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Asanko Gold CEO claims Muddy Waters report uses outdated and dubious data



Muddy Waters is using outdated information and “dubious drone technology” as the basis for its decision to short Asanko Gold Inc.’s stock, with the sole goal of trying to make the shares worthless, the Canadian miner’s chief executive officer said.

The activist short-seller Muddy Waters, founded by Carson Block, issued a report last week saying it was shorting Asanko, which it believes is “highly likely to end up a zero.” That sent Asanko tumbling on Wednesday before the shares were halted for the day.

“Their whole plan is to cut off your financing so that you do go to zero,” Asanko CEO Peter Breese said Monday in an interview in Toronto. “What they don’t realize is we’ve got lots of flexibility.”

The Vancouver-based miner issued a statement last week rebutting the Muddy Waters report and presented a feasibility plan for its West Africa gold mine to investors on Monday. In the interview after the presentation, Breese said Block has sharply underestimated the company.

“We don’t need money. We don’t need equity,” Breese said in the interview. “We are perfectly able to survive on our own, and not just survive, but actually make money.”

Even so, the report has eroded Asanko’s ability to raise money if something goes wrong, Breese acknowledged during the presentation. In response, it has decided to delay some spending on a conveyor for six to 12 months, ensuring it will end the year with $80 to $90 million in the bank. The company has the option to delay the conveyor spending for as many as four years, he added.

Asanko fell 2.4 per cent to $2.07 at 12:43 p.m. on Monday, giving the company a market value of $420.8 million. The shares are down 18 per cent since Tuesday, the day before the Muddy Waters report was made public.

Breese said Muddy Waters used an outdated resource model from 2014 to make its conclusions, choosing to ignore the findings of a more up-to-date model published in February of this year. He also disputed the report’s findings on the steps and spending needed to deal with a side-wall failure at the mine.

“How do I even comment when they are not even using the right models?” he said in the interview. “Despite us publicly doing a road show on the new resource, they’ve elected to use the old resource model, which is totally irrelevant for business planning purposes.”

A Muddy Waters spokesperson said Block wasn’t immediately available to comment. In an interview last Wednesday, Block said Asanko had backed itself into a corner from which it was unlikely to escape without gold rallying to $1,700 an ounce.

Spot gold was trading at $1,279.56 an ounce at 12:42 p.m. in New York on Monday.

Muddy Waters said its 43-page report included analysis based on information from 21 sources in Ghana with extensive knowledge of Asanko’s operations.

Breese says Block has never reached out to his company, nor have Muddy Waters investigators visited the mine site.

The Muddy Waters report was released almost a year after K2 & Associates Investment Management, a Toronto-based activist hedge fund, took a short position in Asanko and said the miner had 90 per cent downside potential. At the time, Asanko responded by standing by its 2016 guidance and called the K2 report “seriously misleading.”

However, on Monday, Breese said it was the K2 report that prompted Asanko to seek a “second opinion” from industry consultant CSA Global, which ultimately resulted in it adopting the new resource model. Its previous model — the one Breese says is being used by Block — was drawn up by CJM Consulting, he said.

More details of the CSA model will be published in July, Breese said, but in the meantime, he hopes shareholders will take a long-term view despite the Muddy Waters report.

“They can carry on slinging mud at me,” Breese said. “The only problem is they are destroying shareholder value.”

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Beauty Week is back at Hudson’s Bay in Toronto and it’s time to get glam



Beauty enthusiasts rejoice! Beauty Week at Hudson’s Bay is back in Toronto for another year. It’s time to stock up on all of your fall essentials and, maybe discover some new ones. 

From Friday, August 18 to Sunday, August 27, you can expect a truly elevated beauty experience in-store with incredible special offers, limited-time gifts, and exciting activations. 

If you’re a diehard beauty lover, you’ll already know that Hudson’s Bay is the place to shop thanks to its extensive range of over 195 skin and makeup brands from both luxury labels and masstige brands — including Tata Harper, Estée Lauder, YSL, Nars Cosmetics, Bobbi Brown, and so much more.

Throughout The Bay’s Beauty Week, visitors can take in some at-counter activations and interactive expert-led tutorials, where there will be chances to get makeup touch-ups from top-tier brands, try a spritz of the most alluring fragrances, and sample tons of new products.

This year’s Beauty Week highlight is the ‘Best in Beauty’ tote, a meticulously-curated selection of 30 deluxe samples from an array of top-tier brands like Dr. Barbara Sturm and Shiseido spanning skincare, fragrance, and makeup — all in a super sleek bag.

The tote, which is valued at over $300, is retailing for just $39 and is a fantastic way to explore new products (without breaking the bank). However, there is a limited quantity, so if you want to get your hands on one, you’ll need to be fast.

Wondering exactly what Beauty Week’s free gifts with purchases entail? If you spend over $95 at Lancôme, you will receive a six-piece set valued at $130. Or, you can get an Estée Lauder gift valued at $170 with purchases over $80. (And that’s just to name a few.)

If you’re a Hudson’s Bay Rewards member, you’ll also get $20 in Hudson’s Bay rewards when you spend over $100 on beauty.

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The Canadian Armed Forces are hiring for several non-combat military jobs



The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) have several non-combat jobs, some of which do not require a college degree or past work experience.

Life in the forces has several benefits, such as paid education plans (college, university and graduate-level programs), 20 paid vacation days, health and dental coverage for you and your family, maternity and paternal leave, and pension plans. You can learn more about the benefits in detail here.

And to make it easier to gauge if you qualify, the listings also include related civilian jobs to see if it’s your ideal role.

Financial services administrator

Related civilian jobs: Financial records entry clerk, financial manager, accounting technician, bookkeeper, budget officer, cashier clerk, business planner technician, and verification manager.

Description: You’ll help budget resources for all military activities besides providing financial assistance.

Education: You need to have completed Grade 10.

Duties: As a financial services administrator, you’ll be responsible for bookkeeping and managing budgets. You’ll also provide support in accounts payable and accounts receivable.

Work environment: Those in this role work at CAF bases, on ships or overseas. You might also be expected to help special operation units, recruiting offices, schools, and medical organizations.

Postal clerk

Related civilian jobs: Mail clerk, mail sorter.

Description: You’ll provide postal services to members and their families at bases and establishments.

Education: Grade 10. No previous work experience or related career skills are required.

Duties: As the postal clerk, you’ll handle mail duties.

Work environment: Besides a postal office, you may work on a ship or a mobile postal van. You might be expected to serve with Royal Canadian Navy, the Army, and the Royal Canadian Air Force in Canada and abroad.

Dental technician

Related civilian jobs: Dental assistant, dental hygienist.

Description: You’ll be helping dental officers provide dental services to CAF members, their families, and dependents.

Education: Level II dental assisting diploma from an accredited college or a National Dental Assisting Examining Board (NDAEB) certificate.

Duties: Those in this role will be responsible for various responsibilities, including disinfection and sterilization of dental equipment, applying rubber dams, placing cavity liners, and controlling bleeding. In addition, you’ll assist in laboratory procedures like creating casts, custom trays, and mouthguards.

Work environment: This role will require you to work in a military dental clinic, a Mobile Dental Clinic, an Air Transportable Dental System, or onboard a ship. You might be expected to work on a base in Canada or other operations in other parts of the world.

Human resources administrator

Related civilian jobs: Records administrator, data entry supervisor, receptionist, office manager, executive assistant, payroll clerk, and information management technician.

Description: Provide administrative and general human resources support.

Education: Grade 10. No previous work experience or related career skills are required.

Duties: In addition to human resources administration and services, you’ll be handling pay and allowances, managing automated pay systems, and maintaining personnel records.

Work environment: HR administrators work at all CAF bases in Canada. They also work on ships and overseas to support the Canadian Army, Royal Canadian Navy, or Royal Canadian Air Force operations.

Medical assistant

Related civilian jobs: Emergency medical responder, ambulance and first aid attendant, registered nursing assistant, licensed practical nurse, and hospital orderly.

Description: Successful candidates will help treat the sick and injured in CAF units. You’ll be assisting and supporting nursing and medical officers.

Education: Minimum of Grade 11 biology, Grade 10 physics or chemistry, and Grade 10 math.

Duties: You’ll provide initial care and essential life support treatments in trauma cases. You’ll help with health assessments (hearing and vision tests, perform basic lab procedures, etc.) and initiate and manage medical records and reports. You’ll also be expected to provide support and first aid during training exercises.

Work environment: Medical assistants may serve with the Royal Canadian Navy, the Royal Canadian Air Force or the Canadian Army as part of the Canadian Forces Health Services Group. Those in this role are exposed to the same risks as the forces they support.

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Porter’s new loyalty program promises to match Air Canada’s Aeroplan status



Porter Airlines is once again stirring the pot among Canadian airline rivals, now going after Air Canada’s Aeroplan members by offering to match their loyalty status to an equivalent of their own.

The beloved airline, which recently ranked as having the best cabin service in North America, challenged the competition for the second time this year, after previously deploying a similar tactic against WestJet in the spring. 

Earlier in April, Porter presented customers with a limited-time offer to match the loyalty status of WestJet’s patrons with VIPorter levels.

Now, they’re offering Aeroplan members to seamlessly transition to an equivalent VIPorter Avid Traveller status based on their existing membership tier.

Members can then take advantage of an array of travel perks that come with flying Porter, including seat selection, baggage, and flight changes.

For those currently holding an Aeroplan membership, there are two ways to acquire the Avid Traveller status for the rest of 2023:

Status-Based Match:
  • Aeroplan 25K members = VIPorter Venture
  • Aeroplan 35K members = VIPorter Ascent
  • Aeroplan 50K, 75K, and Super Elite = VIPorter First
Flight Segments-Based Match:
  • 5 flight segments = VIPorter Passport
  • 8 segments = VIPorter Venture
  • 17 segments = VIPorter Ascent
  • 28 or more segments = VIPorter First

Members will have to first submit their applications on Porter’s website. Registration will remain open until September 6, 2023.

In order to maintain their membership level through 2024, customers will have until the end of 2023 to reach the following reduced qualifying spend (QS) targets:

  • Passport = $500 in QS
  • Venture = $750 in QS
  • Ascent = $1500 in QS
  • First = $2500 in QS

Over the past year, Porter has launched an aggressive expansion strategy, including everything from introducing longer flights on newly-purchased jet planes flying out of Toronto Pearson, free WiFi, and a new all-inclusive economy experience.

With Canadians losing both Swoop and Sunwing as WestJet incorporates both into their mainline business, Porter’s direct competition is welcome to keep prices competitive.

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