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7/25/15

On death and Oliver Sacks

Like you I also read the NYT piece by Oliver Sacks on Friday which announced that his terminally ill cancer was exactly that, plus the matter-of-fact but emotional way in which he's preparing for death. It's highly recommended reading from a great human being, but what I'd also like to point you towards is an article about that Sacks article, written by Dr. Ranjana Srivastava in The Graun today Saturday, because it's wonderful. Once you've done with the Sacks piece make the point of reading Dr. Srivastava's, its insight is exceptional. A single excerpt, but it's tempting to quote whole chunks here it's that good:
And then, he says something utterly obvious and yet, thoroughly remarkable: “I could deny it before but I know I am ill now.”
In a piece of achingly beautiful writing, this observation may bypass the typical outsider but as an oncologist, it struck me as the essence of what it takes to die well – the concession that all the well-intentioned therapy in the world can no longer prevent one from going down the irreversible trajectory of death.

Read it all here, you'll be smarter about death afterwards. After all, it's something we all have in common.


Jemi Fibre (JFI.v) grants options

Precisely, one million options each at 60c for the three cental officers of this Bobby Genovese pump and dump scam:



That's as crass as it comes. You may as well tattoo "We're ripping you all off, retail shareholder dumbasses" on each of their foreheads. Data here.

The top three most visited IKN posts this week are...

...in, reverse order:

Third Place: "Breaking news: Amazon Deep Resources (AZD.v) discovers lost city of El Dorado", which was a made-up spoof on a company that doesn't exist in order to make commentary on the state of market sentiment for precious metals mining companies. Bizarrely, after a couple of days I noticed people arriving on the blog after putting "Amazon Deep Resources" into Google.

Second Place: "Eleven miners shot dead in San Dimas, Mexico". This is the kind of post that gets hits on the day of publication and keeps getting them in the days afterwards, because (for their own sweet and stupid reasons) mainstream English language media doesn't tend to pick up on narcoterrorism stories as much when there isn't a gringo connection. Just imagine the difference if the eleven dead and five injured worked at the nearby Primero Mining San Dimas mine instead of the Mexican-owned private company.

First Place: "Barrick (ABX) to sell Zaldivar to China Moly". Zero surprise, this one only went up yesterday morning but got hit on by all the funds and instos looking for the news (again, I'm fully aware IKN could become "a thing" if we did majors and larger-caps only, but I don't care). It's the type of intel that gets passed around desks but nobody ever puts it into print. Well, we do. And for what it's worth, the source on this is solid. Expect an announcement around the Q2 financial publishing time.


And a quick note; I've come to like putting this early Saturday morning "most visited" thing together, so as from today it's getting expanded to cover the top three of the week instead of the singlemost. So there.


7/24/15

The Friday OT: Vladimir Horowitz plays Schubert's Impromptu in G flat major n°3

From 1987 in Vienna.



It's been on my mind since last Sunday morning, when a radio show played an hour block of Schubert piano pieces. This version is the best I've found since then and this vid is worth watching as well as listening to, because of Horowitz's face and expressions as the piece progresses. The master at work, lost inside the music. Quite beautiful. 

The Sprott/Stansberry Natural Resources Symposium, July 28th to 31st 2015, Fairmont Hotel, Vancouver, Canada

Many cancellations, guys?

Barrick (ABX) to sell Zaldivar to China Moly

You heard it here first.

We knew the asset was up for sale, but we didn't know the buyer. The price tag will be between U$2.0Bn and U$2.2Bn, which is slightly better than the previous estimates on what ABX would get and is likely a positive for ABX's share price.

Full disclosure: I own no ABX, that's not going to change either.

Vale's second quarter iron ore production: What it means to copper prices

Here's a link, here's an extract...

RIO DE JANEIRO, July 23 (Reuters) - Brazilian mining company Vale SA said on Thursday it produced 85.3 million tonnes of iron ore in the second quarter, a record for the quarter and second-highest ever for the firm.
The numbers should quiet recent market chatter the world's largest producer of iron ore may be curbing plans to increase output after the iron ore price fell to some of its lowest levels in a decade.
Vale now looks on track to meet its 2015 iron ore production guidance of 340 million tonnes and preferred shares rose 2.5 percent in morning trade in Sao Paulo.
...and here's a chart:



What you're seeing in the iron ore space is what you're about to see in the copper production sector:

1) A metal controlled by a handful of massive world producers
2) Prices for the metal drop
3) The big producers react by producing more
4) Prices drop further
5) The big producers remain profitable, but smaller and medium sized companies are squeezed to death
6) Exploration stage companies are killed by the price drop.
7) Big producers don't care, they're still above cost of production, they keep churning out the production and are rewarded by share price growth on the news of better numbers.


Copper still has a way to drop, people. Get used to the idea.

7/23/15

Panama's newspapers have a slight criticism of the referee at last night's match

Last night was the semi-final of the "Concacaf Gold Cup" between Mexico and Panama. First Panama got a player sent off for a very innocuous foul , Then Panama went one goal up, then in the 89th minute the referee, one Mark Geiger from The USA, gave a penalty to Mexico for a phantom foul that only he saw, then in extra time gave a nother non-existent penalty to Mexico, who scored  it and therefore won the match 2-1. 

Here's the front page of Panama's top circulation daily paper "Crítica" this morning. For the record "árbitro" is Spanish for referee:



And the text of the report is even better than the screamer headline. Thanks due to reader 'T' for the send:

While you're reading this brilliant report on the Colossus (ex-CSI) Serra Pelada trainwreck...

...that was published by Al Jazz on Tuesday, remember that the people running Colossus at the time are the very same people running Continental Gold (CNL.to) in Colombia today. Here are a couple of choice quotes from the Al Jazz piece:

“They humiliated us and treated us with contempt,” she said in February of the Canadian energy company Colossus Minerals, which spent $300 million over the past eight years trying to reopen the mine. “Everyone powerful here was bought by Colossus. There was not one judge, police chief or prosecutor on our side.” 
.............. 
Vale chose not to reopen it as the price of gold rose. Instead, in March, the company passed the rights to Coomigasp. “The deposits were small and not economically viable,” Vale said.
The deal put Coomigasp, and its directors in a powerful — and exploitable — position and raised the hopes of ordinary garimpeiros that they might once again find great wealth.
From the start Colossus, a company that was founded in 2006 and had no other major interests, was favored by the co-operative’s directors, federal prosecutors said. It was the only firm that bid on the mining contract, an inevitability after the co-operative, led by president Valdemar Pereira Falcão, published the tender just six days before the deadline for proposals, they said.
The contract between the co-operative and Colossus was signed in July 2007, giving the Canadian firm a 51 percent share of the deal to extract the remaining gold, using modern equipment and a deep shaft near the original mine. Falcão had acted to prevent competition in a way contrary to the interests of its more than 40,000 members, prosecutors added.
In May 2008, Josimar Barbosa, a Coomigasp ex-president, died after being shot 13 times by two assassins on motorbikes. He had opposed Falcão. Two days before his death, Barbosa won a court battle to return to his post as president. His murder remains unsolved and the police investigation has been shelved.
With tensions rising, a veteran public-security official, Guilherme Ventura, was deployed by the federal government as a moderator. He proposed razing the village to clear space for the new mine. That plan was never carried out.
By 2010, the co-operative had agreed to rewrite the contract with Colossus to give the Canadian firm a 75 percent share, up from 51 percent. “There was no convincing explanation for the reduction [in Coomigasp’s share],” federal prosecutors noted in alawsuit seeking to annul the contractual change, which was rejected but is pending on appeal.
Colossus and Coomigasp, then led by Gessé Simão de Melo, an ally of Falcão, “availed themselves of cunning tricks and the misuse of union funds” to intimidate the “humble and uneducated” garimpeiros into approving the contract, they said. 
............

Scrutiny of the behavior of several Coomigasp directors intensified when state prosecutors alleged that Brazilian subsidiaries of Colossus had paid $16.9 million to the directors’ personal bank accounts. 
............

 “They were bandits, cruel, cowards,” she said. “They came in, took what they wanted, then left at dawn.
“Colossus had no respect, none.”

The whole thing here. Strong, well-reasearched journalism, 100% worth your time. Once you've done you'll have a better inkling as to why this humble corner of cyberspace has stated, time and time again, that Ari Sussman is an absolute scumbag and his companies should be avoided at all costs.

Belo Sun (BSX.to) in IKN323, last Sunday

Subscriber to the Weekly, reader 'R' (he only wants one initial out here) mailed on Tuesday morning to ask if I'd put the short note on Belo Sun (BSX.to) on the public blog, as he hadn't seen that information anywhere else. I said okay but I'd wait until later in the week before doing so. 

Here it is today.

And yes, Belo Sun is the very same stock that I said had deep premitting problems back in early 2013 when Canaccord were pumping it. At that time Canaccord retorted to IKN's solid information by saying of this blog, "This newsletter has a track record of incorrectly representing facts in order to put a negative spin on mining stocks". When a pumphouse like Canaccord complains about spin on mining stocks, hell you know you're on the right track.

We good? Yeah, we're good. Here's Sunday's piece:

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Belo Sun (BSX.to): Local indigenous call for social consultancy
The Volta Grande project on the Xingu river of Brazil, owned by Belo Sun (BSX.to) has been one of the most contentious gold mining projects on the continent for several years, its poor community relations and unclear permitting path is why your author has been calling "avoid" on the stock for several years (e.g. see IKN vs Canaccord February 2013 (30) when BSX traded around $1.40 and people didn't like us telling you the truth about its permitting situation).

That call does not change this weekend.

Last Wednesday and Thursday (31), the local "Yudjá" people (literal translation of their tribal name "owners of the river", to give you an idea of what this all means to them) held a meeting at which they demanded their right to a social consultancy on the project in the presence of the province's environmental committee. They also asked that a study period of six years on the region that's been regulated for the period once the upstream Belo Monte dam goes into operation also be applied to the Belo Sun Volta Grande project and from the looks of the feedback, that's probably going to happen. IKN's bet: We're about to see BSX.to project go into a six year deep freeze.



Barrick (ABX) selects its sacrifice

Ned Goodman suddenly feels the need to concentrate on a new business venture (read New Oban), because he never had anything else on his plate while a director of ABX, did he? 
"We would lik to thank Mr. Goodman for his contributions to Barrick and for his astute counsel during this transformative period for the company," said Barrick Chairman John L. Thornton.
Here's a chart that runs from December 4th 2013 (when Goodman was nominated to join the ABX BoD) to date:


Oh dear. And on December 13th Goodman said:
 “I am delighted to have been invited to join the board of Barrick at this time, and I look forward to working with management and the board to return the company to, once again, being the biggest and best gold mining corporation in the world”, Mr. Goodman said.
Another ambition crushed by the wheels of industry. The dates of that chart don't include the day in October 2013 when he said ABX was "the best buy on the board" (i.e. the TSX big board of main stocks in Toronto). 

Oh dear II, the sequel.

And oh! It's just occurred to me! That was just before he was invited to the directors' box! What a coincidence! Anyway, if you click through to check out that interview on BNN, you'll also see how Goodman defended ABX head honcho Thornton and his $11.9m singing on fee at the time, while putting the boot into ex-head Jamie S.  How's that working out for you, Ned?

B2Gold (BTO.to) (BTG) 2q15 production

Here's the NR, here's a chart:


An okay quarter, on a consolidated basis comes in at the expected. Limon outperforming made up for the slightly low Libertad number (though that mine's expected to improve in H2). Masbate and Otjikoto came in at (my own house) expectations, give or take.

Plenty more than this one chart on Sunday, subbers. Plenty.

7/22/15

Ka-boom in Bolivia

There's been this rumbling strike by a local mining co-operative group in Potosí Bolivia for the last 17 days which I've watched without mentioning (basically because Bolivia isn't the place for foreign investment or even speculation in mining companies, even at the best of times). But as the meeting to try and reach a solution between the workers and ten government ministers was suddenly evacuated this lunchtime because the protesting strikers outside the building where the meeting took place started throwing dynamite sticks at the place and causing mayhem, (yes, real ones, that exploded) I thought I'd give it a headsup today.

Because they blowed up real good.

Richard Whittall

Among all the battle scars of the last few months there's still nothing that touches Newstrike's decision to get bought out by Timmins, a deal that sits at the pinnacle of 2015's scorched earth disasters. And this is still the NR comment of the year
Commenting on the transaction, Richard Whittall, President and CEO of Newstrike, added “This transaction provides an attractive premium to Newstrike’s current share price, offers immediate leverage to gold production at the San Francisco mine and de-risks the future development of Ana Paula. We believe the consideration offered by Timmins Gold is highly attractive for our shareholders who will also have the opportunity to participate in the growth and re-rating potential of the combined company.”

Premium

Growth

Re-rating

Yup

Minera IRL (IRL.to) (MIRL.L) to do the rollback shuffle

As announced today...


... Minera IRL (MIRL.L) (IRL.to) is going to run a 10 for 1 rollback on its shares out. It needs to pass vote at the AGM on August 27th and get 2/3rds voter approval to happen. All the details on SEDAR. Date slated for the move, September 7th (aka Labor Day 2015)

OT: The all-time championship winning Tinder troll message

To relieve a little of the stress that you metals and mining investor type people may be under this morning, a totally OT giggle to pass on. Here's a screenshot of something picked up on the interwebnetpipes this morning from the Twitter account "Tinderfessions". Simply awesome.


Screwtape and its U$1,081/oz gold bottom call on July 9th

An extract:

Who knows what will happen, but the fib levels seem significant, so I'll be saving my pennies to buy the bottom at around $1,081, and I reckon it's coming within the next 5 weeks, in the midst of a liquidity crisis as stock markets take a dive. 

Read it all here.

Gold for the splashy headlines, copper for the serious conversation

You CNBC-lovers keep talking gold if you like. Gold will be fine (eventually) and is not going away, but IKN repeats the message about the real worry in the metals world today:

Here's the gold/copper ratio for the last five years. You think that 18 month trend is bad for gold? Or perhaps it's bad for copper? Yup, you got it, they're getting you to look in the wrong place.



Copper is the real money and copper's got plenty of downside left. That book talking over at Salman Partners this week isn't going to change the cruel reality.

I'd rather hold Louis James' best buy pick than copper.



UPDATE 1pm local time: Having said his humble piece pre-opening bell today, your humble scribe thanks reader 'N' who sends along Goldman Sachs' view on copper via its July 22nd of the regular 'Metal Detector' letter. To give an idea on The Vampire Squid's take, here's the front cover blurb:
Substantially downgrading our medium to long-term forecastsThough we have been bearish on copper on a 12-mo forward basis for the past two and a half years, we have maintained a more bullish medium to long-term stance on the assumption of Chinese copper demand growth of 4% per annum and a major slowing in supply growth around 2017/2018. In this piece we substantially lower our short, medium, and long-term copper price forecasts, on the back of lower Chinese copper demand growth forecasts (we have been highlighting that the risk has been skewed to the downside for some time), increased conviction in copper supply growth over the next three years, and less conservative assumptions regarding mining cost deflation in dollar terms. 
We now forecast 3/6/12-mo prices of $5,200/t, $4,800/t, $4,800/t, and we target $4,500/t by the end of 2016, 20% below spot prices and more than 30% below consensus. Our new 2017 and 2018 price forecasts are $4,500/t (from $7,000/t and $8,000/t respectively), with the price eventually forecast to rise back above marginal cost by 2020, to $5,500/t, as the market adjusts to a 7-year bear market cycle (2011-2018). Our new long-term forecast, from 2021, is $5,000/t in $2015 terms (from $6,000/t). We see the risks to these forecasts as skewed to the downside during October-March 2015/16 and 2016/17 – periods associated with seasonal ‘visible’ inventory builds. 
The 3D’s of macro combine with bearish copper ‘micro’Specifically, we see the 3D’s of ‘macro’ – Divergence, Deflation, and Deleveraging – as the key bearish macro drivers (please see Commodity Watch, July 8, 2015, for details) placing substantial downward pressure on Chinese demand growth and global production costs over the medium to long term. Combined with a bearish outlook for the copper ‘micro’ – a high conviction forecast in an acceleration of mine supply growth over the next 6-18 months and copper’s high exposure to weakness in late China property cycle construction completions – it is, in our view, highly likely that the 4-year trend decline in copper prices is set to continue through at least 2018. 
As such, we strongly recommend producers increase the hedging of their copper exposure, and investors either reduce long exposure or take out long-dated short exposures in copper.

For the record, U$5,200/tonne = U$2.36/lb and U$4,500/tonne = U$2.04/lb. Also for the record, IKN doesn't find those numbers difficult to swallow.

Fortuna Silver's (FSM) (FVI.to) management leadership in tough times

Because at times like these you need to make a stand

At times like these you want to set an example.

And because obviously a total remuneration package of $1,878,328 in 2014 just isn't enough to make ends meet.

Fortuna Silver (FVI.to) (FSM) President and CEO Jorge Ganoza exercises 8,000 of his 85c options and sells them at $3.51.



He sold them all because he doesn't want to add to the 32,100 shares of his company he already owns in total. Or something.

PS: Mining executives like doing these things, but they don't like people noticing that they're doing these things. Because it's just not fair and it gets them all upset. 


7/21/15

We love The Muckpile


Muckpile Mike on Howe St pumpjobs Skeena and Goldstrike, as well as copper, the TSXV squiggly line and a lot more. But the best is his take on Strike Diamonds today. Top edition, yours just a click away.



Orezone (ORE.to) has interesting news

Ross Beaty snapping at the chance, it seems

Orezone Gold Corporation (TSX:ORE) ("Orezone" or the "Company") announces that it has closed a C$6.5M investment into the Company by way of a non-brokered private placement with Ross Beaty and other long term shareholders. Directors, officers and other insiders subscribed for a total of 6,216,666 Common Shares or $1.865M of the total offering. The Company raised a total of C$6.5M through the issuance of 21,666,666 new ordinary common shares at a price of C$0.30 per share. No commissions or finder's fees were paid in connection with the Private Placement



Eleven miners shot dead in San Dimas, Mexico

I missed this news over the weekend, reader G gave me the headsup on it this morning, thanks due G.

On Saturday evening a group of 16 people were ambushed while travelling back to their place of work at the Grupo Bacis mine near San Dimas, Durango, Mexico. Eleven of them were shot dead by their assailants, five were injured. The attack has all the hallmarks of the narcotrafficking gangs and (of course) comes just after the escape from prison of El Chapo Guzman.

For geographical (!!) purposes, the attack was very close to Primero Mining's (PPP) (P.to) San Dimas operation. Who will of course tell you that there's no problem if you ask them, but if you don't they'll take their normal attitude towards informing stakeholders about events (Hint: Mushroom).

Find lots and lots of news reports on the attack and its aftermath right here.

Breaking news on Steve Letwin of IAMGOLD (IMG.to) (IAG)

The news just hitting the wires this morning is that Steve Letwin is still in charge at IAMGOLD (IMG.to) (IAG). Which is clearly a shock development under the circumstances.


The company seems to be waiting until it goes into bankruptcy protection before making a formal announcement on its executive team.





A Flash update...

...has just been sent to subscribers, an hour and fifteen minutes before the Americas opening bell on this Tuesday morning.


7/20/15

The El Tambor gold mine project in Guatemala has its construction licence suspended

A court in Guatemala today ruled that all work must halt on the construction of the El Tambor gold mine, owned by US company Kappes, Cassiday & Associates (KCA) and the source of a very long-running and sometimes conflictive protest by local community members known as "La Puya". This is a significant victory for the La Puya group and perhaps a sign that the removal of dozens of corrupt officials from government (by resignation or arrest) recently on the back of the La Linea scandal is beginning to make a real difference to the country's balance of power.


Checking in on the trade balance between The USA and Peru

It's been over half a year since the last look, here's how things are progressing:


Probably just a coincidence. Innit.

Or if you prefer your data on an annual basis:


It's still a total mystery why The USA is so keen on these Free Trade Agreements. Anyone care to give me an idea as to why it might be?

Monday melody: Martha Reeves & The Vandellas; Nowhere To Run

Dedicated to all you metals and mining investors out there:



Still wonderful after 50 years, what a sound.

PS: Yup, seriously, 50 years. Came out in 1965.

What will a Scioli presidency mean for mining in Argentina? (from IKN323)

While the blog normally takes the...errr...light-hearted (?) direction on covering the mining industry and/or the Latam region, this is the type of stuff that happens over at the Weekly. The following is two pages from yesterday's 33 page edition.




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What will a Scioli presidency mean for mining in Argentina?
We've talked a lot about how Argentina's current FpV government's candidate Daniel Scioli is now hot favourite to take over the job from his current boss and President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (CFK) when the big election happens in October (with only Mauricio Macri standing in his way). All polls point to a Scioli win as the most probable outcome at this stage, with some now showing that he may even win it in the first round of voting. But what we haven't done much of yet is what it might mean for the mining sector of Argentina (which is our real focus here at The IKN Weekly). In fact I've been holding off a while and waiting until this weekend to do just that, because Scioli had a long-standing date on Friday at which he was expected to make a few formal statements on his position vis-a-vis mining in Argentina. The event went off as planned, he deliver the soundbites, here we go.

Here's a Youtube (16) of Scioli's press conference at the International Conference for Mining and Sustainable Development, held in San Juan on Friday July 17th. Those who know their Argentina political faces will also see that Scioli's Vice-President ticket candidate, Carlos Zannini, and the powerful current Minister of Planning Julio de Vido, as well as San Juan's outgoing (retiring) ultra-pro-mining governor Gioja are present at the table. Along with those more famous faces, also present were either the current sitting and/or incoming governors of the privinces of Jujuy (Eduardo Fellner), Mendoza (Francisco Pérez), Catamarca (Lucía Corpacci), La Rioja (Luis Beder Herrera and Sergio Casas), Neuquén, (Jorge Sapag), Río Negro (Alberto Weretilneck) and Tierra del Fuego (Rosana Bertone), provinces known collectively and loosely as "the mining provinces" in Argentina. There were a couple of mining provinces missing such as Salta, but be in no doubt that this was an important and carefully staged event that had Scioli and his policies on mining at its very centre. By the way, the whole shebang was organized by the "Argentine Development Foundation" (Fundación Desarrollo Argentino), which is headed by one José Scioli...yup you got it, Daniel's brother.

All those mentioned had a go at the microphone so if you want to get the info first-hand have at that Youtube link (all in Spanish, a chance to brush up on your Castilian with a Southern Cone lilt) but here are translations of what I consider to be representative quotes for your viewing pleasure (extra quote sources here (17) (18)):

·     Scioli: "Mining is capable of generating U$30Bn (of economic activity in Argentina) in the next four years, as well as hundred of jobs".

·     Scioli: "If I am made President, I will create a great development so that the millions of dollars that this activity attracts, as well as the great number of jobs it generates, arrive in Argentina."

·     Scioli: "I want you to know that our objective is to bring certainty, security, calm and prevision to business executives, that in Argentina they will have the necessary conditions to develop a sustainable mining industry."

·     Scioli: "Sustainable mining is part of the main agenda of national development and a fundamental pillar, the same as energy sovereignty, agriculture, science, technology and tourism. The great challenge that we have, along with my vice-presidential candidate, is to develop all the productive federalism (policies) while permanently looking for the best competitiveness."

·     Julio de Vido: "The aim for the year 2025, which we must launch now, is to double the number of jobs and mineral production in the country. Argentina has all the conditions needed (for mining) and reaching these goals depends on political policies to be implemented. For these we fully trust in Daniel Scioli and Carlos Zannini."

Plenty more like that if you care to listen to the presser. All very pro-mining for sure and I tacked that Julio de Vido quote on the end because it shows the active backing the present administration is giving to the Scioli/Zannini ticket. Also note how many times Zannini is mentioned, as he was handpicked by CFK as Scioli's running mate because of his hardcore Kirchnerist track record, as some of the true faithful in the FpV camp still do't trust the more moderate and Chameleon-like Scioli to maintain their preferred harder leftist political line.

As for content, that word "jobs" kept on coming up which is nothing but a reflection of the political campaign and its mechanisms. So yes, this was a carefully staged and scripted event but it's also the one where Scioli lays out his political agenda on mining and to be honest, the industry couldn't have asked for a stronger backing than it got. The keyword "sustainable" (i.e. environment, green, ecology, agro-fears) was used here and there but not to the extent that Rafael Correa (to choose just one example) leans on it in his speeches. The thrust was jobs and money and investment and stability and in my presidency we want mining jobs here in Argentina and jobs and money and jobs. Et cetera. But as a delegation from several Chambers of Mining noted in a letter they delivered to the brass at the conference (19) "...In Argentina, many of the difficulties that the sector faces result from a series of measures adopted by the State which have undercut the spirit of development and enterprise of the current Law of Mining Investment", which is a polite way that mining bizpeople have of saying that the government should stop meddling in the mining sector and sticking its oar in every five minutes.

At which point we face the practical reality of a future Argentina under President Scioli, assuming he wins in October (sidebar: from this point onwards and until otherwise mentioned, that's going to be my 2015 political assumption for the country as it's going to take a very big shift for any other result). The good news is that a Scioli government is making the right official noises and putting on its pro-mining clothes. It's also much keener in this electoral campaign season to push the idea of jobs/growth than it is all that tree-hugging enviro protection stuff, as Scioli's team has done its homework and know where the side net positive vote weighting lays.

The bad news is that the message may come with different words, but its substance is no different to that of the current CFK administration and we've seen how ineffective the national pro-mining policies are when they hit the barrier of regional provincial issues, politics and laws. Under Scioli we may get a feelgood honeymoon period for the mining industry as people talk up the positive talk from the country's new President and his possible move to a more moderate stance than CFK, but until/unless things change at a regional level, it's going to be the same selective mining quagmire as always.

Bottom line: Scioli's words on mining last week are welcome on these pages, he was as positive as we could have hoped. But regions will unblock Argentina's mining sector, not the national administration. We need to watch how the regionals unfold, that will be closer to October.

Breaking news: Amazon Deep Resources (AZD.v) discovers lost city of El Dorado

An impressive news release this morning from Amazon Deep Resources (AZD.v), which has announced its discovery of the fabled lost city of El Dorado in the North Brazil Amazon basin, some 25 km from the border with Colombia. Here's how the NR starts:

VANCOUVER , July 20, 2015 /CNW/ - Amazon Deep Resources Ltd. (AZD:TSX-V) ("the company") is pleased to announce the confirmation of its discovery of a large depository of gold bullion and pre-Colombian treasure in the site of ruins understood to be the so-called "Lost City of El Dorado". After preliminary reconnaissance, the company estimates that around 560m oz (five hundred and sixty million ounces) of gold and other bullion ounces are in place on site. Commenting on the discovery, CEO Roger Mellie said, "This is a great..." Continues here

In early trading, the stock is down 20% on heavy volume. Commenting on today's market action in AZD.v, Anne Elk of Canaccord Trading told IKN, "It's a freaking gold stock you idiot, of course it's selling off. Where are you from, the moon or something?"

.

UPDATE Ten minutes later: Please people, please don't do this.


A dozen people clicking on that link within ten minutes of this post going up (seriously, Ten. Freekin. Minutes.) shows just how naive the mining investment community really is. And then down the line you'll be kvetching again how those nasty men running the mining exploreco ripped you off and didn't tell you all the truth.

So please people, for your own sake, stop the stupid. It's high time you walked away from this sector before you bet your mortgage on a niobium play that just can't fail. Or something.

Chart of the day is...

...the gold/copper ratio:




Gold can grab all the headlines it wants this morning, it's copper that's in the worst shape.

Fun? Of course we're having fun!

We always have fun

The IKN Weekly, out now


Panzer! Oh yeah!

IKN323 has just been sent to subscribers. It has 16,800 words, 33 pages and for what it's worth* I think the content is the best it's been in 2015 at least, I enjoyed writing this one. A nice way to celebrate the crappiest mining market sentiment for years. 

*not much

7/19/15

Three time world champion surfer Mick Fanning escapes from a shark attack on live TV

Check it out here, including his all-time quote: "I just can’t believe it. I’m just tripping. ... To walk away from that, I’m just so stoked".

Aussie or Aussie?

Ritholtz on macro tourism

Barry Ritholtz is on strong form with this WaPo article today on so-called macro tourism, otherwise known as trying to trade world newsflow (the latest topical example being Greece and its travails). No excerpt given here today, give it a full read for yourself by clicking here

A highly recommended strategy article for anyone stupid enough to trade in the stock market (your author very much included).