The Barron Is Back

TM editors' note: This article discusses a penny stock and/or microcap. Such stocks are easily manipulated; do your own careful due diligence.

In 2001 you could count the number of people in the world who believed we were starting a gold bull market on one hand even if you were missing fingers. Everyone hated gold, you couldn’t give it away. I on the other hand believed a major bull market was in the making. I wrote that piece while Barb and I were still running a Macintosh computer upgrade site. We didn’t start our 321gold website until two months later.

One other guy I remember got it, named Dr. Keith Barron. He was just another over educated geologist looking for a good project who had a bunch of grandiose ideas floating around in his head about finding the mother lode.

He was nice enough to share his thoughts on the markets in general and gold in particular on Kitco, Gold Eagle and eventually us. On 911 he started his own website named Straight Talk on Mining. He continued to write articles educating those interested in gold and the mining industry until 2006 when his day job demanded he stop writing.

In hindsight rereading the articles makes the viewer realize that Dr. Barron understood it. Right from the gitgo, he got it. A year ago I got permission from him to format some of his STOM pieces in an eBook format and posted it on Amazon. They make for interesting reading a decade and more after he wrote them.

I think every geologist wants to believe he can find the mother lode. Actually in Vancouver and Toronto, if you are a taxi driver or have operated a drill rig it seems you are fully qualified to run a mining company extracting tens of millions of dollars from the punters willing to believe any bullshit story. Few actually deliver.

Lots of guys talked big back in 2001-2006 as the bull market picked up speed. One guy I know in particular delivered, that would be the aforementioned Keith Barron. He went public with his own company named Aurelian in June of 2003.

Aurelian raised $3 million at $.50 a share when they went public. The shares briefly dropped as low as $.46 a share. He took the money and his grandiose ideas to Ecuador where Aurelian drilled a home run hole in late 2003 of 51.06 g/t Au over 9.6 meters. On the strength of that hole he raised another $12 million in November of 2003.

The company continued to drill. Eventually the world-class gold discovery named Fruta del Norte showed a resource of almost 10 million ounces of gold and 14 million ounces of silver. It’s the largest gold discovery in the history of Ecuador. How Keith found the area and staked it is a story in itself.

The shares climbed from $.50 when they first traded to a high of $43 a share. In a moment of abject stupidity the Ecuador government changed the mining law when Aurelian had a market cap of $1.5 billion. As a result, the company stopped exploration in Ecuador in April of 2008 along with every other mining company in the world. Kinross saw an opportunity to pick up gold cheap and paid the equivalent of $60 an ounce taking the company over for $1.2 billion or $32.80 a share on a non-split basis.

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