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PS: The integrity and trustworthiness of my source is unquestionable. A straight shooter and one of the good'uns of life.
The high street in Tiverton, Devon, is just like that of any other small market town – with a tea shop, a barber's, an Indian restaurant and a second-hand bookseller – except that at the local Italian, the man tending the bar and waiting tables is on bail for alleged torture and crimes against humanity.Il Gatto Nero was closed for business for two days this week, prompting the landlord to fear that his tenant Rodrigo Grande, a 46-year-old Peruvian, had "done a runner". In fact, Mr Grande was 15 miles away at Exeter police station, being questioned about his alleged role in the torture and murder of hundreds of Peruvian civilians in the 1980s and early 1990s, when government-backed death squads moved to quash the Maoist insurgent movement known as the Shining Path.While Mr Grande was being questioned, Metropolitan Police officers searched both his restaurant and his rented home nearby, removing mobile phones and computer equipment. He is now on bail and expected to present himself to police in London in July.Mr Grande, who is 6ft tall and was dressed in jeans and a cardigan when located by The Independent, protested his innocence yesterday. "They wanted to speak to me about when I worked as a police officer in Peru. I have done nothing. I have done nothing," he said, refusing to say more about the matter.
This quality slice of 80s pop chosen to commemorate what's about to happen in Libya.
I've noticed how chartists love to do these things....
This came out his lips about two minutes ago:
Optimism over the state of the global economic recovery at the start of the year, which drove US real interest rates sharply higher – and gold prices lower – has been tempered by the ongoing events in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and Japan, sending the 10-year US TIPS yield down to near 80 bp, setting the stage for the next gold price rally.
We expect gold prices to rally toward our 3-month price target of $1480/toz, and continue to recommend a long gold trade. While the protests and threat to oil supplies in the Middle East and North Africa drove COMEX gold prices to a new record high of $1437/toz on March 2, the events in Japan have paradoxically sent gold prices back below $1400/toz despite the ongoing decline in US 10-year TIPS yields. Given the decline in US real interest rates, we see the recent retracement in gold prices as offering a good buying opportunity, and maintain our long gold trading recommendation as we expect gold to rally to our 3-month price target of $1480/toz.
We see strong upside to gold prices in the near term, but continue to expect rising US real rates to lead prices to peak in 2012. We expect gold prices to move higher throughout 2011, but continue to believe that gold at current price levels is a compelling trade, not a longterm investment. In particular, we expect that as US real interest rates rise with the recovery in the US economy, gold prices will likely reach a peak in 2012.
We expect gold to rally following the recent events, but the PGM outlook is increasingly tied to the speed of Japan’s recovery. The sell-off in PGM prices accelerated after the Japanese earthquake, with platinum prices down 5% and palladium prices down 9% this week. While PGM prices softened with the rise in oil prices accompanying the MENA events, the recent declines reflect the potential loss of autocatalyst demand from idled automobile manufacturing in Japan. Not only does Japan account for 12.6% of global automobile production, it also accounts for a large share of global industrial PGM consumption: 16.4% for platinum and 18.1% for palladium in 2010.
What you now need to know about Greystar Resources (GSL.to)This is the last segment we’re running on GSL and it won’t take long:
1) The decision on its Environmental permit approval is scheduled to come on (or perhaps before) Arpil 15th 2011.2) The company will be denied its permit. To update the quantative call on this, I’d call it a 98% to 2% chance of a bad day for the company.3) If it moves up from its current $2.78 and into the mid $3’s between now and early April on silly gringo speculation of a GSL win, it may be a decent short oppportunity.4) However it’s not a company destined to go to $0.00. It currrently holds around $1.10/share in working capital and there are plenty of its resource ounces that lie under the Páramo altitude limit that’s causing it all the permitting problems. I’ve seen estimates of up to 3m oz Au held by GSL that could be worked into a brand new mining plan that certainly couldn’t be presented to the world overnight but would give an asset backbone to the company.5) As it happens I am not short GSL but I do know a market player that was short GSL recently. Last Tuesday I wrote to him on a purely friendly basis and suggested that there was a bottom in the GSL downspike. As it happens he’d covered the day before and taken his profits. Smart guy you are, XXXXX.
UPDATE 10:44est: There's a rumour in the village that the upcoming GSL NR will flatly deny that the company is withdrawing the permit application and will call BS on the Colombian politicos' words of yesterday evening. We'll see how this one plays out and leave you with a quick quote of "Curiouser and curiouser, said Alice....."
Update 2: An hour and a half later and it turns out the rumours were about
PS: Oh yeah, nearly forgot. Don't just laugh at Nicholas CampbellSoup's Colombia thoughts, cos you'd also be wise in the future not to take investment advice about junior mining companies from the people at Amber Capital LLC, of 990 Third Ave, Suite 200, NY NY USA. After all, they decided to up their holding to 10% of this dog this month. Hopefully, they weren't playing sillyfools with your money, gentle reader. NR excerpt right here for your dee lek tay shun:
"After giving effect to the acquisition noted in item 2 above, the Offeror beneficially owns and controls 8,422,343 common shares in the capital of the Company, representing in the aggregate approximately 10% of the outstanding common shares of the Company (based upon the 84,218,363 common shares stated by the Company to be outstanding as of November 9, 2010)"
In 2009 Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize.
Is it just me, or has the world gone absolutely fucking crazy?
Alejandro Toledo: Polling roughly 26% and even though that number has dropped slightly form the 28% or thereabouts of a few weeks ago he's still a racing certainty to lead the voting on April 10th. The big question now is who will he be up against. The answer will come from one of the next four names. Otto's call on Toledo's run-off chances: 99% (not 100% because never say never, but apart from real weirdness happening, he's there).
Keiko Fujimori: Polling roughly 19% or 20%, Keiko enjoys a hardcore of pro-Fujimori voters (mostly from the lower social strata) that have kept her numbers steady. I see Keiko as setting a benchmark for others to beat if they can, because if not Keiko will make it into the run-off. Otto's call on Keiko's run-off chances: 50%.
Luis Castañeda: Polling roughly 17%. He was leading the polls most of the way through 2010, was neck and neck with Keiko for a long time and now he's fading. His campaign has been a poor one and his decline comes as little surprise considering what the Peruvian public has seen from him. A spent force and not presidential material. Otto's call on Castañeda's run-off chances: 5%.
Ollanta Humala. Polling roughly 15%. By contrast, Ollanta has conducted an effective and impressive campaign and the last couple of weeks have seen his numbers rise from roughly 11%...he's on a roll. He's kept the hardcore left wing policy choices out the limelight, has avoided wearing army fatigues and casual clothing this time and opted for plenty of suits and ties, he's had a pro-poor people message that the lower economic strata have believed (unlike Castañeda, who comes across as saying any old thing to make himself popular). Ollanta has been at his best in street level campaigning and may surprise a lot of people with the size of his vote in provincial/rural Peru.Otto's call on Ollanta's run-off chances: 35%.
Pedro Pablo Kuczynski: Polling roughly 11%. PPK is also on a polling roll, having seen his numbers move up from the rough 6% level recently. however there's a big gap between him and Keiko (and the other two) so unless the Castañeda campaign goes into out-and-out freefall and potential Castañeda voters turn to PPK as the useful vote alternative, the breach looks too big at this late stage to cover. However, PPK's campaigning has also been good, especially since changing tactics a few weeks ago and hammering on his strong points (economy above all).Otto's call on PPK's run-off chances: 10%.
...was sent to subscribers about 15 minutes ago (just after 10:30 EST).
And about time too. We'll have a look at this at the weekend, subbers. Here's how the NR starts, click to continue
TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - 03/17/11) - Minera Andes Inc. (the "Corporation" or "Minera Andes") (TSX:MAI - News)(OTC.BB:MNEAF - News) is pleased to announce that it intends to complete a spin-out its Los Azules Copper Project into a new publicly traded company.The Los Azules Project is a 100% owned advanced-stage porphyry copper exploration project located in the cordilleran region of San Juan Province, Argentina near the border with Chile. It is one of the world's largest undeveloped copper deposits with an indicated mineral resource of 137 million tonnes grading 0.73% copper, equivalent to 2.2 billion pounds of copper, and an inferred mineral resource of 900 million tonnes grading 0.52% copper, equivalent to 10.3 billion pounds of copper. Exploration and infill drilling continues with five drills currently operating at the Los Azules Copper Project.-- Management believes now is the time to unlock the value and potential of
Minera Andes' world class Los Azules Copper Project.
-- The spin-out of the Los Azules Copper Project allows Minera Andes
shareholders CONTINUES HERE
"With the Middle East in turmoil, Japan’s nuclear reactors at least partly melting down and Congress in the midst of a budget battle, President Barack Obama is going to … Latin America."
...gold, which is doing just fine so far this week.
And now, a quick Spanish lesson:
Dedicated to reader 'RB', who likes his Indian fusion music (but i bet he's never heard it fused with Cumbia)
"More on Uranium Sector - These recent events are likely to lead developed nations to take a more cautious view regarding nuclear power, the governments of China , Russia and South Korea have all stated that the events in Japan will not affect those country's long term nuclear programs. However, China has suspended approvals for proposed nuclear power plants and is making a comprehensive safety check of atomic plants following Japan 's nuclear crisis, the State Council said overnight. The Council meeting chaired by Premier Wen Jiabao declared through a Statement that: “We will temporarily suspend approval of nuclear power projects, including those in the preliminary stages of development, pending the ratification of a new Nuclear Safety Plan and the revision/improvement of the Medium to Long-Term Nuclear Energy Development Plan… We must fully grasp the importance and urgency of nuclear safety, and development of nuclear power must make safety the top priority. We will use the most advanced standards to proceed with a safety assessment of all nuclear plants under construction. Any hazards must be thoroughly dealt with, and those that do not conform to safety standards must immediately cease construction.” China Strategist to Scotia Capital notes that the drafting and approval of a new Nuclear Safety Plan will likley take close to one year. Germany plans to shut down 7 nuclear reactors for a period of 3 months, pending a safety review would, in our estimates remove up to 1.0 Mlb of uranium demand in the context of a global market of roughly 195 Mlb. Remember that Asia (specifically China) and Eastern Europe (specifically Russia) represent 95% of the expected growth in reactor units between 2010 and 2015, and 86% of the expected growth between 2010 and 2020."
"And although Chinese approvals may be delayed, Scotia Mining Sales does not think this will materially change the long term goal of increasing reliance on nuclear power vs. coal."
UPDATE: My stars, a lot of people work at Scotia Mining Sales, don't they?. Just 30 minutes after the post went up and 73 clicks registered on that link already. Mind you, two of them must be my resident Casey Research staff member readers, so that explains a bit I suppose......
UPDATE 2: I wonder what sort of ridiculous BS spin the dumbasses trying to sow Hope™ from their comfy desks in Vancouver and Toronto are going to put on this NR?:
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA AND JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA, March 16 /CNW/ - Uranium One Inc. ("Uranium One") today announced that JSC Atomredmetzoloto ("ARMZ") has notified Mantra Resources Limited ("Mantra") that ARMZ believes that the recent serious events at the nuclear power plant in Fukushima, Japan are likely to have a material adverse effect on the business, results of operations, assets or liabilities, financial position or prospects of Mantra. As such, ARMZ considers that the condition precedent in the Scheme Implementation Agreement dated December 15, 2010 between ARMZ and Mantra relating to a material adverse change is not capable of being satisfied.
ARMZ has indicated to Mantra that it intends to continue discussions with Mantra in an effort to explore how the transaction between two companies may proceed by way of an alternative approach.Uranium One will provide further updates as additional information becomes available.
Is the message about U getting through yet? DYODD and don't believe a word that comes out of the mouths of liars who rely on your money for their salary. And hey dudettes and dudes, I was calling on this theme Friday morning before the word 'meltdown' had even started trending. It's called straight talk, a old fashioned concept that's good for your bank account.
This is what they wrote:
PERTH, WESTERN AUSTRALIA--(Marketwire - March 16, 2011) - Paladin Energy Ltd. (TSX:PDN - News; ASX:PDN - News; "Paladin" or the "Company") expresses its deepest condolences to the people of Japan following the tragic events of Friday 11 March 2011. "We are very saddened by the catastrophic events and extreme loss of life following the dual natural disasters of an earthquake and tsunami", stated John Borshoff, Managing Director/CEO of Paladin. "We are encouraged that Fukushima plant managers are making public safety their highest priority and although the situation remains of grave concern it seems to be progressing slowly towards stabilisation of the damaged reactors".Paladin has had numerous queries regarding its business with Japan and the impact of recent events. While the Company endeavours to work with all participants in the nuclear sector and is developing a regional diversified sales portfolio, it does not currently have a commercial relationship with Japanese utilities. Paladin has a strong balance sheet with US$251.8M in cash as of 31 December 2010; is on track to produce 6Mlb to 6.3Mlb U3O8 in FY 2011; and commissioning of Langer Heinrich Mine Stage 3 expansion to 5.2Mlb U3O8 will occur in April giving the Company an installed capacity to provide 8.5Mlb U3O8 pa.Paladin continues to believe that the medium and long-term outlook for nuclear power remains positive and that recent events could further exacerbate the supply situation, ironically putting Paladin in an even better position with respect to global demand. There are more than 440 nuclear reactors operating safely around the world and growth of the fleet is assured with the 62 reactors currently under construction, with further expansion forecast from the emerging nuclear economies.Paladin will hold a conference call regarding the Japanese nuclear situation on Thursday 17 March details below (continues here)
And this is what it means:
Good morning, half an hour before the opening bell.
I'd like to make a few market comments and revisit my playbook for gold as seen in IKN97.
However I am not you, you are not me and our circumstances are different, of that I'm sure. I'd only suggest that you think through any exit strategy and not rush into one. If after reasoning you believe that selling is the best call for you today, that's fine.
I'd now like to re-check on the "gold playbook" that was featured in IKN97 in light of the Japan events. Here it is reprinted with newly added notes and then more commentary afterwards. The Sunday lines are in bold type, the new comments are in red.
The bottom line to the playbook is that things are happening faster than I imagined but at least the train of logic is holding together so far. The Fed meeting today will have many eyes upon it and as we know Bernanke doesn't even like the sound of the word 'deflation', let alone its potential effects and the ball is now in his court, I see no reason to panic out of long positions until we know more from there. However there are wild cards in this week's scenario, not least of which the nuclear power plant situation in Japan. It pays to closely observe newsflow at the moment and to remember that playbooks are not orders set in stone and can be changed to adapt to dynamic circumstances.
Finally and to repeat the same sentiment, if you sell today that's fine by me and you won't hear a word of complaint as long as you are being a rational person about your sales and not just kidding yourself into one while you panic. In the words of John Donne, 'know thyself'.
..wheat, daily candles.
News roundup (no silly parentheses today as every time the word Japan floats back into my brain all the jokes disappear)
I'm impressed with gold's resilience this morning. Five minute candle chart here:
From Jonathan's 'Gold This Morning', quite superb:
"I have already digested the pretense and artifice of talking-head claims of the evacuation of Tokyo and QE 15 and we shall just have to stand aside and wait for the reality of our facts."
UPDATE: On a difficult day I'm going to shamelessly toot horn a bit. Some reactions to the Flash update from subscribers via reply mails (which are never solicited but always welcomed):
"What an excellent report! Nice job."
"Thanks. This is exactly what Iexpect from my investments’ Godfather....(in the Latino-Catholic sense, not the gringo sense)" (subscriber JO)
"Very thoughtful. Thanks."
"Great email. Sometimes you need to be as much market psychologist as you need to be equity analyst."(subscriber PB)
"Thanks for your opinion, appreciated as always."
"Thanks, agree and appreciated!"
Your humble scribe may be a market whuss, but on the other hand he's not hard-wired to panic, either.
...the T-Bonds, near-term action today, March 15th, The Ides of March:
Who is it in the press that calls on me?
I hear a tongue shriller than all the music
Cry "Caesar!" Speak, Caesar is turn'd to hear.
Beware the ides of March.
What man is that?
A soothsayer bids you beware the ides of March.
Artist: Thom Yorke
Track: Black Swan
Album: The Eraser
This is what they wrote:
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - March 14, 2011) - Western Uranium Corporation (TSX VENTURE:WUC - News; "the Company" or "WUC") is pleased to announce that the Board of Directors of the Company has approved, subject to regulatory approval, a change of name of the company to Concordia Resource Corp.
The proposed change of name reflects the Company's strategy for expansion through acquisition and exploration globally, and through a shift in focus from uranium into a more diversified exploration and development company.
And this is what it means:
"Yes Mr. Flood?"
"That's the last freakin' straw! Get on to the lawyers and get that godforsaken word out of my corporate title NOW!"
"Right away, Mr. Flood."
DYODD, dudettes and dudes.
Enter the wild cardLast week’s massive earthquake in Japan now presents one of those “now what happens?” events for world markets. Though not an ideal situation, part of analysis is to separate human distress factors from the cold, clinical world of money and markets and think about the financial consequences of moments such as this. Here, in a preliminary way, are a few thoughts on what might be in store for the metals end of business (the one junior miner portfolios care about):
1) Uranium will sell off in the very-short-term and with it we’ll see selling of U producers and junior exploration plays. But let’s keep things real and note short, medium and long term scenarios (i.e. all with the potential for making or losing money) before we start running around waving our hands in the air. Short-term I expect U-exposed issues to drop, whether the exit be orderly or full-on dumpage, whether it be for knee-jerk or rational reasons. It matters not whether the sell-off is for rational or irrational reasons, from smart profit-taking of winning positions or from the we-are-all-gonna-die brigade. U will drop. Medium-term, my personal opinion it that it depends on which way China jumps. On that I call that China will keep on its aggressive U development on track, note how well the Japanese reactors have stood up to a 9.0mag quake on their doorstep, calm its own people (the only opinion that really matters to its Politburo) by noting the lack of tectonic plates where it’s planning to build its next generation of power suppliers, put a backbone in to the market and U gets back its mojo. Longer term is more of a world scale rather single country scale and the Fukushima situation gives energy policymakers another reason to look beyond uranium as mass scale generation of choice and towards alternative energy sources. This might be played up by sector interests in the coming weeks (solar companies may tell you to love solar now, geotherm likewise), so join any budding hype on those if you feel the need (repent at thy leisure afterwards...switchgrass, anyone?). So in other words, my only real call is for a short-term knee-jerk reaction to last week’s events and a wholesale dumpage of U stocks, which is a pretty pathetic analysis. As the timeline lengthens it’s tougher to make a proactive money call. My best guess is that uranium business might see some of the froth blown off but if bargains may appear at the quality end of the market they should be good trades for those with patience. Final point: As for the ‘sleeper facto’r of uranium stocks hardly moving last week even though talk had started to build about Japan’s nuclear power problems, it’s worth checking this screenshot below showing how the word “meltdown” didn’t trend much until after the Friday markets had closed. Then suddenly it was featured in between 1 and 3 of every 1000 tweets...and that’s a lot of tweeting, people. So get ready for your dose of irrational.
As for gold (and therefore the other PMs or pseudo-PMs that follow its lead), my current playbook...
Hi, my name is Ryu from Japan. I've been reading your blog for quite a while now and really enjoying it. Anyway, I'm in the western part of Japan so I'm affected by the recent earthquake. But, the situation in the nuclear power plants in Fukushima is really concerning. So, I'm trying to get information as much as possible. Yeah, your blog posts are helpful, too. So, I've been looking through the web and would like to share some stuff I found.
Japan Visual Journalists Association's members have been in the town of Futaba, where the Fukushima No.1 Power Plant located. The members are the well-known photojournlists like Takashi Morizumi and Ryuichi Hirokawa. And, here's what they found so far. Well, it's in Japanese, and what it says is that at 10:20am, March 13th, they measured radiation at the front gate of the town hall with three kinds of equipments (BEIGER COUNTR DZX2, VICTOREEN 209-SI, and MYRate PRD-10), and the amount of radiation is well over the limits they can detect. The journalists also went to the general hospital, and the result was the same.
Another good source of information is Citizens' Nuclear Information Center's website. They had a press conference at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan, and you can watch the video. It's in English as well. Here's the direct link to the video:
I'm just a guy who is very concerned with the situation and hoping it won't get worse. I just wanted to share the info so maybe someone can find it useful. If you need more precise translation for the articles, please let me know.
UPDATE: Ryu shares more. Thanks man:
You may have noticed already, but Citizens' Nuclear Information Center has its dedicated English site.
Also, a non-profit group called Green Action is blogging about the nuclear situation in English. They interviewed Japan Visual Journalists Association's journalists who went to near the Fukushima Daiichi. Unfortunately the interview video is in Japanese, but they transcribed and translated in English. It's better than my summary.
So, you can share the links on your blog if you'd like. Thanks for your attention, and I really appreciate you and people from all over the world expressing their support. I hope the situation will be like what the article, you posted the linked to, said.