This report out of the town of Crucero may, just may suggest that Goldmining Inc (GOLD.v) didn’t do much DD before buying the Crucero property from Lupaka Gold (LPK.v) last year for the sum of CAD$6.35m (3.5m shares of GOLD.v at the price that time, plus $750k in cash). To get the basic structure, we need to consider the following:
- Back in 2009 Lupaka Gold (LPK.v) picked up the Crucero property in the Puno region of South Peru. At first they made progress, got agreements with locals, did drilling, put together a resource etc etc.
- As it turns out, for mainly technical reasons Crucero didn’t turn out to be a great thing (poor met, location tough, big NSR on top) and the project has never prospered much but hey, that’s exploration stage mining for you.
- However, things took a decided turn for the worse in 2013 when the despicable duo of Jaime Pinto and Carlos Yrigoyen, who were officers and directors of LPK at the time (both out since then), decided to take community relations into their own hands and do it their way. After seriously annoying the locals, who then ran the company off the property, Pinto and Yrigoyen brought criminal charges against four members of the Murga family, the people who own the land at the Crucero site. The charges included aggravated robbery and usurpation, serious accusations which carry bigtime jail sentences in Peru.
- The charges were complete BS, yet another example of Jaime Pinto’s corrupt strategy making false accusations against anyone who tries to get in his nefarious way. But due to the nature of the Peru legal system, the charges have remained over the heads of the Murga family for the last five years with the threat of serious jailtime if they were ever found guilty. And as we know, Pinto has a habit of getting corrupt judges into his pocket as the Minera IRL saga shows (see IKN posts here, here and here from late last year), so the Murga family had reason to be worried, but to their great credit they never backed down and have fought to get the case in front of a real judge and courtroom.
- We cut to this year and, while all that PPK resignation thing was filling the country’s headlines, this report appeared announcing that the courts in Peru have thrown out the case brought by Jaime Pinto and Carlos Yrigoyen in the name of Lupaka Gold against the Murga family. In fact, the case was laughed out of court by the judge.
- The Murga family have now started legals actions against Lupaka Gold for damages which can and may include a multi-million dollar judgment against the company. The case is obviously strong, too.
As always, when a mining company buys a project like Crucero, it buys the wholly-owned subsidiary of the mothership. In this case Goldmining Inc (GOLD.v) bought Pacacorral SAC and that’s the entity with all the assets. And all the liabilities of course, and one of those is the legal action that they probably didn’t read about while doing their DD, if they did they were stupid enough to ignore it and its consequences, now it’s in the process of blowing up in their faces. It may turn out that liquidating Pacacorral and just dropping Crucero is the most cost-effective decision for GOLD.v. And that would be both funny and apt because in the end in this life, what goes around comes around.