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Due Diligence - Book Two in the Adam Cartwright Trilogy

Adam Cartwright is a 33 year old business analyst with a major mining group, CMA, based in Sydney. When carrying out a due diligence investigation of a mining company in Florida he suspects that the management team is conspiring to defraud the owners of the mine and purchase it cheaply by way of a management buyout. When the conspirators become aware of Cartwright’s suspicions, and believe that he is about to uncover the conspiracy, they set in train a sequence of events that threaten Cartwright’s life and place others close to him in danger.

The term ‘Due Diligence’ refers to an in-depth investigation of all aspects of a potential investment to confirm the material facts prior to commitment.

The expression originates from the legal requirement that persons advising potential investors must be diligent and take due care.

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Author's Note

Due Diligence is a work of fiction. Adam Cartwright is a fictional character. He does not, and never has, existed. However, the situation that he encountered is not entirely fictional. While working with a major Mining Group in Sydney during the late 1970s, my role was to assess possible new projects and potential acquisitions.

On one occasion I was loaned to a subsidiary company, an Australian mineral sands operator, and dispatched at short notice to the USA. My assignment was to rescue a due diligence investigation. The possible acquisition was a minerals sands operation near Green Cove Springs in Florida. The time for the option to purchase was running out. The due diligence appraisal had become bogged down in heated arguments regarding calculation of the mineable ore reserves.

Just like the fictional Adam Cartwright, I discovered two major flaws in the operation. First, the low recovery of mineral sands due to the dredge head design coupled with over dredging of the pond. Second, the failure to commission the concentrate pipeline due to the too-short, too-sharp, bends in the pipeline, and the excessive pumping rate.

As it turned out, the purchase went ahead, the operational flaws were eventually rectified and the acquisition was a success. Due Diligence is set in that alternative universe where the flaws were due to dishonesty, not incompetence or lack of diligence.

The information in Due Diligence related to mineral sands deposits, their mining and processing, is factual. As is the existence of buried strandlines in Florida that are rich in mineral sands.

Also, the descriptions of bounty hunters, body guards, gun laws and bean bag guns etc are all accurate, thanks to Google and the Internet.