Your article entitled "Desert Rat" (by David Pasztor, October 5, 1995) is excellent, except for your description of Arabian Shield Development Company, which is not accurate at all.
To date, Arabian Shield has discovered and proved 7.2 million tons of commercial, mineable ore reserves containing copper, zinc, gold, and silver, as specifically stated in the company's annual report to the shareholders, and the 10-K report to the SEC of 1994. This is why the company was granted the mining lease covering 44 square kilometers (11,000 acres), and not 44 acres as you wrote. The mining lease runs for 50 years, starting 1993.
The bankable feasibility study, prepared by one of the most prestigious Canadian consulting firms, was submitted to the Saudi Industrial Development Fund to obtain 50 percent of the financing, while the rest is being obtained from commercial banks and equity participation. Once this is obtained shortly, the company will construct a whole mining and ore treatment facility, and will start mining and processing 700,000 tons of ore per year, and will export 58,000 tons of zinc concentrate (54 percent zinc), containing 68,904,000 pounds of zinc, 35,000 tons of copper concentrate (25 percent copper), containing 19,250,000 pounds of copper. These concentrates will go to smelters and refiners in the Far East. Also produced per year will be 22,000 ounces of gold, and 800,000 ounces of silver.
Arabian Shield has already spent $30 million in exploration and development which included full geological and geophysical exploration, plus tunneling for a total length of 2.5 miles, plus 207,000 feet of core drilling which proved the ore bodies discovered in the mining lease area. In the area, the company established a mining camp with full housing, maintenance and infrastructure facilities to house and feed 100 men. The company already bought 70 percent of all heavy mining equipment needed for the commercial mining operations. The present camp will be used to house the construction crews who will build the mining town and facilities, which will take 15-18 months after the financing is obtained.
The total net smelter revenues from the first 10 years of mining and treatment operations will be at least $500 million dollars, at today's metal prices, as depicted in the feasibility study.
As for the coal company, this wholly owned subsidiary of this company owned proven reserves of 700 million tons of high quality steam coal in western Colorado. A deal with a Japanese consortium was finalized in 1988 to export 2 million tons of coal to Japan to be used for its power plants. However, at the last minute the Japanese pulled out because China opened its doors to exporting very cheap coal from its mines to Japan. The coal company has, for that reason, $15 million loss carry forward.
As for myself, I am only seeking justice and restitution for my company and its shareholders relating to the Hunt Oil case, nothing more, nothing less.
Hatem El-Khalidi, President and CEO
Arabian Shield Development Company
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After approximately one year of advertising with your publication, and after winning Best Dessert in Dallas (along with Quadrangle Grille) in your 1994 issue, we were shocked to read that the first sentence in the Best Dessert category (Best of Dallas, September 28) said, "Alas, two of last year's favorites are gone forever..." To top it off, the way we found out was from several customers calling our restaurant to make sure it wasn't true. To set the record straight, Basha Restaurant has not "gone," is not going anywhere. We are still going strong and we still serve the Lemon Pistachio Tart which won Best Dessert in Dallas last year.
Bachar Alaia & Liz Korkames
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