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8/15/09

Bizarrely unmentioned by English language newswires (part 729)

Even though all the MSM newswires have put out reports from Colombia concerning Uribe, US troops, bases, FARC bombings, relations with Ecuador, relations with Venezuela etc in the last 24 hours (here's an example from the evermore right wing WSJ), not one of them mentions the story that's making Spanish language news down on this side or the Darien Gap. (don't believe me? Well here's a Google News list of 191 Spanish language reports and counting). Once again, the place to get the real news on Colombia in English is reserved for the class news webpage, Colombia Reports. Here's an excerpt from the story:

Uribe, speaking in Medellin, apologized for the breach of Ecuador's sovereignty in March 2008 when the Colombian army attacked a FARC camp in Ecuadorean territory killing 25 guerillas and the FARC's number two, Raul Reyes.

"Concerning the issue of our incursion into the Ecuadorean jungle and the bombing against Reyes, I ask them forgiveness for that," the President said, adding the deal with the U.S. is only to fight against terrorism and drug trafficking.

"Our objective is making an end to terrorism: this is the bandit. Ecuador and Venezuela are our brothers," Uribe said.
Tonight's question: Why don't they want you to hear about this? The soft censorship of your newsflow about South America never ceases to amaze me. Left to the classic media channels you really don't have much of a clue about what's going on down here.

The South America Swine Flu Sweepstakes Update, August 15

Here's the fatalities chart as at the date:


Argentina still has plenty plenty to add to that total and is now closing in on the official world topspot (the USA has 447 though that won't last long once winter hits up North).

But this week Brazil is the big story. Its fatalities number has shot from the low 100s to over 300 in the space of a week, with 63 deaths registered in the last 24 hours (for example). There's some serious infecting going on right now in the big cities and general southern region and Brazil is catching Argentina fast. Of course there's the question of population size (there are 5X more Brazilians than Argentinians) but all the same the recent fast upmove will be cause for real concern chez Lula.

I've left Uruguay in 5th because it's lagging on official figures and trying to play dumb with its own people...dat be stoopid of dem. Peru's HealthMin says the worst of the problem is over...yeah right. In general, those countries coming to the end of their winters have had it much rougher than the tropical zones. I presume it's cold where you live in December....am I right?

It's Bolivia's fault, of course

To combat the narcotraffickers in its country Bolivia wants a bit of air support. It has been interested in buying radar equipped planes for its FELCN anti-narco police for a while, with the latest potential supplier The Czech Republic.

However, the Czechs (just like previous potential vendors previously) have been stopped from selling their trainer craft with the necessary equipment to Bolivia by...yes you've guessed it already...the United States of America. Bolivia's Defence Minister Walker San Miguel (crazy name, crazy guy) yesterday confirmed that he'd received word from the Czech Republic apologizing for the fact that the USA gov't has stopped them from selling their planes.

Let us remember that the USA says Bolivia has a bad attitude in its (their phrase not mine) WarOnDrugs™ and accuses them of not making enough effort. Now am I missing something here, or..................

8/14/09

The Friday OT: Radiohead, How To Disappear Completely (live)

I'm not here. This isn't happening.



Wowsers, those dudettes and dudes in the studio audience picked the right night to go watch some live music.

Elvin has left the building


Great news! Hillary Clinton and the rest of the two-faced hypocritical DC mob can stop worrying about saying one thing and doing the other now that Bill Conroy and Al Giordano have exposed the true relationship between the Honduras coupmongering shits and the US State Department.

Here's the link to their story that explains just how the USA is actively pumping money to the usurpers (What? you mean they lied to us, Otto??) and making sure that Micheletti's chosen protegé, pro-coup Presidential candidate Elvin Santos, gets his unfair share by writing cheques out to his privately owned company. All that and lots more in a real old-school full-on scoop of an article over at narconews. Go see for yourself.

Antigua and Barbuda: Capitalism fails, ALBA bails


Antigua and Barbuda, the little Caribbean island group made famous as home base for megascamster R. Allen Stanford, isn't having a great year. After selling its soul to a fast-talking Ponzi schemer and watching the money it thought it had drain away it now finds itself in pretty dire financial straits and can't even muster the cash to pay its public servant payroll.

But fear ye not, island people, because where rampant kapitalism has failed you rampant socialism will come and save the day....with money (!?!?). ALBA, the organization built around Hugo Chávez's oil revenues to promote the cause in LatAm, has bailed out Antigua and Barbuda to the tune of U$50m so that ends are met and things stay afloat. A&B joined ALBA in June and has just got its first payoff for the decision.

All this does raise some interesting philosophical questions about the nature of money, politics, ideals and stuff like that. Unfortunately I'm too stupid to know what to make of it all (according to recent e-mails received, anyway) so work it out for yourselves.

Anyone for cricket?

Trading Post (permission edition)


Gold Resource Corp (GORO.ob) up 12.6% at U$5.44 on good volumes today and up 30% or so since Wednesday's close. The reason is that GORO has finally got possession of its long-delayed permit to get mining from the Mexican government. Long time GORO holder Monty High over at WorldofWallSt will be a happy camper today, for sure. Waddya me think? Me think take profits.

Aura Silver (AUU.v) up 185% at $0.27 and doing tons of volume (4.4m shares and counting). The world is now trying to work out whether it's a buy at this level. I don't have a clue, personally. DYODD, dude.

Fortuna Silver (FVI.v) up 0.9% at $1.11. FVI rushed up yesterday afternoon to this level and apart from an early morning pop to $1.18 has looked pretty steady here. Silver dropping today has bummed its revaluation a bit, but no matter; the stock's had a great week on good fundy news. Gotta like that. Volumes still doing fine, which is another reason to like this week.

Minera Andes (MAI.to) down 1.5% at $0.65 on avg vols and back under the iceberg. General metals malaise stopped this rebound in its tracks, too. Looking forward to the earnings report Chez Otto. Long here.

Dynasty (DMM.to) down 6.1% at $3.08 on low volumes and getting to revisit this week's lows again...nearly. Will I bore you too much if I say "patience needed?". Yeah, thought it would grate on yaz.

Cosan (CZZ) up 1% at U$8.00. CZZ's record earnings got themselves a nice blaring headline this morning (R$337m) but I wasn't too impressed personally. Net margins of 9.5% aren't that fabbo, considering where sugar is right now. Big debt load, too. More important this time around will be the next crop report from South Brazil. The stock's had a great run and it's probably time to cash in if long.


Chile's car sales

July's figures for new auto sales were just released by the Chilean car honchos ANAC, so it's a good moment to catch up on what's been happening to that sector in the country. In places where consumer stimuli on auto sales hasn't been used to any great extent (Brazil has been running a successful campaign on that score all year, way before 'cash for clunkers' was invented by Obama&Co), new auto sales are a good way to get a thumbrule idea of the way the consumer is acting in any given country. In the case of Chile, there's good news and bad. First the good, and new auto sales have been picking up as the year progresses.

ANAC originally put its estimates for 2009 at 130,000 units, but they've bumped that up to 140,000 on recent numbers (Chile's sales tend to increase month after month during the year, peaking in November)

But the bad news is the longer view. The 140,000 units forecast for 2009 sit like this compared to previous years.

And that's quite a drop, dudettes and dudes. Chile isn't rotating its new cars this year, with plenty of consumers driving their present car another few thousand miles instead of trading in. It's called a recession, something that Chile hasn't denied suffering for the last year. Evidence above.

Aura Silver (AUU.v): Today's big winner

Aura Silver (AUU.v) announced results of its drill program at its Oaxaca (South Mexico) property at the bell this morning. Then this happened:



That's what happens when you hit true paydirt, folks. Happy for them..it's a good ol' fashioned drill-winner (and it looks like they managed to keep the good news from leaking). With just 38m shares out the 9.5c overnight price has now tripled...quite understandable too when you look at what they've found:


-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hole Sample From To Length(i) Au Ag AgEq(ii)
(m) (m) (m) (g/t) (g/t) (g/t)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
HBET-01
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Au Zone 2522-2542 0.00 29.55 29.55 0.50 15.39 45.50
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Including 2534-2543 19.45 31.10 11.65 0.70 20.13 62.13
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
2542 28.05 29.55 1.50 1.89 108.00 221.40
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
HBET-02
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ag Zone 2581-2607 14.90 73.05 58.15 0.07 65.05 69.25
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Including 2593-2607 59.50 73.05 13.55 0.13 137.50 145.30
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
2596-2607 61.50 73.05 11.55 0.15 157.30 166.30
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
2597 61.50 62.15 0.65 0.14 667.00 675.40
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
2607 71.85 73.05 1.20 0.19 743.00 754.40
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Au Zone 2642-2668 107.65 158.75 51.10 0.54 12.20 44.70
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Including 2642-2649 107.65 117.45 9.80 0.87 12.39 64.30
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
HBET-03
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ag Zone 2679-2711 85.00 119.20 34.20 0.13 211.70 219.50
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Including 2701-2711 107.10 119.20 12.10 0.24 519.00 533.40
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
2701-2705 107.10 111.80 4.70 0.15 1,077.00 1,086.00
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
2683 88.05 89.50 1.45 0.27 1,100.00 1,116.20
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
2701 107.10 107.90 0.80 0.12 646.00 653.20
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
2703 108.90 110.20 1.30 0.28 2,450.00 2,466.80
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Au Zone 2715-2727 135.00 149.10 14.10 0.56 3.44 37.18
-------------------------------------------------------------------------



DYODD, dude

More downward revisions for Peru

And this time it's Spongebob and his band of liars at the Finance Ministry itself, downgrading to "between 2% and 3%" as reported by El Comercio last night. The downgrade will become official at the end of the month (when it'll probably be called plain straight 2%).

So let's look at how the official finance whores have forecast Peru 2009 so far in chart form. Now, I dunno 'bout you dude, but I kinda notice a trend developing...........

We do ornery (click to enlarge)

Otto, purveyor of an honest GDP forecast for all this time (1.28%) , guarantees further BS and downgrading as 2009 winds down. You seriously expect these people to be honest with you after that kind of track record?

Meanewhile, the pre-empted excuses for this month's disaster number (about to be published...should be a lotta fun) are already rolling out. This latest one made me laugh, the headline saying "According to analysts, economy fell 2% in June due to social protests". Y'see it isn't the Twobreakfast/Spongebob show that's at fault, oh no no no no no; it's those lousy commies that protest over nothing. But they can dress it up any way they like; Peru is falling further into recession on their watch, period. Truth beats out lies eventually.

Venezuela, just like where you live

One of the overriding impressions given by the faux press coverage of Venezuela (and LatAm in general come to think of it) is that for gringos it must be like visiting the Planet Zog. So to put your mind at rest and show you that Venezuela isn't that much different than any other place you'd care to mention, here's a story picked up by reader UL from the blog Okrim Opina. First here's the photo of a classified advert as found by Okrim in the Venezuelan newspaper Ultimas Noticias...


... and now here comes the translation into English:

7 Rentals
---------------------------

Just for you. Don't let yourself be evicted if
you're
up to date with rent payments we
guarantee
you (5) years (of residence).
We also evict
(in) 2 months.
Tel 0414-322.01.83

----------------------------


Yes indeedy folks, scumbag lawyers and shysters that will charge you an arm and a leg to get legal backing for your rented apartment and then hire themselves out to your landlord a week later to turf you out are prowling the streets of Caracas, too. Nice to know there are some things you can rely on in any big city, isn't it?

Chart of the day is....

....copper, the most recent action via 60 minutes candles.

Yes, direct from the world of WTFDIK?, here's the metal that's supposed to have a PHd but gets pushed around by the bullies with the most money just like the rest of them (us). Remember all those commentators last year saying $140/bbl oil wasn't a hedgie-induced bubble? Yep you guessed it, they're saying the same thing again right here right now about Cu.

But no matter the cause, more interesting the effect. IKN Weekly subscribers have been pointed to a couple of small junior Cu plays that haven't as yet joined the mayhem and fury and as such they present decent risk/reward options right now. Even if we get the significant drop I'm still expecting (waiting for Godot) to, let's say, Cu $2.50 there are plenty of names worth considering, so here's another time when market expectations and fundies on the stocks have greatly diverged. Always a good time to search for value.

Last thought: Keep watching that LME warehouse inventory number, dudettes and dudes. Now 292k and counting, when it breaks 300k I suspect the issue will catch more headlines. DYODDD.

8/13/09

Honduras's de facto gov't shoots people and beats crap outta them...FOR PEACE

Middle aged woman protesting? Must be a terrorist..smack her in the head

Borev got the numbers

Honduras Oye got the pictures

Ten Percent got the indignation

Quotha got the bullets.

Machetera got the pro-coup Israeli hit squad in training in Honduras (I kid thee not)

Meanwhile, Reuters and McClatchy got the dumbass lapdogs serving up sterilized news for the coup apologists (see borev link) and the USA got the lilly-livered Prez hiding behind semantics. Pathetic the lot of you.

Muffin Flu, anyone?


News from Ecuador is that Studmuffin's Chief of Security has come down with Da Swine Flu and now the whole presidential entourage, Prez included, is under observation for symptoms of the bug.

Thus IKN launches its "Emergency Volunteer Muffin Observer" appeal. Tell me, is anyone out there interested in closely observing President Rafael Correa for a few days? It's a morning, noon and night job, folks.

Bina, are you out there?
c

Fortuna Silver news

The quarterly results from Fortuna Silver (FVI.v) made for good reading. The conference call today was strong and positive (and I hear well-attended too, but if you missed it a recording will be available very soon at the company website). The stock is trading well, with nearly 500k volume done yesterday and closing in on the same figure today.


FVI is up 5% and threatening to break out at this point (the TA heads tell me a $1.04 finish would be good). Damn well should, too.

This weekend's IKN Weekly will feature a NOBS fundamental analysis report on Fortuna Silver as we take in the recent happenings and set a target for the end of the year. Be there or be square.

Trading Post (broken hair edition)


News from the breakfast table: After getting my hair cut short yesterday (my preferred bi-monthly buzzcut) the youngest noticed with surprise this morning and said between mouthfuls of cornflakes "Dada! Your hair is broken!". Parenthood, eh?

Alturas (ALT.v) up 16.7% at $0.21 with just one trade made and the ask at 25. ALT came out with some good news on a link-up with BVN this morning, as the big miner options in to one of ALT's silver properties in Peru and the little miner gets a free ride and (if all goes well) handy cash payments along the way. Notable is the action in the Lima bourse on the stock this morning, as 500k shares in mucho operations have traded there since the announcement (update, make that 685k shares and counting) and the price is U$0.21...Toronto caught snoozing again.

Dynasty (DMM.to) up 1.9% at $3.30, but better than the smallish move is the better volumes on today's leg of the climb-back. So much for the end of the world, eh shillerz?

ECU Silver (ECU.to) up 1.9% at $0.53, and a nice reminder that the stock markets are populated by suckers. How anyone can possibly bid up this stock today is beyond me and I don't care if silver spot goes to $16 mañana. At some point it does become our moral responsibility to separate fools from their money....these people become rich and they could get dangerous.

Minera Andes (MAI.to) down 2.9% at $0.66, and as IKN Weekly subscribers found out over two hours ago I bought some MAI on a stink bid at 65c this morning. They also know why. DYODD, dude.

Does Otto work for BBVA Banco Continental? Should Otto work for BBVA?

Strangely enough, today BBVA Banco Continental adjusted down its forecast for Peru's 2009 GDP to +1.4%. Here's the section (translated):
BBVA Banco Continental forecasts that the Peruvian economy will grow 1.4% in 2009 and expects a rate of +3.3% in 2010.
So let's check that chart I put together back in April again...



...oh looky, Otto said +1.28%. And that was the time when Spongebob and all at the Peruvian Finance Ministry said growth would be 5%, Twobreakfasts assured his masses 5%, the World Bank said 5%, the IMF said 5%, BBVA was saying 5% (or thereabouts) and the freaking Peruvian Central Bank swore blind that it'd be 5%. It's also the time of year that commentators like Luchillo (who pretended to be an economist from chile living in Lima) would troll this blog and tell me that I must be some kind of insurgent communist for standing up and saying "They are lying to you". How do you feel now, dumbass?

It only remains to ask whether I actually work for the bank in question (the answer being "hahahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaa") or whether I should work for BBVA in the future (the answer being "no way José; I'd last a week at best). Y'know, yesterday I was accused by somebody who thought he was being friendly of being too mouthy on this blog. But hey, when the whole of the financial community expects 5% growth from Peru and I'm here all year saying that's a very large crock, at some point I have the right to stand up and say "toldya so". And there's never going to be an editor here, no matter what people would like to see. If you don't like reading plain speak spoken plainly and an author that is not afraid of the truth and its painful consequences there are a zillion other corners of cyberspace to choose from. No need to return here.

Mining PRs and the Ottotrans™, part 11


Handbags at dawn girls, it's our old friend ECU Silver (ECU.to), silver scam of the year and pumped shamelessly to high heaven by a foulmouthed GATA wingnut (cos he holds a bootload of the worthless paper and wants to get rid of it...onto you...at higher prices). This time they've been caught red-handed doing their naughty deeds, so let's hand over to its JV partner (though that word must be haunting them by now) Golden Tag (GOG.v). For the record I don't have much sympathy for GOG.v either, the old "lay with dogs..." saying coming to mind. Just avoid this screwed up mess like the plague, dudettes and dudes.


Anyway, to business. This is what they wrote

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Aug. 13, 2009) - Golden Tag Resources Ltd. (TSX VENTURE: GOG "Golden Tag") has today presented a formal notice to ECU Silver Mining Inc. ("ECU") demanding the immediate cessation of the removal of stockpile material on the San Diego Property. Golden Tag has recently learned that ECU commenced unauthorized removal of surface stockpiles on the property at a daily rate of approximately 250 tonnes per day in clear contravention and breach of the ECU and Golden Tag joint venture agreement (the"JVA"). Removal of these stockpiles and transport of the material is continuing on a daily basis with a fleet of seven trucks. The material is being transported to the nearby processing facility of ECU. There are at least 40,000 tonnes of mineralized material grading 1% Lead, 1% Zinc and 100 grams Silver per ton on the property. The stockpiles represent Joint Venture Assets which can not be mined or processed without the authorization and approval of the Joint Venture committee. Such authorization and approval has not been requested or approved.

ECU, the designated operator of the San Diego joint venture has also failed to remedy prior fundamental breaches of the option and JVA, signed on November 2, 2005 in respect of the San Diego property (see press release: June 23rd 2009). The silver zinc rich property is located in the Velardena Mining District, Municipality of Cuencame, Durango State, Mexico (the "Property"). Golden Tag's counsel in a letter dated March 20, 2009 notified ECU of these breaches and Golden Tag subsequently received assurances that the breaches would be rectified within the requested 30 day period. Despite several follow-ups, the breaches have not been remedied. Golden Tag is fully vested in a 50% Property interest under the JVA.

Among prior contract breaches of ECU which Golden Tag believes will be substantiated at arbitration are that ECU:

(A) Allowed a third party charge against the Property contrary to the JVA.

(B) Invoiced Golden Tag for joint-venture expenses but did not remit the funds to pay joint venture suppliers on a timely basis, some suppliers still being unpaid.

© Failed to timely contribute its equivalent pro rata share of funding to the joint venture.

(D) Failed to follow proper procedures and timely financial reporting.

Due to these significant breaches, Golden Tag plans to seek the right to assume operatorship of the Property, dilution of the interest of ECU and/or compensatory damages and other relief.


And this is what it means:

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Aug. 13, 2009) - Golden Tag Resources Ltd. (TSX VENTURE: GOG "Golden Tag") has today presented a formal notice to ECU Silver Mining Inc. ("ECU") telling them to keep their grubby thieving hands off the JV material at the San Diego Property. Golden Tag has recently been told by truck drivers working for ECU who haven't been paid for two months that ECU has been stealing surface stockpiles on the property at a daily rate of approximately 250 tonnes per day, which is half the amount of rock they're putting through their stolen oxide mill, in clear contravention and breach of the ECU and Golden Tag joint venture agreement (the"JVA"). These scammy shits are stealing on a daily basis with a fleet of seven trucks driven by those as yet unpaid drivers. The material is being transported to the nearby stolen processing facility of ECU. Those scumbags have pilfered at least 40,000 tonnes of mineralized material grading 1% Lead, 1% Zinc and 100 grams Silver per ton on the property. The stockpiles represent Joint Venture Assets which can not be mined or processed without the authorization and approval of the Joint Venture committee. Such authorization and approval has not been requested or approved so we're well pissed with these shysters and you'd better believe it, as our half of the silver they've stolen is worth about U$800,000, the lead is about $300,000 and the zinc another $300k. So these fools owe us $1.5m and that's before we start on the punitive damages, suckers. They're going down.

ECU, the designated operator of the San Diego joint venture has also been a pisspoor partner of the option and JVA, signed on November 2, 2005 in respect of the San Diego property (see press release: June 23rd 2009) and we're already in arbitration about this. The crap quality property which looks good on paper but is largely uneconomic to mine as its veins are harder to get at than a junkie's, is located in the Velardena Mining District, Municipality of Cuencame, Durango State, Mexico (the "Property"). Golden Tag's counsel in a letter dated March 20, 2009 notified ECU of these breaches and Golden Tag subsequently received a bunch of bullshit lies from the scamsters that the breaches would be rectified within the requested 30 day period. Unsurprisingly the breaches have not been remedied. Golden Tag is fully vested in a 50% Property interest under the JVA.

Among prior contract breaches of ECU which Golden Tag believes will be substantiated at arbitration are that ECU:

(A) Fraud.

(B) More fraud.

(C) Screwing over the JV at any given opportunity.

(D) Proof these jokers couldn't organize an orgy in a brothel, let alone a mine.

Due to these significant breaches, Golden Tag is totally pissed, is going to sue their scrawny asses and nail them into the ground. Tequila shots with salt and lemon served, the end.


Chart of the day is...

...available on this link, because I was going to do the gold /silver ratio but Gary Biiwii has beaten me to the jump...and he's miles better than me at charting anyway. So go there.

8/12/09

Taking Bets on Ecometals


After the bell today Ecometals (EC.v) came out with this PR that had a lot of words but for those of us that aren't fooled by fluff can be simply translated as:

"We don't have the drilling permit yet".

However it did include this line, talking about the two bits of paper it needs to go forward with the drilling:
The final remaining Environmental Management Plan and Environmental License approvals are expected to be received this month.
So this humble corner of cyberspace is prepared to take bets on this one, folks. Considering the long history of bullshit that comes from this company I say that Ecometals will not receive the necessary permits from the govenment of Ecuador by the end of month and offer even money on the monetary sum of your choice. Any takers?

Pisco 2009

Pisco, as featured in Peru's newspaper La Republica today

A lot of Peruvian press is focussed on the cities of Pisco, Chincha and Ica today, as two years have passed since the big earthquake there and still less than 50% of the work that needs doing to reconstruct the cities has not been done. IKN ran a post on the story this time last year and was shocked to see the lack of progress that had been made then. Amazingly, nothing has changed since then and the whole earthquake region is still a rubble-laden mess.

Even for the Twobreakfasts government the ineptitude and screw you attitude shown beggars belief. Yes folks, this is the country that's proud of its growth record in the period concerned and it can't even be bothered to look after its own people, let alone keep its word. The cities of Pisco and Ica still don't have hospitals up and functioning after all this time. Many of its inhabitants live under canvas. Dermatological problems are rife and the constant complaint from residents trapped in the hell hole is that of the smell.

The smell of corruption, arrogance, ignorance. The smell of Alan García.

Viva investment grade. Viva, viva viva.

UPDATE: For Spanish speakers, an excellent resumé of matters Pisco by Sheput

Whatever makes you think that Associated Press makes shit up to appease its paymasters, Otto?

Oh, just a feeling.

Take for example today's story about a big drugs bust in Greece, where the local agencies found 447kg of cocaine mixed in a container of aluminium scrap at the Greek port of Piraeus. Apparently the coke was on its way to Bulgaria, the gang has been tracked previously and are known for trafficking the Colombia-Europe route and seizure is one of the biggest (if not the biggest) cocaine bust in Greece ever (so kudos to the cops). Therefore here's the story...

As reported by UPI:
"A police official said the anti-drug team acted on a tip received from U.S. authorities saying they suspected the ship was transporting the drug from Colombia."

As reported by Reuters:
"ATHENS (Reuters) - GREEK police said on Wednesday they had seized 500 kilos of cocaine on a boat in the country's main port, Piraeus, and arrested six members of an international drug-smuggling ring."

As reported by Focus News
"Athens. Greek police broke up a Greek-Bulgarian drug trafficking ring importing huge amounts of cocaine from Colombia, the online edition of Greek Makedonia newspaper reports. The special operation was conducted in cooperation with international anti-drug organizations."

As reported by The Sofia Echo
"Greek police have busted a Bulgarian-Greek drug trafficking ring, Focus news agency quoted Greek newspapers as saying.

The organisation allegedly imported large amounts of cocaine from Colombia."

And now ROLL ON THE DRUMS PLEASE....here it is as reported by Associated Press
"Greek authorities say they have seized nearly half a ton of cocaine and arrested five suspected members of an international drug smuggling ring.

The Finance Ministry says the 447 kilograms (1,000 pounds) of Colombian cocaine had been smuggled by freighter from Bolivia to Greece's main port of Piraeus, near Athens. It was one of the largest quantities of the drug ever seized in Greece."

So the world's press know it's from Colombia, but AP decides the story sounds better if the blame is stuck on the Axis of Evo™. Therefore, Associated Press, for your ongoing bullshit and lies via arch-pisspoor coverage of South America that it exemplified in today's misinformation special, you win this week's coveted award. Enjoy, dumbasses:



Hat tip boliviasol

Minefinders: Fundies still count for something

On Thursday 6th, just after the quarterly results came out at Minefinders (MFN), your humble correspondent ran the post "Minefinders (MFN) puts in a poor quarter" which pointed out that....errr, well...they'd put in a poor quarter. Since then the stock has done this.....


...which makes the paid-off analysts like Thomas Tan at Europac (the Schiff place) look pretty stoopid as he and a lot of other kneejerk cheerleaders were all bullish about the report.

Hey Thomas, I can't believe that you actually raised your projection on MFN from $10 to $12 on the strength of this piece-o-junk report. I hope for your sake you didn't mention your crappy call to Sir Peter himself. Y'see it's one thing to actually read a quarterly earnings report and quite another to understand it.


Honduras Oye

If it's good enough for Machetera, it's good enough for me.

First go over to Machetera to review what she calls the best blog on Honduras affairs. Machetegirl dixit:
"Of all of the blogs that came to life, either newly created, or revived, as a result of the June 28 coup d’etat in Honduras, one stands out, particularly for English language readers..."
Then make your way over to Honduras Oye and keep up to date with what's happening inside the country in the best way possible. End of reco. Now use it*.



*Are you still here? Go on, go now.

I blame The Truman Show

Now this story you gotta see.

Wallace (no Gromit)

SAO PAULO, Brazil — In one murder after another, the "Canal Livre" crime TV show had an uncanny knack for being first on the scene, gathering graphic footage of the victim.

Too uncanny, say police, who are investigating the show's host, state legislator Wallace Souza, on suspicion of commissioning at least five of the murders to boost his ratings and prove his claim that Brazil's Amazon region is awash in violent crime. Police also have accused Souza of drug trafficking.

"The order to execute always came from the legislator and his son, who then alerted the TV crews to get to the scene before the police," state police intelligence chief Thomaz Vasconcelos charged in an interview with The Associated Press.

The killings of competing drug traffickers, he said, "appear to have been committed to get rid of his rivals and increase the audience of the TV show."

Souza denied all the criminal allegations and called them absurd, insisting that he and his son are being set up by political enemies and CONTINUES HERE

Make mine a double please

How's the biggest stock in your portfolio been doing recently?

I'll take my 33% in 10 days quite happily :-). That's also a new 52 week high, by the way.

Sure, it's always very cool to get a 2 bagger or 3 bagger from those microdot gambles, but when the biggest position in the portfolio doubles in just seven months, you know you're having a good year. Your humble servant reco'd Troy Resources (TRY.to) (TRY.ax) back in December 2008 and bought it in January at CAD$0.84. Significant kudos should also go to Claude Cormier of Ormetal Report who first mailed me with a "Hey Otto, have a look at the fundies in this TRY.to thing" and gave me the smart headsup on the stock. That was one smart stockpick Claude and a tribute to your proven skills.

All the followings and comments about worthy investments in the LatAm/wider-world junior mining sector are your for the taking in The IKN Weekly. You'll love the service (clients got a flash update on four stocks this morning) and the reco'd stocks are now seeing the gains that their fundamentals have always promised. At just U$25 a month and easily cancelled if you don't like what you see, it's a very low risk proposition that offers proven rewards and a sensible, intelligent approach to investing in this trappy sector of the market (well I think so at least).

Now, if only DMM.to would get off its tush and join the others.............

Chart of the day is.....

...cash cost per ounce of silver produced by Fortuna Silver (FVI.v) (post-byproduct credits) for the quarter just announced, 2q09.

That's my kinda number.

They also turned a $1.2m net profit this quarter, all while respecting the environment around them and treating their workforce right. You guys stick with those marginal Mexico plays, I'll stick with the best small silver company out there, period. Here's a link to the presser. DYODD.

8/11/09

ON NOES! Oscar Arias got da Swine Flu!

It's true. According to this report, Costa Rican Prez, Nobel Peace Prize winner and currently middleman in the nothing-doing negotiations between the usurpers and the legit President in Honduras Oscar Arias is down with the bad old AH1N1 and confined to bed.

No peacemaking for you today, young man.

Oh please..please PLEASE let's hope he spent more time doing the recent one-on-ones with Micheletti than with Zelaya. Thank you reader UL for the headsup.

PS: Get well soon Oscar. For a politico you're not a bad dude.

Venezuelan parallel exchange rate update

Here's the chart:


Things have been fairly calm with the VEF/USD permuta "parallel" rate recently, with the range staying on or around the M2 vs reserves theoretical rate (see previous posts for more on that). This post is no more than a quick update and was inspired by a Google search that landed on site this afternoon using these keywords:

"Exchange my VEF currency in the US"

Some advice for my searchfriend:

1) Go to Miami
2) Know where your ankles are, because you'll need to be holding on to them very tightly if the transaction goes through at the rate you're offered in the USA.

Mojitos served. The end.

Trading Post (name that tune edition)


First person to recognize these lyrics from the great song currently blaring out of my speakers wins a beer. Comments section below or mail.

Meet me in the summertime
We can move the air
Sweet Virginia countryside
I will meet you there

Dynasty (DMM.to) up 3.3% at $3.29 on a low volume recovery from yesterday's swandive. It's all good.

Troy Resources (TRY.to) up 2.6% at $1.56 on a down day....it's all good. Again great volumes in Australia last night. Gotta love this move...gotta be on it, too.

Oroco Resources (OCO.v) UNCH at $0.135 on nothing volumes. This is the very same dog that was pumped to a bunch of greenhorn Germans by a scammy operator in that country named 'General Research GmbH'. That scam artist got the thing up to 25c early June before reality set in (and after the scoundrels behind the pump had sold their stock, for sure). There's more chance of Alvaro Uribe winning Mr. Universe than a profitable mine getting built on top of its smoke'n'mirrors asset. If you're long this you have two choices; learn by your mistakes or remain poor for the rest of your life, cos if they scam you with this one they'll scam you the same way with a thousand others.

Exeter Resources (XRC.v) (XRA) down 1% at C$3.00. Woof woof.

Caerus Resources (CA.v) down 7% at 40c. I tried to warn you about this thing, but would you listen? That's 30% dropped in the space of a week. The reason: Woof woof woof woof woof woof.

UPDATE: Winnah winnah chikkin dinnah goes to reader MR timestamped at 1:08pm...2nd place Jeppe. No need to continue writing and telling me it's Foo Fighters with 'Summer's End'.

Peru CPI survey: So much for growth

Peruvian pollsters CPI ran a survey recently and as well as the usual guff about popularity ratings (Twobreakfasts scored an abysmal 24%) and stuff about voter intentions for the next election (El Chino's daughter leading...it could only happen en un pais bananero) there was an interesting and detailed section on perceptions of the Garcia government and how the people that really matter (not you, not me, not that dumbass who wrote glowing BS for Slate, not the dumbasses in suits at RGE Monitor) namely the citizens of Peru see their country's progress under Twobreakfasts compared to the prvious administration led by Alejandro Toledo.

Here are the charts. This one is the full Monty with all stats but is tough to read....
Click to enlarge (gets big)

...so this second chart strips out the "same" and "no opinion" replies to give an easier-on-the-eye snapshot.
Click to enlarge

So of the 15 categories on display, things are worse than they were previously in nine, same in two and better in four. And note we're talking about the Toledo government by comparison here, the guy that polled single digit popularity numbers when in office. The bar was set very low for Twobreakfasts and he's jumped like an elephant. True mediocrity.

Finally, let's just point to the fact that although Peruvians recognize there is more investment coming into the country (other parts of the same survey make that abundantly clear) they are less content with their lot. It does beg the question as to why the meme of "foreign investment good" is pumped down people's throat sans cesse. But hey, wait a moment! Never mind the locals' views, cos it just so happens to benefit the people that write the reports saying "FDI good".

Funny coincidence dat, innit?

Nice Chart from Biiwii this morning


Check out this link on which you'll find a smart graphic from the meisterchartman, Biiwii Gary. It's all about the S&P index and the dollar, so not the normal LatAm fare you find here, but I reckon it to be a very astute observation.

I'm not pasting it here, you can go over and see it at the source. Daylight come an' me wanna go home.

Peru's ImpEx update

Let's catch up with a bit of macro and see how those Peruvian imports and exports have been doing this year. The last time we did this post was January or February so there's been a lot of copper sent to China and gold to Switzerland since then.

This first chart shows monthly bars for both imports and exports.

In 2009 exports have recovered somewhat (thanks mainly to the rebounds in copper and gold) but are still well off 2008 highs. Imports have been in the gutter all year, the same levels as 30 months previously. Where's this "vibrant internal economy" that S&P talked about when affirming its ridiculous investment grade on Peru? IKN calls bullshit on another band of self-righteous, arrogant fools in suits.

The trade balance (below) has therefore gone to the surplus after the iffy moments at the turn of the year, again largely due to the metals rebounds (for the record metals accounted for 59.8% of Peu's exports in the first six months of 2009, pretty much the average that fluctuates around the 60 mark). This has helped stabilize the currency (PEN) which is good. Export dependent countries with non-reserve currencies can't spend more than a few months out of surplus before currency weakness starts notching inflation up. In 2009 Peru has inflation nicely under control, happy to say.


So if we add up the imports and exports to show (below) total trade activity with the rest of the world, 2009 has recovered a bit but there's a country mile between current trade and the numbers being posted this time last year.


The bottom line is that we have a country with a stagnant internal economy that got lucky and has been saved by the metals rebound. No more, no less. Find the Peru Central Bank source report on this link. If this is an economic miracle then Britney Spears' children were virgin births.


Chart of the day is....

...sugar futures and the monthly candle lets us see just how high it is right now.

Wowsers. I was reading some dude talking about crude oil and how the Chinese Yuan peg was propping up the prices and how all the supply-and-demanders were dumbasses for not seeing the big trend and I was all "Hey, that's me you're talking about and calling dumbass", and felt kinda miffed that, even if his hypothesis were true, some short-term monetary phenomenon was being mistaken for an economic law (whatever that words means inside economics) and trumping the BIG one...S&D, Adam Smith and the long term true truths of this world.

So this sugar chart with all the noise going around at the moment about crippling supply shortages and suchlike, makes me feel a lot better. I'll be talking a little about sugar in IKN16 on Sunday and a very interesting investment opportunity I've noticed here in LatAm.

8/10/09

Greg Grandin's Honduras List

Greg Grandin debated some leftover DC lobbyist called Lanny last week. Abiding has the video of the event and it's as close to intellectual carnage as is possible. I could get all high falutin' on you at this point and go for the blow-by-blow critique, but just go over yourself and see the mincement that Grandin makes of Davis. You don't need my thin commentaries laid on top of the real deal.

So anyhow, following on from that debate Grandin has put together an article at HuffPo that nails the lies used by Lanny on a point by point basis, all backed up with cross references and data and links and all the malarkey. So if you want a nice, clean, academically rigorous but simple to digest rundown of exactly why the happenings in Honduras is a shame on all houses and an affront to all Latin America (and the wider world for that matter), check out Grandin's post, it's linked right here.

Did I say billion? Oops, I meant 'thousand'


Sometimes the headline just catches your eye.

About 10 minutes ago this came through on the wires. I'm taking the liberty of pasting the whole thing in Spanish below because I have a feeling that headline will be corrected soon and I'd like a lasting copy. The headline reads "Police Confiscate more than twenty-one billion false dollars" but if you read the story the real number is $21,000 found in the pockets of a couple of dudes in Peru.

Now...if it really were $21Bn that would be "Dog Bites Man/Man Bites Dog". 15% of Peru's GDP floating around the country in false C-notes? You'll need a few grip bags for that.

Policía confisca más de 21 mil millones de dólares falsificados

15:02 | Durante el operativo en San Juan de Lurigancho, dos sujetos fueron detenidos. Son acusados de pertenecer a una banda de falsificadores en dicho distrito

La Policía Nacional del Perú (PNP) detuvo a dos sujetos en San Juan de Lurigancho que portaban 21 mil dólares falsos, durante un operativo en dicho distrito.

Los detenidos fueron identificados como Manuel Andrés Miñano Laos, de 56 años, y Raúl Quispe Rodriguez, de 55.

Miñano, quien fue capturado en la Av. Wiesse, es acusado de ser el encargado de distribuir los billetes falsos en toda la zona del Cono Este de la capital. Se le decomisaron 212 billetes de 50 dólares y 96 billetes de 100.

Por su parte, Quispe Rodríguez fue atrapado en el asentamiento humano 5 de Noviembre.

La PNP reveló que los billetes incautados son muy parecidos a los billetes verdaderos, savo por su contextura y el papel.

Ahora la Policía se encuentra tras los pasos de esta organización de falsificadores.

Maple Syrup

We featured Maple Energy bad week last week in this post (and there was a chunk in the Weekly for subbers, too), so here's the next installment with CEO Rex Canon firing his comeback salvo (geddit?) via Bloomberg.

Aug. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Maple Energy Plc is “still hopeful” it will find oil in the Santa Rosa prospect in the Peruvian jungle, Chief Executive Officer Rex Canon said.

Lima-based Maple will begin a second round of drilling in the prospect in about two weeks, Canon said in a telephone interview today. Maple tumbled 46 percent on Aug. 6 after saying the first round of drilling produced no oil.

“The real news on this particular prospect will not be known until we actually finish drilling,” Canon said. “I think some people maybe didn’t evaluate all the information that is out there” in driving down the stock last week, he said. FULL REPORT HERE

The stock is currently up a tad under 10% in Lima trading at U$2.22, volume 471,000 shares and counting.

Trading Post (Mark Twain edition)


Reports of the US Dollar's death have been (insert correct answer here)

Troy Resources (TRY.to) up 1.3% at $1.55 on its normal pathetic Canadian volumes, even though it did nearly 300,000 papers in Oz last night. One of the very few juniors up today that isn't a dog.

Dynasty (DMM.to) down 5.9% at $3.20 on higher than average volumes and was way lower at $2.97 earlier. IKN Weekly subscribers received a Flash update on this stock at just after 11am this morning...just when it marked the bottom, in fact. Funny dat, innit?

Gleichen Resources (GRL.v) down 7.8% at $0.83 and as planned I picked a few of these up this morning...oooh ohh, a flip-trade position open! I'm feeling all light-headed! DYODD, dude.

ECU Silver down 5.5% at $0.52. Woof woof.

Nadagold (NG) down 4.2% at U$3.66. Woof woof woof woof woof woof woof.

Neil Innes versus the goldbugs

They're still sending unsolicited crap to my mailbox, you know. Normally it just gets deleted unseen, but as it's August and quiet and all that I've been reading a few this morning and having myself a jolly good titter. The latest from the arch-dumbass pied piper Jim Willie was a good one, as it has this chart:

Longer-standing readers might remember this IKN post back in September on the idiotic Jim Willie that had him on about exactly the the same dollar demise, exactly the same "gold to da moon Alice" and exactly the same hilarity-by-chart (which I've just noticed predicted the imminent arrival of "mammoth inflation"....on September 12! ROFL!)

So now that the dollar has broken back up'n'thru the dumbass's latest set of squiggly, wiggly lines less than a week after yet again calling for the-end-of-the-world-we're-all-doomed-doomed-ah-tells-ya, I think it best to hand over to Neil Innes and his Protest Song:

All the prophets of doom can always find room
In a world full of worry and fear
Tip cigarettes and chemistry sets
And rudolph the red-nosed reindeer
So I'm goin back to my little old shack
And drink me a bottle of wine
That was mis en bouteille before my birthday
And have me a f****** good time
*



(*this youtube version uses "fantastic time")

Fiesta Time!


Y'know, I may be cynical and difficult to please most of the time, but in the end I gotta say that the dude from Blackrock here has got the story right. LatAm is a rocking place to invest your long-haul money right now...and it's an even better place to live, by the way. Here's Bloomie:

Aug. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Latin America remains the most “attractively priced” region for equities even after rising more than other markets last quarter, according to Blackrock, the world’s biggest publicly traded asset manager.

Brazil is among the most “notable” equity markets in the region, William Landers, senior portfolio manager for Latin America, wrote in a note to clients, citing prospects for economic growth on commodities and lower borrowing costs.

“Latin American valuation levels offer attractive potential long-term returns, still ranking the region as the most attractively priced regional market on a growth-adjusted basis,” Landers wrote

Twobreakfasts in Emergency Landing Drama


News just in is that the plane carrying President Twobreakfasts to Ecuador so that he could join the Studmuffin swearing-in party today has had to make an emergency landing en route at Chiclayo airport, Peru.

At first there were serious suspicions about excess weight being carried by the plane, but it eventually transpired that the cockpit window had cracked and the pilot was fed up with the wind ruining his coiff.

Pisco sours served. The end.

The Incredible Toronto Summer Sale!!!

Great news, my friend the owl:
Yes really. Roll Up Roll Up!! Courtesy of Can&Corn Inc, purveyors of quality retail neurosis since 1988, the bigtime summer sale is now on!! HURRY HURRY!!, for you too can get two shares of Dynasty Metals for the price of one* if you're slick and quick and make it to the counter now NOW NOW!!

Satisfaction guaranteed or we'll refund your money!**

Call Now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(this message was brought to you by Canadian SheepClip™, professional tools for all your shearing needs)

*December 2009 prices
**some restrictions apply, sucker

Chart of the day is....

...dividends paid by Troy Resources this decade.

A total of 53c (if you were wondering), which isn't bad for a lil' gold miner. The 4c added for the 2009 column has just been announced. Here's the blurb (TY reader EDL):

Troy Declares 10th Consecutive Fully Franked Dividend

PERTH, WESTERN AUSTRALIA--(Marketwire - Aug. 10, 2009) -


NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION TO UNITED STATES NEWSWIRE SERVICES OR FOR DISSEMINATION IN THE UNITED STATES

Growing junior gold producer, Troy Resources NL ("Troy") (TSX:TRY)(ASX:TRY) today announced it will pay a fully franked final dividend of 4 Australian cents per share out of profits for the year ended 30 June 2009. The Company is expecting to report an audited net profit after income tax, for the year ended 30 June 2009, approximating AUD 16 million. The record date for the dividend is close of trading on Friday 21 August, 2009 and the payment date is Friday 4 September, 2009.

Commenting on the announcement Troy's CEO, Paul Benson said: "This is Troy's tenth consecutive fully franked dividend which is an amazing record for a junior gold producer. The dividend of 4 cents per share represents a yield of 2.3% on Friday's closing share price. The 2009 financial year was certainly one of building the foundations for the profitable growth of the company which will allow us to continue paying dividends in the future."

ABOUT TROY RESOURCES

Troy Resources (TSX:TRY)(ASX:TRY) is a dividend-paying junior gold producer, with a clear growth strategy. The Company has two producing gold operations; at Sandstone in Western Australia and the Andorinhas Mine in Para State, Brazil and a gold silver development project "Casposo" in San Juan province, Argentina.

Troy has an experienced Board and management team with a portfolio of successful, fast-track mine development and low-cost operations.

Troy has an annual exploration budget of $5 million and a proven track record in exploration discoveries and strategic acquisitions.

Troy is currently focused on developing its Casposo Project, which it acquired in May 2009. With the acquisition and development of Casposo, Troy is entering a renewed growth phase which will again lift the Company's annual gold production above 100,000 ounces of gold per annum.

The Company maintains a robust balance sheet, and its current assets are forecast to continue to generate strong cash flow. Troy's gold production is unhedged; allowing its shareholders access to the full benefit of current and future gold price upside.

With the recent Casposo acquisition, Troy is positioned to continue its path of strong growth and profitable operations and is well on track to achieve its vision of becoming a highly profitable mid-tier gold producer with a portfolio of quality long-life assets.

Troy is a responsible corporate citizen, committed to the best practice of health and safety, environmental stewardship and social responsibility.

ABN 33 006 243 750

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
Troy Resources NL
Mr Paul Benson
Chief Executive Officer
(61 8) 9481 1277
(61 8) 9321 8237 (FAX)
troy@troyres.com.au
www.try.com.au


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