning to p. 62, Appendix to the Citadelle Convention,  we see the steps for the “Feasibility Study” for “Morne Bossa”, “Work Plan”.  It is unclear what was and was not done for Morne Bossa.  As much as we dislike Majescor-SOMINE, we must give them credit for some level of transparency which is almost totally lacking for VCS-Delta Mining.  We still draw your attention to item number 7 of the Morne Bossa Feasibility Study Work Plan:  “Realization of the environmental impact study, which will address the diverse aspects:  physical, biological and socio-economic.  A detailed implementation plan for the protection of the environment and for the rehabilitation of exploited sites shall be proposed.”  We do not know whether a study was done or not.  Angelo Viard claims he will do one based on World Bank standards.  So, why then has he and why has Majescor-SOMINE demanded Exploitation Permits, if they have not done the basic research and feasiblity studies?  One thing for certain is that Morne Bossa does need a detailed action plan for the protection of the environment and for the rehabilitation of the sites which appear already exploited.  Based on the Google Satellite map views, clean-up and rehabilitation are desperately needed at Morne Bossa.  We also suppose, based on the little information that VCS Mining has provided, in conjunction with old BME documents, that VCS plans to finish pulverizing the rest of the Morne Bossa hill range and some surrounding areas, in order to extract whatever pittance they can.  It is very noteworthy that at the bottom of this “Feasibility Study (Morne Bossa) Work Plan” it says “En progres”, i.e. “In progress”.  Such a note does not occur on the bottom of the page for Douvray, Blondin and Faille.  Nor, does this note occur on the bottom of the “Feasibility Study” “Work Plan” for Grand Bois.  On p. 58 of the Feasibility Study Work Plan for Grand Bois is also item number 7:  “Realization of an ecological impact study, which includes several aspects such as:  physical, biological, and socio-economic and to prepare an implementation plan for the protection of the environment and the rehabilitation of exploited sites [which] will be submitted”.  This is similar but not identical to Morne Bossa’s number 7.  On p. 63, they enumerate month by month activities to be undertaken over the course of 10 months total for Morne Bossa (remember this was written in 1997.)  At months five and six there are “Environmental Study”, “Socio-economic Study” and “Condition of Women”.  On pp. 59-60 are the charts relative to the Feasibility Study for Grand Bois.  Grand Bois, as you may or may not recall is currently held by Eurasian Minerals (EMX) of Canada and Newmont opted out of it in April of 2012 (that is Newmont gave it back to Eurasian).  Months five and six on the Grand Bois Plan were to be an “Environmental Study”, “A Socio-economic Study” and “Condition of Women”.  We remain clueless if any of this was done.  According to this chart it should have been finished prior to 1998 or prior to 2006.  Two months is entirely inadequate for a serious study.  However, the 8 to 15 years which have elapsed are more than adequate.      

Continuation:
Day 5, Tuesday March 12, 2013

We wish to pause upon the part of the Feasibility Studies for Grand Bois and Morne Bossa called “Condition of women” and not because International Women’s day was last week.  But, rather because Haitian women are responsible for much of the internal economy of Haiti.  Men have traditionally controlled the import-export sector, and market women or Madam Sara are responsible for much of the internal economy and especially the distribution of agricultural products.  They may walk many miles to town to market agricultural products.  But, if there is mining, it destroys agriculture and as such not only has a detrimental effect on the ability of women to feed their children, but also is detrimental to their business of selling agricultural products.  Additionally, if you look at media pictures of what is presumably supposed to be Haitian workers hired by Majescor, you see very young boys hanging out; older boys or men working–possibly minors, suggesting the possibility of child labor — and a very elderly-looking man working.  There are no women pictured as working at the mines in Haiti, although we know they are hired in other countries. There are no girls pictured hanging out. And, these studies about women should have especially been required for Douvray, Blondin, and Faille, because of agricultural impact.  But, we do not find a study about “Condition of women” listed in the plan for Douvray, Blondin, and Faille.  However, this should be included in socio-economic studies.

Continuation:
Day 6, Wednesday March 13, 2013

MISSING MINING CONVENTION?

While we have been discussing VCS Mining-Angelo Viard’s Morne Bossa property and its Mining Convention, we have overlooked one thing:  Angelo needs a Mining Convention for his 100 km2 L’Asile Property!  In the 1976 Mining Law, Chapter III Mines, Permit of Mining Prospection, ARTICLE 35,b it is stated:  “…The duration of the permit is of two (2) years and nonrenewable.”  Angelo claimed to have held a permit for L’Asile in 2011 or earlier, and a prospecting permit can not be renewed.  This means that L’Asile must be included in a Mining Convention.  So, where is L’Asile’s Mining Convention?  

On the VCS Mining website one can see the following:
                                   “2 Permits
                    North-East & South-East Haiti
VCS Mining has finalized the closing of permits to explore 674.49 Square kilometers of mineral prospects.
Name         Approximate Size (km2)       hectare (ha)                              Metal
—————————————————————————————————————–
Morne Bossa                    25.00 km2      or        2,500 ha                      Gold/copper/Silver
—————————————————————————————————————–
L’Asile South                  100.00 km2      or        10,000 ha                   Gold/Copper/Nickel, PGM
—————————————————————————————————————–”
Contrary to what the VCS Mining website says, L’Asile (Lasile, Lazile) is in the Department of Nippes and not the South.  And, geographicallly these permits are in the Northeast and Southwest of Haiti, and not in the Southeast, as stated.  Furthermore L’Asile has not been part of the South Department since 1962 when it became part of Grand Anse Department.  It became part of the Nippes Department in 2003.  In the above information from the web site you see that they say they have 674.49 km2 to explore, which with 50km2 for Morne Bossa – now reduced to 25km2- gave an original permit total of 724.49 km2.  Now it totals 125 km2, but they still left 674.49 as the total.  Up until recently, on the VCS website, there was a long list of permits, all of which were removed, except L’Asile (Morne Bossa was listed as a separate “Flagship Property”). See the info about VCS-Mercer below for original list.  Additionally, the VCS Mining site says they have permits to “explore”, whereas there is no such thing as an exploration permit for Haiti.  There are prospecting permits and there are research permits, but no exploration permits.  Furthermore, L’Asile is known to have lignite and not known to have precious metals. The area may have bauxite for aluminum. Uranium may be associated with lignite, which is something to think about.      

When Mercer was considering purchasing the VCS Mining properties in April of 2011, the following information appeared on yahoo finance, (it seems the same list that was on the VCS Mining site until recently):  “Additional Properties Overview. In addition to the MB gold deposit, 8 additional properties will be acquired as a result of the proposed transaction:
——————————————————-
Name Approximate Size (km2) Metal
——————————————————-
Petit-Goave 1 101.5 Copper
——————————————————-
Petit-Goave 2 98.0 Copper
——————————————————-
Terrier Rouge 56.0 Gold, Silver
——————————————————-
Ouanaminthe 55.0 Gold
——————————————————-
Capotile 70.7 Gold
——————————————————-
Mont-Organize 91.44 Gold
——————————————————-
L’Asile 98.36 Nickel, PGM
——————————————————-
Les Irois 94.99 Nickel, PGM
——————————————————-”
This totals 665.99 and with Morne Bossa made 715.99 km2.
There was this disparity in the original list on the VCS Mining site of 715.99 km2 vs. 724.99 km2, as though Angelo Viard was not ever certain of how much land he had, or did not care very much.  He does not appear serious-minded, which is scary.    

Now, the Haiti Mining law says clearly that the duration of the prospecting permit is of two (2) years and nonrewable.  And, if Angelo Viard already had a permit for L’Asile in 2011, it was either a prospection permit or a research permit.  If it was a prospection permit then it either has already expired or will expire shortly.  Once the prospection permit is expired, for Angelo Viard to keep the property, he must obtain a Research Permit and hence there MUST be a Mining Convention for L’Asile. To hold a Research Permit there must be a Mining Convention.  This suggests that maybe there were new Mining Conventions signed last December 21, as we originally thought.  The Mining Law says in Article 21, about Mining Conventions, part “d” that Conventions, which should be published in the Moniteur, can be changed and amended:  “All modifications to the Mining Convention will be negotiated, approved and published in the same way as the original Mining Convention”.  So, whether a totally new Convention was written or the old one was modified they must be published in the Moniteur.  And, they do not appear to have been.  Or, perhaps they are trying to sneak the L’Asile property through, illegally, with no Mining Convention.  The L’Asile property is also not at all near the Morne Bossa or Grand Bois covered by the Citadelle Mining Convention (1997, 2005).  Morne Bossa is in the Northeast and L’Asile is in the Southwest of the country.  Driving from Morne Bossa to L’Asile is about 270 kms or 168 miles.  So, there is no way that this is a logical extension of the Morne Bossa area nor is it in the original Morne Bossa permit area.  So, is the Missing Mining Convention in the same place as the Missing Morne Bossa Gold?  It could be.  They may both be hidden.  But, then again, it could be that the L’Asile Mining Convention is non-existent and the missing Morne Bossa gold went to Geneva.  Hopefully, one day these mysteries will be solved.          

Continuation
Day 7, Thursday, 14 March 2013

THE 1% GROSS REVENUE CLEAN-UP FUND

In Article 33.3 it says that:  “The Company will have the responsibility for the complete rehabilitation of the damaged sites.  For this reason, a Fund named Fund for the Rehabilitation of the Environment [“Fonds de Rehabilitation de l’Environnement”], managed conjointly by the BME [Bureau of Mines] and the Company will be created.  The money for this Fund will come from annual contributions equivalent to 1% of the Gross Revenue [“Revenu brut”] of the exploitation.  This money will be deposited in the National Bank of Credit (BNC) [“Banque Nationale de Credit”], in a special foreign currency account [“compte special en devises”] opened in the name of the BME and of the Company.  The amounts withdrawn from this account, under the signatures of the respective Representatives of these two (2) entities, will serve exclusively to finance the rehabilitation work of the exploited sites which will be followed, periodically, by qualified agents of the Minister of the Environment.”  

Very importantly they further state in 33.3:
“Rehabilitation not only extends to the reconstitution of the physical form of disrupted zones, but also, to their revegetation with species, notably forest and fruit trees, apt to protect and appropriate to their micro-climatic conditions.”  The reason that this is so important is that, from our understanding, few species can survive in acid mine conditions.  Hence, this, if truly followed, requires a high standard of clean-up.  However, if they plant the trees back and do not monitor to see if they survive, then this would be fraudulent.  Also, elsewhere, in Article 33.2, it says that there is only a two year follow-up required after mining ends: “environmental control for at least two (2) years after the exploitation”.
       
Article 33.4 states that “All surplus of the aforesaid amounts, after finishing the rehabilitation, returns to the Company.”  This seems like a loop-hole encouraging the Company to cut corners on clean-up.  However, it is followed by a critically important statement:  
“It remains understood that in the case of insufficient monies, the Company engages itself to bring the complementary amounts needed for the realization of the aforesaid work.”  So, in other words they are required by these Conventions (as well as by other laws) to restore the land to its former state.  But, the laws must be enforced.  
It is also unclear if an area can ever really be restored to its former state at any price.  

According to the First Article, Definitions:  “Gross Revenue, indicates the value of the dore and/or the concentrate. Dore signifies the bar of unrefined gold and silver.  Concentrate signifies all products derived from all ore, after crushing, grinding, flotation, gravimetric separation or other, containing an appreciable percentage of metal and/or minerals and directly marketable on the world market of mineral commodities.”  Notice that it says total value of the dore and/or concentrate — truly the Gross Revenue or Income and not minus this and that.  

The Gross Revenue of 1% could be an interesting amount in the context of gold mines such as Faille, Grand Bois, and Morne Bossa.  
It is a much less interesting amount for low grade copper mines like Douvray and Blondin.  Also, the value of 1% of gold for past mining, in the Morne Bossa area, would be generally much less than its value would be today.  The big question is if that 1% for clean-up at Morne Bossa is still in the BNC (National Bank of Credit).  This is one of those big mysteries which may one day be solved.  It is also unclear to us if the removal of the money from the account requires the signature of both the Company and of the Bureau of Mines or not.  Gerhard Helmcke was secretary-treasurer for Citadelle in 1997. Who would sign for the Bureau of Mines?    

Continuation
Day 8, Friday, March 15, 2013

RESPONSIBLE PARTIES FOR THE MINING CONVENTIONS

On p. 38 of the Citadelle Mining Convention we find “Resolution of the  Board of Directors of “Societe Minere Citadelle, SA” (Citadelle Mining Company):  “Be it RESOLVED…2. TO GIVE TO Mr. Pierre R. GAUTHIER, President of the Board of Directors and Gerhard HELMCKE, Secretary Treasurer, all powers to SIGN, in the name of the ‘SOCIETE MINIERE CITADELLE, SA’ the Mining Convention with the qualified Representatives of the Haitian State, WHO will be able to accomplish as well all useful or necessary acts in conjunction with the execution of the present; 3. TO PLACE and to MAINTAIN in effect the present Resolution until the exhaustion of its object.  Adopted at Port-au-Prince, today the 4 November 1996, Signed:  Pierre R. GAUTHIER, President of the Board, Gerhard HELMCKE, Secretary-Treasurer, Chantal HUDICOURT EWALD, Member.”  However, the only actual signature is that of Gerhard HELMCKE, the Secretary (He also served as treasurer).  As mentioned elsewhere, we believe this most likely the eminent Dr. Helmcke, MD.  We have identified one of his sons in New Orleans, as well as a grandson in the US.  We suspect, but have not definitively proven, that Franck Helmcke of UNIBANK is the son of Gerhard.  Regardless he would be close kin because the Helmcke family was a late arrival to Haiti, descended from a German Consul to Haiti.  Pierre R. Gauthier also was President of Ste-Genevieve Resources, as well as what has been described as a whole “stable” of companies, most of which seem to have gone bankrupt. He was, in the 1990s, and possibly still is, one of the wealthiest men in Quebec. There was a rather complicated scandal associated with him. Chantal HUDICOURT EWALD, member of the board is a new name.  She seems to be on there as the attorney.  She was born in Port-au-Prince in 1954, graduated from the State University (UEH), School of Law in 1976 and the Miami School of Law with a degree in Comparative Law in 1979.  Her areas of expertise include Investment, Banking and Tax Law.  She was Legal Advisor to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of Haiti from 1979 to 1984.  This suggests that she was well connected under the Jean-Claude Duvalier regime.  She was a Member of the 61 member Haitian Constitutional Assembly in 1986, which reviewed the 1987 Haitian Constitution.  

Continuation:
Day 9, Saturday, March 16, 2013
Elsewhere in the Citadelle Convention on p. 44 there is another resolution:  “POWERS OF THE REPRESENTATIVE OF THE COMPANY”:  “RESOLVED THAT Mr. Briand LAFALAISE is agreed and is expressly designated as its Representative in Haiti, before the State authorities; /RESOLVED THAT the company hereby accords to the aforesaid Representative, complete powers and authority to do and accomplish all acts or things necessary or useful to the execution of the preceding, hereby ratify and confirm all actions that the aforesaid Representative will do or have done by virtue of the present. /RESOLVED THAT the present powers can be revoked at any time, but remain in effect toward anyone acting on faith of this until written notification of their revocation./Certified copy of three (3) Resolutions of the Board of Directors of the Societe Miniere Citadelle, SA, adopted the 18 December 1996/Made at Port-au-Prince the 13 March 1997”.  It is signed by “Gerhard HELMCKE, Secretary”. Briand Lafalaise is a new name for us. A Briand Lafalaise, born in 1944 and 68 years old, lives in Miami and is director and secretary of the Haitian-American Association of Engineers and Scientists.  We believe this almost certainly the same. This all appears simple as to who, in conjunction with the Bureau of Mines (BME), is responsible for the 1% and for the property in general.  We wish it were so simple.   

Day 10, Sunday, 17 March, St. Patrick’s Day, 2013 
Beannachtai na Feile Padraig

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day and because it is already Monday for some readers, we are skipping the Sunday posting. For all of those who are not asleep, in Church, at Parades, or drinking green beer, we offer the following link about St. Patrick http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11554a.htm
along with Monday’s post. We apologize to those who were looking for Sunday’s post earlier and did not find it. We had accidentally deleted part of what is now Monday’s post and it took time to rework it.

Continuation:
Day 11, Monday, 18 March 2013

Turning back to p. 27 of the Citadelle Mining Convention, we see that we have overlooked ARTICLE 48:
“BIPARTITE COMMISSION”:  “From the entry into force of the present Convention, a Bipartite Commison composed, on one hand, of Representatives of the Bureau of Mines and of Energy, of the Ministry of Economy and Finances, of the Ministry of Commerce and of Industry and of the Ministry of the Environment and, on the other hand, of the Representatives of the Company, will be formed in view of assuring the follow through of the execution of the Convention and to watch that the obligations contracted by the two (2) parties be respected./Made in Port-au-Prince, February 3, 1997 in four (4) original copies”.  Then come the signatures, which is the interesting part:  “FOR THE COMPANY, Mr. Pierre R. GAUTHIER, President of the Board of Directors, Mr. Gerhard HELMCKE, Secretary-Treasurer” and “FOR THE STATE, Mr. Jacques DORCEAN, Engineer, Minister of Public Works, Transportation and Communications, President of the Board of the BME [Bureau of Mines and Energy], Mr. Fred JOSEPH, Minister of Economy and Finance”.  “Seen and approved:  Duty MACKENSIE, President of the Superior Court of Audits and Administrative Disputes”.  We have already seen Pierre R. Gauthier and Gerhard Helmcke.  A new name here is Mr. Jacques Dorcean. As the President of the Board of the BME, he would seem likely the person most directly responsible from the State’s perspective.    

Jacques Dorcean was appointed Minister of Public Works, Transportation, and Communications in November 1995 under Prime Minister Claudette Werleigh and again under Prime Minister Rosny Smarth in February, 1996.  Smarth resigned on June 9, 1997 and there was no Prime Minister until March 1999 when Dorcean was not reappointed.  Dorcean reports in linkedin that he was Minister of the Environment from 1997 to 1998.  But, he contradicts himself as to when he was head of the Ministry of Public Works, so we cannot be certain.  His apparent memory impairment is most likely a reflection of the number of years which have passed, for he is not that old.  We do not know if he occupied the two posts simultaneously or if he was appointed Minister of the Environment in the absence of a Prime Minister.  We have found him listed as a “former” minister of the environment by June 1999.  So, he seems to have been Minister of Public Works, Transportation and Communication and/or Ministry of the Environment in the period from November 7, 1995 to March 1999.  Since Yves Andre Wainwright was appointed Minister of the Environment under Werleigh in November 1995 and again in February 1996 under Smarth, it seems most likely that Dorcean was Minister of the Environment from June 1997 (when Smarth resigned) until March 1999 when a new Prime Minister took over.      

Dorcean’s Company “Engineering & Construction Industrielle -E C I” (“Engineering and Industrial Construction”) was formed 21 years ago in February 1992.  If this is accurate, then it was formed shortly after the first coup d’etat against President Aristide.  Joseph Nerette was provisional president.  It is also an important date in the history of the Citadelle Mining Convention. An earlier Mining Convention was already signed between the Haitian State and Citadelle Mining Company on the 11 February 1992 for the exploitation of gold and silver deposits at Grand Bois and Morne Bossa, according to Prepetit/the BME (2000). Prepetit (2000) alleges that the Convention was not applied due to the embargo, a fact that we doubt due to the porosity of the border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic.  
 
It seems apparent that this is a blatant potential conflict of interest for Dorcean’s positions as Minister of Public Works and Transportation and of the Environment.  A list of his and his company’s areas of expertise from his linkedin sites:
Civil Engineering, Structural Engineering, Structural Analysis, Research, AutoCAD, Project Planning, Project Coordination, Construction Management, Contractors, Construction, Concrete, Land Development, Drainage,  Water, Pavement Engineering, Highways, Earthworks, Water Resources.  

As you can see there is much here which is connected to Public Works, Transportation, as well as potentially to Mining. This being said, we do not know if his company received any contracts whether governmental or non-governmental in the period when he was Minister. You will note that on one of the linkedin sites he has himself working as Civil Engineer from June 2011 to the present.  Although this seems to contradict the other site for his company, it may not be so.  It may only mean that he owned the company and was not actively working as a Civil Engineer prior to June 2011.  

On the lighter side (which we certainly need!), under his “languages” he fails to mention any mastery of French or Creole, which he must certainly have, and says that his language is Old English (ca 450 to 1100).  This is like Caedmon’s hymn:  “nu scylun hergan hefaenricaes uard” (See:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cædmon’s_Hymn), which only might look slightly familiar if you know some Scandinavian languages (see for instance “nu” and “skaal”).  This is pre-Norman Conquest English.  

Continuation:
Day 12, Tuesday, 19 March 2013

THE 1992 MINING CONVENTION FOR EXPLOITATION AT MORNE BOSSA AND GRAND BOIS, IN THE CONTEXT OF THE UNITED NATIONS EMBARGO

Having just mentioned the earlier February 11, 1992 Mining Convention for Exploitation of gold and silver deposits at Morne Bossa and Grand Bois, we feel the need to make a historical detour regarding Prepetit/the BME’s (2000) statement about the embargo impacting the implementation of the 1992 Convention.  Haiti’s President Aristide, elected by 67% of the vote, in supervised democratic elections, took office on the 7th of February 1991.  He was removed in a military coup d’etat led by Lt. General Raoul Cedras of the Haitian Armed Forces on Sept 29, 1991.  

The UN Security Council did not impose an embargo until June 16, 1993, one year and nine months after the coup, and one year and four months after the February 1992 Mining Convention.  This embargo was on military equipment and petroleum products.  About 2 months later on August 27, 1993 the embargo was lifted and not reimposed until almost another 2 months later on October 18, 1993.  Only at this time was there a call for a naval blockade in support of the embargo.  In May of 1994, a more general trade embargo was imposed.  On September 29, 1994 the embargo was once again lifted and with Aristide’s return on the 15th of October 1994 was definitively lifted.  

So, not only was the petroleum and arms embargo late in coming and sometimes there and sometimes not, over 3 years of military dictatorship, but even the October 1993 naval blockade did nothing about the Dominican Republic border.  Only on the 7th of May 1994, almost 2 years and 8 months after the coup, and 2 years and 3 months after the 1992 Mining Convention, was there a UN vote for a more general trade embargo with the exceptions of food, medicine,  and things like books, newspapers and equipment for visiting journalists.  Implementation was May 21, 1994.  According to Paul Lewis of the New York Times, 7 May 1994:
“Some members of the [US] Administration have said … that they are under no illusions that the new sanctions will achieve their goal. Despite the widespread hardship, the ruling elite of Haiti is said to have largely escaped the worst effects of the sanctions already in place.”
He further adds something which is especially noteworthy due to the dependence of mining equipment on petroleum:  “The fuel embargo… is being circumvented through imports from the Dominican Republic, which shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti.”  He continues:  “Smuggled fuel supplies have enabled the military rulers to keep up their own operations — including drug trafficking, United States drug enforcement officials say.”  Additionally he points out that “The embargo has hampered the delivery of food and medicine to ordinary Haitians by relief agencies.”  For more details about the limitations of this embargo, see Bromley (2007) in references below.  Even if the blockade were not porous, mining can occur without petroleum:  in the context of those coup d’etat years, where so many were massacred that we wonder how any Haitians still remain, it is within the realm of possibility that mining occurred with forced labor (corvee), rather than with equipment, as was the case when the Spanish worked the Natives of Haiti literally to death in their mines.  

It is worth noticing that, on p. 72 of the 1997 Citadelle Mining Convention, it is predicted that they would start mining at Morne Bossa in 1998 and finish in 2001 at a rate of 350,000 tonnes per year (four years total).  All we can really say, however, is that a significant amount of mining appears to have occurred at Morne Bossa even prior to October 29, 2004 when google maps started taking satellite images.

This is to be continued:  We are going to try to add to this post gradually on a daily basis, as promised, and possibly edit along the way.  We will see how this works for now.  It is possible that those subscribing may not get notifications, since it will be a continuation of this one post for now.  If we do new daily posts it will be hard to see the earlier post titles.  We are lucky that someone got hold of the Conventions and decided to upload them. They are worth looking at while the Senate is probably examining them.  Hopefully no one, including ourselves,  will die of boredom before we are through.                  

Footnotes [Edit]TagsAngelo Viard, Briand Lafalaise, Citadelle, Convention Miniere Haiti, Delta Mining, environment, Eurasian Minerals, Gerhard Helmcke, Grand Bois, Haiti, Haiti Copper, Haiti Mining Convention, L’Asile, Lazile, Majescor, mining, Morne Bossa, Newmont, Pierre R. Gauthier, Severin Lachapelle, St Genevieve, Steve Lachapelle, VCS Mining
While the Haitian Senate is hopefully pontificating on the question of Mining in Haiti, and perhaps, if we are lucky, is on break for Haiti’s 3 days of National Mourning for Hugo Chavez (1), we propose the ungrateful task of examining the Haiti Mining Conventions.  As discussed yesterday, we think that the old Mining Conventions from 1997 approved or re-approved in May 2005 may indeed be the ones in current use.  Research, Exploitation and Concession permits are approved under and in the framework of the Mining Conventions.    

The Mining Convention currently held by Majescor-SOMINE SA was published in Le Moniteur on May 3, 2005, 160th yr, Special No. 2:
Mining Convention between the Haitian State and St. Genevieve Mining Company, Haiti “Societe Miniere Ste-Genevieve-Haiti” in view of realizing RESEARCH and EXPLOITATION at DOUVRAY, BLONDIN and FAILLE in the Northeast of Haiti.  However, the date at the bottom is February 1997.  Both Ste-Genevieve Group and KWG logos appear on the cover.  The Mining Convention currently divided between VCS Mining and Eurasian Minerals was published the next day on May 4, 2005, as Special No. 3.  Although within the two Conventions both research and exploitation permits are discussed, on the cover of this second Convention it only indicates that it is for exploitation.  This Convention is between the Haitian state and Citadelle Mining Company (“Societe Miniere Citadelle, SA”) in view of EXPLOITATION of the gold and silver deposits of GRAND-BOIS and MORNE BOSSA.  This Convention has SGV for Ste-Genevieve Group and KWG on the cover.     

Using these Conventions raises many questions:  Were these Conventions published in 1997 and re-published in 2005?  Or, only published in 2005?  Any way one looks at them, they appear obsolete/expired.  Additionally, new standards came into the world of mining after the Conventions were drafted in 1997, due to scandals such as Bre-X.  These include the Canadian NI-43-101.  This, in itself, is good reason for the Conventions to have been revised. As indicated in our last post, under the Conventions, the mining companies had 4 years maximum to do their research and provide feasibility studies and apply for an exploitation permit.  This would mean that they had until mid 2009.  The only loophole we have found on this point is Article 38 of both Conventions called “Force Majeure”.

ARTICLE 38:  FORCE MAJEURE

“Force Majeure” as defined in the two Mining Conventions includes all events, acts and circumstances independent of the will of the party such as “Acts of God”,  war or conditions imputable to war, declared or not,  insurrections, civil unrest, blockades, embargos, terrorist acts,  strikes or other social conflicts, riots, epidemics, acts of nature, earthquakes, flooding or other severe weather, explosions, fires, thunder, and arbitrary governmental acts (faits du Prince).  However, the Convention explains that any claim for Force Majeure needs to be placed in writing and that the delay should be of minimal duration.

While we suppose that this concept of Force Majeure was used to prolong the Research Permit phase we really do not see how.  The permits would have been expired well before the earthquake, which did not directly impact the Cap Haitien airport nor this area of Haiti anyway. The cholera outbreak, which would seem the sort of Force Majeure that would keep non-Haitian mining personnel away, also occurred after the Conventions would have expired and also has not seemed to slow them down.  These recent events seem to have had little impact on the mining companies’ enthusiasm for Haiti. We have found only one hurricane that impacted this region of Haiti between 2005 and 2009.  Most hurricanes have impacted other parts.  And, the time lost by a mining company from the hurricanes would probably not be enough to be worth filing paperwork.  

Ste-Genevieve Haiti had an inaugural ceremony, for mining research, at Trou du Nord on June 9, 2006 with Severin Lachapelle in attendance…making the May 2012 news on mining at Trou du Nord a sort of deja vu all over again moment.  And, what did Ste-Genevieve do between May 2005 and June of 2006?  We do suspect that the Conventions were both approved and published in 1997, as research was being done on these properties in July of 1997.  But, then again, if Remi Bosc is correct that KWG-Ste-Genevieve (now SOMINE) started 24 diamond drill holes at SOMINE’s Douvray property in January 1997 and finished in July 1997, maybe they did not care if they followed the law.  And, this is the period when Quebec attorney Severin “Steve” Lachapelle claimed to have been threatened and frightened by 200 peasants demanding an irrigation dam at Morne Bossa.(2)  We still wonder what an attorney was doing at Morne Bossa?  Was the St. Genevieve empire already unravelling in Canada and he was hiding out at Morne Bossa?  According to the Houston Chronicle, the peasants wanted water for irrigation for farming rather than mining, which creates water shortages.  So, perhaps he both extended the Convention and requested Canadian subsidized insurance for Force Majeures (civil unrest) due to allegedly being threatened, whereas the real delay would have been the legal and financial problems of the St. Genevieve Group.  But, this was eight years before the 2005 publication of the Conventions.  And, Morne Bossa does not appear to have been slowed down — on the contrary. Nonetheless, we have gotten many hours of much-needed laughter imagining Severin Lachapelle being chased by 200 angry peasants in endless circles around Morne Bossa!

And, so, we are back to the beginning.  We believed the Mining Conventions would have been invalid by summer of 2009, even allowing for some months of “Force Majeures”.  However, if Angelo Viard took over an exploitation permit, rather than an exploration permit, and he was renewing his exploitation permit, then that would appear to let him continue to work within the Citadelle Mining Convention.  That is, of course, if the 2005 Conventions were legal in the first place.  

Continuation:
Day 2, March 9, 2013

FEASIBILITY STUDIES AND RESEARCH PERMITS

Article 16.1 of the Mining Conventions clearly states that “During the period of validity of research permits…the Company shall prepare feasibility studies…”

Article 9.1 explains that within the 30 days of the entrance into validity of the Mining Convention, the BME (Bureau of Mines) will grant the research permit.  Article 9.4 of the St. Genevieve Convention and Article 9.3 of the Citadelle Convention clearly stiplulate that the duration of the research permit shall be for “two (2) years, renewable a single time for a period of two years maximum…”.  There are also limitations to the research permit within the 1976 Mining law, though it is less clear if the permit can be renewed once or twice, so it is unclear if the 1976 Mining law says four or six years maximum.  However, in these Mining Conventions it is abundantly clear that the research permits are a maximum total of four years only (i.e. up to two permits of two years each).       

Hence, the Research permits expired between May 3 and June 2, 2009 (St. Genevieve) and May 4 and June 3 2009 (Citadelle) (unless it is 30 working days or there were claims of Force Majeure, in which case it would be a bit longer).  The first article of the Conventions is “definitions” and includes a definition of Feasibility Study.  

FIRST ARTICLE OF THE CONVENTIONS DEFINITIONS:
FEASIBILITY STUDY

“Feasibility Study signifies a report stating the feasibility of the exploitation of an ore deposit within the perimeter, and laying out the program proposed for this exploitation, which should include, as guidelines, but is not limited to:

a)  The evaluation of the importance and of the quality of the exploitable ore reserves;
b) The determiniation of the possibility of submitting the ore to metallurigical treatment;
c) Planning of the mineral exploitation;
d) The presentation of a program of construction of the mine detailing the work, equipment, installations and supplies required for the commercial production of a potential deposit as well as effectuating the yearly forecasts;
e) A socio-economic impact statement for the project, with particular focus on the local populations;
f) An environmental impact statement for the project (earth, water, air, fauna and flora and human establishments) with the appropriate recommendations;
g)  Establishment of a plan relative to the commercialisation of products, including the points of sale envisioned, the clients, the conditions of sales and the price;
h) Complete financial projections for the period of exploitation”

Majescor’s February Corporate update has a section on p. 23, which describes their “2012-2013 Exploration strategy”…not Exploitation but Exploration… and includes “Start of full Environmental and Social Impact Studies”.  This is the strangest thing!  Not only should this have been completed by around June 2009 according to the Convention, but from a common sense perspective, WHY would the goverment give these companies Exploitation Permits when Research/Exploration has not been completed!?  Haiti does not have Exploration Permits per se but rather Prospecting Permits, which do not require a Convention and Research Permits which do.  The next stage of permit is Exploitation Permits which is actually a Mining Permit.  These are the permits accorded last December 21, and prior to doing proper studies!       

Continuation:
Day 3, Sunday, March 10, 2013   
   
What does it really mean that Majescor-SOMINE and VCS Mining were given the Exploitation Permits ahead of feasibility studies? Article 12c of the 1976 Mining law states that, in the context of the permitting process:  ”c) Is meant by ‘Exploitation’ the operation that consists of extracting the mineral substances” … “This operation can extend to the first transformation, refining and commercialisation of the products.” And, so they can, in theory at least, start mining as of December 21, 2012, unless a notification is required in the Moniteur (and unless they did sign new Conventions, which would then have to be published in the Moniteur).

The Exploitation permits are automatically renewed, in five year periods, with no apparent requirements, and so it would seem left to the goodwill of the mining companies to carry out the required studies.  It would seem to mean that the Social Impact Assessment and Environmental Impact Assessment are going to be a farce:  a foolish show, a mockery, and a ridiculous sham, and one will be faced with a sort of “fait accompli”.  Having the Exploitation Permits probably helps the companies borrow more money, as well.

However, Majescor-SOMINE et. al. are fooling themselves, in a sense, because the government can still cancel the Exploitation permits, based on the following clauses:
“33.2 The Company will have for duty to conduct its mining operations in such a manner as to limit the risk of pollution and contamination to the environment and to protect the health and security of its personnel and of the local populations, in the internationally admitted limits.  

It engages itself, in particular to:  Have undertaken by a recognized firm an ecological study for the determination of local ecological, topographic, geotechnical, climatic and hydrological before production;” 

and it is clearly stated in Article 40.2 that “The present Convention shall be resiliated before its term in the following cases:  …. d)  case of major violation or fundamental inexecution of one or several of the clauses by the Company reserves made in case of Force Majeures which are expressly foreseen.”  We have discussed Force Majeures and we do not see that this is related to them having not yet finished the feasibility studies, after almost 8 years!  It goes on to say that the company has 30 days to rectify the matter starting at the date of reception of a written notification.  And, so they really must do the environmental impact study or the contract should be null and void.  So, Haiti does have maneuvering room on this, and other points, if they will only take it!    

This, of course, makes it even crazier that Majescor/SOMINE would demand Exploitation permits without proper impact studies and without even proper studies to prove that there is anything worthwhile to mine there!  Perhaps a better title to this post is “Those Crazy Mixed up Mining Companies”!  If their objective was to increase the Majescor stock value, it did not work. We guess that VCS Mining thought that news saying that they had an exploitation permit would help them borrow money.  Of course, as we have noted, VCS Mining is a special case because mining seems to have started already!  But, they are still responsible for much in the above clauses.      

Still, doing studies after they were given exploitation permits (or even started exploitation) is a farce.  This whole situation is like a very unfunny comedy act.          

Continuation:
Day 4, Monday, March 11, 2013

Let us take a look at the Annexes/Appendices on pp. 52-54 of the Ste. Genevieve Mining Convention and pp. 58-63 of the Citadelle Mining  Convention.  In here are the outlines of the steps that the Mining Companies promised to undertake for research and feasibility studies.  Turning to pp. 52-53 there is a “Research Work Plan” for Douvray, Blondin and Faille, which are the properties for which Majescor-SOMINE were given an exploitation permit last December.  There are five (5) phases of work described.  It is clear that Majescor-SOMINE have not finished all of these phases.  We pause for the moment at Phase 5, b-3 which is “Ecological impact studies encompassing earth, air, water, fauna, and human aspects”.  Strange and worrisome is that they forgot the flora or plants, including trees.  Or, maybe it is not strange as it is clear that surface mining has a destructive impact on trees and other flora, which are totally removed!  Other flora nearby or fed with waters poisoned from the mining can die.  Only certain plant types can grow after mining, without costly proper redressment.  At any rate, Majescor-SOMINE have not done these studies, by their own admission, nor has VCS Mining (though it is a bit late for them!).  VCS Mining needs a redressment plan.  According to the chart on p. 54 “Projects of Douvray, Blondin and Faille-Haiti, Feasibility Study, Estimation of Expenses and Chronology of Execution”, Phase 5 should have been completed in months 7 to 10, which should have been early 1998 or early 2006 (depending on if the Conventions were published in 1997 or only in 2005).  This “Research Work Plan” makes it even more abundantly clear that the environmental impact, as well as the many other incompleted tasks are to be done as part of Research Work and hence to be undertaken under a Research Permit and NOT an Exploitation Permit!      

Turning to p. 62, Appendix to the Citadelle Convention,  we see the steps for the “Feasibility Study” for “Morne Bossa”, “Work Plan”.  It is unclear what was and was not done for Morne Bossa.  As much as we dislike Majescor-SOMINE, we must give them credit for some level of transparency which is almost totally lacking for VCS-Delta Mining.  We still draw your attention to item number 7 of the Morne Bossa Feasibility Study Work Plan:  ”Realization of the environmental impact study, which will address the diverse aspects:  physical, biological and socio-economic.  A detailed implementation plan for the protection of the environment and for the rehabilitation of exploited sites shall be proposed.”  We do not know whether a study was done or not.  Angelo Viard claims he will do one based on World Bank standards.  So, why then has he and why has Majescor-SOMINE demanded Exploitation Permits, if they have not done the basic research and feasiblity studies?  One thing for certain is that Morne Bossa does need a detailed action plan for the protection of the environment and for the rehabilitation of the sites which appear already exploited.  Based on the Google Satellite map views, clean-up and rehabilitation are desperately needed at Morne Bossa.  We also suppose, based on the little information that VCS Mining has provided, in conjunction with old BME documents, that VCS plans to finish pulverizing the rest of the Morne Bossa hill range and some surrounding areas, in order to extract whatever pittance they can.  It is very noteworthy that at the bottom of this “Feasibility Study (Morne Bossa) Work Plan” it says “En progres”, i.e. “In progress”.  Such a note does not occur on the bottom of the page for Douvray, Blondin and Faille.  Nor, does this note occur on the bottom of the “Feasibility Study” “Work Plan” for Grand Bois.  On p. 58 of the Feasibility Study Work Plan for Grand Bois is also item number 7:  ”Realization of an ecological impact study, which includes several aspects such as:  physical, biological, and socio-economic and to prepare an implementation plan for the protection of the environment and the rehabilitation of exploited sites [which] will be submitted”.  This is similar but not identical to Morne Bossa’s number 7.  On p. 63, they enumerate month by month activities to be undertaken over the course of 10 months total for Morne Bossa (remember this was written in 1997.)  At months five and six there are “Environmental Study”, “Socio-economic Study” and “Condition of Women”.  On pp. 59-60 are the charts relative to the Feasibility Study for Grand Bois.  Grand Bois, as you may or may not recall is currently held by Eurasian Minerals (EMX) of Canada and Newmont opted out of it in April of 2012 (that is Newmont gave it back to Eurasian).  Months five and six on the Grand Bois Plan were to be an “Environmental Study”, “A Socio-economic Study” and “Condition of Women”.  We remain clueless if any of this was done.  According to this chart it should have been finished prior to 1998 or prior to 2006.  Two months is entirely inadequate for a serious study.  However, the 8 to 15 years which have elapsed are more than adequate.      

Continuation:
Day 5, Tuesday March 12, 2013

We wish to pause upon the part of the Feasibility Studies for Grand Bois and Morne Bossa called “Condition of women” and not because International Women’s day was last week.  But, rather because Haitian women are responsible for much of the internal economy of Haiti.  Men have traditionally controlled the import-export sector, and market women or Madam Sara are responsible for much of the internal economy and especially the distribution of agricultural products.  They may walk many miles to town to market agricultural products.  But, if there is mining, it destroys agriculture and as such not only has a detrimental effect on the ability of women to feed their children, but also is detrimental to their business of selling agricultural products.  Additionally, if you look at media pictures of what is presumably supposed to be Haitian workers hired by Majescor, you see very young boys hanging out; older boys or men working–possibly minors, suggesting the possibility of child labor — and a very elderly-looking man working.  There are no women pictured as working at the mines in Haiti, although we know they are hired in other countries. There are no girls pictured hanging out. And, these studies about women should have especially been required for Douvray, Blondin, and Faille, because of agricultural impact.  But, we do not find a study about “Condition of women” listed in the plan for Douvray, Blondin, and Faille.  However, this should be included in socio-economic studies.

Continuation:
Day 6, Wednesday March 13, 2013

MISSING MINING CONVENTION?

While we have been discussing VCS Mining-Angelo Viard’s Morne Bossa property and its Mining Convention, we have overlooked one thing:  Angelo needs a Mining Convention for his 100 km2 L’Asile Property!  In the 1976 Mining Law, Chapter III Mines, Permit of Mining Prospection, ARTICLE 35,b it is stated:  ”…The duration of the permit is of two (2) years and nonrenewable.”  Angelo claimed to have held a permit for L’Asile in 2011 or earlier, and a prospecting permit can not be renewed.  This means that L’Asile must be included in a Mining Convention.  So, where is L’Asile’s Mining Convention?  

On the VCS Mining website one can see the following:
                                   “2 Permits
                    North-East & South-East Haiti
VCS Mining has finalized the closing of permits to explore 674.49 Square kilometers of mineral prospects.
Name         Approximate Size (km2)       hectare (ha)                              Metal
—————————————————————————————————————–
Morne Bossa                    25.00 km2      or        2,500 ha                      Gold/copper/Silver
—————————————————————————————————————–
L’Asile South                  100.00 km2      or        10,000 ha                   Gold/Copper/Nickel, PGM
—————————————————————————————————————–”
Contrary to what the VCS Mining website says, L’Asile (Lasile, Lazile) is in the Department of Nippes and not the South.  And, geographicallly these permits are in the Northeast and Southwest of Haiti, and not in the Southeast, as stated.  Furthermore L’Asile has not been part of the South Department since 1962 when it became part of Grand Anse Department.  It became part of the Nippes Department in 2003.  In the above information from the web site you see that they say they have 674.49 km2 to explore, which with 50km2 for Morne Bossa – now reduced to 25km2- gave an original permit total of 724.49 km2.  Now it totals 125 km2, but they still left 674.49 as the total.  Up until recently, on the VCS website, there was a long list of permits, all of which were removed, except L’Asile (Morne Bossa was listed as a separate “Flagship Property”). See the info about VCS-Mercer below for original list.  Additionally, the VCS Mining site says they have permits to “explore”, whereas there is no such thing as an exploration permit for Haiti.  There are prospecting permits and there are research permits, but no exploration permits.  Furthermore, L’Asile is known to have lignite and not known to have precious metals. The area may have bauxite for aluminum. Uranium may be associated with lignite, which is something to think about.      

When Mercer was considering purchasing the VCS Mining properties in April of 2011, the following information appeared on yahoo finance, (it seems the same list that was on the VCS Mining site until recently):  ”Additional Properties Overview. In addition to the MB gold deposit, 8 additional properties will be acquired as a result of the proposed transaction:
——————————————————-
Name Approximate Size (km2) Metal
——————————————————-
Petit-Goave 1 101.5 Copper
——————————————————-
Petit-Goave 2 98.0 Copper
——————————————————-
Terrier Rouge 56.0 Gold, Silver
——————————————————-
Ouanaminthe 55.0 Gold
——————————————————-
Capotile 70.7 Gold
——————————————————-
Mont-Organize 91.44 Gold
——————————————————-
L’Asile 98.36 Nickel, PGM
——————————————————-
Les Irois 94.99 Nickel, PGM
——————————————————-”
This totals 665.99 and with Morne Bossa made 715.99 km2.
There was this disparity in the original list on the VCS Mining site of 715.99 km2 vs. 724.99 km2, as though Angelo Viard was not ever certain of how much land he had, or did not care very much.  He does not appear serious-minded, which is scary.    

Now, the Haiti Mining law says clearly that the duration of the prospecting permit is of two (2) years and nonrewable.  And, if Angelo Viard already had a permit for L’Asile in 2011, it was either a prospection permit or a research permit.  If it was a prospection permit then it either has already expired or will expire shortly.  Once the prospection permit is expired, for Angelo Viard to keep the property, he must obtain a Research Permit and hence there MUST be a Mining Convention for L’Asile. To hold a Research Permit there must be a Mining Convention.  This suggests that maybe there were new Mining Conventions signed last December 21, as we originally thought.  The Mining Law says in Article 21, about Mining Conventions, part “d” that Conventions, which should be published in the Moniteur, can be changed and amended:  ”All modifications to the Mining Convention will be negotiated, approved and published in the same way as the original Mining Convention”.  So, whether a totally new Convention was written or the old one was modified they must be published in the Moniteur.  And, they do not appear to have been.  Or, perhaps they are trying to sneak the L’Asile property through, illegally, with no Mining Convention.  The L’Asile property is also not at all near the Morne Bossa or Grand Bois covered by the Citadelle Mining Convention (1997, 2005).  Morne Bossa is in the Northeast and L’Asile is in the Southwest of the country.  Driving from Morne Bossa to L’Asile is about 270 kms or 168 miles.  So, there is no way that this is a logical extension of the Morne Bossa area nor is it in the original Morne Bossa permit area.  So, is the Missing Mining Convention in the same place as the Missing Morne Bossa Gold?  It could be.  They may both be hidden.  But, then again, it could be that the L’Asile Mining Convention is non-existent and the missing Morne Bossa gold went to Geneva.  Hopefully, one day these mysteries will be solved.          

Continuation
Day 7, Thursday, 14 March 2013

THE 1% GROSS REVENUE CLEAN-UP FUND

In Article 33.3 it says that:  ”The Company will have the responsibility for the complete rehabilitation of the damaged sites.  For this reason, a Fund named Fund for the Rehabilitation of the Environment [“Fonds de Rehabilitation de l’Environnement”], managed conjointly by the BME [Bureau of Mines] and the Company will be created.  The money for this Fund will come from annual contributions equivalent to 1% of the Gross Revenue [“Revenu brut”] of the exploitation.  This money will be deposited in the National Bank of Credit (BNC) [“Banque Nationale de Credit”], in a special foreign currency account [“compte special en devises”] opened in the name of the BME and of the Company.  The amounts withdrawn from this account, under the signatures of the respective Representatives of these two (2) entities, will serve exclusively to finance the rehabilitation work of the exploited sites which will be followed, periodically, by qualified agents of the Minister of the Environment.”  

Very importantly they further state in 33.3:
“Rehabilitation not only extends to the reconstitution of the physical form of disrupted zones, but also, to their revegetation with species, notably forest and fruit trees, apt to protect and appropriate to their micro-climatic conditions.”  The reason that this is so important is that, from our understanding, few species can survive in acid mine conditions.  Hence, this, if truly followed, requires a high standard of clean-up.  However, if they plant the trees back and do not monitor to see if they survive, then this would be fraudulent.  Also, elsewhere, in Article 33.2, it says that there is only a two year follow-up required after mining ends: “environmental control for at least two (2) years after the exploitation”.
       
Article 33.4 states that “All surplus of the aforesaid amounts, after finishing the rehabilitation, returns to the Company.”  This seems like a loop-hole encouraging the Company to cut corners on clean-up.  However, it is followed by a critically important statement:  
“It remains understood that in the case of insufficient monies, the Company engages itself to bring the complementary amounts needed for the realization of the aforesaid work.”  So, in other words they are required by these Conventions (as well as by other laws) to restore the land to its former state.  But, the laws must be enforced.  
It is also unclear if an area can ever really be restored to its former state at any price.  

According to the First Article, Definitions:  ”Gross Revenue, indicates the value of the dore and/or the concentrate. Dore signifies the bar of unrefined gold and silver.  Concentrate signifies all products derived from all ore, after crushing, grinding, flotation, gravimetric separation or other, containing an appreciable percentage of metal and/or minerals and directly marketable on the world market of mineral commodities.”  Notice that it says total value of the dore and/or concentrate — truly the Gross Revenue or Income and not minus this and that.  

The Gross Revenue of 1% could be an interesting amount in the context of gold mines such as Faille, Grand Bois, and Morne Bossa.  
It is a much less interesting amount for low grade copper mines like Douvray and Blondin.  Also, the value of 1% of gold for past mining, in the Morne Bossa area, would be generally much less than its value would be today.  The big question is if that 1% for clean-up at Morne Bossa is still in the BNC (National Bank of Credit).  This is one of those big mysteries which may one day be solved.  It is also unclear to us if the removal of the money from the account requires the signature of both the Company and of the Bureau of Mines or not.  Gerhard Helmcke was secretary-treasurer for Citadelle in 1997. Who would sign for the Bureau of Mines?    

Continuation
Day 8, Friday, March 15, 2013

RESPONSIBLE PARTIES FOR THE MINING CONVENTIONS

On p. 38 of the Citadelle Mining Convention we find “Resolution of the  Board of Directors of “Societe Minere Citadelle, SA” (Citadelle Mining Company):  ”Be it RESOLVED…2. TO GIVE TO Mr. Pierre R. GAUTHIER, President of the Board of Directors and Gerhard HELMCKE, Secretary Treasurer, all powers to SIGN, in the name of the ‘SOCIETE MINIERE CITADELLE, SA’ the Mining Convention with the qualified Representatives of the Haitian State, WHO will be able to accomplish as well all useful or necessary acts in conjunction with the execution of the present; 3. TO PLACE and to MAINTAIN in effect the present Resolution until the exhaustion of its object.  Adopted at Port-au-Prince, today the 4 November 1996, Signed:  Pierre R. GAUTHIER, President of the Board, Gerhard HELMCKE, Secretary-Treasurer, Chantal HUDICOURT EWALD, Member.”  However, the only actual signature is that of Gerhard HELMCKE, the Secretary (He also served as treasurer).  As mentioned elsewhere, we believe this most likely the eminent Dr. Helmcke, MD.  We have identified one of his sons in New Orleans, as well as a grandson in the US.  We suspect, but have not definitively proven, that Franck Helmcke of UNIBANK is the son of Gerhard.  Regardless he would be close kin because the Helmcke family was a late arrival to Haiti, descended from a German Consul to Haiti.  Pierre R. Gauthier also was President of Ste-Genevieve Resources, as well as what has been described as a whole “stable” of companies, most of which seem to have gone bankrupt. He was, in the 1990s, and possibly still is, one of the wealthiest men in Quebec. There was a rather complicated scandal associated with him. Chantal HUDICOURT EWALD, member of the board is a new name.  She seems to be on there as the attorney.  She was born in Port-au-Prince in 1954, graduated from the State University (UEH), School of Law in 1976 and the Miami School of Law with a degree in Comparative Law in 1979.  Her areas of expertise include Investment, Banking and Tax Law.  She was Legal Advisor to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of Haiti from 1979 to 1984.  This suggests that she was well connected under the Jean-Claude Duvalier regime.  She was a Member of the 61 member Haitian Constitutional Assembly in 1986, which reviewed the 1987 Haitian Constitution.  

Continuation:
Day 9, Saturday, March 16, 2013
Elsewhere in the Citadelle Convention on p. 44 there is another resolution:  ”POWERS OF THE REPRESENTATIVE OF THE COMPANY”:  ”RESOLVED THAT Mr. Briand LAFALAISE is agreed and is expressly designated as its Representative in Haiti, before the State authorities; /RESOLVED THAT the company hereby accords to the aforesaid Representative, complete powers and authority to do and accomplish all acts or things necessary or useful to the execution of the preceding, hereby ratify and confirm all actions that the aforesaid Representative will do or have done by virtue of the present. /RESOLVED THAT the present powers can be revoked at any time, but remain in effect toward anyone acting on faith of this until written notification of their revocation./Certified copy of three (3) Resolutions of the Board of Directors of the Societe Miniere Citadelle, SA, adopted the 18 December 1996/Made at Port-au-Prince the 13 March 1997″.  It is signed by “Gerhard HELMCKE, Secretary”. Briand Lafalaise is a new name for us. A Briand Lafalaise, born in 1944 and 68 years old, lives in Miami and is director and secretary of the Haitian-American Association of Engineers and Scientists.  We believe this almost certainly the same. This all appears simple as to who, in conjunction with the Bureau of Mines (BME), is responsible for the 1% and for the property in general.  We wish it were so simple.   

Day 10, Sunday, 17 March, St. Patrick’s Day, 2013 
Beannachtai na Feile Padraig

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day and because it is already Monday for some readers, we are skipping the Sunday posting. For all of those who are not asleep, in Church, at Parades, or drinking green beer, we offer the following link about St. Patrick http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11554a.htm
along with Monday’s post. We apologize to those who were looking for Sunday’s post earlier and did not find it. We had accidentally deleted part of what is now Monday’s post and it took time to rework it.

Continuation:
Day 11, Monday, 18 March 2013

Turning back to p. 27 of the Citadelle Mining Convention, we see that we have overlooked ARTICLE 48:
“BIPARTITE COMMISSION”:  ”From the entry into force of the present Convention, a Bipartite Commison composed, on one hand, of Representatives of the Bureau of Mines and of Energy, of the Ministry of Economy and Finances, of the Ministry of Commerce and of Industry and of the Ministry of the Environment and, on the other hand, of the Representatives of the Company, will be formed in view of assuring the follow through of the execution of the Convention and to watch that the obligations contracted by the two (2) parties be respected./Made in Port-au-Prince, February 3, 1997 in four (4) original copies”.  Then come the signatures, which is the interesting part:  ”FOR THE COMPANY, Mr. Pierre R. GAUTHIER, President of the Board of Directors, Mr. Gerhard HELMCKE, Secretary-Treasurer” and “FOR THE STATE, Mr. Jacques DORCEAN, Engineer, Minister of Public Works, Transportation and Communications, President of the Board of the BME [Bureau of Mines and Energy], Mr. Fred JOSEPH, Minister of Economy and Finance”.  ”Seen and approved:  Duty MACKENSIE, President of the Superior Court of Audits and Administrative Disputes”.  We have already seen Pierre R. Gauthier and Gerhard Helmcke.  A new name here is Mr. Jacques Dorcean. As the President of the Board of the BME, he would seem likely the person most directly responsible from the State’s perspective.    

Jacques Dorcean was appointed Minister of Public Works, Transportation, and Communications in November 1995 under Prime Minister Claudette Werleigh and again under Prime Minister Rosny Smarth in February, 1996.  Smarth resigned on June 9, 1997 and there was no Prime Minister until March 1999 when Dorcean was not reappointed.  Dorcean reports in linkedin that he was Minister of the Environment from 1997 to 1998.  But, he contradicts himself as to when he was head of the Ministry of Public Works, so we cannot be certain.  His apparent memory impairment is most likely a reflection of the number of years which have passed, for he is not that old.  We do not know if he occupied the two posts simultaneously or if he was appointed Minister of the Environment in the absence of a Prime Minister.  We have found him listed as a “former” minister of the environment by June 1999.  So, he seems to have been Minister of Public Works, Transportation and Communication and/or Ministry of the Environment in the period from November 7, 1995 to March 1999.  Since Yves Andre Wainwright was appointed Minister of the Environment under Werleigh in November 1995 and again in February 1996 under Smarth, it seems most likely that Dorcean was Minister of the Environment from June 1997 (when Smarth resigned) until March 1999 when a new Prime Minister took over.      

Dorcean’s Company “Engineering & Construction Industrielle -E C I” (“Engineering and Industrial Construction”) was formed 21 years ago in February 1992.  If this is accurate, then it was formed shortly after the first coup d’etat against President Aristide.  Joseph Nerette was provisional president.  It is also an important date in the history of the Citadelle Mining Convention. An earlier Mining Convention was already signed between the Haitian State and Citadelle Mining Company on the 11 February 1992 for the exploitation of gold and silver deposits at Grand Bois and Morne Bossa, according to Prepetit/the BME (2000). Prepetit (2000) alleges that the Convention was not applied due to the embargo, a fact that we doubt due to the porosity of the border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic.  
 
It seems apparent that this is a blatant potential conflict of interest for Dorcean’s positions as Minister of Public Works and Transportation and of the Environment.  A list of his and his company’s areas of expertise from his linkedin sites:
Civil Engineering, Structural Engineering, Structural Analysis, Research, AutoCAD, Project Planning, Project Coordination, Construction Management, Contractors, Construction, Concrete, Land Development, Drainage,  Water, Pavement Engineering, Highways, Earthworks, Water Resources.  

As you can see there is much here which is connected to Public Works, Transportation, as well as potentially to Mining. This being said, we do not know if his company received any contracts whether governmental or non-governmental in the period when he was Minister. You will note that on one of the linkedin sites he has himself working as Civil Engineer from June 2011 to the present.  Although this seems to contradict the other site for his company, it may not be so.  It may only mean that he owned the company and was not actively working as a Civil Engineer prior to June 2011.  

On the lighter side (which we certainly need!), under his “languages” he fails to mention any mastery of French or Creole, which he must certainly have, and says that his language is Old English (ca 450 to 1100).  This is like Caedmon’s hymn:  ”nu scylun hergan hefaenricaes uard” (See:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cædmon’s_Hymn), which only might look slightly familiar if you know some Scandinavian languages (see for instance “nu” and “skaal”).  This is pre-Norman Conquest English.  

Continuation:
Day 12, Tuesday, 19 March 2013

THE 1992 MINING CONVENTION FOR EXPLOITATION AT MORNE BOSSA AND GRAND BOIS, IN THE CONTEXT OF THE UNITED NATIONS EMBARGO

Having just mentioned the earlier February 11, 1992 Mining Convention for Exploitation of gold and silver deposits at Morne Bossa and Grand Bois, we feel the need to make a historical detour regarding Prepetit/the BME’s (2000) statement about the embargo impacting the implementation of the 1992 Convention.  Haiti’s President Aristide, elected by 67% of the vote, in supervised democratic elections, took office on the 7th of February 1991.  He was removed in a military coup d’etat led by Lt. General Raoul Cedras of the Haitian Armed Forces on Sept 29, 1991.  

The UN Security Council did not impose an embargo until June 16, 1993, one year and nine months after the coup, and one year and four months after the February 1992 Mining Convention.  This embargo was on military equipment and petroleum products.  About 2 months later on August 27, 1993 the embargo was lifted and not reimposed until almost another 2 months later on October 18, 1993.  Only at this time was there a call for a naval blockade in support of the embargo.  In May of 1994, a more general trade embargo was imposed.  On September 29, 1994 the embargo was once again lifted and with Aristide’s return on the 15th of October 1994 was definitively lifted.  

So, not only was the petroleum and arms embargo late in coming and sometimes there and sometimes not, over 3 years of military dictatorship, but even the October 1993 naval blockade did nothing about the Dominican Republic border.  Only on the 7th of May 1994, almost 2 years and 8 months after the coup, and 2 years and 3 months after the 1992 Mining Convention, was there a UN vote for a more general trade embargo with the exceptions of food, medicine,  and things like books, newspapers and equipment for visiting journalists.  Implementation was May 21, 1994.  According to Paul Lewis of the New York Times, 7 May 1994:
“Some members of the [US] Administration have said … that they are under no illusions that the new sanctions will achieve their goal. Despite the widespread hardship, the ruling elite of Haiti is said to have largely escaped the worst effects of the sanctions already in place.”
He further adds something which is especially noteworthy due to the dependence of mining equipment on petroleum:  ”The fuel embargo… is being circumvented through imports from the Dominican Republic, which shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti.”  He continues:  ”Smuggled fuel supplies have enabled the military rulers to keep up their own operations — including drug trafficking, United States drug enforcement officials say.”  Additionally he points out that “The embargo has hampered the delivery of food and medicine to ordinary Haitians by relief agencies.”  For more details about the limitations of this embargo, see Bromley (2007) in references below.  Even if the blockade were not porous, mining can occur without petroleum:  in the context of those coup d’etat years, where so many were massacred that we wonder how any Haitians still remain, it is within the realm of possibility that mining occurred with forced labor (corvee), rather than with equipment, as was the case when the Spanish worked the Natives of Haiti literally to death in their mines.  

It is worth noticing that, on p. 72 of the 1997 Citadelle Mining Convention, it is predicted that they would start mining at Morne Bossa in 1998 and finish in 2001 at a rate of 350,000 tonnes per year (four years total).  All we can really say, however, is that a significant amount of mining appears to have occurred at Morne Bossa even prior to October 29, 2004 when google maps started taking satellite images.

This is to be continued in a New Post.                  

Footnotes
(1) It is unclear if the Haitian Senate will meet during Haiti’s three days of official mourning for Hugo Chavez.  The article on the meeting of SOMINE with the Senate last Thursday was not published until Friday but does not seem to have appeared online until late Sunday, early Monday.  So, it may be some time until we know what is going on.  Still we have not heard a peep from President Martelly on this topic.  
(2)”Water as good as gold to Haitians, firm finds”,
Reuters News Service, FRI 07/04/1997,
HOUSTON CHRONICLE, Section A, Page 31, 3 STAR Edition:
“But about 200 peasants who eke out a meager living in the hills, armed with guns and machetes, stopped crews from working at the Morne Bossa site last month, demanding that a dam be built in the area to irrigate their fields. ‘There were maybe 200 people from a local popular organization and they had automatic weapons and machetes,’ said St. Genevieve president Steve Lachapelle. ‘We were scared.”…”The company has been negotiating with the farmers and was willing to strike a deal to help fund part of the dam. But in talks last weekend the peasants refused the deal.”
http://www.chron.com/CDA/archives/archive.mpl/1997_1422407/water-as-good-as-gold-to-haitians-firm-finds.html (this link dead for sometime now).
By ten years later, in 2007, his story seems to have changed to it being the employees threatened (unless he is including himself as an employee).  The Toronto Star points out that locals were still unhappy, “discontent” was “already brewing”:  ”They need to sit down with everyone together to let us know what decision they’ve made for the area. If they don’t do this, we’re not going to let them exploit us as they wish,’ says Suzanne Louis, a community leader and wife of a farmer.  Louis and other residents of La Miel say they are unaware of the environmental catastrophes and social upheaval sometimes associated with gold mining in other poor countries.”    

http://www.thestar.com/news/2007/07/21/haitis_future_glitters_with_gold.html

Disclaimer:  Please note that this is based on our understanding and our translation of the French language Conventions (and, at times, other documents).  The translator is well-educated in French and English but is not an attorney.  As promised in our general disclaimer:  we do the best we can, and in the context of time constraints.  We encourage you to download or print out the Conventions.  Anyone who knows English knows a lot of French, due largely to the Norman Conquest.  If you know French we have given you the Article numbers of the Convention, so you can easily read for yourselves.        

REFERENCES AND GENERAL INFORMATION
(If you are interested in this case and know French or have any inclination toward language, it is worth downloading the two conventions).
St. Genevieve Mining Convention

http://haitigrassrootswatch.squarespace.com/storage/Mining.Convention-St.Genevieve.pdf

Citadelle Mining Convention

http://haitigrassrootswatch.squarespace.com/storage/Mining.Convention-Citadel.pdf

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_natural_disasters_in_Haiti

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010–2013_Haiti_cholera_outbreak

June 15, 2006
ceremony of mining at Trou du Nord

http://www.haitiwebs.com/showthread.php?t=38706

May 2012 mining at Trou du Nord

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/12/haiti-gold-mining-_n_1511485.html

Bre-X article

http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/1997/06/09/227519/index.htm

St.Genevieve woes and questionable behavior

http://www.siliconinvestor.com/readmsg.aspx?msgid=2895359

https://secure.kaiserbottomfish.com/s/Excerpt.asp?ReportID=135043

http://kent.edward.baxter.tripod.com/law_002-1199.htm

St. Genevieve Resources and KWG collapse in financial chaos; both vehicles of Pierre R. Gauthier under creditor protection since November 1997 when unauthorized withdrawals/borrowings came to light March 28, 1998

http://www.siliconinvestor.com/readreplies.aspx?msgid=3877457&nonstock=False&subjectid=9680

Restructuring of St. Genevieve and KWG (read replies)

http://www.siliconinvestor.com/readmsg.aspx?msgid=3863121

Regarding St. Genevieve (SGV) Merchant Banking Group

http://www.siliconinvestor.com/readmsg.aspx?msgid=4018833

Majescor Corporate Presentation of February 2013

http://www.majescor.com/uploads/mjx_presentation_february2013.pdf

L’Asile Permits

http://vcsmining.com/Granted-permits.html

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Mercer-Signs-Letter-of-Intent-iw-2172578767.html

http://www.statoids.com/uht.html

Chantal Hudicourt-Ewald; Haiti Constitutional Assembly

http://www.martindale.com/Chantal-Hudicourt-Ewald/1215368-lawyer.htm

http://www.cidh.org/annualrep/86.87eng/chap.4c.htm

http://www.chambersandpartners.com/UK/Editorial/46754

Briand Lafalaise
http://www.corporationwiki.com/Florida/Miami/briand-lafalaise/36045479.aspx  

Northern Miner Article: Funds diverted from St-Gen-managed accounts-St. Genevieve, KWG files for protections from creditors”. by John Cumming, Dec. 8, 1997  (discusses money removed from Icelandic Gold Accounts, allegedly without their permission)

http://www.northernminer.com/news/funds-diverted-from-st-gen-managed-accounts–st-genevieve-kwg-file-for-protection-from-creditors/1000099622/

Articles related to Aristide, the 1991 Coup d’Etat and the UN Embargoes

http://www.nytimes.com/1994/05/07/world/un-council-votes-tougher-embargo-on-haitian-trade.html

http://www.sipri.org/databases/embargoes/un_arms_embargoes/haiti/

Bromley, Mark (2007).  ”UN Arms Embargoes:  Their Impact on Arms Flows and Target Behaviour, Case Study, Haiti 1993-1994″

http://books.sipri.org/files/misc/UNAE/SIPRI07UNAEHai.pdf

http://www.cja.org/article.php?list=type&type=250

http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Haiti/Who_Is_Aristide.html

http://www.lrb.co.uk/v26/n08/paul-farmer/who-removed-aristide

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1991_Haitian_coup_d’état

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean-Bertrand_Aristide

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(1) It is unclear if the Haitian Senate will meet during Haiti’s three days of official mourning for Hugo Chavez.  The article on the meeting of SOMINE with the Senate last Thursday was not published until Friday but does not seem to have appeared online until late Sunday, early Monday.  So, it may be some time until we know what is going on.  Still we have not heard a peep from President Martelly on this topic.  
(2)”Water as good as gold to Haitians, firm finds”,
Reuters News Service, FRI 07/04/1997,
HOUSTON CHRONICLE, Section A, Page 31, 3 STAR Edition:
“But about 200 peasants who eke out a meager living in the hills, armed with guns and machetes, stopped crews from working at the Morne Bossa site last month, demanding that a dam be built in the area to irrigate their fields. ‘There were maybe 200 people from a local popular organization and they had automatic weapons and machetes,’ said St. Genevieve president Steve Lachapelle. ‘We were scared.”…”The company has been negotiating with the farmers and was willing to strike a deal to help fund part of the dam. But in talks last weekend the peasants refused the deal.”
http://www.chron.com/CDA/archives/archive.mpl/1997_1422407/water-as-good-as-gold-to-haitians-firm-finds.html (this link dead for sometime now).
By ten years later, in 2007, his story seems to have changed to it being the employees threatened (unless he is including himself as an employee).  The Toronto Star points out that locals were still unhappy, “discontent” was “already brewing”:  “They need to sit down with everyone together to let us know what decision they’ve made for the area. If they don’t do this, we’re not going to let them exploit us as they wish,’ says Suzanne Louis, a community leader and wife of a farmer.  Louis and other residents of La Miel say they are unaware of the environmental catastrophes and social upheaval sometimes associated with gold mining in other poor countries.”    
http://www.thestar.com/news/2007/07/21/haitis_future_glitters_with_gold.html

Disclaimer:  Please note that this is based on our understanding and our translation of the French language Conventions (and, at times, other documents).  The translator is well-educated in French and English but is not an attorney.  As promised in our general disclaimer:  we do the best we can, and in the context of time constraints.  We encourage you to download or print out the Conventions.  Anyone who knows English knows a lot of French, due largely to the Norman Conquest.  If you know French we have given you the Article numbers of the Convention, so you can easily read for yourselves.        

REFERENCES AND GENERAL INFORMATION
(If you are interested in this case and know French or have any inclination toward language, it is worth downloading the two conventions).
St. Genevieve Mining Convention
http://haitigrassrootswatch.squarespace.com/storage/Mining.Convention-St.Genevieve.pdf
Citadelle Mining Convention
http://haitigrassrootswatch.squarespace.com/storage/Mining.Convention-Citadel.pdf

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_natural_disasters_in_Haiti
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010–2013_Haiti_cholera_outbreak

June 15, 2006
ceremony of mining at Trou du Nord
http://www.haitiwebs.com/showthread.php?t=38706
May 2012 mining at Trou du Nord
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/12/haiti-gold-mining-_n_1511485.html

Bre-X article
http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/1997/06/09/227519/index.htm

St.Genevieve woes and questionable behavior
http://www.siliconinvestor.com/readmsg.aspx?msgid=2895359
https://secure.kaiserbottomfish.com/s/Excerpt.asp?ReportID=135043
http://kent.edward.baxter.tripod.com/law_002-1199.htm
St. Genevieve Resources and KWG collapse in financial chaos; both vehicles of Pierre R. Gauthier under creditor protection since November 1997 when unauthorized withdrawals/borrowings came to light March 28, 1998
http://www.siliconinvestor.com/readreplies.aspx?msgid=3877457&nonstock=False&subjectid=9680
Restructuring of St. Genevieve and KWG (read replies)
http://www.siliconinvestor.com/readmsg.aspx?msgid=3863121
Regarding St. Genevieve (SGV) Merchant Banking Group
http://www.siliconinvestor.com/readmsg.aspx?msgid=4018833

Majescor Corporate Presentation of February 2013
http://www.majescor.com/uploads/mjx_presentation_february2013.pdf

L’Asile Permits
http://vcsmining.com/Granted-permits.html
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Mercer-Signs-Letter-of-Intent-iw-2172578767.html
http://www.statoids.com/uht.html

Chantal Hudicourt-Ewald; Haiti Constitutional Assembly
http://www.martindale.com/Chantal-Hudicourt-Ewald/1215368-lawyer.htm
http://www.cidh.org/annualrep/86.87eng/chap.4c.htm
http://www.chambersandpartners.com/UK/Editorial/46754

Briand Lafalaise
http://www.corporationwiki.com/Florida/Miami/briand-lafalaise/36045479.aspx  

Northern Miner Article: Funds diverted from St-Gen-managed accounts-St. Genevieve, KWG files for protections from creditors”. by John Cumming, Dec. 8, 1997  (discusses money removed from Icelandic Gold Accounts, allegedly without their permission)
http://www.northernminer.com/news/funds-diverted-from-st-gen-managed-accounts–st-genevieve-kwg-file-for-protection-from-creditors/1000099622/

Articles related to Aristide, the 1991 Coup d’Etat and the UN Embargoes
http://www.nytimes.com/1994/05/07/world/un-council-votes-tougher-embargo-on-haitian-trade.html
http://www.sipri.org/databases/embargoes/un_arms_embargoes/haiti/
Bromley, Mark (2007).  “UN Arms Embargoes:  Their Impact on Arms Flows and Target Behaviour, Case Study, Haiti 1993-1994”
http://books.sipri.org/files/misc/UNAE/SIPRI07UNAEHai.pdf
http://www.cja.org/article.php?list=type&type=250
http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Haiti/Who_Is_Aristide.html
http://www.lrb.co.uk/v26/n08/paul-farmer/who-removed-aristide
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1991_Haitian_coup_d’état
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean-Bertrand_Aristide