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Numismatist alert: Chiie got somethlng for you

Thar she blows

AP tells us of a spelling mistake in issued coinage in Chile, one of those things that gets coin collectors all hot and bothered about life.

SANTIAGO, Chile — An engraver fired by Chile's mint for an error that led to the release of 1.5 million coins featuring the country of "CHIIE" said Friday that his bosses deliberately covered up the mistake.

The error showed up on Chilean 50-peso pieces for the year 2009.

Engraver Pedro Urzua Lizana told The Associated Press he unknowingly left off the bottom part of the letter "l" when, in December 2008, he was hurriedly fixing a minor deformity in the original mold for making the dies to stamp out the coin.

The coins were released to the public last year but no one at the mint, including himself, knew about the error until a coin collector called in October to point it out, he said.

Once informed, officials at the mint fixed the stamp for future 50-peso pieces, but sent another batch of bad coins to the Central Bank without telling officials there of the error, Urzua said. Those coins never were released to the public, he said.

Various officials at the mint, including the head of Urzua's department, asked "that we not say anything to anyone" about the error, he said.

The Central Bank, which issues the coins continues here

There are 1.5 million of these badly drawn boys hanging round Chiie...sorry, Chile now. Not exactly a limited edition, but they'll have a value above 50 Chilean Pesos (about nine and a half US cents right now), that's for sure.

World Copper Production by Country in 2009

Figures released by Peru's mining body, SNMPE, last week were greeted by pomp and fanfare because Peru managed to move into second place on the list of world's biggest copper producers. Here's a chart showing the top seven copper producing countries, according to the SNMPE...
Oops, labelling error. This Y axis label should read "thousands", not millions of metric tonnes.

...and here's an English language report as an example of the love Peru gave itself. But it really needs a bit of context, because for one thing Chile is a mile ahead of everybody else in terms of absolute production and for another the USA lost its second place not because Peru suddenly produced a lot more copper (the 2008 figure for Peru was 1.27MMT, just three thousand tonnes less) but because the USA cut back and dropped from 1.3MMT to 1.19MMT in the same period.

Also, as this chart for 2009 production shows..... production of copper is fairly fractured, Chile apart. Peru's second place gives it slightly less than 7% of the market with all other countries away from that top seven combining for over 41% of total world production. As this decade develops, Peru will likely consolidate its position as world's second place in the list with large mine developments in the pipeline and most due online by 2015. But get close to Chile? No way.


The Friday OT: Massive Attack; Protection

Dedicated to the alluring Earwicga, one amongst the millions of people who know just how good this band is.

The video is great, but the song is so beautiful that I'm not going to bother with many words. Before you ask, yes that's the singer from Everything But The Girl.

Graham Harris: Another day, another Canadian ripoff

Graham Harris: Is it possible to shame the shameless?

Interesting to note the insider filings of ATW Gold (ATW.v) Chairman Graham Harris today:

10 - Acquisition or disposition in the public market -21,000 0.52 -10920
10 - Acquisition or disposition in the public market -79,000 0.51 -40290
10 - Acquisition or disposition in the public market -100,000 0.27 -27000
10 - Acquisition or disposition in the public market -50,000 0.21 -10500
10 - Acquisition or disposition in the public market -19,000 0.22 -4180
10 - Acquisition or disposition in the public market -31,000 0.22 -6820
10 - Acquisition or disposition in the public market -55,500 0.22 -12210
10 - Acquisition or disposition in the public market -4,000 0.22 -880
10 - Acquisition or disposition in the public market -40,000 0.18 -7200
10 - Acquisition or disposition in the public market -82,000 0.18 -14760
10 - Acquisition or disposition in the public market -13,000 0.17 -2210
10 - Acquisition or disposition in the public market -100,000 0.165 -16500
10 - Acquisition or disposition in the public market -5,000 0.185 -925

The Harris guy has managed to dump nearly 600,000 shares on the market in the last five months and pocketed gross proceeds of $154,395, most of them a mile outside the normal disclosure period for insider transactions. But especially noteworthy are those first two sales (which aren't on the cad insider page, cos they only carry the last 10 transactions; to see the first two you need to go over to sedi dot ca) made on Sept 11th 2009, one week BEFORE his company released the news on its trainwreck mine in Australia that dumped the stock forever and ever amen.

Total impunity once again. The Chairman of the company, who knew the crap that was about to go down, dumps his stock before shareholders find out what's going on and can't be bothered to tell anyone for five months. For this the OSC will slap his wrist with the normal $1,000 fine (which he'll be able to pay in cash straight from his wallet when the time comes).

So let's check Harris's credentials: Oh looky! He's an ex-VP at the can of corn! What a surprise, the same house of education as like the other guy who jumped the ATW.v ship before anyone else got to hear the bad news, Luke Norman.

Meanwhile, let's check in on what arch-bullshit pumper Peter Grandich said about Graham Harris in February 2009:
"I’ve known Graham Harris, one of ATW’s Directors, for almost 20 years. He’s always been a straight shooter, particularly when he was in the financial arena, and finding a straight shooter in the financial arena is like finding a needle in a haystack. So I’ve always had confidence in his honesty."
Wow! Two assholes for the price of one!

Graham Harris is also the big honcho at Tribune Resources (TNR.f), a €0.52 stock over on the Frankfurt exchange. You have been warned, my Teutonic friends.

The US dollar and gold (and how they may be related)

Look carefully and you might be able to spot a pattern :-)

But it's perhaps more interesting to look at the weekly candles of the USD and Gold futures next to each other.

Three thoughts that spring to mind:

1) Since that December peak, gold has dropped from $1,180/oz (excluding the spike up) to the current $1,087/oz and the dollar has risen from 74.8 (excluding the spike down) to 80.5. In percentage terms, gold is down 7.88% and the dollar index is up 7.62%.

2) People actually bother to track the supply and demand stats for gold? Are they mad? They need to get out more, or find some other dataset to follow, or work for charity instead. Gold is inverse dollar, dollar is inverse gold, the rest is noise. Gold is not affected by the wider commodities market forces for a very simple reason; it's not a commodity, it's an asset class.

3) The dollar is still daddy and all things, gold included as just one example, revolve around it like planets around the greater sun. It may be a basic statement but it's worth saying and like it or not, you're silly to ignore reality.

Fred Morrison, R.I.P

IKN takes a moment out to celebrate the life and note the sad passing of Fred Morrison, inventor of the Frisbee, who died on Tuesday aged 90. The news was broken by his son last night.

The UK Times has a good page on him today (from where the above photo was purloined, too). We owe a debt of gratitude to a man that gave modern society the rare gift of great pleasure.

Troy Resources

Maybe I'm not an expert on arbitrage or something.....
....but the strong run on good volume shown by Troy Resources in Australia ( these last two days does seem to have left a big gap to fill for its Canadian listing. Something like 4%, with a forex adjusted CAD$2.04 in the cards.

Chart of the day is....

...copper futures, daily candle.

Just lucky I guess....


Dorato Resources (DRI.v): Wondering why it sold off today?

I'm not. Cos I speak Spanish. Let's check on how Dorato (DRI.v) did against GLD (the gold etf)

Oh dear...all on a sudden surge of volume,too...that's what comes of getting a national park stuck over your mining concession, I suppose. But didn't they mention that when they were running the recent $15m equity placements that closed around two weeks ago? Oh dear, how lapse of them. Tut tut. Never mind'll be able to dump the stock in just 3 1/2 months...not long to wait....

Fool + Money = Parted.

Peru, flooding and tourism

You read about it first on IKN in this post last week, "Peru's tourist industry facing crisis."

Now you read about it in The Economist. (although their piece does say very silly things like "Lake Titicaca is close to overflowing", proving that the author has no idea about the area....go to Desaguadero, dumbass....or at least work out what the word means, mono-linguist).

Just sayin'.

Raymond James on gold

RayJames published a nice thinkpiece on gold yesterday (Feb 10th), well worth the time of those who invest in the stuff and particularly good for those that trade the gold miners.

Here's the link to pick up your PDF copy of the report. Free and easy, courtesy of your friendly neighbourhood corner of cyberspace, IKN (bows gracefully).

Thanks to a quick reader who was kind enough to alert me, I've just noticed the link was wrong. It's now corrected. Thank you reader 'TI'.

Nadagold (NG): The trainwreck publishes its YE


As usual, Nadagold (NG) gives us a long spiel of a news release and buries the bad news at the bottom where they hope nobody will see it. Yeah sure they lost 42c per share over the year.....they've never cared about that before, so why should they care now?

Nah, here's the real news from the NG presser. Because working capital is running out fast and is not enough to cover its programmed expenditures in 2010, even though they're not mining anything or even making any sort of decision to even build a mine......

Based on anticipated but not committed expenditures on its projects, the Company will require financing within 12 months to meet its expected ongoing requirements, which include funding for work at Donlin Creek, general and administrative expenses, and care and maintenance expenditures at Rock Creek. Under the terms of the revised partnership agreement with Teck, the Company has no near-term funding obligations at Galore Creek. The Company also expects to require significant financing in future years to meet its share of development costs on the Donlin Creek and Galore Creek projects. The Company intends to fund its plan of operations from working capital and the proceeds of financings. Future financings are expected to be obtained through joint ventures, debt financing, convertible debt, exercise of warrants and options, equity financing, production-sharing arrangements or other means. However, there is no assurance that these initiatives will be successful.

Yep, they gonna dilute your tush again...and again.....and again. And just think, this comes just a couple of weeks after arch-scamster Rick! awarded himself $1.48m in options. Know this ridiculous company and the joke management that runs it by its deeds, not its words.

Shock! Venezuela and Bolivia welcome foreign oil investment!

DAG-NABIT, Trew! Can't these goddamit commies play it right and stay enemies for once?

The major biznews this week from South of the Darien Gap is the big investment moves in Venezuela and Bolivia done by foreign oil companies. Yesterday, the Orinoco belt auction results were announced, with those lilly-livered pseudo-socialist European traitors at Repsol, backed up by cheating lying snakes-in-grass from Malaysia and India, winning one part of the auction. The other big winner of a separate tranche of the deal was a consortium including you-can't-trust-em Japanese at Mitsubishi and headed up by those commie pinko bedwetter foreigners from.....errrrr...Chevron (that one willl really confuse the loopy O'Grady just to ignore it dear).

Reuters has good coverage on the whole shebang here, including a good quote from some oil analyst dude that actually gets what's going on (unlike the vast majority) and avoids the chestbeating of the far right and far left:

 "It is pragmatism on the part of the Venezuelans and
international oil companies," said Jeremy Martin, director of
the energy program at the Institute of the Americas in
"The Venezuelans know they can't do this without major capital and
knowhow, and (companies) know there's nowhere else in the
world where they would have access to world class reserves like these."
That's fair comment.

Meanwhile in Bolivia, Total (of pinko France) is moving forward on its $500m project to develop gas fields in Evolandia. First stage is the drilling (they have to go deep, to 6,300 feet apparently) and if all goes well, the full investment will be greenlighted.

Once again, South America shows itself to be far more difficult to pigeonhole than the bipolar North would prefer. Mojitos served, the end.

Copper inventories

In the last few days, up days have been cut with down over at the LME inventory, which is a typical rollover pattern for stocks.

Feb 14th is Chinese New Year, tigers will be burning bright (in the forests of the night) for a week or so, then the drawdown will start in earnest. May you live in interesting times and may you do your own DD, dude.

Chart of the day is....

......the progress of The Onion Ring vs Canadian PM Stephen Harper on Facebook.

On Feb 2nd somebody started a question on this Facebook page "Can this Onion Ring get more fans than Stephen Harper?" and featured a simple, plain, golden-brown onion ring. It was up against Canadian top honcho Stephen Harper's Facebook page which had a fanbase of over 30,000 people.

In just nine days, The Onion Ring has put together 164,000 fans and is rising fast. Here are a few of the news stories that the onion ring has generated over the last week (and also where IKN got its chart data from). Harper's fans have dropped to under 30,000.


Ken Kurson, winner of this week's coveted award

I know it's only Wednesday, but nobody beats this one. Nobody.

Via Salmon, we get to find out the quality of investment advice offered by Esquire magazine. I mean, this Ken Kurson dude actually wrote this but we're not in blogworld here...this stuff has to get approved by editors and that, too. Kurson's theme is gold investment and he pumps something called 'superfund gold' (basically looks like an ETF with less assurances and more commish) and has this to say about the possible benefits:

Superfund just started a new tranche of its signature fund called Superfund Gold. It invests in an array of commodities futures in exactly the same way, but your initial investment is denominated not in dollars but in gold. Suppose you buy $10,000 worth of Superfund Gold. If gold were trading at $1,000 an ounce, your $10,000 would be worth ten ounces of gold. Suppose the value of the fund doubles over the next five years and you decide to redeem all your shares. Rather than getting $20,000, you would instead receive as many dollars as it would take to buy 20 ounces of gold. Thus, if the price of gold doubles — akin to saying the value of a dollar is halved — you'd receive $40,000, since that's what it'd take to buy 20 ounces at $2,000 an ounce.

Trading Post (gonna eat fish today edition)

Antares Mineral (ANM.v) down 6% at $1.41. I'm a buyer of this stock. Take a good look at what ANM has to offer folks, cos even though it's already good I get the feeling it's about to become even....gooder. ANM got featured by the can of corn in its Metaland weekly yesterday, by the way. DYODD, dude.

Chariot ( down 3.3% at $0.435. It popped yesterday, it dropped today. Nothing new under the sun as far as this stock is concerned.

Fortuna Silver ( down 2.2% at $2.24. In the period of financing, FVI is (so far at least) performing much as expected as it flits slightly above and then slightly below the $2.30 ticket price of the bought deal. Unless there's a specific change in circumstances (that has been mentioned elsewhere) I'd expect the same kind of action until March 2nd. A clear accumulation opportunity for true believers, amen.

Capella Resources (KPS.v) down 5.6% at $0.35. Hahahahahaaaaaa! Deserves to be even lower, as not even a drillcore or two can save you from a scumball management team. Remember this post? And this one? Good, glad you did.

News roundup (we scratch the mosquito bites that others fear to scratch)

Tremble with fear, Crazy Canucks! The Mexico Winter Olympics team is in da house and ready to swoop away ALL your gold medals. The superlative Mexfiles has all the details (today's must see link).

Shock! Miss Colombia refuses nose job! Colombia Reports tells all.

There were 412 murders in New York City in 2009. In El Salvador, a country with roughly the same population as NYC, there were 440 murders IN THE FIRST 36 DAYS OF 2010. Jeesh...Tims' El Salvador blog has that stat and plenty more details about the heavy crimewave in ElSal right now.

In Argentina, beef prices have risen by 20% to 30% so far this year. According to Preshident Klishtina it's due to the rain and producers that are fattening up cattle, not the plain fact that farmers have abandoned cattle ranching to plant soybeans instead. But she recognizes the price hike, which according to her is due to "a law of economics". Welcome to the world of stupid, Clarin with the details.

Peru's Roll Call of Shame: Reaction

Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them?

Manic Depressive Prince, Elsinore
Long time ago and quoted out of context

I've had plenty of mailbox regarding this post on Feb 5th (which contained the chart you see above) about the number of deaths in the Peruvian mining industry over the last four and a bit years, but none better than a mail received yesterday evening from reader 'TK'. Said reader has kindly given me permission to paste an excerpt from his mail and here it is:

I have to admit the roll call of shame on your website 5 Feb was a shocker to me.

Not that I thought miners all walked around with halos over their heads, but I own some Pan American Silver and the news that there have been so many deaths at their operations in Peru is disturbing. I have been hearing more about, and starting to pay more attention to, the nasty stuff some of these companies are up to, and getting away from owning them and moving to ones that can actually live up to their claims.

Pan American isn’t one I expected to hear this about, as they have a pretty clean image. That they have worked with Doe Run Peru, another on your list, makes it worse.

TK, you're my kind of investor. Mining is a positive thing for society and the good players in the industry should be supported, but the modern responsible miners are still offset by those that are using dubious practices to forward their bottom lines. People should ask serious questions of companies such as Pan American Silver (PAAS) (,Volcan (VOLCABC1), Buenaventura (BVN) and any other company with a clear, long-standing track record of neglect towards their workforces. At the same time, why aren't there voices congratulating those miners such as Southern Copper (PCU) that show us exemplary attitudes and minimal accident rates? Australian mining companies are very hot on their worker accident rates.....why doesn't the USA or Canada care about these things?

UPDATE: Reader 'PR' writes in to note that Pan American Silver (PAAS) ( has its earnings call coming up on Feb 16th. Any of you mighty analyst suits ready to ask the brass about the company's health and safety record on the conference call? Go on, I double dog dare you.

The best part of breaking up....

correa uribe when you're making up. Lemme guess here.... Let's take a wild stab at "one is up for re-election and the other is struggling with just 41% approval in the polls". Cool! I win!

Yes indeedy, after the near two year spat about the trifling matter of bombing the crap out of Ecuadorian territory, Colombia's Alvaro 'Hobbes' Uribe* and Da Studmuffin Correa are getting all pally pally at the gig organized by UNASUR to help Haiti. We've had Uribe putting out bigtime before and during the visit and saying he wants to be friends we've also had Correa saying (for example):

"..... he is glad to see his country and Colombia continue to restore full ties, which were severed in March 2008.

Noting the presence of Colombian President Alvaro Uribe at the extraordinary Summit of the Union of South American Nations (Unasur) being held here, Correa noted at a press conference that both countries have taken important steps to restore their relations.

"We have officials in charge of the business (of restoring ties). In this sense, the visit of President Uribe is very positive," he added."

I do like a happy ending. Pity 230,000 had to die before a bit of sense got knocked into the numb skulls of these two overgrown schoolboys.

*nasty, brutish, short

Chart of the day is.....

....zinc, 12 month chart.
End of the world is postponed due to lack of sellers.


Trading Post (relief edition)

A bit of a relief rally going on today, which is nice to see. Spookily, your humble correspondent notes that Greece is getting its problems solved. Now why doesn't that come as any surprise....?

Rio Alto Mining (RIO.v) up 8% at $0.475 after getting the pumperooney from Robert F Moriarty* today (nah, not gonna link him....if you want it find it yourself). We're going to take a very close look at this stock in IKN41 via a NOBS fundamental report.

Mosquito Consolidated (MSQ.v) up 0.8% at $1.22. This was pumped by Moriarty at the beginning of the year and hey wow! guess what?
Yep, back to where it started. Got pumped by that Midas James West dude recently too, I hear. Over U$2Bn to build a moly mine? I mean...MOLY! "Interest from the Chinese" or not, you gotta be nutso.

Colossus Minerals ( up 6.5% at $4.74. go Dundee! w00t w00t!

Radius Gold (RDU.v) down a penny at 32c. Amongst the rough and tumble of the recent market, even though the stocks covered by The IKN Weekly have taken a bit of a hit recently we have chalked up a couple of good trades (though you might not notice, last trade being the only one that matters and all that). One of them was in Radius Gold (RDU.v) which was called a buy at 18c then sold when it reached its 43c target. Now significantly lower, it might be a time to put it back on the radar. I asked Gary BiiWii (who does charty things about four light years better than I) about the stock this morning and here's what he sent back.

I think it might do some moving and shaking before reaching 25c. We'll talk more about this in next week's subscriber edition. Thanks to Garydude for letting me share his chart here.

*i'll leave it to you to guess what the F stands for

Mish on US mortgages

Michael 'Mish' Shedlock has a blog that's on my RSS. I sometimes disagree with his take on things and sometimes agree, but it's always worth reading his articles.

He's especially good at practical advice for people in the USA regarding personal finances and today he has a post (well, a post that's more of a reaction to a previous good post) on a way to improve your mortgage standings in the States that might be of specific interest to the baby-boomer important financial topic in these times. It's not the usual IKN fare so there's no great long-winded commentary here, go find out for yourself and hopefully a few of you can work this idea into your financial life, too. Here's the link, go read.

Peru's corrupt narco-state

Let's start with a couple of direct statements that will find no major dissent:
  • Peru's narcotrafficking industry moves billions of dollars of laundered slush money every year
  • The Peruvian judicial system is notoriously corrupt
  • The country rarely convicts major drug barons on any charges (only one big crime lord was put behind bars in the whole of the last decade).

In October 2008, IKN ran this post on a certain Luis Valdez, capo de tutti capi as regards cocaine trafficking in the northeastern drug producing region of Peru. Here's how the post started:

He goes by the name of Luis Valdez, he's 70 years old, he's (surprise surprise) mayor of a small town in the Amazon basin province of Ucuyali, close to the border with Brazil. And for some unknown reason, he's just been arrested on money laundering charges by the Peruvian authorities. It might be a sign of the times, or it might be the fact that Valdez has just been ordered to pay $1.5m in damages to the family of the investigative reporter he murdered in 2004, but I wrote "for some unknown reason" because the fact....plain fact....that Valdez has been a major Peru drugs baron (perhaps THE major drugs baron) for decades with a slick logistics operation that combines with the Colombian and Mexicans and finishes up the noses of people in New York City; this isn't some big surprise suddenly uncovered by some sleuth or other.

His trial for the murder of the journalist was recently up before the beak. To be honest, I've been following proceedings in the local news but haven't been posting here because I thought it wasn't much in the way of was a clear open and shut case and was bound to be found guilty of the crime he clearly ordered. Yesterday came the verdict: Not guilty. I was amazed (as was the vast majority of Peru). Here's AP (via WaPo) on the story:

LIMA, Peru -- A Peruvian court on Monday absolved the former mayor of a jungle city in the 2004 killing of a reporter who accused him of cocaine trafficking.

The Lima court ruled there was contradictory testimony and insufficient evidence to convict Luis Valdez Villacorta, the former mayor of Coronel Portillo, the Amazon region containing the city of Pucallpa.

Valdez was accused of ordering the killing of Alberto Rivera, president of the local journalist federation and host of a radio program.

Rivera had accused Valdez of masterminding a 551-kilogram (1,215-pound) cocaine shipment hidden in a cargo of plywood that police seized in 2003 in Lima's port of Callao. The plywood was being shipped by Valdez's lumber company, but a criminal investigation against him was later dropped.

Less than 24 hours before his murder, Rivera repeated his allegations against Valdez and said if any harm should befall him, authorities should hold Valdez responsible. Rivera was killed by gunmen in his office.

Rivera's daughter, Patricia Rivera, said she was outraged by the ruling.

"Journalism is at risk in this country," she told reporters. "This shows that impunity rules in this country, because money can buy consciences."

Valdez was absolved in an earlier trial in the jungle province of Ucayali, but that ruling was annulled because (continues here).

The judge yesterday dismissed the case and said that "mere speculation" wasn't enough to convict. Let's be crystalline: This is a heinous miscarriage of justice, speaks volumes about the level of institutional corruption in Peru and how much power the drug barons have in the country. On a scale of trial court stupidity we're in OJ Simpson territory here. Peru might put on the façade of a developing thrusting progressive nation, but scratch the surface and it's the same old banana republic that it's always been.

Dundee makes a marketing mistake

I read of Dundee's new report "Exploring Valuation Techniques" this morning, mainly becuase one of the three companies newly covered is Colossus ( so the house view was interesting.

To be honest, it's a pretty good analysis (apart from the actual 'buy' reco, which I disagree with). Dundee even manages to squeeze in a few short lines about the political risk scenario at Serra Pelada....not much and doesn't make it out to be as bad as it really is, but at least Dundee addresses the issue and doesn't sweep it under the carpet, cough loudly and pretend that nothing's ever happened oh no no no. So good for them.

The problem is that on all three company analyses, Dundee calls 'buy' but doesn't set a price target. Here's the reason quoted from the intro that Dundee gives for not setting targets:
Exploration potential, otherwise known as Value Beyond Proven and Probable (VBPP) is widely accepted as a tangible asset class of exploration and mining companies. Over the past decade security regulators, accounting standards boards, industry participants and equity investors have debated a definition and valuation method to describe VBPP for impairment testing and business combinations. To date, no consensus has been reached on either matter and as a consequence, valuing an exploration company or asset remains problematic. Herein, we have summarized the debate and provided a description of the filtering process we apply to assess exploration potential. We conclude by launching research coverage with a Buy - Venture Risk Rating and no price target on three companies that we believe offer excellent opportunity to create shareholder value.
This is a mistake. Not an intellectual mistake, mind you. There are times when I've been drawn to do the same kind of thing and I fully appreciate the logical train of thought that gets you to, "Well, let's call it a buy but not set a target yet". The mistake is practical, because clients of big Canadian houses really don't like thinking for themselves and this kind of instruction will either confuse them or just plain irritate them. "Dude, where's my price target? .....You're supposed to be good at this...... I pay you to think so that I don't have to.." etc etc. Calling buy on a stock and not putting a price target confuses a whole group of people that are easily confused (e.g CFAs, fund managers, personal finance experts, newsletter writers, HNW individuals....)

Report authors Ron Stewart and Robert Thaemlitz put their phone numbers under their names on the report. They might regret that.

This must be why LatAm people live longer

Not bored and not boring.

Melbourne, Feb 8 (ANI): Boredom can actually kill you, a new study has revealed.

To reach the conclusion, researchers at University College London looked at data from 7524 civil servants, aged between 35 and 55, interviewed between 1985 and 1988 about their levels of boredom.

They then found out whether they had died by April last year.

Those who reported feeling a great deal of boredom were 37 per cent more likely to have died by the end of the study, the researchers found.
Continues here

Chart of the day is....

...ECU Silver (, two year chart.

click to enlarge


Just in case you haven't seen it yet.....'s the youtube of the Macquarie analyst who was interviewed on live TV in Australia at the exact time that his colleague sitting behind him thought it'd be a great idea to check out photos of nekkid chicks on his computer screen.

From about the 1 minute point onwards.

Peru's Stock Market Index, the IGBVL

Here's a 12 month chart of the IGBVL "general" index from the Peru stock exchange (BVL).

Being chock full o' mining companies (43.6% direct miners) and related industries (steelworks, hydrocarbons, mining services), plus banks that invest in mining companiesm steelworks, hydrocarbons, mining services etc, means that Peru's IGBVL rises and falls in line with the fate of the commodities indices (here's the full list of participants and their weightings in the index)

Company Ticker Weighting
Volcan "B" VOLCABC1 9.04%
Maple Energy MPLE 7.46%
ADR Buenaventura BVN 6.39%
Southern PCU 4.97%
La Cima Inv. LACIMAI1 4.23%
Credicorp BAP 4.18%
Austral Group AUSTRAC1 3.85%
Atacocha "B" ATACOBC1 3.70%
Cerro Verde CVERDEC1 3.56%
Milpo MILPOC1 3.54%
Relapasa RELAPAC1 3.45%
Agro Ind Pomalca POMALCC1 3.22%
Minera IRL MIRL 3.03%
Minsur Inv. MINSURI1 2.98%
La Cima LACIMAC1 2.89%
Graña y Montero GRAMONC1 2.87%
Aceros Arequipa CORAREI1 2.56%
Intergr Financ Serv. IFS 2.45%
Casagrande CASAGRC1 2.45%
Bco Continental CONTINC1 2.24%
Candente DNT 2.00%
Morocha Inv. MOROCOI1 1.99%
El Brocal BROCALC1 1.93%
Alicorp ALICORC1 1.86%
Ferreyros FERREYC1 1.79%
Scotiabank SCOTIAC1 1.50%
Cementos Pacasmayo CPACASC1 1.40%
Telefónica "B" TELEFBC1 1.40%
Luz del Sur LUSURC1 1.34%
Cementos Lima CEMLIMC1 1.20%

So with the IGBVL now back below where it started 2010 and also at what seems like a resistance level, it might be a good time to buy......or then again, it might be a good time to get the hell outta Dodge. You be the judge.

On rats, captains and sinking ships

When a ship sinks we are told that the Captain of the vessel will be the last to leave, making sure that all hands are off and safe before they step off themselves. The good captain is perfectly willing to go down with the ship and suffer a watery grave, it's all to do with honour, morals and obligation. But we're also told that rats will get the hell off the boat as fast as they can because....well, because they're rats, aren't they?

So it was interesting to note what happened over at Copper Mesa ( recently. On January 19th, the company announced it was being de-listed from the TSX after review (mostly due to the über-nasty way the company conducted itself in Ecuador when known as Ascendent..we've talked about this before).

Copper Mesa Mining Corporation (CUX)

As of February 7th, 2010
Filing Date Transaction Date Insider Name Ownership Type Securities Nature of transaction # or value acquired or disposed of Unit Price
Feb 06/10 Jan 29/10 Gill, Rana Direct Ownership Common Shares 10 - Disposition in the public market -105,000 $0.030
Feb 04/10 Jan 18/10 Gill, Rana Direct Ownership Common Shares 10 - Disposition in the public market -222,840 $0.075

Yes indeed, on January 18th, a day before the de-listing announcement was made public on the 19th, company CFO Rana Gill dumped 222,840 shares at three times the current share price. The day afterwards, non-insider shareholders got to know what Gill already knew; that CUX was a sinking ship. The shares caved in but Rana Gill was already sold out by then.

Rana Gill: Captain of industry or rat? YOU BE THE JUDGE!

In the end, this post isn't really about an already dead company such as CUX and the scumballs that populate it. It's more about knowing who the hell you're investing with. If you're the type of person who watches a glossy presentation from a junior miner, thinks "Hey....gotta have some of these!" and hits the iPhone to buy some there and then, you're mad. The TSX and TSXV is laden with people who have the same moral and ethical standards as Rana Gill and if you can't be bothered to find out more about the prospective company before buying shares you'd be much better off giving your cash away to charity. At least that way it might do something positive to the world instead of feeding crooks in suits.

gold, bubbles, soros, ikn weekly

Here come two hundred and thirty-five of the 13,000+ words contained in IKN40, published yesterday. The spot was part of the normal 'This Week' preamble and the subject was George Soros' comment on gold bubbles and the stupidity of the analyses that came from the usual goldbug idiots (found swarming at kitco and other fine places of bullshit).

A lesson I’ve learned in the last three or four years is that bubbles eventually pop, but before they do that they also grow...and they grow to a size and a scale that “the sensible, reasonable analyst” just cannot comprehend. Right now I do see certain bubble-type scenarios either beginning or growing, but based on evidence there isn’t a single one that’s even close to popping. What we do have is the list of bears out there telling us “it’ll all end in tears, y’know” and I actually think they’re right. But it won’t end in tears next week, or the week after, or even next year. Greece will get its bailout, the Euro geldmeisters will rally round each other to show unity and the next, as yet unrevealed, manifestation of the crisis will find a solution too (be it a smart one or a Band-Aid). Is gold in a bubble right now? I honestly don’t know. The existence of companies like Cash4Gold suggest that it is, but the US monetary policy gives good reason to say that holding and buying gold at its present $1k+ levels is sensible. But is it a bubble that’s close to bursting? No, that’ll be when shares in Cash4Gold are trading at some silly number like 100x projected earnings and the company sponsoring NFL teams. I’m staying long the market and I’ll bet you an ice-cold beer that Soros is, too.

Carabobo oil

Venezuela is set to announce the winners of the Carabobo oil auction this week, which will break ground as the first foreign oil field deal done by Venezuela in Chávez's time in office. According to BBO Financial Services (one of the better moneyhouses in Venezuela) today, word is that two groups have bid for the three areas that are up for auction. One is led by India's ONGC, Repsol of Spain and Petronas of Malaysia (the guys with that tall twin tower). Their competitors are led up by Chevron and includes Mitsubishi and a number of smaller companies.

Ask BBO for more details on all that. Nice guys and speak English better than me.

Ecuador: Zamora Chinchipe locals don't want miners and have the law on their side this time

map of the Zamora Chinchipe region
(Zarza top right)

Oh noes! Bad news for the scam artists at Ecometals (EC.v) along with the Kinross boys at FDN and maybe even the Corriente deal with the Chinese (though i kinda doubt that one). As from last Sautrday, local leaders in the Zamora Chinchipe region are demanding the exit of all foreign mining companies from the national security zone of Ecuador. This is a zone that runs 20km from the country's borders and has specific legislation in the constitution of Ecuador that says foreigners cannot hang in the area, own land and all that jazz.

Let's be clear: Zarza, FDN, Mirador...they're all well inside that 20km limitation zone (check the maps, suckaz).

Here below is the full missive in Spanish.

Zamora, febrero 6 del 2009


Tal como estuvo previsto este pasado 6 de febrero se desarrolló la primera Asamblea Plurinacional de los Pueblos de Zamora Chinchipe. El evento fue organizado por el Gobierno Provincial de esa provincia amazónica, a la que asistieron autoridades de las Juntas Parroquiales, Municipios, Asambleístas, Gobernadora de la Provincia, SEMPLADES y otras autoridades dependientes del Gobierno Nacional, así como unas mil personas de las diferentes localidades de esta provincia sur oriental.

Luego del acto inaugural, inmediatamente se instalaron 7 mesas de trabajo para tratar temas como planificación y ordenamiento territorial; empresas públicas; minería; producción, agua y ambiente; regionalización; pueblos, nacionalidades, interculturalidad y plurinacionalidad; y, desarrollo humano y social.

Ya en la tarde se instaló la plenaria y resolvió crear la Asamblea Plurinacional de los Pueblos de Zamora Chinchipe; realizar el plan de desarrollo y ordenamiento territorial con la participación de todos los pueblos, organizaciones y autoridades de la provincia; declarar a Zamora Chinchipe como un corredor de producción limpia y libre de químicos; declarar a Zamora Chinchipe como una provincia intercultural y plurinacional; impulsar el turismo cultural y ecológico, como una alternativa para la economía; en el marco del ordenamiento territorial, declarar zonas mineras para el pueblo de Zamora Chinchipe y buscar la forma de crear una empresa pública para la minería. Con este pronunciamiento se da un espaldarazo a los pequeños mineros y mineros artesanales; exigir la salida de las empresas mineras extranjeras de la franja de la seguridad nacional (20 Km de la línea de frontera hacia el interior del país) en respeto al Art. 405 de la Constitución y Art. 39 de la Ley de Seguridad Pública. Demandar de los organismos competentes se entregue a Zamora Chinchipe la administración del Parque Nacional Poducarpus y Yacuri, por encontrar su mayor parte en territorio de nuestra provincia.

Al concluir la asamblea, Salvador Quishpe, prefecto de esa provincia dijo que con los diferentes pronunciamientos realizados por cada uno de los participantes y con los criterios de otras reuniones que se cumplirán en los próximos meses, se redactará el plan de desarrollo y Ordenamiento Territorial, de la misma forma se comprometió a seguir trabajando de manera conjunta con el resto de las autoridades y pueblo en general, pero sobre todo llamó al gobierno nacional a que respete y haga respetar la Constitución en todos los temas, y sobre todo en la política minera. “Si el señor Presidente hace respetar la Constitución, entonces estaríamos frente a la construcción de una provincia de tranquilidad, de lo contrario, el propio gobierno estaría provocando cualquier acción de la provincia y sus pueblos. De nuestra parte seguiremos en la elaboración del plan y del ordenamiento territorial y esperamos que dicho plan sea respetado desde Quito”, dijo el prefecto Salvador Quishpe.

Responsable de prensa,

Gobierno Provincial de Zamora Chinchipe.

Telf. 072-605373, Cel. 081-910-877

Chart of the day is....

..the GFMS Base Metals index, 12 month chart.
Interesting bounce over there on the right. Let's see if we get any confirmation this week.