Ascendant’s Unbelievable 2007 Year-end Reports
Yes, it’s that time of year again!! Ascendant just published it’s 2007 Financial and Management and Discussion Analysis reports, and here are some of the more interesting information contained in the reports and what they “forgot” to include.
The documents avoid mentioning important events that could profoundly affect Ascendant’s future in Ecuador, which transpired during the past 12 months, and makes the following incorrect claims:
a) It says nothing of the fact the government legally annulled the company’s main concessions in Ecuador; its Golden 1 and Golden 2 concessions. The reports state that the company received a government communication that purports to annul said concessions, but in fact, the annulment is legal and is in full effect. In spite of the loss of the concessions, the company continues to list the ex-properties as currently owned. The loss of the concessions clearly constitutes a material event which was not reported.
b) The company’s purposely avoids mentioning that in October of 2007, the government, through it’s National Institute for Agricultural Development (Spanish acronym: INDA ), annulled the ownership rights to 17 of the company’s properties in the Junin area. The company had purchased these properties, as it has maintained in the past, to access its Junin mining concessions. Loss of the properties puts the future development of the Junin project at risks.
c) The company fails to disclose that in late 2006 its Environmental Impact Study was rejected by Ministry of Mines and Petroleum officials. It misinforms the public by stating that it is in the process of responding to observations made to the study. There is huge difference between making observations to an EIA, and having it outright rejected on technical and legal grounds by government officials.
d) The company is still maintaining that it owns the challenged inferred mineral deposits in its Golden 1 and Golden 2 Junin concessions, even though:
i. It no longer owns the concessions
ii. Micon International affirmed in 2007 it could no longer verify its earlier, and inflated, estimates due to damage, loss and or theft of original core samples.
As you recall, in 2005 CEDA challenged the legality of MICON’s work in establishing the inferred mineral content of the company’s Junin deposit.
e) As in previous years, the company claims to have incurred exploration costs on its Junin mining concessions. For 2007, it claims to have incurred 1,9 million dollars in such costs. Yet, the last year any exploration activity was carried out in the Junin area was in 1996. Furthermore, and as the company itself admits in the reports, the company has been unable to get it’s Environmental Impacts Study for exploration approved. It is illegal to undertake any mining activities in Ecuador without approval of Environmental studies. The misleading information published by the company could give investors a false idea that the company is engaged in exploration activities in the Junin concessions when nothing could be further from the truth.
f) There are several business transactions between ex-company directors and the present board involving hundreds of thousands of dollars (see Telimbela and Magdalena properties, pages 13-14 Consolidated Financial Statements). In light of the uncertainties surrounding the future of mining in Ecuador resulting from the change in government and the fact that Ascendant already has lost the title to several mining concessions, plus the government’s widely publicized plans to re-write the mining legislation and to pass a mining mandate that would annul thousands of mining concessions, some of these dealings are highly suspect.
g) Losses. 2007 was a record year for Ascendant. The company lost $10.4 million in the past 12 months, and claim to having spent $ 5.6 million of that on exploration; about 50% more than in 2006. As the company was busy losing money, properties and whole concessions, the wages and benefits, nonetheless, increased from $1 million to $1.7 million.
Los increibles informes de Ascendant para el 2007
Ascendant acaba de publicar sus informes gerencial y economicos del anio 2007. Entre las cosas mas destacable que alegan, es la siguiente:
El informe alega u omite la siguiente informacion:
a) No menciona la revocatoria de la Golden 1 y Golden 2 (alegan que el oficio del gobierno pretende, o alega, revocar las concesiones)
b) Debido a varias ilegalidades, el Instituto Nacional de Desarrollo Agricola anulo 17 titulos de propiedades de Ascendant en 2007. Sin embargo, los informes no lo mencionan. En anteriores ocasiones, la empresa habia dicho que habia adquirido dichas propiedades para acceder a sus concesiones.
c) La empresa sigue insistiendo que es propietaria de las concesiones Golden 1 y Golden 2
d) Todavia usan el exagerado calculo del yacimiento de cobre hecho por Micon Internacional en el 2005 (4X mas alto de que los japoneses encontraron). En el 2007 Micon alego publicamente no poder confirmar su calculo debido a danios a las muestras geologicas!!
e) En vez de decir que el gobierno le rechazo el Estudio de Impacto Ambiental, dice que la empresa se encuentra “estudiando” las observaciones hechas a dicho estudio.
f) y alegan que la decision de suspender sus actividades (en sept) fue decision de la empresa
g) Perdidas. Ascendant rompio records en el 2007. La empresa perdio $10.4 millones durante los ultimos 12 meses, y alega haber gastado $ 5.6 en exploracion; aproximadamente 50% mas que en el 2006. A la vez que la empresa estaba perdiendo plata, propiedades, y concesiones, los salarios y beneficios, sin embargo, incrementaron de $1 millon, a $1.7 millones.