Archive for July, 2010

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

President’s Message July 2010

We have recently received some very sad news. We have learned that one of our employees working in our Haiti lab has been killed in a building collapse in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. His name was Louis Abellard. Louis survived the initial Haiti quake but was sometime later (we don’t know exactly) caught in a building that collapsed in one of the quake aftershocks. It is difficult to determine the events of this tragedy as many of the dead were buried in mass graves in the days following the earthquake.

Louis Abellard held the position of Preparation Laboratory Supervisor and was one of our senior staff in Haiti. He was Haitian born, and was somewhat of a local celebrity working for an international company helping to build Haiti’s economy. Our Haiti laboratory is a dedicated preparation lab for Newmont operations in the area. In the photo below, Louis is standing on the left beside Rory Forde ( AcmeLabs Caribbean Regional Manager) and Brian Brewer (Client Geologist)

Newmont and AcmeLabs are contributing to a Trust fund in Louis’ name to provide support for his wife and son. If you wish to contribute, please contact AcmeLabs Vancouver or Santiago for details.

Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the world where employment is viewed as a great privilege. Mining and Exploration brings economic dollars to struggling regions of the world and events like this remind us, that what we do matters.

While in Buenos Aires for AcmeLabs regional managers meeting, I had the chance to meet Rory Forde for the first time. It’s not often that I meet a young man (28 years old) that is highly competent and motivated, with great interpersonal skills. I was very impressed. Looking at our South American contingent, they are a powerhouse of experience. This is a great environment for a young manager to grow in.

Economically, the roller coaster ride continues with additional calamities keeping us wondering what is next and how long this string of disasters can continue. From earthquakes and eruptions we have now shifted into manmade disasters. According to the latest estimates, the Gulf oil spill is now gushing an Exxon Valdez volume of oil into the Gulf every four days! This is so unprecedented that it is hard to imagine the level of damage and hardship that this will ultimately cause. This will certainly have a serious economic impact on the United States. This makes the Canadian oil sands look pretty sensible and safe by comparison.

World economies continue to recover with much gnashing of teeth over sovereign debt issues in Europe. While we seem to be moving past this issue for now, it is not going away any time soon. It is clear that many countries will be battling government debt for many years. The good news is that the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries continue to move forward with reasonably high growth although with some slowing in China. Commodity prices remain fairly strong and gold continues to hit record highs driving exploration dollars globally.

This is impacting AcmeLabs everywhere. Our clients have been steadily adding to their exploration programs making it difficult to keep up to the changing conditions. This is always the way it goes. When recessions hit, we are surprised by how fast the sample volumes fall, and as we are seeing now, the reverse is also true. When budgeting for the future, it is difficult to budget for >50% increases or decreases because if you are wrong, the consequences are huge. For 2010, we have been feverishly adding more equipment and personnel throughout our production areas. This includes expansion in Argentina, Chile, Dominican Republic and Brazil in South America alone.

In North America, AcmeLabs had an open house in Whitehorse, YT in early June that went very well. More than 60 people dropped in to see our new prep lab. This is a world class facility and is the only ISO9001 registered prep lab in the Yukon. This is a large preparation laboratory capable of processing  2000-4000 samples per day making it the largest preparation facility in the Yukon. The manager of this new lab is Aarno Hamalainen who has more than 20 years experience building and operating minerals laboratories in North and Central America. Aarno and his family recently moved up to Whitehorse in May. Years ago he lived and worked in Faro, YT so he is no stranger to the region. You can contact him by email at Aarno.hamalainen@acmelab.com.  If you drop in on a Friday afternoon, Aarno will have the Barbi fired up on the back deck.

From left to right are; Arno Hamalainen (Manager, Whitehorse), Leo Arciaga (Regional Sales Rep.), Clarence Leung (General Manager, Vancouver), and Susie Woo (Client Services Manager, Vancouver).

I wish you all the best in your exploration efforts.

As an old boss of mine used to write;

                 “Enuf said and stay safe.”

George Cartwright

President, AcmeLabsTM

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