Red-Hot Resources

"Luck is not chance, it’s toil; fortune’s expensive smile is earned.”

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Huzzah for Hispaniola

When the sailors of old would take off for a particular destination they often shouted "Huzzah!" Therefore, this morning I'm shouting "Huzzah for Hispaniola!" (much to the amusement of my children).

I'm going to go check out a new gold mine that should begin operations later this year (early next year at the latest). They already know they have a good resource, but they may be scratching the surface on a much richer resource.

I'll be on the border of the Dominican Republica and Haiti. I hear that you can see the border because on the Dominican side, it's heavily forested. On the Haitian side, the desperate people living there have cut down all the trees. I've been told by people who have been to the Dominican Republic...

  • Bring lots of $1 and $5 bills
  • Haggle over the price of everything, or be prepared to be ripped off
  • Don't drink the water. Really!
  • When people approach you trying to sell you something, say "no" three times. Third time's the charm.
  • There are bad parts of town in Santo Domingo. Find out where they are and don't go there ... ever.
Just to show you the advantages of a huge Irish family (my mother was one of 13 children) my uncle works at the US Embassy in the Dominican Republic (or "the DR," as he calls it) and is married to the goddaughter of one of the strongmen that formerly ran the country with an iron fist. I'm not sure which strongman -- the DR had quite a few. Rafael Trujillo is the most famous. Just to show you how loved that guy was, the anniversary of his assassination is a national holiday (har!).

Now the DR has quite a progressive government. In 2000, it voted out a guy because his government was tainted by corruption, and the elections were remarkably free and fair. It did the same thing in 2004, so that's pretty good by Latin American standards. The DR is also opening up to business in a big way. In fact, the company I'm going to visit has received some incredible tax incentives to mine there. That's one of the things that makes this comapany such an undiscovered gem.

I love going to check out mines. I spend far too much time behind a computer, and this is the most exciting part of my job. Time for me to go catch a plane. Stay tuned, and I'll update you (if I can find internet access).


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