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6/1/13

AP does Tahoe Resources (THO.to) (TAHO)

Associated Press catches up with the latest from the San Rafael Las Flores region of Guatemala and the bad blood between it and the Escobal silver mine project there, owned by Tahoe Resources (THO.to) (TAHO). Here's how the English language report starts, click through for more
The neighbors of the San Rafael silver mine no longer come out of their homes for fear of the machine-gun toting troops and police who man checkpoints in these green, wooded mountains. The plaza in the town of San Rafael Las Flores, where the community used to mingle, is now deserted.
The fear that rules this terrain, where residents are mostly Xinca Indians, recall the bad old days of the country's three-decade-long civil war, which killed as many as 200,000 people. But what's brought in the troops this time are protests over plans by Vancouver-based Tahoe Resources Inc. to tap what the company says is one of the five largest silver deposits in the world.

Five day of metals and miners

Slight return to the GLD/SLV/GDX/GDXJ/COPX chart:



PM miners beat the metals? Yup.

5/31/13

PDAC 2014: The price schedule

Here's the just-published pricings for PDAC 2014 in Toronto:

  • General Public: PDAC will pay you $20/day to attend
  • Institution clients: PDAC will pay you $50/day to attend,
  • Journalists: PDAC will pay you $50/day to attend, or $100/day and all the beer you can drink for positive coverage in newspapers, magazines, journals etc
  • Companies: PDAC will pay you $500/day for booth space.

Reserve your ticket now.

Congrats to all those who bought Rainy River (RR.to) in 2009 and held on...

...because the rest of you have just been fucked up the ass.


Plain language is necessary on occasion. Well played New Gold (NGD). NR here.

Atna Resources (ATN.to), newsletters and that there Otto Rule™

First up, consider the year to date price chart of Atna Resources (ATN.to). 


That's ugh, even compared to the overwhelming ughness of the juniors this year. That one is triple ugh with a side of aaargh and WTF topping. The ostensible reason is this NR out post bell Wednesday, combined with the weakly argued ConfCall out of ATN.to yesterday morning, that failed to cover the gaps in the Pinson mine halt reasoning and called into serious question the management at ATN.

Ok, fair enough, so far we have a shitty performance from a gold junior, broken guidance, all round fail. That's not good but it's hardly a new story in the den of inequity iniquity (ty iwnattos) known more officially as the Canadian junior mining sector. But what's grabbed your author's attention in the last 24 hours is how certain newsletters have called big fat foul and cheaty cheat on ATN, because apparently they'd been told extra special super secret information about the development at the company in 2012, had reco'd the company with screaming buy and strong buy and top pick labels, only to have had their asses sautéed and handed back to them on a silver platter, medium rare.

Hey folks, guess what we told you less than two days ago? Yup...
If a junior mining company officer, executive or representative offers you off-record information, never buy that stock. Ever.
...and that's exactly what has happened here. The only difference is that the bullshit wasn't swallowed by individual investors, but was swallowed by people (and I could name names, but I won't) who have direct influence on many many junior mining investors (the vast majority green as grass and ready/waiting to believe any cock and bull story that comes their way). On this occasion ATN whispered sweet nuthins into the ears of the writers of newsletters, told them off record BS about how wonderful life would be at Pinson even with gold at $1,300/oz and the greedy idiot authors took the bait, hook line and sinker. The result isn't just a few dozen burned portfolios but a few thousand and the supposedly suave, sophisticated and worldly wise newsletter publishers look fucking stupid and naive. Which is why they're all so angry and/or apologetic to their herds now.

The moral of this story? Well, I suppose you could rescue "don't pay fucking idiots for their views on the market", but that's probably obvious by now. The only thing to underscore is that  anyone who gives you bad advice will not pay for your losses if you're daft enough to believe them, dear kind and loving retail investor in mining companies. That and the way in which you have to, you must, you are absolutely obligated to set your trust-o-meter at zero when engaging with anyone connected with the mining industry. A mining executive, an IR lackey, a broker, a newsletter writer, an analyst and all the jobs that fit between those gaps. If as time goes by that person shows that their word is to be trusted and gains your respect then fair enough but if not, consider them to be a self-serving liar who doesn't give a flying fuck about you and just wants to separate you from your money, because that's almost certainly the way it is


Chart of the day is...

...the gold/silver ratio:



Up up up.

Y'know, for a market that's buying the broad indices like billy-o and boasting of its fearlessness faced with the proverbial wall of worry, that above chart shows a lot of fear. Where it really matters, too.

5/30/13

Dead miners in Peru and Chile

I have a question: How does Peru manage to kill around double the number of miners per year than Chile, every single year? And considering that Chile's mining industry is around double that of Peru's in dollar revenue terms, too.


I mean, mining has been and always will be a dangerous way to earn a pay packet and deaths on the job are part of the wider picture, but the the chart above documents a clear statistical trend. So is it just bad luck at play in Peru? Are Chileans naturally less gung-ho while at work? Or is it because Chile has rules that are enforced, while Peruvian mining companies cut corners whenever possible? Chile data from here, Peru data from here.

Whoever bought that big 4+m lump of B2Gold (BTO.to) yesterday...

...has better timing than your humble scribe.


Still, not complaining.

Belo Monte dam

A headsup on a potential problem here. The Xingu tribe of Brazil is back at the site of the big (well in fact it's massive) Belo Monte hydroelectric dam project in Brazil, saying that they've returned to stop construction from going ahead because the government has ingored them in negotiations. Brazil's government yesterday got eviction orders from its judiciary and police are now gatehring on site to make good on the eviction. This could end badly and it's an issue to eye an eye on.

Chart of the day is...

...lumber, dedicated to the market chasers who mailed your humble scribe earlier this year and insisted that he should "really take a look at" the space.


There's a good reaon as to why we didn't comment on it, though. Worked out why yet?

A flash update...

...has just been sent to subscribers on this Thursday morning, with more than an hour to go before the open. Dipping a toe in the water, one specific stock.

5/29/13

When mining executives speak off the record

"Are we off the record?"
"This didn't come from me, but..."
"As long as you can assure me we're off record, I'd like to share something."

This short post will likely ruin your humble scribe's relationship with several people connected to mining because 1) they'll never offer me juicy snippets again and 2) they might not even want to talk with me again and some of them are quite pleasant company (yup, even mining engineers and geologists are human beings on occasion) but the public need is greater than any personal convenience. And also, they can stuff their useless juicy snippets where the sun doesn't shine. 

So to the point: There is a time and a place for off-record commentary, but when it comes to junior mining companies and the people who work therein, unless the company has a proven track record of delivery on promises and (not or) unless the you have an established relationship with person to whom you're speaking (the 15 minute chat at that booth last year does not count, ok?) the following Otto Rule™ rule applies:
If a junior mining company officer, executive or representative offers you off-record information, never buy that stock. Ever.


LatAm currencies versus the US Dollar in 2013

Look what's happening:


The blue line is the Colombian Peso (COP)
The golden line in the Brazilian Real (BRL)
The green line is the Peruvian Nuevo Sol (PEN)
The red line is the Chilean Peso (CLP)
The purple line is the Mexican Peso (MXN)

After the longest time in which LatAm's major freely traded currencies whupped the Greenback's tush, the last few months have seen a reversal of fortunes and USD appreciation. Even Mexico's Peso, that enjoyed a spurt between February and April when some anal yst or other suddenly discovered a big bit of land hanging off the South end of Americalandia checked a few CenBank stats to see how much it imported into the USA and decided Mexico was the next China or something, has seen a 4% dumpage against the almighty dollar in the last month.

And the reason for the new trend? Well, it may just be how LatAm is the net commodity export region of the world par excellence and has rarely bothered to build a copper wire factory/a soymeal factory/an oil refinery/a smelter/a frozen food producer, preferring to ship out the primaries and let others make the extra profit. But hey, that's just me guessing.

The Tico Times does Liberty Reserve (and does it very well)

Via @felixsalmon IKN Nerve Centre™ points you towards excellent journalism from Costa Rica's English language news site The Tico Times, regarding Liberty Reserve, the Costa Rica-based currency exchange website that's been shut down by authorities, accused of being the biggest money laundering operation in the world and the medium of choice for all types of nasty people. It's a complete and detailed report that covers many bases and as such, it's unfair to excerpt if here. You're better off reading the whole thing start to finish over at Tico Times. Here's the link to "Liberty Reserve: A cyberweb of intrigue" now go use it and as a sidebar, it's great to see strong journalism on LatAm matters from a small, indy outlet.

Bloomberg News = New York Post

It's now at the point where I refuse to even click articles out of Bloomie and give the news organization a single freakin' extra nanobyte of server activity due to the moronic headlines with which they attempt to entice the world. Here are three from this morning, disparate themes chosen deliberately (a ton of others to choose from if desired) that only got the attention of my right index finger for the purposes of this post. I took screenshots too, so if you really want to read the things go find them on googly:


WTF? Yes yes yes we get it Mr/s SubEd, it's a piece about how the bullish side of the EU argument is winning out, how Germany is crushing the periphery, how Merkel is going to coast the next election.

Next:

WTF2? Gold's up because it's down? Or is that how it's down even though it's up? Aha, it's the old bait'n'switch, oh you clever, clever tykes you! Get them intrigued with an apparent contradiction in the title, get them wondering, get them to read the op-ed thinly disguised as news.  

Finally:

WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEFUUUUUUUUUUUUUU? Again the intention is clear enough (barring the fact that the USA lost LatAm many moons ago and sending CoolDude Joe plus his hooker-seeking secret service entourage will change diddly-squat), but what's the point behind this clickbait bullshit, is it just to get the click? Yup, welcome to style over substance Bloomie edition.

I wonder whether it's Mike Bloomberg reading the NYP, thinking it's the future of journalism and handing down directives. Or is it Sub-Eds thinking that the NYP is what Mikey B wants from his own news org and pandering to the boss? Either way, it's way past the point of boredom with the morons writing these BBG headlines, nowadays is plain annoying and thusly and therefore, here's IKN's own special headline dedicated to the guys at Bloomie:


5/28/13

Conga bang bang shoot blood etc

Today, employees of Yanacocha S.A. began work on the second water reservoir for the Conga project in Cajamarca. The reservoir is named Perol and is a contentious issue between company and locals, as if it goes ahead and is completed, it will be the first time a natural lagoon is drained into a man-made one on site. Therefore locals opposed to Conga were on site early this morning and...


...yup, police decided to shoot them. From here.

The blueprint IKN complaints mail

Feel free to cut and paste it somewhere for future use, kind reader.
Dear Otto,

I read your blog regularly/every day/occasionally and find it most amusing/interesting/a way of passing five minutes of my turgid and suicide-inducing working day in this freakin' office cubicle. However, I must write in to point out that although it's funny to read snarky shit about mining people I've learned to hate and/or pissant companies about which I care not a rat's ass, you had the gall, temerity and utter brass-necked cheek to say something that was slightly mildly negative about somebody I actually know/a IR rep that once took me to lunch/a company whose shares I own/a politician for whom I voted recently . Therefore you now suck.

Yours totally unhypocritically, Anne Elk (miss)


Do not mess with the Brazilian goat

You have been warned.



For what it's worth, it chose its victims as they queued up for visiting time at a local jail.

Chart of the day is...

..Peru's IGBVL versus the USA's S&P500 idex, 2012 year to date:


A 35% difference in index performance in less than six months. Holy wowsers, the USA is kicking pure butt here.

5/27/13

The IKN Weekly, out now


The day off in the markets in many part of the world, that's why the weekly went out a day later than normally.

Times must be hard at Sprott Global

It's got to the point when Rick Rule has to talk with retail. At the booth, no less.


Stolen horribly from the nice Cooper dude's Twitter account, who's hanging at Cambridge House's World Resource Investing Conference in Vancouver today. Apparently it's not garnering much of an attendance this year, which is my kinda contrary indicator.



Helter Skelter

There must be a ton of junior miners listed in the Nikkei. Or something.

Looking forward to reading how Candente Copper (DNT.to) spins this one

Back in April, Candente Copper (DNT.to) took time and a whole news release to explain, all patiently like, about the roundtable discussions going on between government, company and local residents located aroud its Cañariaco copper project in Peru. We were told about the benefits of the discussion, progress made and the large chunks of money supposedly earmarked for the local communities' development projects, infrastructure etc.

In early May, DNT.to took time again to report on further developments in this NR, taking in the 5th round of monthly talks held the previous weekend. Here's how that was reported:
The Roundtable for Development which was established in January 2013 continues with meetings held near the beginning of each month (see DNT NR 048). On May 4, 2013, the fifth meeting was held in the village of Marayhuaca.

One of the key objectives of the Roundtable is to provide a venue for community representatives, regional and central government officials to discuss and prioritize community development projects to be funded by the central government under its commitment for an investment of more than 140,000,000 (One hundred forty million) Peruvian Soles (approximately US$56 Million). These funds will be directed to projects which address health, education, sanitation, energy, homes, transport, agriculture, and other needs.
Candente has offered to support the Development Plans with evaluation and funding of experts to prepare the technical files and present the projects which the Central Government will be funding.
So here we are with the next 6th round about to happen this weekend coming, but the latest news is that the local representatives have decided to abandon the roundtable talks. What makes this development really interesting is that the people who are throwing in the towel represent the minority of Cañaris locals who, up to this point at least, were in favour of (or at least not totally against) the installation of the mine. They told the press this weekend that they weren't going to show because:
  • No real progress had been made
  • At first, the government reps had told them they'd be able to fund initiatives and programs that had been proposed by locals, particularly ones connected with agricultural development ideas, but now the same government people say that funds for these ideas are not available.
  • In fact, not one of the proposals made by locals have been accepted by the government (in conjunction with the mining company) and the only acceptable ideas are, apparently, those that come from the politicos or the miners.
  • As well as other complaints that, in the words of the local representatives at the roundtable, "made them feel like spectators".
Therefore, this weekend's round table will go ahead with nobody from the local community present. The only people there will be government representatives and mining company representatives, according to the locals who have just abandoned the show. Y'know, just a wild guess on my part but I get the distinct feeling that DNT will forget to report on this month's get together. 


5/26/13

Pacaya's waking up again

Three years (almost to the day) since Guatemala's most active volcano, Pacaya, last erupted (and sadly causing the death of a news reporter at the scene), Guatemala's Department of Geological Investigations and Services reported late last night that the volcano's pattern of activity has abruptly changed, ash plumes of up to 100m high reported, explosions are being heard every three to five minutes and the magma chamber is apparently rising. As Guatemala's capital city is but 25km from the volcano, it's one worth keeping an eye upon.

Goddam pinko Bolivian communists and their "saving newborn babies' lives" market-meddling stupidities

Tomorrow marks the 5th anniversary of Bolivia's "Juana Azurduy" child social payments program, created in 2009 by the Evo Morales government to benefit mothers of children under two years old. The scheme is simplicity itself, as it awards mothers who use hospitals to give birth and then take their newborns for regular health check-ups in the first two years with staged payments that average around 1500 Bolivianos (about U$217 at today's rates) when a child gets the full coverage over time. As for the effects:
  • Previously, only around 55% Bolivian women gave birth in hospitals, with the tradition of home births (and the inherent risks) still strong in the country, particularly in rural areas. Today, that rate is up to around 76%.
  • The program has benefitted 383,242 mothers and 544,147 babies.
  • This year, 192,000 children under two years old are signed up to the program.
  • When Bolivia signed on to the World Health Organization/United Nations' "Milenio" health improvement program, one of the goals set was to get chronic malnutrition levels in children under 5 years of down down to 19% by the year 2015. Today in 2013 Bolivia is down to 15.5% according to the WHO.
  • Plenty more positive stats out there for the program
  • And we leave the most important one for last: Infant mortality rates are down from 55 per thousand to 46 per thousand. Yes it's still high compared to many countries, but that's still nine lives saved per 1,000 births in just five years, an impressive acceleration in healthcare. 


Freakin' commies, why can't they just let market forces decide who lives or dies instead of sticking their big government noses in everywhere and "trying to help people"?