Mining scams are just like all the other scams involving investments; they use the promise of big returns and deception to lure you in.
No industry is immune to investment scams, including Mining. There’s a long and sordid history of mining investment scams. Similar to cons in other industries, Mining Investment Scams have been able to flourish for so long because they appeal to the desire to get rich quick. In exchange for this promise, people eagerly embrace situations that are obviously too good to be true.
Not all mining scams are easy to detect. Some can be very complex and fool even the most experienced investor. Con artists usually begin their mining investment scams by forming a company, raising some capital through stock markets then situating the company, through acquiring claims, close to areas that have had previous legitimate mining successes, like California, Nevada or South Africa. Once the mining claims and/or rights have been acquired, press releases are sent announcing the recent purchases and linking them to genuine mining operations in nearby locations. Expiration permits and drilling programs follow. The final piece involves more press releases touting the fantastic results achieved through drilling. Surface samples are doctored along with the scientific information that went with them.
In today’s era of the internet, world wide web, and search engines, these tools are exploited to promote these mining schemes at little or no cost. Never rely solely on information in press releases. Always confirm mining claims using third party, respected sources.
Mining Scam Warning Signs and Red Flags:
- Claims that the mining can only be done using new, “proprietary” methods. While its true advancements in mining have been and continue to be made; new, proprietary methods don’t usually yield much?if anything at all.
- Drilling has begun, yet is slow going as only one or two drills are in use. When significant, legitimate deposits are found, mining companies usually put as much equipment on the suspected deposit as possible. It’s important to get the permits and mine as much as you can as quickly as you can. Experienced miners know that actual, cost effective production, along with reserves for future mining will result in reasonable stock prices.
- Metals from the platinum group (Platinum, Palladium, Ruthenium, Osmium and Iridium) are said to be showing up in the assays. These metals are particularly rare and don’t usually exist in commercial quantities.
- Even though the company claims it’s done little to no drilling, suspected deposits or “reserves” are described in the millions or even tens of millions of ounces. Before reserves of this size can be confirmed with any degree of confidence, hundreds of drill holes with thousands of assays must be completed first.
- Actual drilling is ongoing but is slow with one or two drill rigs. If a major new ore deposit is suspected by a legitimate company, there is significant incentive to get the drilling done as soon as possible so mine permitting and actual mining can begin. They will use as many drill rigs as they can get their hands on. The primary incentive is to produce gold, not sell more stock at a higher price. Legitimate operators know that real, cost effective gold production, together with ore reserves for future mining will result in satisfactory stock prices.
If you’re considering an investment in a new mining operation, please reconsider this decision if you don’t already have significant knowledge of geology and mining operations. Without this type of knowledge, your ability to evaluate the investment accurately will most likely be flawed. In the event that you want to go ahead and make the investment, please consider doing most if not all of the following before parting with your hard earned cash:
- Ask lots of questions
- Call government mining regulators, state geological surveys and securities regulators and ask if they’ve heard of the company and the project you’re interested in investing in.
- Ask the company if they’ve ever actually produced the commodity they claim to have a right to…when?…where?…how much?
- Next, confirm this information with local government officials.
- Hire an independent consultant, if the investment is significant enough, to take their own samples and evaluate the company’s claims – if the company objects, this could be a sign that their operation isn’t legitimate