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4/28/12

Colombia: About those "FARC is finished as a terrorist group" headlines you've been reading recently in your favourite English language press outlet

In Caquetá today, the FARC attacked and killed 16 Colombian soldiers, left another 11 injured and has reportedly captured and kidnapped an undisclosed number of troops from the same column. Colombia's RCN news with more here

Colombia is Canada's new best friend

A good piece of long form journalism in Canada's Globe and Mail, written by Paul Christopher Webster and entitled "Colombia is Canada's new best friend" is linked here. An insightful piece that gives fair hearing to several angles of Canada's new financial and political interests in Colombia. Worth part of your weekend reading time.

Five days of metals and miners: April 28th

The regular Saturday slot: The last five days' worth of action in the gold bullion ETF (GLD), the silver bullion ETF (SLV), the miner ETF (GDX), the junior miner ETF (GDXJ) and the copper ETF (COPX).



A winner of a week, with the juniors sticking in a 7% rebound, coppers up over 5%, PM mienrs up 4% or so and the underlying metals doing well too. Relief comes to those who wait, let's see if next week can confirm the rally.

4/27/12

The Friday OT: Primal Scream; Rocks

Things to like:

1) The name of the band. They might not have reached the heights but at least the moment of baptism back in the mid-80s went well.
2) The video is a mint example of the band-plays-the-tune-for-the-cameras genre, with the lead singer doing  charisma Jagger-strut, players hamming it up, director's tight edit, good clean fun being had by all. It's really fun to watch.
3) The music. Hey, it's just a cool rock song, it's aged very well (a 1994 vintage), still sounds fresh, gotta love the backing vocals work and it's all-round the best thing Primal Scream did. Again the Stones' influence is clear enough, but Sly & The Family is in the house, Dylan in the words (and delivery) and I'm sure you could tip your hat to other great tracks too (Elvis Costello's Pump It Up comes to mind chez Otto). 


Play full volume and enjoy a quality slice of 90s. Dedicated to McC.

UPDATE: via comments, t'anta wawa (aka karaspita) speaks:
 4) The way they brought a much-needed slice of glammy, gender-ambiguous bohemia to early '90s Scotland, camouflaged in a Trojan horse of excellent tunes

East West Petroleum (EW.v): Let's face it, I warned you

In the IKN post dated April 23rd and delicately entitled "Bullshit scamster Porter Stansberry to pump East West Resources (EW.v) on Thursday April 26th" it was just about impossible to be any clearer. And in fact the scam pump happened right on schedule. And the stock which traded at 40c for most of the next day after our clear warning post is now at 55c, a difference of 37.5%:


Don't say you weren't told, dudettes and dudes.

Moral of this story: Never underestimate the amount of plug dumb stupid people there are out there. People like the scumbag Marin Katusa and his pal in cahoots scumbag Porter Stansberry have made themselves very rich by remembering that simple rule.

IKN and snakey-snake technical analysis


Our labels are so much more fun than "bollinger band" "Aroon" or "MACD"

"Any deep thoughts on NovaCopper?"....

...was a question your author received this morning from a regular mailpal. The only thing that occurred by way of an answer was this:
"Yes, it's run by a person whose monthly lunch expenses come to more than most junior exploreco's monthly total burn rate."

Just so you know where we stand on things, Rick.
rick!


Enjoy Monday. And dude, go easy on the foie gras this weekend, yeah?

Chart of the day is...

...Trelawney Mining (TRR.v) with a  red line stuck at $3.30 per share.


Aside from the debate that will surely happen over TRR.v and its deal today, the true good news is that IAMGOLD (IMG.to) (IAG) has opened up the cheque book (it's a $3.30 all-cash deal, see Reuters here or the company NR here), because if there's one thing the whole of the junior exploration sector needed it was a chunky M&A deal. Let's see how today's news affects general valuations.

4/26/12

Cristina's rally tomorrow (aka tomorrow's headlines today)

There have been other well-attended political rallies in the course of modern history,
but attendees don't always get to eat choripanes while listening to the headline speakers

They're expecting up to 150,000 Kirchnerites (yes, that says one hundred and fifty thousand) at Velez stadium in Buenos Aires tomorrow to do some serious, serious flag waving and banner carrying while President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner flexes her YPF expropriation muscles and shows the world just why she doesn't give a toss about foreign opinion on this issue.

Baja Mining (BAJ.to): Mount Kellett pipes up

Less than an hour ago we got the following from Mount Kellett, near 20% owners of BAJ.to stock and the guys who were narrowly defeated in the recent proxy battle.

What happens now? The most likely course of least resistance is that Greenslade is dumped, Mt K (which has been shorting the stock) gets the major lump of the upcoming dilutive share offering and then eventually (after a corporate wheel and deal or two) takes full control of the company. And then gets its turn to be flushed down the tubes by Boleo. Avoid this stock, folks. That's a call that hasn't changed since IKN142 back in January (we get 'em right on occasion, y'see)

VANCOUVER, British Columbia--(BUSINESS WIRE)--
Mount Kellett Capital Management LP (“Mount Kellett”) today filed an amended Schedule 13D with the Securities and Exchange Commission and provided comment on the recent announcements by Baja Mining Corp. (TSX: BAJ.TO - News) (OTCQX: BAJFF.PK - News) (“Baja”) concerning both the projected $246 million cost overrun for the Company’s Boleo project (or a total of $438 million after exhausting existing contingency and cost overrun facilities of $192 million) and the resignation of four of the Company’s seven directors a mere three weeks following the Company’s April 3, 2012 special meeting of shareholders.
“We demand the immediate public release of the ICA Fluor report and related materials on cost overruns at the Boleo project. It is critical that all shareholders better understand the predicament that Baja faces to make an informed judgment on their investment.
“In addition, John Greenslade should immediately resign as a director and officer of Baja. Due to his actions a tremendous amount of shareholder value has been destroyed. Mr. Greenslade has operated the company as a personal fiefdom with no regard for proper disclosure or good governance and the huge decline in the Company’s stock price is a consequence. Having lost the support, and received the resignations, of six independent directors in just the last twelve months, it is undeniable that shareholders require immediate and credible management of their company.
“We also call for the immediate reconstitution of the Board of Directors to include Messrs. Lorie Waisberg and Stephen Lehner, the two independent director candidates previously nominated by Mount Kellett, and to add two experienced independent directors satisfactory to Mount Kellett and other significant shareholders. This action is imperative as we believe that the remaining members of the board, or any directors that may be appointed to the board by Mr. Greenslade to fill current vacancies, will be too conflicted to make the critical decisions that will be required to be made on behalf of shareholders in the coming weeks. We believe that shareholders are at substantial risk that the current Board may pursue transactions that are highly dilutive to shareholders or that are not in the shareholders long-term, best interests.
“Even with the recent devastating news, we believe that the Boleo project represents substantial value for all Baja shareholders. We are prepared to protect our investment, and the investments of all current shareholders, by providing financial support to Baja, either alone or in conjunction with other investors, following standard due diligence. To date, Mr. Greenslade has denied our efforts to assist the company and enter into due diligence and negotiations despite the urgency of the situation.
“Shareholders are the true owners of Baja and it’s time to put aside the defence of management and renew a focus on governance and the execution of fiduciary duties on behalf of shareholders needed to save this company and its valuable copper project. Mount Kellett is prepared to take all such actions that may be necessary to protect its interests and those of its fellow shareholders.”

4/25/12

Chart of the day is...

...the US Dollar (USD) index:

It's been quiet

4/24/12

On the road


Your author escapes the confines of the Ottocave* and gads about a bit, with planned outing and jolly japes all starting mere minutes from now. The blog will be light on content for a couple of days as a result so we'll leave you in the capable hands of Mister Frost (rather than Mister Jack this time) whose words can entertain at a vastly higher level than your humble scribe's random mutterings.


Mending Wall (Robert Frost)
Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun,
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
The work of hunters is another thing:
I have come after them and made repair
Where they have left not one stone on a stone,
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,
No one has seen them made or heard them made,
But at spring mending-time we find them there.
I let my neighbor know beyond the hill;
And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.
To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
We have to use a spell to make them balance:
'Stay where you are until our backs are turned!'
We wear our fingers rough with handling them.
Oh, just another kind of out-door game,
One on a side. It comes to little more:
There where it is we do not need the wall:
He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says, 'Good fences make good neighbors'.
Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
'Why do they make good neighbors? Isn't it
Where there are cows?
But here there are no cows.
Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.
Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That wants it down.' I could say 'Elves' to him,
But it's not elves exactly, and I'd rather
He said it for himself. I see him there
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.
He moves in darkness as it seems to me~
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go behind his father's saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, "Good fences make good neighbors."



*like the Batcave, but less gadgets and no car

UPDATE: far too funny


thanks due to reader magiklair

Mo' Baja (BAJ.to)

Two things:

1) Company head John Greenslade is now (or nowabouts) on a plane heading to South Korea. He'll come back in a few days. He'll then "be resigned" next week. 

2) Here's a paste out of Haywood's call on the stock, this morning.
Today’s Research – April 24, 2012
Baja Mining Corp. (BAJ-T, $0.57)
SECTOR OUTPERFORM; Revised Target: (-$0.90) $0.85; Risk: SPECULATIVE
Stefan Ioannou, PhD, sioannou (at) haywood.com
Evan Young, MS, DIC, eyoung (at) haywood.com
‘Surprise’ – US$246M Capital-Cost Increase at El Boleo
  Baja recently announced a US$246M initial capital-cost increase at its flagship 70% owned El Boleo copper-cobalt-zinc project located in Mexico. The estimated increase is in addition to the project’s US$100M cost overrun facilities and 12% (US$92M) contingency. Furthermore, four Directors have resigned from the Company’s Board within the past week, adding uncertainty to the Baja story.
  We had anticipated modest capital-cost escalation as per Company guidance on a recent analyst tour of El Boleo. However, the magnitude of the increase, unfortunately not acknowledged/recognized by Baja’s management during the site visit, is unexpected. The Company has initiated discussions with its lending syndicate to develop an acceptable solution within the next 2 months to allow continued drawdown of El Boleo’s debt funding. We note our model remains based on H2/13 copper production start-up at the project, versus Baja’s H1/13 target—a timeline that we will continue to monitor closely, especially now in light of the Company’s potentially limited access to funds.
  The resignations of four Directors within a week do not instill market confidence in Baja, especially on the back of a recently completed proxy battle unsuccessfully headed by Mount Kellett Capital Management LP, the Company’s largest single shareholder (19.8%), which raised a number of questions pertaining to, among other things, Baja’s corporate governance practices. We view this recent Board activity as an additional element of risk and uncertainty.

IKN back with a disclosure: No position in BAJ.to and that won't change

Chart of the day is...

...copper, hourlies.
Looks like the influences we noted yesterday morning are having their (desired positive) effect. This is good.

4/23/12

Bullshit scamster Porter Stansberry to pump East West Petroleum (EW.v) on Thursday April 26th

Yes indeed, it's not just the bullshitters at Casey Research who'll use East West Petroleum (EW.v) to scam their readership as next up it's Porter Stansberry, purveyor of self-serving bullshit to the market, who's about to use this über-dog stock as a medium to separate fools from money.

Consider yourself duly warned.

 

To quote Bill Hicks, "Looks like we got ourselves a reader"

This communique from Cerlalc (Centro Regional para el Fomento del Libro en América Latina y el Caribe) made for interesting reading, as it were, because it provides a lot of background on the popularity of book reading in Latin America. Here's just one chart from the survey:

  click to enlarge chart or for sharper focus

We see that a large majority of the populations of Mexico and Peru don't read books, whereas just 20% of the population of Chile are non-book readers. Lots more info on that above link too, especially if you can read Spanish.

Even more Peru mining M&A today

Dia Bras (DIB.v) buys (via paper) Plexmar (PLE.v), a perennially screwed up tinycap that's benefitted its owners far more than its shareholders over the years. As DIB.v is at least a serious mining operation, it might be able to do something with PLE's beaten down assets. DIB is smart about Peru too, decent brains trust on board that company.

Copper M&A in Peru today

Gestion this morning reports that Peru's Minsur has agreed to buy the 70% of Marcobre owned by Hong Kong/China holding company CST Mining for $505m.

And yup, that's the old Chariot Resources asset that was rejected by Glencore in November, a deal that was slated at $475m. 

This might be an interesting story to follow...

Interesting copper action this Monday morning

Over the weekend, Chile's copper overseeing people Cochilco reported that LME cancelled warrants (i.e. trades that require physical delivery of copper, not just paper-only pit trades at the LME) stood at 23.79% of inventory (62,125kt). Link here.

This morning in Scotia's morning mailer, your humble scribe reads that LME cancelled warrants have shot to 40% of inventories. That's a big move, ladies and gentlemen. Here below is the blurb and charts pasted from the Scotia thingy, reprinted without permission (hah, bite me dudes):

- Copper Update - Big Cancelled Warrant action today likely Causing Some Short Covering:  Nearby copper spreads have been aggressively bid this morning on the back of a around 41kt increase in cancelled warrants - now 40% of LME inventories are cancelled warrants. 

Baja Mining (BAJ.to): Should be funny, isn't

Quote of the day goes to my friend W with, "...if this kind of shit happened in the US, someone would be getting a Wells notice from the SEC like yesterday."

The issue is the Baja Mining (BAJ.to) news release out today, so click on it and have a good laugh at the dumbasses, too. Unless you're long this stock, in which case laughs will be harder to come by. Here at IKN Nerve Centre™ your humble scribe is still trying to work out the funniest bit. It might be the three directors resigning or it might be the $246m in extra costs on top of the previous cost overrun projections. But overall, it's probably the total brass neck of Greenslade considering the fun ride we've seen in this stock in 2012.

UPDATE at the open:


And to that our old pal Owly says...
Thank you, owly.

UPDATE 2: An extra layer of fun comes after the closing bell today in this NR. Here's the script:

Resignation of Directors of Baja Mining Corp.

VANCOUVER, April 23, 2012 /CNW/ - Wolf K. Seidler, Director and Chair of the Corporate Governance Committee of Baja Mining Corp. ("Baja") and Tom Ogryzlo, Director and former Chair of the Board of Baja, confirm that they resigned from the Board of Baja on. April 21, 2012.  As Baja did not publish the contents of their letter of resignation in its news release of April 23, 2012, as had been requested, the contents of that letter are provided below.
"It is with great regret that the undersigned, Tom Ogryzlo and Wolf K. Seidler, both hereby resign as Directors of Baja Mining Corp. effective immediately.
In light of recent developments, including the departure of Graham Thody, a dedicated long time Director and Chairman of the Audit Committee, we are no longer confident that we can ensure the level of good governance and oversight that the Shareholders of Baja have a right to expect from us.
We request that the preceding paragraphs of this letter be publicly disclosed in their entirety."
"Wolf K. Seidler"           "Tom Ogryzlo"
WOLF K. SEIDLER           TOM OGRYZLO
 
For further information: Wolf K. Seidler
(705) 492-3638

x

Chart of the day is...

...silver.

It's just like one of those fairground rides. Wheeeeeeeeeee! Isn't this fun?

Yeah ok, you're right, it isn't fun.

4/22/12

The IKN Weekly, out now

boludo atomico

IKN155 has just been sent to subscribers. A couple of subbers have had delivery problems recently, so if yours hasn't arrived drop me a line and I'll sort it out as soon as.

Oh yes, we heart The Screwtape Files very much

And why do we love The Screwtape Files so deeply? Because they run posts that mock a self-serving bullshit gold-hawking chart dumbass James Turk to within an inch of serious injury, that why. 

And Screwtape does it with such panache and style too. Go read it yourself.

Peru: Ollanta's approval rating at 56%

According to the monthly pulse-check survey by Peru's benchmark pollster Ipsos/Apoyo today, Ollanta Humala has a 56% approval rating in his country. Here's how that score stacks up against the previous months:


He's holding the mark quite well, isn't he? Steady as she goes in the non-honeymoon 2012 period so far and frankly, anything about 50% in Peru is a good score if you remember the single digit scores Toledo had or the at-or-around 30% numbers that Twobreakfasts 'enjoyed' all through his tenure. 

Have to wonder what will happen when Ollanta sends the troops into Conga, though...

Wal-Mart de Mexico, bribery, The New York Times

I'd just like to chirp a tiny little voice from this humble corner of cyberspace and recommend that if you haven't already read it, go directly to The New York Times' report on bribery, corruption and an almighty cover-up at Wal-Mart de Mexico which directly involves its mother company Wal-Mart (WMT), too. It's a dynamite piece of tip-top quality reporting by David Barstow of NYT and 100% required reading even if you're not as LatAm-centric as your humble scribe.