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8/21/10

21st century Peru

So how are textbooks for schools devised and written in Peru? It's a pretty simple process, really. Firstly the Ministry of Education along with the government office in charge runs a licitation process, setting out the guidelines of what it wants to be included and then tendering for experts and professionals who are then contracted to write the textbook. The book gets written, the publishers print it and before you know it the words are carried around in backpacks and satchels of schoolchildren up and down the country who then learn, in the way set out by their government and written by the chosen experts, what their country wants them to learn.

In other words, a fairly standard process. But when the outline of what the government wants taught to schoolchildren is influenced by the über-orthodox Catholics of Opus Dei, a group that wields much power in the country, then strange things start happening. Take for example the very recent licitation to write the "Methodological Guide for Teachers and Autodidactic Modules for the Elaboration of Sexual Education and Sexual and Reproductive Health for Students in Alternative Basic Education". For this textbook, the government tendered for one psychologist, a doctor specialized in sexual matters and an educational sociologist. So far so normal, but amongst the subjects, according to the government at least, the textbook needed to clearly explain to Peru's youth that;

"...homosexuality, transvestitism, voyeurism, masturbation and prostitution are deviations of sexual expresivity and behaviour".

When this hit the media and the guy in charge of the whole licitation process was interrogated, we were told that "there seems to have been a mistake made" and that "he had no idea who had written this outline".


How these people must hate the press and their so-called 'human rights', eh?

Cyanide spillage news, Panama edition (go on, guess which company?)

Yes, it's Petaquilla Minerals (PTQ.to). Here's the translation of this report in Panama's La Estrella newspaper.

COCLÉ: A presumed spillage of waters containing cyanide from one of the separation tanks at the Molejón gold mine, in the Donoso district (of Panama) run by the Petaquilla Gold company has been reported by its workforce and by Toribio Valdés, ex-representative of the San José del General administrative district.

According to Valdés, the employees said that, between 5pm and 6pm on the afternoon of last Thursday (Aug 12th) the dangerous chemical was spilled and entered into the Molejón river, feeding into the San Juan de Turbe river. Faced with this situation, the workers were evacuated from the Molejón camp number 5, he said.

Valdés said that previously the level of cyanide contaminated waters had spilled over from the tank limits, but on this occasion the containment walls did not resist the overspill and collapsed.

He added that the the construction of the containment walls are of poor quality and there is no "cutting edge technology" as the company claims. "We ask that the governmental institutions investigate, because the company always says these denouncements are false", said Valdés.

The other version

On the other hand, a source involved with the mining company's activities who was present at the mine until 3pm yesterday, said that everything was under control and there had not been any spillage.

He said that due to the intense rainfall on the Atlantic coast, the tanks used in the extraction process saw raised levels, but for precautionary measures the company has brought forward the construction of an emergency run-off pond that will probably be ready for use tomorrow Sunday 22nd. "Production was stopped and the risk is under control," said the source.

He also said that Richard Fifer, President of Petaquilla Gold, and other directors were on site to supervise the work.

Meanwhile, Edy Rosas, secretary general of the Industrial Union for Mining Companies of Panama (Sitraemio) said that the union was in constant communication with the company to ensure that all labour safety laws for mine workers were applied.

Carlos Salazar, spokesperson for Petaquilla Gold, told La Estrella that no rupture of the tanks had occurred, nor that there had been and spillage.

He said that the rumours of possible problems at the mine always rise during the rainy season and attributed the diffusion of these rumour to people that see inexistant dangers in any situation that, in the mining sector, are common and usual.

ANAM to investigate

Authorities of the regional office of ANAM (gov't environmental bureau) in Coclé said that they were willing to investigate, along with the public ombudsman, whether there had or not been a spillage.

A room with a view (part 18) summer vacs edition

Reader 'J' at Bellevue, Washington State, USA. We'll be back at normal 'from window' shots that don't involve vacations....unless you send in yours. That's a threat. By the way I hear my mother likes this series, so I'm keen to get more corners of the earth featured.

8/20/10

The Friday OT: Daft Punk; Harder, better, faster, stronger

Oh my word. Oh my wordy word.



Live version from 2007 that blows the original away. Do not hit play until your speakers are at 11. Monstrously enormous slice of awesomeness. Please note that you won't experience what this track can do for you until you have the bass set at 'rattle windows'.

Trading Post (uneven supply edition)


Petaquilla Minerals (PTQ.to) down 10% at $0.45 on this news, volumes above average. I get asked about why this-or-that stock looks so darned cheap when the project holds X million ounces of gold (CPN.to at RDM) or Y billion pounds of copper (BAJ.to at Boleo) and all it needs is to finalize its debt financing deal. And as soon as the debt deal is completed it's gonna fly. And shouldn't we buy now? Well folks, although vastly more scummy that the decent guys at CPN.to, yesterday's news out of PTQ is a case in point. With the deal struck PTQ has sold itself to the financiers and have left nothing for the retail shareholders. This company now exists for 1) the bankers and 2) the people whose salaries it will pay. When it comes to debt financing, the devil is always in the details.

East Asia Minerals (EAS.v) down 0.7% at $5.91 but up loads of very lots on the week. somebody tell Northern Miner.

Commerce Resources (CCE.v) up 5.3% at $0.40 on 8X CCE had news out late last night on its REE deposit up there in Frostyland which looks all pretty and stuff. Now I don't know much about REEs and the NR just registered when it hit, but I received a superb rant from an IKN reader that really, really knows about REEs who just trashed the contents of the NR (and its messengers) from here to Timbuktu...and back. It's tempting to paste the rant up here but the contents, even from the hand of an utterly trustworthy source, are too fruity even for this humble scribe's taste without some personal DD done first. I am unsurprised to note that Commerce Resources sponsors Mexico Mike's website.

B2Gold (BTO.to) UNCH at $1.90. BTo has had a pretty good week, shaking off the missed earnings reported Friday last and trading as high as $1.97 yesterday. Subscribers know why I've been watching this price carefully.

Fronteer Gold (FRG) up 1.0% at U$7.32. Another stock that's enjoyed a strong week and ignored the broad market weakness these last two days. This is good.

TheNewCrystallex (EC.v): Well that didn't take long, did it?

Group one are scum

Group two think they're clever, but in reality are fools for wasting their time on this ridiculous company.

Group three are suckers.

KY Jelly served. The end.

Due to yet another power blackout....

...that you guys up there will never get to hear about because it's not in Venezuela, IKN has been sparsely posted this morning.

For your further entertainment, here's a cute cartoon bunny rabbit. Normal service will be blah blah etc etc


Chart of the day is.....

....how Latin American countries fared in the recent Newsweek "World's Best Countries" list.


Regarding LatAm, it's a total non-shock to find the regional country that most looks and feels like a gringo state (i.e. the most boring) comes out number top (the lower your score, the better).

The world's best country is Finland, apparently. Yeah, right.

8/19/10

What Colombia's President Santos says about the WarOnDrugs™

Inspired by an excellent post over at Drug Law Reform:

A letter addressed to the SecGen of the UN in 1998 that was co-signed by now President of Colombia Juan Manuel Santos made several points about the so-called war on drugs (that has continued along the same policy lines until today). The letter ends in this way:

“Persisting in our current policies will only result in more drug abuse, more empowerment of drug markets and criminals, and more disease and suffering. Too often those who call for open debate, rigorous analysis of current policies, and serious consideration of alternatives are accused of "surrendering." But the true surrender is when fear and inertia combine to shut off debate, suppress critical analysis, and dismiss all alternatives to current policies. Mr. Secretary General, we appeal to you to initiate a truly open and honest dialogue regarding the future of global drug control policies - one in which fear, prejudice and punitive prohibitions yield to common sense, science, public health and human rights."

President Santos was right to sign that letter. Here we are 12 years later with more drug abuse, more disease, more suffering and vastly more empowered narcos. Now that he's made it to the Presidency of the world's biggest producer of cocaine, it's time to start walking the walk, Juanma.

AuEx Ventures (XAU.to) and Fronteer Gold (FRG) (FRG.to), the Long Canyon buddies


Here's the year-to-date chart of AuEx Ventures (XAU.to) (dark blue line) versus Fronteer Gold (FRG) (FRG.to) (yellow line) in 2010 to date. If you thought that the ongoing success at the very promising Long Canyon gold project in Nevada would offer up better price leverage to the smaller XAU than FRG.....well, you'd have been wrong.

PS: Thanks to a timely headsup from the wonderful Gary Biiwii back in 2009, this author owns FRG. It's also been a recommended buy at The IKN Weekly since week one and we're now over 200% up on that position. We owned and reco'd XAU.to as well, but sold the position late May for a more modest but still pleasing 35% win. just sayin'.

When the US presence in Colombia is an undisputable force for good


Fair is fair. The US policy in Colombia comes in for criticism on these pages, so let's check ut what the USS Iwo Jima (click to enlarge that very purdy photo taken of the ship yesterday, it gets very big and purdier) has been doing off the coast of Colombia recently. Here's an excerpt from this report (translated).

Since its arrival (in Colombia) on August 9th, the doctors have attended 4,054 and performed 32 operations, dental check-ups and optical testings amongst other duties, said the ship's captain Thomas Negus.

And all those operations were free of charge to the patients. Now, the fact that Cuban doctors also do this type of free operations all over the continent (hundreds of thousands of people happily served over the years) does not take one iota away from the job the 400 or so medical staff and volunteers on the Iwo Jima (125 doctors I hear, a high percentage) are doing.

The Iwo Jima finished its tour of the Colombian coast yesterday and is due to arrive at its next stop to help people, Costa Rica, tomorrow. Good job, guys.

To make more sense of Peru's GDP growth....

....compare to 2008, not 2009.

Chart of the day is....

....a little flow diagram to show how the people who believe themselves undisgraceful operate in the mining community.


Oh, by the way, I think you should avoid this Otto chappie that Mexico Mike Kachanovsky talks about in this missive dated yesterday...seems like a rum chap to me. CHEERS!



xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Joined: 08 Apr 2004
Posts: 7566
Location: Milton, Ontario
New postPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 11:17 pm Post subject:
Reply with quote

I have an obvious personal stake in this discussion since I am in the midst of a very public pissing contest with this Otto. I have no intention of reading his blog and I am not overly impressed with the calibre of his commentary. There are many scams and scumbags active in the markets, and I do not take issue with the concept that this kind of thing should be exposed. I am quick to rant about people I consider scumbags in the political arena. Fair enough.

Where I draw the line is that Otto seems to have a perverse and vulgar hostility to transactions that are NOT sleazy or unusual, and a very narrow view on whom the bad guys are. He may point out some fact about one company and imply they are unique and disreputable, when in fact the vast majority of companies follow the same practice. One example that comes to mind is the issuance of insider stock options. I do not know of too many juniors that do not have the full available suite of stock options granted. Yet he will indict one company for this as if they are somehow a scam.

Lets also recall that Otto does not allow other opinions or corrections to his rants. He is frequently wrong the information he presents, and I did not see any retractions of this. It is not a shame to be wrong about anything, but to ignore the facts when you have been corrected is a sign that maybe he is not as objective or knowlegdeable as some may give him credit.

I think the guy is a vulgar and obnoxious idiot. I do not retract my statement about him being a disgrace to the mining community. Some have interpreted that to mean the analyst community. Wrong. The mining community is all mining companies, analysts, and investors. It is perfectly reasonable to embark on an ethical and thorough housecleaning to expose some of the crooked behaviour among some participants. When you cross the line to slander and insult other honorable people, what have you accomplished? For one that seems to denounce others so frequently on the concept of bias, I think this Otto is extremely biased, and this has led to some very irrational commentary that is unacceptable. The man is a disgrace.

cheers!
mike

8/18/10

IKN welcomes the ECU Silver (ECU.to) supporter's club

Ah, what a pleasure to return to the interwebnetpipes this evening after an afternoon non-interwebnetpipes and find that the ECU Silver (ECU.to) fan club, Mexico Mike's loyal band of freakshows that fill up bullboards with non-stop Pavlovian responses, has decided to take issue with this humble scribe's more realistic view on the stock and send over mails and comments and stuff. Favourite (without swear words) so far is from someone that goes by the name of "dickin" (as in 'about', presumably) who works in a Canadian real estate company. It goes like this:
Uh..Great.You. Dont. Know. Mining.

All makes sense now. There is more than just a balance sheet that decides valuations in the industry. Stick to your numbers and stay away from mining; your opinions are influencing your intellect.

Uff, that'll learn me.

Now I've tried Dickin, but I really can't work out what "your opinions are influencing your intellect" actually means, care to enlighten? Anyway, while I'm pondering your riddle here's a 12 month chart for you and your fuzzy pals to chew over (hint: look at the blue line)

(click to enlarge)

And here's another: Same comparative set, but this time a two year timescale (hint: same blue line, people)
(click to enlarge)

70% down in two years? Oh dear. Keep ignoring those balance sheets, y'all!

Salazar (SRL.v) Finances


Shocked, ah wuz shocked ah say! Just a day after Salazar Resources (SRL.v) announced some sparkling drill numbers (that headline hole is around U$1,030 per tonne metal value at today's prices), the Can of Corn gets its pound of flesh:

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Aug. 18, 2010) - Salazar Resources Ltd. ("Salazar") (TSX VENTURE:SRL - News; FRANKFURT:CCG - News) is pleased to announce a brokered private placement (the "Brokered Offering") with Canaccord Genuity Corp. ("Canaccord" or the "Agent") of 2,730,000 Units (the "Units") priced at $1.10 per Unit. Each Unit will consist of one common share and one-half of one common share purchase warrant (a "Warrant"). Each whole warrant will entitle the holder to subscribe for one additional common share (a "Warrant Share") for a period of two years from the date of closing at a price of $ 1.50 in the first year and $1.75 in the second year. Salazar will also be undertaking a non-brokered financing of 1,818,200 units on the same terms as the Brokered Offering.

As consideration for acting as Agent, Canaccord will be paid a cash and Agent's warrant ("Agent's Warrants") commission based on yada yada continues here
And thus a $10 bet is won, as this humble scribe wagered a friend this morning (who will remain nameless to save further embarrassment) that SRL would run a financing before the week was out. Smart guy that Fredy Salazar.

So it goes.

The moral character of those that ran the pre-Evo Bolivia


Juan Pereda Asbun is an ex-dictator and de facto leader of Bolivia. He was President of the country twice after first running a coup d'etat and then coming to power again in a fixed election. On Tuesday he was arrested after trying to get young boys and girls to climb aboard his car and then showing off his genitals to them. When arrested he tested positive for cocaine and cocaine-laced cigarettes were also found in his car.

We congratulate the leaders of the democratic North for having supported the region's military and political elite for decades.

Colombia/USA military base court ruling: A good analysis at Just the Facts

This article from Just the Facts is a recommended analysis of yesterday's Colombian Constitutional court's decision to call the US/Colombia military base agreement unconstitutional. Here's one paragraph of many excerpted as a taster:
"Politically, the court’s decision is a blow to both governments because it gives the impression – deserved or no – that the Obama and Uribe administrations sought to do something that violated Colombia’s Constitution. Operationally, however, the defense accord’s suspension will not affect the U.S. presence in Colombia. Not a single U.S. soldier or contractor will have to leave Colombia or alter what he is doing as a result of the Constitutional Court’s decision."

Click through for the rest, as there's plenty more insight.

Gold American Mining (SILA.ob) is a scam


No fewer than five readers have recently sent in a big RED LETTERED pump advert into IKN nerve centre, published by a certain John Myers and promoting Gold American Mining (SILA.ob) as the next big thing.

Now, let's be clear that even though the advert in question is highly promtional regarding the stock, it's written in that oh-so-clever way to make sure it's not illegal. I therefore cannot say out loud that it's a criminal scam because John Myers' lawyers and other crudballs will be able to file suit for defamation and suchlike. So with that clear, let's make it clear that

  • John Myers is a zero-morals scumball who is trying to steal your money by legal means. The world would be a better place without him and his mother should be ashamed of what she bred.
  • The whole charade is designed to separate the innocent and/or stupid from their money.

There are so many scamsters and scumballs popping up these days that it's hard to keep track. Remember the basic rule: Red letters = Avoid like the plague.

PS: Another basic rule: A junior mining company's website welcomes you with shots of the Stars and Stripes = avoid like the plague.

UPDATE: Awww Gawd, do we have to go through this every time? Firstly, by way of disclosure I don't have any sort of position in SILA.ob and to the best of my knowledge, nobody I know has a position, either. And if they did, I'd tell them they were stupid.. The advice with this stock is the same as with all the other BS scam plays out there, e.g. EC.v, DRI.v, CMIN.ob, ECU.to and the list goes on and on. Here's the advice, written in block caps so that you can't miss it:

DO NOT GO LONG THIS STOCK. DO NOT GO SHORT THIS STOCK. DO NOT GO NEAR THIS STOCK. JUST AVOID IT.

WALK AWAY AND CONCENTRATE YOUR EFFORTS ON COMPANIES THAT WILL GIVE YOU A FAIR CHANCE OF MAKING A PROFIT. GET RICH QUICK SCHEMES DO NOT WORK UNLESS YOU ARE THE PIECE OF SHIT ACTUALLY BEHIND THE SCHEME SUCH AS JOHN MYERS HERE. AVOID SILA.OB AND ALL PROMO PUMP JOBS OF THE SAME STYLE FOREVER. IF YOU DO YOU HAVE A CHANCE OF BEING A SUCCESSFUL INVESTOR, BUT IF YOU DON'T YOU'RE DOOMED TO FAILURE FOR THE REST OF YOUR INVESTMENT LIFE.


Twobreakfasts sez Mecha isn't going

So after Reuters told the world that Mercedes Araoz was leaving as FinMin Thursday (with Reuters being tipped by at least three high-ranking gov't souces, appraently), President Twobreakfasts comes out and says that's not true...but then again if you look at exactly what he said, there was room left for manoeuver.

All very strange, so the best solution until the true truth emerges is.......MORE MUSIC!

Chart of the day is...

...LME copper warehouse inventories, five year chart.

Now over 150,000mt down from that Feb 2010 peak. Here's a Chili Peppers cover (that rocks):

8/17/10

Colombia/USA military base agreement declared unconstitutional

Well riddle me ree, it's turned out just the way we posted back last Wednesday August 11th (remember where you heard it first dudettes and dudes). Here's AFP with the spiel:

US-Colombia base deal unconstitutional: court

BOGOTA — Colombia's constitutional court declared a US-Colombian accord that gave the US military access to at least seven Colombian bases to be unconstitutional.

The court ordered the government to submit the agreement to the Colombian Congress, arguing that it should be executed in the form of an international treaty that would be subject to congressional approval in order to comply with constitutional norms. CONTINUES HERE


And just a couple of minutes ago the Colombian government issued a statement saying it would abide by the court's ruling. So today gives your humble scribe a chance to repeat that little picture and caption from the follow-up post of last Thursday....cos it makes me chortle in that cynicalchortle way:


Now is it just me, or perhaps it's just lucky typesetting, but do you think all them there boats, planes and armed soldiers are pointing in the same direction out of sheer coincidence too?

Reuters Peru says Peru's FinMin Mercedes Araoz is to be replaced this week

Here's the link. Here's how the note starts:

By Patricia Velez and Terry Wade

LIMA (Reuters) - Peru's Finance Minister Mercedes Araoz will be replaced in a cabinet shuffle this week, three sources in the ruling party and close to the government said on Tuesday.

One of the sources said Ismael Benavides, who once led one of Peru's largest banks, will be the new finance minister and that a swearing in ceremony was slated for Thursday.

"It's going to be Thursday at 3 p.m. (2000 GMT)," the source said.

"We know that Mercedes Araoz will leave no matter what," said another source.

Benavides, who also previously served as agriculture minister under President Alan Garcia, declined to comment.


Click through for the rest. Nice scoop, guys.

News roundup (we lick the rocks others fear to lick)


Setty got the background on how journalists get hired freelance-style to do corporate dirty work in LatAm. Today's best read.

Aguachile (a new reco on the list, great takes on Mexico issues) has the story of how Mexico is slapping trade embargoes on the USA, having been miffed once too often by its Northern neighbour's idea of "free trade". Go see.

Paraguay's Lugo has cancer, which is not good at all. He completed one of his chemotherapy sessions last weekend (he goes over to SP Braz for those) and has five more to do. Word from this report is that he's going to take all sessions on weekends to stop interference with his job as little as possible....which after all is nothingless than running a country.

Structurally Maladjusted has disappeared. Nearly a month with nothing posted...what gives, guys?

And then there's this, which is really difficult to put into words, except to say that those offended by bodily functions should not click through. I....errrr...."thank" the person who gave me the headsup on this....errr....unusual pictorial diary.

Joyous News! Mexico Mike likes ECU Silver (ECU.to)!


Here's the link and here are some of Mexico Mike's words regarding ECU Silver (ECU.to).


Despite this improved operating strength, the stock has sold off steadily and now the shares represent a greater bargain that at any other time in the history of the company. Never before has there been so much value in terms of resources and infrastructure to back up each dollar of market value. And the ability of the company to continue funding its operations and exploration is now much stronger once this new mill is commissioned and the dore is being poured. I like the combination of increased value and lower risk, in the context of what is still a vibrant and healthy secular bull market for precious metals. I wish I had more money to step up and buy the hell out of this stock but I am happy to just add a few cheap shares here and will be looking forward to the future.

cheers!

MexicoMike

Oh...wait a moment....that was written in February 2009. Oops, silly me!

Meanwhile, does the fact that since those words were written ECU.to has added another 65 million shares to its outstanding count and recorded a total of $13.67m in net losses mean that Mikey might have been reading the stock wrong? YOU BE THE JUDGE!

NB: Mexico Mike's website, which is definitely not a disgrace to the mining community oh no no no, is proudly sponsored by ECU Silver (ECU.to).

Peru's cement dispatches

With the headlines of GDP growth in Peru catching eyes (compared to a crappy month in 2009 it looks stellar, but even taking the baseline into account it was a good figure posted) IKN thought it'd take a look at a set of stats that's usually more reliable than the manipulated headline BS, that of cement dispatches in Peru.

Cement is a useful baseline to gauge activity, especially construction activity (duh) because it's usually consumed nationally (negligible exports from Peru), it has a limited lifespan as a product (not so much hoarding) and it also takes plenty people to move it around and do things with it (especially in a largely non-mechanized country such as Peru where you often see cement and sand being mixed by hand and shovel to make the concrete for somebody's house). So here's the annual chart:

Our prediction for 2010 may turn out to be slightly on the low side, in fact, but even if we out by a few thousand metric tonnes either side, the tendency is crystal clear. Peru is building things and alot of it is because people have access to loans and credit facilities, often for the very first time. Because owing nothing to anybody is soooo old fashioned and being in hock for your adult life is progress. Right?

Yeah well, maybe a bit too snarky. Peru is showing strong construction growth and that's a good thing overall, that we can say.

Chart of the day is.....

....wheat, daily candles. It also provides useful guidelines for future trades by explaining a connection between the markets and journalism

When a second-line, online only media source makes a big fuss of a markets related story, for example Global Post on August 16th....

Russia: Fires scorch wheat crop

Loss of 25 percent of Russian wheat crop worries international grain markets.

.....you can bet your hide that the issue has already been factored in by the market:

Ham on ryes served. The end.

8/16/10

In which IKN explains some very basic economics to the West coast Canadian newspaper, The Vancouver Sun (this week's coveted award)

IKN apologizes for using the very same chart twice in one day, but needs must. Here's the chart used in this post early this morning which lays out the trade balance between Colombia and Venezuela.

The reason for the reiteration is this article published today in The Vancouver Sun. The note, written by one Johnathan Manthorpe, doesn't really say much one way or the other. It's a flimsy and non-insightful report that talks in very general terms about Colombia, its recent change at the top and last week's meet between newboy Santos and some dude named Hugo Chávez who you might have heard of before.

Manthorpe's text here isn't great, but it's the dumbass title stuck on the note that gets the Coveted Award. Just to make sure the wider readership is aware, it's not normal to see the journalist write the title of any given article. That honour is usually left to a sub-editor that handles the report and it's here where the Coveted Award gets won. The title given to Manthorpe's report is:

"Colombia's economic prospects attract even its enemies"

So now, dumbass squared sub-ed, I'm addressing you. I'm also going to do this in a very simple style so that even your underemployed neurons might catch on. Are you ready?

1) Look at that chart above.

2) You see the title? It says "Colombian Trade Surplus with Venezuela".

3) That means that every year, Colombia has a trade surplus with Venezuela.

4) That means that Colombia sells more to Venezuela every year than the other way around.

5) For example, in 2008 Colombia sold U$5,000m (thereabouts) more to Venezuela than Venezuela sold to Colombia

6) Are you with me so far, dumbass?

7) That means that Colombia has more to lose than Venezuela if trade is stopped between the two countries.

8) Which is exactly what's been happening this year. The trade surplus has dropped hard, with the first six months of 2010 only showing around $700m in favour of Colombia. A big annualized drop.

9) That's because Chávez got pissed with Uribe and blocked a lot of trade.

10) Still with me, dumbass?

11) So when Chávez went to meet Santos last week, take a wild, flying guess as to who was far more interested in getting trade moving between the two countries?

Look, we all know that you guys up there hate Chávez and think that colour TVs must be hard to come by in the Socialist hellhole known as Venezuela, but, dumbass sub-ed, your moronic title is wrong by a factor of very very lots. If anything it should read "Venezuela's economic prospects attract even its enemies" because Chávezlandia is one hell of a big market for Colombian goods and services. And rightly or wrongly, on a macroeconomic level Chávez's trade embargoes on Colombian products this year have hurt Colombia far more than they have his home country.

So, anonymous sub-ed of The Vancouver Sun, you win this week's coveted award. You have the audacity to handle articles in the paper's biz section without having the most basic of clues about the subject? Well here's what you get as a reward. Enjoy.


Trading Post (manic Monday edition)


B2Gold (BTO.to) up 9.1% at $1.91 and if it moves like this on a missed quarter, what would it do if it ever got its act together? Traded volume at 1.3m now, a touch above average.

Antares (ANM.v) up 6.5% at $3.27, You know it's true.

Oceanagold (OGC.to) up 3.9% at $2.90. The subject of yesterday's featured fundy report is rebounding after a few days of fading, thanks to the move up in gold.

Gold-Ore (GOZ.to) UNCH at $0.53. Friday's news from GOZ has weighed slightly on this stock, at least in the shorter term.

TheNewCrystallex (EC.v) up 25% at $0.175. You gringos never cease to make me laugh. Two NRs from EC today, both hilarious, deceptive and made for suckers. Of all the guff, that YES/NO table 2/3rds the way down the Zarza duster release was the top guffaw generator. It was kinda, "Yeah well....we got exactly the same as FDN on our patch....errrr...except for....err tiny little detail.....errrr....no gold." So just climb on board and get a taste of the EC experience firsthand, greenhorns.

ECU Silver (ECU.to) UNCH at $0.63. After its horrid quarter just reported I thought this would trade lower today, but here i am mistaken again. It must be that Mexico Mike guy adding more to his already über-underwater position. Oh sorry, let's re-phrase that. It must be that Mexico Mike guy taking full advantage of these wonderful prices and averaging down, thusly upholding his totally non-disgraceful reputation amongst the mining community.

Antares Minerals (ANM.v): We've tried our hardest to help you

After all, it was first reco'd by The IKN Weekly back on December 6th 2009, when at $1.42. We were banging on the table and telling people that all the ducks were in line on Feb 21st 2010, the stock at $1.70.

Then we even made a point of getting you to look at the beginning of this month, with this August 3rd post highlighting the strong newsflow announced. The stock was at $2.68 then.

Here we are, just two weeks later and 18.7% higher at $3.18. Not to mention the 123.3% gain since the pick was first revealed to subscribers. Don't say we haven't tried to make you money, dear reader....

So anyway, next Sunday's IKN Weekly is returning to ANM as we run a fundamentals report on the stock, see how things have developed recently and make adjustments to our price target.

Too-Too-Tooting over, please be having nice day.

Now why on earth would Prez Santos of Colombia want to be friends with Chávez all of a sudden?

I mean it's the darndest thing.......... Whatever could it be about?

Oh! Wait a minute!!


And then there's this (translated):


August 14th

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos revealed that during his meeting with his Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chávez, they agreed to advance the creation of a law that allows free trade between the two countries

Later in the note Santos is quoted::
"Personally, as I said so to President Hugo Chávez, recovering this market has a special value... (it is) a market that will always be very important to us."

No shit Sherlock...

First Majestic (FR.to) puts in a good quarter


Here's the link to the 2q10 financials and here's a little list:

  • Revenues at $28.96m, up from the $18.22m in 1q10
  • Net income $8.9m (the company passes Rule One*)
  • 1.539m oz Ag produced (129k more than in 1q10)
  • The positive changes mainly due to the new La Encantada plant that went commercial on the first day of the quarter. The circuit is running pretty well, apparently.
  • Average realized price for silver, U$18.58/oz
  • Total cash costs at U$8.20/oz
  • EPS 10c/share
  • That EPS implies a fwd PE of 10.5X approx...not a knockdown bargain, but reasonable

With 92.95m shares out and a close on Friday of $4.22, that puts market cap at $392.4m. And that's somewhere between fair and fairly cheap. I don't own FR.to but the company is likeable, both for the numbers released today and for the good way it treats its workforce, the locals around its plants and the environment (as mentioned previously on IKN). DYODD.

Chart of the day is....

....gold, 60 minute candle.

Because waking up to headlines such as "Stocks set to slip on global growth fears" is so much easier when you're long the stuff. The MSM can laugh all they want, cos when the music stops chances are that the person writing those goldbug mockery notes will be in net debt. Me no.

Wonderful, must see, eyepopping, brainmoving (choose own superlatives and continue)

RickB at Ten Percent found it. This is so very, very impressive.



Note: If you can't see the pop-up screen, go visit the Ten Percent page.

Want to know more about the hoards of metal held by those Chinese pig farmers? This will open your eyes to that and to so much more. Here's the blurb, also stolen from the wonderfullnesseration that is 10%

MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPES is a feature length documentary on the world and work of renowned artist Edward Burtynsky. Burtynsky makes large-scale photographs of ‘manufactured landscapes’ – quarries, recycling yards, factories, mines, dams. He photographs civilization’s materials and debris, but in a way people describe as “stunning” or “beautiful,” and so raises all kinds of questions about ethics and aesthetics without trying to easily answer them.

The film follows Burtynsky to China as he travels the country photographing the evidence and effects of that country’s massive industrial revolution. Sites such as the Three Gorges Dam, which is bigger by 50% than any other dam in the world and displaced over a million people, factory floors over a kilometre long, and the breathtaking scale of Shanghai’s urban renewal are subjects for his lens and our motion picture camera.

Shot in Super-16mm film, Manufactured Landscapes extends the narrative streams of Burtynsky’s photographs, allowing us to meditate on our profound impact on the planet and witness both the epicentres of industrial endeavour and the dumping grounds of its waste. What makes the photographs so powerful is his refusal in them to be didactic. We are all implicated here, they tell us: there are no easy answers. The film continues this approach of presenting complexity, without trying to reach simplistic judgements or reductive resolutions. In the process, it tries to shift our consciousness about the world and the way we live in it.

8/15/10

It's funny what you find when you actually start looking around the interwebnetpipes

For example this, an interview done on The Gold Report dated March 17th and featuring an interview with "Mexico Mike" Kachanovsky. In it we get his pumps for the following companies amongst others:

  • Paramount Gold and Silver (PZG.to) (PZG)
  • Avino Silver Mines (ASM.v)
  • Commerce Resources (CCE.v)
  • Eastmain Resources (ER.to)
  • Bandera Gold (BGL.v)

But then if you read the smallprint of the report you get to see this:
DISCLOSURE:

3) Mike Kachanovsky:............... I personally and/or my family are paid by the following companies: Paramount Gold and Silver, Avino Silver Mines, Commerce Resources, Eastmain Resources and Bandera Gold are all paid advertisers on a website that I own and manage.
All part of being a good corporate citizen and not getting labelled a disgrace to the mining community, isn't that right Mikey?

The IKN Weekly, out now


IKN67 has just been sent out to subscribers. It contains a fundamental report on Oceanagold (OGC.to) (OGC.ax), a look at B2Gold's (BTO.to) second quarter filed Friday evening and views on plenty other stocks we follow, too.