The news these past few months has been extremely exciting to all those who value the clean pristine nature of the BC North Coast. As gold prices soared up past $1800/oz the entire territory of the Gitxsan, Tsimshian, Tahltan, Tlingit and Nisga’a came under direct threat and attack. Many self proclaimed Indigenous chiefs and leaders began accepting vast quantities of money to allow the resource companies and their exploration contractors free uninhibited access. This could all be coming to an end.
Some of the most disturbing activities involved the gold mining plans of Imperial Metals Red Chris Project and Seabridge’s gold interest north of Stewart. Both directly threaten major salmon producing rivers.
Seabridge plans to direct their open pit mining materials to tailings ponds at the headwaters of the Nass River system. These tailings would include; Cyanide (added to separate gold from the other materials) and Arsenic (naturally occurring with gold). They plan to drill a tunnel a couple dozen kilometers long to take the material from a non- Salmon bearing system to a healthy fully alive system. To be fair Seabridge openly admits they do not have the capital to proceed but are preparing all the regulatory approvals for a major mining company to take the project over such as Teck-Cominco did with Nova Gold at Galore Creek.
Pretium Resources, also north of Stewart in Gitxsan Territory, intends an underground mine but maintains their waste will not impact any salmon habitat. The Red Chris Project south east of Iskut in Tahltan territory will directly impact the Stikine River system.
During interviews with representatives of each of these entitles the price range of $1300 per ounce has been suggested as the price point where their project becomes questionable. Today the price of gold sits right at this point and has fallen substantially below $1300 to just above $1200 a couple times during the past few months. This has greatly impacted the share value of these mining projects, in some cases halving their values.
Seabridge Gold had a high share value over the past year of $20.33 and fell to only $8.23 at the end of June and closed Friday, August 2, at $12.27
Pretium went from a 52 week high share price of $15.77 to just $5.33 and has slightly rebounded to close at close to $8.50 yesterday.
Imperial Metals was slightly more stable as it is far more diversified yet it too fell from a yearly high of almost $14.95 to $8.39 and traded at $10.33 on Fridays close.
Imperial Metals Red Chris Project is being supported with Lines of Credit by their bankers and a private financer and backer, Murray Edwards. September 2013 will be an interesting time as the financing by the Banks matures on the 30th. Edwards has guaranteed 50% of the Banks $150 million LOC and lent another $75 million through his own financing firm.
Teck, also another diverse mining entity owns the Galore Creek project previously held by Nova Gold. Currently trading at $24.74 it achieved a high of just under $40.00 in the last 52 week period.
There are many who believe gold will rise and an equal number who think it will continue to fall. India has restricted the available gold supply to their nations gold loving residents with tariffs and more, creating a situation of a decrease in demand but also an increasing black market of supply. China on the other hand, being one of the largest purchasers, is facing a failing economy, which is also a signal that the gold market will fall. However if the Chinese market economy collapses, which would initiate a world wide financial crises, this might signal a return for investors to the safety of gold.
One of the tricks investors use to profit is to use ‘short’ and ‘long’ sells and the current extremely large short sell positions leave all those holders at risk of losing their shirts. If they do not dump their short sell orders, even at a loss, most will be left penniless. So what we see in the recent trading is high volumes of trades just as the price peaks a little. Gold stocks have been trading in massive volumes over the past couple weeks as investors attempt to figure out the market and avoid the extreme losses they are vulnerable to face. The large trade volumes at minor peaks might indicate investors do not trust gold to rise, but in fact expect it to collapse altogether.
The best we can hope for to save the environment from extensive pollution and destruction of the habitat the wide range of species living in the Sacred Circle depend on, including humans, is the continuing collapse in the share price of gold. Without a high price the miners cannot get financing and the projects will have to stop. If the price rises again, the exploration crews and rampant destruction will proceed unabated.
If local investors wish to control and profit with stability the best way would be to promote the regions original Indigenous culture as a World Heritage site.
A culture identified as a purely Matriarchal Matrilineal culture which has survived and flourished continuously on the same land longer than any culture identified anywhere on the planet. Now that is called sustainability.
As Roger Brooks attempted to explain to the local business community at the Skeena Summit in 2009,
this is likely the only thing this region can count on for long term financial security. As the markets bounce around at the whim of others, the business community continues to walk around with blinders on attempting to gather some scraps offered by the international players when they could actually have a small measure of control if they looked outside of their little box. The Reality Behind Gold Mining - Complete Environmental Destruction for Absolutely Nothing Beneficial
Note the high sell at Fridayss close of Seabridge Shares - What will Monday bring?
The long term gold chart demonstrating the short term run up from a historically much lower position