Ruby Mining Company (RUBM.OB)
This is a printer friendly page!
Minings ATLIS technology is designed to reliably locate and differentiate various
classes of metals through saltwater, sand, rock, coral, mud and wood
The technology, called ATLIS, has been developed using novel sensing and data analysis techniques to locate and differentiate among various classes of metals. ATLIS units are designed to reliably detect nonferrous metals through saltwater, sand, rock, coral, mud and wood. The technology that has been developed is an active (as opposed to electronically passive) electro-magnetic detection and discrimination sensor system. The Company has built proof-of-concept devices which have successfully differentiated among various ferrous and nonferrous metals, both under laboratory conditions (results observed and confirmed by NASA) and in an ocean test.
The initial target area for the Company's archaeological operations is the Pedro Bank, Jamaica, for which Ruby Mining holds an exclusive exploration permit. The Company's principal objective is to utilize its ATLIS detection technology, in partnership with governments, archaeologists, historians, engineers and scientists, to become the recognized world leader in the location and recovery of historic shipwrecks.
The Company is also actively exploring the potential use of its ATLIS technology to assist governmental authorities in locating unexploded ordnance (bombs, artillery shells, ammunition, weapons, and other potentially explosive military devices and materials), commonly referred to as ``UXO,'' in both marine and terrestrial environments.
CEOCFOinterviews: Mr. Collingwood, please tell us about Ruby Mining Company and the technology that you provide.
Mr. Collingwood: We had the idea to develop a technology which we are calling ATLIS, which can distinguish between different metals. We have spent much time and money developing this technology over a number of years and have now developed a technology that can tell the difference between gold, silver, copper, aluminum, etc. There are a number of technologies generally known as magnetometers that can tell you whether or not something is a ferrous or non-ferrous metal. There is no other technology that we know of, and we certainly have looked, that can tell you whether something is gold or silver. We have established a business to use this technology to search for buried treasure in the sea like old Spanish flotillas in the era of the 1500s. We have a permit at the Pedro Bank in Jamaica, which encompasses 2000 square miles, in the heart of the area where many of these ships went down due to storms. Our technology is proven and prototyped in the lab and we are now building our first commercial unit, which we expect to have ready to go in late March or early April of 2004.
CEOCFOinterviews: How do you determine where to search for treasure?
Mr. Collingwood: One of the problems is that these ships are buried; if they were just lying on the bottom of the ocean, it would be much simpler to find them. They are wooden ships, so the metallic content is relatively small. The other problem is that there are a great deal of things buried in the ocean; things that you do not want from other ships that have sunk, anchors, chains, discarded car engines, you name it. Once you locate a wreck you must determine whether it has any treasure because most wrecks do not have treasure. You can spend a tremendous amount of money digging up things that are interesting and a little valuable but not nearly valuable enough to pay for the cost of the excavation. What we hope to do is to use conventional technologies such as magnetometers and sonar to locate potential wrecks of interest and then we will use our technology to see if we can discover gold and silver. If we find the presence of gold or silver, we will know that this is a very likely treasure ship and would be the ones we would target first. If we find no indication of gold or silver, we will note the location of the wreck and we may come back to it at a later date, but that would not be our first target.
CEOCFFOinterviews: Are there shipwrecks out there that people know about but have not explored?
Mr. Collingwood: Not really, but yes there is. One thing that has changed over the years is that technology has advanced rapidly. If you think about the Titanic; people knew where the Titanic was years before it was explored because they could not get to it. Technology changed and there was an effort to get down to it. People know the general vicinity of these wrecks but when the wrecks occurred in many cases, the people were without any kind of diving equipment. If you could not hold your breath long enough to get down to it, you could not salvage it. In the meantime, technology has gotten more advanced and people have been able to find the wrecks. However, the people that were finding the wrecks were using a technique that turned out to be not very environmentally friendly. Typically what the salvers would do is use something like a huge vacuum cleaner and suck up everything on the bottom, then blow it through a screen and pick through everything in the screen to see what was interesting. There was also a technology, which was the reverse of that in which they would use a powerful burst of water to blow away the bottom and what was heavy stayed. So you could then see what might be interesting that did not blow away. As you can imagine, this was disastrous to the sea life and it did not do a lot for the bottom. Many of the areas of these wrecks, particularly the ones that we are interested in, are in areas that also enjoy tourism and a nice marine environment. The environmentalists say, and rightly so, this is not good, you are coming and destroying coral reefs and tearing up the bottom, and destroying tourism. So there was a moratorium on permits for many years; in fact the permit that we got in Jamaica was the first one they have issued in eighteen years. We are able to go in without disturbing anything and see if there is some treasure there, and if there is, we would go and just disturb that small area. That is a big difference from the way it used to be done.
CEOCFOinterviews: How do you know the ATLIS will be able to read the gold and silver if it is there?
Mr. Collingwood: We have constructed the unit and tested it in the water, and it worked. We have built a much more sensitive unit that we have been testing in the lab and it works. We have applied for, and have been given notice that a U.S. patent is going to be issued for our technology, so one could believe then that the U.S. patent office believes our product works. The proof of the pudding will be in April when our unit is built and we actually demonstrate it on real life conditions. Our investors are convinced that it will work and we are investing our time and money on that premise. It is like how did we know we could go to the moon? We really did not know we could go to the moon until we did it, and once we have gone, then we know we can do it. We are within just a few weeks of being able to demonstrate this technology in the field.
CEOCFOinterviews: Why did you choose the area that you chose to do your first excavation?
Mr. Collingwood: We were talking to several governments and one of the good things about the Pedro Banks is that there are a lot of wrecks there and the government has been very cooperative in working with us. It is shallow water and one of the advantage of shallow water is the logistics of the recovery are much less expensive. The Odyssey Marine Company that has been in the news is doing deep water salvage; we are glad for them and wish them all the luck in the world. They are doing this successfully but they have to do this with robots, which is a very expensive process. We will be able to do ours with just divers and standard equipment.
CEOCFOinterviews: You recently brought on Captain Bill Boone as a consultant, what is his role?
Mr. Collingwood: Captain Bill Boone is going to help us make decisions as to how to manage our fleet and give us advice about contacts in the ports of certain areas we might want to go. As we grow our fleet and get more and more boats, we hope that he will become more active and manage just the deployment of the fleet, the hiring of the captains and maintenance of the boats to make sure we are not maltreating the boats and things like that.
CEOCFOinterviews: How has the company been funded in the past and are you set for the funding you will need to go forward?
Mr. Collingwood: The Company has been funded to date and continues to be funded by interested investors. We started about 14 years ago, and as we needed more money it became burdensome on the investors that were funding the company. I was one of the investors and have been an investor for over ten years. We wanted to expand the base and go public. So after some searching we purchased Ruby Mining Company, which was a publicly trading company. The stock market has seen its ups and downs and we have seen our ups and downs with it. We have developed a loyal following and we are trading every day. Recently our stock has been appreciating quite nicely although we think it is much lower than it will be if we are fortunate enough to complete our plans.
We just completed a private placement and raised 1.2 million dollars that will take us through the building of the ATLIS unit and through determining what area we want to start in within the Pedro Bank permit area. It will allow us to do our KIBO research so that we are not just relying on mechanical means but we are trying to use the records to guide us as to where to look, and of course it keeps the lights and the phones from being cut off in the meantime. When we get ready to search, which should be the early second quarter this year, we are going to need additional cash and we intend to do another private offering in order to fund the search itself. Unfortunately, when you go out with a crew and a boat and you find something, the costs start skyrocketing at that point because you have to preserve what you find. We made a commitment to the Jamaica government that as we find things of historical interest, such as a cannon or pottery that we will not just cast it aside, but we will bring it up and we will properly restore it. So there will be more coming out of this than just going in and trying to pluck out the gold. With our permit, we are required to recover everything of interest even if it is not gold. It is an expensive thing to do and we will need another private placement. Later in the year, we will probably do a secondary offering in the market.
CEOCFOinterviews: This sounds like something that would perk peoples interest on an adventure level.
Mr. Collingwood: It is a sexy stock. It is high risk, but high reward, and it is exiting. Some of our investors would want to own some of the things that we find. It would be interesting to see a documentary on the Discovery Channel and realize you are part of that. People are very much emotionally investing as well as for business purposes.
CEOCFOinterviews: Do you foresee any mergers or joint ventures in the future?
Mr. Collingwood: There is not at this time, although there has been a lot of interest expressed by people that are so-called competitors. Once our technology is demonstrated, there is a lot of interest in working some sort of arrangement with us to have access to the technology. One of the problems that exist with these treasure ships is that they frequently broke apart in storms. It was not like the Titanic that hit an iceberg and it sank; in fact, even the Titanic broke apart in some ways as they discovered later. The ships broke apart over a large area and as they were breaking apart, things were falling off the ship or over the ship. You get what is referred to in the trade as a scatter trail this is even more difficult to find because if you want to locate a scatter trail, mainly what you locate are beer cans. You can say what is there is metallic but when you dig it up it is a beer can or something like that. The fact that we can pinpoint what is and is not worth digging out is quite interesting to people that have permits. We anticipate once we get going that we will do a number of joint ventures or licensing agreements with other people that have permits that are interested in finding sunken treasure.
CEOCFOinterviews: Do you have alternate uses for your technology?
Mr. Collingwood: The alternate use for our technology came about unexpectedly. We think that we can find unexploded ordnance, and the first thing that comes to mind in that area is land mines. I am told there are two million square acres of unexploded ordnance in the U.S. alone and this would be bombing ranges and artillery ranges that our military used in the past. Unfortunately, every bomb that drops does not explode and every artillery shell that is shot does not explode. Every now and then you will hear about someone finding an unexploded shell or bomb and disturbing it and it blows up and either kills or hurts them. This has begun to be recognized by citizens and there is more pressure on the government to clean these areas up. If you use just a metal detector, there is a lot of metal down there because they were blowing up bombs and shells routinely for years. It does not do you any good to just find some metal there; you need to find something that will identify what is there. Our technology will identify the shape of what is there and will not just give you a detection of something metallic. Just recently, the research center at Georgia Tech received a grant to find unexploded ordnance. Georgia Tech Research Center has licensed from us our technology to use in this examination and I am sure they are looking at other things as well. We are excited that they will end up using our technology to demonstrate that there is a way to find unexploded ordnance.
CEOCFOinterviews: In closing, why is this the time for potential investors to be interested and what should they know that they may not realize when they first look at the company?
Mr. Collingwood: The reason I think it is a wonderful time to invest is that once we demonstrate our technology, which is close to happening and once we find something, which we expect to happen this year, one would anticipate that the stock would skyrocket. This is the time to buy the stock before it skyrockets, so there ought to be a wonderful return on investment, although we cannot guarantee it. When you look at what other companies have done, this is a good time to get in. We are within three or four months of having our commercial unit in the water operating. We have a very strong likelihood within the next four weeks of owning the search vessel New World Legacy, which was specifically designed to look for shallow water buried treasure. We have a management team that is more experienced than we ever had, and more money to use than we ever have. Money is important because it is difficult to do much if you do not have any money. The fact that we are better funded is enabling us to do things that we wanted to do for a long time but have not been able to do because we were constrained for cash. If you stand back and realize this company has been around for a long time and has not done anything and then look and see what has happened the last few months, you will see a huge difference in our company. We are on the verge of taking off and that may not be apparent to an investor that is not closely watching what we are doing.
To view Releases highlight & left click on the company name!
ceocfointerviews.com does not purchase or
recommendation on stocks based on the interviews published.