It is an accepted fact that fear and greed drive the share market. Other emotions are often mentioned too, but I’ve never heard anybody get a belly laugh out of it. That was until this week where there was an announcement about I share I own called Beacon Minerals.I bought lots of it years ago for 1.3 cents believing it couldn’t go any lower. I was wrong. It did. In fact, it almost disappeared when it sank to .2 of a cent. That was so close to zero that I wondered if a share could have a negative value in which shareholders has to pay money to keep their shares. It happens with Japanese interest rates, so why not shares?
Anyway, Beacon went through a directors’ coup and the new lot started feverishly digging up ore until they had a 12,199 ton mountain on one side and a dirty great hole on the other. Needless to say, they didn’t own a processing plant to extract the gold. They seemed to have arrived at a stalemate and the future didn’t look good. At that stage the shares had settled in at .4 of a cent. Maybe this was because somebody thought they could sell the hole to the Saudi sewage department whose treatment plant is currently overwhelmed.
Then a miraculous offer came from Northern Star Gold Mines to buy the mountain of ore and give Beacon cash for it. My shares went up 50% in one day – from .4 of a cent to a dizzy .6 of a cent. After it was confirmed that the mountain did, in fact, contain the percentage of gold that Beacon had claimed, the grand announcement hit the stock exchange yesterday. It said: “A total of 12,199 tons of gold was sold to Northern Star at $611.87 per ton, nett of all costs.” What the f…? I nearly fainted at the news. These idiots, I thought, have accepted $7 million for gold worth over $600 million. Time for another coup – led by me. Then today the stock exchange put out an oops. A revised announcement said:
“A total of 12,199 tons of gold ore was sold to Northern Star at $611.87 per ton, nett of all costs.” The devil was in the detail. What an oresome mistake. I got a good laugh out of it, though.
And how much gold is there in the world, one may ask? The experts can’t agree but it is probably around 160,000 tons. That would cover the center court at Wimbledon to a depth of about 10 meters.