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4/3/10

Do the Macarena

Yeah, man...mass graves and 4,000 deaths, murders to quieten whistleblowers....get down and boogie and ignore it cos it's in Colombia, baby. We first ran this story in January here at IKN but now it's getting more traction (in the non MSM at least). Take it away, Dan Kovalik at HuffPo:

U.S. and Colombia Cover Up Atrocities Through Mass Graves

The biggest human rights scandal in years is developing in Colombia, though you wouldn't notice it from the total lack of media coverage here. The largest mass grave unearthed in Colombia was discovered by accident last year just outside a Colombian Army base in La Macarena, a rural municipality located in the Department of Meta just south of Bogota. The grave was discovered when children drank from a nearby stream and started to become seriously ill. These illnesses were traced to runoff from what was discovered to be a mass grave -- a grave marked only with small flags showing the dates (between 2002 and 2009) on which the bodies were buried.

According to a February 10, 2010 letter issued by Alexandra Valencia Molina, Director of the regional office of Colombia's own Procuraduria General de la Nacion -- a government agency tasked to investigate government corruption -- approximately 2,000 bodies are buried in this grave. The Colombian Army has admitted responsibility for the grave, claiming to have killed and buried alleged guerillas there. However, the bodies in the grave have yet to be identified. Instead, against all protocol for handling the remains of anyone killed by the military, especially those of guerillas, the bodies contained in the mass grave were buried there secretly without the requisite process of having the Colombian government certify that the deceased were indeed the armed combatants the Army claims.

And, given the current "false positive" scandal which has enveloped the government of President Alvaro Uribe and his Defense Minister, Juan Manuel Santos, who is now running to succeed Uribe as President, the Colombian Army's claim about the mass grave is especially suspect. This scandal revolves around the Colombian military, most recently under the direction of Juan Manuel Santos, knowingly murdering civilians in cold blood and then dressing them up to look like armed guerillas in order to justify more aid from the United States. According to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pilay, this practice has been so "systematic and widespread" as to amount to a "crime against humanity." And sadly, when Ms. Pilay made this statement, she literally did not know the half of it.

To date, not factoring in the mass grave, it has been confirmed by Colombian government sources that 2,000 civilians have fallen victim to the "false positive" scheme since President Uribe took office in 2002. If, as suspected by Colombian human rights groups, such as the "Comision de Derechos Humanos del Bajo Ariari" and the "Colectivo Orlando Fals Borda," the mass grave in La Macarena contains 2,000 more civilian victims of this scheme, then this would bring the total of those victimized by the "false positive" scandal to at least 4,000 --much worse than originally believed.

That this grave was discovered just outside a Colombian military base overseen by U.S. military advisers -- the U.S. having around 600 military advisers in that country -- is especially troubling, and raises serious questions about the U.S.'s own conduct in that country. In addition, this calls into even greater question the propriety of President Obama's agreement with President Alvaro Uribe last summer to grant the U.S. access to 7 military bases in that country.

The Colombian government and military are scrambling to contain this most recent scandal, and possibly through violence. Thus, on March 15, 2010, Jhonny Hurtado, a former union leader and President of the Human Rights Committee of La Cantina, and an individual who was key in revealing the truth about this mass grave, was assassinated as soldiers from Colombia's 7th Mobile Brigade patrolled the area. Just prior to his murder, Jhonny Hurtado told a delegation of British MPs visiting Colombia that he believed the mass grave at La Macarena contained the bodies of innocent people who had been "disappeared."

CONTINUES HERE

Marin Katusa dumps Copper Mountain (CUM.to)

Marin takes anything over $3

Marin Katusa is a director of Copper Mountain (CUM.to). He's also selling large lumps of his stock.

Copper Mountain Mining Corporation (CUM)

As of April 2nd, 2010
Filing Date Transaction Date Insider Name Ownership Type Securities Nature of transaction # or value acquired or disposed of Unit Price
Apr 02/10 Mar 17/10 Katusa, Marin Direct Ownership Common Shares 10 - Disposition in the public market -50,000
Apr 02/10 Mar 16/10 Katusa, Marin Direct Ownership Common Shares 10 - Disposition in the public market -58,400
Apr 02/10 Mar 15/10 Katusa, Marin Direct Ownership Common Shares 10 - Disposition in the public market -28,500
Apr 02/10 Mar 12/10 Katusa, Marin Direct Ownership Common Shares 10 - Disposition in the public market -89,300

That little lot adds up to 226,200 shares (half of them late filed, too). Katusa still has 263,300 shares of CUM.to left in his portfolio (according to latest filings at least), but selling out nearly half a holding like this is worthy of scrutiny, especially when you consider his background:

Marin Katusa – Director
Mr. Katusa has been a director of the Company since April 4, 2007. Mr. Katusa graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Science degree, and then obtained a Bachelor degree in Education. His extensive relationships within the Canadian financial community is a valuable asset in the realization of the Company‟s commitment to become a world class copper producer. He has assisted a variety of companies with strategic focus and corporate finance in the junior resource sector. Mr. Katusa is the Chief Investment Strategist, Energy Division, for Casey Research, which specializes in finding undervalued companies in the junior resource sector.

Oh, a Casey guy. He's bound to care more about Casey subscrbers than his own back pocket, isn't he? Well....isnt he?

4/2/10

Pooty Poot Poot Poot


сексуальные фотографии, товарищи

The Friday OT: Messi/Maradona

This is a one-of-a-kind, flabbergasting goals compilation video.



What the dudes over at Argentine telly program 'TVR' did was to splice together goals scored by Lionel Messi with similar goals scored previously by Maradona. The result is 1) sublime football footage and 2) really really spooky to see how similar they are.

A special Friday OT for those that understand the game. Enjoy five minutes of beauty, if you're Castilian-challenged fret not over the Spanish used here and there (you're missing little, the action is everything) and last but not least enjoy the Manu Chao track that accompanies, 'La Vida Tombola'.

Si yo fuera Maradona, viviría como él......

Brent Cook interviewed by The Gold Report


Right here on this link. Worth your time.

Agoracom, the OSC and reader feedback

The OSC action against the Grandich-sponsoring promopump vehicle known to the world as Agoracom has had plenty of reaction. For example, this Globe&Mail article is currently the number one most read article at the newspaper today. Here's how the note starts:

For the past several years Agoracom Investor Relations Corp. has run a burgeoning Internet forum for attention-starved mining, energy and tech companies, where investors could gather to muse about the stock they hold in those firms.

But what the companies were never told, the Ontario Securities Commission alleges, is that much of the online chatter about those stocks was instead the work of Agoracom's own employees.

Operating under dozens of online aliases, and sometimes holding fake conversations with themselves, the staff actively tried to push up share prices, the regulator alleges. CONTINUES HERE

Meanwhile, first-hand insight was provided to IKN today by Reader 'E', a person who over the months and years has closely followed the conversations at one of the stocks covered by Agoracom. We're going to keep the name of the stock out of this post to protect the possibly innocent, but it's worth mentioning that it's a pennyshare company that this author has never owned. With that said, reader 'E' mailed today and gave insight as a more perceptive user of Agoracom message boards:

Per the scumbags at Agoracom (caught your blog quick thoughts), i agree wholeheartly and i hope they get what's coming to them. I know first hand of their bullshit aliases conjured up when XXX (ticker withheld) was a client of theirs. Aliases talking with one another as if they were buddies in the stock but had no flippin clue of the company, not a clue! The postings stopped once the contract between Agoracom & XXX stopped, go figure how that all works. With a little backtracking which i did the light bulb came one. I'm kinda pissed off about that as they took IR fees each and every month. Anyways, i hope the OSC is dead serious on straightening their act up.

For what it's worth* your humble scribe stopped reading bullboard guff months ago (bar the odd occasion when a link to a post is sent to me by a friend or a foe....usually a foe, in fact) but what I will say is that reader 'E' is a totally trustworthy person and someone who I would support on any given occasion (even though we happen to disagree on the merits of the above pennystock stock in question that he likes). In other words, if reader 'E' says that what's been going on over at Agoracom is scammy, then it's scammy period.

*not much

Seabridge Gold (SA) (SEA.to): A humungous exposé by Citron Research


After this humble scribe mentioned Seabridge Gold (SA) (SEA.to) a couple of days ago, kind reader 'TS' sent along a couple of links to recent articles written on the company by Citron Research.
The first one dated March 1st is here.

The second one dated March 10th is here.

Both are magnificent exposé articles and must-read fodder for all minehead investors who are fed up with being ripped off left, right and centre. Citron looks carefully at the background of SA and finds more red flags than Tiannamen Square on Mao's birthday. Features include

  • The dubious nature of the gold resources held by SA
  • The obscure background of the person on whose opinion the resource relies
  • The failed companies and previous scams and litigations connected to main company players
  • The SEC clampdown on the wilder claims illegally made (and still being made) by SA
  • etc

Kudos to Citron. Now go read both.

WTF is going on over at Nadagold (NG)?

rick!
RICK!

First Greg Johnson, the NG investor relations VP since the year dot and longtime buddy of RICK! who goes back with him to the Placer days, makes a sudden decision to leave NG (and then weirdly join up with a going-nowhere-fast silver thing in Bolivia). Now the Nadagold CFO suddenly ups sticks and runs away from the new Soros/Paulson/Kaplan vehicle.

VANCOUVER, April 1 /CNW/ - NovaGold Resources Inc. ("NovaGold" or the "Company") (AMEX, TSX: NG - News News) announced today that Robert J. (Don) MacDonald, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, will be leaving NovaGold effective immediately. Mr. MacDonald joined NovaGold in 2003 and has served as the chief financial officer of the Company since such time. Mr. MacDonald has agreed to provide consulting services to the Company for the next six months to assist with transitional matters. "I would like to thank Don for his significant contributions to the Company", said Rick Van Nieuwenhuyse, President and Chief Executive Officer of NovaGold, "His efforts and dedication have been important factors in NovaGold's development". Elaine Sanders, Vice President Finance, will act as interim Chief Financial Officer while the Company conducts a search for Mr. MacDonald's replacement.

And we note in passing that the announcement is made later into the evening of Maundy Thursday, with fund mgrs around the world already travelling to their second homes on the coasts for long weekends. We also note that MacDonald decided it was a great idea to sell Nadagold stock in the last week or so:

Apr 01/10 Mar 29/10 MacDonald, Robert John Direct Ownership Common Shares 10 - Disposition in the public market -5,000 $7.500
Apr 01/10 Mar 23/10 MacDonald, Robert John Direct Ownership Common Shares 10 - Disposition in the public market -5,000 $7.900
Apr 01/10 Mar 22/10 MacDonald, Robert John Direct Ownership Common Shares 10 - Disposition in the public market -7,000 $7.620

This stinks to high heaven.

4/1/10

Jim Schultz's April 1st post

It's getting to be a bit of a tradition down this way. Here's how this year's effort starts:
In startling back-to-back news conferences in Caracas and La Paz, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Bolivian President Evo Morales announced Wednesday that they plan to merge their two countries into one nation by the end of 2011. The plan – which would establish the new Republic of Bolizuela – came as a shock in both capitals.
CONTINUES HERE

UPDATE: FWIW, this humble scribe thinks Structurally Maladjusted's effort is better this year.

Troy waking up

Troy Resources (TRY.ax) (TRY.to) has been in the doldrums since before Christmas, but in the last few days the patience is paying off, it seems.

Whatever the reason might be, the world is cottoning on to the bargain that this stock is. At last. DYODD, me be longy.

I. Love. This.

The OSC grows a set of cojones and starts trying to clean up Grandichscumland. Viva! Let's hope this is just the first of many crackdowns against scumbag promopumpers.


IN THE MATTER OF THE SECURITIES ACT,
R.S.O. 1990, c. S.5 AS AMENDED

– and –


IN THE MATTER OF AGORACOM INVESTOR RELATIONS CORP.,

AGORA INTERNATIONAL ENTERPRISES CORP., GEORGE TSIOLIS and
APOSTOLIS KONDAKOS (a.k.a. PAUL KONDAKOS)

STATEMENT OF ALLEGATIONS

OF STAFF OF THE ONTARIO SECURITIES COMMISSION



Staff of the Ontario Securities Commission (the “Commission”) make the following allegations:

I. OVERVIEW

1. This proceeding relates to fraudulent on-line posting activity by Agoracom Investor Relations Corp. (“AIRC”) and Agora International Enterprises Corp. (“AIEC”) (collectively “Agoracom”), an on-line investment relations firm, and its management, George Tsiolis (“Tsiolis”) and Apostolis Kondakos, a.k.a. Paul Kondakos (“Kondakos”) (collectively the “Respondents”) in breach of the Securities Act, R.S.O. 1990, c.S.5, as amended (the “Act”) and in a manner that was contrary to the public interest.

2. Staff allege that the Respondents’ course of conduct spanned from at least September 1, 2006 to July 31, 2009 (the “Material Time”).

II. THE RESPONDENTS

A. The Corporate Respondents

3. None of the corporate respondents were registered with the Commission in any capacity during the Material Time.

4. AIRC is an Ontario company incorporated on February 12, 2007. AIRC employs Agoracom representatives and contracts with clients to provide investor relations services.

5. AIEC is an Ontario company incorporated on April 23, 1997. Revenue from Agoracom gets reported to AIEC.

6. Together, AIRC and AIEC carry on business in Toronto, Ontario as “Agoracom” and perform the business of an online investor relations firm for public companies whose securities are publicly listed in Canada.

B. The Individual Respondents

7. Tsiolis is a resident of Toronto, Ontario and is the founder and a directing mind of Agoracom. Tsiolis is the sole director of AIEC, one of two directors of AIRC and is the registrant for the domain name “agoracom.com”.

8. Tsiolis was registered as an officer & director (trading) and shareholder, under the category of limited market dealer with Agoracom Capital Inc. from July 2, 2008 to September 28, 2009. Tsiolis has been registered as a dealing representative and approved as a permitted individual (officer, director and shareholder), under the category of exempt market dealer with Agoracom Capital Inc. since September 28, 2009.

9. Kondakos is a resident of Toronto, Ontario and is the other directing mind of Agoracom. Kondakos is an officer of AIRC.

10. Kondakos was registered as officer & director (trading) and approved as designated compliance officer, under the category of limited market dealer with Agoracom Capital Inc. from July 2, 2008 to September 28, 2009. Kondakos has been registered as a dealing representative and approved as a permitted individual (officer & director), under the category of exempt market dealer with Agoracom Capital Inc. since September 28, 2009. Kondakos has also been registered as ultimate designated person and chief compliance officer, under the category of exempt market dealer with Agoracom Capital Inc. since December 29, 2009.

III. FRAUDULENT POSTINGS BY AGORACOM MANAGEMENT AND REPRESENTATIVES

11. According to their website (www.agoracom.com), Agoracom “caters to the IR and marketing needs of small and micro cap public companies trading on the TSX [and] TSX Venture…”. Agoracom offers pricing models for its clients which incorporate a monthly fee and stock options equalling the greater of 250,000 shares or 0.5% of a company’s fully diluted outstanding share total at current prices.

12. Agoracom’s online content includes webcasts, podcasts, and blogs. Perusal of www.agoracom.com is free and open to the public. Visitors are directed to client and non-client issuer “hubs” created and maintained by Agoracom. Among the features available on a specific company’s hub is a discussion forum, relating to the issuers’ securities.

13. Agoracom’s representatives serviced the client hubs by moderating their discussion forums and posting information and news to the forums. In order to post comments on the discussion forums, users are required to create a username and provide an e-mail address.

14. Tsiolis and Kondakos required their representatives, as part of their daily responsibilities, to post anonymously to the client forums using aliases. To post messages anonymously, the representatives created fictitious usernames and posed as investors blending in with other users, investors and interested persons. Representatives had between 40-50 aliases (some had up to 200) and were required to make a requisite number of posts per hub per day or risk having their pay docked. On occasion, Agoracom staff conversed with themselves on the forums using different aliases.

15. Staff alleges that during the Material Time:

  1. more than 24,000 alias posts were created from within Agoracom on client and non-client hubs;
  2. more than 670 alias user names were created by representatives of Agoracom and used on client and non-client hubs;
  3. alias posts originated from Tsiolis’ residence; and
  4. posts by Agoracom representatives, using their aliases, were promotional and promoted purchasing and/or holding stock.

16. Neither the public users nor Agoracom’s clients were aware that representatives of Agoracom were posting on their hubs using aliases. In fact, the Respondents knowingly deceived clients about the traffic and activity generated on their hubs. In particular, Agoracom reported the number of posts and shareholder inquiries answered by Agoracom’s representatives to clients on a monthly basis, and failed to disclose that a portion of the posts and shareholder inquiries were created by Agoracom’s own representatives. For certain clients, alias posts by Agoracom’s representatives represented a significant proportion of the postings within the forum.

17. The Respondents knew or ought to have known that the posting activity described above put their clients at risk of being in breach of the TSX-V Corporate Finance Policies governing investor relations firm activities and compensation.

18. The Respondents also took steps to actively conceal the fraudulent posting activity by its representatives. In March 2009, when a representative revealed that he was an Agoracom representative posting with an alias, the Respondents posted an “Official Statement” stating that these actions were carried out by a single representative and that Agoracom would be taking steps within next sixty (60) days to ensure that this would never happen again. This message to the public was false and misleading given that Tsiolis and Kondakos knew and instructed many representatives to create and use multiple aliases to post on all of the client forums. In addition, Tsiolis and Kondakos were aware that representatives continued to post using aliases after this Statement was released.

19. Staff allege that posting activity described above, mandated by the Respondents, was undertaken to create a misleading appearance of greater interest and trading activity in the securities of Agoracom’s clients to:

  1. induce clients to contract or continue to contract with Agoracom; and
  2. increase the value of Agoracom’s stock options.

V. SUMMARY

20. As a result of the conduct described above, the Respondents, directly or indirectly, engaged or participated in an act, practice or course of conduct relating to securities that the Respondents knew or reasonably ought to have known perpetrated a fraud on persons and companies, contrary to section 126.1(b) of the Act.

21. Further, the conduct outlined above was abusive to the capital markets.

VI. CONDUCT CONTRARY TO SECURITIES LAW AND THE PUBLIC INTEREST

22. Staff allege that the conduct set out above of the Respondents violated Ontario securities law as specified and constituted conduct contrary to the public interest.

23. Staff reserve the right to make such other allegations as Staff may advise and the Commission may permit.

Dated at Toronto this 1st day of April, 2010
.

UPDATE: Agoracom has published a rebuttal, neatly sandwiched between two posts on Jesus at Easter from Grandich (why does the phrase "holier than thou" drift through my brain?). Here's the link to the scamster grandich's blog and here's the post link.

3/31/10

On The Road

Jack's back.

Not an April Fool's joke. This humble scribe will be flitting hither and thither in the next 24 hours, with little time to play sillydevils on the interwebnetpipes. See you late tomorrow night or Good Friday.

What's the funniest part of the Constitution Mining (CMIN.ob) 2009 year end report, Otto?

Ooooh, gotta be this bit i think:

Our accountants have raised substantial doubt with respect to our ability to continue as a going concern.
As noted in our financial statements, we have incurred a net loss of $16,662,828 for the period from inception on March 6, 2000 to December 31, 2009 and have no present source of revenue. At December 31, 2009, we had a working capital deficiency of $14,807,730. As of December 31, 2009, we had cash and cash equivalents in the amount of US $205,125. We will have to raise additional funds to meet our currently budgeted operating requirements for the next twelve months.
The audit report of James Stafford, Inc., Chartered Accountants, for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2009 and 2008 contained a paragraph that emphasizes the substantial doubt as to our continuance as a going concern. This is a significant risk that we may not be able to generate and/or raise enough resources to remain operational for an indefinite period of time.


Read the whole thing here. Great fun!

Trading Post (strange brew edition)


Vena Resources (VEM.to) up 3% at $0.34 and following through on its good day yesterday. News that newboy Lima brokers Kallpa (who did such a good job with the local listing of Rio Alto (RIO.v) recently) has taken VEM on as a client in Peru has seen strong volume in the Lima exchange today, with right now a 6.25% climb and 425k shares traded there. VEM is finally getting its act together, methinks. It's taken long enough.

Fortuna Silver (FVI.to) down 0.4% at $2.66 and taking a breather from the recent upside moves. We're still waiting on the publication of the San José PFS, which I hear now looks set for "early April" (whatever that may mean). No worries, we be patient dudes here and we lurve FVI.

Carpathian (CPN.to) UNCH at $0.38 on low volumes. CPN looked like breaking out a couple of weeks ago but has gone all quiet on the world again. Ho hum.

B2Gold (BTO.to) UNCH at $1.26 on good volumes. BTO has traded like a dog for the past couple of weeks. Over at The IKN Weekly we marked this one down for a quick ST trade and it looked good for a while, but didn't reach our target and has now fallen back to (more or less) its starting point. So be it. .

Cardero Resources (CDY) down 1.5% at U$1.33. Wowsers, you just gotta love the way these guys have managed to add shareholder value all through this metals bull.....
.....but don't worry shareholder; even if you haven't benefitted much yourself you've managed to make Henk a rich man (and ValuePro has managed to keep up on his mortgage payments thanks to you, too). Bet that makes you feel better, eh?


The Gold/Silver Ratio

I thought about taking a look at the gold/silver ratio (aka GSR) this morning on the blog, but luckily somebody that understands charts far better than this humble scribe has already published on the subject today.

So go over to BiiWii and check out Gary's post on the GSR. You know it makes sense.

Ecometals (EC.v): Oh come on, even idiot longs will be able to laugh about this


I mean, what part of "My name is Bill, I am a director of Ecometals and I am laughing my ass off at you retail sheep" do you not understand?

Ecometals Limited (EC)

As of March 30th, 2010
Filing Date Transaction Date Insider Name Ownership Type Securities Nature of transaction # or value acquired or disposed of Unit Price
Mar 30/10 Mar 24/10 Lamarque, William Gilfillan Direct Ownership Common Shares 10 - Disposition in the public market -40,000 $0.787
Mar 30/10 Mar 24/10 Lamarque, William Gilfillan Direct Ownership Common Shares 51 - Exercise of options 40,000 $0.100
Mar 30/10 Mar 24/10 Lamarque, William Gilfillan Direct Ownership Options 51 - Exercise of options -40,000 $0.100

Utterly shameless, the same as all the bullshit pump artists that fed this scam to greenhorn innocents for months on end.

Snake Oil News


Seabridge Gold (SEA.to) (SA) is a very special company, as only this dog is able to make Nadagold (NG) properties look comparatively economic. The PEA is out on its large KSm property today and what we're led to believe by these scamsters is that spending U$3.365Bn (with a 'B') on a gold mine that projects an IRR of 8.8% at $900/oz Au is a jolly sensible idea. The world has gone mad. This is mass hypnosis.

As for Gammon Gold (GAM.to), Brian Quast of CIBC came out with an all-time classic line this morning in his analysis of results that sees him dropping his target heavily on the company. Brian sez:
During 2009, most drilling was focused on the Ocampo pit. Unfortunately, this resulted in a significant decrease in reserves and resources by reducing the tonnage and grade in the pit, despite using a higher gold price. This has shrunk the pit outline and reduced the mine life.
Or put into normal English, "These GAM dudes have been bullshitting the market forever about the quality of resource at Ocampo, but now that it's been drilled out we know it's a PoS".

Chart of the day is.....

...this one, from this good summary post of the recent CEPAL/ECLAC report on inequality in Latin America:
Guess which country has the lowest Gini coefficient in all LatAm in 2008, signifying the least inequality in the region? Answer, Venezuela. Guess which country most improved its inequality position in the period 2002 to 2008? Yep, Venezuela. This is why you haven't heard a word about this important CEPAL report in your EngLang media. I mean, you can't possibly go around saying nice things about Chávezlandia, can you?

The full post over at Structurally Maladjusted goes into more detail and is well worth your time. Good job, GJ.

3/30/10

Pablo Moncayo freed

The world's longest surviving hostage has been freed. In Colombia a couple of hours ago Pablo Moncayo was handed over by the FARC terrorist scum and is now on his way home after spending over 12 years in captivity.


Good.

UPDATE: Wow...I have a lump in my throat after watching this:


Trading Post (Albert Einstein edition)


Rio Alto Mining (RIO.v) up 3.6% at $0.86 and making foolish numbskull hangers-on into veritable science whizzes. Set to continue too, I hear.

Gammon Gold (GRS) down 8.43% at U$7.71. Another quarter, another set of way crap results from Gammon. This must be the worst producing gold miner in the world, the excuses and "please Sir! It wasn't my fault!" bull as to why it constantly underperforms is never-ending. Joke miner, avoid forever, even though the sycophantic Canadian houses will pump it into your portfolio given half a chance.

Focus Ventures (FCV.v) down 26.5% at $0.72 and was lower earlier. Ouch for longs, opportunity for others.

Apoquindo Minerals (AQM.v) up 4.7% at $0.89. What's likeable here are the top managers on board and decent prospects. What's off-putting are the liars and snakes that run the IR campaign. Yeah, I'm talking about you, the "oh-so-innocent" mailer from yesterday that pretended to be an interested reader wanting an opinion on an AQM puff piece but in fact was sitting at his desk in Kin Communications while mailing me from his freakin' gmail account. Why can't you be honest with people, IR monkeys? Try it one day..it's fun.

Uranium pumpo, part 562

Nary a week seems to pass without uranium getting pumped as "just about to rocket". This week the baton passed to Amir Adnani, CEO of Uranium Energy Corp (UEC) that, COINCIDENTALLY, has seen its chart go all flat and boring and low-volumey recently.


So to pump up da volume , Adnani told Bloomie today that prices were just about to jump from today's $40s to $100/lb (love!! round!! numbers!!) by the end of this year and that, "Towards the end of this year, uranium prices will start to move higher because the utilities that have uncovered forward demand will come back in the market to buy uranium either in the spot market or in the term market. We are going to see some hyper activity. Prices will have a similar run-up movement witnessed in the summer of 2007". Innarestin', huh?

In other news;

  • GATA today announced that we should all buy gold because gold is going to go higher, a news statement that shocked the world.
  • The copper buyers association of China says that buying copper is a very cool thing.
  • The cake maker's consortium of the USA stated today that cakes are good for you and that we should definitely buy more cakes.
  • The large stick chamber of commerce revealed that carrying a large stick will be this summer's top fashion trend.

"The benefits of reforestation activities are much larger than carbon offsetting only"


My thanks to reader PV for sending this link to a very interesting BBC News report. That quote in the title comes from Tristan Lecomte, the dude heading up a tree-planting project in the Amazon Basin of Peru and Bolivia sponsored by Nestlé. Here's a small excerpt from the article:
"Nestle Waters France wants to offset the equivalent of all the annual carbon emissions from its Vittel mineral water production in France and Belgium - approximately 115,000 tonnes of carbon a year.

"In order to do this, it will fund the planting of 350,000 trees in an existing project in the Bolivian Amazon and a new one in the jungle of Peru with a view to renewing the same number of trees every year."

Now for sure these big company carbon offsetting schemes have often been plenty talk with little action, but this one really seems to be working for all concerned; the locals, the major international company and the environment. Therefore the small excerpt above does little justice to the whole report and I strongly suggest you read the whole thing.

IKN applauds when capitalism shows its positive side.

Focus Ventures (FCV.v)

Focus Ventures (FCV.v) came out with drill results from its 'Nueva California' project this morning. Find the presser right here and find the market reaction right here:


Yup, exploration is a tough, tough game. The drills found gold, but really not enough to make anybody go "this is a mine". However all is not lost, cos the people behind FCV.v aren't a bunch of scamsters. Quite the opposite in fact; they have a high reputation for good work and honesty (not like others we could mention that constantly BS the market and need to be avoided like the plague).

So Focus Ventures has lost a round in the fight, but not the fight itself. Over at The IKN Weekly we've been watching and waiting on the stock without taking a position, so if the price drops sufficiently there may eventually be a buying opportunity (but there'll be no rush to move in this week, that's for sure). More on Sunday, folks, but so far the waiting game on this play has paid off.

Vena Resources (VEM.to): A good day in Germany

Whatever's going on in Germany around Vena Resources (VEM.to) (V1R.f) this morning, it's sure making the stock move:


That's over 900k shares traded and a 15% upmove in the first couple of hours. Very nice to see some good volume and price movement in the stock. Right now it's trading at €0.25, which is U$0.337 and CAD$0.343 at today's forex.

VEM.to closed in Canada yesterday at CAD$0.285, so there's a bit of upside in the offing here. DYODD.

UPDATE: make that 1.1m shares traded, because Vena stock is trading chunks in other city bourses, such as 130k in Stuttgart. Here's a link to an overview.

Chart of the day is....

.....copper inventories, but it does come with some smarter comments for a change.


The comments are guaranteed smarter cos they're not mine. Here are some bits from Reuters:
Copper buoyed by relief rally in the euro after last
week's euro zone agreement on emergency financial aid for
Greece. [USD/]
 * Market sentiment bolstered by 12 percent growth forecast
in China, the world's top consumer of the industrial metal.
[ID:nTOE62S003]
 * Copper underpinned by improved economic outlook after
data showed U.S. consumer spending grew for fifth straight
month in February. [ID:nN29246203]
 * Inventory numbers starting to catch people's attention -
Justin Lennon, analyst with Mitsui Bussan Commodities (USA)
Inc.
 * London Metal Exchange copper warehouse stocks fell 1,400
tonnes to 515,525 tonnes -- their lowest level since early
January. Stockpiles hit a 6-1/2 year high of 555,075 tonnes in
mid-February. <0#lme-stocks>
 * Last week, Shanghai copper stocks fell 8 percent to
155,465 tonnes from 169,101 tonnes a week ago, while copper
stocks on warrant declined 3,054 tonnes to 47,908 tonnes.
[ID:nBJD003626]
 * COMEX copper stocks eased 22 short tons to 101,446 short
tons as of Friday. CMWSU
 * Money managers, which include commodity trading advisors,
pool operators and hedge funds, trimmed net long positions in
COMEX copper futures to 22,194 lots in week ended March 23,
from prior 22,796 lots - data from U.S. Commodity Futures
Trading Commission. [ID:nN26118087]

And here's an excerpt from George Topping of Thomas Weisel, in an update note on metals dated today:
Copper Market Fundamentals: LME Cu inventory has been declining over the past month from a peak of 555kt to the present stockpile of 515mt (lowest since mid-January). Cancelled warrants stand at 20kt, indicating more draws from inventory in the near future.

3/29/10

Ricky Martin today shocks zero percent of the world

It's turning into gay pride day here at IKN, as first we have the lowdown on the Queer Tango Marathon in BsAs and now just hours later Ricky Martin decides that "today is his day" and finally tells the world what the world has known for....ohhh...a decade or so. From the hand of Ricky in his article:

"I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man. I am very blessed to be who I am."

Big deal. I don't give a donkey's behind about who he likes to squeeze at the end of the day, but what I do know is that Ricky Martin via his Foundation has done more to combat the trafficking of children and to insist on children's rights than all but a handful of us human beings.

Keep on livin' the vida loca, Ricky.

Hey, you remember all that fuss about oil in the Malvinas/Falklands?



Well guess what? Dusters. Here's the WSJ:

Desire Petroleum lost nearly half of its value after the Falklands driller said the reservoir quality of a well in the North Falkland Basin was "poor."
The UK and Argentina will just have to go back to squabbling over the sheep.

(ps: apparently there's a problem with blogger not showing pictures this morning. If you can't see photos/charts on the page don't worry, it's not just you. Normal service will be resumed as soon etc etc).

The 2010 Small Silver Sweepstakes

In 2009 we ran a whole series that compared nine different "small silvers" and also the silver ETF, (SLV) to see which company had the best 2009 perfromance (the winner was EDR.to).

So now that 2010 is nearly a quarter old, it's time to see how the same companies have been getting on so far this year. Here's the chart:

click to enlarge
(or steal for your bullboard post,
and as usual there's no need at all
to give links to
the original...i mean, why should a dumbass like
you start pretending to be polite
after all these years, eh?)

In first place is MAG Silver (MAG.to), which is a bit of a zero-to-hero story as last year it was one of the worst performers. Next comes Fortuna Silver (FVI.to) that's also batting 20%+ win so far this year. Bronze medal position is currently held by Bear Creek Mining (BCM.v).

Then after that comes our benchmark, the silver ETF (SLV), that marks spot silver for us pretty accurately. So all the other stocks, so far this year at least, haven't managed to outperform their main metal product. Also, they're all in plenty negative territory so far this year. For sure we'd expect that from a scummydog like ECU Silver (ECU.to), but tail-ender First Majestic's (FR.to) year to date has been poor.

We'll check on further developments in the small silver sweepstakes in a few weeks' time. Mojitos served, the end.

Fortuna Silver (FVI.to) and Great Panther Silver (GPR.to); an excerpt from the weekly

Here's a slice of IKN47 that went out yesterday. After a discussion on the latest developments over at Fortuna (FVI.to) we did a quick comparative of FVI and Great Panther (GPR.to), in one aspect at least.

FVI and GPR: A quick comparative. You’ll note that in the above discussion of FVI we haven’t gone into much detail about the quarterly results just announced. The reason for that is now there are several larger houses covering FVI and they all came out with update reports on the numbers and the conference call last week (the FVI IR dep’t sent them all to their mailing list, so if you’d like a copy ask them to put you on the list, or if you like ask me and I’ll forward). So now that FVI is getting love from the big boys there’s not that much point for this little boy to just cover the same ground, but one thing I’d like to address here is a comparative of GPR.to (a company that got its financials criticized in IKN46 last week) and FVI (that has just had glowing words thrown at it by the same author).

I’ve been one corner of a mail exchange this week between...let’s just say “some people in mining”... and one line used by one of the participants in the exchange was that some of the key numbers in the 4q09 operation results at GPR and at FVI were rather similar. Here’s a little table that shows those results:

GPR & FVI: selected 4q09 financials

($m)

GPR

FVI

revenues

9.85

16.36

MOI

4.2

10.38

Net Income

1

1

The person who pointed to these numbers was trying to make a case for GPR, defending the company (and also wondering why GPR has dropped around 10% since its earnings report, while FVI has moved up over 12%). After all, what we have are two companies with similar amounts of shares outstanding (revolving around 110m), but the different share prices mean that FVI has a market cap three times the size of GPR. Once that is taken into account, the relatively smaller production and mining income (like for like, with amorts and deprec included in both sets of numbers) makes GPR look like quite the bargain, doesn’t it?

Well, doesn’t it?

No, it doesn’t. Firstly, there’s the whole cash cost subterfuge that we looked into last week (I don’t like the wool being pulled over my eyes by a 500tpd miner....sorry, I’m like that). Next, Great Panther has been a producer with two operating mines for a number of years. This means that it should (in fact, in my view ‘must’) be able to pass Rule One*, something it failed to do over the course of 2009. Meanwhile, Fortuna is a company that’s half producer/half explorer and in the 2009 period has had cash to pay out for its San José project while making money at Caylloma.

Finally and more importantly, if we look a little more closely at the two sets of company numbers the perspective changes. The statement of cash flows is where to go to find out the relevant information, and here’s a second little table that shows the real difference between the two companies at this stage of their lives:

GPR& FVI: 2009 cash flow information ($m)

GPR

FVI

net cash provided by ops

1.299

13.686

net cash used in investment

1.757

16.979

This is, of course, also tied up in the abovementioned investment activities happening at FVI San José, but it does show just how much more money FVI is committing to its future growth, with most of it coming from the cash generated by Caylloma. In 2009, GPR operations brought in a touch under $1.3m. By way of investment (drilling at its sites, etc) it spent a touch over $1.75m. Meanwhile, Caylloma provided $13.7m to the FVI cash bucket and the company spent $17m on investment activity. That’s an enormous, basically-factor-of-ten difference, ladies and gentlemen, and the investment getting ploughed into FVI included a full $11m that went on progressing San José to its current stage, a whisker before its PFS publication and virtual certain decision to build this very profitable looking mining operation (on paper, at least).

The real difference between the $100m market cap company and the $300m market cap company is written in that small box above. FVI is simply a different animal; bigger, more dynamic, more profitable and growing faster.


*Make a profit

Copper: If we're going to hit resistance on the price of copper, we'll hit it around here


By the way, if you follow the Casey idiots you've missed out on all this upmove. Dumbasses.

Gay Tango Hits Buenos Aires


My fave story from last weekend is found here, as Clarin reports on the 42-hour "Queer Tango Marathon" that started Friday evening and ran for 42 hours until Sunday afternoon. The event was sponsored by the National Institute Against Discrimination (INADI), Argentina's Ministry of Justice and Buenos Aires City's Ministry of Culture.

As one of the dancers, Jorge Casi, explained, "In the same way that people in a marathon run 42km, our Queer Tango Marathon lasts 42 hours and is looking to demonstrate that in a modern society, in the tango roles can be reversed and space given to a new style that does not discard the traditional, but adds other variants."

I dunno what Gardel or Discépolo would make of it all, but from this seat in the world and added to the recent homosexual marriages granted in Argentina, it seems as though Buenos Aires is leading South America out of its homophobia with style and grace. A cheer.

More IFC money flows into mining

What the below means is that Antares Minerals (ANM.v) can get on and drill its 2010 campaign without having to go to market. The fully diluted shares number stays where it is, and $7.5m goes to the cash line. This is a real endorsement of the Haquira project from bigboy financiers that didn't need to exercise these warrants right now but decided to do so in order to add financial backbone to ANM. We very like this news.

Antares Announces Early Exercise of Warrants by IFC

WATERDOWN, ONTARIO, Mar 29, 2010 (Marketwire via COMTEX News Network) --

NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION TO U.S. NEWS WIRE SERVICES OR FOR DISSEMINATION IN THE UNITED STATES.

Antares Minerals Inc. ("Antares" or the "Company") (TSX VENTURE:ANM) is pleased to announce that IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has agreed to exercise all 3,750,000 warrants that it holds to acquire 3,750,000 common shares of the Company for a total subscription cost of $7,500,000. These warrants were acquired by IFC in July of 2009 in connection with a private placement. Each warrant entitles IFC to acquire a common share at an exercise price of $2.00 until July 22, 2014. If at any time following July 22, 2011, the Company's common shares trade at $2.75 or higher for 30 days on a volume weighted-average basis, the Company can give notice accelerating the expiry date of the warrants to 60 days following the date of such notice.

As consideration for IFC agreeing to this early exercise of its warrants, Antares has agreed to issue 1,875,000 new common share purchase warrants to IFC. Each new warrant will entitle IFC to acquire a common share at an exercise price of $3.00 until July 22, 2014. In addition, the Company will grant IFC a contractual right to participate in any future Antares financings to maintain its pro-rata equity interest in the Company.

Closing of this transaction is subject to approval of the TSX Venture Exchange and the negotiation and execution of definitive agreements. The new warrants to be issued pursuant to this financing will be subject to a four month hold period in accordance with Canadian securities law.

John Black, President and CEO of Antares Minerals Inc. commented as follows:

"We appreciate the support that IFC is providing as a significant shareholder in the Company. The funds received from this warrant exercise will enable the Company to aggressively proceed with pre-feasibility and exploration drill programs at Haquira while maintaining a solid balance sheet with minimal share dilution. We expect these programs to start with four rigs in April, pending receipt of updated environmental permits.

In addition to ongoing drill programs in 2010, we are also looking forward to the receipt of a preliminary economic analysis (PEA), or scoping study, of the Haquira project. This PEA will incorporate both the secondary SX-EW and primary sulphide zones that have been established to date at Haquira. We believe that this fully integrated study of the proposed SX-EW/mill-concentrator operation will reveal more fully the potential value of the Haquira project. We expect to receive this report in the next quarter."

CONTINUES HERE