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3/13/10

Links to the Brent Cook show

Two readers kindly sent me the links to Brent Cook's appearance on BNN's Market Call Tonight program last Thursday. This morning a reader mailed to ask where they could get links to see the show. So let's make the connections right here on the blog, cos this way more people can benefit.

This link is to part one of the show

This link is to part two of the show

This link is to the short 'top picks' section at the end of the show.

Well worth your time, mineheads. It'll take you around 45 minutes to watch it all, which is 45 minutes well spent.

ATW Gold (ATW.v): So what are these self-serving crooks up to now?

Here are the latest inside filings from ATW Gold (ATW.v), with frontrunning criminal scumbag Bowering and frontrunning criminal scumbag Harris both buying back stock recently sold at nearly double the price. Going for the Hail Mary, Andy?

ATW Gold Corp. (ATW)

As of March 12th, 2010
Filing Date Transaction Date Insider Name Ownership Type Securities Nature of transaction # or value acquired or disposed of Unit Price
Mar 12/10 Mar 11/10 Harris, Graham Direct Ownership Common Shares 10 - Acquisition in the public market 1,000,000 $0.085
Mar 12/10 Mar 11/10 Bowering, Andrew William Direct Ownership Common Shares 10 - Acquisition in the public market 1,000,000 $0.085
Mar 12/10 Mar 08/10 Bowering, Andrew William Direct Ownership Common Shares 10 - Disposition in the public market -99,300 $0.145
Mar 05/10 Mar 02/10 Harris, Graham Direct Ownership Common Shares 10 - Disposition in the public market -200,000 $0.145
Mar 01/10 Feb 25/10 Bowering, Andrew William Direct Ownership Common Shares 10 - Disposition in the public market -38,000 $0.150
Mar 01/10 Feb 24/10 Bowering, Andrew William Direct Ownership Common Shares 10 - Disposition in the public market -162,000 $0.150
Mar 01/10 Feb 17/10 Bowering, Andrew William Direct Ownership Common Shares 10 - Disposition in the public market -192,500 $0.160
Feb 23/10 Feb 23/10 Harris, Graham Direct Ownership Common Shares 10 - Disposition in the public market -161,667 $0.150
Feb 23/10 Feb 17/10 Harris, Graham Direct Ownership Common Shares 10 - Disposition in the public market -3,000 $0.170
Feb 23/10 Feb 16/10 Harris, Graham Direct Ownership Common Shares 10 - Disposition in the public market -36,000 $0.170


These people belong in jail, but thanks to the toothless and impotent OSC the only place you're likely to see them is in a car showroom, buying up another fancy SUV. True scum.

3/12/10

The Friday OT: Motorhead; Ace of Spades (as featured on The Young Ones)

Please attach your gramophone speakers to the nearest nuclear power plant before hitting play.



80s Britcomedy show The Young Ones is legendary enough, but this music break from the show is one of the tippy top top all time tip-of-the-top-top-pop moments in televisual history. Special delivery for the tenpercenter, but is required enjoyment for all. Totally rocks.

Rick Rule has good advice for you

Read the whole report right here, but this part has me saying yes, yes and thrice yes:

Another point he makes is that "paper always triumphs over gold. The only limit to the number of share certificates that Canadian juniors can issue is the standing inventory of timber between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. They can print dreams on pieces of paper as fast as you can buy them. What happens is that as demand for juniors picks up, the volume of pulp reduced to share certificates and printed with lies and sold to investors can expand geometrically."

As Rick sees it, the only way to make money in this sector is by "pawing through the frauds to find the needles of value in this fraudulent haystack. Not an easy thing to do."

As part of that process, he explains, "Whenever I buy a stock, I have an absolute reason for buying it. I have an informal target, particularly with regards to the juniors. Value is added by the probability of answers to some questions. Before I buy the stock, I say, 'What is the question?' 'How does the management team propose to answer it?' 'Is that efficient?' 'Do they have enough money to do that?' 'What is the likely value of yes?' 'What is the probability of yes?' 'And how long will it take to get that yes?'"

Generally speaking, Rick says that he personally will not buy a junior stock absent "a reasonable possibility of an 18-month double and. . .that a succession of 'yes' answers couldn't give me a tenfold return."

Applying a similar philosophy in reverse, Rick says, "Knowing when to sell a stock really is a function of understanding why you bought it. For example, in the crash 18 months ago, I bought a couple of stocks selling at half cash. Because they didn't have much in the way of properties. . .they would be fairly valued when they were selling at cash. So when the market prices went from half cash to the price of the cash—when my expectation was met—I sold the stocks. I don't regard stocks as pieces of paper that trade. I regard them as fractional ownership of businesses, and when the price of that fractional ownership comes to reflect my value of the business, I'm a seller."


Link to article. Fully recommended reading for mineheads.

Trading Post (that was peedac week edition)


I wonder how all the dumbasses bleating for the end of the Euro/BritPound are feeling right now?

Nadagold (NG) up 1.4% at U$7.33. We're going to take a closer look at the whats and whys of the recent Paulson/Soros buy-in of NG coming in IKN45 on Sunday. Over at the Weekly we take things seriously y'see. Less rant, more thought.

Blue Sky Uranium (BSK.v) up 5.7% at $0.74. This one got da pump-o from Brent Cook as a top pick call on the BNN Market Watch segment last night and was trading at 76c earlier. Ross Beaty bought a chunk of this one earlier in the year, too. Personally I fail to see how this one can be loved and VEM.to at Macusani (JVing with Cameco) can be ignored, but that's just me.

Minco Gold Corp (MMM.to) down 5.1% at $1.30. There's always plenty of competition for the prize, but MMM.to wins this year's "PDAC Bullshit Pump Sheep Special" award for this news release on Tuesday.
The stock jumped loads, as it got compared to a nearby 10m oz Au deposit in China on the basis of a four trenches over a supposed 6km mineralized structure! WTF??? Proof of stupidity is never far away when the words "gold" and "mine" are used in the same sentence. Really disgraceful news release and I pity the suckers who buy into this kind of crap.

Candente Copper (DNT.to) up 14.7% at $0.43. The oversubbed financing is closed, the stock moves. Still plenty left to find if it wants to live up to previous expectations.

Bribery and corruption amongst Argentina's customs officials? Shocked! Ah wuz Shocked ah say!

(pretty OT, here's the front cover of this week's Barcelona for those that understand)

This one is going to be interesting, not least because of the ever growing levels of cocaine exports registered recently out of Argentina and headed for Spain. Here's the first couple of paragraphs from this Clarín report today on how the head of the Argentine customs services at Buenos Aires' main International airport 'Ezeiza' (i.e. the main man head honcho) has been arrested. The man is obviously guilty as he has a dubious background.....he's a director of Boca Jrs.

It had just passed 1am yesterday morning when the doorbell rang at the house of Carlos Mechetti in Pinzón street of the Barracas neighbourhood. The number one customs official at Ezeiza airport opened the door and was immediately arrested, accused of leading a criminal band dedicated to accepting bribes to allow contraband through the international airport.

Just after the arrest, investigators of the Airport Security Police Force (PSA) in charge of the operation searched the house and found there U$800,000 and ArgP$120,000. Some of the confiscated banknotes were in the house safe deposit box. Other notes were found in shoeboxes.

Report Continues here

Colombia: By far the most interesting news release on junior miners that's come from the country in weeks

What? You mean there's risk in operating in Colombia? B-b-b-b-b-but the IR department didn't tell me so it can't be true!

This is a fascinating news release that shows what the shadies over at Medoro Resources (MRL.to) (pumped by über shady dumbass Thom Calandra....who else?) have been up to behind your backs. Locals are well pissed with this crew already.

Official Statement From the Mining and Energy Industry Workers' Union "SINTRAMIENERGETICA", Regarding Ownership of Frontino Gold Mines Ltd.

SEGOVIA, COLOMBIA--(Marketwire - March 12, 2010) - The Mining and Energy Industry Workers' Union "SINTRAMIENERGETICA", of the Segovia branch, who represent the active employees of Frontino Gold Mines Ltd., wish the following to be known:

  1. It is our understanding that the liquidator, Mr. Luis Fernando Alvarado Ortiz and Mr. Serafino Iacono of Medoro Resources are attempting to incite chaos and fear in the mining district of Segovia based on recently published false information and threats. To that effect, criminal charges have been laid against both Medoro Resources and Mr. Serafino Iacono.
  1. We are particularly upset about the fact that top management of Medoro has referred to us as a "small group of guerilleros and paramilitaries".
  1. On February 12, 2010, Thom Calandra stated in his TickerTrax publication that, "Mr. Iacono, as reported here several weeks ago, says he expects Medoro Resources' $180 million+ purchase of pension-bereft Frontino Gold Mines Ltd. to be completed in the next week to 10 days." The Liquidator (Ortiz Luis Fernando Alvarado) has confirmed that no official agreement has been signed with Medoro. Rather only an exchange of information has occurred to date, and Medoro has not confirmed whether or not to accept conditions of any agreement. Therefore we believe there is no valid contract with Medoro being negotiated and no sales agreement in place.
  1. The assets of the Frontino Gold Mines are the private property of the workers, retirees and the people of the region. Accordingly, neither the liquidator, nor the current management of Frontino Gold Mines, nor any government entity in the form of the superintendent, are entitled to negotiate or enter into any binding business arrangements of any kind regarding the assets of Frontino Gold Mines. We the workers, the retirees, and the people of the region are the rightful owners of the assets of the Frontino Gold Mines and accordingly we will negotiate all business arrangements regarding these assets.

We do not recognize the current management, and only a general assembly of the current creditors (shareholders) can make any decision in regards to the business of Frontino Gold Mines Ltd. It is very clear that the liquidator is NOT a creditor and therefore has no right to make decisions.

Our ownership claim is based on the following legal basis:

  1. Deed; standardized number 1850 in the city of Medellin on 06 August 2003.
  1. Supreme Court Ruling on Law 20 of 1969.

Alfredo de Jesus Tobon Alvanes (President, ASOACREF)

Marcos Gaviria Lujan (President, ASJUPENSE)


For more information, please contact

"SINTRAMIENERGETICA" Sectional, Segovia
Dairo Alberto Rua
President
Cell: 313 645 4601
dairorua@hotmail.com

The retail investor in junior mining stocks has two choices. Either 1) stop the gullible believe-it-all attitude to these shysters or 2) remain poor.

Welcome to South America. Mojitos served, the end.

Chart of the day is....

....that boring copper inventory thing again (cos there's real money staring at you here so I'll just keep whacking you over the head with it).


But if that's too boring, here's something totally OT lifted from Andrew Sullivan to leaven the tedia (h/t MR):

Feliz cumple, IKN

Aunque no parece posible, ayer (11 Marzo 2010) IKN cumplió dos años.


Just sayin'

3/11/10

New Prez in Chile

Amidst scenes of local Presidents and assorted bigwigs kakkin themselves due to a 6.9mag aftershock (nice timing, earthgods).......


(five photos in this gallery, my fave is Uribe & Klishtina)

..... Chile saw the handing over of the Presidency from 'Chelle to newboy Sebastian Piñera today. Here's the dude front'n'centre with his new cabinet ministers.
(the banner translates as "rise up Chile" or "stand up Chile", referring to the
aftermath of the quake, not the 'Chelle years)

We wish him luck. He's going to need it

Trading Post (the fish restaurant where I go once a week is better than any fish restaurant you've ever been to edition)


Far West Mining (FWM.to) up 5.8% at $5.50 and displaying all the signs of imminent takover this week. We know it has a heavy-hitting sponsor and we know it has an economic looking plan for a copper mine. Only time will tell so DYODD, dude.

TheNewCrystallex (EC.v) down 2.5% at $0.78....I spose this way it'll make the rebound more ejaculative for the rah-rah brigade that still believes in this tripe. I laugh in the face of EC longs, but only in that 'look at the young punks who think they're clever' kinda way. Nothing serious.

MAG Silver (MVG) up 2.6% at U$7.48. I let mine go yesterday....what does Rick Rule know anyway? :-)

Fronteer Development Corp (FRG) up 3.5% at U$4.77. This stock has one of those two steps forward one step back high beta to Au trading patterns about it. Today's one of the two steps forward days, it seems. Your author is long this one and in no hurry at all to cash in a very decent profit so far. That's cos it's going higher.

Affinity Gold (79F.f) (AFYG.ob) down whole bundles at 30c Euro cents and 36c US cents. O RLY? Is this the same stock that IKN called a blatantly obvious scam when it stood at over four Euros on December 16th? Why, yes it is! Hoodathunkit?

Metallica must be proud of its Colombian fans


Metallica played Bogota Colombia last night as part of its World Magnetic tour. The result?
  • Social networks arrange a mass concert gatecrash
  • Reports of between 20,000 and 70,000 fans in the stadium
  • Street rioting
  • Police, army and tanks (!) called in
  • Three stabbings and a policeman injured

Yeah, mayhem and chaos, baby! Colombia Reports has details here.

Brent Cook on BNN tonight


A mining headsup for mineheads: Brent Cook is appearing on BNN's Market Call Tonight (Thursday 11th March), the show starting at at 7pm EST (4pm PST). Be there or be square, dudettes and dudes.

Regulars will know that Cook is a great brain to pick when it comes to explaining the technicalities of geology, so why not send in a question yourself and get it answered on air? You can do that by phoning (toll free) 1-877-667-6288, or if you're like me and semi-allergic to telephones you can email questions to marketcall (AT) bnn.ca (just change the (AT) for an .

Postcard from PDAC 2010, part four


Codename NRI sends in the last postcard from PDAC 2010 and seems to have been caught musing on previous portfolio errors (well, one specific error really) and that old saying 'what goes around comes around'. Before handing over, I'd just like to thank NRI for the postcards this year, a fine effort that gives insight to the PDAC bunfight (and will hopefully keep those IR depts on their toes the next time around, too).

Hi Otto,

This last day of PDAC, as I stood waiting for a departure shuttle from the Convention Centre, I noticed that the guy standing beside me was from Apollo Gold (APG.to). Having read last night the NR about the APG merger with Linear Gold (LRR.to) I exclaimed to him ‘Hey. You guys have been busy’. He was beaming; we sat together on the shuttle and gabbed about the deal until we reached our destination. I wished him well, expressed regret that I couldn’t share some celebratory champagne with him and conveyed the wish that we could meet up next PDAC for a belated clinking of glass.

My first question to the APG guy was ‘I don’t remember anything in the NR about Wade K. Dawe ( ceo/pres of LRR). What’s he gonna do?’ It was apparently agreed that Wade would be the Chairman of the Board, and the majority of the Board would be from APG. In the course of our commute, I did not hide from the congenial APG guy that I thought Wade was an excessively overcompensated, ineffectual executive. Ha! Notch another one up to the Peter Principle. Poor lad. How’s he gonna live on the pay cut? Or justify being paid at all when he’s under the scrutiny of competing interests? Coincidentally, I recalled viewing an APG presentation at PDAC last year and was not impressed with the metrics for this company transitioning into production. As I travelled today I’ve been thinking about what the APG guy told me and the challenges they faced. They were settling their development financing and everything blew up, then the forward-going financing deal they finally cut was quite oppressive. I know nothing more about APG. Maybe they warrant a look. I dunno.

LRR, on the other hand, is another in my portfolio which serves to remind me that my critical faculties and my bullshit detector need more work; since last fall I had been hoping for a share price recovery to the high 2’s and I would liquidate. I bought LRR in late 2007. I was influenced by the recommendation of Jean-Francois Tardif, an occasional BNN guest whom I respected. As I recall, LRR had cut a nice option deal with Kinross on a project in Chiapas, Mexico, had $100mill in cash and had a few other irons in the fire. I haven’t rechecked but at the time it might have been trading at a discount to cash.

Subsequently, LRR got badly outmanoeuvred by B2Gold on the Central Sun Mining takeout. Last summer I got thinking about the Kinross option, which LRR kept touting as prospective (a decision and a big balloon payment?); in the meantime I was already in kindergarten prep school for latam politics with my course material being IKN. So, I knew…yeah, right…never gonna happen. Then they picked up the Goldfields projects in Saskatchewan with one deposit in the final stages of mine engineering design and construction permit applications, with pre-production capex being about $63mill USD. In Jan09, they had a financing; in Mar09, they had a financing; in Nov09 they had yet another expletive provoking financing at a hurtful discount to market price.....with warrants. And you know, they still don’t have the mere $63mill and they were ditzing around with more drilling on this project which they had touted as good to go.

Lemme fill you in on my compensation beef:

I just rechecked the last Management Info Circular filed by LRR and in fiscal years 2007-09, our boy Wade took total compensation of $2.4million PLUS he is represented as being a Board member of publicly traded companies East Energy, Linear Metals (received $60,000 bonus), NWest Energy (received $17,500), Rhino Resources and UCore Uranium. Since that filing, he has added directorships with Immunovaccine Tech and Keeper Resources. This being a postcard and not a research project I have tired of pulling the filings to tote up his rewards.

Yup. Busy, busy Wade. Kinda hard to get a mine up and running and to get around to doing all the things you lead us to believe you’re gonna do. Wade K. Dawe should bone up on the implications of karma or, if that’s too hard, the golden rule.


Chart of the day is....

....inspired by this BiiWii post yesterday.

click to enlarge

Gary BiiWii had a good chuckle about a Bloomie headline he found that screamed


With all things taken into consideration, I believe it fair to say that our friend the owl can sum up the feelings of both Gary and this humble scribe as regards this issue. Take it away, owly:

3/10/10

Chile and Bolivia: This one will really confuse you guys up there

Hey, remember all the celebrations about the right wing victory over the Axis of Evo that happened in Chile? How the new hope of the rabid right was about to kick ass and take names amongst those pinko commie types that eat babies and stuff? Check out this video:



Chile's Pres Elect Piñera played a friendly game of footy with next door neighbour Evo Morales today. Sebastian said that "This football match has a lot of symbolism" and went on to say:

"Our shirt has the flags of both Chile and Bolivia, with a symbol of unity and a handshake, and this is what we want to do with Bolivia, with Argentina, with Peru; be brother countries that solve our differences with dialogue, not with insults and much less by violence."

Meanwhile, here's Evo's take on the gig:

"Via sport we want to built a good friendship, president, with trust from president to president, trust from government to government, the trust of our peoples, brothers and neighbours"

Do not expect this one to make it to BatshitCrazy O'Grady's WSJ column next week, cos if it doesn't fit the prejudice, you just gotta ignore it. It's how the west was won, son.

Trading Post (going on behind my back edition)


Vena Resources (VEM.to) down 3.5% at $0.28 and was down as far as 25c this morning on heavy relative volume. Looking at the tape, it looks like one seller under the anon house bailed 250k shares (or so) at any old price. It seems there's a bit of a fight going on now, as some buyer has stepped up, is bidding 28c and has already scooped up 100k. Not the best thing to see a drop (and it'll quickly get boring seeing a 2handle) but at least this stock is seeing some action for a change. Disclosure: long and holding LT.

Dorato Resources (DRI.v) down 2.8% at $1.05. Up on the bullshit pump Monday, drifting down ever since, with all the selling happening at the first possible opportunity. Is that all you got these days? Sheesh, you guys used to be far more credible pumpers than this. You have to wonder whether Henk's Whores are losing their touch....

AuEx Ventures (XAU.to) up 2.7% at $3.07. Word from Peedac is that AuEx impressed at presentation time. Some positive vibes at last for this stock? Hope so.

Copper Fox (CUU.v) UNCH at $0.195. This little thing hasn't managed to follow through on the Friday/Monday interest surge. Volume is still ok, but it's kinda looking around and saying "now what?". In other words, pretty typical PDAC action.

TheNewCrystallex (EC.v) down 7% at $0.80 and keepin' 'em all hangin' on in true Crystallex style for the superduper drill results due end of the month. Gosh, I bet you longs are having trouble from stopping the premature ejaculations already. Watch out for superduper top secret special-only-for-you inside intel making the rounds soon, sportsfans.

Palin accepts Chávez cash

Oh, this is far too good.

In true GOP style, there's no problem about calling a democratically elected leader dictator...and there's no problem about accepting sponsorship moolah from the dude at the same time either. Another episode of 'money talks bullshit walks' brought to you by Structurally Maladjusted.

Postcard from PDAC 2010, part three


Codename NRI (nondescript retail investor) has sent more goodies and here they are. As a quick aside, I reckon NRI and DRI has nailed Argentina in this one.

Otto, I wanna fill you in on a wonderful ‘stars n dogs’ story, which actually unfolded yesterday. Not long ago I stumbled onto Golden Predator Royalty & Development Corp (GPD.to) and after looking at their website and some filings, resolved to spend more time checking it out some day. William Sheriff, with some impressively heavy duty successes, is the CEO. Spotting the company booth I asked the young woman staffing it if Bill Sheriff would be giving a presentation, with the result that she gave me an invitation for a luncheon meeting. En route I met up with my buddy Distinguished Retail Investor (DRI) and invited him to come along. I should note that GPD.to has lots on the go, including some projects in the Yukon, which Bill Sheriff believes is a significant emerging district.

It turned out that the luncheon was an event hosted by the newly formed Yukon Gold Mining Alliance and the event was one where a number of member companies working in the Yukon would present – Alexco, Capstone, GPD.to,Western Copper, Northern Freegold, etc. Entering the room set up for dining, we immediately had access to beer or wine and seating of our choice. Serendipitously, Bill Sheriff took a seat beside us and we had his private audience. (Aside: I am even more interested in GPD.v and will consider further when I get home, but this tale is really not about GPD.v) Luncheon was served – salad , entrée and dessert - and it was truly exceptional. Then the speeches; the Alliance guy, the minister of mining and an economic development guy, all briefly pitched the mining friendly jurisdiction and the perks therein, financial and legislative (notably, one tier/no federal red tape, processing time lines, requiring gov’t to process within time limits, First Nations communities are all on side).

I gotta say that this was all new to me and I was as impressed with the set up as I was with the luncheon. Then the companies presented, about 5- 10 minutes each, and every company rep. enthused about the supportive government. My fave: Capstone encountered a glitch – some legal constraint – and prevailed upon whomever and the Yukon government passed remedial legistration within 10 DAYS so that Capstone carried on happily. DRI and I left the event agog and absolutely impressed.

Cut to Monday evening: While I was taste testing a pisco sour at Fortuna Silver’s reception DRI met up with me. He had just come from a formal reception hosted by Argentina government reps. He filled me in about the interminable government speeches which had been going on forever with no hospitality...on and on and on. He slipped out, returned and they were still going. DRI and I we split a gut laughing. His text to me later:

“...wherein attendees were packed into rows of chairs facing a dais, and subjected to one and a half hours of long-winded speeches from several levels of official and corporate spokesmen.. Bartenders were embargoed from offering drinks (at cocktail time) until the last speech was over. The (unintended?) message was: Formality and bureaucracy are alive and well down here. Major new projects have taken YEARS to permit, and negotiations over them never really end. But we promise that we are determined to increase the amount of investment we attract and exports of minerals from our country. We have no clue that we are a caricature of ourselves.”

A quick comment about today: I took in some very good presentations, one of which was by Jorge Ganoza for Fortuna Silver, another by the folks from AuEx Resources (XAU.to) and I visited some explorationists’ booths, including Firestone Ventures (FV.v), exploring for zinc in Guatemala. I dropped in at the McEwen Capital reception and surveying the huge and jam packed crowd, I immediately reclaimed my coat and called it a night…too tired to commingle. Last day tomorrow…



Chart of the day is....

...the gold/silver ratio.

click to enlarge

I'm still on the road but posting should regain some sort of normal rhythm later today.

3/9/10

On The Road

Jack's back.

Your humble scribe has places to go and people to see. As such, posting is likely to be light (though not at zero levels) in the next 48 hours. I sincerely hope that all reading enjoy the rest of their day.

Chile's construction role call of shame

Via Structurally Maladjusted (a new blog that's turning into a cool corner of cyberspace and should be on your RSS too) we get to hear about the investigation run by the excellent Chilean investigative reporting outfit CIPER into the lax building standards of modern Chile. The earthquake has struck, the tide is out and the scumball building contractors can be seen butt-naked.

The general story is that yes, Chile has stringent anti-quake construction laws, but in the last few years the profit-driven idiots building high rised apartment blocks in Santiago decided that the laws didn't apply to them because it cost too much to do things the right way. The result is that older buildings in Santiago that were built right had no problems, but no less than 23 large structures built in the last 15 years have been condemned and will have to come down.

Viva investment grade. Viva, viva, viva.

Postcard from PDAC 2010, part two


NRI is back with a second postcard from this year's PDAC bunfight, so without further ado I'll hand you over.

Otto,

Man oh man hard to decide what to write about, but leaning towards Vena Resources (VEM.to), whose reception I enjoyed Monday evening. Last year I wrote about meeting CEO Juan Vegarra and how much he impressed me, so meeting him tonight (that smart guy had put two’n’ two together) he asked me whether I intended to write him up again. I responded ‘gawd man, I raved about you; how could you object?’ He asked if I had ever had a pisco sour. ‘No’, said I; and wanting one (a great chaser to the two Corona beer I’d had), he fetched me one. Zowee! Disclosure: I do own shares…projects in Peru…this small cap company has jv’s with Cameco, Glencore and Gold Fields; but truth be told VEM.to is working capital challenged.

Arriving at the reception, I first encountered a knot of Cameco badged persons, a couple of geologists and others, and communicated my appreciation for their affirmation of my stock picking. Later, I was chatting with Juan Vegarra and these two guys approached; a tall guy with an Amerigo Resources (arg.to) name tag and another guy, with name tag flipped, who greeted JV with what I thought might be a German accent. He said something like ‘are you still surviving?’. I interjected. Pointing at his flipped name tag I asked, ‘What’s your name?’ He revealed it and I said, ‘Ah yes, I was going to ask if your name was Klaus. Let me ask you; are YOU surviving?’

Here’s the scoop readers. We'd been joined by Klaus Zeitler, Pres. of ARG.to, the share price of which got absolutely decimated during the copper price crash. ARG.to also had dire working capital challenges and was, imo, saved thanks to the very dilutive financial equivalent of mouth to mouth resuscitation by Ross Beaty. I know this because I own shares of ARG.to and I was avidly spectating the massacre. Anyway, the happily unfolding aftermath is that ARG.to is recovering nicely (the business, not so much the share price) and really looks to me to be back on track. ARG.to has investment shareholdings also of Candente Copper and Los Andes Copper which are juicing the financials with their respective share price recoveries.

Back to Klaus. Forgiving him for his unwarranted jibe from his glass house when ARG.to itself was survival challenged, I believe him to be a pretty smart guy. And, in the course of our gabbing he told me that he too is a shareholder of VEM.to. Ah…affirmation again of my stock pick. Smart guy Klaus is also a shareholder of VEM.to.

I moved along to the Fortuna Silver, Radius Gold, etc. reception. I would have lingered for a presentation but this was a party set up with great food, booze, music, dance floor and hostesses. So with energy waning, I ‘bucked up’ to imbibe another pisco sour (Juan Vegarra’s was better) and trundled off home to revive for day three.

So many stories, so little time…



Chart of the day is.....

.....copper inventories at LME, 60 day chart.

She's a'rollin' over alright. Add to this a reported 29,000t of cancelled warrants (up from 4kt at the beginning of February) and the downtrend is now setting in.

3/8/10

Bookstaber's gold bubble

A suitably polemic piece on gold from Rick Bookstaber tonight that starts this way:

I am not going to spend time here talking about how the price of gold is off-the-wall, that it is not just a bubble in the making, but a bubble waiting to burst. I don’t want to waste your time on that point. We all know it is a bubble.

Bookstaber then goes on to talk about the herd/mob mentality and muses on its origins (covering a lot of the same ground that Ritholtz did in his well-written You're a monkey article) checks in on Paulson and Soros along the way and then ends in this style:

The very notion of mobs and herds evokes a certain spontaneity. But with the gold bubble, we are moving on to a concept of herding by appointment. Everyone seems to be happy in agreeing that this is a bubble, and we are all going to participate in this bubble in a rational, genteel way. We have all decided that this is going to be a number one hit, a Top Ten bubble. Though we might want to ask who is leading this herd, because my bet is they will be stepping aside and cheering us over the cliff.

Well worth checking out the full note, linked right here. No matter if you agree or not (I don't), it's good brainfood. We like Bookstaber.

Copper Fox (CUU.v) and one teeny tiny piece of The IKN Weekly, issue 44, published yesterday

There were over 13,000 words in The IKN Weekly issue 44 yesterday. Here are 114 of them:

Copper Fox (CUU.v): This is my idea of a near-term springer (a thought that has been the kiss of death to many a speculation). Not only is it cheap right now, it’s sitting next to the overhyped Novagold (NG) that has just secured $100m worth of financing from a man with more money than sense. If PDAC gossip starts swinging round to the chances of NG hoovering up neighbour plays cheaply, CUU might just decide to go on a run. And for what it’s worth, volumes on Friday suddenly lifted off with just an hour left on the clock and broke though what looked like a mini-iceberg at 16.5c. A short-term flip speculation possible.


Then just to make sure, in the conclusion there was this little reminder:

Aside from the usual suspects, keep Copper Fox (CUU.v) on your radar as a potential quick flip trade for the reasons mentioned above....I have a feeling in my bones about that one.

So how's this CUU.v stock getting on today?
Oh look, 23.5% up. Just sayin'....

Links for those suitably versed in the language of Cervantes


A statistically-packed critique of the current situation regarding hydrocarbons exploration in Peru's Amazon basin from Jurgen Schuldt. Sharp, witty and as always right on the ball.

In South America women have their day today. Men get the other 364. It may be sad but it's also true. Chigüire puts in a dose of very good satire on the subject here, while the nastier side of the lack of women's rights is examined in this article (takeaway phrase, "You must have done something to make him hit you"). The countries on show are Venezuela and Bolivia, but frankly it could be anywhere on the continent.

Were you silly enough to have bought Dorato Resources (DRI.v) on the puff-piece bounce this morning? If you did, you really really don't want to read this article in La Republica.

Peru's 2011 Presidential Race

Peru pollsters CPI came out with a new voter intention survey for the country's 2011 presidential race this morning. Here's how the scene is looking:


Mayor of Lima Luis Castañeda is still frontrunning, with daughter-of-a-convict Keiko in second place (and losing touch slightly). Then comes Nationalist/Lefty Ollanta Humala (though more popular in the rural areas than the urban places where this survey was taken) and in fourth place ex-Prez Toledo (who hasn't even said if he's a candidate yet).

With 5th placed Lourdes Flores now decided upon running for the Lima Mayor job instead of the big chair and then the other candidates not to be taken seriously, it looks like the next President of Peru will come from those first four names on the list. The last point is that it's notable just how many people there are disillusioned enough with the whole political scene to have already decided on "will spoil ballot", even at this early stage. In Peru the vote is obligatory, but there's nothing stopping you from writing silly stuff on your ballot sheet when in the darkened room and annulling your voice.

For what it's worth, if I had to bet (and you gave me decent enough odds) I'd put $5 on Toledo.

Junior Mining News Releases: An appreciation

On this first trading day of PDAC 2010, this humble scribe would like to take time out and thank the investment relations departments of junior mining companies based in Canada. You are obviously keen to make sure that I don't get bored or lack reading material this sunny morning, the only possible explanation for having sent me 64 news releases concerning 64 separate mining companies in the space of time between 7 am this morning and now, 09:30am and the opening bell. Of course, this count of 64 news releases does not include the French language doubles nor the corrected NRs.

By way of reciprocation for these wonderful treats that await mine eyes, I would just like to offer the junior mining investment relations community two small observations:

1) Are you all really this stupid?

2)

Postcard from PDAC, 2010


Last year, reader Codename NRI (Nondescript Retail Investor) sent over some postcards with observations from the PDAC show in Toronto. The good news is that PDAC 2010 looks set for the same welcome deliveries and here's the first, as received by this humble scribe mere minutes ago.

Hey, hey, Otto. Nondescript Retail Investor (NRI) here in Toronto at Peedac and feeling some wear and tear the morning after the couple of receptions I visited after the presentations and booths were shuttered. A few highlights and low lifes:

Background: 2 years ago at Peedac when I was more dumb and gullible I believed the pitch of the slicks at explorationist Orko Silver (that OK.v would be taken out imminently by its JV partner, Pan American Silver) and shortly afterwards I bought shares at around $1.80 for a quick flip.

Spotting the OK booth and the guy there sitting in his couch and doing nothing, I sat down beside him and asked him when the OK exit strategy would manifest as I bought shares nearly 2 years ago and I was under water and I really would like this PAAS takeout to come to pass. This very glib guy told me that timing was PAAS call; and then exclaimed in dismay ‘you could have done very well; you didn’t buy at the top of the market, did you? Why didn’t you buy at 28c?’ (sidebar: the level the share price dropped to in late 2008) And then this he proceeded with his ‘all your own fault’ (conceded) ministration to lecture me on the old adage ‘ if you like a stock at $1.00, you should like it better at 70c’ ( yeah well, and if I believed a story at $1.80 and the price tag then gets discounted to 28c and the promised land is no where to be seen, I really am feeling that I’ve been conned and that my critical faculties need work. The OK guy should have been speaking in the Investors Forum

Yesterday a whole day of speakers, identified as letterwriters and analysts: Mickey Fulp, John Doody, Jay Taylor, Bob Moriarty, John Kaiser, David Coffin, Greg McCoach, Brent Cook. There were more, concluding with Rick Rule, a portion of whose presentation I listened to – and yes indeedy, Rick Rule did offer the adage that before you buy a stock for $1, you really should ask yourself if you’re going to like it better such that you’ll buy more at 70c). Returning to the couch at the OK booth… the glib guy offered me solace : PAAS was working on a feasibility study which would be finished in about 6 months and then it would happen… ‘hold on to your shares; you’ll get about five bucks’ . ‘But, but, but,’ said I , ‘doesn’t PAAS have a lot on its development plate with the Aquiline takeout?’ ‘Ah grasshopper, they’ll give you shares and that’s good; that’ll be no problem; PAAS shares are very liquid.’ ‘But, but, but, just because they release a feasibility study in 6 months (maybe) doesn’t mean that a takeout will immediately follow!’ ‘Grasshopper, they HAVE to make a production decision!’ Yup. I got it now and I’m feeling very mollified. So happy to be here at Peedac for these therapeutic encounters.

I went to Brent Cook’s presentation because I am all ears for what he has to say; and he started with a little intro identifying what he looks for with his last bullet being an exit strategy. He then invited Q’s which was an interesting succession of ‘waddaya think of this stock? waddaya think of that stock’. Stepping up to the mike, I noted that he had once admitted owning MAG Silver and reco’d it, so I asked him whether he still owned MAG.to and whether he thought they had an exit strategy which would materialize. Brent Cook said he still owns, that he believes the share NAV to be at least $15 and that sooner or later, be it two months or two years, Penoles will HAVE to take out MAG.to. Interesting… another fly in the ointment, best made plans of mice and men story unfolding or to be endured.

Observation : Rick Rule is a very captivating speaker. After his 20 minute presentation which was the last of the day, there was a scrum with about 50 people crowding around him and Rick Rule held court for at least an hour and a half.

I went to the silver reception at the Royal York organized by CPM on behalf of Silver Wheaton, Fortuna Silver, Endeavour Silver, Orko Silver (hopefully the beer I drank was charged to them), Great Panther and others. It was a very crowded affair which I attended last year as well It just occurred to me; ECU Silver (ECU.to) was one of the silver hosts last year and they were NOT last night. Huh! Checking the directory now I see that they do not even have a booth here at Peedac this year. Well, well, well…money must be really really really tight and credit cards are all max’ed out. Then again, maybe they’re all burning the midnight oil back in Velardena as they attempt to put the finishing touches on the fabrication of dore bar number 7 for the quarter.

More later, with much to tell …gotta go do day 2.


Final word: IR people manning booths at PDAC today, make sure you look after the rank and file when they come and visit you and not just the mining great'n'good. Cos one of them out there is NRI.

Chart of the day is....

...the number of births per woman in a selection of LatAm countries, data from this article.


Don't forget it's International Women's Day today, March 8th.

3/7/10

The IKN Weekly, out now


IKN44 uses the arrival of PDAC as an opportunity to look at where we are as regards covered stocks, to review companies held and make a few changes to our recommended list. We're also falling deeper and deeper for Doctor Copper.

Reuters and copper juniors (and owls)

Here's a note from Reuters on PDAC-eve that starts like this:

TORONTO, March 6 (Reuters) - Shares of gold and copper exploration companies are the most likely to shine in the Canadian junior mining sector this year, as large miners raise their exploration budgets and scout for promising projects.

Small-cap stocks on the TSX Venture exchange enjoyed a strong run last year with the S&P/TSX Venture Composite Index .SPCDNX gaining more than 90 percent through the course of the year.

While 2010 is unlikely to be a banner year for the sector as a whole, analysts say companies with advanced copper projects and those with promising gold assets will probably outpace the pack.

CONTINUES HERE

And here's a message for IKN Weekly subscribers, courtesy of our friend the owl who remembers what we've been saying and doing since last Christmas: