You and I do not know one another but I thought I should take a few minutes and respond to the recent communication and comments you have made regarding Curis and our decision to launch legal action against the poster “Ering” who has been recently commenting on us on Stockhouse. I serve as the CEO of Curis and was responsible for taking the company public in 2010 and guiding the development of the company over the past 2 +years.
I do not normally engage in blog chatter because I don’t have the time and do not see it creating much in the way of shareholder value which, of course, is what I am paid to do.
So you are clear on our motivations to take “ErinG” to task in this action, I would like to provide the following context for you. Hopefully you will take the time to read this.
Curis, still a private company at the time, purchased the Florence Copper property in December of 2009. I took over as President of the company in March of 2010.
One of my first activities as the new President was to travel to the site, meet with local stakeholders and to get a sense and appreciation of the setting we were going to be operating in. My early conversations with the Town of Florence and our neighbors to the project were very positive and supportive. It was on this basis that we started to move forward with planning, permitting and early development of our project.
In May of 2010, 4, 000 + acres of land around us was sold to an investment group from San Diego and New York.
It was shortly after this land neighboring us changed hands that the tenor within the area began to change.
I will not bore you with all the details but since then, several well financed corporate interests have launched an intense and well-funded public relations campaign against our company and the project. Their apparent reason for opposing the project: they believe our development would impact their ability to build residential homes on their neighboring property. I might point out that building new homes in central Arizona, when foreclosures rather than building permits are the norm, is not really a viable proposal according to most commentators today. We believe there is no basis for their claims that our project would in any way harm property values and in fact all of our independent assessment work, the work of the regulatory agencies and others confirm the project is safe, would both provide significant new taxes, jobs and revenue to the area and actually attract new residents to the community and thus support the housing market.
The campaign launched by these interests has led to a lot of misinformation and misunderstandings locally and in the investment community.
LINK TO ERING:Now as a long time commentator and professional who is knowledgeable of the mining industry and junior public companies you will know that many opponents of our industry, be it NGO’s, or competing corporate or private interests, have figured out that one the vulnerabilities of public companies is misinformation leading to misperceptions of events or facts in the public market place. And, for some, one of the ways in which groups have acted to negatively impact share price is to go on the blogs and sites like Stockhouse and spread misinformation. This can create confusion with investors and can negatively impact share price.
In referring to the tactics of Curis targeting its bashers….I would ask you this:
- If you believed your own company was under attack by interests who are benefitting from spreading misinformation would you want to do something about it?
We do not know who ErinG is, but through this recent legal action we will hopefully be able to find out.
- Further, if these attacks were being launched using pseudonyms and/or through third parties so they could not held accountable would you want to know who was in behind it?
Since launching this action, there have been even more anonymous posters on Stockhouse saying all sorts of things about us. Indeed, this has been going on for the last year. We ignore most of them and do not complain to anyone about it. However, when something is posted that is as egregious as what ErinG was saying we felt we had to act.
In the case we are pursuing, ErinG stated that our permit applications had been rejected when in reality we expect to receive our State and federal permits soon and any suggestions that they had been rejected are false and misleading. In cases like this, we felt we had to act to protect our interests and, ultimately, our shareholders. You may disagree with this approach and I am sure others will as well. However, with what information we had in front of us at the time, we felt it was necessary.
We will manage our opponents going forward through whatever means we can and have always tried to take the high road in our dealings with the public. We did not seek adversaries here but in the end you have to deal with the cards you are dealt as best you can. The company is now full financed for the first phase of development, our permits will hopefully be in hand in the very near term and we are advancing the project forward despite very weak public markets. Ultimately we will be judged by our ability to execute this development in a timely manner and hopefully this “noise” will soon become a memory.
In being such a vocal critic of Curis, without taking the time to understand the context of this case and why we have taken the action we have, I believe you are only helping those who stand to gain from using this electronic medium to do harm to public companies in our sector and, ultimately, shareholders.
Respectfully,Michael McPhiePresident and CEO
Curis Resources Ltd.