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8/7/10

re penny stock scams

This humble scribe recommends this post, not least because the author links through to IKN but more because there's a whole heap of good thought and detail about how penny stock scamsters like Porter Stansberry reel in their fish while keeping themselves on the right side of the law. Good insight available to you, kind lector.

As for the party in Colombia this weekend....

....don't hang around IKN looking for insight, check out the best indy voice on the country in the interwebnetpipes, Colombia Reports.

I'm just glad that the muffin man will be there. Makes for a good photo-op.

A room with a view (part 16) summer vacs edition

"Over such trivialities as these many a valuable hour may slip away, and the
traveller who has gone to Italy to study the tactile values of Giotto, or the
corruption of the Papacy, may return remembering nothing but the
blue sky and the men and women who live under it."
A Room With A View, E.M. Forster (1908)


Reader MM relaxes in his back garden while listening to the Don Coxe webcast. Somewhere in Canada.

Send in your summer hols shots and get your camera famous!

Abide with me

Abiding In Bolivia's Duderino isn't posting so very often these days, but he's still posting and that's the best news. Today he offers up a nice pic, a link to a decent report on Bolivia and also some critique of the normal northern viewpoints on Bolivia you get to hear from all them there experts, which goes like this:

Ignorant gringo: OMG! Evo Morales is an Indian who wants to save Mother Earth, WE ARE SAVED!

Ignorant gringo two weeks later: Y
ou know what I just read. That in Bolivia, they have huge mines that pollute the water, rivers, and kill fish. Evo is such a hypocrytical asshole. He must just be a dirty demogagic commie. The New York Times was right!

Ignorant gringo later that day:
Gosh, politics is so stupid. I am just going to blog about my feelings and work on my compost pit.

Yes, yes and thrice yes. We love Duderino so click thru, read it all and have a nice day while you're at it.

ps: i liked 'demogagic', dude :-)

8/6/10

The Friday OT: Radiohead; Fitter Happier (more productive)

calm, fitter, happier and more productive



a pig in a cage on antibiotics

Trading Post (Bach cello suite Nº1 edition)


Minera Andes (MAI.to) up 2.3% at $0.88. Nice timing...for a change.

Eurasian Minerals (EMX.v) UNCH at $2.06. By way of a reader request EMX is featured in an abridged fundies report in IKN66 this Sunday, where we concentrate on the financial structure of the company more than its projects.

Breakwater Resources (BWR.to) up 19.1% at $3.43 on something like 4X average volumes. BWR actually put together a really good quarter for a change, as reported after the bell yesterday. Here's the NR. BWR is one of the purest zinc plays out there (in the Cad market at least) and the star turn of the day.

AuEx Ventures (XAU.to) up 4.5% at $3.28 on low volumes. XAU.to has had a very quiet time since the last set of Long Canyon drills were published but today it's making up a bit of the lost ground.

Gold-Ore Resources (GOZ.to) up 1.8% at $0.58. This stock has made a 16% move since Monday morning. I wonder why?

When you have an overriding sense of entitlement....

...things like correctly filing your trades do not apply to you. As an example, here's the Casey bullshitter Marin Katusa deciding that the 10 day rule for filing insider sales of Copper Mountain (CUM.to) is only for the little people and he can do what the hell he wants.

Hey, thanks for telling us about those March sales, Marin. In August.

Copper Mountain Mining Corporation (CUM)

As of August 5th, 2010
Filing Date Transaction Date Insider Name Ownership Type Securities Nature of transaction # or value acquired or disposed of Unit Price
Aug 05/10 Mar 16/10 Katusa, Marin Direct Ownership Common Shares 10 - Disposition in the public market -41,600 $2.890
Aug 05/10 Mar 15/10 Katusa, Marin Direct Ownership Common Shares 10 - Disposition in the public market -21,500 $2.810
Aug 05/10 Mar 12/10 Katusa, Marin Direct Ownership Common Shares 10 - Disposition in the public market -3,700 $2.900
Aug 05/10 Jun 25/10 Katusa, Marin Direct Ownership
50 - Grant of options 70,000 $2.390

The IKN Weekly, Recommending Losing Trades Since 2009


There now follows a public service announcement


Since its inception in May 2009, The IKN Weekly has recommended a total of 39 trades. Of those, 26 are now closed and 13 are currently open.

Unfortunately, 11 of those trades (4 open and 7 closed) have turned out to be losers. We apologize for the lack of bullshit in this advertisement for our subscription service. Thank you for your attention.

¡Oyez Gringo! You see how Mister Gold think your job number?

Handbags at dawn! East Asia Minerals (EAS.v) demands a retraction from Northern Miner

Here's the NR, comment coming up:


August 05, 2010
East Asia Minerals Serves Libel Notice On Northern Miner -- Vancouver-Based Company Demands Apology and Correction

For Immediate Release, August 5, 2010 TSXV: EAS

VANCOUVER, B.C. -- Thursday, August 5, 2010 -- East Asia Minerals Corporation (TSXV-EAS), a Canadian mineral exploration company with its head office in Vancouver, delivered a legal notice today to The Northern Miner newspaper over a recent article which made defamatory and misleading accusations concerning the company's disclosures about Indonesian property currently under exploration.

In a statement released today, Chief Executive Officer and President Michael Hawkins said: "We are extremely disappointed that The Northern Miner published misleading information about our disclosure practices in a prominent article on its website about protected forest in Indonesia. We have asked the newspaper to do the right thing, retract its erroneous accusation that we failed to tell shareholders about the status of the property, and acknowledge that East Asia Minerals made timely and complete disclosure starting nearly three years ago".

In a letter sent to The Northern Miner, the Company expressly reserves the right to file a libel lawsuit to recover damages from The Northern Miner for injury to reputation and financial loss.

About East Asia Minerals Corporation

This isn't really that surprising and I'll tell you why. East Asia Minerals (EAS.v) is a company this author knew little about before last Friday (as mentioned in the post that day, though out of LatAm the drill results had been so good that word of them had filtered through enough times). I'd also never taken a position on the stock (which is still true today, fwiw).

But last weekend, it only took the most basic of DD and asking around a bit for this author to see that the Northern Miner article (pasted here below in its entirety this time, because it's fair game for public material now EAS.v is getting legal on their tushes) was a really biased, misleading and generally bad piece of journalism that was likely written with an a priori agenda. Just for one thing, it took me about five minutes on SEDAR to confirm that EAS.v has indeed made clear and specific public disclosures about the nature of the forestry issues at Miwah, something that Northern Miner said they hadn't done. That alone is libel....probably. So if all it takes this humble scribe is a minimum of snuffling around to find out the facts, why did Northern Miner, the supposed "Bible" of mining journalism (though that mantle has slipped badly over the last few years) decide not to include this basic DD in its report? Gotta make ya wonder....

So anyway, here's the whole allegedly libellous NM report reproduced for public interest. It'll be interesting to see whether NM stands by its crap or goes the humble pie route.

UPDATE: Trish eats it

29/07/2010 13:23:00

East Asia Minerals unresponsive about protected forest in Indonesia

By: Trish Saywell

Why would it take several years for a Canadian company with a history of strong drill results in Indonesia to disclose to its shareholders that a large portion of its tenements in the Southeast Asian nation are on land designated as protected forest where open-pit mining is banned?

It's a question The Northern Miner has asked junior explorer East Asia Minerals(EAS-V) repeatedly since June and has yet to receive a fathomable explanation.

Hong Kong-based chief executive Michael Hawkins -- who is "in the bush" in Indonesia -- according to the company's head of corporate communications Nick Kohlmann, has not responded to a stream of queries. And as for the Toronto-based Kohlmann, he says he "has no details" and isn't "privy to the various ongoing intricacies of the operations, legal agreements, permits, etc," which he explains in an email after six weeks of badgering, "is the responsibility of the senior technical and Indonesia-based staff and Michael Hawkins."

So what gives?

In February Indonesia issued a new regulation (No. 24) that allows mining, power plants and other projects deemed strategically important (such as toll roads, telecommunication network and broadcasting facilities) to take place within protected forest areas, according to Joel Hogarth, a lawyer with O'Melveny & Myers in Singapore. But the regulation, now law, only permits underground mining activities in protected forest, not open-pit mining, which is more commonly used in Indonesia.

Even then it's not guaranteed that an underground mine will ever wind up in production. "While the regulation opens up the possibility of mining in protected forest areas it remains to be seen how easy this will be in practice," Hogarth says. "To my knowledge no such approvals have been granted yet for mining, although there is at least one geothermal project applying for approval under the new regulation."

Hogarth explains that while ‘in principle' licenses (ijin prinsip) can be granted by the Ministry of Forestry for an initial period of up to two years, the full forestry ‘lend-use' licence (ijin pinjam pakai) requires the approval of the House of Representatives (DPR). And such approvals from the DPR "have been difficult to obtain and subject to political considerations."

"It strikes me as a pretty tough procedure," he says in a telephone interview from his home in Singapore. "That's like going to Parliament to get something approved."

Interestingly it was only after repeated queries that East Asia Minerals finally disclosed in its most recent drill results on July 27 that "a large portion of the tenements are currently within Hutan Lindung, the lowest category of Protection Forest." There is no mention of this fact in previous press releases, nor in the company's 2009 annual report.

By contrast, another company, Intrepid Mines (IAU-T) clearly discloses in its press releases and on its website that its Tumpangpitu project in Indonesia is situated within protected forest, "a category of forest land in which Indonesian law restricts activities and prohibits open-pit mining." Intrepid notes that it is working with relevant Indonesian authorities to allow for a review of the status of forest land where it affects the company's operations. As for its Katak prospect, Intrepid explains that it is in a category of land deemed "production forest," which has far fewer development restrictions.

East Asia has yet to specify exactly how much and which of its tenements fall within protected forest. (It has a 70-85% interest in six advanced gold and gold-copper properties covering 400,000 hectares in Aceh Province, Sumatra, and on Sangihe Island in North Sumatra.)

What it does repeat in every press release about its flagship Miwah gold project, a high sulphidation epithermal gold deposit in Aceh Province, Sumatra, however, is that it is in a very similar volcanic setting to the Martabe gold-silver deposit, also in North Sumatra. It notes that the alteration system is of comparable size. But what it fails to point out is that the owner of Martabe, a Hong Kong-based company called G-Resources, plans to mine Martabe as an open-pit.

Hawkins has been selling off shares consistently over the past six months - including a sale of 94,000 shares at $7.91 apiece on April 12. (Over the last year East Asia Minerals has traded in a range of $1.21-$8.73 per share.)

The chief executive held 481,000 shares in the company as of Jan. 12, 2010,) in October 2009, and since then has been selling off his holdings.)

East Asia Minerals' share price has moved from a low of 12¢ a share in November 2008 to $3.90 per share in December 2009 and is currently trading at $6.40 per share.

The junior has about 72 million shares outstanding.

Thirteen out of fourteen economists are dumbasses on Peru (again)

Compare this:

Policy makers will raise the overnight lending rate for a fourth straight month by a quarter percentage point to 2.25 percent when they next meet Aug. 5, according to 13 of 14 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. One analyst expects Banco Central de Reserva del Peru to lift the key rate to 2.5 percent.
To this report of the proceedings out today:
Peru’s central bank has raised its benchmark rate a more-than-expected 50bp to 2.5 per cent, to counter rising inflationary pressures.

Economists = dumbasses in suits. For those interested, you can read the Central Bank report on what they did right here (pdf). Particularly interesting is the bit about accelerated public spending causing inflationary pressures....hey, you'd never know Peru is in an election year, would you?

Chart of the day is....

....the small silvers year-to-date update.


Into the eighth month of the year and the silver junior sector is still well and truly beaten down. Of our nine company stocks only two are showing a percentage gain on the year, they the only two beating out our benchmark SLV, the bullion ETF and a good proxy to the metal itself.

So top spot is held by US Silver (USA.v) with number two MAG Silver (MAG.to), which has put on nearly 15% this week and rushed up. Then in thrird spot is SLV. Then all others are net negative the year.

8/5/10

And now.......

....a word from our sponsor

(click to enlarge)

Best bike story ever

This isn't LatAm and there's no contextual justification in finding it on IKN whatsoever, but darnit... it just has to be shared and I've highlighted a couple of my very fave moments in the text in red. From The Denver Post:

Bike agenda spins cities toward U.N. control, Maes warns

Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes is warning voters that Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper's policies, particularly his efforts to boost bike riding, are "converting Denver into a United Nations community."

"This is all very well-disguised, but it will be exposed," Maes told about 50 supporters who showed up at a campaign rally last week in Centennial.

Maes said in a later interview that he once thought the mayor's efforts to promote cycling and other environmental initiatives were harmless and well-meaning. Now he realizes "that's exactly the attitude they want you to have."

"This is bigger than it looks like on the surface, and it could threaten our personal freedoms," Maes said.

He added: "These aren't just warm, fuzzy ideas from the mayor. These are very specific strategies that are dictated to us by this United Nations program that mayors have signed on to."

Maes said in a later interview that he was referring to Denver's membership in the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives, an international association that promotes sustainable development and has attracted the membership of more than 1,200 communities, 600 of which are in the United States.

Denver became a member of the group in 1992, more than a decade before Hickenlooper became mayor. Eric Brown, the mayor's spokesman, said the city's contact with ICLEI "is limited."

George Merritt, a spokesman for the Hickenlooper gubernatorial campaign, said the group's goal is "to bring cities from all over the world together to share best practices and help create the kinds of communities people want to live and do business in. John Hickenlooper believes collaboration leads to smart decisions."

Hickenlooper has often touted bicycling as an environmentally friendly and healthy way for people to commute to work and has said he hopes more people will do so.

Last week, Hickenlooper upset some auto dealers on the eve of a fundraiser when he lauded the city's B-Cycle bike- sharing program at an event and asked: "How do we wean ourselves off automobiles?"

Maes, at the rally July 26, took aim at Denver's bike-sharing program, which he said was promoted by a group that puts the environment above citizens' rights.

The B-Cycle program places a network of about 400 red bikes for rent at stations around the city. It is funded by private donors and grants.

Maes said ICLEI is affiliated with the United Nations and is "signing up mayors across the country, and these mayors are signing on to this U.N. agreement to have their cities abide by this dream philosophy."

The program includes encouraging employers to install showers so more people will ride bikes to work and also creating parking spaces for fuel-efficient vehicles, he said.

Polls show that Maes, a Tea Party favorite, has pulled ahead of former Congressman Scott McInnis, the early frontrunner in the Aug. 10 primary for the Republican gubernatorial nomination. Maes acknowledged that some might find his theories "kooky," but he said there are valid reasons to be worried.

"At first, I thought, 'Gosh, public transportation, what's wrong with that, and what's wrong with people parking their cars and riding their bikes? And what's wrong with incentives for green cars?' But if you do your homework and research, you realize ICLEI is part of a greater strategy to rein in American cities under a United Nations treaty," Maes said.

He said he's worried for Denver because "Mayor Hickenlooper is one of the greatest fans of this program."

"Some would argue this document that mayors have signed is contradictory to our own Constitution," Maes said.



Thanks to setty for the headsup

Trading Post (light relief edition)


ATAC Resources (ATC.v) up 13.9% at $2.05 on the back of some sparkling drill numbers in this NR today. ATC.v looks like a mine from here, but in the end WTFDIK about the Yukon?

Rio Alto (RIO.v) UNCH at 81c. Her name is Rio and she dances on the sand and weirdly enough, sand is 'arena' in Spanish. This humble scribe is waiting for the grand unveiling of those Coffey resource numbers, which should happen between soon and very soon. Volume is crappy today but the next NR..whenever it comes..should soon sort that out.

East Asia Minerals (EAS.v) down 7.5% at $5.18 and much lower earlier. I've just one thing to say on the action in this stock today; Peter HolierThanThou Grandich is an uninformed dickhead and a disservice to the idiot sheep that follow him. He truly doesn't know what the hell he's talking about on this Indonesian forestry issue (and neither does the can of corn) and once the hoo-hah has died down (and don't ask me where the bottom is in this move cos I have no idea) the buying opportunity here is obvious. Disclosure: no position.

TheNewCrystallex (EC.v) UNCH at 16c and I'm still waiting for the notes of apology, dumbasses.

Fortuna Silver (FVI.to) up 1.9% at $2.16. A bit of an upmove today but volumes are low and really, it's still farting around in this trading range. One for the serious investor and best of breed.

Endeavour Silver (EDR.to) up 0.6% at $3.52. Well I laughed when I saw that EDR failed Rule One* yet again in 2q10. The dirty little secret at EDR is that it needs all its FCF to try and improve on its mediocre resource numbers and will do this kind of quarter time and again. The perfect stock for people who follow people that don't know how to read balance sheets.

*rule one= make a profit

Hypnotize me


Regarding Minefinders (MFN) (MFL.to) and its latest round of pisspoor results, yesterday this humble scribe asked....
So now MFN is guiding higher and telling the world that the higher grades being mined now will get production up to at least 55k oz Au and 1.65m oz Ag in the half year to come. The obvious question here is to ask how many more times can MFN get away with pulling the wool over the eyes of the investment community before people start calling bullshit on this operation?
Well, we didn't have to wait long to find out and the answer seems to be "forever". According to Scotia's analyst covering MFN:
"This was a miss on consensus and Indi (the analyst) believes any pullback on MFL today should be bought........ The Q2/10 quarter likely won’t change investor’s minds but that is backward looking and Indi believes the inflection point is right now."

Meanwhile the Desjardins dude covering MFN, while recognizing the results were a negative, said:

"However, we are encouraged by the fact that realized grades should continue to improve in 2H10......"

In other words, the dumbasses that think they know about the market are falling for the soft soap yet again, evidenced by the morning trade in the stock that sees it slightly up on a general down day.
I'll leave the last line to Albert Einstein: "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former".

UPDATE: In answer to a mailer a couple of minutes ago and by way of full disclosure, your author has no position in MFN. Not long, not short, not nothing. So STFU.

Today's most interesting financing


Excelsior Energy (ELE.v) is the name and it's run a double financing, with some straight share+double warrant units and the second tranche a combo of share+flow through+double warrant. And hey, after that flurry of action late April, those warrants are already close to in da munneh.......nice work if you can get it, right?

Now I'm no real follower of the energy sector but when checking out the names on this deal today I had quite a few of those 'O RLY?' moments so by way of sharing the lurve here are the two lists as seen, pasted below. Consider it a headsup.

EXCELSIOR ENERGY LIMITED ("ELE")
BULLETIN TYPE: Private Placement-Non-Brokered
BULLETIN DATE: August 4, 2010
TSX Venture Tier 2 Company

TSX Venture Exchange has accepted for filing documentation with respect to
a Non-Brokered Private Placement announced April 16, April 29, May 7, May 21,
and June 14, 2010:

Number of Shares: 41,666,667 Units
(Each Unit consists of one common share, one
flow-through share, and two share purchase
warrants.)
27,777,778 shares

Purchase Price: $0.36 per Unit
$0.18 per share

Warrants: 83,333,334 share purchase warrants to purchase
83,333,334 shares

Warrant Exercise Price: $0.30 for period of 36 months from the date of
issuance

Number of Placees: 144 placees

Insider/Pro Group Participation:

Insider equals Y/
Name ProGroup equals P/ No. of Shares

Verne Johnson Y 944,444 Units
Postell Energy Co. Ltd.
(Jeffrey Scott) Y 850,000 Units
Jeffrey Scott Y 1,381,250 Units
Wexford Catalyst
Trading Limited Y 1,250,000 Units
462,963 shares
Wexford Spectrum
Trading Limited Y 5,000,000 Units
1,851,851 shares
Fareed Ahamed P 73,194 Units
Delia Barbosa P 30,556 Units
Peter M. Brown P 165,278 Units
Daniel Cristall P 531,250 Units
Matthew Gaasenbeek P 118,056 Units
Frank Giustra P 7,083,333 Units
Justin Oliver P 85,000 Units
Harry Pokrandt P 184,167 Units
Graham Saunders P 118,056 Units
Mike Siggs P 35,417 Units
Peninsula Merchant
Syndications Corp. P 5,833,333 Units
Tom English P 47,222 Units
Philip Heinrich P 28,000 Units
Marta Stevenson P 810,185 Units
Rafi Khouri P 57,870 Units
David Lyall P 236,111 Units
Robert Sali P 493,473 Units
1,388,889 shares
Tumer Bahcheli P 111,100 Units
278,000 shares
Christina Chow Skolaude P 57,870 Units
David Jung P 115,741 Units
Wellington Management
Company LLP P 13,888,889 shares

Finder's Fee: $400,000 payable to Raymond James Ltd.

TSX-X
---------------------------------

EXCELSIOR ENERGY LIMITED ("ELE")
BULLETIN TYPE: Private Placement-Non-Brokered
BULLETIN DATE: August 4, 2010
TSX Venture Tier 2 Company

TSX Venture Exchange has accepted for filing documentation with respect to
a Non-Brokered Private Placement announced May 13, May 21, and June 14, 2010:

Number of Shares: 10,416,667 Units
(Each Unit consists of one common share, one
flow-through share, and two share purchase
warrants.)
4,166,667 shares

Purchase Price: $0.48 per Unit
$0.24 per share

Warrants: 20,832,334 share purchase warrants to purchase
20,832,334 shares

Warrant Exercise Price: $0.32 for period of 5 years from the date of
issuance

Number of Placees: 144 placees

Insider/Pro Group Participation:

Insider equals Y/
Name ProGroup equals P/ No. of Shares

Robert B. Bailey Y 150,000 Units
Ecumsecum Energy Ltd.
(Cliff Jeffrey) Y 312,500 Units
David Fuchs Y 208,334 Units
Richard Grafton Y 500,000 Units
James B. Howe Y 291,666 Units
Verne Johnson Y 125,000 Units
Mary Kennedy Y 287,500 Units
Postell Energy Co. Ltd.
(Jeffrey Scott) Y 112,500 Units
Jeffrey Scott Y 182,813 Units
Harley L. Winger Y 333,334 Units
Wexford Catalyst
Trading Limited Y 312,400 Units
69,444 shares
Wexford Spectrum
Trading Limited Y 1,249,600 Units
277,778 shares
Fareed Ahamed P 9,688 Units
Peter M. Brown P 21,875 Units
Daniel Cristall P 70,313 Units
Matthew Gaasenbeek P 15,625 Units
Enrico Giustra P 52,084 Units
Frank Giustra P 1,875,000 Units
Justin Oliver P 11,250 Units
Harry Pokrandt P 24,375 Units
Graham Saunders P 15,625 Units
Mike Siggs P 4,687 Units
Peninsula Merchant
Syndications Corp. P 937,500 Units
Tom English P 6,250 Units
Philip Heinrich P 21,000 Units
Marta Stevenson P 121,528 Units
Rafi Khouri P 8,681 Units
David Lyall P 31,250 Units
Robert Sali P 273,646 Units
208,333 shares
Tumer Bahcheli P 99,300 Units
208,000 shares
Christina Chow Skolaude P 8,681 Units
David Jung P 17,361 Units
Wellington Management
Company LLP P 2,083,333 shares

Finder's Fee: $119,995.20 payable to Raymond James Ltd.

TSX-X

Chart of the day is....

.....Ecuador's Balance of Payments, monthly, since Jan 2000.

Have a look at that spike in 2008. Then the drop. A country totally dependent on oil? You betcha.

8/4/10

Minefinders (MFN) (MFL.to): Would you buy a used car from the man that guides forward production at this underachiever?

Minefinders (MFN) (MFL.to) released its 2q10 results after the bell today and guess what? Yep, they sucked again. The NR, numbers and fun can be found here, but what MFN failed to do once again is pass Rule One™ for a producing gold miner in commercial production yet again, i.e. it failed to make a profit.

Here's the count since the company started commercially at the Dolores (English translation = "pains"...quite apt, really) and we see that in the five quarters of commercial production so far, MFN has managed to return a profit just once:


All that and record gold prices too, which is pretty pathetic. The biggest problem at MFN is the tendency it has for OPUD (over-promise, under-deliver) which is summed up in these next two tables, the first for gold production and the second for silver production. What you see here are the guidances the company has made for the second half of 2009, the first half of 2010 and the second half of 2010 that's to come. For the record the 2h09 guidance is taken from the company's 2q09 MD&A and the 2010 guidances are from the 2009 year-end report and MD&A and they're all available on SEDAR if you don't believe me.

Minefinders (MFN) Au prod vs previous MFN guidance, six month periods
gold guidance* result comment
2h09 50,000 to 60,000 39,759 fail
1h10 36,000 to 40,000 32,561 fail
2q10 55,000 to 60,500 ? buy used car?
*2h09 guidance from 2q09 md&a, 2010 guidance from YE09 md&a




Minefinders (MFN) Ag prod vs previous MFN guidance, six month periods
silver guidance* result comment
2h09 1,200,000 to 1,300,000 615,870 fail
1h10 680,000 to 765,000 522,233 fail
2q10 1,650,000 to 1,830,000 ? boy cry wolf?
*2h09 guidance from 2q09 md&a, 2010 guidance from YE09 md&a


Each and every time, MFN has promised the market more than it was able to deliver. In the case of gold, over the 12 months MFN has produced 72,320 oz Au, which is 13,680 ounces less than even its minimum guidance level. In the case of silver it's even worse, with the 1.138m ounces produced falling 740,000 ounces short of even the minimum targets.

So now MFN is guiding higher and telling the world that the higher grades being mined now will get production up to at least 55k oz Au and 1.65m oz Ag in the half year to come. The obvious question here is to ask how many more times can MFN get away with pulling the wool over the eyes of the investment community before people start calling bullshit on this operation?

Meanwhile, let's check on how the company's stock price has got on this year:
Oh dear. I wonder how MFN's paid shiller Mike Niehuser is going to explain away the MFN mediocrity this time? In the end, the name of the company itself is a bit of a giveaway. It should have stuck to finding mines, not trying to play at producer.

DYODD, dude.

Lucky Pierre

One of the nicest (and most unexpected) bonuses of running this humble corner of cyberspace has been the contacts made with many and varied smart readers. For example reader 'MP' who wrote in today with this:

Lucky Pierre Lassonde was interviewed by Eric King on the following days over the past 6 months.

February 13, 2010
May 26 and 29, 2010
August 4, 2010

Now have a look at the YTD OLV.V chart.

For those who don't know King World News is a radio program run by Eric King, covers metals, resource stocks and issues and is a favoured place on the dial for all the tinfoilhat brigade, too. So being a good little boy I did just what MP told me to do and here's that chart.

Interesting, no? Those two previous big jumps exactly coincide with Lassonde's appearances on the King World Pump show. And so today, August 4th, Lassonde again appears on the Eric King show and yup, OLV.v is up 18.64% on 3X volumes. Are these facts perchance related, Pierre?

Oh, and then there's this, from the latest Management Information Circular for Olivut (OLV.v)
Pierre Lassonde holds an aggregate of 5,225,571 Common Shares and 269,286 Warrants, which represent a total of 5,494,857 or approximately 15.95% of all the issued and outstanding Common Shares, assuming the exercise of the Warrants.
Cue Owly:

Trading Post (no sleep til brooklyn edition)


Minera Andes (MAI.to) up 6.5% at $0.82. We took a pretty detailed look at the production figures and expected earnings for MAI at its 49% owned San José mine in IKN64, two Sundays ago. This move from 75 to 82 isn't coming as a surprise to this fundies dude. DYODD.

Nadagold (NG) up 3.2% at U$6.45. Today's NR has Rick! doing some oh-so-clever stuff with $5.1m of his shares to avoid paying tax and for "estate planning purposes". Regular reader 'M' just wrote in on the subject and put it well; "...planning for his estate? The (expletive deleted) couldn't plan an operating mine."

Antares Minerals (ANM.v) up 2.6% at $2.75. The news from Xstrata yesterday was greeted with good cheer at ANM, but the stock hardly rocketed as the concept of Las Bambas going ahead had already been largely discounted by the market. Well screw the market, cos in the real world the news is a significant piece of the puzzle locked in place and a definite positive.

Dia Bras (DIB.v) up 2.3% at $0.22 and a bit of volume, which makes a change cos this stock has had a quiet week or two. DIB had more news on its Cusi project this morning and it looks fairly promising for next year, this one. DIB is a small stock that's got serious about life since the late 08 showdown, got its act together and got professional in its way of operation. The downside is the heavy share count, but there are much worse 20c shoot-da-moons out there. Fundamentally strong company nowadays.

Ecuador and mining

Here's an excerpt from last Sunday's weekly.

Ecuador: President Correa makes strong pro-mining noises

On Saturday in his regular address to the nation, President Correa took time out to make some pretty strong pro-mining comments. Basing his comments around the recently completed census of mining in the country that identified some 9,750 people as full-time miners and 1,800 (mostly informal) small mining operations, Correa said that his government plans to quintuple the number of people directly employed in mining and made specific reference to five large-scale mining projects that, once developed, would employ a total of 30,000 people. Also, as usual when speaking in favour of mining he made it clear that mining at any cost would not be allowed in the country and the strictest standards of environmental protection would always apply. Here are two Correa quotes found in this report (11) on yesterday’s discourse and translated by your author:

“Yes to mining, yes to petroleum, but with environmental and social responsibility. Promoting a responsible and ethical mining industry, this is the key......all human activity transforms the world, but if it is done with environmental responsibility these changes can be reverted by 95%.”

“If a mining plan has too much environmental impact and little revenue (for the State) it will be rejected, but it’s absurd to oppose exploration when the new mining law sends 60% of tax revenues collected from mining to communities around the projects.”

There’s nothing particularly new in Correa’s words of this weekend, but they are the first explicit pro-mining sounds he’s made for some time and come at a moment when environmentalists have tried to up the volume of opposition to the extractive industries in Ecuador but haven’t, so far at least, enjoyed much popular success with the message. Correa, a person who follows opinion polls and public opinion very carefully, wouldn’t have suddenly decided to speak out in favour of mining without carefully checking for overall popularity of the message first and must be confident he enjoys the support of the majority (or at least doesn’t suffer outright rejection) on the subject of mining.

So what's your favourite corrupt Peru narcostate story at the moment, Otto?

Good question. There are so many to choose from, you see.

It could be the one about Luis Valdez, the cocaine capo from the Ucayali region of Amazonian Peru who was shamefully found not guilty of murdering an investigative journalist earlier this year and today left prison to be held under house arrest at his luxurious Lima pad. He's still charged with several other crimes, but when a rich dude gets to leave prison before any trial takes place the writing in on the wall in any Banana Republic.

It could be the latest twist in the long-running story of the biggest narco family in Peru, the Sanchez-Paredes family. They've just won another round in the courts to stop them ever getting arrested or going to trial. This family is up to its eyeballs in the white powder, but thanks to their large bank balances and APRA party buddies they just keep rolling along. The best reaction to last week's ruling that froze the case against them in very dubious circumstances came from Peru's main anti-drugs prosecutor who said, "There are judges (in Peru) who are in cahoots with illegal activity and with organized crime", which gets a big "No Shit Sherlock" from IKN.

No, the winner of best cocaine corruption story goes to this one cos we even get a video included. Underneath find the moving pictures, but first comes a direct translation of the report. Enjoy.

Shameful: Judge Frees Narcotrafficker and then Goes to Drink Beer With Him

Both were filmed in a bar in the town of Chachapoyas together with two police officers and the head of prison security, where the sentence for illegal trafficking of drugs was dropped.

Judge Edgar Víctor Gómez Quispe and the man he had just freed from a sentence for illegal drug trafficking, Teófilo Portocarrero Fernández, were found at a bar in Chachapoyas at the same table and with four bottles of beer.

Last July 16th at midday, the judge of the court of Penal liquidation in the province of Rodríguez de Mendoza of the High Court of Justice in the Amazonas (region of Peru) freed the drug runner on conditional bail. But four hours later, both were spotted by personnel from the Office of Control of the Magistrature (OCMA) drinking beer in a bar.

Also there were two police officers and the head of security at the prison where Portocarrero's sentence had been overturned, according to the news program "24 Hours".

"It's a great disappointment for us to be faced by a situation of this nature, with a magistrate that does not have the qualities of integrity required. It cannot be right for a judge to drink alcoholic beverages with a prisoner", said Enrique Mendoz, head of OCMA, who suspended judge Gómez and has begun an investigation into this grave error.



¡VIVA INVESTMENT GRADE!

Today's snippet of advice on reading mining NRs


This one is simple. Whenever you read a mining NR from a company that claims to have the "...POTENTIAL FOR X MILLION OUNCES/LBS..." at their project, especially if you find that phrase in a headline, then just run away. Cross that company off your list forever. Forget it, not just now but for always. Your humble scribe was reminded of this just a few minutes ago, as this NR plopped into the inbox about developments at an outfit called Gowest (GWA.v):

Gowest Drills 10m of 6.5 g/t Gold While Demonstrating Potential for in Excess of 1 Million Ounces at Its Frankfield East Gold Deposit in Timmins, Ontario

So this time, do yourself a favour and read the NR. When you get to the bit that talks about this amazing potential, the sentence is marked with a double-asterix. Check right dooooooown there at the bottom and.....
"All quantities and grades of this material are conceptual in nature and it is uncertain if further exploration will result in the targets eventually being delineated as a mineral resource."
These people have no right in putting a number on a deposit that's conceptual in nature, especially in a NR headline. They might as well put 10m oz....or 100,000 oz....or the potential for green cheese....or (and most likely) the potential to keep feeding the local moose population for the next 50 years. It's a scam and GWA.v is an example of the rip-off merchants you just have to stay clear of in the bullshit wildwest criminal show that is Canadian mining.

Chart of the day is.....

...the US Dollar index (USD), monthly candles.

My, look at that recent strength in the first six months of 2010 they were all talking about.....in context

8/3/10

Peru's two-faced environmental policy

This was Amazon jungle; it's now a environmental nightmare thanks to the
blind eyes turned on informal and illegal mining by Peru's government

Hey, remember back in April when Peru's newspaper of record, El Comercio, started a big debate over the environmental wasteland being caused by informal gold miners in the Madre De Dios (MDD) region of southern Peru? Well if you don't here's a link to the April piece, here's a link to a whole photo gallery of images from the craphole being made in the middle of the Amazon rain forest that was published by El Comercio. From there you can get Googling and check out the reactions in Spanish and in English media if you care enough.

So for a while, April 2010 to be precise, this most awful of governments in Peru decided to care about MDD. Peru's Environmental Puppet Minister Antonio Brack said he was "extremely worried", calls for new controls were made, licences to operate would be revoked and tightened up and the world would get greener and cleaner, right?

Wrong. As soon as the world's eyes were bored of the subject the Peru government did precisely nothing else, giving the green light to "business as usual" at MDD. Here are the official monthly production figures for the MDD area, January 2009 to date, as supplied by the Ministry of Energy and Mining (MEM):

Yep for one puny month the government clamped down, but as soon as backs were turned, production went back to the same as it ever was. And to give you an idea of what this dirty, filthy gold represents here's a chart that shows the monthly percentage of MDD compared to Peru's total production.
It's 10% of Peru's gold production, basically. In 2009 alone, MDD gold added up to 5.68 million ounces officially (it's well-understood that more is produced and gets swallowed by the black market) and by using monthly spot prices for 2009 and comparing to 2009 GDP, it's also 0.42% of the country GDP. Generated by filth.

This is the way of the Banana Republic; pay lip service, pretend you care, then go for the money. Peru, the most wonderful of countries, dragged down by its abysmal leaders once again.

Do you own Antares Minerals (ANM.v) yet?

The IKN Weekly subscribers do and they've been in the stock since $1.42. Here's a strong positive for the stock today, from Haquira neighbours Xstrata:

SYDNEY, Aug 03, 2010 (Dow Jones Commodities News via Comtex) --

Xstrata PLC (XTA.LN) has given the go-ahead for the development of the Las Bambas copper mine in Peru, with production expected from the second quarter of 2014.

The mine is tipped to produce 400,000 metric tons a year of copper in concentrate, alongside "significant" quantities of gold, silver and molybdenum, the company said in a statement.

Initial project spending would total US$4.2 billion, with construction expected to start in the third quarter of 2011 if regulatory approvals are granted, the company said.

Xstrata tips the mine's life at 18 years.

Charlie Sartain, Xstrata Copper chief executive, said the approval "reflects our confidence in Peru's longstanding fiscal and legal stability and is an important milestone in our strategy to progressively increase total annual copper production by 50% to almost 1.5 million tons by the end of 2014."

Everybody on the chorus!

Mining PRs and the Ottotrans™, Part 22


Today we have East Asia Minerals (EAS.v) at its NR out today. Well, better said just one section of the NR as it is seems to be directly related to the questions we asked last Friday about this company that followed on from a Northern Miner report.

This is what they said:

On the corporate front, East Asia Minerals directs interested readers to its website (www.EAminerals.com) where it has added a discussion of the overall positive nature of Indonesia, and in particular Aceh Province, for investment. This discussion is under the Indonesian section and located at Projects / Indonesia / Overview.

In commenting on the investment climate in Indonesia, Michael Hawkins, President and CEO of East Asia Minerals, states that "Indonesia is possibly one of few countries in the world where conditions for mining investment are arguably improving, rather than deteriorating. Whilst as discussed on the website Indonesia is not without challenges, the Company notes that overlapping laws and regulations are not unique to Indonesia. Every project in the world is confronted by a broad range of potential challenges such as environmental, Indigenous peoples, competing land use (such as agriculture), social, NGOs, etc., and the Company notes that there have been potential mines in supposedly low-risk jurisdictions such as Canada that have not gone forward because of "local" resistance. It is more important to note that Indonesia is mining friendly, with a process and a path forward in place for exploration and mine development. Additionally the Company believes it is very important to engage proactively, in a confidential and sensitive way, all potential stakeholders in the areas where it works. In these matters, and with a strong Indonesian experience base, the Board of Directors and Senior Management are confident that the Company is progressing well."


And this is what is means:

That hatchet job by Northern Miner was a one-sided piece of market-scaring bullshit and a pretty disgraceful example of what passes for journalism these days from a publication that used to be known as "The Bible" in mining circles but has gone way downhill since then.

Chart of the day is...

...copper (Cu), lead (Pb) and Zinc (Zn) on a five year chart.

Now that's what I call an intersting chart. Ponder it for a while and you might get to thinking that zinc might just be the "Doctor", the one with the PhD. Copper just comes off with the look of a metal in denial and thrown around by the hedgies.

Zinc's been recovering recently, too.

ECU Silver (ECU.to) about to run a financing, methinks

With today's production results from ECU Silver (ECU.to) looking like this......

....there's even a chance that this dog might even put in a net profit for the quarter (which shows just how profitable gold and silver really are). Here's a guesstimate:

So why is the call for a financing in the works likely? Well, consider first the bullshit pumpers about to crow on these quarterly results, including the bully Holt, the other GATA dumbasses and Mexico "oh no not in anyone's pocket at all" Mike. And then consider the current working cap position (again, guesstimated for 2q10):

Yeah, it's dilution time in sheepsville.

8/2/10

Troy Resources and a new company presentation


With the Oz 'Diggers and Dealers' mining show version 2010 starting today, several mining companies are getting their promo acts together, one of which being our old friend Troy Resources (TRY.to) (TRY.ax). On this link find the company's website and then click through the link on the top right of the page to download your copy of the shiny new presentation (it's 3.9Mb, so give it the few seconds it deserves).

Gold, best choice for Colombian narcomoney laundering

You invested in junior mining in Antioquia, Colombia? You may be surprised to find
out exactly what kind of business activity you're sponsoring...


Colombia's 'El Tiempo' magazine got access to the sworn statements that ex-leader of the Colombian far-right wing paramilitary Salvatore Mancuso (now safely under arrest in the USA) made to a judge in one of his hearings last week, and it sure makes for interesting reading. Here we go with a translation of the first part of the El Tiempo report:

Before a Federal court in Washington, the extradited paramilitary chief Salvatore Mancuso has revealed how the narcotrafficking business launders its cash via the sale of hundreds of ounces of gold that go through the Colombian Republican Bank without ever being suspected.

As he explained in several different audiences that began in January 2009, the metal is bought in Panama and a group of mafia money launderer bring it into Colombia to melt it down and then hand it over, in portions, to a group of local mayors and public officials.

These then take the gold to the bank, report it as locally produced and earn millionaire sums in state royalties.

Mancuso said that some money launderers keep up to 70% of the royalties that the government pays and the rest is stolen by the mayors.

He has already given the names of the municipalities that are involved in this business and in which the AUC (his paramilitary group) received the juicest profits: Ayapel, Buenavista, Montelibano, Planeta Rica (Córdoba) and others, located in the rich Bajo Cauca of Antioquia state.

Just two of these towns (Buenavista and Planeta Rica) received more than COP2700 million (U$1.46m) in royalties in the period during which Mancuso admits having been involved in the deals between launderers and town mayors.

This laundering technique was not known the the US authorities. Because of this, this week the US government sent its director of the Office of Control of Foreign Activities (OFAC) Adam Szubin to Colombia to look for ways that will establish amongst the local authorities what percentage of the 1.57m ounces of gold that Colombia produces might come from this fictitious mining.

CONTINUES HERE

Chart of the day is....

...zinc spot.

Time to think zinc? Ninety-one United States cents looks an interesting price level on recent evidence.

Now, if only I could think of a beaten down and way undervalued junior with a really strong looking advanced stage zinc project it was looking to move to production in the very near future and all backed up by an international big player in the world of metals......

This week's freebie

Here's the free giveaway for this week. All you do is click through and sign on and it's yours for free, no catches or anything. Easy stuff and surely useful for you biztypes. Enjoy.

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The State Of Customer Experience, 2010

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