Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

September 20, 2014

Lakotas Owe Aku: 'Uranium investors got the blues again'

FORUM: Powertech Uranium investors got the blues again, mama

Owe Aku is a grassroots organization of Lakota people and our allies founded to promote the protection of sacred water and preservation of our territorial lands.  Our actions for environmental justice rely upon cultural revitalization as our major tool in achieving our goals.  The principle location from which are operations are based are on Lakota territory along Wounded Knee Creek on what is called the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation .  More information on our work can be found
This was shared with us from an ally and is further evidence of how the convergence of circumstances, including our own grass roots action, along with that of the allies, is slowly killing this project, we pray.  In some ways it's one of the grass roots peoples' biggest victories so far.  Uranium mining in Lakota country is becoming more and more unrealistic because of both financial factors on market driven capitalism as well as, and more importantly, the activism of Lakota and other peoples. Local action is particularly important because many enviro groups are either consciously or unconsciously not taking on uranium mining.  That's wrong.  Fukushima will come to a power plant near you and it all starts with uranium mining.  

Powertech Uranium Can't Get Its Financial Act Together

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

    Powertech Uranium is the company that has been trying to set up a uranium mining operation in the southern Black Hills for a few years.  That the company has met with some ferocious resistance in the region is well-documented, both hereand elsewhereThat the company has been suffering financially as a result of the long delays in Powertech's efforts to get the necessary state and federal permits is a sidebar of particular interest.   This isn't about the science of in situ mining (which amounts to using groundwater as the source for extracting uranium and forever altering the composition of that water as a result), this is about the company's ability remain financially viable as the expenses and delays involved in the permitting process mount up. 
     There's been an eye-catching jump in Powertech stock's trading volume in recent days, even as the stock price has been hitting all-time lows of 5 cents/share.  High volume and a plummeting stock price don't augur very well for a publicly traded (PWE.TO) company, especially one like Powertech that languishes in the nether world of penny stocks, a market where speculation, rumor and hype are often the drivers of share prices.  Just from the price and volume action in PWE stock it seems obvious that something with this company is out of whack.  Then suddenly last Friday along came confirmation.  In a news release dated 9/17, Powertech announced that another delay in its long-planned merger with Azarga resources is occurring.  Azarga is the deep-pocketed, Asian-based company that essentially planned to take over Powertech, effective last July.  That union was later pushed back to this month, and now the deal isn't supposed to take place until late October.
    Checking a little more deeply into the latest news, I got some tangible support for my opinion of this company's weak financial condition.  Powertech is on the ropes.  In fact, I think the company is essentially broke, a conclusion that comes clear if you scan the news release I linked.  Powertech is now borrowing cash from Azarga, probably in order to maintain its meager operations, in 6-figure units that have to be repaid at usurious rates before the merger occurs.  I mean, if you have to borrow money and pay it back, plus 15% to 30%, in less than two years, I can tell you that you're cash-strapped to the point of desperation.
     Analyzing this last bit of news, I'd also say that further delays in the merger are forthcoming, considering that Azarga's lending timelines stretch out over the next few months. There's some wiggle room around the planned merger completion date of 10/31/14 Something is seriously amiss.  Given the dump-it-now action in Powertech stock, given that Azarga is essentially lending money to its weak sister in order to keep the company afloat, given the continued delays in the permitting process, and given the shaky nature of the various entities (including--
here's the story about the troubled Singapore-based Blumont Mining) involved in the coming merger, I'd have to conclude that something is not right in the house of Powertech.  As I noted in an earlier post, there's a whole lotta shakiness goin' on. 

From John Tsitrian:

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