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11/27/10

OT: Danger Chess!

Work out the side rules by yourself.


h/t to raulm89 over at twitterland

Freebie Time: Google/Google Apps Giveaways

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Two good reads for Saturday

This is a wonderfully entertaining read and reminds me of the brilliant brains this author has been lucky enough to meet and listen to along the way. It's an acceptance speech for a lawyer's award in Canada. I've never heard of the man (Leon Getz) nor the award, but as it was featured on David Baines' blog I thought it worth a read. That turned out to be a smart decision. Here's an excerpt:
"F.E. Smith, the great English barrister, once said of Winston Churchill that he had spent the best years of his life preparing his impromptu remarks. These are my impromptu remarks.

"It is said that following a lengthy and somewhat difficult argument in the Supreme Court of Canada, the late Senator Farris took a lengthy Mediterranean cruise to recoup his energy.  Some weeks into the cruise he received a cable from one of his juniors.  It read: "Justice triumphed". The Senator replied:  "Appeal at once".
CONTINUES HERE


Here's a throwback to when Time Magazine used to be a fascinating and obligatory read (whatever happened to it?). Anyway, this Time report on Peru, world's number one counterfeit money producer, shows a side of the country that's been less promoted these last few years (wonder why). It's a very solid piece of reporting and will enlighten the English language reader to the flipside of the 'progress' made in Peru this decade. Here's an excerpt.
"The largest single haul so far came in early September, when police officers raided a printing press in Lima's San Juan de Lurigancho district. While the house had been under surveillance for some time, officers were stunned to discover the extent of the operation. The final tally of the six different currencies produced was just above $27 million. Fake U.S. $100 bills accounted for nearly one-third of the total, while euros accounted for another $4 million. The rest of the bills were Bolivian, Chilean, Peruvian and Venezuelan currency.
"A month earlier, agents ran a sting operation that netted $1 million. The drop-off point was the food court at an upscale Lima shopping center built into cliffs overlooking the ocean. The counterfeiters agreed to sell each $100 bill for $5 to an undercover agent. The three people arrested had initially agreed to sell $3 million in fake bills. Around 20 illegal printing presses have been dismantled in Lima, each capable of turning out mass amounts of bills.
CONTINUES HERE

11/26/10

The Friday OT: The Jam; Going Underground

The only tough choice about this week's OT is selecting my fave track from The Jam. Do we go for the word picture of 'Down In The Tube Station At Midnight', do we plump for the social snapshot of the times that is 'Town Called Malice', maybe head straight back to where it all started with 'In The City'.

In the end, Going Underground gets the nod.....


.....because the public gets what the public wants. Damn, these guys were GREAT together.

News roundup (we step on the cracks in pavements on which others fear to step)


Hey Europe, we down here laugh and point fingers at your silly ageing population and higher retirement ages. Bolivia plans to drop the retirement age from 65 to 58 (and as low as 51 if you're in a hard labour job like mining).

Good advice (and an interesting stock pick right at the end) from Toby Shute about finding value in a picked-over market.

In Peru this week, the best story (this is a good EngLang resumé of it all) has been about the crooked Minister of the Interior, who was booted out of office after press got hold of how he picked up bigtime forced dismissal payments when he voluntarily left his job in the State-run health service to become Interior Minister. Another chapter in APRA sleaze.

Just the 12 dead miners in Colombia this week. Funny how they didn't get much airtime your way, innit?

UPDATE: Gotta add this from Raw Story: "Fox Nation readers confuse Onion article with real news". Check out the wondrous level of comments lifted from Fox Nation, too....life imitates art once again.

Constitution Mining (CMIN.ob): Don't say you weren't warned

Here's the 12 month chart of Constitution Mining (CMIN.ob):

So what does Owly think of today's price action that sees it trading at 18.5c?

Thought he'd say that. Anyway, click here and you'll note the coverage of this arch-dog here at IKN over the year (it started September 2009, in fact, when the first round of serious market pumping about its ridiculous gold sands operation on the Marañon river in Peru was happening). We tried to tell you about the dubious assets, a lot about the awful balance sheet (sorry mineheads, but fundies really do matter and you're going to have to read those Reg Fs if you want to make your way in this sector), the strange revolving door of officers at the company and about the aggressive pumphouse marketing that's a red flag in itself....but did you listen? I hope so....

Anyway, this is probably the last post on CMIN, wrapping up a series over a year long. So the final word goes out to the hatemailers and pathetic wretches that were slagging this humble scribe off this time last year (yeah, I have a memory). I'm so glad that you've all finally managed to...


B2Gold's (BTO.to) method of investment relations

Don't blame Ian MacLean for filing his sale of 200,000 shares so late. After all, he's only VP Investment Relations, he can hardly be expected to know how the rules for buying and selling shares work. He was probably too busy trying to work out how he'd spent the $480,000 that was suddenly burning a hole in his back pocket, missed the one week filing date limit and then...well...once you're late you're late, right Ian?

B2Gold Corp. (BTO)

As of November 25th, 2010
Filing Date Transaction Date Insider Name Ownership Type Securities Nature of transaction # or value acquired or disposed of Unit Price
Nov 25/10 Sep 30/10 MacLean, Ian Direct Ownership Options 97 - Other -200,000 $2.400

Yes, I was being slightly sarcastic up there. Did you notice?

Chart of the day is....

...Taseko Mines (TKO.to) two day chart.

Background: Taseko Mines is a dual-listing stock, trading under TKO in Canada and TGB in The USA. As we know, yesterday was Thanksgiving in The USA and its markets were closed, whereas Canada's were open. 

I find the above chart symbolic of the corruption and sleaze of the Canadian markets, because even though TKO trading yesterday and even though the market knew about the investigation in the stock from very early on, its price hardly moved. In other words, all the Canucks go "Investigation? Who gives a rat's tush?". But as soon as the US market opens, it's pretty clear the people holding this stock there do care.

11/25/10

Thanksgiving

Hat tip to RG over at The Mexfiles, I know he won't mind sharing good egg that he is.

Fulp and U

So take a guess which three Uranium plays Mickey Fulp said he liked during his appearance on BNN, just before midday Tuesday?


Kinda pays to listen to Fulp these days, methinks. Mind you, I've always said that, even before he started moving markets with the flick of an eyebrow. Go watch his segment on this link.

Taseko Mines (TGB) (TKO.to) got company


Curiouser and curiouser, said Alice. This report from Globe&Mail yesterday (excerpt) brings us the latest happenings around Taseko (TBG)(TKO.to):
Investigators are trying to determine whether a leak of sensitive information from within the federal government prompted a sharp drop in value of the shares of a British Columbia mining company, the CBC is reporting.
Citing unnamed government sources, the broadcaster said Wednesday night that the Investment Regulatory Organization of Canada is trying to determine why shares in Taseko Mines Ltd., fell nearly 40 per cent on Oct. 14, more than two weeks before the federal government announced that it was blocking the firm’s plans to develop the Prosperity Mine, a development 125 kilometres southwest of Prince George. Continues here
Well, for my dos centavitos it's about time the Canadian regulators did something about this company. For a start this post on November 3rd pointed out the current leaky boat problem with this permit denial. Here's how that post ran:

Taseko Mines (TGB) (TKO.to): A leaky boat

Hey, remember all that flashcrash thing about Taseko Mines (TGB) (TKO.to) ("TKO"...geddit?) on October 14th when the stock fell a squillion or so on 23m shares traded? Well here's the chart to yesterday.....


.....and here's an excerpt of the news from Reuters today about TGB:
Nov 2 (Reuters) - The government of Canada has decided to block the development of Taseko Mines' (TKO.TO) controversial copper-gold mine in British Columbia, Environment Minister Jim Prentice said on Tuesday.
Ottawa's decision -- based on "concerns about the significant adverse environmental effects" -- overrules British Columbia's provincial government, which had granted permission for the Prosperity project to go ahead.
The news hammered shares of Taseko Mines, which fell 25 percent to $4.89 in after-market trade in the United States.
And here's the "extremely disappointed" TGB's NR this morning. Seems the market was trying to tell you something after all, no? Oh by the way, Franco Nevada (FNV.to) is taking a bit of a bath on this news too, what with its royalty stream affected.

IKN back. But for those with a longer memory, it does seem that management have....errrr....ahem...something of an inside track on permit decisions previously. Back in January we ran this post that showed how Taseko management awarded themselves very large options deals the day before the original thumbs-up decision on the permit (the very same one that was subsequently overturned on November). Here's that post pasted out for you:

Taseko Mines (TKO.to) (TGB): Lucky timing, boyz
As the old saying goes, Better born lucky than rich, proven once again by those lucky lucky directors over at Taseko Mines (TKO.to) (TGB) and their lucky lucky timing. On Jan 15th, this news release hit the wires that started....
VANCOUVER, Jan. 15 /CNW/ - Taseko Mines Limited (TSX: TKO; NYSE Amex: TGB) ("Taseko" or the "Company") received the environmental assessment certificate for its proposed Prosperity Gold-Copper Project from the BC Provincial Ministry of Environment on January 14, 2010.
"Obviously we are tremendously pleased with the Provincial Government's decision. We put considerable effort and Company resources into the documentation and process and to have now received this approval is both gratifying and rewarding," says Taseko President & CEO Russell Hallbauer.
.....and saw the stock shoot from sub $4.50 to over $5 instantly.

And by total, utter chance, look who awarded a whole bunch of options to themselves the day before that NR came out:


Taseko Mines Limited (TKO)

As of January 19th, 2010
Filing Date Transaction Date Insider Name Ownership Type Securities Nature of transaction # or value acquired or disposed of Unit Price
Jan 19/10 Jan 14/10 Mundie, Richard Direct Ownership Options 00 - Opening Balance-Initial SEDI Report



Jan 18/10 Jan 14/10 Mitchell, Peter Direct Ownership Options 50 - Grant of options 200,000 $4.460
Jan 18/10 Jan 14/10 Armstrong, William Paul Direct Ownership Options 50 - Grant of options 100,000 $4.460
Jan 18/10 Jan 14/10 Coughlan, Terrance Barry Direct Ownership Options 50 - Grant of options 100,000 $4.460
Jan 18/10 Jan 14/10 Battison, Brian Direct Ownership Options 50 - Grant of options 150,000 $4.460
Jan 18/10 Jan 14/10 Jones, Scott Direct Ownership Options 50 - Grant of options 150,000 $4.460
Jan 18/10 Jan 14/10 McManus, John Direct Ownership Options 50 - Grant of options 200,000 $4.460
Jan 18/10 Jan 14/10 Hallbauer, Russell Edward Direct Ownership Options 50 - Grant of options 300,000 $4.460
Jan 17/10 Jan 15/10 Kirk, Harry Wayne Direct Ownership Common Shares 10 - Disposition in the public market -50,000 $5.140
Jan 15/10 Jan 14/10 Dickinson, Robert Allan Direct Ownership Options 50 - Grant of options 100,000 $4.460


"Gratifying and rewarding" indeed.

IKN back. Seriously folks, what's going on here? Who were the people behind that October 14th flashcrash selling that happened just two weeks before the Prosperity project saw its permit denial? How did TKO management happen to time their options awards so amazingly well, getting them handed over the day before getting the original approval permit for the Prosperity gig? Inquiring minds...........

UPDATE: Cue Owly:

Time for a link to a new development (and thanks to JM for the headsup).



Nov 25, 2010 14:15 ET

BCSC Reviewing Trading in Taseko Mines Ltd. Shares


VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Nov. 25, 2010) - The British Columbia Securities Commission is reviewing a referral made to it by the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) regarding the trading in the shares of Taseko Mines Limited.
The BCSC does not comment on matters under review.
The B.C. Securities Commission is the independent provincial government agency responsible for regulating trading in securities within the province. If you have questions, contact Ken Gracey, media relations, 604-899-6577.

Chart of the day is.....

..ten years of Chile's IPSA index.

Any similarity to the gold chart is purely coincidental, of course.

11/24/10

Infinito (IG.v) loses in Costa Rica

Let the Tico Times tell you all about it:

A Costa Rican appeals court handed environmentalists a resounding victory Wednesday by ruling that a concession for a controversial open-pit gold mine at Las Crucitas, a small town in the country’s Northern Zone and near the border with Nicaragua, is invalid.
The court annulled the government mining concession previously granted to Industrias Infinito, S.A., a Costa Rican subsidiary of Infinito Gold, a Calgary, Canada-based mining exploration and development company.
The court ruled that environmental studies required to grant the mining concession were incomplete, and the mining contract was therefore illegal.
The current ruling stems from an appeal filed to the court by the environmental group The Wild Flora and Fauna Preservation Association. In July, the Costa Rican government announced it would not repeal the mining concession it had previously granted Industrias Infinito (TT, July 30).
The court also ordered the Public Ministry to open a criminal investigation of former Costa Rican President Oscar Arias for having signed off on a decree stating that the open-pit gold mine was in the public’s interest. The court found that since environmental studies were incomplete, Arias’ signing of the decree was illegal. CONTINUES HERE

Mining PRs and the Ottotrans™, Part 31

Today's episode of the Ottotrans™ comes from Mirasol Resources (MRZ.v) and concerns this chart, too:



This is what they wrote:
Press Release Source: Mirasol Resources Ltd. On Wednesday November 24, 2010, 3:28 pm 
VANCOUVER, Nov. 24 /CNW/ - At the request of IIROC, Mirasol Resources Ltd. (TSXV-MRZ and Frankfurt: M8R ("Mirasol" or the "Company") wishes to confirm that the Company's management is unaware of any material change in the Company's activities that would account for the recent increase in market activity.

Mirasol Resources Ltd. is a TSX Venture listed company engaged in precious metals exploration in Chile and Argentina.
And this is what it means:
Press Release Source: Mirasol Resources Ltd. On Wednesday November 24, 2010, 3:28 pm 
VANCOUVER, Nov. 24 /CNW/ - At the request of IIROC, Mirasol Resources Ltd. (TSXV-MRZ and Frankfurt: M8R ("Mirasol" or the "Company") wishes to confirm that the Company's management hasn't spoken to John Tognetti for like ages, man.

Mirasol Resources Ltd. is a TSX Venture listed company engaged in precious metals exploration in Chile and Argentina.

Pediment (PEZ.to) news: This morning's Flash update

This went out to subscribers just before midday EST today. at that time PEZ.to was trading at $1.94.


"News out of Mexico today suggests that the situation faced by Pediment Gold (PEZ.to) and its environmental permitting problem that is currently affecting the proposed buyout by Argonaut Gold (AR.to) is not as bad as first appeared earlier this week and this may present a buying opportunity in the stock. As reported on the blog this week the deal between PEZ.to and AR.to has been put on hold due to a law passed by the Baja California parliament that, if made into active law by the executive, would ban all open pit mining in the Baja California State. This is the link to the PEZ NR:

This morning, the President of the Congressional committee in charge of sending the law to the State government, Graciela Treviño, said that the law would not be published in the State's Official Gazette (
the move that makes any law active) until results from meetings with members of communities that would be adversely affected by the ban (due to lost jobs, lack of economic growth etc) had been conducted and their results collated. Treviño said there had been strong protests against the mining ban from several communities in the region, including the San Antonio area where PEZ has its project. This is a link to a report covering the matter (Spanish language) from a local media source that seems to be covering the developments without prejudice either side. 
The situation reminds us of the enviro-versus-employment spat faced by New Gold late last year that finished well for the mining side. There is still risk that the law is put into effect, of that we must be clear, but the law has now been stopped from becoming active straight away and this has removed the immediate danger. From here, we can expect the argument to be taken to a national rather than provincial level, and that Mexican republic laws will be able to take precedence (such as those that say this type of ban runs against the national constitution...there's a strong argument against the environmental ban due to this). We remind readers that Mexico as a country is keen to converse its Miner-Friendly image , which would take a severe blow if the Baja California laws is put into effect, as six mining projects would reportedly be affected (not just PEZ)

All in all the risk, though still present, has diminished considerably for the PEZ/AR deal today. This price chart.....

http://chart.finance.yahoo.com/z?s=PEZ.TO&t=3m&q=&l=&z=l&p=s&a=v&p=s&lang=en-US&region=US

...shows the potential rebound PEZ may enjoy if the deal eventually goes through. By simple eye, there's a 20% upside here.

This Flash update will appear on the open blog in a couple of hours' time. At that point (
and if a bargain price is still available), your author will take a small long position in PEZ. Although we're conscient about the risk of this law still happening and understand this is not a slam dunk opportunity, in our opinion that risk is significantly diminshed and the balance has clearly shifted in favour of the pro-mine argument.

Weak Dollar? Blame Evo

This morning, Bolivia's Central Bank announced in a communique that it was lowering the exchange rate of the Bolivian Peso (BOB, aka "El Boliviano") by 1 cent, with the sell now set at 7.06 (was 7.07) to the US Dollar and the buy at 6.96. This slight appreciation is part of the crawling peg system used (very successfully) by Bolivia and reflects demand for the local currency.

All fair enough and not a big deal, but it has brought up the IKN "Dumbass Biz Headline of the Day" award handed to Disassociated Press via El Nuevo Herald:

"Bolivian Government Devalues The Dollar"

Seriously, who writes this piffle? Since when can the government of Bolivia devalue the United States currency? Sure they've appreciated their own currency but FerCryinOutLoud, it shows just how little these hacks knows about their subject matter.

A Flash update...

...was sent out to subscribers about five minutes ago (it's just before 12 midday EST right now). To show what goes on, the same Flash update will go on the open blog in about two hours' time.

Long-term

Y'know, I sometimes get moaned at for taking a longer-term view on junior mining investments and, quite frankly, I find my methods somewhat boring too, sometimes. After all, I could be in and out of a dozen stocks every month, picking and running with the latest momo play, or the hyped-up dog getting passed off as a real deal, or the fashion metal du jour with its waiting explorers.

But then sometimes it doesn't worry me so much. An example of that is this morning when checking on the longer-term performance of one of The IKN Weekly's recommended stocks, Fronteer Gold (FRG) (FRG.to) which has been a permanent member of the 'Stocks to Follow' list since The IKN Weekly's inception back in May 2009 (and I held FRG before that time, something which Gary Biiwii deserves credit for).As of this morning we're now 390% up on the position. Not shabby, even though they don't always work out this well (which is easily checked by subbers, as all trades ever opened or closed are available to see in every edition).


If you look very, very carefully you may be able to spot a pattern. DYODD.

Iceland, Ireland and Argentina

Krugman today looks at the developments of Iceland versus Ireland post-crisis and notes that Iceland, despite its famous financial crash'n'burn moment not that long ago, is doing better than Ireland. 
What’s going on here? In a nutshell, Ireland has been orthodox and responsible — guaranteeing all debts, engaging in savage austerity to try to pay for the cost of those guarantees, and, of course, staying on the euro. Iceland has been heterodox: capital controls, large devaluation, and a lot of debt restructuring — notice that wonderful line from the IMF, above, about how “private sector bankruptcies have led to a marked decline in external debt”. Bankrupting yourself to recovery! Seriously.
And guess what: heterodoxy is working a whole lot better than orthodoxy.

Well yeah, cos as far as we down here are concerned all this is just a repeat performance of Argentina 1999 to 2005. In the first part of that period Argentina did what Ireland is doing, listened attentively to The IMF, did what it was told, rationalized, cut and got all austere. The result of listening to the self-important dumbasses in suits was the financial implosion of late '01 and the wholesale rape of the country's savings by foreign financial institutions. Then 2002 onwards, the country did what Iceland did, gave the IMF the royal bird and did everything it should have done in the first place. The result can be seen in that chart of the day today, a couple of posts down. 

In vino blanco dulce veritas, in aqua sanitas (with apologies to Pliny the Elder)

This afternoon in an official ceremony headed up by President Cristina, Argentina declares wine to be its national drink. There's plenty of Spanish language coverage on this Google roundup link already, including quotes from suitable flunkies on how Argentine wine has developed an international reputation for quality, how exports account for 23% of the ARG$10.5Bn (U$2.64Bn) in sales, how this-grape-that-grape are the new stars etc etc.

Me? I agree fully that Argentina's national drink is wine and should be celebrated, but the real headline wine should be Termidor Blanco Dulce 1 litre Tetrapak. Anyone who's spent time in non-Barrio-Norte Buenos Aires should know why.

Chart of the day is....

...this, link sent in by the SM guys (cryptic) and featuring the FT's take on GDP growth of LatAm countries in the last ten years.

And the winner is....Argentina! (That surprised you, didn't it?). Read all about it here.

11/23/10

Interview with a Mexican hitman

Excellent journalism from Mariana Sanchez over at Al Jaz. Here's how the note starts, but only excerpted here to whet appetites.

He sits in front of me, crosses his legs and places the Israeli-made 50-calibre handgun on his lap - the cannon pointing at me.

"Does it make you uncomfortable?" he asks, smiling sarcastically. I thought to myself that it wasn't the first time I've had guns pointing at me, but it was the first time I was interviewing a Mexican hitman with a gun on his lap.
Go read the whole thing on this link.

South America is not Latin America and vice versa (a.k.a. John Rathbone of the FT wins this week's coveted award)

There are three things I see in dumbass English language reporting about LatAm that drive me up the freakin' wall:
It's "Ecuador", not Equador...all right?
It's "Colombia", not "Columbia"....got it?
And Latin America is not the same as South America.  
This comes up once again because even a publication with the supposed gravitas and fact-checking background as The Financial Times gets it wrong, wrong wrong. 

Exhibit A: I was recommended this article in the FT today by a reader, opened it up but stopped after the first FREAKING HEADLINE PHOTO CAPTION about 20 words in and went to do something better with my time than read high-falutin' tosh from yet another English language reporter that's pretending to know far more about the region than he clearly does. The caption under the nice photo of São Paulo read:
"Gaining altitude: São Paulo in Brazil, a country that accounts for about half of the economy and population of Latin America" 
.....to which your humble scribe immediately called BUUUULLSHIT in a loud enough voice to startle the dog out of his morning nap. So after about a minute over at the CIA World Factbook I pulled down the numbers to back up the case:
LatAm Population: 580m
Brazil population: 201.1m
Percentage of Brazilians to LatAm population: 34.7%

LatAm GDP (PPP): U$6.27 trillion
LatAm GDP (Official exchange rate): U$5.16 trillion
Brazil GDP (PPP): U$2.013 trillion
Brazil GDP (Official exchange rate): U$1.574 trillion
Brazil % of LatAm GDP (PPP): 32.1%
Brazil % of LatAm GDP (Official exchange rate): 30.5%

So according to the FT, Brazil is "about half" of Latin America in terms of population and GDP. But according to bleeding reality, it's less than 35% by population and between 30% and 32% of regional GDP, depending on how you cut and slice the figures.

Yes, you've worked it out already haven't you? FT reporter John Paul Rathbone has taken the numbers for South America and not Latin America and made his 50/50 call. Another dumbass hack in other words, so John, why not do us all a big fat favour when it comes to your crap reporting about LatAm and.....

gold and the miners

For the last 12 months that classic "miners have leverage over metal" thing has been under pressure, at least in the gold world. Here's the HUI Index versus the gold ETF (GLD).


But maybe that's changing now. Here's the last five days:

DYODD

So what does Simon Ridgway know about Radius Gold (RDU.v) that we don't?

Probably quite a lot, actually. Here's a list of all Ridgway's insider trades in Radius Gold (RDU.v) this past 12 months. First up, it's notable that the only thing he's done is buy...not a single sale.

Simon Ridgway likes Radius Gold (RDU.v)
trade filed purchase price tot shares owned
14/12/2009 +12,000  0.21 584,423 
14/12/2009 +1,000  0.21 585,423 
11/12/2009 +12,000  0.21 597,423 
07/01/2010 +100,000  0.215 697,423 
02/02/2010 +3,000  0.41 700,423 
12/02/2010 +30,000  0.33 730,423 
25/02/2010 +80,000  0.325 810,423 
17/03/2010 +12,000  0.37 822,423 
17/03/2010 +5,000  0.375 827,423 
17/03/2010 +8,000  0.38 835,423 
07/05/2010 +10,500  0.37 845,923 
07/05/2010 500 0.39 846,423 
07/05/2010 +1,000  0.395 847,423 
07/05/2010 +85,000  0.38 932,423 
07/05/2010 +5,500  0.36 937,923 
07/05/2010 +6,500  0.37 944,423 
11/05/2010 +1,500  0.36 945,923 
22/06/2010 +1,000,000  0.35 1,945,923 
27/07/2010 +4,000  0.3 1,949,923 
27/07/2010 +23,000  0.3 1,972,923 
28/07/2010 +10,000  0.3 1,982,923 
30/07/2010 +5,000  0.3 1,987,923 
26/10/2010 +2,000  0.59 1,989,923 
26/10/2010 +73,000  0.6 2,062,923 
17/11/2010 +4,500  0.66 2,067,423 
17/11/2010 500 0.64 2,067,923 
18/11/2010 +15,000  0.57 2,082,923 
22/11/2010 +10,000  0.56 2,092,923 

Second up, split that lot up into months. Here's how it looks:

Jan 100000
feb 33000
mar 25000
apr 0
may 120000
jun 1000000
jul 42000
aug 0
sep 0
oct 75000
nov 30000

So apart from April, he was a busy little buyer in the first half of the year, was he not? Thirdly, compare the year's price action in RDU to Ridgway's purchases:


To this humble scribe, it does seem quite significant that he's stepping up again and buying in this 56c to 66c range after letting August, September and 3/4 of October go by without doing anything on those elevated prices. DYODD.

disclosure: i've owned it before, but right now no position in RDU

Chart of the day is....

...the US Dollar index (USD), 15 minute candles.

So North Korea gets pissed at South Korea's armed forces maneuvers and takes a potshot or three, then south Korea scrambles jets and it's all suddenly world headlines. And the market's reflection of all this? At first the overnight market flipped and flopped, but when the big boys woke up this morning there was just one course of action....buy USD.

Goldbugs need to recognize a simple fact to become better investors; whatever you might believe to the contrary or want in the future, the United States Dollar is still the world's reserve currency and its place first place people go when they kneejerk on news.

11/22/10

Pediment (PEZ.to): In trouble

On coming back late evening after a day away from the office, your author notes that the deal between Pediment and Argonaut (AR.to) is in trouble. Here's an slice of the company NR:
"Amendments have been proposed to the local environmental laws in the State of Baja California Sur (the "BCS"), Mexico which may adversely affect Pediment's ability to secure a building licence for the development of its San Antonio Project as currently envisioned. The contents and enforceability of the proposed legislation, remain unclear."
Now that's a bit too vague for my liking. In fact those "proposed amendments",  according to this report at least, are laws that have been passed by Baja California's Congress explicitly banning all open pit mining in the region and all that now needs to happen for these changes to become active law now is for them to be published in the official government Gazette, which is something the members of congress are now pressing for. What's more, this report has the State Governor, Narciso Agúndez Montaño, saying that the law will indeed be published in the gazette soon and become active. However, the law has been passed back to Congress by the Governor because he wants to see if any amendments will be made first, as he's heard from families in the San Antonio area who are against the publication of the law.

Let's be clear here: According to State law, if congress passes a law, the executive must publish it and make it into active law. What may be a delaying tactic from the Governor is holding that publication up, but if congress sticks to its guns open pit mining will be banned, no ifs or buts, in Baja California and the PEZ deal with AR.to would be in serious trouble.

Disclosure: No position in PEZ.to or AR.to.

CIBC goes full bull on gold and the miners

Here's the link to the download of CIBC's latest precious metals compendium, tons of upgrades and picks going higher (or so the Barry Cooper dude says). Here's the cover sheet to give you an idea:

CIBC WORLD MARKETS INC.
Precious Metals 
Barry Cooper
Debt Drives Demand For Precious Metals As Currencies Devalue

  • The supply of money is beating out the supply of gold, driving prices higher. This trend will likely continue amongst several major countries of the world for the foreseeable future. Those regions where the dilemma is less pronounced will likely purchase gold to insulate themselves from trouble.
  • We are raising our metals forecast to $1,225, $1,600 and 1,700/oz. for gold and $20, $28 and $30/oz. for silver for 2010, 2011 and 2012 respectively. Although we have not changed our long-term gold price forecast of $1,200/oz. we have increased it for silver to $20/oz from $15/oz.
  • Our top picks include KGI, OSK, EGO, PAAS, CGA, AGI, FRG, ARZ, SMF, ORE and IAG. Our bias is towards smaller names which represent combinations of growth, value and burgeoning production from new sources. For investors seeking less risk, we recommend ABX for higher liquidity.
  • We have tempered our view on trading multiples, expecting compression to continue as commodity prices rise. The relationship for gold price movements has been 0.5 to 1 point drop in CF multiples for every $100/oz increase in bullion. Silver relationships however are more complex.

Here's the link to the 109 page CIBC tome of fundamentalation once again, just in case. It's a very good report, this one.

Just making sure....

.....you see this IKN post that first went out Saturday night, because I reckon it's best to see it before Beaty's lawyers start sending me mails as well.....then your humble scribe tells them which bodily orifice to insert their demands.....then they contact Google and shut IKN down....or something like that.



Bjork, Magma Energy (MXY.to), Ross Beaty, 
defamation suits and I Am Spartacus

This is an interesting story, sent over by reader "M". Click here for the full story at The Reykjavik Grapevine, read an extract right below:

On November 9, Maclean’s Magazine posted an interview with Björk called, “In Conversation with Björk: Why the Icelandic singer wants a Canadian company booted from her country.” Shortly thereafter, the interview was retracted from Maclean’s website after Magma threatened the magazine with a defamation suit.

Among their defamation complaints is Björk’s statement: “Companies owned by Ross Beaty have a bad reputation for breaking serious humanitarian and union laws in South America—not giving farmers shares of profit they had promised and so on—but this is normal. This is the kind of beast you’re dealing with....”

Although Björk referred to Ross Beaty rather than Magma Energy, it was Magma Energy that threatened to sue Macleans if the article was not retracted. In fact, Björk was referring to Ross Beaty’s company, Pan American Silver, which is a mining company operating in South America.

On November 12, Macleans posted a correction, which reads as follows: “On the 9th of November Macleans published on its website an interview with Björk where she claims that Ross Beaty and Magma Energy Corp. have broken laws in South America. This is not correct and we apologize to Ross Beaty and his company.”

In conversation with the Grapevine, Björk said, “I don’t think Magma's qualms are about their reputation in humanitarian rights. That’s more likely a ruse.”

Björk thinks Ross Beaty is more likely concerned about her statements regarding geothermal energy not lasting for thousands of years. In the Macleans interview, Björk said: “…He has said that geothermal energy lasts for 1000 years. This is not true. It lasts about 50 years. Geothermal plants work similarly to mines, you drill and then there is only a limited amount down there. When magma’s current 65-year deal is over, the hole will be empty.”

She told us there are two things Ross Beaty seems to be trying to hide from investors, both current and potential. First, geothermal energy does not last forever. Second, Beaty does not have access to 400 MW of geothermal energy.

“On various widely watched business shows in Canada, he has been talking about having access to 400 MW of geothermal energy and that geothermal energy lasts forever and is entirely renewable,” Björk said. “That’s how he sells the idea to investors and it’s simply not true. If this information were to be featured prominently in Canada, his whole venture could fail.”

In the “corrected” version, which now appears on the Maclean’s website, all of the remarks Björk refers to are also missing.

After repeated attempts to contact Magma Energy and its investors regarding the facts in question over the past week, the Grapevine CONTINUES HERE



And thanks to the wonders of Google Cache, you too can read the original Macleans article right here...or right  here on IKN below (as Ross&Co is going to have to slap a suit on my tush too, it seems).

In conversation with Björk

Why the Icelandic singer wants a Canadian company booted from her country
In the summer and fall of 2009, barely a year after fraudulent investors bankrupted the country, Magma Energy Corp bought a 43 per cent share in Iceland’s third largest utility, HS Orka. Ross Beaty, the CEO of Magma—a Canadian company—said he wanted to invest in green energy for the benefit of the environment, his shareholders and Icelanders, and that he had no interest in a majority share of HS Orka. But Icelander’s weren’t happy; the public traditionally owns their natural resources, and the whole country is wary of foreign ownership, especially after the collapse of the economy.
Things have only gotten worse this year. Magma purchased additional stocks in May, bringing its control of HS Orka up to 98.53 per cent and sparking protests across the country. Thousands marched on the capital, and polls showed that 80 per cent of Icelander’s disapprove of the deal.
Icelandic musician Björk has become a spokesperson for the movement to cancel Magma’s contracts. She started a petition calling for a referendum on amending foreign ownership laws, and it bears the signatures of about 20,000 of her countrymen. She says that once that number reaches 30,000, or about 10 per cent of the population, the government will be forced to hold a referendum that could see Magma thrown out of the country.
She spoke to Maclean’s over the phone from Iceland.
Q: Why do you want to stop the Magma deal?
A: The case has been twisted a little bit—that we hate foreigners and we don’t want them here. That’s too black and white. This decision was made in a back room by two guys and the nation wasn’t even consulted.
If we decide, ‘let’s privatize,’ then we could do it properly and have really good legislation and make a really good deal. The bank crash has brought us to our knees and there are municipalities that are really broke so they’re selling. It would be better if we wait, once we’re in a better position to negotiate then maybe we can cut deals with foreigners that would be healthy.
Q: Is the problem with Magma specifically or foreign ownership generally?
A: Companies owned by Ross Beaty have a bad reputation for breaking serious humanitarian and union laws in South America—not giving farmers shares of profit they had promised and so on—but this is normal. This is the kind of beast you’re dealing with.
Icelanders have publicly owned their geothermal plants for a century now, why sell access to our energy sources for 65 years when this direction in business affairs has brought the nation to its knees? We should at least get a good deal—this one is appalling. 70 per cent of the price is paid with a seven-year bullet loan carrying an interest rate of 1.5 per cent. In other words the seller lent the buyer most of the money. The rest is financed with Icelandic currency bought at a serious discount on the offshore market.
Ross Beaty didn’t come to Iceland just out of kindness and consideration for us. He is a good businessman and he knew we were on the brink of bankruptcy. He knew he could get an unusually good deal for him, which is exceptionally bad for us. It is very hard for Icelanders to trust this man.
Q: Beaty says he regrets trying to engage you in the process. What happened?
A: Ross Beaty publicly offered me shares in the company. He invited me to his office where he said he could give me a good deal, which showed he totally misunderstood me. I don´t feel individuals should own this. It belongs to the nation.
When he bought the first section of HS Orka , which was a small share, he stated very publicly that he did not intend to own the majority in it. If the current sale goes through he will own more than 98 per cent. He has said that geothermal energy lasts for 1000 years. This is not true. It lasts about 50 years. Geothermal plants work similarly to mines, you drill and then there is only a limited amount down there. When magma’s current 65-year deal is over, the hole will be empty.
Q: You started a petition to force the government to have a referendum on privatizing natural resources.
A: We have collected 20,000 people, two thirds of what we need. When we have ten thousand more then the government has to have a national referendum.
Q: What is the general attitude in Iceland following the economic collapse?
A: A lot of people have lost their homes and their jobs. There’s a lot of anger. There were people standing outside parliament with pots and pans twenty-four-seven until the first government resigned. Now, after the backlash, we have a second government. They’ve been getting the same treatment. This used to be a peaceful place. We are in a situation we’ve never been in before.
Q: But you have dealt with colonization before.
A: We were a colony for 600 years, it took a lot of battles to secure our independence. Icelanders are strong and resilient. We will not give up.
Q: Won’t it be costly to buy these contracts back, especially when the Icelandic economy is doing so poorly?
A: It might be expensive, but to be honest, whatever it would cost us would be cheaper then the other option. We have a lot of other energy resources, and this isn’t that big a case, but this may only be the first privatization of many. The Chinese embassy just tripled in size and is looking into natural resources, especially fish. We could simply become a 21st century colony of international energy giants, Magma comes first, then the Chinese and so on.
Iceland has developed know-how and a graceful relationship between nature and technology for a century. We should be enjoying the harvest of these discoveries ourselves, not handing it over to an inexperienced Canadian mining company. Magma is right, green energy is the future, but we should enjoy the fruits of our own labour.
Q: What do you have to say to Canadians?
A: What kind of international energy direction are you going to have in the 21st century? How are you going to interact with other countries? In these times it is important to look at things long term. We have to unite technology and nature, get them to work together in an amicable way.
Q: Where did you get your concern for natural resources?
A: Our neighbors are not Canada or France or Brazil. Our neighbors are nature. Iceland is surrounded by mountains and ocean. Half of the food my family eats is from hunting. We’re an isolated island in the middle of the Atlantic, so we’re very aware of what we do to the island or to the ocean around us.
Q: You used to make a point of being apolitical. Why get so involved in all this?
A: It isn’t because I’m trying to convert people, the majority of people feel the same way; they just don’t have a spokesperson. If this goes through then we not only lose our banks and our homes, we loose our energy resources. They’re the only way that the next generation can get themselves out of this mess.
It’s a crossroads. It’s sort of terrible but it’s also kind of good because the bullshit is on the table. Everyone can see the corruption so it’s an opportunity to start a new society with new laws and new ethics. People are excited. That’s why people like myself are getting very heavily involved; they feel they can make a difference.