QUITO, Ecuador--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Keith Piggott, owning approximately 7% of the issued and outstanding shares of Core Gold Inc. ("Core Gold" or the "Company") (TSXV: CGLD, OTCQX: CGLDF) continues to uncover disturbing facts about ASX-listed Titan Minerals Ltd. (“Titan” - ASX: TTM) track record in Perú, including evidence of numerous environmental, safety and occupational health violations between 2012 and 2018 at the Tulin toll milling gold plant (the “Tulin Plant”) in Perú.
Tulin Gold—now a subsidiary of Titan—had been a lessee or assignee of the Tulin Plant from 2012 to 2018. Mr. Piggott has been in contact with the owner of the Tulin Plant and has learned that Titan could be responsible for approximately C$45 million in costs for toxic waste removal and clean-up of cyanide tailings within the plant area as per the terms of its contract with the Tulin Plant owner.
In previous press releases, Mr. Piggott has unveiled some shocking revelations about Titan’s dismal environmental record at the Tulin Plant that all Core Gold shareholders should be concerned about ahead of the Company’s upcoming special meeting where securityholders are being asked to vote on value-destructing plan of arrangement pursuant to which Titan will acquire all of the issued and outstanding commons shares of Core Gold (the “Proposed Arrangement”)
Revelations in previous press releases include:
- Government reports prove that Titan’s Tulin plant has been marred with violations and penalties for spillages of tailings and toxic chemicals into the soil and waterways, activities which have raised public health and environmental concerns from nearby residents, particularly about their children’s health.
- A spill had occurred at the Tulin plant affecting an archaeological zone.
- Mr. Piggott has confirmed, through notarial sworn statements of witnesses, that Titan has buried cyanide-bearing tailings in the lands surrounding the plant, hiding such illegal actions from the authorities, the local population and the owner of the lands, by doing so in the dead of night. In one of the notarized declarations provided to Mr. Piggott, the witness, states the following:
“Within the previous seven years some nonconformities were observed in the operation of the plant by Tulin Gold Co. S.A.C. having complaints about irregularities before the DREM due to tailings spills, in times of constant rains, flowing fluids out of the plant area to the river bed, resulting in bird deaths, soil poisoning and possible damage to children's health. The complainant asks for medical examinations of the children of the town and evaluations for toxicity.” (emphasis added)
Importantly, the C$45 million in clean-up costs does not include cleanup of the tailings secretly buried outside the plant.
“Such an appalling environmental track record has long-lasting, and in some cases irreversible, consequences: legal, financial and reputational. On the financial side this means that Titan and/or its Tulin Gold subsidiary may be facing tens of millions of dollars in liability none of which is reflected in its financial statements,” said Mr. Piggott. “Without taking these environmental liabilities in account, how can shareholders of Titan know the true state of their company? How can Core Gold board of directors recommend that its shareholders vote for the Proposed Arrangement?
“I encourage all Core Gold shareholders to review these materials and vote AGAINST the Proposed Arrangement to save your investment.”
OWNER OF TULIN PLANT SHARES LETTER ILLUSTRATING GRAVE SITUATION AT TULIN PLANT, CONFIRMING BURIED TAILINGS
Over the past 48 hours, Mr. Piggott has received additional documented information from the owners of the Tulin plant (the “Tulin Plant Owners”), who also own the lands surrounding the plant.
These documents include notarized correspondence, from 2016, between the Tulin Plant owners and the General Manager of Titan’s subsidiary, Tulin Gold Co S.A.C
“I have learned that your company's staff has proceeded to bury tailings outside the facilities of my Tulin Pilot Plant, for this reason I request that you promptly arrange the relocation of the mentioned tailings in order to avoid complaints and denunciations by the affected population.
Also, I let you know that I will not accept that the aforementioned items be relocated back to the facilities of my plant because as you know the storage capacity of the tailing pads at my plant are reaching their limit, and that is why, nowadays, we find ourselves occupied to see how to solve this problem.
The urgency of solving the problem of the relocation of the buried tailings is justified by the fact that the we are currently managing an expansion proposal for my plant before the relevant authorities, which is why a guided tour of my land is pending, to the plant and the surroundings of the same, so that if the aforementioned relocation is not effected my expansion project would be affected because it would be declared null or not feasible.
As you will understand a decision of this type would seriously affect the development and expansion of my plant and consequently would endanger my investment.
For the above reasons I request you to take urgent measures for the relocation of the tailings and also, in light of this grave act by your personnel, that I reserve the right to make the denunciations of the case [to the authorities], in compliance with established legal norms.”
With this letter, it is clear that management at Tulin Gold were fully aware that their staff had buried tailings in 2016 yet they failed to disclose this information in Perú or Australia, to our knowledge failed to remediate, and allegedly from the evidence provided in notarized statements continued to bury tailings.
Andina & Titan management (given the cross-directorship) should have known about secretly buried cyanide bearing tailings since 2016 as the Tulin Plant owner informed Tulin Gold's General Manager who was also a board member at Andina with Titan Executive Director Mr. Matthew Carr in 2016.
TITAN IS TRYING TO HIDE FROM ITS ENVIRONMENTAL RECORD
In previous press releases, and in his proxy circular, Mr. Piggott has provided evidence showing Titan’s Tulin Plant was marred with environmental violations and penalties as recently as 2018 and dating back to 2012. To date, however, we have yet to see Titan or Core Gold disclose this information to shareholders.
For example, it is telling that Titan has simply erased Tulin Gold Co. S.A.C. from its organizational chart in Core Gold’s Management Information Circular, dated May 10, 2019 (the “Circular”) where it includes the following, rather dry, statement on its Tulin operation (at page “G” – 9):
“Prior to commissioning the Vista Plant, Titan operated the Tulin gold treatment plant in southern Peru (the "Tulin Plant"), however, since December 2018, Titan has ceased processing ore operations at the Tulin plant”
At page “G” – 49 of the Circular, Titan states:
“Titan also maintains the strong operational team that Andina built over many years operating the Tulin plant and this team now continues to operate the Vista plan for Titan accompanied with a favourable reputation in the region...”
The evidence that Mr. Piggott has uncovered belies Titan’s words, particularly regarding the practices of Titan’s “strong operational team” which should worry all those concerned, not least Core Gold’s shareholders.
The above revelations are also in stark contrast to the repeated assurances by Titan to its shareholders and regulators regarding compliance with environmental regulations.
In Titan’s 2017 and 2018 Annual Report, for example, Titan’s Executive Director Matthew Carr attested to the following in the respective Directors’ Report:
“Environmental Issues: The Company's operations comply with all relevant environmental laws and regulations, and have not been subject to any actions by environmental regulators.” (emphasis added)
MR. PIGGOTT LAUNCHES NEW WEBSITE TO SHINE LIGHT ON TITAN’S MURKY PUBLIC DISCLOSURE AND QUESTIONABLE OPERATIONAL TRACK RECORD
Mr. Piggott notes that since his initial news release on May 13, 2019, neither Core Gold nor Titan have dared to address the alarming issues he has uncovered and fully documented. In their panic, as more truth about Titan comes to light every day, they are unable to accept that the Proposed Arrangement is doomed. Titan’s shocking environmental record at the Tulin plant renders it radioactive. Meanwhile, Titan and Core are blindly claiming that the revealed information is “false, misleading and slanderous” (Titan) or “false and inaccurate” (Core). You be the judge.
Unlike Titan, Mr. Piggott is not afraid of directly engaging with the truth in order to assist existing and potential shareholders, of both Core Gold and Titan, and regulators in Australia and Canada, to make informed decisions.
To that end Mr. Piggott has set up a website, www.coretruth.ca, to keep shareholders informed about the shocking revelations about Titan’s dismal track record in Peru. The website includes links to Mr. Piggott’s press releases, information on how to vote AGAINST the Proposed Arrangement, and will shortly include background information and documents referenced in this press release.
Titan has committed many red-card offenses in Perú which have been kept, until now, under wraps. The Peruvian people deserve to know the truth. Core Gold shareholders deserve better. Titan’s shareholders deserve better.
It is Mr. Piggott’s view, and that of vast majority of shareholders that have recently approached him, that Titan is certainly not the sort of company that could be entrusted with Core Gold’s assets in Ecuador.
ONLY YOUR VOTE CAN SAVE YOUR INVESTMENT
Shareholders will be receiving proxies in the mail shortly and are encouraged to vote AGAINST the Proposed Arrangement with Titan.
The Proposed Arrangement is not in the best interest of Core Gold shareholders. Titan is a company with illiquid shares, questionable governance, and a track record of destroying shareholder value.
Core Gold shareholders need to understand that this deal threatens to destroy their investment.
Vote AGAINST the Proposed Arrangement today.
The deadline to vote is Friday, June 7, 2019 at 5:00 pm (Vancouver time).
If you have any questions, or need help voting or exercising dissent rights, contact Kingsdale Advisors at 1-866-851-4179 or firstname.lastname@example.org. There is a team standing by to assist you.
Mr. Piggott has retained Koffman Kalef LLP and Farris, Vaughan, Wills & Murphy LLP as his legal advisors and Kingsdale Advisors as his strategic shareholder, communications and proxy advisor.
ABOUT KEITH PIGGOTT
Keith Piggott is a seasoned mining developer and operator with over 50 years of experience in Africa, Australia, Mexico and South America. Mr. Piggott as CEO, and as an investor, rescued Dynasty Metals and Mining from certain bankruptcy and the loss of all its assets in 2016. He has worked diligently for over two years to take the company, as Core Gold Inc., from a $5 million market capitalization to over $40 million market capitalization before the Titan proposal. He can be contacted at email@example.com, by phone at 520-247-5753.