Aristide, Blondin, Convention Miniere Haiti, copper porphyry haiti, Delta Mining, Dominique Boisson, Douvray, environment, gold mine in Haiti, Grand Bois, Haiti agriculture, Haiti Copper, Haiti education, Haiti literacy, Haiti Mining Convention, Haiti silver, Haitian elites, Haitian Senate, Majescor, Morally Repugnant Elites, Morne Bossa, Pierre Yvon Beauboeuf, PNUD, SOMINE, St Genevieve, UNDP, VCS Mining
(This is a continuation of “Those Crazy Mixed Up Mining Conventions: a critical look” post)
Day 13, Wednesday, 20 March 2013
We have decided to pursue our historical detour for a bit longer, before returning to the names on the Conventions and other things. We believe that it is important for the understanding of the 1992, 1997, and 2005 Mining Conventions, as well as current Mining Permits (which may or may not involve new Conventions). A few days ago, miraculously, a paper with Ms. Hudicourt-Ewald’s kinship ties on it, was found on our desk. It is actually this fortuitous event which reminded us that we need to look backward, including yesterday’s examination of the 1992 Convention, before we continue to move forward. This applies to the properties themselves, as well as to people associated with them.
“The Past is never dead. It’s not even past” (1) seems as true of Haiti as of the Mississippi of Faulkner’s day, and especially true of the constantly recycled Mining properties and Conventions. In Mississippi, the US government repeatedly and finally successfully wrested power from the old elites, finally killing the past in the process (2). However, in Haiti, ancestors who were important prior to the Haitian Revolution, during the Revolution, and since appear to still matter. Newer elites intermarry with the older elites (3). Hence, the past is neither dead nor past in Haiti.
The US, Canada and France, for still unclear reasons, have actively undermined Haiti’s Civil Rights-Democratic movement both militarily and through media propaganda against the Democratic movement. Ironically, some of the same US forces, who worked in favor of Civil Rights in the US – northeastern journalists and US military – actively worked to undermine the Civil Rights movement in Haiti.
What does this have to do with the Mining Conventions? Just about everything: from who gets the contracts to why no consideration is given to the Haitian peasants, whose lives and livelihoods have been destroyed by past mining and will be by future mining. If the Haitian majority were given the right to education and to fair representation, they would be consulted regarding these Conventions and it would be more difficult to run roughshod over them and ignore them. Martelly would have been obliged to promptly respond to the Senate Resolution, and the Senate would not dare backpedal on the issue of public participation. Lamothe would most surely have appeared before the Parliament when called to explain an allegedly missing $125 million of emergency funding, which was disbursed to the administration for humanitarian relief, in the wake of last Fall’s hurricanes, instead of running off to Aruba, last Thursday. (According to Defend Haiti, this was the fifth time that Lamothe evaded his convocation on this topic.) In fact, there would most likely be no President Martelly or Prime Minister Lamothe. It would be more difficult to violate the Haitian Constitution by not making information widely available and accessible regarding mining, Mining Conventions or almost anything else. And, we would not be devoting so much time and energy to researching and writing this blog. I would, in fact, be reading something pleasant or fast asleep in my bed.
The massacres associated with the anti-democratic military coups in Haiti, also contributed to the destruction of historical memory, enabling these Mining Conventions and, at least sometimes, even the properties to be constantly recycled, as though they were some new revelation.
Unlike in Faulkner’s time, the past is finally dying off in Mississippi (4). In Haiti, descendants of old elites are very much alive, well, and prospering to the detriment of the country as a whole. There appears no sense of noblesse oblige (with few exceptions). Until political parties, which represent the Haitian majority are allowed, and until there is universal public education in Haiti, we will continue to be haunted by the spectre of the Mining Conventions.
Day 14, Thursday, 21 March 2013
THE RUN-UP TO THE CONVENTIONS
In 1973, the Haitian Government (under Jean-Claude Duvalier), made a request to the United Nations Development Program to undertake mining reconnaissance in the North of Haiti. A first phase of the “mining project” (HAI-72-002) was signed in April 1973 for 18 months and prolonged until December 31, 1974. According to Claude Prepetit-BME (2000), the results were promising with the discovery of deposits of copper at Terrier Rouge (Douvray-Blondin). According to Guy Jourde (ca 1987), the copper porphyry deposits of Douvray and Blondin were among the most concrete results, but were judged subeconomic (that is they were not promising).
Now, here we are, forty (40) years on, yes 40 years later!!!, STILL discussing Douvray and Blondin, as if they are something new!!! Anyone young or old knows that forty years is a very long time and that much can happen in forty years! Forty years ago Jean-Claude Duvalier was a plump 21 year old dictator, who the press nicknamed “Baby Doc”. Although Jourdes says they were subeconomic, in 40 years time, if they were economic, they could easily have been mined and reforested! Douvray and Blondin were proposed as part of the February 1997 Mining Convention of Ste-Genevieve Haiti for Research and Exploitation, published (again?) in May of 2005 and were the subjects of Majescor-SOMINE, Mining Exploitation Permits on December 21, 2012. The spectre of Douvray and Blondin just won’t go away! They keep haunting Haiti.
Day 15, Friday 22 March 2013
This year, 2013, Remi Bosc, has assembled yet another study, this one for Majescor-SOMINE, about the 40 years of off and on research at Douvray. He says that from 1973 to 1979 regional surveys were carried out in northern Haiti. They included stream sediments, soil sampling, soil geochemistry, and an Induced polarization (IP) survey [Lecomte (1988) specifies that it was 4,700km2 according to the UNDP 1978/1]. According to Millon (1988), Heinrichs Geoexploration Co. did the geophysical study (UNDP: HAI/74/019). Indepth discussions of these surveys are found in LeComte, Millon and Jourde, 1988 on the BME web site.
Bosc (2013) further says that from 1975 to 1976, the UN team did 14 diamond drill holes (called the ONU-UN series) at Douvray and identified 180 million tonnes of ore with a grading of .59% (.0059) copper. Lecomte (1988) rounds up to 0.6% (.006). Note that currently Majescor-SOMINE are claiming a grading of 0.3% (.003).
Lecomte (1988) points out that all of the UNDP (PNUD) analyses were done at its laboratory in Port-au-Prince or TSL Canada. Until the end of 1975 all samples were sent to Canada. Starting in 1978 all samples were analyzed in Port-au-Prince, and in 1982 the lab became the BME lab.
According to Bosc (2013) (and Millon (1988) the (West) German governmental BGR did 24 drill holes from 1977 to 1980 (called BL series by Bosc) This was over an area of .5 km2, according to Millon, and gave the REDUCED estimate of 92 million tonnes of ore at a grading of 0.44% (.0044) copper, according to Bosc. Hence, the BGR considered Douvray uneconomic due both to limited amounts of ores and low grades of ore.
Bosc (2013) informs us that from January to July 1997, KWG did 24 drill holes (K-D series) for St. Genevieve, SA, and that Valls (2004) further reduced the estimate to 69 million tonnes of ore at 0.391% (.0391) copper with a cut-off of .3% (.003).
On the Majescor website they claim an “Inferred Mineral Resource”
estimate of 0.3% (.003). Majescor-Bosc seem to want to raise the tonnage back up to 189,500,000 tonnes of ore, with 178,600,000 sulfur at 0.31% (.0031) and 10,900,00 tonnes of ore at 0.23% (.0023).
Although we admire Bosc for his candor and Majescor for putting even unfavorable information on their web site, we believe that the Bosc study retained the samples contaminated with copper and silver by broken drill bits. Although the impact of the silver contamination was important, we are not sure if the copper contamination impacted the percentage copper grade significantly or not (meaning the copper grade could be even lower). However, it had been recommended last fall that they throw out the contaminated samples. It is also difficult to have confidence in a company, like Majescor, which, eleswhere, is doing uranium exploration.
We find it interesting that the amount estimated for Douvray dropped over several decades from 0.6% and 180 million tonnes in 1976 to 0.44% and 92 milllion tonnes in 1980 to 0.39% and 69 million tonnes in 2004 (Valls estimate may be for 1997) and that now 40 years later Majescor is estimating 0.3%. Cut-off grade was listed as 0.3% and is really the bottom of cut-off for most deposits, i.e. it is not worth mining because 99.7% is waste. But Majescor is trying to drop cut-off to 0.1%, based on one test. How can the drop in grade and ore tonnage over the years be explained? And, can the increased tonnage proposed by Majescor-Bosc be justified?
Day 16: Saturday, 23 March 2013
We really cannot yet answer how the drop in grade and tonnage can be explained. Besides the obvious possibility that some studies are right, and some wrong due to poor technique and/or insufficient sampling, there is also the possibility that the grade has declined because mining occurred in the interim. A drop through the years would lend some support to this hypothesis. It is entirely possible that the higher grade ore was removed and the tonnage reduced in the process. Majescor would not say that they had a grade of 0.3% if they believed there were anything close to 0.6% — it would not be good for their stock. This implies 0.3% or less copper ore grade. We would tend to believe the 69 million tonnes of ore, which Bosc says was estimated by St. Genevieve-Valls, or even less ore tonnage, for similar reasons. The BGR and St. Genevieve did almost twice as many drill holes (24 each), as those reportedly done by Majescor (14), meaning they should be more representative, assuming all else was equal. Additionally, at least three of Majescor’s drill cores were contaminated with silver and copper from drill bits.
The BME’s promotional brochures of mineral resources were prepared by Claude Prepetit with the assistance of Dominique Boisson (now of Marien Mining and Eurasian Minerals) and often, including for the Northeast, with the assistance of Dieuseul Anglade (now of the Bureau of Mines of Pennsylvania). Most were written in 1992 and have an introduction signed on March 1, 1993 by Pierre Yvon Beauboeuf. This was exactly 20 years before Majescor filed their most recent technical report and was during the “coup years”. As you recall, Beauboeuf signed the 1997 St. Genevieve Mining Convention as Vice President and Director General of St. Genevieve Mining Company (see p. 32), almost 4 years later. He is the same Beauboeuf who Senator Bien-Aime was recently concerned would lose his interest in SOMINE to Michel Lamarre. Not satisfied with mining, now, Beauboeuf is also Assistant General Director of Petrogas-Haiti, SA.
According to the Promotional Brochure for the Northeast dated 1992 by the BME, Douvray covers a 0.8km2 area and contains an estimated 86 million tonnes at 0.53% copper with a cut-off of 0.3 %. We do not know the source of these numbers. The references include “Technical Reports available at the BME and elaborated between 1975 and 1990”, suggesting they may be basing this, in part, on research undertaken between the 1980 BGR West German studies and 1990. The 1997 St. Genevieve Mining Convention seems to have been based on these BME estimates because in Article 16.2 of the St. Genevieve Mining Convention (p. 14) it is said that there are assumed to be 86 million tonnes of ore at Douvray with an average of 0.5% copper and a cut-off of 0.3%. However, later 1997-2004 studies done for St. Genevieve indicated 0.39% and 69 million tonnes. Now, Majescor has dropped the grade to 0.3%.
Day 17, Sunday, 24 March 2013
Thought for today regarding mining in Haiti:
“Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us. There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after” (Ecclesiastes 1: 10-11, KJV). Not only are the current Mining Conventions nothing new, but almost no one seems to remember that they are not new, and unfortunately, even if the mining problem goes away for now, someone will be trying to market these same properties yet again in another five, ten or twenty years. Where there is no historical memory, the same events repeat themselves.
Although Prepetit (2000) mentions a 1992 Citadelle Mining Convention for Morne Bossa and Grand Bois, signed shortly after the 1992 coup, which then obviously predates the one signed by Preval in 1997 and (re?) published in 2005 (during the second coup), he fails to mention yet another “unknown” and undiscussed apparent Mining Convention. KWG-St. Genevieve seemed to have obtained a Mining Convention for Douvray by May 1994. At least in the November 25, 1996 edition of “The Northern Miner”, presumably based on information from the company, it says “Since obtaining an exploration permit in May 1994, the partners”, i.e. KWG and St. Genevieve, “have reviewed existing data and carried out geophysical work, as well as regional geological and geochemical surveys. Assays are pending from new trenches excavated along 100-metre sections over the three copper deposits”. According to the 1976 Mining Law there must be a Mining Convention in order to hold either a research or exploitation permit. May 1994 was during the coup d’etat years. In fact, on May 6, 1994 – the exact month when they say they obtained an “exploration permit”, the UN Security Council passed Resolution number 917 tightening sanctions against the coup government for refusal to respect the Governors Island Accord, which was to allow President Aristide’s return, as well as due to continuing human rights abuses by the coup government. This November 25, 1996 article reporting trenching, etc. was also prior to the signing of the February 1997 Mining Convention. Trenching is definitely not surface work, which is the only type allowed without a Mining Convention. They seem to have been operating under this 1994 permit. In “The Northern Miner” on November 25, 1996, we are informed that Douvray had been previously tested by UN and other parties and was estimated to contain 30 million tonnes (of ore) at a 1.8% copper grade. (Note that this is both the lowest tonnage and highest grade given by anyone for Douvray; Bosc (2013) for Majescor says that the UN gave 0.59% grade; the BGR gave 0.44% grade and Bosc (2013) cites Valls (2004) as giving a grade of 0.391%.) By November 6, 1997 the PR Newswire report for KWG said, regarding Douvray, that “In the past the UN, as well as the German geological survey, after completing a total of 38 diamond drill holes calculate a resource of 92 million tonnes grading 0.44%.” KWG reports having completed a 22 drill hole program in order to evaluate the “higher grade portions of the Douvray deposit”. Then they only list 6 of these drill hole results with two probably not thick enough to be conclusive. They use the same misleading formatting as Majescor with parts of drill cores with higher grades being listed directly under the drill hole number with the words “including” (e.g drill hole 5 has a grade of 0.44% “including” 0.85%). This can be misleading to novices because the average is still 0.44%; and although, in theory, it is meant to provide info regarding the potential ore body, it really tells nothing with so few samples. Above all, our objection to this formatting is that segment reports are lined up so that at a glance it appears that these are many drill holes, instead of one. It takes time for the novice to figure out that these are segments of the drill cores and not separate ones. They should show a cross-section or otherwise make it more clear for novices. Also, drill hole 6 is reported as drilling under drill hole 5 and drill hole 13 drilled under hole 11. We guess that “drilled under” means they are essentially the same hole. So, it seems they only reported the equivalent of about two out of 22 holes! Why was this? Majescor’s reporting from 2011 to 2013 seems about as goofy, something we must still try to make heads or tales of. The Sept 5, 2011 edition of “The Northern Miner” informed us that St. Genevieve estimated that the eastern part of Douvray has 69.4 million tonnes of ore with a grading of 0.39% copper, while the western part had another 29 million tonnes of ore with an 0.33% grading (i.e. 98.4 million tonnes). (Interestingly enough Majescor has stayed with a 0.3% grading estimate.) In addition, they say that Douvray had about 60 holes done by three different groups – the UN and the West German goverment in the 1970s and St. Genevieve in the 1990s.
Are you confused yet? Considering that it is in the interest of all parties to exaggerate the amount available up until the point of exploitation/mining concession, when taxes must be paid, it would seem that Douvray should be 0.3% or less grade with a cut-off of 0.3% or greater, and only 69 million tonnes of ore (or less). However, inferred resource means that no one really knows, still after all of these years. Low grade copper porphyry deposits generally have hundreds of millions tonnes of ore allowing them to be economic due to economies of scale, whereas Douvray probably has less than one hundred million tonnes of ore and even at the most optimistic has less than two hundred million tonnes of ore. In comparison Grasberg is estimated to have 2.5 billion tonnes of copper ore at a 1.1% grading.
Day 18, Monday, 25 March 2013
Under Canadian (CIM) standards, which Majescor must adhere to, there are Mineral Resources (low confidence) and Mineral Reserves (higher confidence). Mineral Resources are divided into three types: The lowest level of confidence is that which Majescor is claiming for its SOMINE property: “Inferred Mineral Resource”. The next to lowest level is “Indicated Mineral Resource” followed by “Measured Mineral Resource”. After that come the highest levels of confidence which are reserves: “Probable Mineral Reserve” and “Proven Mineral Reserve”. So, Majescor-SOMINE still need to jump through many more hoops before being given an Exploitation permit, or before they should jump up and down and declare that something is there to be mined. Along with these, yet another hoop: feasiblity studies are required by US standards in order to declare a reserve. A feasibility study is also required under the 1997 Haiti Mining Convention, as part of the Research Permit, before an Exploitation permit is to be granted. So how come Majescor was given an Exploitation permit for SOMINE last December?
As well, we believe it fairly debatable whether the SOMINE property, with an estimated copper grading of 0.3%, and questionable tonnage is even of a grade and quantity to have “reasonable prospects for economic extraction”, as required to call it a resource, inferred or otherwise, under CIM guidelines.
As some will recall, “Inferred Mineral Resource”, the level which Majescor is claiming and the lowest level in CIM classification, is that part of a mineral resource for which quantity and grade can be estimated based on limited sampling and reasonably assumed but NOT VERIFIED geological and grade continuity. The estimate is based on LIMITED INFORMATION and sampling. The CIM standards clearly state that “Due to uncertainty…it cannot be assumed that all or any part of an Inferred Mineral Resource, will be upgraded” to a higher level such as Indicated or Measured Resource. They emphasize that “CONFIDENCE IN THE ESTIMATE IS INSUFFICIENT TO ALLOW MEANINGFUL APPLICATION OF TECHNICAL AND ECONOMIC PARAMETERS OR TO ENABLE AN EVALUATION OF ECONOMIC VIABILITY WORTHY OF PUBLIC DISCLOSURE” (italics in original). Furthermore they “must be excluded from estimates forming the basis of feasibility or other economic studies”. We believe that Majescor and Bosc (2013) violated these requirements and NI 43-101 standards with their economic assumptions about Douvray presented on p. 53 of their most recent, March 1, 2013 technical report (available at SEDAR).
Day 19, Tuesday, 26 March 2013
In order to protect the investor, the US SEC Standards do not recognize the concept of inferred resources, or anything below reserves, for reasons which should be fairly evident by the time we work through the CIM definitions for resources and reserves.
However, while we were looking at Bosc’s (2013) study about Douvray again, we found a remarkable thing, which we seem to have overlooked for the last few weeks. If you do not print out your documents, so as to save trees (and even if you do), you need to beware that a bunch of quasi-blank pages at the end of the document do not necessarily signify the end. Also, it is imperative to carefully read the Table of Contents (if there is one), so as to know where the true end of it is. We have wondered for days why the Bosc (2013) study had no basic table of drill holes for Douvray within the text of the document, but only a table for Faille (and we still wonder about this, as the document is about Douvray and not Faille). We finally found the table in the Appendix section. And guess what other thing we found: the bloody 2013 EXPLOITATION PERMIT! Yes, that’s right, we have unknowingly held in our hands that mysterious permit for the last few weeks (unless we forgot and have mentioned it, in which case we will take a week’s vacation!). So, if you have the Bosc study, the permit is right there, at the very end (pp. 98-103). If you do not yet have the study it is available at the SEDAR web site and is Majescor’s March 1, 2013 filing. All of the ways that it is a travesty may require us to open a new post about it soon. This is, of course, not the only permit reported delivered on December 21, 2012 (the others being for Majescor-SOMINE’s Faille and VCS Mining-Delta’s Morne Bossa) but you can be pretty certain that they will be all close to identical.
This Exploitation Permit is, indeed, leaning on the 1997 Convention, approved by decree, under the coup government, in 2005. As such, it probably does not have to be published in the Moniteur to go into effect. So, in theory, SOMINE can be evicting people and cutting down trees for the last 3 months (since last December). Given that we have heard not a peep from the Executive nor of a follow-up by the Senate, whether anything is done correctly, including the environmental studies, seems mostly left up to the good-will of the mining companies. Hopefully, it was simply a ploy to get more money from investors, but the fact remains that they may go in there and evict people, cut down trees and dig up everything with no real plan and when there may not even be much copper there! It may even have been done already. Until there is a new google map or reports we cannot know. If the government is not going to hold the companies to the Conventions or to any standards SOMINE has little to lose, outside the cost of fuel. It may even be cheaper to have the digging done by hand in Haiti. The government surely won’t bother with enforcing the wage law either. The poor workers can throw some sulfuric acid on the dirt and see if anything comes out and if it doesn’t then SOMINE can sell it as construction materials and they probably will, regardless. If a few poor Haitians get injured or ill from dealing with the sulfuric acid, it is doubtful that any of the Majescor-SOMINE people care. Most of them live in New York or Montreal. They better know that we and others are watching but by the time we see and report it will be too late for the environment and for any victims. Majescor may and probably will go bankrupt in the not too distant future, but Haiti will still be stuck with the SOMINE people, unless there is a new parliament elected that will stand up for the people of Haiti and its environment. Or, unless an attorney would take on this topic. Or, if enough people outside of Haiti get outraged and complain loudly to their religious institutions, their favorite NGOs, their government officials, the media, etc. Citizens should ask their governments to cut aid to Haiti, as a start. Most governments are having to cut back on spending so why give money to the Haitian government, especially given the way the government seems to be handling things there. The way that the Mining is being handled in Haiti is outrageous and as the late Stephane Hessel said it is a time for us to get indignant (Indignez-vous) and to be outraged. The behavior of both the Haitian government and of the mining companies is unacceptable.
Among the outrageous things are the reasons that the BME gives for issuing the permit: “given the definitive reports and the data relative to the research work effectuated by SOMINE at Douvray, as well as the feasibility study of the copper deposit of Douvray”. We cannot say for certain that those two signing (Ludner Remarais, Director General of the BME and Jacques Rousseau, Minister of Public Works and President of the Board of the BME) know better, but we know that there are those within the BME who know better. (We also think that Rousseau should not be allowed to use Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s name!)
Neither Majescor nor SOMINE, whether as SOMINE or St. Genevieve undertook the many steps required for a feasibility study as layed out in the 1997 Mining Convention. Neither does Majescor claim to have undertaken the required steps! As well, there has to be some scientific basis for a feasibility study — something which is clearly lacking for Majescor-SOMINE’s properties.
For Wednesday’s post we will continue with the CIM standards and requirements, which would lead up to a feasibility study, which by common sense alone should come before an exploitation permit.
Day 20, Wednesday, 27 March 2013
As discussed on Day 18, Majescor-SOMINE only claim to have an “INFERRED
RESOURCE Estimate”, which is the lowest level of confidence for the CIM – NI 43-101 standards and not recognized by the US SEC. It does not appear certain that they should be claiming “inferred resource”, but they are. Although these standards appear a peripheral topic, they are of critical importance.
Assuming that Majescor-SOMINE can claim “Inferred Resource” status, the next hoop or level which they should have to jump (to) is
“INDICATED RESOURCE”, which have an amount and grade, which can be estimated based on DETAILED and RELIABLE (i.e. could they be replicated and get the same results) exploration and testing information through appropriate techniques such as drill holes that are spaced closely enough for geological and grade continuity to be “reasonably assumed”. This spacing seemingly should depend upon the type of resource and the opinion of an expert with relevant experience.
That is, to have an indicated resource there must be some scientific method, which can be replicated. According to the Hartman, et. al. (1992) a 75 meter (250 ft) grid spacing should provide adequate sampling for a porphyry copper deposit (which is what Douvray is supposed to be). The spacing may need to be closer. The 1997 Mining Convention requires much closer spacing. Majescor’s spacing at Douvray appears sometimes 100 meters and sometimes 400 meters, but it appears neither consistent nor systematic. By having a grid pattern there can be systematic sampling, so that grading can be estimated both throughout the property and at various depths so that they can come up with an idea of what the ore body looks like (grade, shape, size (tonnage) and location). They cannot just show some drill cores and say that there is higher grading at a certain depth and then imply or assume that it is that way across. There must an appropriate number of samples taken in a systematic way.
For SOMINE, there is also, of course, the problem of an unknown number of drill cores contaminated by silver, copper, and tungsten from the broken diamond drill bits at both Douvray and Blondin. There are 3 samples officially recognized as contaminated at Douvray, but they do not tell us which ones! If one reads through their news reports it is rather comic when one reads about these high level of metals, because one knows that they will eventually realize it is from the broken drill bits! They do not clarify which drill cores are contaminated but looking at the measures given in their February 1, 2012 news release, numbers D1, D2, and D4 appear contaminated near surface, and D3 probably contaminated. D5 is probably contaminated too. They threw out numbers D6 and D7 completely, for unknown reasons. Number D8 appears ok, number D9, number D11, and D12 probably ok, and D10 and D13 to D17 we must still examine. They only did a total of 17 holes! Although they seem to have thrown out the near surface contamination numbers one would think that there could be deeper contamination from the drill bit. And, the drill bit is composed, in part, of copper. As they are reporting the lowest end of low grade copper, any copper contamination matters. Further, the broken drill bits and contamination problem seem to suggest a lack of proper training and experience of workers and perhaps a lack of water to cool the drill head.
To be classified as an “INDICATED Mineral RESOURCE” the nature, quality, quantity and distribution of data must be such as to allow a confident interpretation of the geological framework and “to reasonably assume the continuity of mineralization”. An Indicated Mineral Resource estimate is of sufficient quality to support a Preliminary Feasibility Study. This is why Majescor, by their own admission, has not obtained the level even of indicated resources. If they do not have information for a Preliminary Feasibility Study, then how could they present a Feasibility Study, as the Permit says they did? They can’t just say that there is a potential copper or gold or silver mine but rather they need to offer some evidence which follows normal lines of scientific inquiry. They must have a methodology and the methology should be clear both to investors and from a more technical perspective, and neither appears done by them. One author says that the reports should be clear to an intelligent person. But, we think that they should be clear not just to a reasonably intelligent person but also to an unintelligent person! It should also be understandable for the individual with a short attention span. If they had a good methodology and plan, then it would be easy to lay it out in a manner which would be understandable to everyone.
Day 21, Thursday, 28 March 2013
We need to clarify how we arrived at the topic of CIM -NI-43-101 definitions. We appear wandering, but are not as lost as it looks. It is part of thinking about why there are these variations in grade and tonnage given for Douvray, for different periods. While the obvious reason is that they could have mined in the interim, there are less obvious ones. Please note that the less obvious ones do not exclude the possibility that the SOMINE site may have been already mined in the past. Besides the issue of an inadequate number of drill holes, and lack of a grid, there is quality of drilling, which harkens back to the point, which is the question of unintentional and/or intentional salting of drill cores. Salting is adding metals to samples so that the grade appears higher than it is. Recent innovators have come up with the idea of data salting — why bother to add metals when it is easier to manipulate the data by computer?, they think. Of course, if someone re-tests the cores they can be caught. Salting, whether intentional or unintentional, is another reason that grade and tonnage might differ. While we have to discuss intentional salting of drill cores at a future date, the contamination of the Douvray drill cores is an instance of inadvertent, accidental salting of drill cores with copper, silver, and tungsten from the broken drill bits. We believe that having so many problems with samples at Douvray most likely has more to do with inadequately trained workers with poor techique, than with poor equipment. Trained and experienced workers are very important for the research phase. There is also some evidence of a problem at the lab level.
Now, do you really think the Haitian Senate has the time to mess around with this trying to figure out what Majescor-SOMINE did or did not do? Surely, Mr. Remarais who signed the permit does, but probably could not be bothered (Why read a study as long as it is pretty?) However, the Senate, and lower house, have a lot of important things on the table right now. On Mr. Remarais’ behalf, we will say that Majescor-SOMINE may have pressed him such that he felt he could not take time to look at the information. His tears before the Senate suggest that he is either fragile or extremely manipulative, like Scarlett O’Hara. This is how many people get tricked and fleeced in this world.
We also found the name of the so-called feasibility study, probably submitted to the Haitian BME, in the bibliography of the Bosc report.
It is called Feasibility study for the production of the copper system of Douvray, Haiti: “Etude de faisabilite en vue de la mise en production du systeme cuprifere Douvray, Haiti” by P. Trudel, AECOM, 2012. Now, we can’t find who this P. Trudel is, and we don’t know the month it was written. What we do know is that there is not enough current information to make a feasibility study, by anyone’s standards. Unless, of course, there is good information being hidden from Majescor customers. This would be illogical unless they want to go out of business. We know that there are around 11 people who are P. Trudel in Laval, PQ, Canada (i.e. suburban Montreal). And, there is an AECOM office located in Laval. AECOM’s Laval offices were raided last November 6, 2012, by an anti-corruption brigade. Last October Lino Zambito alleged, before the Charbonneau Commission, that businesses who obtained construction contracts in Laval, at the beginning of the 2000s, gave 2.5% of their value to the Mayor, Gilles Vaillancourt, by way of Marc Gendron of the engineering and consulting firm, Tecsult (now Tecsult-AECOM). More recently, during Charbonneau anti-corruption inquiries in Quebec, Michel Lalonde has alleged that his company, Genivar was part of a group of five engineering firms (along with AECOM, CIMA +, SNC-Lavalin and Dessau) who each gave clandestine donations of $200,000 to the Union Montreal for the municipal elections of 2005. According to the Montreal Gazette, AECOM provided expertise on road extensions in October 2011 and on work to the ventilation facilities at a waste treatment plant in Laval in November 2011. AECOM says they obtained Tecsult, as a subsidiary, only about 4 years ago. Francois Perreault, who was accused of corruption by Michel Lalonde, during the inquiries, was on the disciplinary committee of the Order of Engineers of Quebec until recently.
What does this have to do with anything? We leave it to the reader to decide. But, we think it suggests that the business climate in which Montrealer Daniel Hachey, CEO of Majescor, and perhaps other Majescor administrators from Quebec, are used to operating, resembles Haiti’s historic (many think current) operating environment (i.e. a business climate which appears characterized by patronage/”political kickbacks”; under the Duvaliers Haiti was called a “kleptocracy”). Tecsult-AECOM is also directly active in Haiti. And, maybe it has something to do with this apparent travesty of a feasibility study which was used to obtain the travesty of the Mining Permit for Exploitation. Remember, as well, that KWG and St. Genevieve, who were operating on the SOMINE property (and Morne Bossa-Grand Bois) in the 1990s and 2000s, were get-ups of Pierre R. Gauthier of Quebec. Of course, as long as a “study” is a pretty document the content doesn’t matter, because no one reads it anyway.
Before we continue to the concept of “Measured Resources” we will look at Kenzie MacNeil’s of ODM’s contamination report again and in more detail. It is important to an understanding of why Majescor SOMINE will most likely never reach “Measured Resources” status. It will cheer us up to see that there are still serious people doing serious work. Fortunately, not everyone basks in incompetence the way that Majescor-SOMINE and so many others do. And, using the Kenzie MacNeil report, in conjunction with the Majescor news reports, we have definitively identified the three contaminated Douvray drill cores.
Day 22, Friday, 29 March 2013
Today’s post is the new one: The Great Drill Bit Screw-Up.
It is the topic promised yesterday. We are still deciding if we will continue this exact post or if we will continue it within other posts, i.e. The Great Drill Bit Screw-up, perhaps a Part III or elsewhere. We will notify you if we continue with “Those Mixed Up Mining Conventions, Part II” itself at a future date. Notification will be either within the most recent post or within daily news and updates posts, which we hope to start soon, probably called “The Ongoing Saga”. If you urgently need more information from the Prepetit (2000) document, please let us know. Some of that information is what we are most likely to include if we return to this post.
This post may or may not be continued. We are still deciding. But, the general topics will be.
Disclaimer: Please note that these posts are largely based on our understanding and our translation of the French language Conventions (and 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 FURTHER READING
(Footnotes appear below this section)
Mississippi’s William Cuthbert Faulkner (1897-July 6, 1962), “Requiem for a Nun”, US: Random House, 1950 is the original source of this famous quotation: “The past is never dead, it’s not even past”. It is this statement which most clearly explains Haiti’s problems. We believe our use falls under “Fair Use” for academic and non-commercial purposes. Faulkner, was an American writer and Nobel Prize laureate from Oxford, Mississippi.
Prepetit (2000) “Memento pour l’histoire”
“Synthese geologique de la Republique d’Haiti, vol. 2 – substances metalliques” (1988) by Paul LeComte, Raymond Millon and Guy Jourde, BRGM-BEICIP (88 HTI 124 GEO) We found this document seemingly “hidden” within the BME web site. It is around 1,000 pages. If ever this link is broken, let us know, for we know of another site and have many copies.
“Douvray Porphyry Copper Deposit Mineral Resource Estimate” for Majescor, prepared by Remi Bosc of Arethuse Geol. SARL and CT Barrie of Majescor on the 30 January 2013. This is available on the SEDAR site, since March 1, 2012. All documents or information from the SEDAR site, including the information by Bosc above is only for personal and non-commerical uses. From what we understand, the purpose of SEDAR is to provide information to help protect consumers from being fleeced by fraudulent companies. You may not be invested in Majescor but may have investments in companies such as MacKenzie (not to be confused with MacKinsey)who are invested in Majescor.
BME 1992 Promotional Document for the Northeast (in French)
25 November 1996, The Northern Miner “KWG, St. Genevieve test
Haitian copper belt”
6 November 1997, PR Newswire “KWG Resources, Inc – Haiti: Copper Values from Drilling of the Douvray Porprhyry Copper Deposit”.
05 September 2011, The Norther Miner
SME Mining Engineering Handbook, Howard Hartman et. al. Volume 1, 1992)
Lamothe failure to appear regarding missing monies and other things
This Nouvelliste, http://www.lenouvelliste.com/article4.php?newsid=114274 , March 11, 2013 article says Lamothe supposed to appear before the Parliament (last Thursday, March 14) to explain the strategies that the government intends to adopt to reinforce the national [agricultural] production and resolve the environmental problems with the approach of the hurricane season. Although this seems very different from “Defend Haiti’s” report that he failed to appear to discuss missing funding related to the hurricanes, it appears to be the same (non) event because by Friday March 15, 2013 http://www.lenouvelliste.com/article4.php?newsid=114547 , le Nouvelliste reported that Lamothe and two other Ministers did not respond to a Parliamentary Convocation. Laurent Lamothe is in Aruba. This article further says that Lamothe et. al. were to explain, AMONG OTHER THINGS, the strategies that the government will adopt at the approach of hurricane season, and that they are now expected next Thursday, (March 21). According to another Nouvelliste article they were in Aruba for about 24 hours last Thursday, March 14. http://www.lenouvelliste.com/article4.php?newsid=114605
This is just coincidentally the day they had been convoked to appear before Parliament. If Defend Haiti calls it snubbing parliament we would go farther and say that it looks like thumbing his nose to parliament. If these are not the same event, it is even worse. It really makes no difference if Lamothe was a no-show for such serious allegations because he was in Aruba or elsewhere. Would people remain silent if Obama refused to appear before a Senate investigative committee or delayed it? Here we go, it was not the same event but rather the fourth and fifth times, respectively, that Lamothe was a no-show over the missing funds: http://www.defend.ht/politics/articles/legislative/3886-lamothe-evades-parliamentary-inquiry-on-120m-hurricane-sandy-relief
We leave all of the above to show how misleading reporting can be. We were thinking of posting about the relationship between hurricanes, agriculture and mining, because we did not understand that it was a question of allegedly missing funds based on our reading of the Nouvelliste. Jean Claude’s Duvalier’s late ex-father-in-law was a reporter for the Nouvelliste, which makes us wonder if we should be reading them anyway!
Montreal Corruption (much more can be found online)
SES and education
Post US Civil War, Reconstruction
50 year Anniversary of the Fight to Desegregate Ole Miss
Brodsky, Louis Daniel (1988). “Faulkner and the Racial Crisis, 1956”,
(1) This famous quotation is by William Faulkner in his “Requiem for a Nun”, US: Random House, 1950. We believe this falls under “Fair Use” for academic and non-commercial purposes. It is the statement which most clearly explains Haiti’s problems.
(2) They appear replaced with a combination of new outside elites and a new black political elite, this second mostly on the local level.
(3) The Haitian elites, new and old, seem to almost all have ancestors who were important during the days of slavery. Some even have ancestry from the marriage of the Native Cacique elites with the Spanish elites. Newer political and economic elites have emerged in different periods, but by now seem to have largely intermarried. In the context of the Mining Conventions it may still prove instructive, however, to see whose ancestors were linked to Magloire, whose to Estime and Francois Duvalier and various Macoute and Military leaders. Francois Duvalier’s period of power was somewhat different from Jean-Claude’s. And, there were various phases in the rule of Francois Duvalier, and of Jean-Claude Duvalier. So, one cannot lump them together into “Duvalierism” as most do. Neither can Preval and Aristide be lumped together as most do. Somewhere in this complexity lies the clues to who rules and what is going on in Haiti, in general, and with the Mining Conventions in particular.
(4) There will be some or even many who will want to respond by saying that there are still poor African Americans in Mississippi. This is certainly true. There are also plenty of poor whites, as it is a poor state. But, I am certain that the poorest Mississippian, whether black or white, knows that s/he is better off than the poorest Haitian. Statistics bear out that the situation of black Americans has improved too slowly but yet still surely, since the Civil Rights Movement, and to a lesser extent since the Civil War. The Civil War, Reconstruction (the post-war US occupation of former Confederate States) and integration of Public Schools, which contributed to improving the status of black Americans over time, all involved US Military action. Perhaps there was a more gentle way, as William Faulkner apparently hoped, but military action was one way it was done. In our opinion, the reasons that there has not been more improvement in the socio-economic status of black Americans would seem to be that the Civil Rights Movement corresponded to the beginning of the decline of the US economy, meaning that blacks were more free to compete in an American economy that was already on the decline (the same can be said for women); and replacement of the old southern white elites by newer outside elites, who have often appeared more stubbornly racist and segregationist than the older elites. The older elites functioned within a caste system rather than a system of physical segregation. The new outside elites seem to have left both blacks and the descendents of the older white elite outside of the system, to the extent possible. And, most important of all, there are the related cuts to public education. Without a good education it is more difficult to have any chance of getting ahead. And, with a good education it is more difficult for people to pull the wool over your eyes on certain topics. Karen Silkwood knew that what Kerr McGee was doing was dangerous, because she had taken High School Chemistry.