Any city seen by night from on high is impressive. Guatemala City is no exception, From the ninth floor of the Mercure Hotel you see the mountains to the left and the park and gleaming high-rises to the right with a street and fast, out-of-control cars weaving across lanes of traffic.
Then take a taxi ride up the hills to the south and experience LA traffic at its normal to reach a brick house in a luxury suburb where the mining folk live, and you see the variety of a city of poverty and wealth, money earned from mining.
Chat with folk who hope to open a new mine in a country not sure if it wants mining or does not want mining. Chat about the good people and the bad people who may support or oppose mining, and chat about how you go about building support for a new mining venture.
Recognize the opposition and the corruption endemic to the people who will oppose mining until they are given a lucrative consulting assignment. Recognize the motivations of friends and family seeking to gain advantage through promises and betrayal. Take this into account in deciding to invest in a new IPO and the promise of an NI 43-101.
At the end of the day and the end of the analysis, it is the competence of the people who will lead the preparation of the EIS that will make your investment a profit or a failure. Admit that it is the skill of the professionals who will manage getting the permits that counts and that will lead to profit or loss. Pay whatever it take to employ and retain the best; for if you get lesser talent at lower price, be sure you will fail and the mine will not open.
Seek people of conviction and the intelligence to implement their conviction and your investment will profit. Degenerate to the common culture of those in power and their culture of corruption and personal advantage and you will fail. For there are good people who will try, but they may be overwhelmed by the bad people; and your support and the inevitable “success” of the bad people, if you join them in the game of favours, will doom your endeavours to the trash-heap of mining history.
I know all this is vague and vacuous. But it is based on real events and real convictions. Maybe one day we can write in a brutal way about the stories that underlie these observations and convictions. For now interpret them as you will in making your investment decisions.