Timminco represented a number of firsts for asensio.com: our first focused coverage of an alternative energy company, of a non-US-listed company, of a venture backed by multi-billion-dollar, multi-national titans. But looking below the surface, the Timminco story was the same one that has appeared repeatedly in asensio.com reporting: a sudden, exponential rise in value, a CEO with a shady past [this time surrounded by a thick lack of respectability], insider selling [this time through a derivative entity listed in Amsterdam], and promotional claims to possessing technological know-how to solve age-old problems that have confounded the largest and best-funded players in a global industry. Unraveling the Timminco story meant understanding the science behind the process of refining silicon to remove boron and phosphorous to an extent that the silicon could be used in solar cells. Once we understood that the atomic closeness of these two impurities to silicon created a purification problem that was physically insurmountable for Timminco, we knew Timminco’s days were numbered. The stock lost about 90% of its multi-billion-dollar valuation in only a few months.