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       Mirage Resources International Pty Ltd (No Liability), and the Curious Affair of the Golden Windle Investment Project, p.1

          
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Mirage Resources International Pty Ltd (No Liability),  and the Curious Affair of  the Golden Windle Investment Project
Mirage Resources International Pty Ltd (No Liability),

  and the Curious Affair of

  the Golden Windle Investment Project

  Copyright Lindsay Johannsen 2016

  This story is available to you Free. I insist on maintaining my copyright, however, but until such time as I become staggeringly famous and amend this notice please feel free to reproduce, copy, disseminate or distribute it generally amongst your friends and/or enemies by whatever means you have at your disposal and to your heart's content, provided this is done in a purely non-commercial manner and the story remains complete and in its original form. My preference, though, is for you to recommend to others that they should download "Mirage Resources International Pty Ltd (No Liability), and

  the Curious Affair of the Golden Windle Investment Project"

  Thank you.

  National Library of Australia Cataloguing-in-publication Data:

  Author: Johannsen, Lindsay Andrew

  Title: Mirage Resources International Pty Ltd (No Liability), and

  the Curious Affair of the Golden Windle Investment Project

  Cover art and design bungled by the author.

  The "novels": "McCullock's Gold" and "The Cassidy Chronicles"

  ?plus some short stories and other rubbish.

  To order the paperback version of McCullock's Gold or contact the author please visit

  www.vividpublishing.com.au/lajohannsen

  Mirage Resources International Pty Ltd (No Liability),

  and the Curious Affair of

  the Golden Windle Investment Project

  _________________________________________________

  Dudly Punting

  Proprietor, Punting's Second-Hand Bike Shop.

  FLUENT BICYCLE SPOKE HERE!

  Well gees old mate, what a surprise, hearing from you again after all these years. I honestly thought the crocs had got you - you know, moving up to the Top End the way you did then completely dropping off the radar. And what has it been now? Fifty years if it's a day ... and then some.

  A lot of water through the washing machine since those days, old timer: marriage, the kids grown up, grandchildren (bless their black little hearts), homestead burnt to the ground in the bushfires, the missus clearing out with that fire chief feller...

  He was the one that lit the bugger, too, they reckoned. Course nothing was ever proved and it all died down in the end, especially after he got that Order Of Australia gong - Companion's Offsider's Mate's Left-hand Helper or something.

  After the insurance was settled I finished up in Alice Springs. The lawyers got most of it, of course, and Godzilla got most of what was left, but I ended up with enough to get meself started again - though putting old bikes back together was a bit of a come-down after fixing our big farm machines. Still, the bicycle business keeps tucker on the table and the fridge full. Most times.

  My best shot at getting back on me feet again came a few decades back, not long after I lobbed here and set up the bike shop. This was during the CenterPac oil shale boom, see, when penny-dreadful shares were going through the roof and blokes were mortgaging their mothers so they could get on board.

  I never got mixed up in that sort of business, of course, but commodities prices were good at the time, so instead I got hold of a Northern Territory Miner's Right and started doing a bit of prospecting out around the ridges - in my spare time like, not that I ever got onto anything half worthwhile. Anyhow, the next thing I know is I'm getting all these colour-illustrated flyers in the mail, encouraging me to take advantage of one or another of their so-called "unique mining industry opportunities" that seemed to pop up on a regular basis.

  Mostly they involved four hundred and fifty thousand tonnes per week gold treatment plants or the likes, now surplus to requirements, along with their associated two hundred man transportable camps etc. Interestingly, they always seemed to be located at places like Coconut Creek in the Bungaloo Islands Group, or just below the summit of Papua-New Guinea's Mount Kokaroka, close by the Irian Jayan border - all subject to a successful, bilaterally agreed survey and the local rebellion being put down, with removal and transportation of all items being the responsibility of the Vendee.

  Anyway, it was about then that I had a brainwave. Like I said before, metals prices were going gangbusters, so why not look to purchasing a small grass-roots project somewhere, one with the potential to produce an easily marketed, high-value/low volume mineral concentrate of some sort. There'd be plenty of them out there, I reasoned, rich little pockets of this or that which had been found and half-forgotten decades ago - the sort of thing into which my own time and effort input would add capital value, while at the same time having profits from the sales of product increasing my savings.

  As a result of all this I placed an ad in the principal mining industry investment journal of the day. "Shafting and Cutting", it was called, the idea being to attract the owners of smaller-type prospects who were looking for an outright sale or a joint venture partner, perhaps.

  Anyway, the ad placement was successful, and to shortcut the story temporarily I was soon the proud owner of a promising little prospect located in the floodout region of the NT's Hale River, in Central Australia.

  "The Golden Windle" it was called and it had exactly the "small mining-operation potential" I'd wanted. I'd had great hopes for it, too, but regrettably, just weeks after purchasing the property from Mirage Resources International Proprietary Limited (No Liability) and before having an opportunity to return there, heavy rains and a major flood in the Hale River erased all trace of its existence - tracks, lease pegs, the ridge hosting the mineralisation... Everything, in fact.

  In the months following the rains I made several attempts to locate the place, all without success, I regret to say. Of course in those days there was no such thing as GPS; one had to navigate using maps and local knowledge. You'll be well aware, too, that I wasn't some green-as-grass newchum with a total lack of skills and experience in finding my way around. I mean I'd earned my Wanderers Club Master Navigator's Gold Badge as a schoolboy for heaven's sakes - AND the Boy Scouts First Class Star of Merit Citation for Map Reading (I might add modestly).

  And yet, despite all this, I was never again able to locate The Golden Windle outcrop. It was gone, buried and lost forever, apparently, under the sands of the Hale River floodout.

  Later I came to realise that, in many respects, it was not unlike the Lasseter's Reef affair. You know: Out There Somewhere, another legendary bonanza lost in the vastness of the Central Australian wilderness. Lasseter's Reef; Tom Hanlon's Simpson Desert gold find on the Queensland border...

  The Golden Windle.

  Course this is just the bare-bones version of the story, old mate, and I know you'll have plenty of questions, so I'll now explain the rest of the business, bullet holes, blisters and all.

  See a few days after lodging the advertisement I found myself talking on the phone to a Mr Lawrencium Actinides, CEO and Executive Development Manager of Mirage Resources International PTY LTD (No Liability). He'd seen my advertisement and had decided on calling me immediately (he'd explained), as he wanted to seize the moment. But both his secretary and his personal assistant were temporarily out of the building, he added, as a result of which he was ringing directly from one of the Board Room telephones.

  After some brief but friendly small talk he asked what sort of capital outlay I had in mind. When I told him about my little nest-egg he waxed enthusiastic and set about giving me a confidential briefing on a property MRI owned, following which he went on to enquire as to whether I'd had previous experience in the mining industry or if I possessed any knowledge of metals recovery processes.

  None whatsoever, I told him, adding that my father had been a rabbit trapper all his life and I myself was now the proprietor of a second hand bicycles and repair shop. Just then there came a sudden burst of laughter in the background, so I asked Mr Actinides about the convivial atmosphere in their premises.

  He explained how the board was enjoying a few drinks after having concluded a successful International business deal. One of the board members had just told a very funny story, he said, following which he seemed to have a good deal of trouble stifling his own mirth. But it was soon back to business.

  Brass, Mr Actinides exclaimed enthusiastically, was the metal of the moment, especially on the international scene. But to individual investors - people like myself - the business, marketwise, remained a closed industry
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