COMMENT: Can sex sell junior mines?

I thought the days of trotting out scantily clad women to entice people to buy a product were long gone. Evidently not, […]
I thought the days of trotting out scantily clad women to entice people to buy a product were long gone. Evidently not, if Toronto-based KWG Resources manages to separate investors from their money using such an archaic and humiliating practice. Frank C. Smeenk, president and CEO of KWG, has posted a series of interview style conversations with a beautiful blonde woman on YouTube in an attempt to sell the public on his plans for the Ring of Fire. To wit he has hired actress/product-ambassador Theresa Longo. She lobs him a softball question about the Ring of Fire and he replies at length. Finally in episode 23, two scantily clad in women in what looks to be a Muskoka cottage setting talk about the five benefits of developing the Ring of Fire. 1. The minerals there are worth $60 billion. 2. The mineral wealth is equivalent to Alberta’s oil sands. 3. There will be 100 years of jobs. 4. Chromite is used in stainless steel. 5. The First Nations are interested in sharing the resources of the Ring of Fire. Whether or not you agree with Smeenk’s list, what’s not to love about young women in bikini tops and short shorts? In the Twenty-First Century there is no reason to objectify women in this fashion. Even our Prime Minister made certain that half his Cabinet is female as a matter of course in this young century. Competent women are to be found in all walks of life. How much better it would have been for Smeenk to have sought out female geologists or mine engineers to discuss the potential of the Ring of Fire. Selling an exploration or development project on its merits would be a more fitting way to attract investors. Perhaps the problem is that the potential of KWG’s properties has not been defined yet. Partner Noront Resources has chosen not to move forward at the Big Daddy chromite project that is 30% owned by KWG. Instead, Noront is concentrating on the Eagle’s Nest copper-nickel-PGM-chromite deposit for which a positive feasibility study has been prepared. KWG has an option on the Black Horse chromite deposit at the Koper Lake project that is 100% owned by Fancamp Exploration and optioned to project operator Bold Ventures. KWG can earn 80% of Bold’s interest in the chromite resource as well as 20% in any other minerals if it makes expenditures of $1.9 million by Sept. 30, 2016. (For its part, Bold is earning 50% of the project by spending $7.7 million.) Further complicating the outlook for the company is KWG’s stated intention to bring in Chinese expertise to build a railroad to the Ring of Fire. A long standing argument revolves around whether to build an all-weather road or a railroad to move concentrates from potential mines in the Ring of Fire. First Nations have said they expect to be fully involved in building any new infrastructure in northern Ontario. How much more civilized it would be for KWG to rely on the economic potential of its projects rather than exploiting women to attract investors. Has no one considered how many women are making their own investment decisions? Let’s drop this sort of sexist promotion and get on with the business of mine building.


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