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12/5/08

Petaquilla Minerals: "Oops, we forgot to tell you that we're a bunch of lying shits"

Petaquilla at Molejon...a real disaster area run by real disasters
(click to enlarge)

Ever since this Petaquilla Minerals (PTQ.to) press release came out last week I've been trying to write this post. The most excellent Bananama Republic blog and I compared notes on the subject last weekend and it's been itching at me all week. I think the mental block was caused by the press release itself, as it's so amazingly and totally full of shit that it takes my breath away. So here's a paste of the whole PR and my comments interspersed:

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(MARKET WIRE)--Nov 28, 2008 -- Richard Fifer, President and CEO of Petaquilla Minerals Ltd., today announced that the wet commissioning of the gold production facility at the Company's 100% owned Molejon gold deposit in central Panama has begun.

For those who don't know, "wet commissioning" is fancy minespeak for "test run" when at least part of the production circuit involves liquids. In the case of PTQ.to the company is using Carbon In Pulp (CIP) extraction technique that requires a tank full of cyanide solution.

The ball mills and other critical equipment are now being tested prior to the commencement of production. The first gold pour has been scheduled for the latter half of December 2008.

PTQ can schedule all it likes, cos this mine isn't going to produce anything for the moment. Bet your last penny that the comapny will announce some sort of hitch or delay to the process soon

The Company also reports that the National Authority of the Environment (ANAM) on November 26, 2008, issued Resolution DIEORA IA-809-2008, which approves the Environmental Impact Study Category III, submitted by Petaquilla Gold, S.A., for the implementation of the Molejon Mining Project and adds other measures mandated by the ANAM.

"Adds other measures". You note that innocent little phrase at the end of a paragraph that trumpets the approval of the company EIS? Well, in fact those other measures are nothing less than 40 (forty) different measures that ANAM has ordered to comply with, being covered by five separate environmental impact studies or addenda to the sole peice of approved EIA paper held by the company.

Get this clear as a bell; PTQ.to has spent three years getting one EIA study partially approved by ANAM, but before it is allowed to go into production it needs the gov't of Panama to sign off on another five documents that contain a total of 40 rules and regulations with which it must comply. The measures required by ANAM aren't small observations, either. We're not talking relocation of waste paper baskets here, we're talking about things like PTQ hasn't said how or where they're going to dump tailings. Y´know....minutae like that. And the company wants the investing public to think it's a gold producer as of December 2008. These people are liars.

The next step in the preproduction process is the electro-mechanical operation of the plant which is scheduled for early December.

Errr...no. The next step is getting your mine to comply with the mandates set out by ANAM. If you don't there's no "next step". Ever

The Company will update shareholders on a regular basis as the full commissioning date approaches.

Don't hold your breath, shareholders. Full commissioning date is likely to be "never". This is because of a couple of other "small details" that people like the odious Fifer kinda forget to tell people. For example, Fifer is under charges of embezzlement in Panama. Y´know, minor details like that. Fifer is also pally pals with Panama's President Torrijos, whose mandate finishes once the March 2009 elections are done. A surefire issue in this election campaign will be environmental issues, and Petaquilla is certain to be held up as an example of how not to build a mine. Any new admin is likely to ride the overwhelming local opposition to the PTQ operation in order to get into office. Politically, time is running out for the scam artist Fifer.

How bad is the PTQ enviro record? Very bad. Just last month the same ANAM environment office that partially approved the PTQ impact study slapped a fine on the company to the tune of U$1,934,694........ and thirty-four cents. The reasons for this fine include the non-submission of an EIA before starting site construction, damage to the ecosystem, soil erosion (check the photo above), loss of biodiversity and contamination of local water supply.

Now I found it kinda strange when ANAM approved the EIA study just a week after slapping that $1.9m fine on PTQ's tush. So being the stickler for details that I am I shot a mail to a certain Natalia Young, who's the national director for envronmental quality in Panama. Here's what she wrote back to me (translated by yours truly)

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

The process of administrative investigation that sanctioned the company Petaquilla (Minerals) with a fine of U$1,934,694.34 and ordered the suspension of activities until all environmental impact studies are approved by permits and authorizations controlled by ANAM is independent of the evaluation processes of these measures of environmental governance. It would be imposing a double sanction if we were not to evaluate them or even reject them.

In reply to your query, the Category III environmental impact study establishes requirements that the company must submit for evaluation and approval before the start of any works and before the start of operations. The company must also present additional environmental impact studies for activities that were not approved in the Category III

This means that, even though it has ANAM approval for the Category III study, the company cannot continue its activities until it completes the additional requirements.

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Or in other words, Richard Fifer is lyng through his teeth and using neat and sly tricks of semantics in company press releases to make it sound like his company has enviro approvals. He's casting out an illusion that PTQ.to goes operational in December when the truth is that the company is nowhere near the point when its government will allow it to produce its gold. This because it's run by a bunch of corrupt assholes who belong in jail and couldn't build a sandcastle, let alone a mine. But since when has that mattered to companies listed on the TSXV?

Meanwhile, another criminal with no record (as yet) is shamelessly pumping the stock to the local Panamanian ex-pat community. Don Winner is a sleazy lowlife that runs the website "Panama guide". Well known for his penchant of being in cahoots with any local sleazeball that'll throw him a few bucks, Winner is trying to get the English-speaking community to buy this PoS stock. So hopefully this post will get through to the innocent lambs before they are parted from their moolah. Don't touch PTQ.to with a bargepole, people.

PTQ announces it's going into production and the share price drops...yeah right.
Check Canadian Insider and you'll see
how
CEO Fifer is propping his own stock, too