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12/5/15

OT: Dodgy Daryl

Here's a scene from the local Christmas pantomime down this neck of the woods, put on for charitable purposes every year by the English-speaking community and done in English, of course.


 The character on the left with the big gold coin round his neck is the main villain of the yarn. And believe it or not, Minera IRL soap opera fans, but his name is "Dodgy Daryl".

Declaration: Your humble scribe had no part in the writing of the panto script. He simply wet himself laughing when he found out.

UPDATE: The plot just gets better and better (And I promise you, I'm not making this up). Here's a shot of a later scene in which...and listen very carefully...Dodgy Daryl uses two fools to try and extract the signatures from an unwitting victim in order to get his hands on the person's property.



Life imitates art, or art imitates life, or something.

12/4/15

Minera IRL (IRL.to) (MIRL.L): An interesting post...

...or three have been brought to my attention of a reader of the Minera IRL chatroom page. Poster "eljay" stuck a combo-post on the page there and here it is below, with some slight editing done to make it read nicely. It's a good read because the person who wrote it is obviously a reader of IKN and is obviously on the right side of this fence. Especially interesting to hear about Chuck Higgins and rats, but I can confirm to the person who wrote this that Daryl Hodges is indeed one of the owners of The Pilot. And he's 100% right on the NOMADs at Canaccord London, one is a greenhorn and the other is in cahoots (and deep in the doo-doo if he doesn't change sides very quickly...my stars Henry, don't you know it!).

Anyway, here's eljay.

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Channel your energy friends. You may be just a bit piece shareholder but you have rights. Pinto Fryer and Jones have obligations. 
Here's what you can and should do:
1. File a complaint with the OSC. Specifically that the board is refusing to disclose the result of the vote. That is the rule they broke. OSC's job is enforce disclosure of information. I and others have filed complaints. I've gotten response that they are taking it seriously and investigating. 
You don't need to be living in Canada, you just need to have the ability to complain an d have the ability to delineate your argument in English or French. XXXX get your brain together and spell/grammar check on if you're going to tackle this one. More the merrier! 
2. Robin Fryer is a CPA in the USA. That means he is bound by a VERY strict code of ethics. Complaints are by snail mail only.
Familiarize yourself with their code especially "Acts Discreditable" and the "Conduct of members in business" also familiarize with this [Link Removed] as that will be his line of defense.
Here is the code
Put together a good argument. I'm working on mine. Here's the bad things that Robin Fryer has done: he announced the intention of a dilutive equity offering should Pinto "Not Hodges" get control (hurts existing shareholders), he allowed the shareholder vote to not be revealed by Pinto at the 11/26 EGM - this is the killer. OSC "should" get him for this. So should the AIM (and Canaccord, more on that later).
Anyway, a deluge of complaints to the AICPA will cause a harmful investigation with a high probability he loses his CPS, rendering him useless as an accountant and totally shamed out of the industry. He deserves it. He is trying to steal from shareholders. He has not disassociated from Pinto or resigned the board as the code requires therefore he is working with Pinto. His comments about the dilution indicated where his loyalty lies and he needs to go down hard for it.
3. Jones is a member of the the Aussie Professional Geologist. They have a code of conduct as well. Theirs is much simpler and he has broken rules 3,6,and 9. Put your argument to pen and take him out as well. It will virtually destroy his career and any credibility he has in the mining industry.
4. Fryer is on the board of Shanta Gold. I don't think the poor shareholders of that company would approve should they know what he's been up to on this board. Go ahead and let their investor relations email know that you are filing a complaint about Fryer to the CPA. 
Even better if you are a shareholder of Shanta, you can agitate to get him fired, voted off the board at the next meeting. He deserves it remember. He's a bad man, trying to steal from us. Fight back.
5. AIM regulation works differently than in Canada. In Canada and Ontario specifically we can complain right to the OSC. In the UK you can't complain directly to the AIM or the FSA or what have you. That is the Nomad's responsibility. The Nomad is Canaccord. Call them up and ask to speak to Oliver Donaldson. You can email Oliver directly at oliver_donaldson@canaccord.com. I all him every few days. I think he's afraid. He seems like a young guy that might have just found out he stepped in it. He's sympathetic to a point but I think he's in over his head. Enough pressure will make him do the right thing, maybe. It's worth a shot. Just keep pushing him. Tell him if the board doesn't disclose and abide the shareholder vote by "some date" you will report him and Canaccord to the AIM. Henry Fitgerald O'Connor you can try but he's never gotten back to me. I think he's the one in cahoots with the board and Oliver is some foil who doesn't know what he's in to. Their main line is + 44 (0)20 7523 8000. That's the best way to get Oliver on the phone and give him an earful. If you get his main line he'll see the call display and ignore it.
5. When you do get Oliver on the phone, let him know that the phone number for Eric Olson at +1 (416) 907-7363 is a fraud. It's on all their recent NRs. But the poor darling receptionist on the other end doesn't work for IRL and she thinks she's supposed to pass messages on to Brad Boland. Call her anyway and put the pressure one. Be nice, I think she's just a temp.
6. On that note, Pinto and Olson are using a number that is not valid for contact. Complain to the OSC for that too. Tell the OSC the company is releasing NRs with ghost contact info. It's fraudulent. Email chiggins@fasken.com with the same info. He's their lawyer and responsible for legal compliance. Chuck is feeling a LOT of pressure because of Otto, plus his restaurant might have some issues with rats. I've never been but I think people that do go there should complain to the city of Toronto.
7. I'm sure that Chuck Higgins is one of the owners of The Pilot. I'm not sure that Daryl Hodges is. He might be but he's not on the corporate documents for the numbered company 2008221 Ontario Inc that Chuck is. He is the partner of Four Twenty Investments lol. Google that.
8. Speaking of lawyers: Shareholders in the UK have recourse through class action against the board. I haven't done a lot of research on it though. I've done some for Canada though. I've spoken to several lawyers this week that say there is likely the ability to sue personally Pinto Jones and Fryer. You need to be careful though. You don't want to sue Minera IRL. You would be suing yourself as a shareholder. Canada has something call a derivative class that you can take against the directors of a company for harm they caused shareholders. More on this another day I guess. I need to get a lawyer who can really help me on this. So far so good but plenty of nitty gritty to go.
9. I implore any shareholder reading this to explore all available avenues you have. You have rights as a shareholder. I'm depressed that larger shareholders than myself aren't pursuing lawsuits yet but maybe the one to make it happen is me or you. Stop with the hand wringing and do something to protect your rights. Stop waiting for others to do things for you. This is small chump change company to many people but for 500 others it is their livelihood. For me it is a moral duty to stand up against evil to protect me and my family. If I have 1 share or 10 million shares (I do have more than Fryer/Pinto/Hodges/Jones combined) I want to fight evil and see holy justice prevail. Don't be like my brother, he has 5x more shares than me and he's like off the end like ____, just gave up and call it a loss. Don't give up. Light can prevail against the forces of evil. It takes patience and determination but we can win.
I'm not finished, maybe mid next week. I have other work to do but once I have something cohesive I will share. Only high level points will come though. I won't permit myself to be plagiarized. None of this is urgent. The statute of limitation is years.

The Friday OT: Deee Lite: Groove is in the heart

The full version, including the 30 second intro and the 20 second outtro:



Infectious fun and great sound, make your Friday a more pleasant experience by hitting the play button on this one.

Dedicated to reader AF, connoissieur of musique de taxi extraordinaire. Oooh la la, la la-la-la-la-laaaa

Minera IRL (MIRL.L) (IRL.to): IKN's opinion on the Team Hodges news release this morning

The original Team Benavides NR dated December 2nd here.

Team Hodges NR commenting on the above here.

IKN opinion here.




The Lydian (LYD.to) financing deal is in trouble

Back on Tuesday, this humble corner of cyberspace reported on the financing deal that Lydian Intl (LYD.to) has put together in order to fully fund construction of its Amulsar gold project in Armenia. The deal can be summed up by the official market terminology, BOHICA*. Or if you prefer, that Canadian mining management standard, "Shareholders, if they can't take a joke f__k 'em".

Since that time, IKN has learned from several sources (precisely three) that the deal is in trouble. Big block shareholders of LYD are between annoyed and furious about the terms, which will squash share price value forever and hand the lion's share of profits to the financiers (unless gold goes rocket up of course, but then if that happens they all go up and there's no reason to hold LYD compared with non-indebted names). 

The deal has to be voted through by shareholders and at this time, the rebellion has enough backing to put the approval in serious doubt. Heads will roll.



*Bend Over Here It Comes Again


Baked in jerbs and Fed and gold and things

To repeat the "gold's not going to $1k" message of November 15th in IKN340:


Let us be clear:

  • The reason why gold’s been weak is that the dollar’s been strong
  • The dollar got strong because of the US Jobs number
  • The US macro improvement indicates that Janet will raise the base rate in December
  • That move needed to be baked into gold.
  • It’s now baked in.
  • And that’s all.



It may come as a surprise to people who wax lyrical about markets and financials without bothering to read up on the last 5,000 years of human history, but gold's going to be just fine. It's the near-term moves that get heads scratching, not the longer-term ones.


Charts of the day are...

...four ratio charts, which plot the relative performances of four bigname mining companies against the gold price. In effect, we see which ones have been doing well against gold recently:

Here's Goldcorp (GG) versus gold:


Here's Barrick (ABX) versus gold:



Here's Newmont (NEM) versus gold



Here's Franco Nevada (FNV) versus gold:



It's somewhat unscientific because the Y-axis scales differ in each case, but the story here is the shape of the squiggly line more than anything else. In all cases we see the drop suffered by the sector in general in the early summer to July, then the four miners do their own thing. And yeah, I've put them in the order you see because it's a worst-to-best show, with GG choppy and unable to raise its head, while Franco Nevada has been performing consistently well against gold since September. 

It's up to you to decide whether NEM is doing better than ABX in the last couple of months. I've put them in the order you see, but there's a case to be made for ABX's regularity and gentle upmove vs gold.

12/3/15

Until Today

Gary's antennae are twitching. This is a really good post from the Biiwii man about the macro backdrop, what he sees in the charts and even the near future for gold thrown in for good measure. Draghi, Janet, Jerbs, all in the mix. Well worth a read, plenty of food for thought, here's how it kicks off:

"Euro 50 Flips Draghi the Bird, S&P 500 Fails at a Key Parameter, Semi’s are Fundamentally Bearish and Gold Has a Sentiment Washout Within its Bear Market  Markets Had Been Obedient, Until Today"

Ecuador's Mining Minister, Javier Cordova, at the London "Mines And Money" conference

To cut a long story short, the guy's full of shit. But the media are reporting everything he says as some sort of fait accompli. Rio Tinto? Hah! 22%  + 5% tax deal for LUG? Maybe the constitution of Ecuador will have a little extra to add to that. Y'know...just maybe.

Slow news week, obviously. Keep ignoring Samarco, hacks.

And in the December edition of the "Casey Resource Investor"...

...i.e. the newly re-packaged Stansberry thing that Louis Lobito Little Wolf James sells to the world instead of the old name "Big Gold", the Casey people decide to take a look at the mining industry's All In Sustaining Costs (AISC) metric and consider the uses and the drawbacks of the system created by the mining industry, one that may be marketed as "All In" by the wannabe self-regulating companies but the most cursory of examinations reveals that AISC clearly falls well short of its objectives.

Hey, I wonder...


...that idea...

from?





(hint: that last link is an IKN piece entitled "Lifting the Dress on All In Sustaining Costs", published in November 2015) 

.

So if I have this right...

...the goldbug commentary group tells me that the Fed raising rates about zero in December is good for gold and that Draghi in Europe lowering rates to under zero in December is good for gold. 

Here's a chart used in this IKN post from the year 2008 (!!):


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THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GOLDBUG NEWSLETTER WRITER
Event goldbug analysis recommended action
Broad markets lower It had to happen BUY GOLD!
Broad markets higher manipulation! BUY GOLD!
Gold higher The upwave begins BUY GOLD!
Gold lower manipulation! BUY GOLD!
Gold holds steady it's a coiled spring BUY GOLD!
dollar lower fiat crap going to zero BUY GOLD!
dollar higher manipulation! BUY GOLD!
Fed raises rates inflation is rampant BUY GOLD!
Fed lowers rates inflation will be rampant BUY GOLD!
LIBOR rate rises systematic breakdown BUY GOLD!
LIBOR rate eases liquidity returns BUY GOLD!
Silver higher Short squeeze! BUY GOLD!*
Silver lower manipulation! BUY GOLD!*
Gold lease rate up banks not lending gold BUY GOLD!
Gold lease rate down easy to get cheap gold BUY GOLD!
*or silver

12/2/15

A news release from Minera IRL SA

Out today Wednesday. Spanish version here.

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Minera IRL S.A. Shareholders Meeting Postponed Until Completion of EGM Previously Called by Shareholders


Lima, 2 December 2015: Minera IRL S.A. announces that the shareholders meeting previously organized for 3 December, cannot be held, due to a request by shareholders, to fully comply with legal procedures in accordance with the General Corporate Laws of Peru.

The Directors of Minera IRL S.A. will meet next week, in order to define a new date to convene the meeting.  In accordance with procedures established by law, the new date, time and place for the meeting will be published in the newspaper El Peruano, complying with the request of shareholders.

The agenda for the shareholders meeting of Minera IRL S. A., proposed by shareholder Minera IRL Limited, seeks to revoke the duties of the actual Directors and General Manager and to name new representatives.  In regard to this, Minera IRL S.A. considers it best practice to first know the composition of the new Board of Minera IRL Limited and is awaiting the announcement for the new date of the shareholders EGM that was suspended in Canada on the 26 November, 2015.

Transference of Assets

Minera IRL S.A. has taken notice that the non executive Director of Minera IRL Limited, Mr Jaime Pinto, has been granted full powers by the current Board Minera IRL Ltimited that allow him to transfer, sell, dispose and deal the assets of Minera IRL SA and its subsidiaries, including the Corihuarmi Gold Mine and Minera Kuri Kullu S.A., the owner of the Ollachea Gold Project.

The Company considers it necessary to maintain continuity and stability in both these assets, that employ more than 500 people and have commitments with numerous Communities in their areas of influence, as well as agreements with authorities in the mining and energy sectors, environmental responsibilities and financial institutions amongst others. 

These issues will also be evaluated by the Board of Minera IRL S.A. in relation to the announcement of the new date for the shareholders meeting.

For more information please contact: minera@irl.com.pe

Defining terrorism

Associated Press in Peru has set off "social media drama" this week via its report of Lori Berenson, the US national person/woman/activist/terrorist* who was convicted and sent to jail for 20 years by a Peru court for being part of the Tupac Amaru rebels/terrorist/macrameweekendgathering* group in the 1990s. And the main reason for all the hoo-hah is in the first sentence of the note, penned by AP's regional head honcho Frank Bajak:
"LIMA, Peru (AP) — American activist Lori Berenson is finally heading home to New York, two decades after being found guilty of aiding leftist rebels in Peru."
He called her an "activist", rather than a terrorist. And Peruvians have decided they don't like that. You can read the AP report on this link and as for reaction, check out any number of Spanish language editorials in Spanish at El Comercio, La Republica, the drama on Twitter or perhaps this English language open letter to the head of AP worldwide by a Peruvian journalist who sums up the "she's a terrorist so she has to be called a terrorist otherwise you hate Peru" attitude that's so prevalent around the airwaves right now.

Which has got me wondering just what a terrorist is.

Let's start with a fact: Berenson was convicted first of treason, but then later in a civilian court of "collaborating with terrorism". That's what she did time for in Peru, she wasn't convicted of terrorism. Semantics perhaps, but when it comes to writing a factual report you can't call her a terrorist and have that word backed up by the official judiciary, the law, the government. Collaborating with terrorism is obviously a step away from terrorism because if not, she would have been convicted under just one of those three words, not all three. Osama Bin Laden a terrorist? Undoubtedly. FARC-EP? Yes. Guzman of Sendero? Not a shadow of a doubt. ISIS? Sign me up. But Lori Berenson, who was obviously up to no good in Peru in the 90s but never fired a gun, ordered a killing or did anything more than rent a house where other ne'erdowells lived? Your call, but mine is that at some point the word terrorist needs to be dropped because that person did not comply with the spirit of the word and did not instill terror in anyone.

However the court of public opinion won't let facts get away that easily and so AP via Frank Bajak, who had the temerity to omit the word "terrorist" when talking about Peru's least favourite US citizen, gets lambasted from all sides due to sticking with the facts, rather than going with the flow and telling people what they want to hear. "The terrorist Lori Berenson" is what you read all the time in the Peruvian press, but according to the law that is not so. 

So what makes a terrorist? Back in my mis-spent youth it was easy, you had Carlos the Jackal and you had nasty people hijacking Israeli planes. Terrorists, pure and simple. And you had Nelson Mande...oh, wait. Sorry, how does this work again? Or how about Luis Posada Carriles, CIA operative and the man behind the bombing of a Cuban airliner that killed 73 people?

Giving it the 30,000 feet overview, it seems to me that the terrorist goalposts have been moved since then and probably since Berenson was jailed. These days the knee-jerk is quicker, the term is looser, governments are more ready to apply the epithet when it suits. It's lucky that the people who make mistakes with drones aren't classed in the same breath, though. After all, that wouldn't be democratic.


*dilute to taste

The Muck Pile has been great recently

Just so you mining buffs are aware, there's a bunch of great stuff at The Muck Pile right now, as always carefully curated by Muckpile Mike and his ironic voiceover. Here's the link, go use it and make sure you keep scrolling down.

Much better than reading IKN.

UPDATE: Looks like Muckpile Mike has read IKN today too. Nice P.S., sir. 

On humour and pain

"It's always funny until someone gets hurt. 
Then it's just hilarious".
Bill Hicks

I've often reflected on how mining professionals will start reading IKN, then occasionally approach its author, then sometimes become friendly with its author and, every so often, get to the stage of personal friendship. Only for it to suddenly go cold because this humble corner of cyberspace is deemed to have insulted a friend of theirs, or upset some business apple cart in which they have an interest, or said something that didn't go down well with one of their bosses. Which is, of course, only part of the reason why I have no friends because this blog and its contents are merely an extension of its misanthropic owner's overall character and worldview.

But that's okay, because notable exceptions aside I've found that people in the junior mining scene are some of the worst specimens of humanity I've ever come across. Therefore we're a perfect match, we feed our own prejudices.

Have a nice day.






Chart of the day is...

...the gold/copper ratio, last two years:



The long-term trend is clear, but the most recent spike suggests a re-trace in store in the next week or three. So the question is: Copper up or gold down?


12/1/15

Samarco: At least the serious end of the mining industry has finally taken notice

This found its way from the ICMM to your humble scribe's inbox today. Link here.

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Representing 23 of the world’s largest mining and metals companies, ICMM today announced that it would convene a global review of tailings storage facility standards and critical controls.

ICMM CEO Tom Butler said, “I would like to express my profound sadness for the tragic loss of life that resulted from the recent Samarco tailings dam collapse in Brazil, and to extend my deepest sympathies to all those affected by the disaster.”

“In recent weeks, we have been consulting with member companies to determine how best to respond as an organisation with a commitment to leadership in environmental and safety performance within the mining and metals industry. ICMM places an emphasis on collaborative learning and in convening this review, we support our industry in seeking to avoid such an event from happening again.”

The review will be led by ICMM and include external experts and member company representatives.

It will focus on surface tailings management across the membership, including a review of standards, critical control strategies, governance and emergency preparedness.

“This review will build on an existing body of knowledge on tailings management and serve as an important resource not only for our members but the wider industry,” said Mr Butler.

Work on the review will commence immediately.

About ICMM

The International Council on Mining and Metals is an organisation of leading mining and metals companies that collaborate to promote responsible mining, with a shared commitment to people and the environment.

It comprises 23 mining and metals companies and 34 regional and commodity associations.

A Tuesday Tune, dedicated to Jaime NOT HODGES! Pinto of Minera IRL

Kate Bush, Cloudbusting.

  • Which isn't just a wonderful song.
  • And isn't just an all-time classic video (hi Donald Sutherland)
  • But Jaime, listen carefully, because it has some great lyrics



"I just know that something good is going to happen
And I don't know when
But just saying it could even make it happen"


Have an interesting week, Jaime.

Liberty and Rule go platinum

It's interesting to note the main takers in the recent 30.5c financing run by Platinum Group Metals (PTM.to) (PLG). Of the approx $2.1m raised, $1.06m came from insto backers Liberty Metals & Mining, then another $665k came from three funds connected to the Rick Rule end of the Sprott empire.

Link to info here (scroll down, check the PDF filed yesterday Nov 30th).



Fun trivia: In Spanish language social media, "PTM" is sometimes used as a short version for "puta madre" I'll let you discover the rich and varied uses of that little phrase all by yourself.

Lydian (LYD.to) thanks its long-term shareholders...

...by diluting them to kingdom come and weighing the company down with debt and a stream that takes virtually all the potential operating profit away from the bottom line (therefore shares) forever. And ever. Amen. Armenia.

Say thank you, long-term shareholders. NR here.

Here's a quick, non-scientific thought or three:
  • Right now LYD has 184.6m shares out.
  • If we assume the $105m placement they plan to run happens at 25c, that's another 420m shares on the pile. So let's be nice and round it to 600m S/O.
  • Then there's the small matter of $160m of debt to pay back.
  • Then there's the $60m stream to service, which is (all the silver and 6.75% of all gold produced at $400/oz, though to be fair LYD has only included the silver it will produced in its AISC numbers, so 80k oz Ag per annum shouldn't affect things too much).

All that on a project with a $338m NPV at $1,150/oz gold (even if you're the extremely generous type of person that lets LYD get away with its very skinny 5% discount rate marketing) and therefore at this point, to sum up and be able to concentrate on other more important matters*, IKN offers up this visual summary of today's news from LYD:


Not the first time for this useful summary visual on junior mining companies, won't be the last. 

PS: I adore the way the share price popped form 23c to 25c at the opening bell. It's a pleasure to be reminded how the human animal will grasp at any straw available, however thin or weak. But when it comes to juniors, lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate.

*breakfast

Samarco: A river dies so that lawyers can live

Here's Reuters on the R$20Bn (U$5.24Bn) lawsuit filed by Brazil against Samarco (50% Vale, 50% BHP) yesterday. It's one of those when a bunch of numbers do little to enlighten, but we need to start somewhere. Here's an extract from the Reuters piece:

The Nov. 5 damburst in Minas Gerais, Brazil's main mining state, unleashed 60 million cubic meters of mud and mine waste that demolished a nearby village, killed at least 13 people and polluted a major river valley, killing fish and reaching the Atlantic Ocean.
The lawsuit filed in federal court in Brasilia required Samarco to take immediate action to contain and reduce the environmental impact of the damburst, the chief prosecutor of the coastal state of Espírito Santo, Rodrigo Vieira, said.
The lawsuit seeks at least 20 billion reais that would be administered by a private fund over 10 years to pay for the recovery from the environmental disaster and its social impact on communities near the mine and along the Rio Doce river basin.
Samarco would be required to set up the fund to be managed independently by non-governmental groups, such as a committee of inhabitants of the river basin and Instituto Terra, a local environmental nonprofit started by world renowned photographer Sebastian Salgado.
"If Samarco does not have the financial resources to cover payments over 10 years, Vale and BHP will be held responsible for providing their shares," Vieira told Reuters by telephone.

Full report here. Meanwhile, the world's mining trade papers continue to ignore the biggest story in its sector. Nothing to do with the fact that BHP has them all in its pocket, of course.

I wonder what Andy Robertson thinks of all this?

Bear Creek Mining (BCM.v): The Santa Ana ICSID case

Yesterday afternoon, a friend point me at this link which is the document file for the tribunal case between plaintiff Bear Creek Mining (BCM.v) and the defender State of Peru. It's all over the Santa Ana project, which BCM says was cancelled illegally and because they're protected by the Peru/Canada Free Trade Agreement and stuff, are claiming a quarter of a billion dollars compensation.

At first I browsed a little, but the reading material quickly became fascinating and I read all the documents available (and there's a lot to read). It's not possible to provide even a brief summary of the body of work, but this post exists for two reasons.

1) To tell the esteemed readership of IKN that the Bear Creek Santa Ana case is an excellent case study and now, with the company on record as to its movements and what it did for community relations development. It also shows that BCM didn't have a clue as to what it was letting itself into and when it did, it was too late to undo the mistakes it had made with its limited plan of action.

2) To tell the esteemed readership of IKN that in the firm opinion of your humble scribe, Bear Creek Mining (BCM.v) doesn't stand a chance of winning. Not one, forget it, goodbye Swarthout, no soup for you. For the hack on that, go to the documents dated October 6th.

11/30/15

IKN Recommends: Bolivian Express

Edition number 56 of Bolivian Express, a free monthly magazine delivered digitally*, is out now. It's an English language publication about the sights and sounds of the country and as its website blurb indicates...
"Bolivian Express (BX) is an organisation founded in 2010, which aims to strengthen ties between Bolivia and the English-speaking world through immersive work experience programmes geared towards media production. Over the past five years, BX Magazine has become Bolivia’s foremost English-language publication, distributed in print for free across the country, and online for the rest of the world. Over 120 people from around the world have already taken part in Bolivian Express, and on the 28th May 2015 we celebrated the publication of the monumental 50th issue."
...not only is it free but the people behind it will be more than happy to get extra eyeballs. So what you, nice person who wants to know more about Bolivia, need to do is the following:

1) Go to the website right here and download the latest edition from the front page.





2) Then go to the subscription page right here and put in your mail address to get all future editions piped straight to you, all for free (and they don't spam you either).

It's a well-produced monthly read on the country that shows plenty of slices of life and provides strong insight on cultural matters. As an added bonus, they're great at photography as well.


*or there's a print version available inside Bolivia

Minera IRL (IRL.to) (MIRL.L): The hypocritical Team Hodges position on Corporate Governance

When you release a NR, you don't feed it to the press first. You have to send it to the relevant market authorities and you have to stick it on your website. This is doubly true when you leave the Wild West World of the Canadian market and quote on a serious exchange like the London one, which also requires your Nominated Broker (NOMAD) to sign off on any news release BEFORE it is published or sent to any third party.

It's notable how company chair Jaime Pinto of Minera IRL (IRL.to) (MIRL.L) only cares about good corporate governance when making 100% unfounded and rumour-laden accusations about Diego Benavides (that are also untrue). Because when it comes to his own interpretation of the rules, Jaime NOT HODGES" Pinto thinks he can do whatever he wants. Interestingly the company's NOMAD, Canaccord Genuity of London, shows all the signs of being in cahoots with this rulebreaker. Read on, kind visitor to this humble corner of cyberspace.


The Strange Case of the El Comercio report (from IKN342)


When your enemy is a proven liar, the best thing to do is to watch them carefully and wait patiently because sooner or later they make a mistake, their frilly underwear shows, light gets shone upon their false position. Last Thursday we had the EGM and as we all know by now, it was suspended. On the same day at lunchtime I began getting calls from Peruvian people wanting to know if it was true that the EGM had been suspended. I knew nothing about this at the time (and let’s say this clearly, I’m fairly well connected on this story) so I asked the people where they’d heard this. “In El Comercio” they replied, so I immediately went to the website of Peru’s newspaper of record, its NYT or WaPo if you like, and there was this link (4) to this story (title screenshot):

On reading the report I immediately contacted sources who confirmed that yes indeed, the EGM had just been suspended. The title of that news report as seen above can be reasonably translated as “The Minera IRL Shareholders’ Meeting Has Been Suspended”, but as you see above, my added red ink cares more about the timestamp on the report. This note was published at 13:43 (i.e. 1:43pm) local Lima time on November 26th, the day of the EGM. You’ll also note that at the time in Lima Peru is exactly the same as in Toronto (e.g. 12 midday up there is 12 midday down here), the two towns are in the same time zone.

So far so normal, but when we get to the body of the text we read something very strange indeed. Here for the record is a screenshot of part of the text (just in case it “accidentally” goes missing from the El Comercio website):




As for the content the first paragraph translates like this:



In a communique for shareholders (i.e New Release), the company chairman Jaime Pinto pointed to presumed irregularities in the way the vote was carried out to determine the future of the company.



You’ll note that the report talks about a news release. You’ll also note that the verb “point” is in the past tense (and so is “carried out”, in Spanish “llevaron a cabo”). There are no doubts about the tense being used here and that the report is talking about something in the past. So let us be clear, at this point in time there was no news release from Minera IRL Ltd and the only news release from the company came nearly 12 hours later, at the opening bell of the London Stock Exchange around 01:30am Toronto and Lima time, the wee small hours of Friday morning, November 27th.

Pray tell, how did El Comercio know about a news release that didn’t exist until twelve hours later? Why, at lunchtime on November 26th, was El Comercio referring to a NR that didn’t get published until November 27th in the past tense?

But that’s not all. The El Comercio report goes on with a quote from Jaime Pinto and here I’m going to bore you with a chunk of Spanish, the same in that screenshot, so you can play at Google Translate for yourself if you want:



"Es mi responsabilidad como presidente del directorio determinar la validez de los votos llevados a cabo que se han realizado en persona o cedidos en poder. He recibido evidencias sobre una posible violacion de las leyes de seguridad de Ontario, [dado que] una importante parte de los votos fueron cedidos a personas que no tienen interés de velar por el futuro economico de la compañía".



As it happens (and any sworn translator or expert in both languages can tell you if you don’t believe me), an excellent translation of those Spanish words is the following:



As Chair of the EGM, it is my responsibility to determine the validity of the votes cast by proxy or in person. I have received evidence of a potential violation of Ontario securities laws as a result of which a substantial proportion of the votes cast by proxy, significant enough in number to alter the outcome of the matters to be decided at the EGM, were cast on behalf of persons who do not have a corresponding economic interest in the future of the Company.”



And those words are found in the NR that Minera IRL Ltd (i.e. Team Hodges) released on November 27th. Again, how did El Comercio know the EXACT words Jaime Pinto would use in a NR the next day?

The answer is, of course, that El Comercio published something it wasn’t supposed to have. And that shows just how much theatre was going on that day in the room inside Fasken Martineau that played host to the EGM. Team Hodges had already decided that the vote wasn’t going to take place and it would accept no arguments from the floor up to and including the point where it had already written the NR that it would send out to the market the next day before the meeting was done. But somebody somewhere screwed up, sent off the pre-written missive too early and it got published 12 hours before time in Peru’s newspaper of record. And I read it.

I would strongly suggest to lawyers looking into this case that, come the time, they get a few people from the El Comercio newspaper on record about the happenings of November 26th. Those lawyers should also get Messrs. Henry Fitzgerald-O'Connor and Oliver Donaldson of Canaccord Genuity Limited in London, the NOMAD (Nominated Adviser and Broker) for Minera IRL Ltd, on record as it would seem they have committed a grave infraction and dereliction of duty regarding key company news releases.


Basic Life Mistakes #43: Taking career advice from academia

Ah, it seems like only yesterday. The whole excerpt is worthy but your humble scribe highlights and underlines the...errr...moneyline:

Dr Jenkin said: "Mobile phones contain copper, nickel, silver and zinc, aluminium, gold, lead, manganese, palladium, platinum and tin. More than a billion people will buy a mobile in a year -- so that's quite a lot of metal. And then there's the neodymium in your laptop, the iron in your car, the aluminium in that soft drinks can -- the list goes on...
"With ever-greater use of these metals, are we running out? That was one of the questions we addressed at our meeting. It is reassuring that there's no immediate danger of 'peak metal' as there's quite a lot in the ground, still -- but there will be shortages and bottlenecks of some metals like indium due to increased demand.
"That means that exploration for metal commodities is now a key skill. It's never been a better time to become an economic geologist, working with a mining company. It's one of the better-kept secrets of employment in a recession-hit world.
"And a key factor in turning young people away from the large mining companies -- their reputation for environmental unfriendliness -- is being turned around as they make ever-greater efforts to integrate with local communities for their mutual benefit."
So, our appetite for technological goodies will be satisfied for some time to come still -- as long as sufficient people with the skills to seek out the metals emerge into the marketplace.

Professor of Geology at Leicester University, Dr. Gawen Jenkin, said that at a meeting of the Geological Society of London in October 2011. How y'all doing out there, newly graduated geols?

The gold/platinum ratio

This isn't just Volkswagen:



Reminds me of something I wrote way back in March 2013:
"Oh how they mocked your humble scribe for poo-poohing the 2013 move out of gold and into platinum"

Chart of the day is...

...the Argentina stock exchange main "Merval" index:



The Merval is down 1000 points since Mauricio Macri was declared president elect. Discuss.

UPDATE post-close Monday. Oh look, down another 1.5% today so make that 1200 points. Funny how the media used to report regularly and we gleee on these slumps when they came in the middle of the CFK government time but they don't seem to care much any longer, innit guv?

11/29/15

The IKN Weekly, out now


IKN342 has just been sent to subscribers. Yes there's a chunk of prose on IRL, but as there are 14,658 words (not to mention the snazzy charts and tables) spread over 30 pages we're by no means limited to that sorry saga and there are bits and piece on a whole range of things, including the real big mining story of the week year in South America.

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

...in reverse order (and back by popular demand):

Third Place: "Minera IRL (IRL.to) (MIRL.L): So here's how I'm guessing this works" which was IKN's very own fishing expedition.

Second Place: "The single most impressive news release I've ever read". What I really like about this one is that even now, nearly a week later, most of you don't know how much of a killer NR this is, even those of you following the IRL soap opera carefully.

First Place: "Minera IRL (IRL.to) (MIRL.L): Jaime Pinto shows his true colours at the EGM" which broke the news that NOT HODGES! was refusing to count the votes at the clownfest EGM and won the hit count by a nautical mile.

So, all IRL. Sadly unsurprising.