Shares in Avocet mining have gone up to a new high, after an increase in the mineral resource estimate. Cynics who suggest this news was well timed to deflect the blow of growing criticism over the Avocet’s role in the Djibo barrage cyanide spill should feel ashamed of themselves.
Just because Avocet are a mining company who refuse to sign up the Cyanide code, and who have recently taken steps to quell labour unrest at the Inata gold mine, doesnt mean that their PR people would deliberately avoid answering questions, give half hearted answers to other questions, and release exciting new ‘mineral resource estimates’ at the same time as a few bloggers (1, 2, 3)and journalists start quizzing them about the cyanide which found it’s way into Djibo reservoir.
And just because Burkina Faso is a rather out of the way place, with not terribly forceful media, and isnt exactly brimming over with foreign correspondants, doesnt mean that Avocet mining would attempt to stonewall their way out of questions about their safety record, and troublesome queries such as: ‘how come artisanal miners in the same region are managing to get their hands on cyanide, which is also finding its way into the reservoir?’ Surely Avocet must be laughing in the face of such questions over their security procedures.
Any investor who is looking for good returns would hardly be concerned by the reputational risk that a company like Avocet would run if it were to emerge that (by way of hypothetical example) they were somewhat blase about the risk to the good people of Burkina Faso, caused by sleepy drivers of massive subcontractor owned trucks chock full of Cyanide briquettes.
I mean, really children’s author Steve Davies is just making a fuss about nothing with all his posts (1,2,3,4,5,6) on the subject, and as for the local people who commented on his posts, and the local media who have also been complaining about it, they are all wrong wrong wrong.
I must admit, I was a little worried, so I asked Avocet for some more information – ok so they weren’t terribly forthcoming, saying (basically) ‘it wasn’t us guv, it was them’ – but hey – y’know, they are a mining company… And we all know we can trust mining companies to do the right thing… right?
So personally I am just so glad that these mineral resource estimates turned up at the exact same time as this bad news was starting to emerge, because now if one were to google ‘Inata Avocet‘ or Avocet Mining‘ or something similar which is basically about greedy exploitation of the world at the risk of lives and livelihoods, then that’s the good news you would get. Not the ‘truck load of cyanide dropped into reservoir, fished out a day later and then carted off to the mine’ type news which would have done their share price no good at all.
Thank goodness for Avocet’s PR people eh.