My pleasure Rod. Australias pearling industry has taken a dive since the GFC as well as Indonesia being able to produce such good quality South Sea Pearl (Pinctada Maxima) has not helped the likes of Paspaley and Linneys. Apparently dollar turnover has fallen from 250 million to 110 million and only employing 400 people down from over 1000 or so in the last 18 months.
Atlas has the advantage of very cheap labour and a friendly Govmint that has no restrictions or quotas on production. Water is pretty clean considering where they are located and even though the farm itself is pretty crude (not mechanically modernised) the pearls still keep coming. Maybe that is their secret?
I would jump in a plane and fly to Bali to check out their operation before spending my hard earned if it was me. Could be a tax deduction if you decide to invest?
At my pearl farm we are not growing the Maxima shell and do not have the volume of producing oysters as Atlas has achieved. But still obtaining good results thus far with lustre and nacre. SIZE is the issue !