S.Atlantic : Sartma Daily (18/10/05)
Submitted by SARTMA.com (Juanita Brock) 19.10.2005 (Article Archived on 26.10.2005)
A brief run-down of South Atlantic news
SARTMA DAILY (18/10/05)
Compiled by J. Brock (FINN)
Section 1: Articles by FINN and SARTMA
Section 2: Mineral Resources News
Section 3: Committee News
Section 4: Calling the Falklands Article
NO PLANS FOR FUEL TAX SAYS CHIEF EXECUTIVE
By J. Brock (FINN)
Following a brief discussion at the Transport Advisory Committee meeting held on Thursday, 13 October 2005, people had been worried that a fuel tax would be levied to augment road maintenance. The Chief Executive, Chris Simpkins, reassures the public that the recently published Integrated Transport Study contains no proposal for the introduction of fuel tax. “The Subject has not been, not currently the subject of any discussion within FIG, nor are there any plans to discuss the subject in the future,” he said in Tuesday.
Public discussion about fuel tax began as a result of all three media outlets on the Island being the meeting at which the subject was discussed, and two of them generating reports. According to Mr. Simpkins the possibility of charging commercial road users was merely raised as a comment and in that context, the introduction of fuel tax was one method of raising income. “I am confident that no one seriously believes that the introduction of fuel tax is a realistic possibility within the foreseeable future,” he said.
He went on to say that despite the concern it was good to see that the Integrated Transport Study is stimulating discussion and that he hopes the consultation period over the next few months will enable much more debate on the future of transport in the Islands, which affects all members of the community.
SPONSOR MONEY NEEDED FROM WILDLIFE WALK
By J. Brock (FINN)
Participants in the World Wildlife Fund walk to save the Orang Utans should return their sponsor money to the Falklands Conservation Office by 30 October. Each participant will receive a certificate. However they cannot be released until all of the money is collected.
FI Conservation sends a huge thank you to all taking part in the walk on Sunday, 09 October 2005.
ST. HELENA TEA PARTY FOR 100 YEAR-OLD
By J. Brock (SARTMA)
Mrs. Emily Vanguard celebrated her 100th birthday on 13 October 2005. On Saturday, 15 October Governor Clancy hosted a tea party at Plantation House in her honour. According to a report from the Castle, Emily managed the steps at the entrance at any problem and she enjoyed the music provided by her family. A Falklands friend, Cllr the Hon. Mr. Bill Drabble serenaded Emily, who is a resident of his constituency in Levelwood.
A highlight of the afternoon was the presentation of Emily’s family tree by Lacosta McDaniel of the St. Helena Archives. Family members at the tea party were keen to see how they fit into the tree that dates from 1830 to recent times.
Governor Clancy intends to officially present the family tree to Emily’s family and has arranged for a similar one for the family of the late Mary Beard.
MINERAL RESOURCES NEWS:
FGML IN A REVIEW OF ITS OPERATIONS
By J. Brock (FINN)
Falkland Gold and Minerals (FGML) have announced that the concept of viable Gold deposits in the Falklands remains strong and their drilling strategy announced in December 2004 remains unchanged. Added information put out by the Company indicates that the programme thus far is still within its budget and on target.
FGML have completed 25% of the drilling programme set out in its November 2004 prospectus. The Board is happy with the strategy and timetable of activity and that it has faith that the project will render Gold and minerals in the Falklands.
Independent consultants have been appointed by FGML to review the selection and siting of new drill holes so that no opportunity has been overlooked. A series of extensions to ground geophysics and ground geochemistry on sub-peat soil sampling has been approved by the Board. This is intended to define further anomalies for drilling, which has taken place through the Austral winter.
Drilling began in March 2005 and by 30 September 2005, 6,000 metres of core had been drilled, covering 7 of the anomalies identified in November 2004. During Stage 2 will include 1800 m, by the fourth quarter of 2006. This covers the other 14 of the 23 identified targets.
Initial broad scale geochemistry has indicated that new targets in the Glorious Hill region are promising and will be followed up with further soil sampling and drilling.
Thus far drilling results have indicated, to a large extent, that prior geological interpretation is on target. Results to date and the knowledge derived from them have allowed the original model to be refined and improved. Those results will focus further drilling activity.
To date, more targets than planned and identified have been drilled and an improved model will improve this trend.
Total cash flow is expected to be in the order of £100,000.00 per month until the conclusion of the exploration phase of drilling. At that time, there will be in the region of £5.5Million available for the definition drilling programme, which if required, will take place in the forth quarter of 2006.
Richard Linnell, Executive Chairman of FGML, commented that the Company’s strategic review has confirmed confidence that the Falkland Islands represents an exploration target with real potential for a Gold deposit. “I am satisfied that we have sufficient financial resources to complete our preliminary exploration activity and define any discoveries,” he said.
RNS Number:9697OFalkland Gold and Minerals Ltd
18 July 2005 JULY 2005 (FOR REFERENCE)
FALKLANDS GOLD AND MINERALS LTD ("FGML" or the "Company")
Falkland Gold and Minerals Limited, the exploration company with exclusiveFalkland Islands, is pleased to provide the following operational update.
The Company has been drilling targets identified from its 2004 aeromagneticFalkland Islands, a number of which have coincident alluvial gold in adjacent drainage systems. FGML identified at least 23 targets and has commenced exploration activities to investigate these targets.
Drilling commenced in March 2005 and as of the end of June a total of 2,630East Falklands :
Sub-economic indications of gold (Au) were identified in three intersections (0.19 grams Au/tonne over 0.75 metres; 0.19 grams Au/tonne over 1.0 metre and 0.18 grams Au/tonne over 1.0 metre). There was one sub-economic intersection of platinum (Pt) and palladium (Pd) (0.17 grams Pt/tonne over 1.0 metre and 0.14 Pd grams/tonne over 1.0metre). A silver showing of 3.5g per ton over a 1.3 metre intersection was also identified in doleritic intrusions. The gold and platinum anomalies were associated with carbonaceous shale and mudstones in an area which appears to be a structurally controlled fault wedge.
Whilst the values received are sub-economic, they are of great geological merit to the exploration. The anomalies associated with the shale and mudstones and those with the doleritic dyke are encouraging as they demonstrate that the earlier exploration work has correctly identified anomalous areas. The results and core logs have also been re-submitted for analysis to enhance the original geophysical study.
This is the first drilling ever done on the Falklands and these initial assays are starting to validate the initial target selection from the geophysical and geochemical work carried out in 2004. Whilst this scientific success should assist in homing in on potential economic success, there is a need for considerable exploration work in order to fully understand the geological settings and to then focus in on any higher grade zones.
FGML has also commenced target refinement soil sampling on Target T11 where geochemical sampling has returned anomalous gold results confirming the original stream geochemical samples. The gold anomalies are co-incident with platinum and silver anomalies. At this stage, only a quarter of the geochemical work is complete but these preliminary results are encouraging.
Drilling continues in East Falklands with 20 of the initial 23 identified targets still to be investigated. As work advances on these targets and assay results are received back from the laboratory and interpreted, the Company will continue to report its findings on a regular basis.
Bell Pottinger Corporate & Financial Nick Lambert / Paddy Blewer +44 (0)20 7861 3232
This information is provided by RNS. The company news service from the London Stock Exchange
FALKLAND ISLANDS DEVELOPMENT BOARD MEETING: TUESDAY, 18 OCTOBER 2005
By J. Brock (FINN)
A meeting of the Falkland Islands Development Board took place in the Liberation Room of the Secretariat at 0900 on Tuesday, 18 October 2005. Apologies were received from Mrs. C. Stevens, Head of Tourism. Present at the meeting were Cllr. Mike Summers (Chair), Cllr. Richard Cockwell, Fiona Didlick, Ron Binnie, Bernadette Lang, Keith Padgett, Mike Forrest, Cllr. John Birmingham, Julian Morris (FIDC) Stuart Wallace and Chris Simpkins, the Chief Executive.
The minutes from the meeting held at the Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, 13 September 2005 were confirmed and matters arising were discussed. The FIPASS issue has gone to EXCO and the next stage is to receive a repairs and maintenance paper for submission to EXCO. Cllr. Cockwell asked whether the changeover had taken place and the answer is yes.
Declaration of interests came next with Stuart Wallace declaring interests in Fishing, Aquaculture and Retail.
The General Manager’s report mainly consisted of his business trip to Chile, where he held discussions about sheep meat and the import of Falkland Islands beef. There is some interest in Falklands products and the next stage would be to get a container of products to send over. The interest in beef is because Brazil has Foot and Mouth Disease in their cattle and there is a niche in the Chilean market. The drawback to trade is that the Falklands cannot prove their disease free status. This has been taken onboard by the Department of Agriculture but this proof is at the early stages of development. While there have, for example, been no diseases like BSE in cattle born in the Falklands, an animal was imported with the disease and destroyed. This did not help matters in terms of the Falklands reputation of a disease free status. A system of monitoring and testing would be implemented.
As far as the Abattoir is concerned we have EU status but it was attained before the issue came up and it is thought that it is an issue with the EU now so it is important to document and maintain our disease free status.
Cllr. Summers asked about testing for Scrapie in sheep and how do we demonstrate that the disease isn’t evident in Falklands’ sheep. Stuart Wallace wanted to know what the next steps were to ensure the disease free status in regard to Scrapie and Julian Morris said that there were plans to put forward a regime to demonstrate our disease free status as we need it to export to the EU. Money for this purpose has been allocated. Ron Binnie asked about traceability and Mr. Morris said that records were kept at the abattoir about the farm of origin of all animals slaughtered at the Abattoir.
Moving on to the e-shop, Mr. Morris is pleased that it is up and running and receiving an average of one order a day. Setting it up wasn’t an example of speed. Cllr. Summers said there was £15,000.00 allocated for the e-shop and Julian Morris said that half was for the portal and the other half was for the e-shop. It was hopeful that it could be passed on to a retailer to operate as it was taking up a lot of Tim Cotter’s time.
The Lookout Industrial Estate’s spine road, drainage and flooding was the subject of a users meeting headed by Charlene Rowland. The users said they approved a tarmac surface for streets within the estate. More people have replied to the business survey than had done so two years ago and this was encouraging. A beef trailer for the TAMAR would be delivered in a month and hopefully it will work well.
Tim Cotter is looking into a wind generator that would provide power for the cool room as well as hot water. Extra power would be needed should sea food be processed at the Abattoir. A second hand turbine had been selected and it should pay for itself in three to four years. A paper will come to the next meeting. Cllr Summers asked about cost and Julian Morris said it was £30,000.00. And, a new one would cost £70,000.00 but it was thought that if this was experimental then the less money spent the better, especially if it didn’t work. Cllr. Cockwell was assured that spares would be available.
Julian Morris said that there were 150 applicants for the Aquaculture, however only a few would be suitable for the job. It was mentioned that the salary might have been a drawing card. Four volunteers including Chris Simpkins and Stuart Wallace were put forward to help Julian Morris interview the applicants. The JDR study has been received in the Falklands on Monday and it will be circulated in due course.
Neil Judd had been travelling and had meetings with the British Wool Board about a Broad Wool Offering System for wool growers in the Falklands. FIDB should support any value adding scheme and this was a flag that there would be further Board discussion on this.
As for the East-West Ferry, it was proposed that there would be a trial in subsidising transport of goods to the Ferry Port as some farms would have to endure a 2 hour drive. The idea was a non starter because people would have to pay for transport costs after the trial was over. It was better to have the Tamar go to the individual farm jetties for pick up of wool and goods. Fox Bay was considered open waters and not part of Falkland Sound, so as the law stands now, passengers could not be dropped off there. Fox Bay was a good port because it had the proper facilities like a large storage facility – and a Government Agent.
The financial statement made by Bernadette Lang mentions that there was a lot of unspent allocated money available.
The carrier bags were discussed again with Fiona Didlick saying that the General Manager and not the Board had approved the expenditure of money for them. Miss Lang had not seen the approval. Julian Morris said to consider that it was not approved, as the bags were not paid for yet.
Video Conferencing was discussed with an option of using imported equipment but it was thought to compare prices with those that Cable & Wireless were going to offer and make a decision after prices and services were compared. The Hospital are keen to use the equipment for obvious reasons.
A Dumping machine – a bailer that compresses two bales into one – was discussed with Stuart Wallace asking who the machine was for. It was obvious from Julian Morris’s remarks that the machine was for FIDC’s disposal, as he didn’t name a person or business.
Income and the amount in the loan account were discussed. People had been moving out of the FIDC Business start up Offices. Rented and leased land at Lookout Industrial Estate was discussed with Miss. Lang saying that further income comes from the container park.
The balance sheet shows an under-spend on approvals and a low loan fund. Stuart Wallace asked if FIDC was running down on funds and Miss Lang said that there was a certain amount of the funds that weren’t used. Cllr. Summers added that there was £300,000.00 to £500,000.00 in the consolidated reserve. Miss. Lang went on to say that draft statements are awaited for FIDC and FIMCO.
The remainder of the public section of the meeting was taken up with a discussion on upgrading Bed and Breakfast and Lodge accommodation, with priorities for Grants being increasing bed capacity, providing en suite bathrooms and improving common areas. There needed to be a tightening up on using the money for maintenance, such as painting the exterior and adding windows. The general thought was that the business needed to be established. There was the fear that the business would benefit from the grant and be sold on. If it was within 3 years of the grant, monies on a sliding scale would have to be paid back. A time limit of 5 years was liked but 6 years in business would even be better. If the business is sold after that time it would be a good thing because the money would have been well spent in building the business up. However, to sell the business on just after improvements was a non starter with Cllr. Summers saying that using public funds to facilitate a private sale was not acceptable. Everyone was happy with that and the tightening up on what the money would be used for. £40,000.00 would be found for the grant scheme.
The public session of the meeting ended at approximately 1015.
ARGENTINA PRESENTS ITS AMBITIONS ON THE EUROPEAN STAGE
A Report for BBC World Service “Calling the Falklands” by Deborah Vogle (DV) 18/10/05
Argentina’s dispute with Britain over the sovereignty over the Falklands came up yet again over the weekend. This time it was at the Iberia – American Summit held in Spain. The summit is a forum for the Spanish and Portuguese speaking nations of Latin America to meet with the former “Mother” countries in Europe – Spain and Portugal. This year’s meeting was put on a more formal footing, as I heard from Danny Wood (DW), who reports for the BBC in Madrid.
DW: The Prime Minister of Spain, the host of the summit, said this summit was really the start of the Spanish and Portuguese nations having a real voice on the world stage. As part of their main declaration that came out of the end of this conference was really focused towards solving some fundamental problems in Latin America – poverty, strengthening the democracy there – some big words and some pretty solid stuff. to. They’ve decided to start their own secretariat, if you like – an administrative body that will administer all of these actions. So there is sort of thought to following through these actions. They decided they are going to offer the poorer countries in Latin America – they are saying that if you will cancel your debts to us the rich Latin American countries and Spain and Portugal – you invest that money in education. So there has been some concrete things to come out of it. It really is focused on solving problems in Latin America.
DV: The Argentine News Agency, Telam, reported that Argentina was very well pleased with that outcome. What, in particular did you think there was in it for Argentina?
DW: They certainly have reason to be pleased with the outcome of this conference with what happened over the Falkland Islands. They were mentioned in a special communication, which wasn’t part of the declaration. There were some 15 special communications on issues ranging from improving gender equality across Latin America. There are other ones about Cuba and the embargo there and quite a way down the list, actually, one on the Falkland Islands, which refers to basically the necessity for the Governments of Argentina and Britain to reach, in the shortest time possible – I’m just reading the little paragraph here – a quick solution on the sovereignty dispute in accordance with the United Nations and human rights and respect for territorial integrity. That’s what they got. It has the full force of the 20 Latin American Countries, Spain and Portugal supporting it. It’s a fairly diplomatic statement.
DV: But after all, putting this forward on the stage like this where you’ve got two European Countries – members of NATO – does that not make a difference to earlier calls for the same request to resume negotiations with Britain?
DW: It certainly does and that’s the key difference. This has happened in Europe in front of the European Union. And, one of the things that Spain and Portugal are saying is they really want the European Union to have more of an interest in what goes on in Latin America. So, it’s important that this show of support for, I guess, Argentina – it is an issue and it needs to be solved. It certainly progress from the Argentine prospective.
DV: So, where does this leave Latin America after this summit?
DW: One of the big criticisms of this Iberian and American Summit is that they achieve nothing. President Chavez said four years ago that leaders go to summits while the poor go to oblivion. But he was fairly upbeat after this summit. So it is now the job of the secretariat that they created, which is the important thing here – that they actually created a body that would exist as a permanent body to run the Iberian – American agenda. That now has to run through these measures and we don’t know whether that’s going to happen or not but I think everyone here thinks it might.