Share Name Share Symbol Market Type Share ISIN Share Description
Shaft Sink LSE:SHFT London Ordinary Share IM00B690ZP24 ORD NPV
  Price Change % Change Share Price Bid Price Offer Price High Price Low Price Open Price Shares Traded Last Trade
  +0.00p +0.00% 0.625p 0.00p 0.00p - - - 0.00 05:00:10
Industry Sector Turnover (m) Profit (m) EPS - Basic PE Ratio Market Cap (m)
Support Services 152.2 2.9 4.1 0.2 0.30

Shaft Sink Share Discussion Threads

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DateSubjectAuthorDiscuss
03/9/2016
19:06
I wonder why Muckshifter didn't post this in January, considering how closely he has been following this case ... "Shaft Sinkers and EuroChem agree to settle dispute BY ALLAN SECCOMBE, 21 JANUARY 2016, 06:05 SHAFT Sinkers, once a leading provider of shaft-sinking services to the mining industry, has reached an "amicable" settlement with EuroChem, which was pursuing the company for $917m in a dispute relating to a Russian potash mine. Citing conditions in the agreement, Shaft Sinkers acting CEO and chairman Marius Heyns said on Wednesday he could not offer any additional comment to a statement from EuroChem on the resolution. "EuroChem, Shaft Sinkers, Rossal No126 and International Mineral Resources announce that they have amicably resolved all matters relating to their dispute involving EuroChem’s potash mining project in Russia, and all litigation and arbitration associated therewith has been dismissed or withdrawn," EuroChem said on Monday. The arbitration, which cost Shaft Sinkers more than £10m and nearly destroyed the company, was one of the major factors that led to its South African division being put into business rescue and the termination of its listing in London. Impala Platinum and Royal Bafokeng Platinum cancelled large shaft-sinking contracts with Shaft Sinkers, which slashed staff and sold assets as its difficulties mounted. EuroChem alleged Shaft Sinkers’ grouting technology had failed in the sinking of the shaft at its Gremyachinskoe potash deposit, forcing a suspension of the project. EuroChem, Russia’s largest mineral fertiliser company, launched a claim with the Swiss Chambers of Commerce in Zurich and the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris against the South African arm of London-listed Shaft Sinkers in 2012, seeking compensation for lost profits and to recoup costs. Shaft Sinkers denied the allegations. The claims were ringfenced in the South African subsidiary, which was placed under business rescue. Mr Heyns outlined last year his vision for restoring Shaft Sinkers’ fortunes. The company still has contracts in the Democratic Republic of Congo, India and Kazakhstan, as well as other divisions unaffected by the EuroChem matter." HTTP://www.bdlive.co.za/business/mining/2016/01/21/shaft-sinkers-and-eurochem-agree-to-settle-dispute In summary: My position was that Eurochem's SUBSTANTIVE claim against SHFT - for about a billion dollars (the precise amount changed over time) - was unjustified. But that a far lower amount might be. Muckshifter in contrast insisted that the full amount was justified, and that they would pursue it all the way. So what happened? Well, the arbitration disallowed the vast majority of EuroChem's claim, and shortly afterwards the parties settled voluntarily.
hedgehog 100
03/9/2016
18:15
I wonder why Muckshifter didn't post this in January, considering how closely he has been following this case ... "Shaft Sinkers and EuroChem agree to settle dispute BY ALLAN SECCOMBE, 21 JANUARY 2016, 06:05 SHAFT Sinkers, once a leading provider of shaft-sinking services to the mining industry, has reached an "amicable" settlement with EuroChem, which was pursuing the company for $917m in a dispute relating to a Russian potash mine. Citing conditions in the agreement, Shaft Sinkers acting CEO and chairman Marius Heyns said on Wednesday he could not offer any additional comment to a statement from EuroChem on the resolution. "EuroChem, Shaft Sinkers, Rossal No126 and International Mineral Resources announce that they have amicably resolved all matters relating to their dispute involving EuroChem’s potash mining project in Russia, and all litigation and arbitration associated therewith has been dismissed or withdrawn," EuroChem said on Monday. The arbitration, which cost Shaft Sinkers more than £10m and nearly destroyed the company, was one of the major factors that led to its South African division being put into business rescue and the termination of its listing in London. Impala Platinum and Royal Bafokeng Platinum cancelled large shaft-sinking contracts with Shaft Sinkers, which slashed staff and sold assets as its difficulties mounted. EuroChem alleged Shaft Sinkers’ grouting technology had failed in the sinking of the shaft at its Gremyachinskoe potash deposit, forcing a suspension of the project. EuroChem, Russia’s largest mineral fertiliser company, launched a claim with the Swiss Chambers of Commerce in Zurich and the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris against the South African arm of London-listed Shaft Sinkers in 2012, seeking compensation for lost profits and to recoup costs. Shaft Sinkers denied the allegations. The claims were ringfenced in the South African subsidiary, which was placed under business rescue. Mr Heyns outlined last year his vision for restoring Shaft Sinkers’ fortunes. The company still has contracts in the Democratic Republic of Congo, India and Kazakhstan, as well as other divisions unaffected by the EuroChem matter." HTTP://www.bdlive.co.za/business/mining/2016/01/21/shaft-sinkers-and-eurochem-agree-to-settle-dispute In summary: My position was that Eurochem's SUBSTANTIVE claim against SHFT - for about a billion dollars (the precise amount changed over time) - was unjustified. But that a far lower amount might be. Muckshifter in contrast insisted that the full amount was justified, and that they would pursue it all the way. So what happened? Well, the arbitration disallowed the vast majority of EuroChem's claim, and shortly afterwards the parties settled voluntarily.
hedgehog 100
02/6/2016
15:27
CAPD is experiencing slightly improved trading conditions this year, which at 35.25p is reflected in its strong share price performance over the last few months. 18/05/2016 07:00 UKREG Capital Drilling Limited Q1 Trading Update "Capital Drilling Limited (CAPD:LN), the emerging and developing markets focused drilling company, today provides its trading update for the period 1 January to 17 May 2016. … Financial Highlights -- Payment of final dividend (US2.5cps) for 2015 financial year on May 6, 2016 -- Stable revenue over the traditionally weak 1st quarter, with revenue increasing into Q2 following the commencement of new short term exploration contracts -- Positive cash flow from operational activities maintained; Capital Drilling remains focussed on strict cost management and ongoing capital discipline, generating solid cash flows and a strong balance sheet Trading Update and Outlook Capital Drilling generated revenue of $19.1 million during 1Q 2016, which represents an increase of 1.1% on the previous period (4Q 2015 $18.9 million). The result reflects the continued stabilization of the Company's revenue with the Company's core production contracts contributing over 80% of Group revenue in Q1. The Group saw a slight increase in utilisation over the quarter, reflecting increased activity at the North Mara Gold Mine and new exploration contracts that commenced late in the quarter. ARORP was however marginally softer, primarily due to rigs commencing drilling in late March, therefore generating a marginal revenue contribution for the period, in addition to single shift drilling on a number of exploration programs. Of particular encouragement was the award of multiple exploration contracts during the period, indicating early signs of a measured industry recovery. It is also important to note that the Company was awarded the majority of the exploration contracts it tendered for. This significant achievement can largely be attributed to its Lean Operating Model ("the Model"), which was implemented in 2015. The Model enables Capital Drilling to provide competitive drilling programs on smaller site footprints and the Company has received positive client feedback relating to projects in Botswana, Egypt, Peru and Tanzania. A further operational achievement for the period includes Capital's mobilization of three new blast hole rigs for Acacia Mining's North Mara contract. This contract extends the Company's services at the site, where it was previously providing grade control drilling services only. The two-plus-two year contract with Acacia Mining was announced to the market on 14 December 2015 and increased the total rigs on site to 5. Recent increases in the gold price along with increased capital markets activity in the mining sector give the Group an encouraging outlook. The early signs of recovery in the sector, albeit measured, together with the award of new exploration contracts, reinforce Capital's position for revenue and earnings growth during the balance of 2016 and beyond. The Group continues to benefit from a strong balance sheet and solid cash generation, providing the platform for growth. Commenting on the trading update, Mark Parsons, Chief Executive Officer, said: "While the market continues to be subdued, the small signs of improvement in the tendering markets are encouraging, as is the recent uplift in capital markets activity in the resources sector. While we currently expect trading to remain in line with expectations for the remainder of the year, we are in a strong position to take advantage of opportunities as conditions improve. The large majority of our revenue is secured with long-term contracts, many of which are expected to operate beyond their forecast completion. Our low cost operating model also attracted several new contracts during Q1, supporting our growth strategy. For the balance of the year we will continue to: pursue growth in emerging markets; enhance our ability to offer additional drilling services; and execute strategic partnerships. I am confident we have established a solid platform for future growth, despite the challenges the industry continues to face." …" http://uk.advfn.com/stock-market/london/capital-drilling-CAPD/share-news/Capital-Drilling-Limited-Q1-Trading-Update/71511435
hedgehog 100
02/1/2016
15:26
Another failed attempt by IMR to block use of evidence obtained through the shft arbitration in the forthcoming action by Eurochem against IMR in the Dutch courts, I would think. " On November 17-18, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued a series of decisions rejecting all allegations that the consulting expert hired by EuroChem-VolgaKaliy had engaged in unlawful information-gathering activity."
muckshifter
23/12/2015
08:52
There you are Technofiend. I don't think there is any chance of Oxus surviving now, and I don't think the people who financed the arbitration will get any of their loans back either. The next step will probably be action within the "local" courts to pursue the Uzbec counterclaim, which was ruled as outside the jurisdiction of the arbitrators (by the arbitrators) and guess who will win that (and in the meantime withhold payment of the arbitral award - which means the "funder" will disappear - just about what I expected, so far). Regards. P.S hope I saved you a few bob there.
muckshifter
08/12/2015
18:27
muckshifter:> Thanks for all your hard work following up. Makes very interesting reading. I suspect the only people to make any money out of this are the lawyers.
pugugly
08/12/2015
18:11
Here’s one for Noirua, hope he reads this one! Shft must have used a dozen lawyers in all, and seem to have changed the basis of their defence substantially, late in 2013 after a change in their representation. They then claimed that the law applicable to the arbitration should be Russian law, which conveniently for them would have meant that the Russian statute of limitations (time limits on bringing cases) would have just barred the case, after not mentioning this claim before the limitation period expired, during various procedures including their initial defence in the year and a bit since the arbitration was announced. Their contention was based on a very convoluted argument which was intended to overturn the use of English law specified in the contract, but it was unanimously rejected by the arbitration panel. Regards.
muckshifter
03/12/2015
13:07
Another thought, from the information about the arbitration result, is that the flotation of shft might just have been hurried after events at Volgakaly. The BASF report of May 2008 indicating that some of the known bad ground was impenetrable to the intended grout, was finally delivered to the Head of Mine Construction at Eurochem, the man who “took the shft/IMR shilling”, in October 2010, less than three months before shft’s flotation but before the flotation was announced I believe. He apparently put it into a set of files containing more than a million pages, without drawing it to the attention of his bosses. But presumably, it became inevitable at that point that the report would eventually surface, because by then all sorts of other problems were surfacing, with likely serious contractual consequences. The owners of IMR, which was a 48% shareholder in shft after flotation – 54% before, have never imho shown the slightest regard for the laws of any country or any stockmarket regulations as far as I can see, so they may well have found a way to short sell their shareholding while the shares were flying high shortly after flotation without revealing it. Put it this way, I doubt if they suffered any loss from their purchase of shft. Regards.
muckshifter
03/12/2015
13:07
Another thought, from the information about the arbitration result, is that the flotation of shft might just have been hurried after events at Volgakaly. The BASF report of May 2008 indicating that some of the known bad ground was impenetrable to the intended grout, was finally delivered to the Head of Mine Construction at Eurochem, the man who “took the shft/IMR shilling”, in October 2010, less than three months before shft’s flotation but before the flotation was announced I believe. He apparently put it into a set of files containing more than a million pages, without drawing it to the attention of his bosses. But presumably, it became inevitable at that point that the report would eventually surface, because by then all sorts of other problems were surfacing, with likely serious contractual consequences. The owners of IMR, which was a 48% shareholder in shft after flotation – 54% before, have never imho shown the slightest regard for the laws of any country or any stockmarket regulations as far as I can see, so they may well have found a way to short sell their shareholding while the shares were flying high shortly after flotation without revealing it. Put it this way, I doubt if they suffered any loss from their purchase of shft. Regards.
muckshifter
02/12/2015
18:08
So the legal chess goes on then. My take on the New York action by IMR is that it’s a further attempt to limit the use of evidence from the arbitration in the Dutch Eurochem / IMR trial. Shft (and one thing I found quite surprising was the use of the terms “parent company” and “subsidiary221; when refering to the relationship between IMR and shft during the arbitration) tried at least four times during the arbitration to persuade the arbitration panel to restrict the use of evidence from the arbitration in the Dutch case, police investigations, and other unspecified court actions Eurochem said they intended to take. It was never made clear whether or not the very late Eurochem witness statements, particularly those made by Hall, submitted in June 2015, were considered by the tribunal, but if they were not included in the tribunal’s considerations presumably they are freely available for the Dutch trial, but the evidence in the arbitration seemed overwhelming anyway. The other thing which came across strongly was that the arbitration panel was clearly keen to avoid actions which could possibly conflict with the interests of other judicial authorities. If that is the normal protocol in terms of possible conflict between different court actions, I suspect that IMR are making another attempt to keep evidence provided at the arbitration out of the Dutch action by taking advantage of that protocol. In terms of the allegations of hacking etc. I would think there probably was quite a bit of hacking going on. Both shft and Eurochem accused each other of this sort of espionage, but the tribunal panel didn’t seem to attribute much importance to it, or the allegations of frequent attempts by people working for shft / IMR to intimidate the original shft project manager from the Volgakaly job, who had become a witness for Eurochem. The thing which astonishes me in that story is the pretence about leaks to the press. There were very regular bits of spin given to the press by IMR / Shft, clearly pushing their defence arguments, whereas the Eurochem side normally refused comment. Note also, the proliferation of “weasel words” after the first paragraph of the report. For example “Melnichenko, the lawsuit continues, "has personally, and through companies he owns, been associated with a number of allegedly improper and illegal activities throughout the world," including bribery allegations against executives at a chemical company where Melnichenko sat on the board of directors, and money laundering charges against a bank he founded” really doesn’t mean very much does it. PS. 2/1/16. On November 17-18, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued a series of decisions rejecting all allegations that the consulting expert hired by EuroChem-VolgaKaliy had engaged in unlawful information-gathering activity.
muckshifter
02/12/2015
18:05
So the legal chess goes on then. My take on the New York action by IMR is that it’s a further attempt to limit the use of evidence from the arbitration in the Dutch Eurochem / IMR trial. Shft (and one thing I found quite surprising was the use of the terms “parent company” and “subsidiary221; when refering to the relationship between IMR and shft during the arbitration) tried at least four times during the arbitration to persuade the arbitration panel to restrict the use of evidence from the arbitration in the Dutch case, police investigations, and other unspecified court actions Eurochem said they intended to take. It was never made clear whether or not the very late Eurochem witness statements, particularly those made by Hall, submitted in June 2015, were considered by the tribunal, but if they were not included in the tribunal’s considerations presumably they are freely available for the Dutch trial, but the evidence in the arbitration seemed overwhelming anyway. The other thing which came across strongly was that the arbitration panel was clearly keen to avoid actions which could possibly conflict with the interests of other judicial authorities. If that is the normal protocol in terms of possible conflict between different court actions, I suspect that IMR are making another attempt to keep evidence provided at the arbitration out of the Dutch action by taking advantage of that protocol. In terms of the allegations of hacking etc. I would think there probably was quite a bit of hacking going on. Both shft and Eurochem accused each other of this sort of espionage, but the tribunal panel didn’t seem to attribute much importance to it, or the allegations of frequent attempts by people working for shft / IMR to intimidate the original shft project manager from the Volgakaly job, who had become a witness for Eurochem. The thing which astonishes me in that story is the pretence about leaks to the press. There were very regular bits of spin given to the press by IMR / Shft, clearly pushing their defence arguments, whereas the Eurochem side normally refused comment. Note also, the proliferation of “weasel words” after the first paragraph of the report. For example “Melnichenko, the lawsuit continues, "has personally, and through companies he owns, been associated with a number of allegedly improper and illegal activities throughout the world," including bribery allegations against executives at a chemical company where Melnichenko sat on the board of directors, and money laundering charges against a bank he founded” really doesn’t mean very much does it.
muckshifter
30/11/2015
12:04
The person “taking the shft/IMR shilling” was the Eurochem Head of Mine Construction, who seems to have had, in effect, powers similar to “The Engineer” in an ICE contract. This means that he had the power to approve, or withold, approval of sub contractors, thereby preventing or allowing them to be appointed, with similar powers in relation to changes to the programme, methods, senior contractors personnel, etc. It also meant that he signed off the monthly payment certificates for the contractors, and he may well have had powers to give contract time extensions, although a major extension would surely cause questions from above. Clearly he was exactly the right man from the shft /IMR perspective in terms of his powers on Volgakaly, which left the shft /IMR attempted justification of “the arrangement” on the basis that he would be useful in their efforts to expand within the old soviet territories, looking very lame. He seems to have been involved in many of the numerous scams mentioned, but one interesting point was the allegation that he deliberately obstructed Thyssen in their work on the skip shaft, by refusing to approve their subcontractors, etc., while writing emails to his “friend” at shft suggesting that shft should soon have the skip shaft contract, to add to their cage shaft. That might be thought of as an each way bet by him, as one of the ways used to induce a bribe offer, in my experience, is to be deliberately and clearly obstructive with whatever power you wield. By the time the Thyssen contract was prematurely terminated at the end of 2009, perhaps as a result of his efforts, I believe shft were struggling and unable to take advantage of their “lucky opportunity”. In the end Thyssen had to be brought back to sort out both shafts of course. Regards.
muckshifter
30/11/2015
12:04
The person “taking the shft/IMR shilling” was the Eurochem Head of Mine Construction, who seems to have had, in effect, powers similar to “The Engineer” in an ICE contract. This means that he had the power to approve, or withold, approval of sub contractors, thereby preventing or allowing them to be appointed, with similar powers in relation to changes to the programme, methods, senior contractors personnel, etc. It also meant that he signed off the monthly payment certificates for the contractors, and he may well have had powers to give contract time extensions, although a major extension would surely cause questions from above. Clearly he was exactly the right man from the shft /IMR perspective in terms of his powers on Volgakaly, which left the shft /IMR attempted justification of “the arrangement” on the basis that he would be useful in their efforts to expand within the old soviet territories, looking very lame. He seems to have been involved in many of the numerous scams mentioned, but one interesting point was the allegation that he deliberately obstructed Thyssen in their work on the skip shaft, by refusing to approve their subcontractors, etc., while writing emails to his “friend” at shft suggesting that shft should soon have the skip shaft contract, to add to their cage shaft. That might be thought of as an each way bet by him, as one of the ways used to induce a bribe offer, in my experience, is to be deliberately and clearly obstructive with whatever power you wield. By the time the Thyssen contract was prematurely terminated at the end of 2009, perhaps as a result of his efforts, I believe shft were struggling and unable to take advantage of their “lucky opportunity”. In the end Thyssen had to be brought back to sort out both shafts of course. Regards.
muckshifter
29/11/2015
20:19
"Courthouse News Service Monday, November 16, 2015 Last Update: 8:47 AM PT Mining Company Says Law Firm Hacked It By NICK RUMMELL MANHATTAN (CN) - A law firm and a man accused of being a former Soviet spy hacked into a mining company's computers to get an upper hand in overseas litigation, the company claims. International Mineral Resources, or IMR, claims business rival and fertilizer maker EuroChem Volga-Kaliy hired New York City law firm Salisbury & Ryan to dig up information on a business rival when a mining deal went bad. The law firm then hired alleged former Soviet military counterintelligence officer Renit Akhmetshin to conduct an illegal hacking campaign, according to a lawsuit filed by the mining company on Nov. 12 in New York County Supreme Court. The lawsuit does not list any direct documentation of Salisbury & Ryan or EuroChem asking the alleged former spy to hack IMR, but it claims that the law firm "reached out to Akhmetshin specifically because they understood that Akhmetshin could gain access to private sources of information." The alleged espionage stems from a mining deal that went sour after unexpected delays held up construction of a mine in Russia, according to the complaint. In 2007, EuroChem entered into a contract with South African mining company Shaft Sinkers to design and dig a mine shaft in a small Russian town. Five years later, the mine flooded, the project was delayed, and EuroChem began examining potential legal action against Shaft Sinkers, court records show. EuroChem hired boutique law firm Salisbury & Ryan to help prepare for the potential lawsuit and to dig up information on Shaft Sinkers' affiliates, the complaint states. The three-attorney firm, known for handling international arbitration, then allegedly asked longtime collaborator Akhmetshin for help. Akhmetshin, once a Russian government official, has for at least the last decade worked as a lobbyist in Washington, D.C., running a little-known think tank called the International Eurasian Institute for Economic and Political Research, according to IMR's lawsuit. The suit claims Akhmetshin has made a name for himself by developing relationships with reporters at Harper's Magazine, The Wall Street Journal and The Huffington Post. He disseminated inside information to journalists in an effort to tarnish certain companies' reputations, IMR alleges. Akhmetshin's name was mentioned in an article in The New York Times earlier this year detailing a Russian business feud, in which Akhmetshin was quoted as being paid $70,000 by one Russian oligarch to discredit another. In last week's lawsuit, IMR claims EuroChem asked Akhmetshin in July 2012 to break into its company servers, then paid him $45,000 for the information he stole. A month and a half later, Akhmetshin allegedly met with his employers in London to drop off a thumb drive with 50 gigabytes of stolen Shaft Sinkers memos, emails and financial information on it. In late 2012, after Akhmetshin allegedly delivered the stolen data, EuroChem filed arbitration proceedings against Shaft Sinkers, claiming misconduct in the mining project the two companies had once shared. EuroChem also brought claims against IMR in the Netherlands in 2013. EuroChem sought about $1.2 billion in the Dutch case, according to court records. But Akhmetshin's work wasn't done yet, the lawsuit states, as he then allegedly spent the early months of 2013 contacting journalists to put out negative stories on Shaft Sinkers and its parent company IMR. Akhmetshin was paid $100,000 for the smear campaign and bragged about it, saying he was paid that much to do "certain things that the law firm could not do," the mining company says. The stolen data was still being shopped to others last year, according to IMR. Akhmetshin met a businessman in a London coffee shop in January 2014 and offered to sell the thumb drive, saying "there's a lot of the stuff, so ... but that's why you are paying money," IMR's complaint states. The lawsuit also claims the potential ringleader of the conspiracy is Andrey Melnichenko, a Russian billionaire who chairs EuroChem. Melnichenko, who boasts the world's biggest yacht, has a longstanding relationship with Salisbury & Ryan, which helped the Russian oligarch in a legal dispute over a defective paint job on his yacht, IMR alleges. "It should come as no surprise that Melnichenko turned to Salisbury," the complaint states. "It should also come as no surprise that this group engaged in the wrongful hacking of IMR's computer systems to gain an unfair advantage in those legal proceedings and cause IMR harm." Melnichenko, the lawsuit continues, "has personally, and through companies he owns, been associated with a number of allegedly improper and illegal activities throughout the world," including bribery allegations against executives at a chemical company where Melnichenko sat on the board of directors, and money laundering charges against a bank he founded. As a result of the stolen data, Shaft Sinkers and IMR have taken sizeable hits financially, the mining company's lawsuit alleges. Shaft Sinkers, which was 48 percent owned by IMR at the time of the 2013 arbitration, has been in financial trouble ever since it was sued by EuroChem, IMR says. A Dutch court dismissed the foreign action against IMR last year, saying the company had no operational control over Shaft Sinker and could not be held liable. IMR has maintained that Shaft Sinkers has been run as a separate entity with distinct corporate governance. The parent company seeks punitive damages against EuroChem, Akhmetshin and Salisbury & Ryan. Akhmetshin could not be reached for comment. Emailed requests for comment from EuroChem and Salisbury & Ryan were not immediately returned. Jonathan Cogan, the attorney representing IMR in the lawsuit, did not return calls for comment." HTTP://www.courthousenews.com/2015/11/16/mining-company-says-law-firm-hacked-it.htm
hedgehog 100
29/11/2015
20:15
"Courthouse News Service Monday, November 16, 2015 Last Update: 8:47 AM PT Mining Company Says Law Firm Hacked It By NICK RUMMELL MANHATTAN (CN) - A law firm and a man accused of being a former Soviet spy hacked into a mining company's computers to get an upper hand in overseas litigation, the company claims. International Mineral Resources, or IMR, claims business rival and fertilizer maker EuroChem Volga-Kaliy hired New York City law firm Salisbury & Ryan to dig up information on a business rival when a mining deal went bad. The law firm then hired alleged former Soviet military counterintelligence officer Renit Akhmetshin to conduct an illegal hacking campaign, according to a lawsuit filed by the mining company on Nov. 12 in New York County Supreme Court. The lawsuit does not list any direct documentation of Salisbury & Ryan or EuroChem asking the alleged former spy to hack IMR, but it claims that the law firm "reached out to Akhmetshin specifically because they understood that Akhmetshin could gain access to private sources of information." The alleged espionage stems from a mining deal that went sour after unexpected delays held up construction of a mine in Russia, according to the complaint. In 2007, EuroChem entered into a contract with South African mining company Shaft Sinkers to design and dig a mine shaft in a small Russian town. Five years later, the mine flooded, the project was delayed, and EuroChem began examining potential legal action against Shaft Sinkers, court records show. EuroChem hired boutique law firm Salisbury & Ryan to help prepare for the potential lawsuit and to dig up information on Shaft Sinkers' affiliates, the complaint states. The three-attorney firm, known for handling international arbitration, then allegedly asked longtime collaborator Akhmetshin for help. Akhmetshin, once a Russian government official, has for at least the last decade worked as a lobbyist in Washington, D.C., running a little-known think tank called the International Eurasian Institute for Economic and Political Research, according to IMR's lawsuit. The suit claims Akhmetshin has made a name for himself by developing relationships with reporters at Harper's Magazine, The Wall Street Journal and The Huffington Post. He disseminated inside information to journalists in an effort to tarnish certain companies' reputations, IMR alleges. Akhmetshin's name was mentioned in an article in The New York Times earlier this year detailing a Russian business feud, in which Akhmetshin was quoted as being paid $70,000 by one Russian oligarch to discredit another. In last week's lawsuit, IMR claims EuroChem asked Akhmetshin in July 2012 to break into its company servers, then paid him $45,000 for the information he stole. A month and a half later, Akhmetshin allegedly met with his employers in London to drop off a thumb drive with 50 gigabytes of stolen Shaft Sinkers memos, emails and financial information on it. In late 2012, after Akhmetshin allegedly delivered the stolen data, EuroChem filed arbitration proceedings against Shaft Sinkers, claiming misconduct in the mining project the two companies had once shared. EuroChem also brought claims against IMR in the Netherlands in 2013. EuroChem sought about $1.2 billion in the Dutch case, according to court records. But Akhmetshin's work wasn't done yet, the lawsuit states, as he then allegedly spent the early months of 2013 contacting journalists to put out negative stories on Shaft Sinkers and its parent company IMR. Akhmetshin was paid $100,000 for the smear campaign and bragged about it, saying he was paid that much to do "certain things that the law firm could not do," the mining company says. The stolen data was still being shopped to others last year, according to IMR. Akhmetshin met a businessman in a London coffee shop in January 2014 and offered to sell the thumb drive, saying "there's a lot of the stuff, so ... but that's why you are paying money," IMR's complaint states. The lawsuit also claims the potential ringleader of the conspiracy is Andrey Melnichenko, a Russian billionaire who chairs EuroChem. Melnichenko, who boasts the world's biggest yacht, has a longstanding relationship with Salisbury & Ryan, which helped the Russian oligarch in a legal dispute over a defective paint job on his yacht, IMR alleges. "It should come as no surprise that Melnichenko turned to Salisbury," the complaint states. "It should also come as no surprise that this group engaged in the wrongful hacking of IMR's computer systems to gain an unfair advantage in those legal proceedings and cause IMR harm." Melnichenko, the lawsuit continues, "has personally, and through companies he owns, been associated with a number of allegedly improper and illegal activities throughout the world," including bribery allegations against executives at a chemical company where Melnichenko sat on the board of directors, and money laundering charges against a bank he founded. As a result of the stolen data, Shaft Sinkers and IMR have taken sizeable hits financially, the mining company's lawsuit alleges. Shaft Sinkers, which was 48 percent owned by IMR at the time of the 2013 arbitration, has been in financial trouble ever since it was sued by EuroChem, IMR says. A Dutch court dismissed the foreign action against IMR last year, saying the company had no operational control over Shaft Sinker and could not be held liable. IMR has maintained that Shaft Sinkers has been run as a separate entity with distinct corporate governance. The parent company seeks punitive damages against EuroChem, Akhmetshin and Salisbury & Ryan. Akhmetshin could not be reached for comment. Emailed requests for comment from EuroChem and Salisbury & Ryan were not immediately returned. Jonathan Cogan, the attorney representing IMR in the lawsuit, did not return calls for comment." HTTP://www.courthousenews.com/2015/11/16/mining-company-says-law-firm-hacked-it.htm
hedgehog 100
27/11/2015
12:06
The copy of the Eurochem statement in post 107 on the “Mining Services Companies – “Picks & Shovels Play” thread”, points out that the “victory” IMR had in the Dutch courts was a hollow one. http://uk.advfn.com/cmn/fbb/thread.php3?id=28976743&from=107 It occurred during the period of the shft / Eurochem arbitration hearings, at the end of which, about a week after the IMR case result was announced, much more incriminating evidence would have been available to Eurochem. Eurochem seem to have managed to convince the Dutch court not to release the frozen IMR assets, presumably while discussing the appeal that they lodged and have pending, which puts the well publicised bluster by IMR about suing Eurochem for the losses because of the freeze, in context. Within that same statement, there is an indication that Eurochem think that the bankrupting of shft is yet another fraud. That makes me wonder again about the award to shft of the Kazchrome job, by a subsidiary of IMR/ENRC, just after the Eurochem arbitration hearings. I believe shft, and IMR’s Lawyer, who was permitted to attend the hearings, knew that there was a high probability that the game was up, after those hearings. So perhaps the long delay between the initial announcement on 29th August 13, which said that the contract should be in place by end September 13, and the contract award almost a year later, was an indication of IMR playing their options carefully. They could use the payment of the usual advance to the contractor to help keep shft afloat if they thought they were winning, and if it looked bad, not forgetting that they will have known the truth all along, award the contract to a carefully constructed local subsidiary and ship as much valuable equipment to the Kazchrome site as possible, before the bang. Such a move would be entirely in keeping, imho, with what was revealed at the arbitration. Regards.
muckshifter
27/11/2015
09:48
Now that the issues between Eurochem and shft are just about over, I’m going to post a few, hopefully interesting points about the dispute, for those who were either shareholders, or managed to avoid losses here, despite the relentless pushing of the shares by Hedgehog. Firstly though, it might be worth revisiting the big picture at the time of shft’s flotation. I only read the prospectus after getting drawn into arguements about shft a couple of years after flotation, but the big picture I gained from reading it, which I would have gained after careful reading if I had been thinking of buying at flotation was:- • Shft spent most of its 35 year history under the wing of a big company, It then was sold and operated for a few years as an independent, not very successfully it seems, as it was then bought for a song by IMF. • IMF was a company owned by the same people who originally owned ENRC, and had a reputation, based on regular allegations of corruption, notorious enough to impress the mafia, imho. • Two of the three executive directors of shft, at the time of the expansion and the negotiation / award of the jobs in India and Russia were actually employed by IMR. • Shft’s turnover then increased almost five fold in less than three years. • A very large chunk of the increase in turnover came from the award of the two very large overseas contracts, each of which looked bigger than anything that had been on shft’s books. • There was no evidence in the prospectus of shft carrying out major international projects after leaving the security of being a subsidiary of a big mining conglomerate, which had operations all over the world, before the IMR purchase. • The two major new international contracts were awarded in countries which score very badly in corruption studies. • A working lifetime in major civil engineering meant that I knew that major civils projects are a high risk element of the construction industry; that such work undertaken overseas (in this case outside of shft’s home base in South Africa) carries even higher risks; and that the highest risk element of heavy civils contracting is underground works. But even for those who knew nothing about civils contracting, the clues were there in the prospectus. There were mentions of delays and negotiations to resolve them by achieving extensions of contract period, mentions of earlier disputes, and the description of shft’s opposition within the prospectus revealed that they had almost no independent specialised opposition – there is a reason for that – they don’t survive. To compensate for these negative points, to be gleaned from careful reading of the prospectus, there was lots of positive spin about prospects and two years of good and growing turnover and profit, with indications of good dividends to come. That big picture would have certainly put me off any thoughts of investing in the flotation, but I’m a long term investor not a short term trader. So, how did that big picture work out? One of Hedgehog’s favourites was his contention, posted about fifty times after he attended the 2013 AGM, that “in the unlikely event” that shft lost the arbitration, they could simply bankrupt the contracted subsidiary, and the rest of Shaft Sinkers would continue unaffected. My contention in a couple of posts was that Eurochem are not stupid enough to have contracted with a subsidiary of this asset-less nature. In fact, SHFT were unable to perform this little trick and the whole group went bang, but the arbitration revealed some interesting information. Don’t forget, the date of Hedgehog’s “AGM report” in early June 2013. The trickery employed by that “fine old company” as Hedgehog often called SHFT, and of course their majority shareholder at that time, the “excellent businessmen” as he often called them, from IMR/ENRC, in terms of the use of an asset-less subsidiary company to avoid risk to the parent company was interesting, to me anyway. If you read the initial notification of the commencement of the arbitration process in both Eurochem and Shaft Sinker’s RNSs, both refer to Shaft Sinkers (Pty) Ltd being the company contracted to carry out the work, and therefore the company subjected to the dispute. At some stage, Eurochem must have realised something was up, because they added Rossal into the claim as joint defendent with Shaft Sinkers (Pty) Ltd. In March 2013, SHFT asked the tribunal to give a preliminary ruling on whether or not the tribunal had jurisdiction over Rossal ie. they tried to get Rossal taken out of the arbitration. It turned out that SHFT had gone through the pre-tender qualification process and submission of offer etc. as Shaft Sinkers (Pty) Ltd, the long established “fine old company” which owned the company’s assets, and had even formed and agreed the original small “design” contract between this company and Eurochem VolgaKaliy (which is the subject of another arbitration, I believe – it started as an 11 month contract to be completed in 2008 and ended up still being performed in 2011), before changing the name of the original Rossal to Shaft Sinkers (Pty) Ltd, and vice versa, in secret, in time to sign up the main contract (and perhaps the one in India) using “new” asset-less Shaft Sinkers (Pty) Ltd. Needless to say this little ploy failed, and with that failure went all hope of bankrupting the subsidiary without significant effect. This seems to have been typical of events at Eurochem, and shows what happens, imho, when “a fine old company” is run by “excellent businessmen” from IMR. Regards.
muckshifter
26/11/2015
09:16
Now that the issues between Eurochem and shft are just about over, I’m going to post a few, hopefully interesting points about the dispute, for those who were either shareholders, or managed to avoid losses here, despite the relentless pushing of the shares by Hedgehog. Firstly though, it might be worth revisiting the big picture at the time of shft’s flotation. I only read the prospectus after getting drawn into arguements about shft a couple of years after flotation, but the big picture I gained from reading it, which I would have gained after careful reading if I had been thinking of buying at flotation was:- • Shft spent most of its 35 year history under the wing of a big company, It then was sold and operated for a few years as an independent, not very successfully it seems, as it was then bought for a song by IMR. • IMF was a company owned by the same people who originally owned ENRC, and had a reputation, based on regular allegations of corruption, notorious enough to impress the mafia, imho. • Two of the three executive directors of shft, at the time of the expansion and the negotiation / award of the jobs in India and Russia were actually employed by IMR. • Shft’s turnover then increased almost five fold in less than three years after IMR bought them. • A very large chunk of the increase in turnover came from the award of the two very large overseas contracts, each of which looked bigger than anything that had been on shft’s books. • There was no evidence in the prospectus of shft carrying out major international projects after leaving the security of being a subsidiary of a big mining conglomerate, which had operations all over the world, before the IMR purchase. • The two major new international contracts were awarded in countries which score very badly in corruption studies. • A working lifetime in major civil engineering meant that I knew that major civils projects are a high risk element of the construction industry; that such work undertaken overseas (in this case outside of shft’s home base in South Africa) carries even higher risks; and that the highest risk element of heavy civils contracting is underground works. But even for those who knew nothing about civils contracting, the clues were there in the prospectus. There were mentions of delays and negotiations to resolve them by achieving extensions of contract period, mentions of earlier disputes, and the description of shft’s opposition within the prospectus revealed that they had almost no independent specialised opposition – there is a reason for that – they don’t survive. To compensate for these negative points, to be gleaned from careful reading of the prospectus, there was lots of positive spin about prospects and two years of good and growing turnover and profit, with indications of good dividends to come. That big picture would have certainly put me off any thoughts of investing in the flotation, but I’m a long term investor not a short term trader. So, how did that big picture work out? One of Hedgehog’s favourites was his contention, posted about fifty times after he attended the 2013 AGM, that “in the unlikely event” that shft lost the arbitration, they could simply bankrupt the contracted subsidiary, and the rest of Shaft Sinkers would continue unaffected. My contention in a couple of posts was that Eurochem are not stupid enough to have contracted with a subsidiary of this asset-less nature. In fact, SHFT were unable to perform this little trick and the whole group went bang, but the arbitration revealed some interesting information. Don’t forget, the date of Hedgehog’s “AGM report” in early June 2013. The trickery employed by that “fine old company” as Hedgehog often called SHFT, and of course their majority shareholder at that time, the “excellent businessmen” as he often called them, from IMR/ENRC, in terms of the use of an asset-less subsidiary company to avoid risk to the parent company was interesting, to me anyway. If you read the initial notification of the commencement of the arbitration process in both Eurochem and Shaft Sinker’s RNSs, both refer to Shaft Sinkers (Pty) Ltd being the company contracted to carry out the work, and therefore the company subjected to the dispute. At some stage, Eurochem must have realised something was up, because they added Rossal into the claim as joint defendent with Shaft Sinkers (Pty) Ltd. In March 2013, SHFT asked the tribunal to give a preliminary ruling on whether or not the tribunal had jurisdiction over Rossal ie. they tried to get Rossal taken out of the arbitration. It turned out that SHFT had gone through the pre-tender qualification process and submission of offer etc. as Shaft Sinkers (Pty) Ltd, the long established “fine old company” which owned the company’s assets, and had even formed and agreed the original small “design” contract between this company and Eurochem VolgaKaliy (which is the subject of another arbitration, I believe – it started as an 11 month contract to be completed in 2008 and ended up still being performed in 2011), before changing the name of the original Rossal to Shaft Sinkers (Pty) Ltd, and vice versa, in secret, in time to sign up the main contract (and perhaps the one in India) using “new” asset-less Shaft Sinkers (Pty) Ltd. Needless to say this little ploy failed, and with that failure went all hope of bankrupting the subsidiary without significant effect. This seems to have been typical of events at Eurochem, and shows what happens, imho, when “a fine old company” is run by “excellent businessmen” from IMR. Regards.
muckshifter
09/11/2015
22:28
there isn't any debt
the stigologist
09/11/2015
16:04
TechnoFiend, Was a bit bored this afternoon, so purely out of curiosity I had a quick look at the "arbitration play" as you called it, Oxus. If by "play" you have short term trading of a volatile share in mind, good luck to you, but I'm not, and never have been, interested in short term share price movements. But if you are asking what I think of the company's future, I would say after perhaps a 40 minute look, that the only people who just might make a profit out of this share are the holders of the company's debt, imho. I won't bore you with a long post explaining why I think that (it would take me longer than the time I spent reading their RNSs), but I believe the ordinary shareholders will end up getting nothing, or damn near it. Regards.
muckshifter
05/11/2015
15:32
Yes, that was the story RCT, thank you. I had forgotten that a body was found. From memory, the Jakarta Post was quite cynical about the "suicide", and they had investigative journalists at that time who were worth their salt and courageous. Their constant articles about students opposed to Suharto from many different Indonesian islands, who went missing during the run up to his last election victory was proper journalism, and their finest hour, imho. The Jakarta police chief, in answer to their questions said he had no idea where the students were - they were probably kidnapped by business rivals! (students?) A few weeks later, after much JP pestering, the same Jakarta police chief "found" the students in the Jakarta police cells - put there by, in his words, "a higher authority" unbeknown to him. Another everyday tale of life in Indonesia. Regards.
muckshifter
05/11/2015
14:15
ps mentioning Bre-X bought back memories https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bre-X
rcturner2
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