Saturday, July 7, 2012


A recent survey conducted in Australia shows that although their mining sector is enjoying a boom, services

sector is in an opposite condition. Most of the contraction was caused by a decline in new orders among the various players in the services sector while sales and prices also fell.

Just 2 out of 9 sub-sectors (namely, personal and recreational services and finance and insurance) included in the survey has grown during the month. The increased activity in the mining sector is not positively affecting the remaining sectors of the local market.

The chief executive of the Australian Industry Group (AI Group) said that the contraction in the services industry just shows how narrow is its base of development in the broad market.

Several stability in financial states abroad in a period of few months will be favorable for allowing consumer and business confidence to improve, resulting in a gradual increase in spending.

More than half of the world’s mining acquisitions in 2011 has involved projects located in US, Australia and

Canada. Other buyers include China, India, Russia and Brazil, all of which increased their acquisitions by 42% since 2006.

In terms of gold, the average deal is valued at USD 41 million where a premium is almost 50%. Propelling the lucrative market is Australia with 15%, United States with 14% and Canada with 49%.

Considering the bigger picture of the industry, PwC seems to be expecting that this year will see record M&A valuations and volumes in the mining sector worldwide.

According to the company, sovereign wealth funds tend to have more advantage in winning transactions because of their low cost of capital.

PwC is assuming that non-miners like sovereign wealth funds, large pension funds and private equity might reassess their approach to the industry and begin to participate more in M&A.


Haiti’s copper and silver reserves in its hills are now up for an extensive exploitation by a Canadian corporation that has reportedly damaged the neighboring Dominican Republic.

Once this mining plan is authorized while Haiti is under foreign occupation, it could practically leave the country without its ecological, cultural and mineral wealth.

Moreover, concerns surrounding the mining venture have been raised as the operation calls for the construction of a deep-water port in the northeastern part of the country, posing a significant

threat to their marine ecosystem.

The biggest water reservoir that is near the mining operations is at constant risk of cyanide contamination, adding to the reports that the firm has been previously accused of destroying Indian

archeological sites by using dynamites on mountain sand.

Geologists of the United Nations have documented significant pockets of copper and gold in 1970s but at that time, foreigners were not willing to risk their money in an unstable and corrupt


Surprisingly, it was not after the 2010 earthquake that outside investment was encouraged and investors discovered a good opportunity. In fact, just 2 weeks after the catastrophe, a Canadian

exploration company purchased all the stocks of the only Haitian company which has full permits in exchange for an area of land, practically appearing as a scam.

Three companies are already considering prospects of mining in Haiti but at present, only Somine has complete concessions to bring the metals out of the area.

The said permits for 31 square miles were negotiated in 1996 during the presidency of Rene Preval and which required the company to hire Haitians.

According to the parties interested in the mining prospects:

“What we’re most excited about is that we found some silver which was never really realized before. It’s the first silver discovery in Haiti. Part of the reason why it was never really discovered

was that historically there was so much copper prevalent — there’s a lot of outcropping at surface. The people who did the work before did not do much testing, even for gold. The geology is a

little complex for a copper porphyry, but in a good way. The surprises that we’re getting are all good ones.”

At the end of the day, if Haiti could have a good administration and honest mining companies, it is still possible for it to move forward, said Black Hawk Mining Bulletin Articles