Oceanica Hits A Wall: Suspended At SEMARNAT Pending More Information

Posted on Nov 26, 2014


Summary

  • According to SEMARNAT website, Oceanica’s approval process is now “SUSPENDED FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION”.
  • According to local article, CIBNOR, a Mexican government agency seems to be asking for many more data points that could take years to collect.
  • Given OMEX’s perilously weak liquidity, delays at Oceanica or HMS Victory could mean the end, shortly.

Odyssey Marine Exploration (NASDAQ:OMEX)’s two big projects right now are HMS Victory and Oceanica. SS Central America is still tied up in the court of appeals so does not appear to have any prospect for generating cash in the near future. The Odyssey Explorer is on its way to the UK arriving in 2 weeks according to AIS. Will this be just in time for an unpleasant surprise change of heart or attack by the actual Admiral Balchen family? We shall see.

Any shareholder can visit Mexico’s SEMARNAT site to see the official progress of OMEX’s application. As a reminder this is the EIA that took many months longer than expected to collect more data and “vet approval” with local interests, expanding to over 4,000 pages including appendix.

SEMARNAT SITE – enter 03BS2014M0007 into the search box and you will see:

(click to enlarge)semarnat clip

The final entry entered today is “SUSPENDED FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION”. Given that the EIA was so delayed and supposedly pre-vetted this certainly seems odd?

Perhaps it is less surprising when readers consider that the company responsible for performing the (Oceanica) EIS for the project is QV Gestíon Ambiental, QV Environmental Management, under the direction of Martín de la Cruz Quijano. Quijano is an ex-SEMARNAT functionary from SEMARNAT’s Environmental Impact and Risk Division. During his tenure with SEMARNAT, Quijano worked for the controversial director Ricardo Juarez who was investigated by the Ministry of Public Service and removed from office by the government of Felipe Calderón.

According to a local article in Mexico, “Don Diego mining project has errors and omissions: CIBNOR”, the cause may be due to a government agency CIBNOR asking for more information about the project which would include baseline testing and actual environmental samples being taken as opposed to the theoretical analysis supplied by OMEX based on dredging in the UK.

CIBNOR (previously CIB – Center for Biological Research) was established in 1975 by the Government of the State of Baja California Sur and CONACYT [National Council for Science and Technology] to promote science and technology development in the area.

We cannot know for sure at the moment as OMEX has not disclosed any updates. When will the process get back on track?

Expect to see more of the NGOs, including US-based ones speaking out against the project as it does not to have even considered the impacts on the fisheries.

Editor’s Note: This article covers one or more stocks trading at less than $ 1 per share and/or with less than a $ 100 million market cap. Please be aware of the risks associated with these stocks.

Disclosure: The author is short OMEX. The author wrote this article themselves, and it expresses their own opinions. The author is not receiving compensation for it. The author has no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article. (More…)

Additional disclosure: Ryan Morris, President, Meson Capital, has pledged to donate his personal profits from OMEX short sales to charity. Full disclaimer at omextruth.com

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