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9/23/18

Angry Geologist does SolGold (SOLG.L) (SOLG.to)

Two things to love here:

1) The Angry Geologist does SolGold. Yeah I know, natch, but we love T.A.G. very very much and she's been too quiet recently.

2) The comment by Tom Szabo about Garibaldi (GGI.v) underneath, which made me laugh hard.

Go see for yourself, here's the link.

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

...in reverse order:
.
Third Place: "VRify School of Mining Promotion: Lesson 2". Some light relief in a difficult week for the mining world.

Second Place: "BREAKING: Three Continental Gold $CNL.to geologists kidnapped and perhaps murdered". No pleasure at all from having this as a popular post. There have been six other updates posts on the story since this post broke the news on Thursday morning. I'm just glad something came along to remove it from the top spot.

 
First Place: "BREAKING: Barrick Gold (ABX) $ABX and Randgold (GOLD) $GOLD are in late stage talks to merge the two companies". An IKN scoop. Since breaking this story yesterday afternoon I've heard all sorts of potential variations on the deal as well, different geographical areas being carved up in different ways, Barrick's majority-owned Acacia in the deal or even at the centre, even third-party companies involved in parts of the action. We shall see. And probably very soon.

9/22/18

BREAKING: Barrick Gold (ABX) $ABX and Randgold (GOLD) $GOLD are in late stage talks to merge the two companies

We may get a news release on this as early as tomorrow Sunday or before the opening bell Monday morning. Multiple sources have told this desk the deal is on.

You heard it here first.



PPS: We welcome readers from the Broadmoor Hotel, Colorado Springs.

The Continental Gold $CNL.to news release yesterday afternoon

Just before the bell yesterday, Continental Gold (CNL.to) published a news release entitled "Continental Gold Expands Upon and Clarifies Information Related to the Tragedy at its Berlin Project, Colombia". What is most notable about the NR is that it spends a long time on issues that suit the company and fails to mention the only thing that matters. Some examples of the distracting techniques:
"Contrary to media speculation, the Municipality of Yarumal has enjoyed calm and peace for a number of years without any security outbreaks of record."
This is guff, the world knows that Yarumal was and is still a FARC hot zone. That there haven't been incidents in the last five years is good, it's also related to the cease fire while the peace talks happened. If it were not a hot zone, the army would not be so keen on patrolling the area. Not only that, what the devil does "Contrary to media speculation..." actually mean here? (nothing).

"Additionally, the Mayor commented that he has visited Ochalí nine or ten times over the past two years without any security incidents."
Good for him. Come on his own, did he? No bodyguards?

"...the Company would like to state that its number one priority is the safety and security of its employees and contractors."
If that's its #1 priority, I'd hate to think how they get on with their #5 priority. Or #10. In the lapse of just this month, CNL has seen four of its employees murdered and others seriously injured in terrorist attacks.

"According to an interview published by a Medellin newspaper, one of the villagers stated: "What happened really hurts. They [Continental Personnel] always greeted us, they were very distinguished. Even on Sunday, they did an activity with the townspeople. They were providing work, they made purchases in the small shops [of Ochalí]. With what has transpired, the community loses.""
This is pathos and nonsense. We all know that the vast majority of people are good people, that goes for outlaying communities in Colombia as well who will welcome others with open arms and enjoy benefits of interaction. THESE PEOPLE ARE NOT WHY SECURITY DETAILS ARE DEPLOYED INTO THESE AREAS. This script has nothing to do with the events of this week, this is CNL throwing sequins into your eyes.

Which brings us to the main point of this post, the one thing CNL decided not to address in its NR of yesterday. And why? Because it is obviously the most difficult to answer. What's more it is very simple to frame, too:

1) Did CNL know about the threats made to their team of geologists?

2) Did CNL do anything about it?

According to the father of the one of the geologists murdered there, the answer to the first question is a resounding YES. And the answer to the second question is also a resounding NO. Here is what Jairo Flórez, father of dead geologist Laura Flórez, said during a radio interview last week:
When asked whether his daughter had spoke of any fear for what might happen there, the emotional father replied, "Obviously! Obviously!" She'd spent two weeks very scared. She phoned me and said, "Daddy, we're all sad because there are rumours that they're going to attack us here. We don't know what to do."

The young woman also told her father that the company was monitoring the situation, but nothing happened. "The last time I spoke with her (Wednesday evening) she said, "Dad, we're all scared to death here."
She was on leave, but they phoned her and told her that she could travel to Medellín and from there to the (Berlín) camp, knowing the high risk they were running. So it seems to me that there was a lot of carelessness from the company", said Flórez.

"I have the WhatsApp messages where my girl told me, "Daddy, how is it possible that the company sends us up uniforms and while they are being transported to us, they get cut up with knives? Daddy, what happened is very strange, we're all very sad and fearful because the uniforms are full of holes" (she wrote with a sad face icon). This was on the 17th of this month. They knew the risks they were taking and the company should have got them out. But they didn't do anything. For me, that's very lax of the company."

We can add to this testimony that of the family of another of the mudered geologists, Camilo Andrés Tirado. His father though tears  told Caracol Radio:
"They had no protection and they did not give them the least amount of security because...because they had nobody watching over them and it was a small village with very few houses."

In the title line of its NR yesterday, CNL was keen to use the verb "clarify". If they are so keen on clarification I'm sure they will quickly want to clarify that. Please.

UPDATE:  A new development. Dora Elena Balvin, the secretary of Mines in the Antioquia region of Colombia where the attack on the geologists working for Continental Gold (CNL.to) occurred (specifically in the Yarumal district), stated in an interview today that, "Yarumal has always seen acts of violence", (minute six of this seven minute interview). This directly contradicts the company line that the area was peaceful. We also note in this interview on the tragic events with army general Ramirez, in charge of security there, that the army has been conducting patrols in this area for some time in order to seek out dissident FARC rebels. Again, Yarumal is obviously a Hot Zone at the moment.

The Continental Gold ( $CNL.to ) deaths: The Governor of Antioquia speaks

This morning on the radio, the governor of Antioquia Luis Pérez addressed the terrible events that ended with the deaths of three geologists working for Continental Gold (CNL.to) at its Berlín project. He went through what the authorities know about the murders and said that accoding to the information given to him by one of the geology team that escaped, the murderers identified themselves as ex-FARC and ex-ELN dissidents.

He was then asked by the interviewer what they were doing there and whether they were under protection. Governor Pérez said that the company (Continental Gold) "...is a company that has a lot of risk..." in exploration and that, "....we have to exceed in protection and prevention."

He went on to talk about the success that Continental Gold has had at its Buriticá, before returning to the events of Berlín and that's where the contradictions begin. We know that the group of geologists had been "scared to death" because "there were rumours they were going to attack us", but when commenting on this, Governor Pérez said, "Neither the army nor the police had received warnings of threats to the committee (the group of CNL geologists)". Note the difference there, between official-type warnings and the rumours going around.
He then said this: "The army had 100, 120, 130 or 150 men close to the committee where they were working and the committee asked them to move back because the community said that they would look after them if the army weren't there. Therefore the army moved away (some 600 or 700 metres) on the petition of the committee (the party of geologists)."

This doesn't make any sense at all. Why should the geologists themselves ask the army personnel to move some 600m or 700m away if they themselves say there were rumours of them being attacked and that they were scared to death of what might happen?

 




9/21/18

The Friday OT: Jon Hopkins; Singularity

I fell in love with the track weeks ago when the album came out (my Spotify heavy rotation list). As of two days ago we also have a video, it's one of the best I've seen in a long while.




Youtube here.

Understanding political risk, Continental Gold ( $CNL.to ) edition

It would seem that some of this audience needs this issue framed in purely capitalist terms:



Ask yourself how Newmont (NEM) are feeling about their JV partner this morning.

Continental Gold $CNL.to knew about the probability of an attack on its camp for up to two weeks and did nothing

Read this. Absolutely heart-wrenching.

Continental Gold, why did you not pull your team of geologists out

A translation of an except of the report, the father of one of the slain geologists (female, aged 28) talked to the reporter yesterday

When asked whether his daughter had spoke of any fear for what might happen there, the emotional father replied, "Obviously! Obviously!" She'd spent two weeks very scared. She phoned me and said, "Daddy, we're all sad because there are rumours that they're going to attack us here. We don't know what to do."

The young woman also told her father that the company was monitoring the situation, but nothing happened. "The last time I spoke with her (Wednesday evening) she said, "Dad, we're all scared to death here."

 

Avino Silver & Gold Mines Ltd $ASM rips off its shareholders

A three part story:

1) Notice the way Avino Silver & Gold (ASM) traded yesterday:



2) Then six minutes after the bell yesterday, this NR hit which announced that ASM would raise money via a placement.

3) Then this morning, we read that the placement is priced:

VANCOUVER, Sept. 21, 2018 /CNW/ - Avino Silver & Gold Mines Ltd. (ASM:TSX/NYSE American; FSE:GV6, "Avino" or "the Company") today announced that it has priced an underwritten public offering of an aggregate of 6,239,867 common shares of the Company, together with warrants to purchase up to 6,239,867 common shares of the Company, at a public offering price of US$0.65 per share and associated warrant to purchase one common share. Each warrant will have an exercise price of US$0.80 and will expire five years from the date of issuance.

In other words, those people who were "lucky" enough to be among the 1m share volume sellers yesterday at between U$0.79 and U$0.85 (ASM never does that much, not even close) can now buy back their position for U$0.65 and get a free warrant into the bargain, priced at 80c.

Yet another example of the rip-off culture in junior mining. However, as ASM also trades as a fully paid up member of the US markets, perhaps we can get a little investigation into this blatant insider trading by people with teeth this time, i.e. the US SEC.

Dollar, centre screen

Aside from the bad news out of Colombia, this is what matters to the sector today:

Seems to me that if 93 goes, Kudlow's King Dollar sees its crown slip.

More bad news out of Colombia about the Continental Gold (CNL.to) geologists

One of the people injured in the attack has just died from their wounds.

That's four dead.

9/20/18

VRify School of Mining Promotion: Lesson 2

You remember the first episode? (Otto Rock? Otto Wrong!). Well here we go with part two:




Enjoy. Youtube here.  STILL OPEN AT DEPTH! 

THREE WORDS: GROSS METAL VALUE