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Dear Ten Percent

You will enjoy. Link here.

Interview with Eric Sprott

On this link. Click the little man icon to the left of Sprott's photo to download the 39 minute interview (Sprott starts talking at 2:25, so skip the intro and get to the paydirt). Here's the promo blurb to whet your appetite:

Eric Sprott has over 35 years of experience in the investment industry and manages roughly $5 billion. Eric has been stunningly accurate in his writings for quite some time and is one of the highly respected industry professionals who foresaw the current crisis and chronicled the dangers of excessive leverage as well as the bubbles the Fed was creating while correctly forecasting the tragic collapse we are all enduring. In this interview Eric discusses the stock market, bond market, inflation, deflation, gold, silver, gold stocks, consolidation in the gold sector, the economy, the US Dollar, paper currencies globally, tax revenues going down, layoffs in US government jobs in states, oil and much more.

And here's the link again, just in case. h/t to reader DQ for the link.

Brazil elections: Serra leads

José Serra (for it is he)

Here's the latest voter intention poll for Brazil's Presidential election, set for October 3rd:

Major newspaper Folha de S. Paulo commissioned the survey taken this week from Datafolha, and put SP's governor in the lead (and up from 32% in a poll last month that was also ran by Datafolha). Lula's PT party candidate Dilma Rousseff scored 27% this week (a point down from last month's 28%), with Brazil socialist Party's (PSB) Ciro Gomes on 11% and the Green Party candidate Marina Silva on 8%.

Put me on record today: I say Rousseff wins this election.

Riddle me ree

So, this month a journalist gets murdered in cold blood in Colombia and nobody hears about it up North.

Five journalists are murdered in the month of March 2010 in Honduras, but word doesn't make it to the outside world via MSM.

But one journalist is arrested and then freed a few hours later in Venezuela and Simone Rosemary thinks it's the most important story of the week and worthy of publication in The New York Times. No mention of reporters getting their lives abruptly ended in US-friendly countries, but hey....this guy opposes Chávez and was held hours.

Why is that? Really, why the f*** do you report LatAm like this, you piece of crap hack?


The Friday OT: The Prodigy; No Good (start the dance)

This comes from the days before Keith shaved his head and tattooed his belly, from the days before Liam decided to get serious and stop making tracks that you could actually dance to, from the days before The Prodge had six figure budgets for their videos.

This is an oldskool kickass dance track. Full volume on your audio playback facilities is necessary for fuller appreciation, ladies and gentlemen.

Trading Post (Catholic comestibles edition)

A good fish lunch was had by this author and The Ottoess.

Troy Resources ( up 1.5% at $2.08. It's been nothing ToDaMoonAlice, but TRY has put in a good week. Even better in the higher volume Oz market, where last night's A$2.34 close gives a forex adjusted CAD$2.17 and smacks of better things to com in the Canadian listing.

AuEx Ventures ( up 0.7% at $2.97. continues to tread water on low volumes, but the new Long Canyon resource number due soon should give the trading a little more impetus (either way, of course). One for those who care little for the day-to-day chatter and look for value holdings in junior miners.

TheNewCrystallex (EC.v) down 47.9% at $0.375 on over 6m shares traded. Have you worked out the residual value of current assets yet? I have, and it's lower than this price. For those caught out by these scamsters, it's worth reflecting that it will become money well spent if you learn from the episode and don't make the same mistake a second time in the future. But if you fall for the next company promo scamjob, you've only yourself to blame.

Constitution Scamming (CMIN.ob) up 3.7% at $0.975 and after reading this morning's press release it was fun to note that Stocker actually cares about what's written at this humble corner of cyberspace. Want my home address too, Michael?

Rio Alto Mining (RIO.v) up 4.1% at $0.77, a new 52 wk high and credit where credit is due. Bob Moriarty got this one absolutely right. Here's his Feb 9th note to prove it.

Colombia's Presidential Elections: Latest opinion polls

With a deserved hat-tip to Krupa at LatAm Daily (that site is turning out to be a great blog to follow, folks), here's a graphic of the latest voter intention poll out of Colombia:

It seems as though the race is shaping up in the way envisaged in the "Roadmap" article in IKN46 which was also put up here earlier in the week. We even guesstimated that Santos's numbers would float up to around 35% and his main competition would come from Sanín. So that's working out.

FWIW, I'm sticking with the previous bottom line about this election. The Uribe-backed Santos may look like a shoo-in to outside observers but this one is far too close to call right now. The real election begins on May 31st, the day after the first round when the pacts and deals start getting done. This election is likely to go to the wire.

An eye on the insiders

Three inside trades that caught the eye of this humble scribe while perusing CadInsider this morning.

First up Evolving Gold (EVG.v), the company with good (though at depth) drill results coming from its USA project. Sadly, it's also pumped by über-BSmerchant Peter Grandich, which is enough reason in itself to avoid this stock forever, good rock or not. And lo and behold! we got insiders bailing right now, too:

Evolving Gold Corp. (EVG)

As of March 25th, 2010
Filing Date Transaction Date Insider Name Ownership Type Securities Nature of transaction # or value acquired or disposed of Unit Price
Mar 25/10 Mar 19/10 Bick, Robert Direct Ownership Common Shares 10 - Disposition in the public market -48,500 $0.960
Mar 25/10 Mar 18/10 Bick, Robert Direct Ownership Common Shares 10 - Disposition in the public market -42,500 $0.970
Mar 25/10 Mar 18/10 Bick, Robert Direct Ownership Common Shares 10 - Disposition in the public market -7,500 $0.980
Mar 25/10 Mar 17/10 Bick, Robert Direct Ownership Common Shares 10 - Disposition in the public market -2,000 $0.980
Mar 25/10 Mar 17/10 Bick, Robert Direct Ownership Common Shares 10 - Disposition in the public market -5,000 $0.960
Mar 25/10 Mar 17/10 Bick, Robert Direct Ownership Common Shares 10 - Disposition in the public market -6,000 $0.980
Mar 25/10 Mar 16/10 Bick, Robert Direct Ownership Common Shares 10 - Disposition in the public market -18,000 $0.980
Mar 25/10 Mar 16/10 Bick, Robert Direct Ownership Common Shares 51 - Exercise of options 129,500 $0.230
Mar 25/10 Mar 16/10 Bick, Robert Direct Ownership Options 51 - Exercise of options -129,500 $0.230

All at the same time that Grandich pumps this stock to his sheep. Whatever can it mean?

Next we check out Baja Mining ( which is also flashing a "management think it's a good place to lighten" signal via this filed trade:

Baja Mining Corp. (BAJ)

As of March 25th, 2010
Filing Date Transaction Date Insider Name Ownership Type Securities Nature of transaction # or value acquired or disposed of Unit Price
Mar 25/10 Mar 24/10 Glanville, Ross Owen Direct Ownership Common Shares 10 - Disposition in the public market -120,000 $0.750
Mar 25/10 Mar 24/10 Glanville, Ross Owen Direct Ownership Common Shares 51 - Exercise of options 210,000 $0.350
Mar 25/10 Mar 24/10 Glanville, Ross Owen Direct Ownership Options 51 - Exercise of options -210,000 $0.350

Finally, we have a bit of positive flipside: Apoquindo Minerals' (AQM.v) have a management team that are putting money where their mouths are. This is healthy:

Apoquindo Minerals Inc. (AQM)

As of March 25th, 2010
Filing Date Transaction Date Insider Name Ownership Type Securities Nature of transaction # or value acquired or disposed of Unit Price
Mar 25/10 Mar 17/10 Lopez, Cesar Direct Ownership Warrants 11 - Acquisition carried out privately 100,000 $1.000
Mar 25/10 Mar 17/10 Lopez, Cesar Direct Ownership Common Shares 11 - Acquisition carried out privately 200,000 $0.850
Mar 25/10 Mar 17/10 Villarzu Rodhe, Juan Rodolfo Indirect Ownership Warrants 11 - Acquisition carried out privately 59,941 $1.000
Mar 25/10 Jan 07/08 Villarzu Rodhe, Juan Rodolfo Indirect Ownership Warrants 00 - Opening Balance-Initial SEDI Report
Mar 25/10 Mar 17/10 Villarzu Rodhe, Juan Rodolfo Indirect Ownership Warrants 11 - Acquisition carried out privately 59,941 $1.000
Mar 25/10 Jan 07/08 Villarzu Rodhe, Juan Rodolfo Indirect Ownership Warrants 00 - Opening Balance-Initial SEDI Report
Mar 25/10 Mar 17/10 Villarzu Rodhe, Juan Rodolfo Indirect Ownership Common Shares 11 - Acquisition carried out privately 119,882 $0.850
Mar 25/10 Jan 07/08 Villarzu Rodhe, Juan Rodolfo Indirect Ownership Common Shares 00 - Opening Balance-Initial SEDI Report
Mar 25/10 Mar 17/10 Villarzu Rodhe, Juan Rodolfo Indirect Ownership Common Shares 11 - Acquisition carried out privately 119,882 $0.850
Mar 25/10 Jan 07/08 Villarzu Rodhe, Juan Rodolfo Indirect Ownership Common Shares 00 - Opening Balance-Initial SEDI Report

Also, those with a memory for mining names will note the heavy-hitters that run AQM.v.

Disclosure: no position in any stock, though and AQM.v are part of the IKN Weekly 'Copper Basket' of junior exploration stage copper companies.

Ecometals (EC.v)

Today's Ecometals press release begins this way:

Press Release Source: Ecometals Limited On Friday March 26, 2010, 8:00 am

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 26, 2010) - Ecometals Limited (TSX VENTURE:EC - News; BERLIN:GDQ - News; FRANKFURT:GDQ - News) -

Analytical results from the first two diamond drill holes on the Rio Zarza gold project in Ecuador indicate geochemically anomalous but uneconomic levels of gold. CONTINUES HERE

Today's IKN post on Ecometals ends with an owl:

PS: there's no need to write in and apologize. Just grow up.

Chart of the day is...

...LME copper inventories, six month chart.

You should know the drill by now. Here's the 5 year chart for context (as the only time I didn't add it on recently I was slated for the omission....that's life).

Whatevs. How long before you spot the trend, too?


Trading Post (pathetic edition)

Of all the serial hatemailers that waste their time by writing in and telling this humble scribe that IKN is teh stooopid (then continue reading every day), my favourite is a guy that works at the Canada's Department of Public Works And Government Services at its Gatineau branch, Quebec. He actually bothers changing his faked name every time he writes in, too...bless him!

Yesterday he went by the name "Pathetic" and chewed me out for not mentioning Dynasty Metals & Mining ( recently. This proves that he's not a subscriber, because in IKN46 out last weekend we dedicated six full pages to the recent developments and newsflow at and made some changes to the reco, too. Donc Monsieur Pathetique, if you really want to know more about DMM just send me a mail and I'll happily send you by return a comp copy of IKN46. But make sure you say "please" this time, yeah?

Fortuna Silver ( up 2.3% at $2.67. Yup, the market liked the annuals and the confcall.

Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) up 1.00% at 10,944. So what was that about Greece again? And Portugal?

Riverside Resources (RRI.v) down 3.4% at $0.57. RRI has been treading water recently and this humble author would really like to see the company get some snazzy new project on its books. The mgmt is top class and utterly trustworthy. That alone is worth its weight in gold in this scam ridden sector.

TheNewCrystallex (EC.v) down 2.6% at $0.76. TheNewCrystallex has been doing its normal manipulated rollercoaster thing these last few days.
Hmmmm....big volumes on the drops and little stuff to push it back up....whatever can it possibly mean? Waddaya say, owly?

Let's all laugh at ECU Silver ( longs

ECU Silver ( came out with its latest laff-a-minute production update this morning, so IKN got out the spreadsheet, plugged in the numbers and here's how things stand at the company regarding silver production sold to the market:

And here's the same chart for the gold:

You'll note that things aren't going so well recently. It gets worse when you do a bit of calculation and multiply the production by the average London Fix spot prices for each month.
You'll note that in the above, the third quarter period (the last one reported by saw $2m in gross revenues, which was pretty close to the $2.23m reported by The problem is that in 3q09, the company reported a $1.2m loss, because amongst other line item costs it had a G&A of over $1.8m and interest payments on loans of over $1.1m. Just those two things wipe out any chance of a profit and they're going to gouge the same in 4q09 and 1q10...and on and on..

So this quarter we may see something like $3.5m in gross revenues. Not quite as bad, but the company won't have the same $2.2m foreign exchange gain this quarter, either, so the chances of this "mining company" (term used as loosely as possible) returning a net profit are still minimal. As for the 4th quarter, just wait til you see how much stock-based compensation this rip-off merchants assign themselves...that'll make you laugh.

We're now just counting off the days to the next dilutive financing (which won't be the last). Only total suckers, scam artists or people who have no idea about reading financials could ever be interested in this stock. Talking of which...........

Henk's whores love PDAC

Oh look...Dorato Resources (DRI.v) has faded badly after PDAC....wowsers, that one surprises....

1) Chances of any DRI.v properties becoming a mine: 0%
2) Chances of DRI.v IR dep't contradicting this fact: 100%
3) Chances of IKN receiving further hatemail from Germany today: See point 2)
4) Chances of IKN not laughing at the hatemailers: See point 1)

UPDATE: For those of you who wonder whether this blog gets read by the scam artists, this is what happened just after publishing:

The pumpers pop up by 6.5% on one single trade of 7,400 shares. I giggled.

A bit of Colombia trade

I know what you were thinking as you woke up this morning, dear reader. You stretched, yawned, made for the shower and thought to yourself, "I wonder how the Colombian trade balance has performed in the last three years or so?", so fortunately IKN is here to help you out on that burning question.

Here's the monthly import and export figures for Colombia in the period January 2007 to January 2010.

As we can see, the country went through the same sales slump (both inbound and outbound) as the rest of the region thanks to the financial crisis. We also see a slow but sure rebound in 2009 that has put the worst behind it but still isn't close to the 2008 good times. So yet again, you're going to have to take the rah-rah brigade's GDP growth fanfares with a large pinch of salt this year, as the better comparative will not be Year-over-Year but 2010-to-2008.

As for the exports mix, this zippy chart put together above shows the percentage take-up of its main exports. Surprisingly coffee is but a minor part of the mix, with the big big growth seen recently in hydrocarbons (oil, gas etc) and coal (which is a hydrocarbon in itself, I suppose). Together, oil/gas and coal in Jan'07 was less than 40% of Colombia's exports, but in Jan'10 that percentage was nearly 59%, a big upmove in just three years. Ferro-nickel used to be a bigger slice of things, but it not no more.

Put simply, Colombia doesn't give a rat's gluteus maximus if Chávez stops buying its textiles cos it's now busy enough selling oil to the gringos. Mojitos served, the end.

DIB gets a million

Main shareholder of Dia Bras (DIB.v), ARC Fund, has just exercised its 15c warrants on the company (and you can bet the farm ARC won't be selling, too).

Dia Bras Exploration Inc. (DIB)

As of March 24th, 2010
Filing Date Transaction Date Insider Name Ownership Type Securities Nature of transaction # or value acquired or disposed of Unit Price
Mar 24/10 Mar 23/10 Arias Resource Capital Fund L.P. Direct Ownership Common Shares 54 - Exercise of warrants 7,000,000 $0.150
Mar 24/10 Mar 23/10 Arias Resource Capital Fund L.P. Direct Ownership Warrants 54 - Exercise of warrants -7,000,000 $0.150

This adds $1.05m to the company treasury and more interestingly adds more % holding of shares out to DIB just before it runs its rights issue (if you hadn't worked it out already, the lower the share price the better for ARC Fund on the rights...just sayin').

Disclosure: Long DIB and staying long. A company with a great future (esp at current prices).

Chart of the day is.....

...silver, monthly candles.

I don't pay much attention to the price of silver normally, but it's quite an interesting chart on the longer, monthly view. The MACD and RSI squiggles register bullish over the last year (today included), but they also say "there's more room to run".

Meanwhile, we're being backstopped at $16 and then $14, to this untrained eye at least. Gotta love them squiggles.


Panama: "A brilliant future for mining" (according to its President at least)

Here's a direct translation of this story that hit the wires tonight.

7:03pm. Panamá (ACAN-EFE). - President Ricardo Martinelli stated today that he is willing to make changes in the mining law (of Panamá) to facilitate investments in Panamá from South Korea, The United States of America and Canada. He said that in Panamá there are "great opportunities" for mining development in the copper deposits in the country.

"We told the President of South Korea (Lee Myung-Bak) that we would change the law. With the greatest of pleasure we'll change it. I want investors from the government of Korea, from Canada, from The United States and from the stock market in mining companies here," Martinelli said during a speech to a business forum. Martinelli emphsized that "in Panamá there is great opportunity in mining" and said that the Cerro Colorado mine in the province of Chiriqui "has proven reserves larger than the el Teniente mine in Chile. Who knows, we may be sitting on the biggest deposits of copper behind Chile," he said.

The President added that the country could not remian prostrate and lose this "great opportunity" for investment that this sector presents.

"In Panamá there is a brilliant future in mining, and where there is copper there is also gold and silver," Martinelli said, and named the example of a mine that will open in Panamá in 2013 with an investment of U$4Bn.

Trading Post (slice 'em in two wit' breadknife edition)

You were lucky.

Carpathian Gold ( down 9.6% at $0.37 and feeling the brunt of the drop in gold price.

Rio Alto Mining (RIO.v) up 5.9% at $0.72. Subscribers received a Flash update on this stock yesterday evening. These two stocks (CPN and RIO) are examples of many today, with some getting discounted on the drop in metals prices but others showing a resiliance which surprised this humble author.

Fronteer Development Corp (FRG) down 1.8% at U$4.90 and holding up ok, too. Also true for its JV partner at Long Canyon AuEx Ventures ( which is up 0.7% at $3.02 today, but that one moves on much lower volume.

Great Panther Silver ( down 4.7% at $0.84. IKN46 on Sunday had a closer look at some of the numbers behind this stock. Let's be diplo (for a change) and just say that the 10% drop seen in GPR since its year-end numbers has not come as a surprise.

Oscar Romero: 30 years today

I'm quite sure that Tim's El Salvador Blog won't mind me using the photo he put on his site today.

Tim has been closely covering the commemorations of Archbishop Romero's assassination all week. TESB is the go-to site for El Salvador issues.

Mo' Fortuna

This chart shows the last five days of silver prices (SLV, the thinner black line) compared to a few silver stocks.
Put simply, Fortuna Silver ( is whupping the sector's tush. The metal is down 4% in the period, and FVI is up 9%...that works.

I received a mail this morning from a happy FVI holder who wanted to know whether diversifying in the small silver sector wouldn't be a bad idea, eggs-in-one-basket and all that. Really, my answer is that the sector is too small to worry about diversifying inside it. Perhaps a larger vehicle like SLW or SLV would suit, but when it comes to the junior Ag miners there's nothing wrong in betting on the best of breed only. That company is

Peru growth: It didn't take long for the Kool-Aid to start flowing

Just the other week in this post, your humble scribe rounded off a look at the state of Peru imports and exports (the lifeblood of the country's growth) by saying:
A recovery is on? Yes no doubts, with that steady climb in imports underlying the good news. Anything better than 2007 or 2008? Nope. So next time the headlines scream the Kool-Aid at you, remember the real context of the "growth" figures that you'll see out of Peru this year.
And yep, it's already started. The Goebbels method of "tell em enough times and they'll believe it" is spearheaded by the numbskulls at Northern Miner with this headline from yesterday:

Peru's Mining Growth And Pains

LIMA, PERU -- While much of the rest of the world struggles to put last year's economic slowdown behind it, Peru has been surging ahead with almost Chinese-levels of growth.

Sorry, no link because NM have the temerity to charge subscriptions and use firewalls for their uninformed pumpjobs. But don't worry, you're not missing anything by reading the heap of guff on offer there. I mean, even if we take the Northern Miner's moronic parameters and check actual facts.....
....Peru doesn't stack up, not even close. Have you ever wondered what an economic hard-landing looks like in chart form? Check that red line above. And the only time Peru has got near China in the last ten years was the overheated 2008 that led the country straight over the cliff.

So Northern Miner, you win this week's coveted award. Two choices for you fools in the future; either check facts before opening mouths or just take the advice and

Insulza gets his job back today

The Organization of American States (OAS) meets this morning (sit down is supposed to happen 45 minutes from now at 10am) to decide on who gets to be Secretary General. As things stands, current SecGen José Miguel Insulza, is the only person put forward as candidate for the job.

He's been a good SecGen so far. As a virtual certainty to be ratified in the job today he will continue to be so. I can't help but think he could have beaten Piñera if Frei hadn't been chosen from the Concertacion ranks, too.

Gold intraday

Seriously, that all you got these days?

Shock horror news! Peopleregard shock horror Portugal news and shock horror gold dip as a buying opportunity for gold. Whatever can it mean?

UPDATE: They got more

Fortuna silver conference call today

Here's the link for the live webcast of conference call, which starts at 12 midday EST. Here are a few details pasted for those who prefer to listen in via the phone (oldskoolers)

    Conference call details:

Date: Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Time: 12:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) / 9:00 a.m. (Pacific Time)
Dial in number (Toll Free): 1-877-407-8035
Dial in number (International): 1-201-689-8035

Replay number (Toll Free): 1-877-660-6853
Replay number (International): 1-201-612-7415
Replay Passcodes (both are required for playback):
Account No.: 286
Conference ID No.: 347550

I'll be listening in.

Chart of the day is.....

...the US dollar index, 60 minute candles.
All hail the victory of style over substance.


Colombia's Presidential election: a roadmap

This appeared as a small part of IKN46, out last Sunday:

Colombia: A roadmap to the May 30th Presidential election

This week The Economist ran a note (6) on the Colombian congressional elections of last week that, in my opinion at least, sums up the main story in as few words as possible. IKN continues after the break:

ALTHOUGH he is barred by the constitution from seeking a third term in the presidential election in May, Álvaro Uribe’s influence over Colombia will remain great. As votes were slowly tallied in an election for a new Congress on March 14th, it became clear that parties which formed part of his centre-right coalition will retain a clear majority. Who will command these legislators is less so.

The vote seemed to strengthen the claims of Juan Manuel Santos, a former defence minister who more than anyone else embodies the continuation of Mr Uribe’s “democratic security” policy. Mr Santos’s U Party (that’s U for Uribe) won 25% of the valid votes, and increased its representation in the 102-seat Senate to 28, from 20.

But Mr Santos looks unlikely to win an outright victory, avoiding a run-off vote. He wants a broad coalition with other uribista forces, including the Conservative Party. The Conservatives did well, winning 21% of the vote and raising their total of senators by four, to 22. But their primary, held on the same day, was so close that it was unlikely to produce a result for days. Only then will it be clear whether or not the party offers a strong challenge to Mr Santos.

A less welcome potential ally for Mr Santos is the new National Integration Party (PIN), formed by friends and relatives of former legislators accused by prosecutors of links to right-wing paramilitary militias. This party won nine senate seats and 8% of the valid votes, mainly in the north of the country.

Some of Mr Uribe’s main opponents fared poorly. The left-wing Democratic Pole party lost two senate seats and was outpolled by the PIN. A parliamentary list backing Sergio Fajardo, a former mayor of Medellín running for the presidency as an independent, managed to elect only one senator. Mr Fajardo faces a strong rival for independent-minded voters in Antanas Mockus, who won a presidential primary for the newly formed Green Party, which secured five senate seats.

For most of the past two centuries, Colombian politics was dominated by just two parties, the Liberals and the Conservatives. Mr Uribe, a Liberal who ran as an independent and behaved as a Conservative, upset that pattern. He is bequeathing a politically fractured country, even if many of the splits turn more around personalities than policies.

IKN back. At this point, we can say the following about the May 30th Presidential elections:

  • Juan Manuel Santos is very unlikely to gather enough votes to win during the first round of voting but is a virtual certainty to be one of the two candidates left in the run-off vote. Early polls have him as frontrunner with 25% of voter intention. It would be no surprise at all to see that number float up to the 35% mark and the field becomes more decided.

  • We now know that seven candidates will go to round one: Juan Manuel Santos (“U” party and probably in alliance with the hard right PIN party), Noemí Sanín (Partido Conservador, Conservative Party), Rafael Pardo (Partido Liberal, Liberal Party) Antanas Mockus (Partido Verde, Green Party) Gustavo Petro (Polo Democrático Alternativo, Alternative Democratic Pole) Germán Vargas (Cambio Radical, Radical Change) Sergio Fajardo (Compromiso Ciudadano, Citizen’s Compromise).

  • The candidate from the Conservative party is now decided, with ex-Colombian ambassador to the UK and former cabinet minister Noemí Sanín getting the nod over Andrés Felipe Arias (a man better known to the World as ‘Uribito’ (little Uribe) because he proposed precisely the same policies as Uribe himself). At the moment Sanín is a likely (though less certain than Santos) candidate to get through to round two. The alternative “logically possible” to get to round two at the moment is Antanas Mockus.

  • Whoever wins the final vote will almost certainly make it by standing on a “continuation of Uribe’s policies” manifesto. Uribe himself backs Santos (from his own party, his ex-Defence Minister and general loyal attack dog for many years) but Santos does not have the public backing, charisma and goodwill that Uribe does. Santos is the favourite right now, but if the run-off opponent can talk the same talk as the officialist candidate while offering a more positive personality the whole scenario may quickly change.

  • Santos may benefit from any friction between the government and the FARC guerrilla movement, as it would give him chance to flex his strong point of standing up to the terrorists. He might also benefit from any diplomatic rumblings between Colombia and Venezuela (Chávez is a favourite bugbear of Santos, and vice versa). In other words, Colombia may be in for a rocky ride in the next ten weeks or so as the law of Cui Bono comes into operation. Already we can see this tactic playing out, as in Spain’s “La Razon newspaper this morning we have a headline quoting Santos that reads (translated) “The alliance between ETA, FARC and Chávez is not a secret” (7).

My personal opinion right now is “too close to call” on this election. The make-up of the runoff will be all important, but until May 30th Santos will make most of the foreign media headlines, get labelled Uribe’s favoured and be considered by many as a shoo-in. However the real battle starts in the second round of voting and the pacts, political alliances and potential power-sharing deals between the two candidates still in the running and those left behind will seal the eventual winner. It really is far too difficult to call a winner right now. The good news for foreign money is that, in general terms, whoever wins will likely win on an Uribe-esque ticket at the very least regarding the economy and very likely in political terms too. The bottom line is that Colombia’s push to be a foreign investment friendly state is unlikely to change course.

Chart of the day is....

....very late indeed, so it gives a chnce to put up Troy Resources' ( Australian listing.....

...that's been fighting back recently, glad to say. The blog will be back to its normal silly ways mañana.


Farewell, Constitution Mining (CMIN.ob), it was fun while it lasted

Hey, remember that thing called Constitution Mining (CMIN.ob), the utter scam that tried to sell underwater river dredging alluvial gold mining in Peru? Well, it seems like their cunning plan has hit a small roadbump, as Peru has just banned the very same dredging ships from dredging riverbeds due to the large-scale environmental damage caused by this process.

The ban so far only applies to the Madre de Dios river and not the Marañon river where CMIN fakes its projected operation, but that's only cos there aren't any operating dredgers on the Marañon. However, the chances of Peru allowing one Amazonian river to be screwed forever by scumbags while at the same time banning scumbags on another river are as high as the hole in your posterior has of healing up in the next week or so.

And thus we wave goodbye to Constitution Mining. You guys were great for a laugh and kept us entertained for nigh on a year, but all good things come to an end. Adios amigos, hasta nunca cabrones de mierda.

Chart of the day is....

...the gold/silver ratio, just for a change.

On The Road

Posting will be light (but worthy) for the next two days as I swan around talking to people that know far, far more than me about mining.


The IKN Weekly, out now

IKN46 has just been sent to subscribers. We have an update NOBS fundamental report on Dynasty Metals & Mining (, a roadmap of what to expect in the upcoming Colombian presidential election race, a discussion of what "cash cost" means for a producing miners (and what it doesn't mean) and a lot more besides, all tucked into 21 pages and 11,900 words.

By the way, if you don't recognize the most famous number 46 in sporting history you need to get out more.

CAJA: Colombia teachers assassinated by paramilitaries because they refused to pay protection money

Another heartwarming tale of teachers killed by people that according to the mining community dumbass bullshit rah-rah pumpers simply do not exist.

More than 2,000 students and teachers marched through the streets of Puerto Berrio on March 17 to protest the killing of a teacher and his wife. Duvian Rojo and Veronica Cadavid were killed by two gunmen in the center of town on the evening of March 13. Puerto Berrio is controlled by paramilitary death squads that have relations with the police and military, and the killing occurred just two blocks from the police station. Duvian and Veronica were the parents of twins that are less than a year old.

The paramilitaries have been extorting more than 20 teachers in the town – demanding that they pay protection money in order to avoid being killed. Duvian filed a complaint with the prosecutor’s office that led to the arrest of two men, although none of the paramilitary leaders were arrested. His colleagues believe that he was killed in retaliation for speaking out about the extortions.

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The liar Twobreakfasts and his faked fight against poverty in Peru

The "Concerted Committe for the Fight Against Poverty" (Mesa de Concertación para la Lucha contra la Pobreza, or MCLCP) is a Peru officially sponsored government board that was created in 2001 to help the poorest in the country. It has just had its budget cut by 56% by Twobreakfasts and company.

Its 26 regional committees, 146 provincial committees and 400 local district committees in rural areas, along with seven committees in urban areas, no longer have enough money to do their work and provide the poorest of the poor with much needed help.

Viva investment grade. Viva Otto finding the lard-ass in the street one day and "having a discussion" with the guy.

Three o'clock this afternoon in Buenos Aires

Proud to be a hen.