The saga of Barkerville Gold Mines (BGM) – documented with some good geological analysis and interesting perspectives here and here - serves as a valuable reminder of the importance of doing due diligence before buying stock in any company. Nowhere is this more true than in the junior mining sector. (The B.C. Securities Commission slapped a cease-trade order on Barkerville August 14 after an NI 43-101 resource estimate for Cow Mountain that claimed a stunning 10.6 million indicated gold ounces and “geological potential” of 65 to 90 ounces.)
Sometimes revealing information is just key strokes away. A good first stop for junior mining investors – as long as you’re armed with skepticism – is the company’s website. In Barkerville’s case, this simple step would have revealed that 2012 has been a busy year for news flow, with 18 news releases issued through Aug. 15.
- March 9: Jack Miller appointed “acting CEO” and Frank Callaghan becomes non-executive chairman of the board.
- March 16: BCSC issues a notice of hearing against Barkerville director Farshad Shirvani for failing to disclose in regulatory filings that International Ranger Corp. had received 3 cease trade orders while Shirvani was a director there.
- April 23: Director Craig Thomas quits the board and so does Jack Miller (yes, the one who was appointed March 9). Callaghan is back as CEO.
- June 8: Farshad Shirvani resigns from the board.
Finally, front and centre on Barkerville Gold’s main webpage has been a “featured video” of British Columbia’s premier at the Vancouver Mining Round-Up, an obvious attempt to confer mainstream legitimacy on the company. Except Christy Clark’s name is misspelled as “Christie Clark” and has been for months.
Really, Barkerville Gold?