Subscribe via email, get all daily posts sent to you next day (and without all the annoying ads)

10/30/10

Brazil's second round Presidential vote

Tomorrow, October 31st, Brazil votes in the run-off for the its new President. Here's how South America's biggest circulation newspaper, Folha de S. Paulo, has tracked the voter intention polls this month.

In other words, Dilma Rousseff is as close to a lock as you get possibly get in this crazy game. Her 49% of voter intention translates to 56% of valid votes for tomorrow (once spoiled ballots etc are subtracted), while José Serra is at 44% of valid votes.

La Familia Del Barrio Halloween: An advanced level Spanish class

To give you an idea, your humble scribe has lived and worked in Spanish speaking countries for something like 16 years, but it took concentration, checking on a couple of Mexican slang words and two passes before I got this nailed down. 


Pretty funny, too.

10/29/10

subscribe
Try Microsoft Office 2010
Register for Your Complimentary Trial NOW!

"Try Microsoft Office 2010"
Learn how Microsoft Office 2010 offers flexible and powerful new ways to deliver your best work—at the office, at home, or at school.
Create standout reports and presentations with tools that help you capture your ideas more creatively. Stay connected to your projects, even when you're away from your computer, with access to Office files via Web browser or Windows phone. Work efficiently with others by sharing, editing, and reviewing files at the same time—even across geographies and time zones.

With Office 2010, you're in control, getting things done and producing amazing results however and wherever you work best.
Geographic Eligibility: USA
Offered Free by: Microsoft Corporation
Other Resources from: Microsoft Corporation

The Friday OT: Talking Heads; Life During Wartime

Reader 'Chad' has proven excellent musical taste and sent in this suggestion for The Friday OT. As soon as your humble scribe clicked through it was "ooooh yeaaah".


'Stop Making Sense', the 1983 film directed by Johnathan Demme of Talking Heads in concert, set new standards for the recording of live shows (and arguably it's still top of the whole pile, even after all these years). This track nails group, set design, director and the flabbergastingly good David Byrne in full flight  and in sync. Thanks Chad, I adored revisiting this clip and hope IKN readers do, too.

UPDATE: Answering a mail here, yes the movie was released in 1984. The concert was recorded in 1983. Best to keep these things straight.

Canada's toothless regulators

Yes you, OSC
Yes you, BCSC
Yes you, ASC

David Baines does his normal wonderful job of work in this report, entitled "Where have all the regulatory lions gone?" looking at the toothless regulatory bodies that are supposed to keep the Canadian mining scamsters in check but, as ever, are found to come up woefully short. Please read the whole article because every word counts, but here at IKN we'll just extract the last line of Baines' report because it resounds on so many levels. The "lions" he refers to are the regulatory boards and its staff. In Texan English, it would translate as 'All hat no cattle'.

"My goodness, where have all the lions gone? Underneath the roar, there really isn't much bite."

DYODD, dude.

Antares (ANM.v) Q&A

A reader writes (excerpted):

"....with ANM rising and now over $7, is this growing market expectation of a counterbid."

Answer: No. It's more about being attached to 'good paper'. Here's the chart showing First Quantum (FM.to) versus Antares (ANM.v) since the takeover was announced.


Not saying a counterbid is impossible, however. We'll have a little more on the ANM situation Sunday in IKN78, subbers. DYODD, dude.

Bayfield (BYV.v) does the Casey Shuffle

We've already noted how in late August and early September Casey Research pumped Bayfield Ventures (BYV.v) first to its "A list" of higher paying subscribers and then to its Proles List of normal paying subbers and while doing that, even had the gall to say to the high-paying list that they'd be reco'ing the stock to the other-bigger list in a few days time (and if that isn't blatant frontrunning I'd like to know what is, ladies and gentlemen of the BCSC/OSC).

But what we haven't tracked is the share price action in the stock since then, so here's the chart.

Oh look! Bayfield Ventures has slumped back to the low 80's already! What a shocker!

On the back of what looked and was promo'd as some good, mine-making slamdunk type holes, BYV zoomed into the stratosphere in early September. Then, amazingly, two things happened:

1) BYV.v ran a $5m bought deal placement at $1.40 per flow-through share (note: FT shares can be priced slightly higher thanks to tax break rules in Canada). My stars, wasn't that timed well!

2) The insiders decided it was a great time to start selling! Yes, amazingly enough the NRs that came out in machine-gun fashion in September was über bullish and the pumped-up bullshit coming from Casey&Co was all about "slam dunk takeovers" and such, but when push came to shove the people that REALLY know the significance of those early holes, i.e. the company CEO and the company exploration manager, were quick to want to bail out. Here's what insiders of BYV.v have done since the Casey-plus-drillhole hype hit the screens.

Jim Pettit Chairman & CEO
1655899 2010-06-14 2010-06-16 Direct Ownership :  51 - Exercise of options +177,000 0.1200   277,000
1703457 2010-09-07 2010-09-17 Direct Ownership :  10 - Acquisition or disposition in the public market -20,000 1.1000 257,000
1703458 2010-09-08 2010-09-17 Direct Ownership :  10 - Acquisition or disposition in the public market -20,000 1.2100 237,000
1703459 2010-09-08 2010-09-17 Direct Ownership :  54 - Exercise of warrants +40,000 0.3000   277,000
1703460 2010-09-09 2010-09-17 Direct Ownership :  10 - Acquisition or disposition in the public market -30,000 1.1000 247,000
1703461 2010-09-10 2010-09-17 Direct Ownership :  10 - Acquisition or disposition in the public market -20,000 1.1800 227,000
1703462 2010-09-10 2010-09-17 Direct Ownership :  51 - Exercise of options +75,000 0.1200   302,000
1703466 2010-09-13 2010-09-17 Direct Ownership :  10 - Acquisition or disposition in the public market -15,000 1.3000 287,000
1703471 2010-09-15 2010-09-17 Direct Ownership :  10 - Acquisition or disposition in the public market -8,000 1.1400  279,000
1707288 2010-09-21 2010-09-24 Direct Ownership :  51 - Exercise of options +104,900 0.1200   383,900
1707291 2010-09-21 2010-09-24 Direct Ownership :  51 - Exercise of options +15,401 0.1250   399,301
1707293 2010-09-21 2010-09-24 Direct Ownership :  51 - Exercise of options +13,000 0.2300   412,301
1719620 2010-10-12 2010-10-15 Direct Ownership :  11 - Acquisition or disposition carried out privately -10,000 1.0300 402,301

123,000 sold for $141,720
Warrants cost $12,000 to exercise
Options cost = $26,503 to make whole
Pre-tax cash profit:  $103,217
Change in full shares position since August: +300,000



Robert Marvin, Exploration Manager
1713344 2010-09-29 2010-10-05 Direct Ownership :  51 - Exercise of options +100,000 0.4300   100,000
1713347 2010-09-29 2010-10-07 Direct Ownership :  10 - Acquisition or disposition in the public market -45,000 1.0500   55,000
1725305 2010-10-21 2010-10-27 Direct Ownership :  10 - Acquisition or disposition in the public market -55,000 0.9650   0
1725306 2010-10-26 2010-10-27 Direct Ownership :  10 - Acquisition or disposition in the public market +25,000 0.8000   25,000

$43,000 to exercise
Sales $100,325
Buyback cost $20,000
Pre-tax cash profit:  $37,325

Nancy Ackerfeldt, Corp Sec
1699675 2010-09-07 2010-09-10 Direct Ownership :  51 - Exercise of options +45,000 0.1200   100,000
1699678 2010-09-07 2010-09-10 Direct Ownership :  10 - Acquisition or disposition in the public market -10,000 1.1600   90,000

Exercise cost $5,400
Sales $11,600
Pre-tax cash profit:  $6,200

Donald Huston, President
1703415 2010-09-14 2010-09-17 Direct Ownership :  51 - Exercise of options +75,000 0.1200   217,500
1703417 2010-09-14 2010-09-17 Direct Ownership :  51 - Exercise of options +15,500 0.1200   233,000
1703419 2010-09-14 2010-09-17 Direct Ownership :  51 - Exercise of options +44,000 0.1200   277,000
1703421 2010-09-14 2010-09-17 Direct Ownership :  51 - Exercise of options +20,000 0.1200   297,000
1703424 2010-09-14 2010-09-17 Direct Ownership :  51 - Exercise of options +25,000 0.1200   322,000
1703425 2010-09-14 2010-09-17 Direct Ownership :  51 - Exercise of options +15,000 0.1250   337,000
1703429 2010-09-14 2010-09-17 Direct Ownership :  51 - Exercise of options +13,000 0.2300   350,000
1703432 2010-09-14 2010-09-17 Direct Ownership :  10 - Acquisition or disposition in the public market -30,000 1.2700 320,000
1707155 2010-09-17 2010-09-24 Direct Ownership :  10 - Acquisition or disposition in the public market -20,000 1.2100 300,000

Options exercise cost $23,355
Sales brought in $62,300
Pre-tax cash profit:  $38,945
Change in full shares position since August: +157,500

Donald Myers, Director
1699690 2010-09-08 2010-09-10 Direct Ownership :  51 - Exercise of options +118,000 0.1200   168,731
1699692 2010-09-08 2010-09-10 Direct Ownership :  10 - Acquisition or disposition in the public market -35,000 1.1770 133,731
1699695 2010-09-09 2010-09-10 Direct Ownership :  10 - Acquisition or disposition in the public market -37,500 1.0833   96,231
1699696 2010-09-10 2010-09-10 Direct Ownership :  10 - Acquisition or disposition in the public market -7,500 1.1600   88,731

Options exercise $14.600
Sales  $90,518
Pre-tax cash profit:  $75,918

 3) The price slumps back post-bullshit hype closing yesterday at 82c, which is (for example) 32.3% lower than the point where company CEO Pettit sold 20,000 of his shares during his serial selling spree. Funny dat too, innit?

Again, if it were just one seller you'd be inclined to give benefit to doubt. But five insiders, all selling the same time on the same hyped-up pump from the scamsters at Casey Research, brought in especially to create the necessary liquidity? Gimme a break here, willyaz?

CNN's coverage of the Ecuador attempted coup causes the resignation of CNN's reporter in Ecuador

Rodolfo Muñoz

Amazingly, you haven't been fed this story up there in the homogenized, filtered world of EngLang news, have you? It turns out that the CNN journalist on site at the September 30th attempted coup in Ecuador has resigned from the company due to the way in which that news channel reported his story.

Here follows a full translation of this Spanish language report on the resignation of Rodolfo Muñoz (it has to be translated, because there aren't any EngLang reporters in LatAm that think this newsworthy... strange that innit?). IKN thanks the legwork of reader 'MR' on the translation, which is a good one. Read on and find out that even the people reporting what happened on September 30th in Quito, Ecuador disagree with the editorial line of the TV channels that tried to make out it was some sort of non-event. Or in other words: Yes, you're being lied to. Get used to it.


CNN's Version on the Ecuador Coup Provokes Resignation of its Reporter 

The Ecuadoran journalist stated that he decided to resign from CNN that very Sept. 30 because the US TV channel’s viewpoint on the circumstances that day in his country differed from what he observed as he covered the events which pointed to the fact that a coup d’etat was taking place. Muñoz also noted that there is evidence that killing President Rafael Correa was a goal.

The former CNN correspondent in Ecuador, Rodolfo Muñoz, explained on Tuesday that his resignation from the US news channel was due to the viewpoint that it had on the attempted coup d’etat in his country, which differed from what he observed as he covered the events.


"That same night on Sept. 30 I determined that it was no longer in my interest to continue doing that sort of work, a distinct slant from what was happening in my country; in the end I found that the option was gone, the conflicting viewpoints is what changed without a doubt and that’s where it ended,” the reporter said to the press in his country about his resignation from CNN, after covering the attempted coup d’etat in Ecuador.
In a press release that Muñoz put out on Tuesday announcing his decision,the journalist affirmed that the role of a reporter is that of mediator and not that of agent or protagonist in the events.

"Throughout my career, I learned and taught that the reporter’s role in any news event, be it simple or complex, is only that of mediator, not that of agent or protagonist. I learned that we mediators cannot await newsworthy outcomes according to our own particular desires, preferences, phobias and prejudices.
He added that the information that communicators transmit, in particular that to audiences in other countries, must allow for the possibility of two different views of the events.
"I always knew that all information, especially if it is directed to a foreign audience, one that does not know the particularities of a country other than their own, should be shown at the very least from two distinct perspectives ", he expressed in the statement.

They Wanted to Kill Correa


During an interview given to teleSUR on Tuesday, the Ecuadoran journalist reiterated that there is proof that they intended to kill President Correa during the putsch on Sept. 30.
''A ton of ‘broadsheets’ showed up on the internet (...) above all a version which circulated worried me (...)  some in the media were stating that nothing had happened (...) there is proof that they wanted to kill the president'', he asserted.

A group of police seized by force last Sept. 30 the First Regiment in Quito in protest, supposedly, against the refusal to veto the Public Service Act which proposes eliminating bonuses and promotions that are paid out in yearly salaries.

Ecuador’s president, Rafael Correa, was in the insurgency’s focal point to attempt dialogue, but was obliged to withdraw on account of the violent actions which were taking place in the area.

In the face of this, Correa denounced the fact that the violent police protests occurring in Quito formed part of an attempt at a coup d’etat which had been in preparation for months on the part of the opposition and had called on the police force that serves the country to revolt.

During the coup attempt, the Ecuadoran president remained for 12 hours held involuntarily in the police hospital where later he was rescued in a joint operation of the military and units from the Special Operations Group of the police.
After the attempt, some recordings from the central police radio dispatch revealed that rebelling agents were inciting the killing of the leader and were affirming that they would not allow him to leave the hospital, where he had sought safety after being attacked, as long as he refused to repeal the law.

After the events, the Ecuadoran leader in various occasions has declared that they tried to assassinate him during the putsch to overthrow him.
"We were able to make it to the emergency in an armoured car. When we set out in the car and we began to leave, a shower of bullets hit the President’s car, seeking to kill the President", Correa stated to teleSUR about the moment in which he was rescued from the health center.


Chart of the day is....

...silver, daily candles.

A very impressive run, a check-back consolidation and now it's looking healthy for another move. Under his well-documented cynical exterior, your humble scribe enjoys being and feeling bullish just as much as the next guy, y'knowz.

10/28/10

Is today the day to buy shares in ECU Silver (ECU.to)?

It's October 28th, feast day of Saint Jude of Thaddeus. For those not totally au fait with the Roman Catholic sainthood canon, here's a quick extract from the man's Wiki page:

"In the Roman Catholic Church he is the patron saint of desperate cases and lost causes."

Would somebody please inform Mexico Mike that today's the day to pump ECU.to? What with the church on his side, what could possibly go wrong?


Amen.


10,000 photos to choose from

IKN chooses this one.


The scenes at the Casa Rosada and the Plaza de Mayo today are deeply moving. The fallout from the death of Kirchner is set aside for another day.

UPDATE: Y las palabras de Calamaro (if you don't know what "calamaro" refers to, don't bother to click through. If you do, they're unmissable)



YAY! Bina wins!

A hearty shout-out and rapturous applause in order for site friend Bina over at News of the Restless, who yesterday won 'Best Feminist Blog' category in the Canadian Blog Awards. You utterly deserve it Bina, go shriek some more in style....IKN only messes with the best, y'knowz. :-)

YAY BINA YAY WINNAH WINNAH CHIKKIN DINNAH YAY


Kirchner fallout

Highly recommended is Joshua Frens-String's roundup of reactions to the death of Nestor Kirchner yesterday, found on this link. JFS has done a good job of digesting news and opinion on the event from all sides of the political and economic spectrum (and includes the transcript of the famed Kirchner/Krugman debate back in 2004, which is to be especially applauded).

Click here for the JFS note. A whole world of reaction in just a few lines.

To add my own little dos centavitos, right now I'd make Cristina a red hot favourite for re-election next year, assuming she wants the job (I respectfully suggest that she is allowed to mourn first, as even politicos are human beings). Reason? Nobody does death like the Argentines.


Mining For A Heart of Gold

Are you a mining dudette or dude? Live in Toronto or thereabouts? Do you care about other people? Do you want a great night out with fun and frolics guaranteed?
x
If you've just answered "YES" to those four questions make space in your diary on

THURSDAY NOVEMBER 4TH 2010

Because that's the date for the annual Mining for a Heart of Gold gala event. THIS IS AN UNMISSABLE EVENING so don't even think about this. CLICK THIS LINK NOW, read the page, get in contact with the organizers and reserve your tickets right now. 

Really, what else could you ask for? You get a great night out, you get to help people less fortunate than yourself, you show the whole wide world that the Canadian mining industry is out there as a force for good and human causes. Click here to read the MFAHOG page. Buy your ticket. Donate a bit of spare cash if you like (non-obligatory, I might add). Here's a little blurb from the website front page to give you an idea:

"Every year Mining For A Heart of Gold invites Canada's most influential mining and junior resource stakeholders to play a leadership role in celebrating and supporting an outstanding charity. Some of the biggest names and companies in the mining and resource industry have helped Mining For a Heart of Gold raise more than $40,000.00 per event and improve the lives of millions of Canadians. 
"This year's gala event at the Strathcona Hotel in Toronto celebrates the Jean Tweed Centre, a leading community-based substance abuse and problem gambling agency for women in Ontario. The evening kicks off at 4 p.m. and features critically-acclaimed bands such as Candice Chantrell and Canteen Knockout.
On the night of the event, Thursday, November 4th, corporate and private donors receive high-profile recognition, media coverage and inclusion in all collateral materials. Donors also receive year-round brand promotion on the Mining For A Heart of Gold website.
"The mining and resource industry has always had a heart of gold. On November 4th, join us and hundreds of your industry's top stakeholders as we drill down and offer a hand up to the courageous, heart-of-gold women staying at the Jean Tweed Centre"
When: Thursday, November 4th, 2010
Doors open at 4:00 p.m. (until last call!)
Where: Strathcona Hotel, Main lobby and Ante Rooms
65 York Street, Toronto
Major intersection: Wellington and York
After Party: Strathcona Pub (hotel's lower level)
65 York Street, Toronto
Major intersection: Wellington and York

Ollanta Humala, JP Morgan and a report

Want to know what Ollanta Humala of Peru's Nationalist Party plans for the country if elected President next year? Here's a copy of a JP Morgan publication that reports on JPM's meeting with Ollanta late last week. I hear this report is causing a bit of a stir in certain Peru circles, by the way. so much so that certain members of Peru's academia have been trying to make out that it's a false report on a meeting that never happened. Well dudes, you're wrong. The report is real, the meeting occurred and make sure you wipe that huevo from your cara before leaving the house this morning. Enjoy.

Peru: Key takeaways from a meeting with presidential candidate Ollanta Humala

Ollanta Humala tried to clear some of the anti-market perceptions that investors had about his political project dating back to the 2006 elections.? Today we met with Ollanta Humala, one of Peru's leading candidates for the April 2011 presidential race, during his visit to New York to speak to the investor community at an event organized by the Peruvian-American Association. His key message was that Peru's high growth needs to be better balanced with social development, which is still lagging despite the country's improved macroeconomic indicators, adding that securing "social peace" would enhance growth prospects and reduce operational costs for the private sector. He also tried to clarify his stance on the treatment of foreign investment, his willingness to respect private property, and his proximity with other Latin American presidents, all of which had raised concern among investors about his true policy intentions during the 2006 presidential campaign.

Overall, while details of specific policy proposals were generally lacking, many investors took his remarks as suggesting a low probability of a sharp policy U-turn or a shift to economic populism in Peru. Humala made general remarks about his intention to pursue conservative economic policies; to limit the fiscal deficit to no more than 2% of GDP; to maintain central bank independence and its inflation target of 2%; to keep a level of international reserves equivalent to at least 18 months of imports; further promote the development of the domestic capital market in PEN to reduce the dollarization index from 55% to 40%; facilitate the access of SMEs to capital markets using guarantees under discussion with the World Bank and IADB; and seek to increase FDI from US$7-9 billion to US$11-12 billion over the next five years. He also stressed the need to reduce Peru's huge infrastructure deficit estimated at US$35 billion, particularly in the highlands and jungle areas, which along with the improved provision of education and healthcare could help Peru increase manufacturing of goods with higher value added and reduce its reliance on commodity extraction and exports. When asked about the issue of FX appreciation, he said that he did not believe in capital controls because they had already been tried in Peru in the 1980s and they had led to too many distortions. Instead, he would advocate measures to reduce production costs of exporters.

Some of the lingering questions among investors were related to how the proposed increase in government spending would be financed and the tax treatment of mining companies. Humala stressed the need to increase the share of government spending in the economy, which currently stands below 16% of GDP, in order to improve the presence of the state across the whole country, improve the quantity and quality of public services, and develop the infrastructure--in public-private partnerships whenever possible. However, beyond efforts to reduce tax evasion, it was not clear how his government would manage to increase spending without increasing the fiscal deficit. When asked whether he would increase taxes on mining companies, he said that he would honor existing contracts but would seek to discuss new terms for new investments. He also stressed that he would not pursue nationalizations, but would seek to induce companies operating in primary sectors--particularly oil and gas--to link extraction with more value added activities like petrochemicals, so that Peru could export energy instead of just the raw materials. What follows are Humala's key remarks.

Introductory comments:
Humala reminded investors that he won the first round of the 2006 presidential election and that eventually he lost the second round to current President Garcia by only two percentage points.

Despite the published early opinion polls showing him in fourth place (behind Lima's mayor Castañeda, Congresswoman Keiko Fujimori, and ex-president Toledo), he is confident about his prospects for the April 2011 election. He noted that he only formed his political movement (Nationalist Party of Peru) in 2005, so his success in 2006 came despite not having an established party with wide political and economic backing. This time around, he feels his political party is more consolidated and should be more of an asset. Humala made the analogy of Peru as a store where sales were increasing but the infrastructure was insufficient to achieve higher economies of scale. At the nationwide level, he sees a US$35billion infrastructure gap. His proposal is to address this gap with public-private partnerships.


On Peru's structural vulnerabilities:

Humala and his team cited Peru's still poor statistics on extreme poverty, lack of basic services, and poor record on education, despite the very high growth over the past decade.

He mentioned that the would promote a goal of 6%-of-GDP spending in education, and noted that the problem is not the resources budgeted for this purpose as much as poor execution in spending. Separately, he commented that Peru remains overly depended on commodity extraction and commodity prices and as such, too exposed to Chinese demand for commodities (as the marginal price driver). This relates back to the infrastructure demands and the need to promote more sustainable and domestically oriented development.

On the role of the state:
The goal is to reduce Peru's dependence on commodity extraction and international commodity prices, and to increase the value added of domestic production. He wants to foster an educational revolution, especially for the most needy. The state needs to extend its reach across the country not just the coast. The other candidates have discussed reducing the size of the state and increasing its efficiency. His proposal, on the other hand, is for the state to be the primary driver of development, with the market playing an important but not a dominant role.

The state needs to be the actor promoting equilibrium between the economy, society and politics--these things should not be left to the whims of the market. Peru's private investors pay the price for social conflict, which comes when the state does not adequately play its role as mediator. They intend to reduce social conflict by promoting direct dialogue with social groups.

On preserving macroeconomic stability, they advocated:
  • Maintaining BCRP's independence
  • No capital controls
  • Limiting the fiscal deficit to 1-2% of GDP
  • Deepening local capital markets in PEN
  • Commitment to low inflation Honoring and servicing the public debt

Regarding energy sector, tourism, FDI and free trade: 
Overall, they identify needs/opportunities for US$80-100 billion of FDI in the coming years; they expect US$25 billion of FDI in the mining sector alone in the next 5 years. They concede they would study windfall taxes in the commodity sectors, looking at the experiences of Chile and Australia.

In general, they think the laws regarding commodity extraction are "too liberal" and they would review them in order to give increased prioritization to national benefits over export revenues. In the north, they see development of heavy crude oil production that could in 3-4 years double output to around 300kbd, which would make Peru self-sufficient.

Regarding natural gas, Peru can more than double output to 20 TCF over eight years, but the priority would not be to export it all, but rather to produce electricity and petrochemical products. They hope to export cement to Bolivia and Chile.

Tourism has great growth potential; they hope to increase employment in this sector from 800K to 1.5 million people by developing both the traditional Inca-related tourism of the south as well as further developing beach areas in the north. US$4-5 billion is needed to develop tourism.

Promoting investment in all of these areas is consistent with their overall program, since growth will increase tax collection and allow more and better investment in social development. Regarding how they will finance public investment and infrastructure, they see PEN84 billion of possible increased revenues from curbing tax evasion, which they will try to go after (though they concede some of this is very hard to actually collect). Humala initially opposed FTA with the US because they didn't know the intention of the agreement. They think that FTA is a misnomer, since trade is not free but conditional. They think the FTA agreement only benefits the formal sector; they would like to better protect those working in the informal sector that cannot compete by fostering their formalization, and also to defend local producers against improper trade actions like dumping.

Regarding the Chavez / Correa comparisons:
They would have anationalistic Peruvian government, not modeled on any other country's experiences. "We will look at Peru in the context of its own possibilities and problems." There is no ready-made remedy for Peru based on another country's policy mix.

Specifically, he doesn't support indefinite re-election or capital controls, and he supports an independent central bank--drawing a contrast with Venezuela. He firmly stated Peru would honor contracts and external debt, and rejected the notion he was ever an advocate of reneging on debt. He mentioned that external debt is no longer a problem for Peru, and cited the country's US$40 billion in international reserves.



Chart of the day is....

...copper, weekly candles.

Also to be read is Alonso Soto's coverage today of the wage talks at Collahauasi, a key mega copper mine in Chile (La Escondida is the biggest, but Collahuasi is perhaps the most important of the lot on a strategic basis). Soto fills you in on the very real chances that a supply crimp is in the pipeline.

10/27/10

Breaking: Nestor Kirchner is dead

Breaking news now. Ex Pres of Argentina and husband of Cristina, Nestor Kirchner has reportedly died this morning, aged 60.

Here's Argentina's La Nacion with the news. Cause of death is apparently a heart attack, which comes as little surprise as he was known for many years to have heart problems and had gone through several operations. My sincerest condolences go out to his family at this time.


Nestor Kirchner, born Feb 25th 1950, died October 27th 2010. QEPD.

UPDATE: No more posts today, as there are moments that demand quiet reflection, not constant noise. IKN returns tomorrow and leaves you with this.


UPDATE 2: Larry of Los 3 Chiflados writes an elegant eulogy.

x

News roundup (we take the left turn at Albuquerque that others should have taken)

If Bananama Republic is voted the best blog in the whole of The Americas this year it wouldn't come as a surprise. BR lifts the lid off more Panama scumball doings and happenings in this great post today, today's best read. You get to hear all sorts of rumours about shady dealings in places like Panama, but very few people have the cojones to directly confront the nasties behind the scams and shine a light in their direction. BR has cojones to spare. Go read.

We agree with Cam Hui over at Humble Student of the Markets as he closes his thoughtful and balanced post on the crisis-talk with this line: "Barring some other unforeseen catastrophe, the problems of the Financials do not have the potential to return the major market indices to their 2008-9 lows."

La Jornada of Mexico ran a very insightful interview with Ecuador's President Rafael Correa this week, go read it here. You get to find out Studmuffin's views on the attempted coup, hear about just how much danger he was in at the time (a lot), his thoughts on how CONAIE has sold out, the CIA backing of the coup, his support for Obama, all sort of things. Top interview.

Old School US/LatAm relations 101: US Citizen comes to LatAm, "discovers" some site that the local knew about already, steals all the ancient treasures and artifacts from the site, takes them back to his Alma Mater "on loan", authorities let nearly 100 years slip by and refuse to give the priceless treasures back to their rightful owners, because.....well, because.....errrr.....well, they're all small and dark down there, aren't they? IKN gets you up to date with Yale University versus Peru in the matter of Machu Picchu.

Transparency International

Thanks for all the mails and yes, I did see the Transparency International (TI) report on corruption out yesterday. Well, I saw the headlines more than anything else, because once you get over the soundbites (Chile less corrupt than the USA! Shockah! Lefty Countries Unliked! Shockah!) there wasn't much there, Americas-wise at least. Two reasons:

1) Comparing LatAm countries and saying this-one-is-less-corrupt-than-that-one is like comparing various bodily cancers and saying that breast cancer isn't so very bad cos its mortality rate is 60%, peanuts against lung cancer.

2) I lost any respect for TI as an overseeing body a couple of years ago when they repeatedly slammed Venezuela's PDVSA for not publishing its annual earnings and financials when in fact the company did (late, but they did). Once that was pointed out to TI, the body then insisted that this-or-that line item that's needed for full transparency was not included in the PDVSA financial reports, when in fact it was. The numbers in question were kinda buried, but they were there. It just showed TI for what it is; a biased, agenda-ridden organization that chooses its facts to fit the pre-conceived results and can't be bothered to do the kind of investigation that's needed for reliable stats work..

So thanks but no thanks, and IKN is not bothering with any chartmaking on the TI country numbers. I don't know what TI is like with its coverage of other world regions, but when it comes to The Americas they're lightweights.

Vena Resources (VEM.to) speaks (from IKN77)

One of the features in IKN77 last week was this  Vena Resources (VEM.to) note, mainly featuring the words of company CEO Juan Vegarra. We reprint here. Enjoy of your day thank you.

Vena Resources (VEM.to): The CEO’s take on recent developments
Since the news (12) of the recent resource number from its Macusani uranium project, Vena Resources (VEM.to) has seen a revaluation and re-rating by the market. This is a good thing of course, so your author decided to run a mail past Vena’s CEO Juan Vegarra and ask if he’d like to write a section for The IKN Weekly on happenings at the company. This he’s kindly done and what follows are his words with no further comment from your author. Enjoy.

Thanks Otto for allowing us to expand on the Macusani press release.   We are very excited to release our first numbers and most importantly we strongly believe there is significant upside to our continuous investment with Cameco.
Our October 14th press release highlights several key points but I want to reiterate what I believe is the core of the release besides the actual resource numbers:
Vena and Cameco’s drilling program has delineated a structural corridor paralleling the small, central gully striking northeast – southwest that is dominantly a higher grade, uniformly disseminated mineralization.  The zone is open to the southwest and there is a marked increase in grade in this direction which will be a major focus of the next drilling campaign.

The intensely disseminated style of uranium mineralization discovered in the Lower zone at Tantamaco greatly enhances the prospectivity of the Quenamari volcanics to host economic uranium deposits. Tantamaco will serve as a model in our search for the large deposits that may be completely hidden or have only minimal exposure at surface.

When you ask me where we are going with this, I asked David Bent, our Vice President of Exploration, to give me his early thinking (and I emphasize “early”) on the intent of the next drill program which should begin in December - depending on government approvals for drilling permits.  David indicated that the drill plan is primarily targeted at increasing the resources at Tantamaco by following the trend of higher grade, disseminated mineralization to the southwest of hole TA-079.   He also highlighted that there are 10 widely spaced holes at Isivilla to follow up on the intersections in IS-06 and IS-04 which could result in a new NI 43-101 resource.

In addition, there were 48 holes totalling 6,200 meters drilled at Nuevo Corani/ Amaritza during the 2006/08 period with mixed results. The mineralization was dominantly fractured - filling within the upper A horizon which is eroded off on both sides of the northeast – southwest trending ridge.  Although the size (and grade) potential appears to be limited, we are confident that a reportable resource could be drilled off fairly quickly.

And finally, from a more wildcat point of view, the Muñani sandstone-hosted mineralization could be very significant.  Outcrop is very sparse in the area underlain by the sandstone. Although grades are overall quite low (400 ppm range), a couple of the small mineralized outcrops are very impressive with fine grained autunite disseminated throughout the rock.  If we were to get a drill hit in the sandstones it could really develop into something large.

Obviously this is all early thinking but it gives you a sense of how excited we are of what we are seeing on the ground and what the potential may be not just in Tantamaco but in several of the other targets in Macusani and Muñani – which you have not heard us mention in a while.

It is clearly understood that we will need to look at the entire Macusani Plateau to justify a large milling operation, but if we are successful delineating somewhere north of 20 million pounds in reserves over the next few years, we are confident Peru will have its first Uranium mill constructed.  Is 20 million pounds in reserves possible?  That is Vena’s Uranium team main challenge without having to resort to any kind of M&A in the near term.

Readers should understand there are a number of challenges still ahead for the Company but the end goal is achievable, we have the technical team in place and great supporting partners allowing Vena to focus on four key areas for the next two years:

•    Azulcocha Region – increase and upgrade resources and construct scalable mill
•    Macusani Uranium Region – increase and upgrade resources leading to feasibility study
•    Esquilache Region – Expand geological understanding of entire caldera, complete an expanded drill program and publish NI 43-101 and support Gold Fields in Amantina.
•    Pucara – Complete underground development to confirm and expand silver/lead/gold resources and permit/construct scalable mill

Going forward, you can expect Vena to continue to monetize its non-core assets via outright sales as well as more joint ventures and perhaps a couple of strategic corporate moves.  We believe the expansive portfolio we accumulated during the first five years has enabled us to define which projects were the better targets to advance across several metals and districts in Peru - now we can focus on bringing a couple of our projects into cash flow which will enable us to fund additional exploration initiatives without diluting our shareholders much further.

Once again – thanks to you, to all IKN readers and to all Vena shareholders for supporting us while we survived the toughest recession we have faced in our lives.  Although there is tons of work ahead of us, we believe we are poised for a strong come back.

Chart of the day is....

..the gold/silver ratio.

56X suit you?

10/26/10

Susana Villarán


It took an embarrassing 23 days while the sore losing righty Lourdes Flores, backed up by outgoing mayor Luis Castañeda, President Twobreakfasts and all the darker powers of the Lima elite tried their hardest to stop the popular ballot box vote from being counted correctly by (supposedly neutral) ONPE voting office of Peru, but just a couple of minutes ago the sore loser Lourdes (still moaning in her speech today that her dirty tricks didn't work) conceded defeat and Lima has its new Mayor, Susana Villarán of centre-left Fuerza Social.

A good day for democracy. To know more about Susana, check out the interview IKN did with the new Mayor once upon a time.

A Flash update...

...was sent to subscribers about 15 minutes ago (at 9:30am local time an hour after the opening bell).

Latest Fortuna (FVI.to) coverage from the Can of Corn

Nicholas CampbellSoup over at the Can of Corn was on the recent Fortuna Silver (FVI.to) site visit to San José Mexico and yesterday (after the bell, I believe) published this updated report on the stock. What he saw must have impressed, because he's raised his target (quite right too) to $5.50. As well as giving good commentary on the development at the project there's also talk of the exploration potential there, but this humble corner of cyberspace found particular agreement with the Valuation section on page 7 and thinks CampbellSoup has nailed the call just right.

x

Tune of the day

We quote from The Mex Files' wonderprose:

"Lesbian tropi-punk-Kumbia from Argentina with Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Were Made For Walking” done as a punk version of Mexican ranchero, with a cameo appearance by Willie Nelson and we’re into the stratosphere of awesomeness."
Go see for yourself

For ten dollars a day, you too can be 'Middle Class'

A study by Banco Santander yesterday got the chattering classes chattering and the feed-da-beast media reporting, with this link to Peru21's coverage pretty typical of the fare on offer in many countries that came with this graphic.

Yup, it's in Spanish, so this table generated from the main stats explains what's going on in the tongue of Shakespeare and Walt Disney:

    % of "Middle Class" per country
Peru 57%
Colombia 61%
Brazil 64%
Mexico 68%
Argentina  71%
Uruguay 72%
Chile 77%
source: Banco Santander

In essence, the Santander study was to show what percentage of the LatAm countries in question can be put in the "middle class" earnings bracket, so looking down the list you have Peru at 57%, Chile at 77% etc etc. But on further reading of the actual report, you find that Santander call "middle class" anyone who earns U$10 or more per day.

Now...I'm good about U$10 per day as being a decent benchmark and gives us the like-for-like comparison of spending power across the region. That's fine, but calling a $10/day earner "middle class"? It does seem like a way low barrier, an opinion that comes to you direct from the continent in question and from the fingers of a person that knows just what you can (and cannot) do with a household income of U$300 or so per month. Satellite TV? Internet in your house? A car? An iPhone/Blackberry? Fancy restaurant a couple of times a month? Forget them all right now.

C-300

Alec Kodasky of CIBC World Markets published a good and thoughtful paper on the C-300 Mining Bill currently going through parliament in Canada. Click here to download and read it all, but here are the front page bullets to whet the appetite.

  • We believe a proposed private member's bill going to vote on October 27 is punitive to Canadian companies involved in the extractive industries of developing countries. While the principles are noble, the mechanism for administration is flawed with multiple inadequacies that are not workable.
  • We believe that if passed, Bill C-300 will have damaging effects to all stakeholders in the resources industry and Canadians as a whole. The impacts will be primarily financial but reputational risk is also high. Furthermore, there is little guarantee that claimants will be better off.
  • We view the bill as being based on the principles of improving human rights and environmental standards in developing nations. However, as currently contemplated, we do not believe the bill will accomplish its goals and may destroy what has already been achieved.
  • We believe ambiguous authority given to ministers to police out-of-country actions where laws, rules and regulations already are in place, is redundant. The extractive industry already follows principles of best practice that in many cases exceed the laws found in developing countries of the world.


Download here

Chart of the day is....

..zinc again (12 month version), cos at $1.16/lb and rising you gotta think zinc dude.

Gotta Think Zinc.

10/25/10

Carl is not Karl


"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."
Juliet, Romeo and Juliet, Act 2 Scene 2, ll1-2

Today, this humble corner of cyberspace received the following comment under this post dated June 25th 2009. In the interests of full disclosure and to assist Carl (with a 'C') Kottmeier in keeping his name correctly clean, we reprint his words today:
Carl Kottmeier said... 
In case anyone reading this blog thinks that this article is referring to me, Carl Kottmeier, who went to UBC (Mining Engineering 1989 + MBA 2003), it does not!!!! I am related to the person mentioned in the article (we are cousins) and I unfortunately bear the burden of having a very similar name. I am employed in the Canadian Mining industry and hope that the alleged actions of my cousin do not get mistakenly attributed to me.
In this way, IKN makes clear that Carl (with a 'C') Kottmeier is not the same person as Karl (with a 'K') Kottmeier, a man with a track record of dubious behaviour (as our posts on the dude explained at the time).

The thing I like most about Sebastián Piñera.....


...definitely isn't his political philosophy, it isn't all that saving 33 miners thing and it isn't his business acumen or large net wealth. Nah to all that, cos the thing I most like about President Sebastián Piñera of Chile is that he's a total freakin' dumbass when it comes to diplomacy. From DPA newswire today (translated):

The President of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, put his foot in it on the last day of his European tour by writing an incorrect comment in the visitor's book of Germany's Presidential Palace while meeting on Saturday with the German Head of State, Christian Wulff.


Piñera wrote "Deutschland über alles" on finishing his meeting in the Bellvue Palace in Berlin, the phrase that began the old German National Anthem, closely related with Nazism and carrying the meaning that the German race is superior to all others.


The current National Anthem does not have this line and what's more, Germany today  penalizes any sort of apology for Nazism. CONTINUES HERE

Antares (ANM.v) holders: Do you know your 7619 times table?

If not, this might help out a bit:


FM pps ANM arb
80 6.10
81 6.17
82 6.25
83 6.32
84 6.40
85 6.48
86 6.55
87 6.63
88 6.70
89 6.78
90 6.86
91 6.93
92 7.01
93 7.09
94 7.16
95 7.24
96 7.31
97 7.39
98 7.47
99 7.54
100 7.62

DYODD, dude.

Special Delivery for Bill Murphy of GATA and "Mexico" Mike Kachanovsky

Feeling stupid yet? Hey Bill, you know it's time to throw in the towel on this one, don't you?

And of course, in the world of Mexico Mike a person who accepts money from a company like ECU.to in order to pump the stock on his website is a fine upstanding citizen, while somebody who calls such people out is a disgrace to the mining community. Funny old world, innit?
c

Futurespeak update

Back on October 19th this humble corner of cyberspace ran this note that basically said "gold's a buy here" just after that sinkage to $1,335/oz we saw on the futures chart last Tuesday. Then popped up commenter "ICDOYPA" who challenged us to an update post on October 25th to see how the call got on. So here's the update post and the necessary gold chart:

As you can probably see, the call is nobody's idea of a winning grandslam homerun slamdunk nailed-on winner. There was no immediate rebound in gold and the weakness carried on all week, but things look OK this morning and the basic call is intact.....just. Hardly the action your humble scribe had in his mind's eye and I'm not going to claim a win or write this one down in the annals of top forecasts. However, these two five day charts (for Fronteer Gold (FRG) and Rio Alto (RIO.v)) are more indicative for back pockets of junior investors.



Plenty more where those two came from, too. So not that bad, all in all.

So what companies does Wellington West have on its "gonna be a goldmine" watchlist, Otto?

Well, as you're asking there are six companies WW has picked as gold juniors that have (to quote the dudes) "...million+ oz deposits with good potential to make the difficult transition to production and benefit from share price re-rating". Those companies happen to be:

Auryx Gold (AYX.to) 
Belo Sun (BSX.v) 
Klondex (KDX.to) 
Minera IRL (IRL.to) (MIRL.L)  
Rio Alto Mining (RIO.v)
Spanish Mountain Gold (SPA.v)

You can read all about it yourself, as the full report is linked right here. Happy Mondays.

Chart of the day is.....

.....gold, monthlies.

click to enlarge

Y'see, I know I'm supposed to worry about things and be absorbed by every single intraday twist and turn in the markets, but........it's just that.......well......it's tough to take all the noise and BS seriously after staring at this chart for a while.

10/24/10

The IKN Weekly, out now

IKN77 has just been sent to subscribers. I'm off to walk the dog.

Free eBook: Small Business Unified Communications For Dummies

This totally free, no-strings-attached offer for the eBook "Small Business Unified Communications For Dummies" went down well with IKN readers when we first ran it a few days ago, so here's a re-post of the offer. Click through, sign up, receive your copy. Nothing simpler possible and strong moneymaking information for small business players at your disposal.

subscribe
Small Business Unified Communications For Dummies, Avaya Custom Edition
"Small Business Unified Communications For Dummies, Avaya Custom Edition"
Understand the benefits of Unified Communications and how it can positively impact your small or medium business.
Small Business Unified Communications For Dummies, Avaya Custom Edition, provides non-technical readers such as small business owners and key managers an in-depth overview of UC: what it is, what capabilities it can provide, what a small business needs to do to implement it, and how it will impact your business. Read this eBook to learn:
  • What Is Unified Communications and Why Do I Need It?
  • How Will Unified Communications Help My Small Business?
  • Creating a Unified Communications Strategy.
  • How Do I Implement a Unified Communications Solution?
  • Ten Reasons to Implement Unified Communications.
Offered Free by: Avaya
Other Resources from: Avaya

A meeting with John Black, CEO of Antares Minerals (ANM.v)

Yesterday afternoon (Saturday October 23rd) this humble scribe met up with John Black, CEO of Antares Minerals (ANM.v) and the focal point of last week's big takeover story. We talked about the deal and what it means to all shareholders and stakeholders of the world class Haquira copper project in Peru. A report of that meeting will be included in today's edition of The IKN Weekly (IKN77), out later this afternoon (Sunday 24th). Separately, we'll also be looking at last week's share price action in ANM and trying to decipher whether the market thinks a counterbid to the First Quantum (FM.to) (FQM.L) offer is in the cards.

Soft promo for the subscriber service over. Please be having nice Sunday, thankings of you very muchly.