A BIG, NOT SO SHINY CANADIAN GOLD/HARD ROCK MINE, LOCATED DIRECTLY OVERLOOKING OUR QUAINT CITY AND NEIGHBORING COMMUNITY!
SMOKE, NOISE, DUST, FIRE DANGER, 24/7 OPERATING SCHEDULE, LOSS OF A SCENIC MOUNTAINSIDE VISIBLE FROM CANON CITY AND THE SURROUNDING AREA, DEPRECIATION OF HOME VALUES, VISIBLE ENCROACHMENT ON THE CITY/COUNTY EFFORT TO PROMOTE TOURISM, A MINE TAILINGS HOLDING POND WITH A ONE MILLION TON CAPACITY LOCATED 600 VERTICAL FEET ABOVE THE ARKANSAS RIVER, WATER REQUIREMENTS WITH UNKNOWN CONSEQUENCES, AND GOODNESS KNOWS WHAT ELSE.
CANON CITY IS A PEACEFUL, SMALL TOWN LOCATED AT THE ENTRANCE TO THE ARKANSAS RIVER CORRIDOR AND DIRECTLY ADJACENT TO THE WET AND SANGRE DE CRISTO MOUNTAINS.
ZEPHYR MINERALS, Ltd. IS A CANADIAN GOLD/HARD ROCK EXPLORATORY/ MINING COMPANY THAT INTENDS TO EXPLOIT IDENTIFIED GOLD/HARD ROCK (ZINC, LEAD, SILVER) DEPOSITS FROM THE ADJACENT MOUNTAINSIDE BY SELLING/ MINING THE DEPOSITS.
ZAP ZEPHYR IS A COLLECTIVE OF CONCERNED CITIZENS THAT DOES NOT WANT THIS UNNECESSARY AND ENVIRONMENTALLY DESTRUCTIVE ACT TO TAKE PLACE. FOREIGN CORPORATE GREED IS PITTED AGAINST THE CITIZENRY OF SMALL TOWN USA. IF A MINING PERMIT IS GRANTED WE WILL BE VISUAL WITNESSES TO OUR OWN SHORTSIGHTED FOLLY FOR GENERATIONS TO COME.
In October 2012, Zephyr Minerals, Ltd. acquired control of the Dawson Gold Project and began a continuation of the many years of previous exploratory activities in what now includes a progression of Conditional Use Permitting encompassing in excess of 3,500 acres. Zephyr executives were welcomed into our community by local citizenry whose mission it was to look after and protect the economic development of Canon City/Fremont County. Zephyr subsequently voiced its assumption that their exploratory/mining project would proceed in a mining friendly community. That assumption was not shared or validated with the citizens of Fremont County.
Let’s look at their progress over the last nine and a half years from a financial standpoint.
SEDAR: A Canadian website providing access to public securities documents.
SEDAR’s Interim Financial Statement that ended September 30, 2020, quoted Zephyr in their Going Concern paragraph in which Zephyr stated that they have sufficient funds to meet their minimum obligations for the next twelve months but that “In order to develop the property, the company will need to raise additional capital. If the company is unable to raise additional capital in the future, the company may need to curtail operations, liquidate assets, seek additional capital on less favorable terms and/or pursue other remedial measures.” This is an improvement over the previous year’s report in which Zephyr stated that it did not have sufficient operating assets for the coming year.
STOCKHOUSE: A Canadian financial portal for small cap investors.
STOCKHOUSE stock graphics displayed Zephyr’s graphics from inception in the spring/summer of 2011 to the spring of 2016 to be in an overall steady decline, averaging an overall value in the area of 15 to 20 cents per share. There was an approximate five cent increase for the next 18 months when Zephyr was actively soliciting for investors in Fremont County and other areas overall. Beginning about May 1, 2020 their stock spiked to approximately $.82 cents per share (US) based on Zephyr’s prediction of a “Broken Hill” type of mineral find (lead, zinc and silver) in their exploratory area bisected by Grape Creek. Four months later the stock plummeted to a value of ten to twelve cents per share when their exploratory drill target did not produce the results they anticipated. It is now somewhat steady around 15 cents per share.
SIMPLY WALL ST: An American financial services company that distributes world-wide investment analysis.
SIMPLY WALL ST’s Executive Summary’s risk analysis, updated 3/12/2020 reports:
Earnings have declined by 15.8% per year over past five years
Does not have a meaningful market cap
Shareholders have been diluted in the past year
SIMPLY WALL ST states, regarding future growth, “But as Zephyr Minerals has not provided enough past data and has no analyst forecast, its future earnings cannot be reliably calculated by extrapolating past data or using analyst predictions. This is quite a rare situation as 97% of companies covered by Simply Wall St do have past financial data.”
Zephyr Minerals’ financial health has been limited to cover exploratory activities only. Their spring, 2020 stock spike with the announcement of a new mineral find (lead, zinc and silver) adjacent to Grape Creek did not meet their expectations. After drilling one exploratory hole in the summer/fall of the year, drill results proved to be inconclusive. Gold resources in the easternmost exploration section, just south and west of Dawson Ranch, do not appear to have increased since 1990 when Jascan Resources Inc. reported finding 121,000 gold ounces, a resource estimate not to be relied upon. Zephyr reports a finding of 116,000 ounces, not necessarily cumulative with Jascan’s findings. Even at today’s elevated gold prices, these findings would not cover the start-up costs of an operational, profitable gold mine. Internet searches suggest start-up costs of fifty to one hundred million dollars for a small commercial mine. Zephyr has nowhere near the resources currently needed to establish an operational mine and is poorly positioned to interest investors to accommodate their forward-looking hopes and dreams.
Zephyr Minerals or any other exploratory/mining company simply contradicts the progressive well-being of our community. We are working to project tourism as the economic future of our county. A transient gold mine is antithetical to that end. Zephyr’s latest stated time frame for the active life expectancy of a mine is five years, after which we will own its remnants and shortfalls. Think Cotter!
Zephyr Minerals has recently stated their intent to apply for a mining permit in the first half of 2021. This would be a very large step forward for them (backward for us) towards saddling our community with the destructive elements associated with being a mining community. It is contrary to the public interest – into perpetuity.
The ROYAL GORGE PRESERVATION PROJECT
Gary Peterson: Opposition to backyard gold mine
By Gary Peterson
Special to the Daily Record
POSTED: 05/26/2018 07:14:07 AM MDT
"Zephyr who?" "What gold mine?" "I think I heard something about that!"
These are typical responses I have received over the past two or three years when the subject of a local gold mine has been brought up with local citizens.
Zephyr Minerals Ltd., Halifax Nova Scotia, has been working in our community for the past five years to establish a mining operation in our backyard, the foothills of the Wet Mountains, visible above and directly overlooking Cañon City.
This is a big deal, friends. The Department of Corrections, an economic mainstay of our community, has been slowly shrinking. Tourism, touting the scenic beauty of the Arkansas corridor, including the numerous venues available for hiking, biking, rafting, etc., is being actively promoted from a variety of sources within our city and county, all with the intent to lead our community into a new era of economic development. This is being done with local people using local resources with the support of city and county residents.
Sitting in direct opposition is the specter of a mining zone nearly three miles wide, east to west, encompassing underground and open pit (documented) mining, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for a period of four to six years (current plan). Visible from our community will be haul trucks on newly constructed mine roads, operating lights and dust, including noise from operating equipment and a processing plant.
Ecological damage is certain in the area being mined, in that the mountainside will be scrubbed to make room for the process plant, topsoil stockpile, vehicle parking (including a fire truck), outbuildings, waste rock storage area and a filtered tailing storage area. Please note that the filtered tailings area will be built to accommodate one million tons of tailings and waste, situated approximately 600 feet about the Arkansas River. What could possibly go wrong? Think Cotter! Did I mention anything about home values?
Reclamation, as a rationale designed to mitigate the ugliness of a gold mine, is a Red Herring! It brings to mind the catch phrase about putting lipstick on a pig. Zephry's purpose is to mine gold, profitably, in the most efficient way possible. That's their business. At some point, they will be finished, whether by exhausting the recoverable ore, a drop in gold prices, or investment money becomes insufficient, where after they will leave Fremont County and return to Nova Scotia.
Fremont County never will be finished with the mine. The mining scars and tailings will be with us in perpetuity, a constant reminder of our decision not to protect our investment future in tourism and the natural beauty that surrounds us. You can decommission a processing plant and put dirt in holes, but tailings and related issues become the purview of government oversight.
Again, what could possibly go wrong? It is interesting to note that the EPA recently announced that it will not issue a regulation to ensure that hard rock (gold) mining companies pay for the costs to clean up their mines when they are finished. "Undue burden" was the rationale.
Jobs! Hmmm, it sounds good but where is the beef? Information technology, as well as plant design and operation, apparently will be farmed out to English and Canadian companies, respectively. Employment of 75 to 125 people as stated in the recent Daily Record article? The technical report for the Zephyr project identifies 28 jobs for process plant labor and five general and administrative jobs, all of which are technical and/or specific skills needed for gold mining. "Jobs" means nothing without specific context. The same article quoted production costs of $560 per ounce of production (gold). This is fuzzy math. Since 2013, the industry standard has changed to more accurately reflect the true cost of gold mining, referred to "all-in sustaining costs," which approximately doubles the stated production cost of running a mine.
Simply stated, there is little to nothing that a backyard gold mine has to offer our community apart from future woes, some real, some waiting to become real. A middle ground does not exist in this case. There either is or there is not a mine overlooking our community. This is a discussion that needs to take place in the light of day, with residents weighing in with our elected Fremont County Commissioners and other affected agencies who operate with our tax dollars. The best interest of our community is at stake.
Gary Peterson is a Michigan State University graduate who served as a Marine Platoon and Company Commander with service in combat in Vietnam. He subsequently spent an additional 30 years working as a law enforcement officer for the Department of Justice, Department of Treasury and Homeland Security. He and his wife, Linda, retired to Cañon City in 2006 to enjoy its ambient beauty.