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3/12/12

Never invest in AuRico Gold (AUQ) (ex-Gammon Gold)

This from IKN149, out yesterday. It speaks for itself.

Mexico: A death in a mine
Mining is a dangerous business, that’s a given. The job of the modern mining company is to reduce danger as much as it can through best practices etc, but its responsibility to the mining community continues after any fatal accidents occur.

Such accidents are lamentable but, even at the best mines and under the most responsible of companies in the world, they are sadly bound to happen.If they do, the good mining companies will tell the world immediately, inform on the circumstances to its shareholders (the serious mining companies are almost always public quoted companies these days) and to the general public and not try to sweep things under the carpet for fear of negative repercussions.

Just another reason why it’s tough to take AuRico (AUQ), ex-Gammon Gold, seriously as a mining company. Add last week’s events to the mix of bad production results, long-term under-achievement on revenues labour strikes and community strife at the company, ladies and gentlemen readers. On Tuesday March 6th José Alfredo Flores Flores, 29 years old, was killed by underground rockfall at the AuRico Ocampo mine in Mexico. The accident occurred as Flores was collecting samples in a disused shaft area of the complex. The two people accompanying him were also injured, one with serious head injuries. The body of Flores has not yet been recovered from the accident zone because the company says that the rock in the zone is still unstable and it’s too risky to go there for a while (16). None of this has been reported by AuRico, not by the company (17) to its shareholders, not to the press and the only way that your author knows about it is that he can read Spanish and makes a point of watching for news on mining companies in the LatAm region. Even worse, AUQ did put out a NR after the incident that made no mention at all to the Ocampo fatality but preferred to give shareholders the warm and fuzzy about its development at the Young-Davidson property.

Let’s be clear here: If a fatality happens at a mine owned by Newmont, Barrick, Gold Fields, or any other world-class mining company you care to mention, the company will have the moral fibre needed to tell the world about its misfortune. The best juniors, the ones in which I look to as potential and actual investments, are the ones that will do things the way the big boys do.  Are you seriously expecting me to invest my money in a company like AUQ that can’t even show the most basic and common decency to its workforce? The management style of the 20th  century has to remain in the past and the idiots that insist on continuing its style, such as the idiots that run AUQ, need to be first called out and then put out to grass as they have no place in the mining industry of the future.