Overtly contaminated results from broken drill bit(s) appear to have been used in the statistical analysis for the “SOMINE Project Douvray Resources Estimate NI 43-101 Technical Report” filed with SEDAR on March 1, 2013, and herein referred to as Bosc (2013) or Bosc (see p. 61, Table 14.3). Although Majescor reported in their October 9, 2012 News Release that they threw out the data on parts of the contaminated drill-holes and the most overt contamination was removed from the list of “Best Intercepts” in the News Releases and in the Appendix, this is even more misleading since they appear to be used in the statistical analysis.]
Before we get started with this story, let’s think about something: at the end of 2012, Daniel F. Hachey, MBA and CEO of Majescor made $180,000 (Cdn) or around $177,000 (US). When he became CEO the stock was worth about 27 or 28 cents. Now it is worth 4 cents [as of Friday, April 5, it is worth 3 cents]. In 2012 the CFO, Khadija Abounaim earned $111,000. Marc-Andre Bernier, Sr., Technical Advisor and Director, earned only $6,000 and Dr. C. Tucker Barrie, Ph.D., VP of Exploration and Director made a mere $3,000. Is something wrong with this picture? We think it reflects the priorities of this company. Meanwhile, the Majescor stock value sits at 4 cents and things appear to have gone dreadfully wrong with their exploration program. “Private placements” are Hachey’s area of expertise. “Private placements” in our understanding is how to find the next sucker to invest in Majescor (or other Penney stocks) — as the saying goes: “A sucker is born every minute”. The people making money with Majescor are Hachey and K. Abounaim.(1)
Our suspicions that Majescor-SOMINE did not throw out their contaminated drill holes appear proven correct. The most overtly contaminated parts of the drill holes appear included in the statistical analysis of ther recent Technical Report, although they no longer appear in their list of “Best Intercepts” in the Appendix. They have also failed to explain what they were doing to assure that these contamination problems, which seem pretty systematic, did not continue to occur. Where is the quality assurance? Even if they had thrown out the most contaminated parts of the drill core, which it now seems they did not, what would their justification be for keeping even part of the contaminated drill core samples? They provide none. And, we believe that it is because they could not. It seems pretty obvious, considering that the drill bit was broken at the beginning of drilling at D-001, D-002, and D-004, that contamination would likely have spread out, sometimes at higher, sometimes at lower levels, and there would be a risk of contamination throughout the core samples, at least for these drill holes. This could seriously matter, since they are dealing with such borderline low grade copper. This drilling is a pretty costly operation. Why did they keep on drilling? Their whole drill campaign seems “n’importe quoi” (just whatever).
The drill holes recognized as being contaminated, with copper, silver and tungsten from silver solder drill bit fragments, were indeed D-001, D-002 and D-004, as we had guessed. This shows the power of “eyeballing” anomalies, which is something that anyone can do as a first step. It is the sort of thing which allows you to find a red car amongst hundreds of grey cars in a parking lot, whereas if you are looking for a grey car, you are in trouble. The red car is anomalous, the grey car is not. The numbers for the contaminated cores, jump out at you. See Majescor 2012 news releases for Feb. 1, 2012 and Oct. 9, 2012. And, looking at the April 11, 2012 news release one can suspect that Blondin drill hole 1 (B-001) was seriously contaminated at depth. B-002 was said to contain “no significant intercepts”. We also suspect other problems at Douvray. Nonetheless, salting, whether unintentional, as in this case, or intentional, as in some cases, can be subtle and not overt. In fact, subtlety surely is what would make salting an art form. However, including known large contamination in the statistical analysis is not so subtle and seems no longer unintentional salting of data. The unintentional salting appears to have become intentional.
Majescor-SOMINE developed suspicions about the contamination, it seems, or they would not have sent samples out to ODM for evaluation. As suspected, the two drill cores which were totally thrown out, drill cores D-006 and D-007, were not the ones sent to the ODM lab for examination for possible contamination. There is no explanation as to why they were thrown out, nor of why the contaminated D-001, D-003, and D-004 were kept. Majescor-SOMINE did only seventeen (17) drill holes for Douvray, and are largely depending on previous drilling campaigns – some from around 40 years ago and also of questionable quantity and quality. Although they say they did not include the oldest (UN data) from 1975-76, their statistical data includes numbers which seem to be from an undisclosed source, which may be UN data. The other historical data is between 16 and 36 years old (BGR: 1977-80; St. Genevieve-KWG: ca 1997 and earlier). Bosc (2013), in his document prepared for Majescor, continually underlines that these historical drill campaigns are acceptable for “inferred resources”, which we know are of very uncertain nature, but that more research is needed. He and others are also very critical of the original UN campaign which is said to be poorly documented.
Let’s see what Kenzie MacNeil of ODM says in response to Majescor-SOMINE’s submitted samples in a report dated Sept. 27, 2012 and found on Majescor’s web site entitled: “Cause of Ag-W-Cu Anomalies in Diamond Drill core samples 415060, 415342 and 415916, SOMINE Project Haiti”. A careful examination of this interesting document clues us in that these are from drill cores D-001, D-002, and D-004 respectively (something we plan to explain in detail). Mr. MacNeil says “We have completed our investigation on the above 3 crushed drill core samples from your SOMINE project to determine the cause of bonanza-grade Ag-anomalies and associated W and Cu anomalies”.
He makes a very critical point: Along with the high levels of silver there are associated anomalous levels of Copper (Cu) and Tungsten (W). Now, what is SOMINE looking for? Mostly for copper! Not just any copper either but very low-grade, where contamination could matter in deciding whether a site is mineable or not. So just how did Majescor-SOMINE have such high levels of silver (Ag) near surface, which at one point they were so excited about, as well as copper contamination? Mr. MacNeil tells us: “Suspicions as to the cause of the anomalies were raised as silver-copper alloys – commonly referred to as ‘silver solder’ – containing powdered tungsten carbide are used in the soft ‘wear matrix’ of many diamond impregnated drill bits.” Now, just what does this mean? According to Jack de la Vergne (2003), cited in Wikipedia, in “Exploration diamond drilling … a solid core is extracted from depth, for examination on the surface. The key technology of the diamond drill is the actual diamond bit itself. It is composed of industrial diamonds set into a soft metallic matrix…the diamonds are scattered throughout the matrix, and the action relies on the matrix to slowly wear during the drilling, so as to expose more diamonds. The bit is mounted onto a drill stem, which is connected to a rotary drill. Water is injected into the drill pipe, so as to wash out the rock cuttings produced by the bit. An actual diamond bit is a complex affair, usually designed for a specific rock type, with many channels for washing”.
Mr. MacNeil goes on to explain to us: “Destruction or excessive wear of the bit could result in silver solder fragments being present in the core if the core is fragmented or contains fine sludge, and being unseen when the core is logged”. So, in other words the drill bit was destroyed or underwent excessive wear and this is why there was tungsten, silver and copper found in the sample. We wonder that Majescor-SOMINE did not declare a diamond mine, as there were diamond fragments, too. Mr. MacKenzie explains that they took “a 100 g split of AcmeLabs’ crusher rejects from each sample”. They then sifted them in order to separate the larger (+ 1.0mm )fragments from the smaller (-1.0 mm ones). With a microscope they examined those larger ones to determine sample lithology (i.e. physical characteristics), mineralization and/or possible metallic contamination. And, they did “micropanning” of the -1.0 mm looking for silver or copper fine grains and/or metallic contamination. An HQ diamond drill bit was used to compare the composition of any sample contaminants to the wear matrix.
Now, here comes the kicker: After examining the 1 mm and larger fractions of the sample from drill hole D-001 (415060) and D-002 (415342) they found that they “are composed of fine-grained, unaltered, unmineralized gabbro.” And, the sample from D-004 (415916) “appears to be a mixture of alluvial gravel and weathered, clay-altered volcanic bedrock – it is also unmineralized”. UNMINERALIZED. And, so, in the context unmineralized seems to mean that there would be no metals there if the drill bit hadn’t broken. This means, that without the broken drill bit, these samples would have 0 grams of silver and 0 % copper. Gabbro is what we commonly call granite when used for tombstones and countertops. This is interesting as there has been some concern about quarrying for ornamental stone in Haiti and exportingit. And, quarries have perverse effects on the environment — many of which are similar to mining. (Start thinking of eco solutions for your grave marker and countertop.)
Day 24, Saturday 30 March 2013
Why did this contamination happen? How might there be this repetitive “Destruction or excessive wear of the bit”, which “could result in silver solder fragments being present in the core if the core is fragmented or contains fine sludge, and being unseen when the core is logged”? The known repetitive nature of the contamination inclines us to believe that the workers lack(ed) the proper training and experience, although it could be defective equipment. We have read that the problem is generally the operator and that the diamond drill gets falsely blamed. Diamond drilling exploration requires skill and experience. The worker must know how to listen “to the drill very carefully to evaluate the condition of the drilling below” and must “adjust the rotation speed, pressure and water circulation for different rock types and drilling conditions so as to avoid problems, such as getting the bit stuck or overheated.”(see Paul Michna, Earth Science Australia below). Stuck or overheated bits obviously risk excessive wear and destruction and core contamination — this is a no-brainer.
Let us now examine the Douvray contaminated drill holes one by one, which helps us to ascertain which samples sent out for examination were from which drill hole. Remember that Kenzie MacNeil’s report was dated September 27, 2012, many months after these news reports. We will start with Douvray drill hole one (D-001). (For those who are not fans of the metric system, one meter is 39.37 inches, or a bit over one yard (36 inches). Let’s take a look at Majescor’s December 13, 2011 news release: It tells us that the D-001 drill hole was drilled to a depth of 359.0 meters, with at 77.5 meters to 308.5 meters, 0.50% copper, 1.47 g/t silver, and 0.06 g/t gold, including, from 103.0 to 200.5 meters, a grading of 0.83% copper, 2.66 g/t silver, and 0.10 g/t gold. They state that there is “a near-surface oxide zone” from 0 to 10.5 meters, with 0.14% copper, and 26.7 g/t silver. By their February 1, 2012 news release and a few more, still unrecognized, contaminated drill cores, Daniel F. Hachey, Majescor’s CEO and president was cited as saying “We are thrilled with these latest results from the SOMINE drill programme. The presence of high grade silver in the oxide zone at the Douvray porphyry copper-gold prospect introduces an entirely new precious metals dimension, and adds value to the project.” He says that they now want to “further investigate the supergene silver enrichment associated with the porphyry copper-gold system”. There is a list of “notable intercepts” for drill holes D-001 to D-005 for this date. For D-001 we are told that “notable intercepts” are 0 to 3 meters, 116 g/t Ag (silver) and 0.16% Cu (copper), including at from 0 to 1.50 meters, 149 g/t silver, 0.15% copper and no significant values for gold. In March, 2012, Hachey spoke of “the excellent results recently produced at Douvray.” and the news report describes the five Douvray drill holes. D-001 is said to have 26.7 g/t silver and 0.14 % copper “over 10.5 meters in the supergene oxide zone”, and 0.50% copper, 1.47 g/t silver, and 0.06 g/t gold “over 231 m in the underlying primary sulphide zone”. They refer us back to the Majescor press release dated December 13, 2011, where we were told that “a near-surface oxide zone” has, from 0 to 10.5 meters, 0.14% copper and 26.7 g/t silver. The numbers reported in the Appendix of Bosc (2013) were only those from 77.50 m to 308.50 m: 0.5% copper, 1.47g/t silver and 0.06 g/t gold, including 103 m to 200.5 m of 0.83% copper, 2.66 g/t silver, and 0.10 g/t gold. This leads us to conclude, apparently falsely, that drill bit “supergene” from 0 to 10.5 meters was thrown out. We have found no account of what happened to the core from 10.5 meters to 77.5 meters. Also, what about the core between 308.50 and 359 meters? And, how can they be sure that the at depth results were not contaminated considering that Douvray drill hole, D-002 (and D-004), was even more clearly contaminated?
So, how from all of this mess do we figure out which sample is D-001? Mr. Kenzie MacNeil gives us a description of the samples both on page 2 of his document and in an attached Table 2. On p. 2, he tells us that “Sample 415060 contained no +1.0 mm silver solder fragments” and that it contained approximately “200 particles of silver solder but the solder was not weighed”. According to Table 2 sample no 415060 weighs 2884 grams, with a processed split of 100 g, which was split into 36 g of +1.0 mm and 64 g of -1.0 mm. The grade was measured as 149 ppm silver and 1531 ppm copper. This corresponds to 149 g/tonne silver and 0.1531% copper. Now, what is the grading given for D-001? At 0 to 1.5 meters it is 149 gram per tonne silver and .15% copper. Hence, we can identify Sample number 415060 as being from Drill hole D-001.
Wednesday, 3 April, 2013
We continue with the examination of known contaminated drill holes at Douvray. Douvray drill hole two (D-002) is the second known contaminated one at Douvray (not a good track record thus far!). So, let’s take a look at Majescor’s February 1, 2012 News Release. It tells us that from 0 to 13.50 meters (of depth) there is 255 g/t(7.4 oz/ton) Silver, 0.35% Copper and 0.02 g/t gold, “including” from 6 to 7.50 meters, 2,069 g/t silver (yes, that is two thousand and sixty-nine grams), 0.52% copper and 0.04 g/t gold in what by the March 13, 2012 News Release they call: “the supergene oxide zone”. Now if 149 g/t was anomalous for drill hole one (D-001) you know that 2,069 g/t silver is highly anomalous. The February release further states that from 13.50 meters to 31.50 meters there is 1.0 g/t Silver, 0.37% Copper, and 0.02 g/t Gold in the oxide/sulphide transition. The March 13, 2012 News Release says that there is 2.82 g/t Silver, 0.78% Copper, and 0.10 g/t Gold over 295.1 m in the “underlying primary sulphide zone”. In the October 9, 2011 news release we are given a “Table 1. Summary of best drill intercepts at the Douvray Prospect”. The only numbers given for D-002 are from 91.50 to 386.6 meters depth, which would be March’s 295.1 meters of 0.78% Copper, 0.10 g/t Gold and 2.82 g/t Silver, as well as an anomalous 50.00 ppm Molybdenum. In the January 10th 2012 news release Daniel F. Hachey, President and CEO of Majescor states: “We are particularly pleased with the results from our second drill hole on the Douvray porphyry copper-gold prospect. It is higher grade and over a longer interval than the nearby historical St. Geneviève Resources drill hole.” Now, we wonder why it is higher grade than St. Genevieve’s nearby drill hole?! By February 1, 2012, you may recall that he said “We are thrilled…”. This false “supergene oxide zone” from D-002 is the one which seems clearly included in the statistical data of their Technical Report (Bosc). However,in the “Best” results given in the Appendix of Bosc (2013), which are the same as the October 9, 2012 New Release, this “supergene oxide zone” has been removed. Although they threw out their drill bit “supergene oxide zone” from the list of “Best Intercepts” in the Appendix and News Release, the D-002 drill-bit induced “supergene oxide zone” is the one which seems to clearly reappear in the statistical data. In the Appendix and News Release, they also threw out their “oxide/sulphide transition” from 13.50 to 31.50 meters. 31.50 meters to 91.50 meters appear unaccounted for with no explanation.
Are there unaccounted for meters of drill core because they are not among the “Best Drill Intercepts”? In fact, on p. 88 of the Bosc (2013) Majescor Technical document it does indeed say “Appendix 1: Best drill hole intercept results: Douvray Porphyry Copper Deposit Mineral Resources Estimate”. Gee, talk about slanting your research results! Has anyone ever heard of throwing out the data which does not support what you are looking for as a research methodology? We have looked at this document at least a dozen times – probably 20 or more–and never noticed this. We need to look for our copy of “How to Lie with Statistics.” It is doubtful that throwing out the results you dislike and keeping what you like even appears in that book! But, then again, maybe it does. Did they make a resource estimate based on the best drill hole intercept results only? Even more strange is that some of their “best” drill core intercept results are from contamination and while they do not appear under “Best Drill Intercepts” they reappear in the statistical analysis!
Thursday, 4 April 2013
We now know that Majescor cherry picked, selected the better results, for their News Releases and for their Appendix. But, how much they did or did not cherry pick their final total grading results in the end, we will never know. They do not provide us adequate information to know with certainty. Having added up Majescor’s “best drill intercepts” leads us to around 0.37% copper grade; if we weight and divide by total meters rather than treating each drill hole equally, then we get around 0.4%. They are claiming 0.3% in the text of Bosc (2013) and yet showing us slightly higher intercepts in the Appendix. In most places the cut-off value, below which copper is not worth mining, is 0.3% and was considered such in historic research for Haiti. Majescor is now trying to lower it to 0.1%. Seeing that the “best values” are around 0.37% to 0.4% and they are claiming 0.3% makes us think that they are using a different group of numbers. Or else that they threw out contaminated drill cores, (which it now appears that they did not). But, if they are using all of the numbers, then WHY do they not give us those numbers, but only the best ones? They need to explain what was included and what was excluded and why. At the very least they are giving the “best intercepts” in the Appendix and News Releases to make a potential mine look better than it is when glancing through the data. On the one hand, in the main text, they tell us 0.3% and on the other hand they show us charts of the “best results” only! Besides the question of contamination and insufficient drill holes, we simply are unable to know what their results really are! And these reports are supposed to be to help a potential investor make decisions. They are should be clear to the average person.
Keeping 295.1 meters from drill hole D-002, of the total 2,920.4 meters presented by them, in “best intercepts”, tilts the average up since they claim D-002 to be 0.78 % copper(which is their highest drill hole average grade intercept listed in the Appendix). The D-002 drill hole was also the most contaminated, with silver solder, among the ones recognized as contaminated. If the 295.1 meters of 0.78% copper from D-002 are thrown out then the grade of “best intercepts” falls to 0.36%. With the silver-copper “silver solder” contamination from the broken drill bit (which we still must discuss in detail), the high copper reading should not surprise us. D-001 was also contaminated. It is listed as 231 meters at 0.50% grading of copper. If we remove it then our grading drops down further to 0.34% over drill cores and 0.35% weighted over the given meters. Thus, we see that a little bit of contamination can make a big difference for estimating such low grades of copper. And, trying to figure out what they have done seems endlessly confusing and not clear as it should be for an average investor.
If we look at Bosc, pages 60 to 61, it appears that they have used both historic and more recent data. With whatever historic and current data they used, for the sulfide zone, they come up with a median (half above and half below) of 0.229% copper and a mean (arithmetic average) of 0.337% copper, and a median of 0.201% and a mean of 0.258% for the smaller oxide zone, giving them a total mean of about 0.3%. Remember that for copper, the cut-off, below which one cannot mine economically, is generally at 0.3% and that statistics are only as good as the input. We are inclined to believe that the median would be more accurate, given contamination issues. This places the grade at less than 0.229% rather than the already low 0.3%.
Considering that there has not been appropriate sampling and there is an issue of contamination, we just really do not know what is or is not at Douvray. We also do not know what parts of drill hole cores they kept and what parts were thrown out nor why. There are problems with the historic data, discussed at length by Bosc, and there are problems with contamination of the new data, as well as inadequate numbers of drill holes.
The German BGR, according to Bosc (2013) p. 37, “considered the deposit uneconomical due to the limited reserves and low grades”. In the Appendix we find that half of their 24 drill holes were below 0.3% Copper. The other half had at least some sections exceeding 0.3%. How many of the 12 drill holes, which had some sections above 0.3%, had other sections below 0.3% we do not know. We only know that half are totally under cut-off grade.
Friday, 5 April 2013
If Majescor-Bosc’s (2013) statistics make us think of processed meat — one is not sure what went in, we can only see what comes out, Bosc (2013) gives us some hints, much as some cross-border certification has for processed meat. And, these hints appear pretty incriminating to us. What are some of the hints we are given?
If we look at Table 14.3, p. 61, we are not only given the mean and median discussed above, but we are given the minimum and maximum. Although it doesn’t tell minimum or maximum of what, due to Drill Hole number D-002, we can tell that this is indeed the ore grades. While Majescor did finally throw some of the contaminated data out for purposes of the News Releases, the Appendix, and Corebox they apparently did NOT throw out the drill bit contaminated core data for their statistical averages in their resource estimate report. In Table 14.3 we are told that the maximum amount of silver is in the oxide zone and is 2060.955 (ppm or g/tonne). This number does NOT appear in the Appendix of “Best Intercepts”. However, the contaminated oxide zone for drill hole D-002, IS 2069 (ppm or g/tonne). For the sulfide zone they put 30.525 g/t silver, and yet for all of the “Best Intercepts” listed in the Appendix, the highest grade is D-009 with a mere 3 meters of 4.45 g/t, followed by D-14 at 3.26 g/t for 12 meters width. So, from whence do they get 30.525 g/tonne? Bosc (2013) says on p. 60 that “for Au and Ag, D series is significantly higher grade than KD series and a bias due to type of assay is possible”. So, even though the D series by Majescor is the only one with the gold-silver data in the Appendix, it seemingly would not be from KD or BL. In other words the Silver (Ag) and Gold (Au) found by Majescor are strangely anomalous. If we have yet to figure out the source of anomalous gold, the source of this silver appears clear: broken drill bit. Although this was originally unintentional “salting”, keeping this data seems intentional salting to us.
But, that isn’t all! We are told that the maximum for copper in the sulfide zone is 3.38, with a minimum of 0.00 and for the oxide zone 2.009 with a minimum of 0.016. But, what is the highest copper grade listed in the “Best Intercepts” given in the Appendix for the BL (BGR), KD (St. Genevieve-KWG) and D (Majescor) drill holes? It is KD-18 where there is a 2.23% grading over a width of one meter at 205 m to 206 m followed by D-14 with 12 meters (15.5-27.5 m depth) at 1.98%, within 145 meters with an overall grade of 0.38%. So where in the world did this 3.38% come from? Lest you think that they meant 3.38 ppm, that would give 0.000338 % which could not be the maximum grade if they are claiming an average of 0.3%! Did they maybe accidently mess up their decimals points when keying in their data to excel? It is still a possibility but there is no grade data listed as 0.338. So where did this come from? Bosc says that they threw out the UN data “The ONU series has been discarded for modeling given the poor level of documentation and the complete absence of deviation” (p. 54). So, where did this number come from? Did they decide to put in the UN data after they said they would exclude it? We just don’t know. Reading once again in the Appendix we finally see that for a 3 meter width, from 190.5 m to 193.5 m, for KD-15, the copper grade is listed as a very anomalous 10.15%. It is aligned in the table such that it appears to be 1.015%. We do not know which it is. This may be one of the outlier anomalies which Bosc alleged to have removed for copper. But, did he then shrink it to 3.38% with his “best fit” adjustments? Would including UN data when you say you are excluding comprise a salting of data? We don’t know that either.
For this Majescor data, as with hotdogs, lasagna, and hamburgers, no one can tell exactly what is in there nor necessarily where it came from.
Saturday, 6 April 2013
Those who are interested in this case or perhaps other mining properties may want to take a look at the corebox. net site and Majescor-SOMINE there. Even those who don’t like technology and/or who find this topic boring will probably have fun spinning the model drill holes, etc. One can also use the “cutoff control” to sort drill hole grades. Be warned, however, that this is yet another group of numbers. The models are only as good as the input data. Whereas Bosc says he excludes UN data, the corebox includes UN data (ONU). Additionally the overtly contaminated parts of D-002 are not in the corebox, but appear to have been left in the Bosc statistics. There are also variations between the KD data in the corebox and that given in the Appendix of Bosc. Although there is an ipad app for corebox, it does not give as much information as using Flash. Unless you want to just have fun spinning the model, it is best to put away any ipads and find a computer. With corebox we have ascertained that the anomalous 10.15% Copper for KD-15, discussed yesterday, is most likely 1% copper (or less), as suspected. There is no 10.15% copper for KD-15 nor anything near 10.15% in Corebox data for KD-15. The 10.15% was in both the 2009 and 2013 technical document. It stands out clearly in the 2009 Technical Report, as an anomaly, since the Table is well-aligned. Did it work its way into the 2013 Bosc statistics? Most likely. And the 2013 mistake was probably copied from the 2009 SOMINE Technical report. So, it is best to check against the most original data possible.
We continue to be perplexed regarding the claim that there is a sulfide silver grade of 30.525 g/tonne silver as alleged by Bosc (2013) in Table 14.3. We have yet to find this 30.525 g/tonne in the Corebox or in the Appendix or in the Majescor News Releases. The closest thing we can find is drill hole KD 4 where over 1.5 meters width there is supposedly 21 g/t of silver and 1% copper, but over a nearby 24 meters width KD 4 is 0.405% copper and 10.46 g/t silver; (and at lesser depth, over 46.5 m width, it is only 0.235% cu and 0.498 g/t silver). The Appendix doesn’t give silver results for KD 4 but has 0.54% copper over 6 meters at a depth similar to the anomalous 21g and 1% copper. Drill hole BL 7 also crosses in this neighborhhood with 0.275 and 0.302% copper grades. Majescor’s D-003, which seems nearby or even the same/twin drill hole has 15 m width of copper at 0.34% and silver at 0.22 g/t at almost the same point, leading us to believe that this is, mostly likely, a misplacing of the decimal point meaning that this 21 g/t would be 0.21 g/tonne and the copper most likely 0.1%. We have another anomalous 20.4 g/t of silver and 18.6% copper over a 0.3 (i.e. a third of a meter) fragment for KD 01. KD 01 is broken into mostly tiny fragments and clearly had issues which could lead to contamination. In a nearby segment of 12 meter width KD 01 reported copper at 0.824% (compared to 18.6% copper) and 0.697 g/t silver (compared to the 20.4 g/t silver).
This clearly shows what we are up against, and what the Haitian Senate would be up against, trying to sort all of this out. The broken drill bits are not the only problem, it seems. And, some technical information was given to the BME last summer, about 3 months before the Kenzie MacNeil report was submitted to Majescor.
Sunday, 7 April 2013
Although there seems a lot more to say about the Majescor-Bosc (2013) Technical Report (everytime we look at it we find more problems), we need to turn back to the Drill Hole D-002 contamination. But, we will quickly say a more few things. We discussed Table 14.3 and how the maximum for silver oxide was 2060.955 g/tonne – almost identical to the contamination in Drill Hole D-002 and how this sky-high contamination number brought the mean up to 15.596. The median, with half above and half below, was only 0.570. If we look back at p. 9, Table 1.1, we get yet another group of numbers. This is probably the most critical Table for it is the one which estimates tonnage, and with that and grades you can start to estimate how much silver, copper and gold there will be. Well, guess what!? For the Oxide Silver they have come up with yet another number: 5.86 g/t. Now, lest you think that they decided to throw out the contamination, think again. We have reviewed the drill holes which are in the Core Box and which are said to exclude the most overt contamination and that 5.86 g/t does not come from there and especially not from the oxide (upper) zones. Although we are still assembling our statistics from the Corebox, they appear to be under 1 g/t, and probably close to the median given in Table 14.3 of 0.57. So, where in the world did he get this number? Did he perhaps throw out the 2060.955 and keep some of the other overt contamination? It is possible and that is yet another group of statistics to do. Did he pull it out of a hat? We tend to think that he just lopped the one off of 15 to make 5, though we cannot explain why he changed .596 to .86. Who knows where this number is from, but we will soon show you how important this becomes financially whether this number is zero or less than one or 5.86 or 15.596….when you are speaking of tonnes of ore, it makes a huge difference.
While we are on p. 9, let us see what Bosc said about the drill holes:
“This mineral estimate is based on a well-documented drilling series…” He means there the apparent disaster of a drilling campaign by Majescor. He continues “and two historical series” Does he know that St. Genevieve, who did the KD series, was probably at least as unreliable as Majescor appears — maybe because in Haiti SOMINE and St. Genevieve ARE the same. Some people, ourselves included, suspect that Pierre R. Gauthier of St. Genevieve is or was something akin to a con-artist (read about him online). Most importantly Bosc says “The drilling density is irregular and low…”. This is what we have been saying! There appears no proper grid pattern and the drill holes are insufficient in number! In a seeming attempt to be upbeat, he continues..”but the Douvray deposit is massive…” This appears contradicted later in the text on p. 33 where Sinclair (2007) is quoted as saying “Porphyry deposits are large and typically contain hundreds of millions of tonnes of ore, although they range from tens of millions to billions of tonnes:…”. So, how is Douvray, at less than two hundred million tonnes of ultra low grade ore “massive” or huge? Billions of tonnes is massive.
He also discusses on p. 9 the copper cut-off grade. As we have reiterated endlessly, 0.3% cut-off is more usual (and was what was always said for Haiti), with the possible exception of economies of scale which don’t seem to exist for this property. His discussion shows you just how hard they are trying to make this property sound better than it seems to be: “The cut-off has been set on A LOW MARGINAL CUT-OFF, 0.1% Cu, and using results of ONE metallurgical test carried out in 2012 ON MATERIAL WHOSE HEAD GRADE IS RATHER IN THE HIGH RANGE OF GRADES ENCOUNTERED FOR A 0.1% Cu cut-off”. [We added bold for emphasis to the quote and changed the “which” in the original to “whose” in order to make it understandable English]
Turning back to D-002 and the ODM-Kenzie MacNeil report, from last September, we are reminded that Sample 415342 (from D-002) is fine-grained, unaltered UNMINERALIZED GABBRO (i.e. tombstone or counter-top “granite”). This sample is a crusher reject weighing 1,565 g which was processed split to 100 g and sifted into plus and minus 1.0 mm piles for examination. The + 1.0 mm particles weighed 36 g and the – 1.0 mm particles weighed 64 g. Mr. MacNeil tells us that the +1.0 mm silver solder fractions contained 2.54 g of diamond-studded silver solder. (We still wonder that Majescor didn’t declare Douvary a diamond mine!). He further found that the – 1.0 mm “pan concentrates” for sample 415342 contained 0.10 g (approximately 1,000 particles) of silver solder. On the second page he explains that Qualitative SEM-EDS analysis of intact silver solder fragments from Sample 415342 “shows the fragments to be composed of silver, copper, and tungsten carbide (i.e. the wear matrix of the drill bit) with minor to appreciable nickel and titanium (possibly from AcmeLabs’ rock crusher).” So, you see what else he found?! Not only is there contamination from the drill bit, but there is NICKEL AND TITANIUM CONTAMINATION POSSIBLY FROM THE ROCK CRUSHER IN THE LAB WHICH HE CALLS MINOR TO APPRECIABLE! To us that means between a little and a lot. Our Pocket Oxford Dictionary defines appreciable as “significant, considerable”.
Tuesday, 9 April 2013
If we can tell you virtually nothing about the Guatemala based Palo Verde Drilling, SA, company which leased the drilling equipment to Majescor-SOMINE, we can tell you a bit about AcmeLabs, mentioned as a possible additional source of contamination for Majescor drill holes D-002 and D-004. The preparation facility which Kenzie MacNeil suggests could have had some contamination problems is AcmeLabs’ located in the Dominican Republic. The actual analysis is undertaken in AcmeLabs of Santiago, Chile. This is in violation of the Mining Convention, under which Majescor-SOMINE claim to be operating, i.e. the 1997 St. Genevieve Mining Convention, which was published in the Haitian government’s “Le Moniteur, Special No. 2 – Mardi, 3 mai 2005”. On p. 52 about the Program for Research work at Douvray, Blondin and Faille, Phase 3-e stipulates that the analysis of the soil geochemistry samples and of the drill core samples should be done by the laboratories of the Bureau of Mines and Energy (BME) of Haiti. It does not say in the Dominican Republic or in Chile, but at the BME in Haiti. The interpretation of the chemical analyses should be done by labs outside of Haiti (Canada or USA), according to the Convention. It specifically says the US and Canada. There is nothing about Chile in there.
If we are assured by Majescor about AcmeLab’s ISO 9001: 2008 certification, this actually has little meaning. An excellent and interesting article by Lab Quality Management Services, (LQMS) P/L of Australia explains to us that the mining industry needs to understand that not all standards are the same. They further explain that Lab certification to ISO 9001: 2008 is primarily oriented to customer satisfaction, whereas lab accreditation to ISO/IEC 17025 is to assure the lab’s technical competence by peer review. According to the ISO web site the ISO 9001: 2008 standard “is based on a number of quality management principles including a strong customer focus, the motivation and implication of top management, the process approach and continual improvement.” Furthermore “All requirements of ISO 9001:2008 are generic and are intended to be applicable to all organizations, regardless of type, size and product provided.” Critics of this standard believe that it can be more about quality of paperwork and documentation than actual quality of product. So, what of the ISO/IEC 17025 standard? Does AcmeLabs have that? Yes and no. On November 12, 2012, AcmeLabs of Santiago, Chile has received ISO 17025 accreditation by the Standards Council of Canada for two sorts of gold processes (G6, G6gr) only. The Majescor drill program was started in 2011 and what has been done at Douvray was finished by the time the lab received its certification. And, the Majescor-SOMINE Douvray site is primarily low grade copper and allegedly some silver and allegedly a bit of gold. Even AcmeLabs of Vancouver Canada only got its ISO 17025 certification in October 2011 and for only one gold process (G6gr). LQMS of Australia says that “An accurate assay is of limited value if the sample preparation has not been carried out to the same standard”. They also point out that “Labs are not perfect, mistakes can happen…It is the duty of both the chemist and geologist to minimize mistakes and ensure that assay data is fit for purpose”. They further point out that “…the potentially greatest source of error” is “field sampling”. For Majescor-SOMINE that brings us back to the improper sampling in the field, as well as the broken drill bits. LQMS lists potential lab sources of contamination, including that from preceding samples, caused by carryover during the crushing and pulverizing stages, airborne dust, tramp metal, jewelry worn by sample preparation staff and metal contamination from crushers and pulverizers. This last is what Kenzie MacNeil has suggested might have contaminated the D-002 sample, along with the broken diamond drill bit.
Wednesday, 10 April 2013
Where does the responsibility lie for any failures with Majescor’s Exploration Program? It would seem that ultimate responsibility would lie with Dr. C. Tucker Barrie, Ph.D., since he was VP of Exploration for Majescor (from 2011 to 2012, according to his Linkedin page, but he signed as VP of Exploration on the Bosc document on 30 Jan. 2013; he indicates involvement with the property from 2005). However responsibility is really not so clear. We suspect that cholera was not Dr. Barrie’s cup of tea, but for whatever reasons Majescor employed an outside consultant: Buscore Consulting, an English-Canadian owned and run outfit located in Ecuador. We noticed this company months ago, but they “disappeared” from the News Releases around that time and we thought that they were ancient history and forgot about them. Nothing could be more wrong. They are gone but their legacy lives on, as they were present throughout the recent exploration program.
On the 24th of May 2011, Majescor Resources Inc. announced that it, along with its affiliate SACG and SOMINE SA, had hired Buscore Consulting Limited “to manage the exploration program on the SOMINE copper-gold Property…”. About nine and a half months later, in the 13 March 2012 News Release, Majescor reported that “the base camp is established at Roche-Plate and all Haitian and Canadian geologists and technicians have been fully integrated into the exploration program. The SOMINE project currently employs, in addition to Buscore Consulting staff, approximately 50 Haitians as geologists, technicians and various support staff, and another 50-100 Haitians as day laborers for drill moves and drill pad set-ups.” What managing the exploration program for SOMINE meant exactly, is not totally clear. Were they on the ground or did they plan and manage from Ecuador? It seems, based on this 13 March 2012 News Release, that they most likely did a Fly-In, Fly-Out (FIFO) routine to train and supervise workers on the ground. How much responsibility do they bear vs. Majescor vs. SOMINE, SA.? We suspect that there was inadequate training of personnel and even if adequately trained many probably did their practical learning on the property itself. Probably most critical of all would be language issues. The Buscore consultants are English Canadians with no mastery of Creole mentioned on their web site (they mention Spanish***), whereas most of the Haitian workers would be Creole monoglots with little or no formal education. If the educated Haitians involved had some knowledge of English then they would be responsible for translation (barring the unlikely possiblity that an interpreter was hired). It is possible that the educated Haitians involved would speak a more Frenchified Creole that might be difficult for the rural Haitians, lacking formal education, to understand. If they are Haitian diaspora workers, their Creole could even be iffy. In such a context, it should be surprising if anything at all was achieved. And anything that was achieved would likely have depended more on the formally educated Haitians involved-both technically and linguistically-than on the Buscor consultants. It was likely a real Tower of Babel, Sauve qui peut (Each man for Himself) environment. The entire planning of the project seems to have been poorly thought through from the perspective of language and training. The CEO, Daniel Hachey, should know better, as a bilingual Montrealer. As well, Buscor probably acted within constraints established by Majescor. The constraints were most likely the Exploration Plan, as laid out by Dr. Barrie, on p. 47 of the 2009 SOMINE Technical Report, which he authored. The last appearance of Buscore’s Dale Schultz as qualifying person on Majescor News Releases was Sept. 20, 2012, exactly one week before Kenzie MacNeil’s September 27, 2012 report regarding the drill bit contamination. From Jan 10, 2012 to Sept. 20, 2012, most of Majescor’s News Releases were written by Dale Schultz of Buscore and reviewed by Dr. C. Tucker Barrie. Others were reviewed by Marc Bernier or written by Dr. Barrie. Was Buscor’s contract at an end anyway? Or, were they fired? It appears that they were to do the Technical report, which Bosc ultimately completed, based on the 21 June 2012 Majescor News Release: “… the NI 43-101 compliant resource estimate of the Douvray prospect is progressing on schedule under the leadership of GeoSim Services Inc. and Buscore Consulting Ltd … “. Gee, who is this now?! GeoSim Services, Inc. Yep, this is yet another player who had appeared by the May 10, 2012 News Release: “Majescor is also pleased to report that it has retained the services of Ron Simpson, P.Geo. of GeoSim Services Inc. of Vancouver, British Columbia, to oversee the Douvray porphyry copper-gold prospect NI 43-101 resources estimation process.” P. Trudel, from AECOM in Montreal, also prepared a document for the Haitian BME in summer of 2012, which is cited in the Bosc Technical report. Perhaps this is why the statistics do not jibe for the Technical document: too many cooks spoil the soup. Whatever the reason, Marc Bernier, Technical Advisor, appears as the qualified person under NI 43 101 on the 21 December 2012 News Release and Remi Bosc, a French consultant, who owns Arethuse Geology, first appears in the January 15, 2013 News Release. One of the most mysterious things is that no French version of the Majescor Technical Document of 2013 was filed with SEDAR, considering that the primary author was French and both Canada and Haiti are bilingual countries with French as one of the languages. [*** Although Bart Wilson of Buscore now alleges to speak French on the website, as late as Oct. 15, 2011 (see wayback machine), or 6 months after they were retained by Majescor, he only alleged speaking Spanish. We believe that any attempts to speak French with a harsh English-Canadian “r” to “r”-less Creole speakers, would create even more confusion. Bart studied for two years to be a mining tech at an English Canadian school. We challenge him to post a video on the Buscor website or on youtube with him demonstrating how to drill drill cores with a diamond drill in French, Spanish and English so we can see how good his languages are].
Thursday, 11 April, 2013
Who are these consultants? In the 10 May 2012 News Release we are told that Ron Simpson owner of GeoSim Services Inc., Vancouver, Canada “has specialized in resource estimation, GIS and property evaluation since 1987” and will “oversee the Douvray porphyry copper-gold prospect NI 43-101 resources estimation process.” However, we have yet to find a record of him in the 2013 Resource Estimation Technical report. They also add that the resource estimation process is “ongoing” and a “multidisciplinary effort” by Buscore Consulting (led by Dale Schultz) and Majescor (led by Dr. C. Tucker Barrie).
Who is Buscore? On their web site, buscore. net, we are struck by a well-known AP photo by Dieu Nalio Chery (which does not indicate if it was used with permission). Shouldn’t Buscore have their own photos if they worked in Haiti? The picture is striking because it shows an elderly-looking man holding a shovel in a pose reminiscent of the 1930 Grant Wood painting, “American Gothic”, but with two well-fed Canadians — one obscenely so for starving Haiti — standing around talking, while some young Haitian workers look on. The photo caption on the original says “Genove Valcimon, 70, poses for a picture as he works on a road to an exploratory gold site in Trou Du Nord, Haiti, on April 10.” (of 2012). This is for the SOMINE site. 70 years old is old for Haiti: according to the WHO, 2009 life expectancy for males at birth is age 60; if a Haitian makes it to 60 his life expectancy is 75. And, the probability of a Haitian man dying between 15 and 60 years is roughly 1/3rd (28%). If those Canadians make it to 60 their life expectancy is 83. On the same page of Buscor’s web site we are told that they “offer mining and exploration services ranging from exploration, production operations, QP services, and more.” Under Services they list: “3-D Deposit Modeling, Mining Geology and Engineering, Project Design and Management, Regional Geological Evaluation, Resource Drilling and Projects Management”. Buscore is located in Quito, Ecuador and founded by Canadians Dale Schultz and Bart Wilson. Before starting Buscore, both Schultz and Wilson worked for Aurelian Resources. Majescor (24/5/11) says that “their work was fundamental in the discovery of the world-class Fruita del Norte epithermal gold-silver deposit.” Bart Wilson has a 1996 Bachelor of Science, in an unknown field, as well as a 2001 Bachelor of Education from U. of Toronto . In 1995 he graduated from the Haileybury School of Mines as Mining Technician. This is a two year program, and must have counted toward his BS degree. Currently most of the Haileybury program seems online with two two week stints required at the school. Online distance learning is more recent than 1995, but they may have had other types of correspondance programs or perhaps he attended in person. Whichever the case, 4 weeks out of two years doesn’t sound very hands-on for a Mining Technician program. A Mining Tech program would seem the sort of minimum training that the exploration workers should have for the SOMINE property. According to the Haileybury web site: “The technician is part of the engineering team, involved in all aspects of mining from exploration, planning, development and operation, to mineral extraction and environmental control.” and that “Graduates may find employment as: Surveyors, Planners, Production Supervisors, Assayers, Process Operators, Metallurgical Technicians, Exploration or Mine Geological Technicians, Government Mine Inspectors, Mine Technicians (Ventilation, Ground Control, Environmental, Projects), Sales & Technical Service Representatives”. According to the Buscore web site, Wilson did a number of resource estimates for Greenstone Resources at the San Andres project. His work in Ecuador has included “supervising regional geological evaluation work, stream sediment studies and follow-up studies for Aurelian Resources, his work with the regional team resulted in the discovery of Frute del Norte”. Bart Wilson also founded Atlas Minerals. Recently “he has been involved principally with initiating drill projects in Peru, Paraguay, and Haiti, as well as managing logistical needs for individual operations.” See AP photo plus more here: http://www.today.com/id/47398045/ns/world_news-americas/#.UWYC89RhiSN and here: http://news.yahoo.com/lightbox/april-10-2012-photo-genove-valcimon-70-poses-photo-192529874–finance.html
Friday 12 April 2013
If, as it seems, Buscore was responsible for the exploration on the ground, it appears that they would be the most responsible for apparent failures in the Majescor Exploration Program. After all, on the Buscore website it says that Bart Wilson was responsible for “initiating drill projects” in Haiti, and that Dale Schultz was the lead geologist for the resources estimation program for Majescor’s Somine Project in Haiti. We note, as well, the lack of the “initial environmental baseline studies for subsurface and surface groundwater, noise and dust levels, and year-round weather conditions” which they were to have done, according to the 24 May 2011 Press Release. Nonetheless, a quick search does not turn up anything which suggests a history of incompetence. However, outside consultants who appeared on earlier versions of the website have disappeared leaving only Wilson and Schultz. This could simply indicate lack of workload, or personality conflicts, or it could be due to real or perceived incompetence. Surely with enough time and energy the truth could be found. Nonetheless, we did turn up that some of the companies and projects they claim involvement with are highly unethical.
Now, Bart Wilson looks like a nice, jolly fellow, is he really unethical or only ignorant of the repercussions of his work? Perhaps Upton Sinclair’s quote is apt here: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” What are some of these companies that Bart Wilson brags about working with? One is Greenstone Resources, Ltd. of Toronto and the San Andres Mine in Honduras, for which he says he did a Resource Estimate. In the mid 1990s Greenstone obtained a mining concession and moved to evict the San Andres residents. After various Greenstone tactics, which included shutting off the community’s water and running over one resident with a bulldozer, the residents gave in and moved. Only two years later the company declared bankruptcy and had liened its debts against the new town, so the new town went to the banks. The community still lacked legal title to the land promised or compensation as of 2010. This illustrates the risks of dealing with small mining companies which can get out from under responsibility by declaring bankruptcy.
What is Fruta del Norte (Ecuador) that Wilson and Schultz were allegedly instrumental in discovering for Aurelian? Now owned by Kinross it is believed to be Latin America’s biggest deposit of high-grade gold. But discover? Not any more than gold was just discovered in Haiti! How can they claim to be instrumental in discovering something which was known before their ancestors arrived in Canada? The gold in that area was well-known by the Spanish and has continued to be known. A visitor to the area in 1582 observed that “It is a very rough land, having many rivers and canyons, all of which in general have gold in such quantity that the Spaniards are obliged to forget the danger.” (cited in Zaitchik, 2013). It is the land of the Shuar who are the only Amazonian tribe who successfully fought Incan and Spanish occupation. They were “the danger”. Now they are endangered by the mining companies. In 1582 it was further noted that some Shuar worked the mines in exchange for goods, but did so “with much reluctance.” In 1599 a gold tax was imposed on the local Indians and the Shuar killed all Spanish males in the area and surrounded the governor’s home. They tied up the governor pushed freshly melted gold down his throat, asking if this satisfied his thirst for gold. For the next 250 years, the Spanish mostly stayed away. Attempted contact by missionaries was met with a basket of skulls from “gold-hungry Spaniards”. (See Zaitchik, 2013). Wilson was involved in stream-sediment analysis but that is a no-brainer. Of course, if there is gold in the mountains, there is some gold washed downstream. It’s like discovering that there are fish in the ocean! Fish in the desert would be a discovery.
Saturday 13 April, 2013
The Spanish left Haiti largely because they had exhausted the gold there and went on to Latin America. The low grades and amounts of metals which remain require a good scientific method during the exploration process in order to sort out contamination from potential resources. For a high grade deposit like Fruta del Norte in Ecuador there is room for error. But, how come that high-grade gold is still there? As we said the Native Shuar fought to defend their homeland. Others, like the Lakota Sioux, despite their defeat of General Custer (yes, this was about gold mining), have been less successful at keeping miners at bay in the Black Hills of South Dakota and are currently trying to stop uranium mining by a Canadian company. At least one player who appears to be involved at Morne Bossa in Haiti, has been involved in this attempt to force uranium mining on the Black Hills. What are the repercussions of mining in Haiti? Surely extinction of species which do not exist elsewhere and, at the scale proposed country-wide, potential genocide of Haitians within Haiti. The repercussions on the rest of us are less clear. Would it matter that much to the rest of the world if tiny Haiti even sank into the ocean with its unique island species? What does it matter if they mine in the Condor Mountain Range? Well, we are definitely speaking of genocide, here as the Shuar have recently promised to fight to the death to protect their homeland and even without fighting at least half of tribes, which have had no contact with the outside world, will die of contagious diseases. Will they succeed in pouring gold down the throats of the Presidents of Ecuador and of Kinross and of other mining companies before they die? Can their small numbers and primitive weapons get far against modern weapons? The Condor is a unique ecological hotspot with more diversity in one hectare than all of North America. There are many species known, and still unknown, which risk extinction, such as a local subspecies (Ateles Belzebuth Belzebuth) of the endangered long-haired (white-fronted) spider monkey. This doesn’t touch you still? How about your own life? Do you care about that? The Amazon has the most developed rainforest of the world and produces at least 20% of the world’s oxygen, as well as absorbing carbon dioxide. In the end what will happen when we lose the Amazon? In the old days, even in primary school, we learned of the fragility of the rain forest top soil, and how once the rain forest is cut, the top soil washes away and cannot be restored. And then eventually no trees in the world? No trees at all, the direction we as a planet are heading and what happens? (Those who are holed up in some of the rare remaining forests of the world, and have not traveled may not believe us; others see the high-rise, concrete, treeless future before their eyes). No trees: no rain; the world becomes a desert. We already see microclimates forming in the concrete jungles of large urban areas, as well as flooding. What will we do without oxygen produced by the Amazon and by other trees? What will happen as world oxygen supply dwindles and population grows? Will the ocean phytoplankton be enough? Won’t it be poisoned by the proposed mining of the ocean? Where does this insanity stop? We live in a desert and manufacture oxygen? There will be no rain. Do you think that the oxygen will be free? Do you think someone will just make it for us and let it lose for free in societies where we must pay for water and pay more for clean water? Has anyone done a serious study of what will happen in the treeless future we are headed for? Will your gold bullion or jewelry pay for the oxygen you need? What about the water? For how long? Will people live in biodomes and if you lose your job and are cast outside of the biodome you die? Will your job pay enough to keep you in the biodome? And, after retirement who will pay? For those who wonder, someone calculated that, on average, it would take 300 to 400 Anacharis plants to provide enough oxygen for one person. Has everyone gone mad to even consider mining in the rainforest? The world cannot continue to bypass a related issue: the population of the world has more than doubled since man landed on the moon. Most of the gold is going to bullion and jewelry and if everyone wants gold then population does come into play. There are other aspects of deforestation which are just plain greed and folly (like deforestation of the Amazon to grow oranges for a certain orange drink only to later conclude that it wasn’t economic to import oranges from the Amazon). But, some aspects of deforestation do tie in with the need for housing and food for an out-of-control world population. The more people that there are, the more difficult it is for humans to live in harmony and balance with the environment. Examine the population density in the Amazon where people live in tune with nature: it is very low.
The drill-bit screw up is one level of stupidity, upon which we would not be required to waste time reflecting, if it were not for the higher level stupidity of deforesting the SOMINE land and turning it into an open-pit and poisoning the people and land for things, which are not even needed. The intermediate level of stupidity is doing this for small, low grade deposits. The Condor Mountain area of Ecuador has higher grades of ore, but mining there is still a very stupid thing to do.
The Condor Mountains of Ecuador, where the Fruta del Norte prospect, explored by Bart Wilson and Dale Schultz, is located, are a major source of water for the Amazonian watershed to the east. More than two-thirds of all the fresh water on earth is found within the Amazon basin. If we want to survive as a species we must all take responsibility for it. Tropical rainforests are, in the words of Bruce Cockburn, “climate control centre for the world”.
Rainforests are responsible for most of the world’s rainfall and form a cooling band around the Equator. They work like a great air conditioner and the Amazon is said to cool the temperature of the entire world by one or two degrees and help balance the humidity and rain. Trees absorb carbon and produce oxygen via photosynthesis, making this massive forest a massive absorber of carbon, regulating the global climate. Cutting down these forests or poisoning and killing them also sends the carbon, which they have absorbed, back into the atmosphere. About 25 per cent of the world’s carbon emissions come from deforestation. The British governmental Stern report saw slowing or stopping deforestation as the single biggest thing which could stop global warming. If we lose the forests, especially, but not only, the rainforests, we create climate change of unimaginable proportions. Even saving the 45km2 of trees in the SOMINE Mining Convention, helps. Saving the Amazon and other forests, large or small, is the most obvious way to prevent climate change and the one which is almost never discussed. As well as killing off indigenous peoples, who have no immunity against our diseases, there is also the certainty of letting lose viruses for which we have no immunity, as has happened elsewhere with Ebola and other diseases in the wake of deforestation.
Here are the lyrics of the Bruce Cockburn video for those with internet too slow for video: http://cockburnproject.net/songs&music/iatf.htmlR
Sunday, 14 April 2013
For today we are posting a 12 minute video, which combines three interviews, about the repercussions of mining projects in the area of Kinross’ Fruta del Norte (Condor Mountains) in Ecuador. Many of the points are true for mining projects in Haiti and elsewhere. Near Fruta del Norte is Mirador, which belongs to Eccuacorrientes, which used to be Canadian owned, and is now Chinese owned. The Mirador project seems more advanced and hence more focus is placed on it. This proposed mining in Ecuador is in violation of Ecuador’s Constitution, as well as in violation of UN Resolution 61/295: “UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples”, 2 Oct. 2007. This resolution, signed by Ecuador, includes the right to self-determination, self-autonomy and self-government; the right NOT to be subjected to forced assimilation or destruction of their cultures and that they can not be dispossessed of their territories, etc. Unfortunately, this resolution appears to offer little protection, in reality. We thought that the reason that the mining companies were seizing upon Haiti, is that Haitians are not classified as indigenous peoples and hence lack the theoretical protection. We feel that since the Haitian mountain people are a mixture of Taino native peoples of Haiti and Marroons, runaway enslaved native peoples of Africa, and have a unique culture that they should be covered by this resolution.
In this video, please pay special attention to what is said about uranium mining. It is said that only copper and gold mining are being mentioned but that they believe that uranium will also be mined. We think that this may be relevant to Haiti, as well, for reasons to be discussed later. Note that the Shuar are engaging only in peaceful protests against the mining.
Contracts have been signed for an open pit copper mine called Mirador, located near Fruta del Norte, gold mine. Please sign the petition against it, if you have not. We believe that our routine readers are numerous enough to make a difference:
Tuesday, 16 April, 2013
Today’s Post is delayed to Wednesday, out of respect for the City of Boston, which has educated many advocates of social justice and social ethics, both well-known such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and little known, without whom Haiti Mining Awareness Plus blog site would not exist. Martin Luther King, who received his Ph.D. from Boston University, was assassinated while helping Memphis sanitation (garbage) workers who were on strike 45 years ago this month. 240 years ago (1773) Boston was the site of an exemplary peaceful protest against imposition of laws without parliamentary representation: dumping tea into Boston Harbor- which history knows as the Boston Tea Party, and which must surely have served as inspiration to King and the Civil Rights movement (most African Americans had no vote and hence no representation). Please think about the famous song below, by Mercedes Sosa, Solo le Pido a Dios (subtitled in English), in the context of this blog site. Also, please remember to sign the petition to Stop the Mirador Open Pit Copper Mine, if you have not. If you have time watch some M. L. King videos on you tube.
lyrics with translation for those with low-speed connections:
Wednesday, 17 April 2013
Dale Schultz of Buscore is registered in Manitoba and Saskatchewan as a Professional Geoscientist(which gives him the right to practice in these provinces only). The Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of the Province of Manitoba lists him as a BSc in geology, 1989, from the University of Sastkatchewan and has him as consultant for Buscore Consulting, 2525 Marina Bay Drive West, Fort Lauderdale FL 33312 USA, although he claims a 1996 MSc on the Buscore web site and elsewhere. Currently, from the Florida Sunbiz web site we find that there is an ACTIVE Florida Limited Liability Company BUSCORE US HOLDINGS LLC with the Principal Address the same as that of the registered agent VIVANCO & VIVANCO CORPORATE SERVICES LLC, 80 SW 8TH STREET, BRICKELL BAYVIEW BLDG., SUITE 2000. MIAMI, FL 33130 Manager/Member Detail: Title MGRM: BUSCORE CONSULTING LIMITED 24 DE CASTRO STREET, AKARA BUILDING ROAD TOWN, TORTOLA, T BVI 00, (that is Tortola, British Virgin Islands), Title MGR, SCHULTZ, DALE J MR., Title MGR, WILSON, BARTON J MR, Title MGR, VIVANCO & VIVANCO CORPORATE SERVICES LLC. The Buscore website calls Dale Schultz the lead geologist for the resources estimation programs for the SOMINE Project in Haiti, as well as for Aurelian’s Bonza-Penas deposit in Ecuador. Bonza-Penas is a kilometer south of the Fruta del Norte, whose detrimental impact on the Condor Mountains, their cloud forests and the downriver Amazon basin, we have already discussed. In Highland Clearances Part I, an earlier post discussing Majescor in Haiti, we discussed some of the impacts of the SOMINE project (there are some impacts, which we have not fully discussed because we do not want to do Majescor’s study for them; let their highly paid consultants earn their keep and then we will pick their report apart, if they bother to do one): As Fruta del Norte, Mirador, etc. violate the Ecuadorian Constitution, SOMINE, and other proposed mining sites in Haiti, violate the 1987 Haitian Constitution. Haiti’s Constitution clearly states in Title IX, Ch. II, Article 253 that “The Environment being the natural framework of the life of the population, practices likely to perturb the ecological equilibrium are formally prohibited.” The 2011 Constitutional Amendments reinforce this by adding Article 253.1, which calls for extraordinary means to reestablish the ecological equilibrium, as long as forest cover is under 10%. The Constitution clearly must supersede the 1976 Mining law, especially as it postdates the Mining Law. Furthermore, the mining appears to violate the International Convention against Desertification and the International Convention for Biodiversity, to which Haiti is signatory. Mining violates the related 2005 Haitian Law on the Environment and Sustainable Development in multiple ways, including priorities of water use. The mines also violate the commitment to clean water and to the environment expressed by President Martelly, as well as his alleged commitment to farmers and food security and exports. The mines also run counter to efforts at protection of the environment and prevention of disasters. Obviously, surface mining counters efforts at reforestation in Haiti. Furthermore, surface mining goes against the whole tenor of Haitian law from 1864 to this day, which has continually underscored the importance of soil and forest conservation, especially for the prevention of landslides. Due to tropical and island location, mountainous conditions and complex geology, the cost of land restoration in Haiti, required by law, may be especially high. 5,424 km2 (i.e. 542,400 ha/1,340,300 acres), or 20% of Haiti was under mining permit to mining companies last Fall and may still become surface mines. This number could be higher or lower in the end. It is currently unclear how large an area is under permit at this time. SOMINE, SA property is crossed by the Trou du Nord River itself, as well as two upstream major tributaries (Riviere Fraiche, Riviere Cabaret) and minor tributaries, which empty into Caracol Bay. Trou du Nord River watershed is an important and a “high priority watershed.” Hence, the mining on the SOMINE property endangers a high priority watershed, Haiti’s longest uninterrupted coral reef, and an important Mangrove at Caracol Bay. The Mangroves help to protect the Caracol Bay area from hurricane, and earthquake induced tidal surges. Additionally, the water shortages created by mining may cause water shortages for the Caracol Industrial Park and increased incursion of saline water into the aquifer. SOMINE, and other areas under mining contracts, are in the Caribbean Biological Corridor (CBC). The CBC was formed “as a framework for biodiversity, conservation, environmental rehabilitation and development of livelihood options” and covers Haiti, the western Dominican Republic, and the eastern tip of Cuba. The CBC is one of 25 biodiversity “hotspots”. Although they cover only 1.4% of the earth’s surface, these hotspots have 44% of earth’s plant species and 35% of the world’s vertebrates, according to the CBC. The Condor mountains of Ecuador are also a biodiversity hotspot. Hence we think it fair to say that Wilson and Schultz are either highly ignorant or hate trees, water and animals, as well as Haitians and indigenous peoples. In an earlier version of the Buscore website and elsewhere we find that Schultz was lead geologist for resource estimation programs for Linear Gold’s Campamento (Ixhuatan) deposit in Chiapas. The Zoque people live in this area. They are an indigenous people with a population of only about 86,589. John Ross (2009) in “Chiapas Under Siege by Global Industries” said “As the price of gold has soared, transnational mining is gaining a leg up in the race for Chiapas’ future.” While at the time of this article he estimated that at least 55 permits for mining development had been “granted by state authorities to mostly Canadian speculators in the sierra and highlands of Chiapas”, by 2012 the number of concessions were estimated at 97. As of the end of 2012, according to Gustave Castro, 12 to 15% of the land in the Mexican state of Chiapas was given to mining activities. Ross (2009) further added that “Such transnationals as Linear Gold and Blackfire are decried for widespread deforestation, slave labor wages, and the suppression of workers’ rights at the mining sites.” Linear gold is now Brigus gold, which recently sold its remaining Dominican Republic Mining interests to Everton resources. Although there was a temporary moratorium in Chiapas, subsequent to the assassination of antimining activist, Mariano Abarca Roblero, in 2009, it seems to have been lifted. though we are not certain. Many of the mining concessions are located in the Sierra Madre de Chiapas, a continuation of the Sierra Madre del Sur mountain range, along the Pacific coast. Communities in this area have long had their concerns ignored and interests infringed upon. As we now know, much of the remaining mineral wealth, the world over, seems to be in ecologically sensitive areas. Or perhaps, it is easier for Mining Companies to pick on the poor who live in ecologically sensitive areas. Even flatlander readers of this blog know by now that most mineral resources are in highlands, as are the sources of rivers and streams, meaning that mining impacts not only the highlands but the lowlands. We have read that many or most of the so-called “Mexican” illegal immigrants to the US, are mostly indigenous refugees from mining areas both within Mexico and elsewhere in Latin America, who transit through Mexico. We believe that Jean-Rabel and other Haiti massacres were land-related disputes exacerbated by mining concessions. Chiapas has about 30 per cent of Mexico’s surface water, but it also has much of Mexico’s petroleum reserves. Chiapas is one of the most forested of the states in Mexico, but has the highest rate of deforestation in Mexico. Some have estimated that around ten countries have about 50 to 80% of the earth’s biodiversity and Mexico is one of them. Within Mexico, Chiapas has about one third of the plant species (flora) and 80% of its tropical tree species; about one third of its amphibians and reptiles, 65% of its birds and 55% of the mammals. Both the Condor Mountains in Ecuador and Chiapas fall under the Biodiversity hotspots category, along with Haiti. And, they have high rates of endangered endemic species (which only occur in these places).
Thursday 18 April 2013
Looking at Buscore’s registration in two tax havens gives pause. We cannot see a legitimate reason that Buscore should be registered like this. If Buscore, Schultz and Wilson are Canadian citizens residing in Ecuador, then Canada understands that they must pay taxes in Ecuador. There is no problem of double taxation as occurs between the US and certain countries (e.g. Switzerland). So, why do they need Buscore US Holdings, LLC registered in Miami Florida? Why do they need Buscore Consulting Limited 24 De Castro Street, Akara Building Road Town, Tortola, T BVI 00, (that is Tortola, British Virgin Islands)? We can only guess. They and Buscore are supposedly located in Quito Ecuador. At the “nicest” this appears to be for tax evasion. And, of course, by all means, destroy Ecuador’s environment (Fruta del Norte is one of many projects they are involved with in Ecuador) and then evade taxes! But, why do they need this double layer of being registered in the British Virgin Islands and then having a related US Holding Company? Less “nice” things which we can think of might be money-laundering or perhaps offshore tax havens facilitate paying off politicians? Only they know.
We do not know how long Dale Schultz was associated with Continuum Resources but we know that he was appointed VP exploration for Continuum Resources on 26 July 2007 (And, that by May 15, 2009 he was former VP exploration; by 3 Oct. 2010 – 15 oct 2011 he was President, CEO and QP of Continuum). However, when he took the position he must surely have been aware that Continuum was unwanted in Oaxaca State Mexico. According to Paley (2008), a Continuum Resources promotional piece, in April 2007, stated that “Investors may be aware that political and social tension has lead to incidences of protest and violence in Oaxaca over the past six months.” A few months after Schultz became VP of exploration, in October 2007, the Mexican Federal Environmental Protection Agency (Profepa) ordered Continuum to stop exploitation at Natividad (Capulalpam) Mine due to environmental concerns. However, local people worried that the Continuum would continue exploration work. In November, 2007, the Mexican Federal Environmental Protection Agency (Profepa) stated that, among other violations, Continuum failed to carry out required hydrogeological studies, because Continuum was not given permission from the authorities of Capulalpam to enter onto their land. If they were not allowed access, it is because they did not have the required consent of the community. (See Paley, 2008) In 1990 Mexico ratified the 1989 International Labour Organization’s Convention 169, on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples (Ecuador ratified it in 1998). Article 15 states:
“1. The rights of the peoples concerned to the natural resources pertaining to their lands shall be specially safeguarded. These rights include the right of these peoples to participate in the use, management and conservation of these resources.
2. In cases in which the State retains the ownership of mineral or sub-surface resources or rights to other resources pertaining to lands, governments shall establish or maintain procedures through which they shall consult these peoples, with a view to ascertaining whether and to what degree their interests would be prejudiced, before undertaking or permitting any programmes for the exploration or exploitation of such resources pertaining to their lands. The peoples concerned shall wherever possible participate in the benefits of such activities, and shall receive fair compensation for any damages which they may sustain as a result of such activities.”
Water is of critical concern for past (and current) opponents to mining in the area and in much of Oaxacan State. Drinkable water is increasingly scarce, and mining requires vast quantities of water. Residents are concerned about contamination of water sources and lands by the toxic chemicals used in mining. In late 2007 or early 2008, local residents alleged that over the last few years (which would include some of Dale Schultz’ watch as VP of exploration) 13 streams totally disappeared, because of Continuum’s exploration activities. Mexico’s National Water Commission (Conagua) confirmed that Continuum Resources captured underground water, during their activities, which resulted in the disappearance of springs. Continuum claimed that they did not cause the disappearance of the springs. Furthermore, community springs were so polluted by the chemicals used to process ore that livestock died from drinking the water. (See especially Paley (2008) as well as Treat (2012).
In the context of Continuum’s failure to carry out required hydrogeological studies in Mexico, we find it interesting that Dale Schultz’ company Buscore also seemingly failed to carry out promised “initial environmental baseline studies for subsurface and surface groundwater, noise and dust levels, and year-round weather conditions” for the SOMINE project, which they were to have done, according to Majescor’s 24 May 2011 News Release.
Surely illustrative of Schultz’ attitude is his 2009 Technical Report for the Lachiguiri Project in Oaxaca State, at the time owned by ARCO, but in 2007 still owned by Continuum: “Hydraulically, this project can be well-serviced for either drilling or mining. In addition to the Tehuantepec River…the project could also be serviced from the nearby Benito Juarez Reservoir” p. 33. That is what water is for to him to “service” the drilling and mining, not for people or animals to drink, nor for trees or agriculture. By the time we discuss some of his other mining activities tomorrow, it will appear evident that either he never attended any chemistry classes (surely required in his schooling) or else he hates all life, even his own, so this attitude toward water should not surprise us.
Continuum Resources shares were bought out by Fortuna Silver in March of 2009, after which Continuum became a subsidiary of Fortuna. How long it continued as Continuum and in what context is unclear. We do know that in the period between Oct. 3, 2010 and Oct. 15 2011, on the Buscore net site, archived in the wayback machine, that Dales Schultz was listed as former VP exploration and current active President, CEO and QP for Continuum. There is no archive between Oct. 2011 and the present. So, we really do not know if he or Continuum were still involved on the ground with Fortuna Silver when anti-mining activists were assassinated in March 2012 (note that the Trinidad/Cuzcatlán Mine in SanJosé del Progreso, “San Jose mine” had been a joint venture between Fortuna and Continuum until 2009 when Continuum became a subsidiary of Fortuna).
Friday 19 April 2013
For awhile now we have focused on Buscore and on Canadian Dale Schultz’s employment. He has been associated in some way with a laundry list of additional companies, which we will review quickly today. This list is not necessarily exhaustive. If we discuss all in detail we will be discussing him another week or two. Our readers may want to follow up on some of these leads, however. As Susan George said in her 1976 book “How the Other Half Dies”: “Study the rich and powerful and not the poor and powerless….not nearly enough work is being done on those who hold the power and pull the strings”. This idea follows in the tradition of C. Wright Mills’ Power Elite (1956). Although Schultz and many of the other players in Haiti hardly seem rich and powerful in global context, they certainly are when compared to the Haitian peasants and indigenous peoples of Latin America. Most seem well-off even by standards of wealthier countries. We postpone, until tomorrow, the most damning aspect of all in Schultz’ employment history, which is his work as Qualified Person (QP) for Solex Resources Pilunani/Macusani Projects in Peru.
One of Schultz’ early jobs seems to have been working for Price Waterhouse Coopers and IBM, where he was employed as a G.I.S.-Database consultant developing software applications for the Petroleum industry in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. What’s the deal with Price Waterhouse Coopers? Angelo Viard of VCS Mining used to work for them. Also, the Mayor, Peter Binz, of the Val Medel in Switzerland, who tried to shove a gold mine down the throats of the inhabitants of that pristine valley, works as an executive with Price Waterhouse Coopers in Zurich. In a grassroots referendum, characteristic of this early democracy (1291 CE/AD), the inhabitants of Val Medel rejected the mine last year. However, the Mayor has vowed not to give up. Sound familiar? Faced with democracy he will fight it! But, at least the people of the Val Medel got the opportunity to vote to preserve their pristine environment and their culture, including the endangered Raeto-romansh language, unlike the Haitians impacted by potential mines; unlike the Latin Americans impacted by mines. Maybe Val Medel will vote for a new mayor as well.
According to the Buscore web site, Schultz worked for Echo Bay, Noranda, Claude Resources, Helmo Gold, Battle Mountain, and Kinross.
It is mentioned in an earlier version of the web site that he worked with Mincon International, when working at the Bonza Penas deposit in Ecuador and at the Campamento deposit in Chiapas, Mexico. He has been the Qualified Person (QP) for the Channel Resources El Mozo Project, and Avalanche Networks “E” project in Northern Ecuador. He was founder and former Exploration Manager and Director of Atlas Minerals Inc.
El Mozo is located in Azuay province, Ecuador. While Buscore calls it central Ecuador, it is actually south. In 2006 about 13% of Azuay was mineral concessions. El Mozo was a potential gold mine in 2007, but Channel was also exploring uranium in Quebec and had gold mine concession in Burkina Faso. Currently they seem to only have retained the Burkina Faso concession. They are worth three cents like Majescor. We do not know the current status of El Mozo.
In Sept. 2007, Avalanche Networks Corp. entered a “Change of Business” and became Avalanche Minerals. They had an option to purchase a group of mining concessions E1 to E 18, “Project E”, located in the Province of Pinchincha, Ecuador, from Carlos Arias of Quito, Ecuador. We do not know the status of Project E.
September 19, 2007, while Schultz was VP of Exploration, and QP, Continuum was actively exploring 11 separate gold-silver projects in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico where they had acquired approximately 200,000 hectares. Continuum was still 24% joint venture partner with Fortuna Silver Mines Inc. San Jose silver project, on which drilling was continuing.
Schultz was appointed to the Board of Oromonte on March 2, 2007 and at the time he was active QP for Solex Resources Pilunani/Macusani. Less than a year later, December 30, 2007, he resigned, supposedly to better focus his efforts in 2008 on Continuum Resources.
He is also associated with Canminx and Frank Hrdy who is President and Director (yep that is the Czech surname “Hrdy” and not Hardy). On the Canmix web site Frank Hrdy says that he worked in Haiti. And, the June 21, 2012 Majescor News Release says that the 3D modelling of Douvray copper used Gemcom’s Surpac™ resource modeling software licensed to CanMinX Enterprises Ltd.
Schultz is a founder and was Exploration Manager and Director for Atlas Minerals Inc. We do not know his current association with it.
In 2009, Atlas Minerals sold the Tres Chorreras Project, Azuay Province, Ecuador to arm’s length purchasers in Quito, Ecuador. One Atlas Minerals, we do not know if it is the same one which Dale Schultz helped to found or not, was previously called Atlas Corporation and “shrugged off its name and bankruptcy” and “owns properties in Nevada and Arizona….In 1999 the company signed an agreement releasing it from all liability from pollution at its weapons-grade uranium mill in Utah by transferring some assets to a trust controlled by the US government. The company changed its name and emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2000. Chairman and CEO Roy Shipes owns 20% of Atlas Minerals.” http://biz.yahoo.com/ic/10/10143.html
Whether it is the same or not, it certainly illustrates the ability of mining companies to avoid responsibility, even in so-called “developed” countries like the US, by declaring bankruptcy.
Saturday, 20 april 2013
Margaret Thatcher, Dale Schultz, and Alpaca Genocide
(NB: this is the Canadian geologist Dale Schultz and
not the US politician).
No, this isn’t a joke and it is a strange coincidence to find such information so close to her funeral. According to various mining articles and to Peter Hooper of Macusani Yellowcake, when interviewd by “Midas Letter” on June 13, 2012, Margaret Thatcher “persuaded the British Geological Survey to fly Peru and half of Chile for airborne geophysics including radiometrics in 1980 and ‘81…Out of that came hundreds of airborne anomalies and one of the biggest anomalies, it’s right where we are.” Although we have not found documentation which supports this claim, we see no reason that he would have fabricated this almost a year before her death. Additionally, we have read that she pushed for uranium mining in Orkney, Scotland. This was opposed and defeated and would have been a diaster for Orkney’s fishing, dairy farming and tourism. There was, nonetheless, some evidence of uranium in Peru and Orkney before her tenure as Prime Minister. There is official documented evidence of her support of uranium mining by Rio Tinto in Namibia. One would think that as a research chemist she would have known better. However, perhaps she did not have biological sciences,and when she would have been a student, not as much was known about radiation or genetics. When Thatcher was young xrays were used to measure feet to fit shoes. Nevertheless, Karen Silkwood credited her high school chemistry class for helping her to understand what was going on at Kerr-McGee’s plutonium fuels production plant
Dale Schultz, whose work for Majescor we have discussed at length, was the Qualifed Person for Solex Resources Pilunani/Macusani Projects when Solex was the largest owner of the Macusani Uranium Concessions. Solex became Southern Andes Energy, Inc. in May 2010, and Southern Andes merged with Macusani Yellowcake in early (Feb 3 to April 13) 2012. The merged company holds over 900 km2 (90,000 ha) or over 222,395 acres, of land in south-eastern Peru, making Macusani the dominant landholder in the region. Very worrisome is that in the interview, Hooper says that uranium mining is treated as a base metal with no special rules. Furthermore, in the interview, Hooper explains that the uranium mining is for export, most likely to the China, Korea or Japan. Pilunani, by the way, is a lead, zinc prospect in Peru. Surely we don’t need to explain the dangers of lead poisoning, which would come with the Pilunani mine. Schultz is much younger than Thatcher so what is his excuse? It is hard to imagine that he could receive a university degree in science (BS) without studying chemistry. Did he miss biology perhaps? We have been inclined to believe that he hates all life, even his own, to be involved in uranium exploration. But, since he studied at the University of Saskatchewan and Saskatchewan has the largest uranium mine in the world, perhaps his education was slanted.
The Macusani area is homeland to indigenous peoples, alpacas and alpaca farming. The wool is an export product. The proposed mines are open pit and heap leach which means that dust will not only poison the people and alpacas, but the wool for export will be contaminated. Additionally both dust and heap leach assure that the waterways and ultimately the Amazon River will be polluted. There are other examples of the impacts of dust from open pit uranium mines, in the Black Hills of South Dakota and among the Navajo, which merit discussion. The involvement of more than one expert on uranium mining in Haiti, raises questions, as well.
REFERENCES AND FURTHER READING BELOW FOOTNOTES
Continued Sunday, April 21 as a New Post: All of these things will be discussed over however many posts it takes (probably one to three). Sometime this coming week, we will open a Part II of the Drill Bit Screwup post. There are no Monday posts.
(This was the continuation of “Those Crazy Mixed Up Mining Conventions, Part II”. We are still deciding if we will continue that post or if we will continue within other posts, i.e. this one, 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.)
NB: We have generally left Majescor’s g/t instead of writing out grams per tonne because we are not 100% certain that they mean tonne and not ton, since they wrote oz per ton in at least one spot. According to our calculations, when they wrote oz per ton they were using the US ton. Since Canada uses the metric system they must surely mean metric ton or tonne when working with grams].
(1) Those who want to waste money gambling on Majescor or other Penney Stocks, think of this – Casinos are more interesting and have food! You don’t even have to gamble, in fact it is better not — just eat and then walk around. Better yet, support Native Americans by going to Native American-owed casinos and eat the excellent food there.
If you plan correctly you may be able to catch traditional festivities, while you are there (e.g. the Mississippi Choctaw Indian Fair (Corn Festival). There may be museums and giftshops.
We haven’t investigated the odds of winning at a casino versus Penney Stocks. But, the odds of making money in Penney Stocks appear virtually nil, if Majescor and St. Genevieve are typical examples. They are a way of farming out risk. The small companies are to take the risk and then either they go bankrupt and/or the big mining companies move in.
REFERENCES AND FURTHER READING
Native American Casino List
Majescor: News articles and ODM report
Paul Michna, Earth Science Australia, “Diamond Drilling”
Lab Quality Management Services, P/L “Unrealistic Expectations of Assay Results”.
Zaitchik, Alexander (10 Feb. 2013). “To get the gold, they will have to kill everyone of us”. Salon .com
The Incredible Condor
Ross, John (2009). “Chiapas Under Siege by Global Industries”.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/apr/03/offshore-secrets-offshore-tax-haven (Please beware that while this is the link for the guardian newspaper in the UK, it is occasionally hijacked by an inappropriate link).
Paley, Dawn, Jan. 18, 2008. “Canada’s Mining Continuum
Resources, Community Resistance and ‘Development’ in Oaxaca”. Dominion Paper. http://www.dominionpaper.ca/articles/1632
Treat, Jonathan “Bullets and Blood: The High Price of Anti-Mining Resistance in San José del Progreso, Mexico” 2012-06-26 http://www.mexicominingcenter.com/web/ver.php?artids=2499&categoria=5
Treat, Jonathan. March 31, 2012. “Mexico: Blood for Silver, Blood for Gold” http://upsidedownworld.org/main/mexico-archives-79/3545-mexico-blood-for-silver-blood-for-gold
Davies, Nancy. “Local Oaxaca Priest Backs Auto Determination and Defense of Environment, Commentary from Oaxaca” April 19, 2009 http://www.narconews.com/Issue57/article3501.html
Interview with Peter Hooper
“Yellow Cake’: The Facts behind the Icing” by Archie Bevan