Monday, August 15, 2016

How to break bad news...

What happens if you are a mining company (I use this term loosely) and you loose your only producing mine, do you:
  1. Inform your shareholders and the exchange where you are listed that you are having issues and request a trading halt
  2. Don't say anything
If you went for (2) then you will love this gem from Aurcana informing the world that they lost their only producing mine, La Negra to Orion Mine Finance.

How did they show this

The PR from the January 5th, 2015 (link) had this at the end:

About Aurcana Corporation
Aurcana Corporation is a primary silver producing company with two properties: the La Negra Mine in Mexico and the Shafter Silver Project in Texas, US. The latter was put on care and maintenance in December 2013, in part due to depressed silver prices.

and from the PR dated 7th Jan - yes, 48 hours later (link), the about section was:
About Aurcana Corporation
Aurcana Corporation owns the Shafter Silver Project in Texas, US. The Shafter Silver Project was put on care and maintenance in December 2013, in part due to depressed silver prices.

They were so transparent about announcing the bad news I had to call them up to confirm that they were no longer operating (or owning) the La Negra mine.

Can we call that burying some bad news.

I'm learning some really good tricks here.....

You may be wondering why I'm putting out this post - and it is basically a quick ask for help, but I'm building up a database (that will be in future post) of the lowest grade mines in the world to basically give you a guide to quickly see how the resources for your favorite project compare against operating mines.

I'm not sure if I should include La Negra as the mine is closed.

This is what I have so far:

Gold Silver - Open Pit
  • Rochester Mine, NV - Coeur Mines - 0.093 g/t Au, 16.5 g/t Ag

Copper - Open Pit
  • Aitik, Sweden, Boliden Mines - 0.15 g/t Au, 1.3 g/t AG, 0.23 % Cu
  • Sierrita, AZ, USA - Freeport - 0.24% Cu,1.4 g/ Ag, 0.03% Mo

Base Metal
  • La Negra, Mexico, Aurcana - 55 g/t Ag, 0.24% Pb, 0.98% Zn - closed, lost to Orion Mine Finance
  • San Jose, Mexico, Arian Silver - 119 g/t Ag, 0.38% Pb, 0.85% Zn - closed, lost to Quintana Resources
If you can help and send me info on crap mines (that are currently operating) that would be greatly appreciated.

I know that mining depends not just on grade, but also costs and recovery rates. For the post I just want to keep it simple.


  1. The 'hide the weinnie' is as old as mining and the promotion thereof methinks. I followed Aurcana years ago and stuck it in the massive large 'also ran' category. High costs and low grade = Pfffft.

    As far burying drill results go, well. Whenever results are disclosing in 'notes' to the annual financials, forget a NR or quarterly report, a body best take a hike and as quickly as possible.

    Arseyhole crooks will claim 'materiality' every time ... i.e. if they are blanks they ain't 'material'

    1. The past CEO / president of Aurcana Lenic Rodriguez was the main reason La Negra was lost

      What company could survive after the major class action lawsuit brought on by Rodriguez for over inflated numbers of production.
      Rodriguez clearly was only interested in filling his own pockets..

    2. Unfortunately, that seems to be very common in mining companies

  2. For your database, getting a spread of different jurisdictions would be important. I don't think Rochester would be successful anywhere outside Nevada.

    Some possible additions:

    Goldex, Qc, Canada (Agnico-Eagle) as one of the lowest grade Au underground block caving mine.

    Gibraltar, BC, Canada (Taseko?) as one of the lowest grade open pit Cu mine in Canada.

    Bald Mountain (formerly Barrick but sold) NV, USA, low grade Au open pit

    Maricunga, Chile, (Kinross). Low grade Au open pit in Chile.

    Paracatu, Brazil, (Kinross). Low grade Au open pit in Brazil.

    The size component is obviously important, so you should probably divide them in small, big, giant operating mines as well.

    Enjoy your blog, keep up the good work!

    1. Hello Simon,

      That is the plan to try and split it by commodity, type, location and scale.

      I'll also put a disclaimer that a lot of very low grade mines have been long lived and started at smaller scales on the higher grades parts of a deposit. For some I'll try and get production figures not just reported resources.

      Thanks for the suggestions