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Press releases and red flags

Junior miners, especially the exploration variety that have no production to speak of, live by the press release. That’s ok, no worries here, but there are types of PR that get my red flags unfurled. After spotting one of those types today I thought I’d share.
The company is ECU Silver (ECU.to), currently proving up its Velardena silver (and a bit of gold) property in Mexico. From what I can see the property itself looks promising enough, but let’s just look at today’s PR from the company. Here’s the link, and this is how it starts:


ECU Silver to Release Mineral Resource Update
Monday November 24, 9:20 am ET

TORONTO, ONTARIO–(Marketwire – Nov. 24, 2008) – ECU Silver Mining (TSX:ECU – News; “ECU Silver” or “the Company”) is pleased to announce that it is on schedule to deliver an updated mineral resource estimate by mid December.
ECU.to then goes on to tell us what will be included in that mineral resource update due next month.

So…..what do we have here? Yep, it’s a PR telling us the company is going to release a PR soon! Errr…thanks guys. And strangely enough, it comes just at a point when metals are recovering from the deepest part of the recent sell-off. Now call me cynical, but……………

There’s no way that I’d condemn a company on the strength of one PR that is clearly meant to get the miner in your face on the gold & silver upday (it doesn’t do much else, that’s for sure). But if you start seeing a whole series of PRs from a company that seem to say something but don’t really say much at all, then you should be suspicious, too. As an example, ask yourself in the case of ECU.to how many of the last few PRs….

  • ECU Silver to Release Mineral Resource UpdateCCNMatthews(Mon 9:20am)
  • ECU Silver and Golden Tag Cut Additional Massive Sulphides at San DiegoCCNMatthews(Tue, Nov 4)
  • ECU Silver Finds Veins Above Old WorkingsCCNMatthews(Thu, Oct 23)
  • ECU Silver Comments on Trading ActivityCCNMatthews(Fri, Oct 17)
  • ECU Silver and Golden Tag Cut Additional Massive Sulphides at San DiegoCCNMatthews(Fri, Oct 17)
  • ECU Silver Signs Concentrate Sales AgreementCCNMatthews(Mon, Sep 29)
  • ECU Silver-Success of Geological Model Leads Closer to Reaching Ultimate Exploration GoalsCCNMatthews(Thu, Sep 11)
  • ECU Silver Hits Gold at DepthCCNMatthews(Wed, Sep 3)
  • Golden Tag Resources Ltd. and ECU Silver Mining Inc.: Additional High-Grade Silver Intercepts and New Veins at San Diego Property, MexicoCCNMatthews(Wed, Aug 27)
  • ECU Silver Continues Exploration Success at Terneras EastCCNMatthews(Tue, Aug 12)
…managed to move the market.

Not many, I’d venture. So let’s recap; a company that likes to emit PR after PR today releases a PR to tell us it’s going to release a PR next month. Got your red flag unfurled yet?

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