October 14, 2015, Vancouver BC, Dunnedin Ventures Inc. (TSX-V: DVI) with regret, Allan Barry Laboucan, former Special Advisor to Dunnedin Ventures Inc. (Dunnedin), has left Dunnedin as his past contract has expired and a new one was not offered by the board of directors. Mr. Laboucan chose to pass on a new offer to become an hourly worker on a limited basis. Mr. Laboucan was a crucial player in the initiative to move Dunnedin into the diamond space. He was brought in for his diamond expertise and to help in community building with Inuit groups in the region around the Kahuna diamond project. Mr. Laboucan is a well-known diamond expert through his; Allan Barry Reports, as a co-author of a peer-reviewed paper on unique diamond indicator minerals, and is also a First Nations mining entrepreneur.
Allan Barry Laboucan, former Special Advisor, Dunnedin, said, “I want it to be very clear that I’m not leaving Dunnedin because I lost confidence in the Kahuna Diamond project. My contract was up, and the board after hearing concerns I had about the board and the leadership of the company, chose to effectively dismiss me. They made a slap-in-the-face offer that I couldn’t accept. I will go into details about my concerns as a former Special Advisor and significant shareholder. Before I do, I wanted to point out, I’m also issuing this press release because I have to make things clear for the Inuit groups that I met with in the area where the Kahuna diamond project is located. I made comments in meetings with local Inuit groups and talked about goals in a CBC Radio One interview, while I was up prospecting on the project this summer. At the time, I had full support of the leadership of Dunnedin on community building efforts. If I thought there was any chance I would be pushed out, I never would have made them and I will be working to get back in a leadership role at Dunnedin, and do things the right way that I spoke about in meetings and in my interview.”
Two events transpired recently that led to my concerns about the leadership of the company. One of those events, I can’t go into in-depth details because it is an option that is under negotiation, that gives away too much for too little. I also opposed this because the entity involved is very wealthy and has a propensity for being in lawsuits. I believe that I have enough shareholder support to change the board to do what I can to prevent it from happening.
An equally alarming event concerns Chris Taylor, current President/CEO of Dunnedin, and a recent broker investor presentation. It was communicated to me, by a reliable source who was at the meeting, that Mr. Taylor told those at this meeting he had found a diamond while on the property this past summer. As I was with Mr. Taylor while out on the project, I immediately said no we didn’t, there was only three of us on the ground prospecting. I then asked the source who was at the presentation if he was sure that Mr. Taylor said he found a diamond, he assured me he had, and one of the brokers had asked how big the diamond was, Mr. Taylor indicated it was small.
Upon finding this out, I was very concerned. There are set protocols on chain of custody of diamonds, if you haven’t announced that to the public, telling brokers you found a diamond while out prospecting is not one of them.
Finding a diamond at the surface is very rare, kimberlites erupted millions of years ago, the diamonds in kimberlites are tiny compared to the rock they are contained in. To find a diamond in surface sampling is a rare event.
The biggest problem is, it didn’t happen, we were prospecting and were certainly hopeful the rocks we had collected contained some diamonds, but we took such small amounts of rock, the chances are small even in a kimberlite field with high-grade kimberlites. The second problem is, if Mr. Taylor had found a diamond, he did not follow proper chain of custody rules. These issues are important for the The Kimberley Process and the integrity of Dunnedin. Diamond companies are supposed to be able to track every stone from the ground to when it is sold, so it can be accounted for until it ends up in a piece of jewellery.
Mr. Taylor had little experience in diamonds when we started the effort to move Dunnedin into the diamond space a little over a year ago. The recent events concerning this diamond he allegedly “found” while out prospecting, and how he handled it are a perfect example of his inexperience concerning the diamond industry, and that he is unfit to lead the company any longer.
I made these concerns known to the board of directors, at the time my contract had expired, they chose to keep Chris Taylor as President/CEO and not offer me a new contract. I was instrumental in many important events at Dunnedin in its early stages as a diamond company. An offer was made to keep me on as an employee on a limited basis and they would contact me when they need my skill set. My plan is much different. I want to change the board of directors, put me in as the President/CEO and I will bring in a new team with complementary skills to mine and experience in diamonds.
Much of what was done in the past, I feel was more about the board of directors trying to build a stock promotion than a diamond mining company. I believe the science of what we have discovered shows we have a world-class diamond project.
The project is located in Nunavut close to Inuit communities, I have visited and started speaking with government officials of Inuit groups and the media while last in Rankin Inlet. In those meetings I expressed my views about what I feel is the right way to go about developing a diamond mine and be inclusive of the local Inuit.
One of the key things is, I have a goal to build a diamond mining company that enables our operations to be a learning ground for First Nations. I have said putting First Nations on the land is like putting Wayne Gretzky on the ice. Given the coaching, and direction, First Nations youth can find lifelong rewarding careers on the ground.
Another part of my vision, is to make sure First Nations are given more than the lowest jobs on the pay scale, but have the opportunity to move up the ladder and make it into management. I used myself as an example, now the board has made it clear they no longer want me involved in the management of Dunnedin.
It would catch world-wide media and diamond mining industry attention for a First Nations mining entrepreneur with expertise in diamonds to be the leader of a Canadian diamond company with a world-class project.
It is way too early to be giving any options away at prices that devalue the Kahuna diamond project. I will be putting together a dissident shareholder group. I have confidence that I can get a majority of shareholders to back my initiatives and will announce more details in the near future.
For more information contact Allan Barry Laboucan at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 604-505-4753.