I'm no expert on in situ uranium recovery, which amounts to flushing water through the rock formations in the Black Hills and recovering the dissolved product, then re-flushing that contaminated water back into the ground. Some contend that the re-flushed water, though eternally altered, is safe. Many don't.
Some believe that re-configuring the character of the pristine Black Hills by dotting it with uranium mining operations is good for South Dakota. Many don't.
Some have thought the foreign company (Azarga/Powertech, known simply as Powertech here) with offices in Vancouver and Hong Kong is a sound investment. Many, many, many have learned the hard way that it isn't.
Among them were those who bought the stock at better than $4 per share in '07. Then there was that bunch who thought they were stealing it for $1.50 per share in '08. And let's not forget those buyers who paid 50 cents per share between '09 and '11. What they think now that Powertech stock is trading at 6 cents per share is probably unprintable here.
That the company has destroyed a lot of investor equity over the years is a matter of record. That its persistent pursuit of permits to start its water-based in situ uranium recovery venture in the Black Hills has been the basis for the company's claims of better times ahead is obvious. That some believe the effort is really a calculated maneuver to do nothing more than drive up the price of Powertech stock is a reasonable conclusion.
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This company lives in the "penny stocks" world, which is so loaded with disclaimers and warnings that most serious investors shun them. NASDAQ itself issues a rather stern and unequivocal warning about these companies, which include stocks like Powertech, that can't even be bought through conventional means. Ask your brokers about the much-disdained "pink sheet" list of stocks.
And why does the conclusion that Powertech's main goal is to drive up the price of its stock by blowing smoke about the company's expectations seem reasonable? Well, you have to look at the global market for uranium itself, which collapsed after the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster a few years ago. The price has fallen by more than half, which dealt a sharp blow to Powertech's prospects.
One local analyst (sorry, no names, no genders) tells me that the price of uranium is below the cost of mining it in the Black Hills. If correct, then Powertech's reason to exist is all about getting some sort of a bounce in the price of its stock, which calls for a full frontal public relations assault by the company's touts.
Dr. Lilias Jarding of Rapid City has been so incensed by the company's efforts at doing so that she just fired off a letter to Canada's Securities Commission, complaining about the company's misstatements, which she believes are intended to mislead both the general public and potential investors in Powertech stock. I think her concerns have merit, and I hope Canadian regulators look into it.