The Cortellazzi Consortium

April 29, 2008

Just A Plain Old Government Employee

Filed under: Uncategorized — 18montecristo67 @ 11:32 am

In their 17 April 2008 press release, UMining described Comitrag S.A.’s President as follows:

“CEO of U Mining, Jean Michel de Montigny, stated the following: “We have put forth immense effort and have spent considerable time and allocated certain funds to this project thus far, and the feedback I am getting from shareholders and our investor relations representatives is that it is still difficult to envision the value of this agreement and how it will affect the Company’s revenues and earnings over time. The best way I can only begin to explain this is to describe the unique relationship Mr. Bella Keita has established with certain officials in Guinea, as well as his understanding of the historical background and needs of this emerging nation. Mr. Keita has built an impressive career to date, having served as engineer and project manager for numerous, similar world-class projects, along with other achievements many would consider impressive for this Guinean immigrant. His people, the Guinean representatives to this agreement, respect him for many reasons including the fact that he has always stayed involved in Guinea’s drive to improve its infrastructure and emerge as one of that continent’s most self-sufficient and prosperous nations.”

On message boards, speculation has been swirling around Mr Keita. One suggested the “Keita clan are historical princes.” another said Balla Keita apparently has a link to the President’s 4th wife, which gets him meetings and photo opportunities with important people, but not any credibility.”

Mr. Keita is indeed a civil engineer, however the facts are far less exotic than some may suggest.

The simple fact is that Mr. Keita is an employee for the Government of Quebec within the Ministry of Transport (MTQ).

Mr. Keita is a member of the APIGQ (l’Association professionnelle des ingénieurs du gouvernement du Québec) which is a professional union (engineers). Only engineers who are employees of the Government of Quebec are allowed to join this union.

Mr. Keita’s union membership entry with workplace information and the Ministry department (FCARR – a department which manages roadway surfacing and maintenance in Quebec) appears in this graphic (below):

Mr. Keita is a member of an oversight committee with the APIGQ (see graphic below):

Mr. Keita’s workplace is located near his Longueuil home (previously reported on the blog) in a building (picture below) near the Longueuil subway station which connects to the Montreal subway system.

At a recent Commission of Inquiry, the APIGQ took the opportunity to mention that compensation for Government of Quebec engineers was well below their counterparts at Hydro-Quebec. The APIGQ stated that senior engineers employed within the Government of Quebec were earning $80,000.00 at the highest pay scale, much less than engineers at Hydro-Quebec (graphic below).

This said, it is interesting the blog recorded a 3 hour and 21 min. visit from a computer belonging to Ministry of Transport ( on 17 April 2008, this extensive visit occurred less than an hour after UMining issued their press release.


April 20, 2008

A Territory Covering A Distance Of…

Filed under: Uncategorized — 18montecristo67 @ 2:23 am

Since January 2008, UMining has consistently suggested in multiple press releases ( 16 January 2008, 21 February 2008, 28 February 2008, 13 March 2008 ) that Comitrag S.A. (a private building and development company headquartered in West Africa which UMining claims to own a majority interest) has secured a mining concession, they describe this single iron ore concession as:

“The mining concession consists of a territory covering a distance of 55 kilometres.

In February 2008, the location of the iron ore concession was identified:

“The Mining Concession consists of an iron ore property situated in the Mount Simandou region of southeastern Guinea. The property covers a 55-km-long zone in the Simandou Mountain Range. ”

In their latest press release, UMining indicated “maps and other similar mining and resource-oriented data” would be available on their website (the Comitrag Guinea Project on the UMining website links to the Comitrag website).

Comitrag has made available a map in pdf format on their website which it identifies as the mining concession which is described as “a 55-km-long zone in the Simandou Mountain Range

The map which appears on the Comitrag site is an old French geographic survey on which the purported mining concession appears identified solely as “Simandou Mining Concession Map” (click to view larger size ):

The scale appears at the bottom of the map and with this scale, the blog has determined the grid squares of the map provided by Comitrag are approx 16 KM long and wide. Grid squares (click on map below to view) were placed next to the length of the mining concession in order to determine the length of the “Comitrag” concession as appears on the map and the result is well over 55 KM, it is approximately 110 KM in length.

The 110 KM long mining concession which appears on the Comitrag map does exist, however it was awarded to Rio Tinto in 2006, not Comitrag.

“Rio Tinto’s first introduction to the project was in 1996, when they were invited to inspect the area by the Guinean Government. After successful reconnaissance visits in 1996, four Exploration Licences were applied for and granted in February 1997. Exploration and evaluation programmes have been actively carried out on the licences from 1997 and are continuing with expenditure to date being ~US $50M with a further US$145M committed to year-end 2008. This funding is to complete the ‘Pre-feasibility Study at Pic de Fon and Oueleba’ and assess the potential of other target occurrences in the northern portion of the Mining Concession (Northern Targets).

The Simandou Mining Convention covering the legal and fiscal terms and conditions for mining within the Simandou Mining Concession was signed into Law in February 2003 and the related Mining Concession granted in March 2006. The 740km2 Mining Concession (MC) covers a 110km long portion of the north–south trending Simandou range. “

At page 11 of a July 2007 report, Rio Tinto provides a map to their 110 KM concession (graphic below):

Another map of the area without the Rio Tinto mining concession is provided for readers so they may compare the areas on this map with the others to locate nearby towns, villages and other reference points.

In short, UMining press releases have consistently contained misleading information about the Comitrag “mining concession” since January 2008.

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