start here

start here

The Daily IKN email digest, get all daily posts sent to you next day (& no ads)


JP Morgan revealed as mystery trader that bought £1bn-worth of copper on LME

Thanks to a headsup from kind reader 'RB', we get to find out what JP Morgan has been up to in the LME copper ring in this Telegraph report. A quick excerpt:
"......JP Morgan's name had been circulating the market all day as the most likely buyer, especially since it is about to launch a physically-backed "exchange-traded fund" (ETF) in copper imminently.
One metals broker dealing on the LME said: "The story is that they're positioning themselves in front of the ETF. There's been a lot of speculation it's them."
Traders noted that there was no physical shortage of copper in the markets but that fears of a squeeze have persisted ever since a raft of investment banks announced their intention to launch ETFs this autumn."

Investing in Gold Exploration Stories

This links through to Marco G and his new post, a solid exposition of what "epithermal deposit" means when it comes to precious metals miners. It's written in layman's terms, takes us step-by-step through the subject in an easy to read manner and it offers up some good examples by way of enlightenment.

It's well worth your metalshead time so go read it. By the way, I'm also comfortable about recommending this as weekend reading because I don't own any of the stocks mentioned by Marco G in his post (more fool me, perhaps). Enjoy.

Two hundred years of world health and wealth in four minutes

Via Slope of Hope, an example of stats at their finest. This video is entertaining, edifying and educational and packs it all into four minutes. 

Find out about the evolution of world health and wealth via a statsguy and a command performance. Just wonderful. 


The Friday OT Special: Rolling Stones; Gimme Shelter

There are two parts to this week's Friday OT:

Part One: Listen to this studio version of the Stones' 1969 classic:

Part Two and the real reason for this week's Friday OT dedication: This humble scribe begs and implores you to click through and visit the best music post I've ever read, the  spellbinding "Deconstructing ‘Gimme Shelter’: Listen to the isolated tracks of the Rolling Stones in the studio" and if Merry Clayton's voice doesn't make your hair stand on end I recommend getting your ears checked out. With thanks to Mickey Fulp and Rob Graham for the headsup on this.

Bolivia: Another penny

Interestingly (well...depends how nerdy you are I suppose...for me it's interesting) Bolivia today announced it was raising its forex against the US Dollar by another penny to 6.95, just ten days after doing exactly the same thing (and just after a new boss arrived at the Central Bank, Marcelo Zabalaga, on November 15th).

Or in other words, Bolivia keeps its crawling peg (i.e. semi fixed and cenbank controlled) at 6.97 to the dollar for two and a half years, then knocks it down by two separate notches just 10 days apart. trend is in town, methinks.....hmmmmmm. So I went to check on the evolution of the BOB/USD forex and this chart shows the story.

A couple of thoughts: Firstly, the rate has shown moments when it changes quite rapidly, so further central bank announcements wouldn't come as a surprise. Secondly, the thinking behind this seems to be to control inflation, something that wasn't a problem while the world deflated in late 2008 onwards but is showing signs of a comeback in Bolivia. Lastly, if, as is often said, a currency really is the acid test of a country's economic health, it's fun to note that Bolivia under its previous rulers was going to the dogs and  it was only when Evo came to power that it turned itself around.

HudBay Minerals ( Great News! Pres/CEO David Garofalo to present next week

Hey there dudettes and dudes, do you live in the Montreal area? Do you follow the mining industry? Do you have Monday morning free? Well if so, IKN has the date for you! This excerpt from HudBay Minerals ( NR out today gives us the lowdown:

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - 12/03/10) - HudBay Minerals Inc. ("HudBay", the "company") (TSX:HBM - News)(NYSE:HBM - News) announced today that David Garofalo, President and Chief Executive Officer, will be speaking on Monday, December 6, 2010 at 10:30 a.m. ET at the 2010 Desjardins Securities Basic Materials Conference held in Montreal, Quebec at Le Windsor. CONTINUES

Yes indeedy, you too can attend and find out stuff about this most fascinating of companies. And just in case the meeting gets a bit flat and you find the Q&A session at the end of Garofalo's presentation needs a bit of perking up, here's a bit of information you might like to quiz him on.

For immediate release: December 1, 2010 
Toronto, Canada and Guatemala City, Guatemala: Angelica Choc and her lawyers announced
today a lawsuit against Canadian mining company HudBay Minerals Inc. relating to the killing
of her husband, Adolfo Ich Chamán. On September 27, 2009, Adolfo Ich, a respected Mayan
Q’eqchi’ community leader and an outspoken critic of harms and rights violations caused by
mining activities in his community, was hacked and shot to death by security forces employed at
HudBay Minerals’ Fenix Mining Project in an unprovoked attack near the town of El Estor,
Guatemala. continues here
Interesting stuff, right? Well let's find out a bit more starting with the statement made by Angelina Choc, Adolfo's widow:
Angelica Choc’s Statement 
My name is Angelica Choc, and I am indigenous Mayan Q’eqchi’ from the community of La
Uníon, in the Municipality of El Estor, Republic of Guatemala. 
Just over a year ago, my husband, Adolfo Ich Chamán, was killed by security forces employed at the Fenix mining project in Guatemala – a mining project owned by Canadian company HudBay Minerals. In the afternoon of September 27, 2009, I watched my husband leave our house for the last time. I later learned that mine security forces had surrounded my husband, dragged him through a gap in a fence and hacked at him with machetes. Then the mine’s chief of security shot him in the neck at close range. This attack was unprovoked. My husband was a teacher, a community leader and a defender of indigenous Q’eqchi’ land rights. I believe he was killed because he spoke out about the rights violations caused by Canadian mining in Guatemala. I believe he was killed because he was encouraging communities to stay united against the harmful practices of the mining company. It is very painful to remember such shocking tragedy. The days since my husband was killed have been very hard. There has been no justice. The man who killed Adolfo remains free. And the mining company has not been held accountable. My five children have lost a father; I have lost my husband; and our community has lost a leader. We need justice for these losses. 
If my husband were here today, I know what he would say. He would say the same things he has been saying for years. He would say that our Q’eqchi’ communities are part of an ancient people. That we retain our own customs, traditions and values from the time before our grandfathers and grandmothers. He would say that we reject the way the mining company has operated in our community. That we demand justice for the harms that they have caused to us. And he would say that we must continue the struggle.
This past year has been a time for silence and for mourning; now the time for action has come.

And for further fun reading, check out the legal proceedings papers filed in Canada against HudBay this week.  So once HudBay ( has finished their slick and positive presentation on Monday I'm sure you guys won't be short of a subject of healthy and spirited conversation. And then when it's all over, don't forget to tell David Garofalo to go fuck himself.

UPDATE: Jack Caldwell over at I Think Mining also examines the HudBay Fenix case today. Fortunately for the world his prose is far more measured than the IKN snarkfest, but Caldwell does finish with a flourish (and one this author thoroughly agrees with):
"HudBay says it is continuing to evaluate the property.  I bet that they, as many other Canadian mining companies, will choose to stay away from mining in Guatemala for the foreseeable future.  I for one would not buy shares in the hope of successful mining by Canadians in Guatemala."

Here's the whole I Think Mining post. It's well worth a read and Caldwell knows Guatemala as well, having recently been there on mining biz.

Dia Bras (DIB.v): Does the market like reverse stock splits?

No, it doesn't.

DIB is a stock we held for quite a while over at The IKN Weekly and made a good return on it too, having spotted it early we bought at 14c and sold a couple of weeks ago at 35c (and bits). Once the dust has settled on this rollback we'll take a second look. But not for a while.

And while I'm thinking about it, we have a new buy reco for the Weekly this weekend. A copper play with a shot at some decent short-term upside, so watch out for that one guys. 

It's easy to win an award in Peru

Take for example the Sustainable Development Award (in the Promotion Initiatives for Local Development - Mining category) announced by Pan Pamerican Silver (PAAS) ( yesterday evening. One reading the self-congratulation blahblah your humble scribe couldn't help but wonder why PAAS, a company with an abysmal record for Health & Safety in Peru, could manage to get a gong for social stuff. Then I worked it out:
  • Between 2000 and 2010, PAAS has seen 25 worker deaths in its Peru operations.
  • Between 2000 and 2009, there were 23. That works out at an average of 2.55 every year.
  • In 2010 PAAS has only managed to kill 2 of its workforce.

There you have it! PAAS has got its killer ratio down by over half a person this year. Gotta be reason to celebrate, right? And a final thing before we leave; check out the PAAS perforomance next to the silver ETF (SLV). 

Is there any reason to hold this stock? Just buy the metal and be done.

Somebody's confident that a whole bunch of copper inventory isn't about to hit the LME warehouses

This looks like a smart, deep-pocketed play. Here's the Reuters version:
SINGAPORE Dec 3 (Reuters) - A single trader is holding up to 80 percent of copper stockpiles at the London Metal Exchange, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.
The dominant position holder, who was not identified, owns between 50 percent and 80 percent of the 355,750 tonnes of copper held in LME listed warehouses, the newspaper said, estimating at least half of the holdings at about $1.5 billion.
The exchange first disclosed the large position in its daily inventory holder report on Nov. 23, the newspaper said. CONTINUES HERE

Here's the Daily Telegraph:

Mystery trader captures 80pc of London's copper market

A single trader has gobbled up to four-fifths of the copper traded in London, stockpiling it in warehouses.

The unknown buyer has been building up the dominant position since at least last week, putting a squeeze on the market.
According to the rules of the London Metal Exchange, the trader must lend out copper if it holds between 50pc and 80pc of the total to maintain day-to-day liquidity in the market. The trader is currently lending at a 0.5pc premium to the cash price.
The premium for spot price copper over delivery in three months' time reached $89 in the middle of this week - the highest in two years. CONTINUES

But want for volatile? Yeah, this one could get volatile.

Chart of the day is....

At $1400 again.


to label the moment

some days are better than others.

Catch you tomorrow.

PS: Yes I know how melancholy this song is, but it's also life-affirming Every time 5:23 to 5:33 comes around I can't help but breath in, in and in more...there's no breathing out there. The lungs fill and the meaning of the word conscious (aware of one's own existence) is writ large. If that's not enough Pseud's Corner for y'all, please let me know. I adore Radiohead and I'm not ashamed to admit it.

posting light today

power cut at IKN nerve centre is putting paid to normal service today. Talk amongst yourselves, yeah?


An excellent report on the ecological disaster Madre de Dios

This brand new report by Maria Emília Coelho cannot be praised too highly. We get taken through the gold mining zone of Madre de Dios, hear from the people (they know what damage they're causing, they're there because there's no work otherwise, they arrive at the rate of 300 per day) and see the rape of the jungle that's ignored by Peru's abysmal government.

And the photoshow on the page is outstanding. Here's just one of the shots of one of the many areas  of Peru's Amazon jungle being laid waste right here right now; other photos are even more compelling.

Coelho notes that in 2008, 9.5% of Peru's gold came from this area. We noted this week that this number has skyrocketed since then and now accounts for 18.8% of Peru's gold production, basically double in two years. So once your stomach has stopped turning, go read Coelho's most excellent report.

Casey Research frontruns its own clients AGAIN

Really, this is getting beyond a joke and it's about time that somebody with a bit of real clout like the BCSC investigates this ongoing pattern of lowball behaviour by Casey's Louis James, Marin Commission Katusa and the band of merry men there.

This time Sunward Resources (SWD.v) is the preferred play. On November 4th, Casey Research recommended the stock to its Tier One (i.e. pay more for advanced info) subscribers. That day, the stock went up 13.8% as seen on this chart.

So the December issue of the more popular (cos it's cheaper) 'International Speculator' comes out and...yes you've guessed it..they have a new buy recommendation on Sunward Resources (SWD.v). So far today SWD.v stock is up 5.1%, trading 3X average daily volumes in the first hour. (Update: SWD closed the day up 13.6% on 6X volumes).

Thing is, these whiter-than-white market riggers actually think they can just put a disclaimer in the Intl Speculator that says "Full disclosure: this stock was recommended to Casey’s Investment Alert subscribers on November 4" and then be in the clear. You know what? I'm not so sure about that. I know for a fact what they're doing is utterly immoral and offering an enormous nudge-and-wink advantage to anyone on the Tier One list that follows the pattern. But it is time that Canadian authorities looked at these unregulated, unaccountable-to-anyone peddlers of unfair advantages.

But hey...Vancouver right? 

Fronteer Gold (FRG) ( That didn't take long, did it?

From yesterday's post "Fronteer Gold: Time for ten":

"FRG closed at U$9.42 last night. It'll be higher than that very soon and if we don't see 10 today, it's only a matter of time before we do. DYODD."
Here's the two day chart:
So it took precisely 24 hours and 35 minutes from that post yesterday. Just sayin'.

So you wanna know why Vena Resources ( popped 14% at the bell?

This is why. DYODD, dude (the podcast is well worth your time, by the way).

Evo's tumour again

Despite Bolivia flatly denying that the operation Evo went through was to remove a tumour, another new Wikileak has emerged mentioning the case and getting pretty specific. Here's the excerpt from this cable:

Despite the official government position that 

President Morales will undergo treatment to correct a 

deviated septum immediately following the referendum, several 

contacts confirm that the problem is actually a tumor in the 

pituitary near the sella turcica and that Morales will travel 

to Spain for the operation.  xxxxxxxxxxxx 

xxxxxxxxxxxx told us Morales' first choice, Cuba, could not 

perform the surgery. 

Detailed stuff, right? In the end, note that Evo didn't travel to Spain or Cuba but had the corrective surgery in La Paz Bolivia. However, it was performed by Cuban surgeons. 

By the way, that very same cable linked above is evidence that The USA really doesn't have the first clue about Bolivia, even at a diplomatic level. Here's a dude writing his letters home from the La Paz Embassy talking about Bolivia's "quickly crumbling economy". Jeeez! For one thing Bolivia's "crumbling economy "just happened to be the number one best performing economy in the whole of The Americas in 2009 and for another, the economic policies have continued to this day, giving Bolivia a decent growth forecast for 2010. Currency reserves are at an all-time record, its trade surplus is excellent and the acid test of any country, its currency, shows strength all round, with the crawling peg recently ratcheted up a notch and Bolivians, for the first time ever, holding more savings in local currency than in the US Dollar. No wonder US policymakers get the country so wrong: they're informed by utter dumbasses. 

The 'Small Silvers' 2010 sweepstakes November update

The end of another month (wow, just one to go) and here's how our nine small silver stocks, along with our benchmark comparative ticker of the silver bullion ETF (SLV) has developed these last thirty days.

(click to enlarge or steal for your paranoid tinfoilhat bullboard...wouldn't be the first time and you never bother to say thankyou, do you?)

Still streaking out in the lead is U.S Silver (USA.v) which looks a racing certainty for the title this year. Second place is pretty much defined too, with First Majestic continuing to be strong as an ox. Bear Creek Mining (BCM.v) has been better-than-the-rest all year and shows no sign of losing that while the money continues to pour into the sector.

The big difference to this month's chart is that every single name is now positive on the year, perhaps the most telling fact of the silver sector right now as even the dogs get bought. Also, our benchmark ETF (SLV) beats out just three or the names now and apart from Impact (IPT.v) at the bottom, it's not beating them out by much. And they wonder why The IKN Weekly has been so bullish since the end of summer? I mean, even Wistar and MexMike are going to escape from this year with more money thanks to's recent's a generous market, this one.

Chart of the day is....

...the gold/silver ratio.

48.5X this morning, as the GSR passes its own little Rubicon. Is this time different, or will it now stall and settle around the 50X mark? YOU BE THE JUDGE! but the MACD and RSI are saying "overbot ratio" here.....chartists, eh?


The source of The Amazon

According to this report out today from Peru's government newswire Andina, the source of the Amazon has finally been officialy nailed down to the Apacheta Quebrada, in the Caylloma region of Peru. The high resolution satellite image work done by The Geographical Society of Lima ratifies the findings of the 1996 'Amazon Source' expedition, with the Apacheta source winning out over the only other candidate by 691 metres.

And yes, before you ask The Amazon's near 7000km length beats out The Nile's 6,671km. 

President Santos, better than Uribe by about.....

....a light year.

I thought I might be able to put up with Santos as Colombia's President but I never thought I'd actually like him. He gets down to talks with Chávez, reaches agreements on amicable terms based on mutual respect. He patches up with Ecuador and gets the countries back on diplomatic terms, he makes the meetings with regional and local leaders all the time, is there for UNASUR, for Kirchner's funeral (at the drop of a hat he was in that plane and flying down to Buenos Aires), for next week in Mar Del Plata Argentina, next week at the UN, next week in Mexico for the Climate Change bash etc etc. And at the same time he's getting hard with the FARC and making significant progress against those scumbags without pissing off his neighbours in the slightest.

You go Juanma! Keep it up, man. Colombia made a good choice.

What is (was) up Evo's nose?

Another cute leak this morning:

C O N F I D E N T I A L BRASILIA 000093 



E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/22/2019 

Classified By: Ambassador Clifford M. Sobel, Reason 1.4 
(b) and (d) 

1. (C) In a conversation with Ambassador Sobel following the 
January 15, 2009 La Paz meeting between Brazilian President Lula and 
Bolivian President Morales, Brazilian Defense Minister Nelson
 Jobim (protect) confirmed an earlier rumor that Morales is 
suffering from a serious sinus tumor. Jobim told the Ambassador 
that Lula had offered Morales an examination and treatment at a 
Sao Paulo hospital. Although there have been been public reports 
that Morales needs surgery for "acute sinusitis," and related 
otitis and headaches, according to Jobim his problems in fact 
are caused by a serious tumor and the surgery will be an effort
 to remove it. Treatment has been put off, however, until after
 the constitutional referendum scheduled for January 25. Jobim,
 who attended the meeting between Lula and Morales, commented 
that the tumor might explain why Morales has seemed unfocussed
 and not his usual self at this and other recent meetings. SOBEL

UPDATE: Bolivia is denying that Evo ever had a tumour. From this WaPo story:
"Morales' spokesman Ivan Canelas denied there had ever been any tumor, saying Morales had surgery last year for a problem with his nasal septum that was causing him constant colds. In a radio interview, he said the leaked cable "had a big dose of speculation.""

WhaaAAAAAaaaaAAAAt? Y-y-y-y-y-y-you mean it's remotely possible that the US Diplo corps in South America has been making shit up about Evo Morales? WHAT A SHOCKAH!

Focus Ventures (FCV.v) news

Terms looks fairly reasonable, too. Here's the NR:

Focus Acquires High-Grade Silver-Lead-Zinc Project in Peru; Samples up to 107 oz/t Ag, 11.7% Pb, 11.8% Zn over 0.7m

VANCOUVER, Nov. 30 /CNW/ - Focus Ventures Ltd. (TSX-V: FCV.V) is pleased to announce that it has signed an Option and Purchase Agreement to acquire the Santa Rosa Mine, a high-grade Ag-Zn-Pb deposit located 100km north of the Peruvian capital, Lima, and 70km southeast of Focus' Minas Chanca silver project.
The 551 hectare property is situated at an altitude of between 4,000m and 4,500m above sea level within the prolific Central Peru Polymetallic Belt, which hosts a number of world class silver, lead and zinc deposits such as Iscay Cruz, Uchucchagua and Cerro de Pasco. The Santa Rosa project represents the Company's fourth acquisition in its on-going search for high-potential, advanced-stage projects across Peru. Focus is currently CONTINUES HERE

Fronteer Gold (FRG) ( Time for ten

Want a stock to play the move in spot gold this morning? Look no further:

FRG is out with more great drilling numbers today, more extension to Long Canyon (check the map), more reason to own. And of course, if you look very very carefully at that chart above you may be able to spot a trend.

FRG closed at U$9.42 last night. It'll be higher than that very soon and if we don't see 10 today, it's only a matter of time before we do. DYODD.

Deep disturbance

When it comes to narcotrafficking and the way drug kingpins spend their cash there has always been some eclectic tastes on display. Take the Mexican narco-fashion of 18k gold machine guns or diamond-encrusted bling dripping from each arm, neck and cellphone. Take Colombia's Pablo Escobar and his private zoo, complete with hippos and tigers and all sorts.

But this one posted up by The Mex Files this morning is really, deeply scary: Brazilian narcobosses and their shrine in honour of Justin Bieber. I can't bring myself to paste the photo here, so click thru and look over at RG's site and get the cold shivers down your spine, too.

Unfortunately for people with short attention spans and the tendency to believe anything they read, research and fundies analysis is still necessary in this market

Take for example the case of Malaga Inc (, South America's only Tungsten (W) producer. Now, those with an MTV-length attention span might look at the uptick in Tungsten spot prices recently....

....then look at the non-stop NRs from Malaga telling them how they've been upping production (pity this move to 500tpd was promised for late 2008 and took two years to happen, but minor details, right?) and immediately conclude that the stock's a buy. And sure enough, the price chart seems to suggest just that (by the way, that spike to 40c was when Jay Taylor informed his sheep in glowing terms all about MLG last month.....more fool Taylor for not looking deeper and a nasty bit of retail bagholding on display).

But away from the world of shinyhappy people, corporate presentations and mouthbreathing traders the hard data coming from MLG still disappoints. This chart shows monthly production from its Pasto Bueno operation in Peru and, as is abundantly clear, that much-hyped move to 450tpd or 500tpd (I forget which number we're supposed to apply to now and which number is for the future with this company) hasn't done Jack for production so far.
Yup, October was just 49mt of tungsten, the joint worst month of the year and down even on the poor 54mt of September. You see, it really does pay to stop believing half-baked analyses and company blahblah and go around looking for yourself. In other words, DYODD, dude.

Chart of the day is....

...molybdenum, five year chart.

Still going nowhere.

Bingo. Leslie Nielsen R.I.P.

My respects via his genius. Just 11 seconds long, but awesome all the same.


Focus on gossip

So apparently, the reason why Focus Ventures (FCV.v) stock has done this in the past few days..... that the company is about to release news of a new property deal in Peru. Ts getting crossed and i's getting dotted right about now on this one, in fact.

Strange, you'd have thought that jungledrums getting out like this would be frowned upon by Ridgway&Co, what with their normally decent industry reputations, but it seems that they don't care so much. DYODD dude and watch those wires to see if the IKN dope is vrai, faux ou salade.


VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA, Nov 29, 2010 (Marketwire via COMTEX) -- The following issue(s) have been halted on the TSXV today:

Company / Compagnie Focus Ventures Ltd.

TSX-V Symbol / Symbole FCV

Reason / Motif Company request pending news

Halt Time (ET) / Heure de l'Arret 15:05 E.T.

Peru's gold production: ¡La Puta Madre De Dios!

Outrage is the only word left here. Peru's metal production numbers for October are out today and show the utter contempt this country has for its environment and the Amazon basin region of Madre de Dios (MDD). This chart shows monthly gold production from MDD:

This chart shows the percentage of the nation's gold production coming from the wasteland it's creating from the jungle:

So what we have is an area that is being decimated in the way you can see in these photos that is under the supposed control of a newly created environment ministry, which up to May 2010, produced around 10% of Peru's gold. Suddenly that's up to 18.8% of the total! Nobody cares about the destruction, just show us the freakin' money, right Twobreakfasts? Will anybody make this into an issue? Can anybody stop this most awful of situations from getting any worse?


Greystar ( versus Owly, today's big match-up

In the red corner, Greystar Resources reports on its public hearing last week. Here are some snippets, click through for the while thing.
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Nov. 29, 2010) - Greystar Resources Ltd.  is pleased to announce that the Public Hearing to consider the Company's Angostura Project Environmental Impact Study ("EIS") was held on November 21st, 2010 in California, Santander, the community nearest to the project......Steve Kesler, President and CEO of Greystar commented, "We are very pleased that.....".......There was strong support for the project, and the opportunities it would bring, not just for California, but for Santander and the country as a whole......  the EIS review will continue.......Greystar.... has stressed its commitment to create a lasting and positive contribution toward sustainable development...... will utilize leading technology...... no impact on water supply or quality ...... 

In the blue corner, Owly:

How does that saying go again? Oh yeah, I remember: Money Talks, Bullshit Walks. Gotta wonder how nervous the dude from Can of Corn who pumped GSL a few days ago is feeling right now...

Strateco Resources ( The intro to yesterday's IKN Weekly

Here's the note that kicked off IKN82, sent out to subscribers yesterday.

Don’t believe everything you read (especially in company news releases)

Reader and regular mailpal ‘MP’ brought a story to this author’s attention on Saturday that wouldn’t normally get picked up by your humble LatAm-centric marketwatcher. On Friday morning, Strateco Resources ( announced in a news release entitled “Strateco Recieves (sic) Strong Support at Public Hearings on the Matoush Uranium Project” (1) that public hearings regarding its project in Quebec, Canada had gone swimmingly and love was in the air. Here’s how the NR began:

BOUCHERVILLE, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Nov. 26, 2010) - Strateco Resources pleased to announce that it received strong support at public hearings held in Mistissini and Chibougamau on November 23 and 25 in relation to the underground exploration phase of the Matoush project. Nearly 50 people, organizations, companies and local and regional authorities confirmed their support for the project in letters, briefs and presentations.

One of the supporters who tabled a brief in favour of the Matoush project was the Conference regionale des elus de la Baie-James ("CREBJ"), whose members include Luc Ferland, the Member of National Assembly for Ungava (Quebec), Manon Cyr, mayor of Chibougamau and Steve Gamache, mayor of Chapais, stressing the importance for Strateco to obtain the Cree Nation of Mistissini's support.

A little later, down on paragraph four, this was noted:

At the public hearing in Mistissini, the chief of the local community, Richard Shecapio, indicated that the community does not support the Matoush project. Strateco intends to develop and deepen relations with the Mistissini Cree in order to respond appropriately to their concerns and eventually secure their support. The Grand Council of the Crees did not formulate a position at the public hearings.

Check out the NR yourself (1) to get the whole feel, but what this author took away from reading it was that RSC enjoyed support, support and more support for three paragraphs, but also noted some opposition to the project on paragprah four. In other words, a pretty normal state of affairs for a junior miner that will always have its supporters and opposition for a project but hopes that majority voices in support will prevail. The result of the RSC NR can be seen in this chart, as the stock rose 13.75% on strong volume Friday and closing just under a new 52 week high.
So far so good, but the reason MP mailed me was clued up in his mail title line “Compare and Contrast” because it also featured a report of the public hearings dated Saturday November 27th in the French language media “lapresseaffaires” (2) that paints a very different picture. On reading the report, even somebody with no previous knowledge of the issue can see the key for RSC’s project is approval from the local Cree Mistissini Nation and that the Mistissini have rejected the project in categoric terms. Here are a couple of excerpts (translated):

“The junior company has for three years tried to sell its uranium project to the inhabitants of the Cree Nation of Mistissini. Chief Richard Shecapio announced the response of the community during the public hearing last Tuesday: Mistissini opposes the project.

“The announcement visibly shook Strateco Resources management.


“In an era when the social acceptance has become necessary for the survival of a mining project, this announcement is not trivial. “It was a big surprise for all of us”, admitted the President and CEO of Strateco, Guy Hébert.


“On the eve of the public hearings, the Chief of the Mistissini, Richard Shecapio, convened a meeting so that his community could provide its views on the project. The participants voted 93% against. This is the decision that the Chief announced to the commissioners during the public hearings.

Citing in particular the long-term effects on the environment and animals, Mr. Shecapio explained that uranium exploration “goes against fundamental Cree values.”

The Chief said he was disappointed by the responses given by the mining company during the consultataion period. “Strateco has failed to engage the community. Strateco has failed to win the trust of the people.”

The Grand Council of the Crees, that groups together 10 communities, gave its support to the Mistissini Nation. In a communique Grand Chief Matthew Coon Come said that the Mistissini decision had not been taken lightly and had been made after years of reflection.

According to Mr. Coon Come, the Cree are open to mining development, “But the Mistissini community has judged that in the case of this project the potential negative impacts greatly outweigh the benefits.”


“We are conscious that the project will not be able to go ahead without the support of the Mistissini Crees” (said the Mayor of Chibougamau and project supporter, Manon Cyr).

IKN back. Now, I know what I know and I don’t know what I don’t. What’s more, The IKN Weekly is not the IKN blog and we avoid as much as possible the pontification and opinionating you see on the public site. In this case for example, I don’t know whether the French language website or its reporter have a political or social bias or a dog in this hunt, I don’t know whether the Mistissini Cree position is one that will never change or whether it’s part of a negotiation strategy, I don’t know anything about the previous track record of RSC, its Pres/CEO Hébert, its team or even its project up there in the cold parts of the world. Et cetera. But what I do know is that if the lapresseaffaires report had been published on Friday morning instead of Saturday, it would have had an effect on the share price action that day.

It will be interesting to watch how trades on Monday. It will also be interesting to note how Hébert and his team respond to the lapresseaffaires report.

The people getting rich off the tinfoilhat brigade

Over the weekend I was sent this interview with Ted Butler, the man who (as he'd have us all believe) saved the whole wide world of silver from the grasping clutches of JP Morgan by the power of his intellect alone. I managed to read the whole fawning Q&A session without getting nauseous but haven't seen so much twaddle and arrogant self-righteousness for many a moon, that's for sure.

So here's what I wrote back to the person who sent me the interview, reproduced for your Monday morning entertainment.


Ted Butler is a charlatan. Look at this chart:

Where are the Ted Butler Comex Gold manip lessons, or the Ted Butler LME copper manip lessons? THEY ARE EXACTLY THE SAME CHARTS! Silver's rise is a product of true supply and demand, not some rigging done by the middle men that sit between you and the metals.

So what happens with Butler, or GATA, or that brainless twerp Jim Willie, or that religious nutcase Jason Hommel is that they call the metal's move correctly. OK fine, not going to deny them that, but first they call a basic binary trade right for all the wrong reasons and they then lump on all the ridiculous baggage they want because they called the metal right.
  • Butler: Silver is up and that proves I'm right about JPM manipulations
  • Hommel: Silver is up and the rapture is on the way...toldya so
  • Willie: Gold is up and it proves I'm right about the Amero on the way
  • GATA: Gold is up and it proves we're right about the manifold windmill tilting all these years even though we can't read a freakin' balance sheet to save our ignorant lives..
It's bullshit. Look at copper, man! Look at the inverse relationship gold and silver has with the US dollar!

 chart courtesy sez_me_man (someone who's worth listening to re silver)

But these people will never, ever tell you that because they all have their own neat and profitable scams going on, namely "sell that newsletter". They attract thousands upon thousands of conspiracy theorists that WANT to believe all this shit and feel justified by a price movement that's utterly out of the control of the so-called manipulators over the longer term.

Basic point: If gold/silver whatever were successfully manipulated, they wouldn't have gone up.
Basic point: Where are the "copper manipulators"? Where are the "oil manipulators"?

Now, I'm not saying there is no manip in the market because there is. Always has been, always will be. But 1) it's not illegal, 2) they can affect things over a shorter-term and not over long periods because 3) nature abhors a vacuum and will seek to fill in any market advantage offered (look at the GBP and George Soros...he didn't manip the GBP to win his multi-billion dollar bet, he saw the manip that the UK govt was doing and simply took the other side of the trade).

These people aren't stupid, they're sly. They're on to a good little thing and so stoke the fire as much as they can, thereby parting the innocent and gullible from their hard-earned cash. They make me want to vomit, the lot of them.

Chart of the day is....

...the ten year price chart overlay for silver, copper and gold.

I may have a rant about this one later.


The IKN Weekly, out now

IKN82 has just been sent to subscribers and you don't always feel better when you scratch an itch, believe me. 

Anyway, this week is da bomb!

The US Embassy on the Honduras Coup

My stars, this is good stuff. Here's the link and here's the text:

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/23/2019 
Classified By: Ambassador Hugo Llorens, reasons 1.4 (b and d) 
1. (C) Summary:  Post has attempted to clarify some of the 
legal and constitutional issues surrounding the June 28 
forced removal of President Manuel "Mel" Zelaya.  The 
Embassy perspective is that there is no doubt that the 
military, Supreme Court and National Congress conspired 
on June 28 in what constituted an illegal and 
unconstitutional coup against the Executive Branch, while 
accepting that there may be a prima facie case that Zelaya 
have committed illegalities and may have even violated the 
constitution.  There is equally no doubt from our perspective 
that Roberto Micheletti's assumption of power was 
illegitimate.  Nevertheless, it is also evident that the 
constitution itself may be deficient in terms of providing 
clear procedures for dealing with alleged illegal acts by 
the President and resolving conflicts between the branches 
of government.  End summary. 
2. (U) Since the June 28 removal and expulsion of President 
Zelaya by the Honduran armed forces, the Embassy has 
consulted Honduran legal experts (one cannot find a fully 
unbiased professional legal opinion in Honduras in the 
current politically charged atmosphere) and reviewed the 
text of the Honduran Constitution and its laws to develop a 
better understanding of the arguments being parlayed by the 
coup's supporters and opponents. 
Arguments of the Coup Defenders 
3. (SBU) Defenders of the June 28 coup have offered some 
combination of the following, often ambiguous, arguments to 
assert it's legality: 
-- Zelaya had broken the law (alleged but not proven); 
-- Zelaya resigned (a clear fabrication); 
-- Zelaya intended to extend his term in office 
-- Had he been allowed to proceed with his June 28 
constitutional reform opinion poll, Zelaya would have 
dissolved Congress the following day and convened a 
constituent assembly (supposition); 
-- Zelaya had to be removed from the country to prevent a 
-- Congress "unanimously" (or in some versions by a 123-5 
vote) deposed Zelaya; (after the fact and under the cloak 
of secrecy); and 
-- Zelaya "automatically" ceased to be president the moment 
he suggested modifying the constitutional prohibition on 
presidential reelection. 
4. (C) In our view, none of the above arguments has any 
substantive validity under the Honduran constitution.  Some 
are outright false.  Others are mere supposition or ex-post 
rationalizations of a patently illegal act.  Essentially: 
-- the military had no authority to remove Zelaya from the 
-- Congress has no constitutional authority to remove a 
Honduran president; 
-- Congress and the judiciary removed Zelaya on the basis 
of a hasty, ad-hoc, extralegal, secret, 48-hour process; 
-- the purported "resignation" letter was a fabrication and 
was not even the basis for Congress's action of June 28; 
-- Zelaya's arrest and forced removal from the country 
violated multiple constitutional guarantees, including the 
prohibition on expatriation, presumption of innocence and 
right to due process. 
Impeachment under the Honduran Constitution 
5. (U) Under the Honduran Constitution as currently 
written, the President may be removed only on the basis of 
death, resignation or incapacitation.  Only the Supreme 
Court may determine that a President has been 
"incapacitated" on the basis of committing a crime. 
6. (U) There is no explicit impeachment procedure in the 
1982 Honduran Constitution.  Originally, Article 205-15 
stated that Congress had the competence to determine 
whether "cause" existed against the President, but it did 
not stipulate on what grounds or under what procedure. 
Article 319-2 stated that the Supreme Court would "hear" 
cases of official or common crimes committed by high-level 
officials, upon a finding of cause by the Congress.  This 
implied a vague two-step executive impeachment process 
involving the other two branches of government, although 
without specific criteria or procedures.  However, Article 
205 was abrogated in 2003, and the corresponding provision 
of Article 319 (renumbered 313) was revised to state only 
that the Supreme Court would hear "processes initiated" 
against high officials.  Thus, it appears that under the 
Constitution as currently written, removal of a president 
or a government official is an entirely judicial matter. 
7. (U) Respected legal opinion confirms that the removal of 
a president is a judicial matter. According to a 2006 book 
by respected legal scholar Enrique Flores Valeriano -- late 
father of Zelaya's Minister of the Presidency, Enrique 
Flores Lanza -- Article 112 of the Law of Constitutional 
Justice indicates that if any government official is found 
to be in violation of the Constitution, that person should 
be removed from office immediately with the ultimate 
authority on matters of Constitutionality being the Supreme 
8. (U) Many legal experts have also confirmed to us that 
the Honduran process for impeaching a President or other 
senior-level officials is a judicial procedure.  They 
assert that under Honduran law the process consists of formal 
criminal charges being filed by the Attorney General 
against the accused with the Supreme Court.  The Supreme 
Court could accept or reject the charges.  If the Court 
moved to indict, it would assign a Supreme Court 
magistrate, or a panel of magistrates to investigate the 
and oversee the trial.  The trial process is open and 
transparent and the defendant would be given a full right 
of self-defense.  If convicted in the impeachment trial, 
the magistrates have authority to remove the President or 
senior official.  Once the President is removed, then the 
constitutional succession would follow.  In this case, if a 
President is legally charged, convicted, and removed, his 
successor is the Vice President or what is termed the 
Presidential Designate.  In the current situation in 
Honduras, since the Vice President, Elvin Santos, resigned 
last December in order to be able to run as the Liberal 
Party Presidential candidate, President Zelaya's successor 
would be Congress President Roberto Micheletti. 
Unfortunately, the President was never tried, or 
convicted, or was legally removed from office to allow a 
legal succession. 
The Legal Case Against Zelaya 
9. (C) Zelaya's opponents allege that he violated the 
Constitution on numerous grounds, some of which appear on 
their face to be valid, others not: 
-- Refusing to submit a budget to the Congress: The 
Constitution is unambiguous that the Executive shall submit 
a proposed budget to Congress by September 15 each year 
(Art. 367), that Congress shall approve the budget (Art. 
366) and that no obligations or payments may be effectuated 
except on the basis of an approved budget (Art. 364); 
-- Refusing to fund the Congress: Article 212 states that 
the Treasury shall apportion quarterly the funds needed for 
the operation of the Congress; 
-- Proposing an illegal constitutional referendum: The 
Constitution may be amended only through two-thirds vote of 
the Congress in two consecutive sessions (Art. 373 and 
375); a constituent assembly to rewrite the constitution, 
as Zelaya promoted, is therefore unconstitutional; however, 
it is not clear that proposing a constituent assembly in 
itself violates the constitution, only that any changes 
ensuing from that assembly would be invalid; 
-- Defying the judgment of a competent court: Zelaya 
insisted on pushing ahead with his constitutional reform 
opinion poll after both a first-instance court and an 
appeals court ordered him to suspend those efforts; 
however, while he clearly intended to follow through with 
the poll, he never actually did it; 
-- Proposing to reform unreformable articles: Since 
Zelaya's proposed constituent assembly would have unlimited 
powers to rewrite the constitution, it violated Article 
374, which makes certain articles unamendable; once again, 
though, Zelaya never actually attempted to change the 
so-called "carved in stone" articles; it was only assumed 
he intended to; 
-- Dismissing the armed forces chief: The Supreme Court's 
Constitutional Hall ruled June 25 that Zelaya was in 
violation of the Constitution for dismissing Defense Chief 
Vasquez Velasquez; the Constitution (Art. 280) states that 
the President may freely name or remove the chief of the 
armed forces; but the court ruled that since Zelaya fired 
him for refusing to carry out a poll the court had ruled 
illegal, the firing was illegal. 
10. (C) Although a case could well have been made against 
Zelaya for a number of the above alleged constitutional 
violations, there was never any formal, public weighing of 
the evidence nor any semblance of due process. 
The Article 239 Cannard 
11. (U) Article 239, which coup supporters began citing 
after the fact to justify Zelaya's removal (it is nowhere 
mentioned in the voluminous judicial dossier against 
Zelaya), states that any official proposing to reform the 
constitutional prohibition against reelection of the 
president shall immediately cease to carry out their 
functions and be ineligible to hold public office for 10 
years.  Coup defenders have asserted that Zelaya therefore 
automatically ceased to be President when he proposed a 
constituent assembly to rewrite the Constitution. 
12. (C) Post's analysis indicates the Article 239 argument 
is flawed on multiple grounds: 
-- Although it was widely assumed that Zelaya's reason for 
seeking to convoke a constituent assembly was to amend the 
constitution to allow for reelection, we are not aware 
that he ever actually stated so publicly; 
-- Article 239 does not stipulate who determines whether it 
has been violated or how, but it is reasonable to assume 
that it does not abrogate other guarantees of due process 
and the presumption of innocence; 
-- Article 94 states that no penalty shall be imposed 
without the accused having been heard and found guilty in a 
competent court; 
-- Many other Honduran officials, including presidents, 
going back to the first elected government under the 1982 
Constitution, have proposed allowing presidential 
reelection, and they were never deemed to have been 
automatically removed from their positions as a result. 
13. (C) It further warrants mention that Micheletti himself 
should be forced to resign following the logic of the 239 
argument, since as President of Congress he considered 
legislation to have a fourth ballot box ("cuarta urna") at 
the November elections to seek voter approval for a 
constituent assembly to rewrite the constitution.  Any 
member of Congress who discussed the proposal should also 
be required to resign, and National Party presidential 
candidate Pepe Lobo, who endorsed the idea, should be 
ineligible to hold public office for 10 years. 
--------------------------------------------- - 
Forced Removal by Military was Clearly Illegal 
--------------------------------------------- - 
14.  (C) Regardless of the merits of Zelaya's alleged 
constitutional violations, it is clear from even a cursory 
reading that his removal by military means was illegal, and 
even the most zealous of coup defenders have been unable to 
make convincing arguments to bridge the intellectual gulf 
between "Zelaya broke the law" to "therefore, he was packed 
off to Costa Rica by the military without a trial." 
-- Although coup supporters allege the court issued an 
arrest warrant for Zelaya for disobeying its order to 
desist from the opinion poll, the warrant, made public days 
later, was for him to be arrested and brought before the 
competent authority, not removed from the county; 
-- Even if the court had ordered Zelaya to be removed from 
the country, that order would have been unconstitutional; 
Article 81 states that all Hondurans have the right to 
remain in the national territory, subject to certain narrow 
exceptions spelled out in Article 187, which may be invoked 
only by the President of the Republic with the agreement of 
the Council of Ministers; Article 102 states that no 
Honduran may be expatriated; 
-- The armed forces have no/no competency to execute 
judicial orders; originally, Article 272 said the armed 
forces had the responsibility to "maintain peace, public 
order and the 'dominion' of the constitution," but that 
language was excised in 1998; under the current text, only 
the police are authorized to uphold the law and execute 
court orders (Art. 293); 
-- Accounts of Zelaya's abduction by the military indicate 
he was never legally "served" with a warrant; the soldiers 
forced their way in by shooting out the locks and 
essentially kidnapped the President. 
15. (U) The Armed Forces' ranking legal advisor, Col. 
Herberth Bayardo Inestroza, acknowledged in an interview 
published in the Honduran press July 5 that the Honduran 
Armed Forces had broken the law in removing Zelaya from the 
country.  That same day it was reported that the Public 
Ministry was investigating the actions of the Armed Forces 
in arresting and deporting Zelaya June 28 and that the 
Supreme Court had asked the Armed Forces to explain the 
circumstances that motivated his forcible exile. 
16. (C) As reported reftel, the legal adviser to the 
Supreme Court told Poloff that at least some justices on 
the Court consider Zelaya's arrest and deportation by the 
military to have been illegal. 
Congress Had no Authority to Remove Zelaya 
17. (C) As explained above, the Constitution as amended in 
2003 apparently gives sole authority for removing a 
president to the judiciary.  The Congressional action of 
June 28 has been reported in some media as acceptance of 
Zelaya's resignation, based on a bogus resignation letter 
dated June 25 that surfaced after the coup.  However, the 
June 28 Congressional resolution makes no mention of the 
letter, nor does it state that Congress was accepting 
Zelaya's resignation.  It says Congress "disapproves" of 
Zelaya's conduct and therefore "separates" him from the 
office of President -- a constitutional authority Congress 
does not have.  Furthermore, a source in the Congressional 
leadership told us that a quorum was not present when the 
resolution was adopted, rendering it invalid.  There was no 
recorded vote, nor a request for the "yeas" and "nays." 
18. (C) In sum, for a constitutional succession from Zelaya 
to Micheletti to occur would require one of several 
Zelaya's resignation, his death, or permanent medical 
incapacitation (as determined by judicial and medical 
authorities), or as discussed previously, his formal criminal 
conviction and removal from office.  In the absence of any of 
these conditions and since Congress lacked the legal 
authority to remove Zelaya, the actions of June 28 can only 
be considered a coup d'etat by the legislative branch, with 
the support of the judicial branch and the military, against 
the executive branch.  It bears mentioning that, whereas the 
resolution adopted June 28 refers only to Zelaya, its effect 
was to remove the entire executive branch.  Both of these 
actions clearly exceeded Congress's authority. 
19. (C) The analysis of the Constitution sheds some 
interesting light on the events of June 28.  The Honduran 
establishment confronted a dilemma: near unanimity among 
the institutions of the state and the political class that 
Zelaya had abused his powers in violation of the 
Constitution, but with some ambiguity what to do about it. 
Faced with that lack of clarity, the military and/or 
whoever ordered the coup fell back on what they knew -- the 
way Honduran presidents were removed in the past: a bogus 
resignation letter and a one-way ticket to a neighboring 
country.  No matter what the merits of the case against 
Zelaya, his forced removal by the military was clearly 
illegal, and Micheletti's ascendance as "interim president" 
was totally illegitimate. 
20. (C) Nonetheless, the very Constitutional uncertainty 
that presented the political class with this dilemma may 
provide the seeds for a solution.  The coup's most ardent 
legal defenders have been unable to make the intellectual 
leap from their arguments regarding Zelaya's alleged crimes 
to how those allegations justified dragging him out of his 
bed in the night and flying him to Costa Rica.  That the 
Attorney General's office and the Supreme Court now 
reportedly question the legality of that final step is 
encouraging and may provide a face-saving "out" for the two 
opposing sides in the current standoff. End Comment. 


A fun Chávez wikileak

French Elysee Diplomatic Advisor Jean-David Levitte, on September 11th 2009:
"Levitte observed that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is "crazy" and said that even Brazil wasn't able to support him anymore. Unfortunately, Chavez is taking one of the richest countries in Latin America and turning it into another Zimbabwe."
Gotta wonder about these Frenchies, what with Brazil having come out with unmitigated support for Chávez time and again since that 'advisor' shot his mouth off to the US visiting delegation to Paris. Anyway, apart from that and the usual US paranoia about hezbollah in Paraguay, there doesn't seem to be much about LatAm in the leaked documents, so forget this corner of the world and worry more about Saudi Arabia wanting to bomb the frak outta Iran, methinks.

UPDATE: One more. Apparently The USA was worried about Argentina's President Cristina and the state of her mental health. Oh that's caring of them, isn't it?

UPDATE 2: Sketch adds another in the comments section. Thanks Sketch, here it is:
Have you seen the one from the US Embassy in Tegucigalpa?

""there is no doubt that the military, Supreme Court and National Congress conspired on June 28 in what constituted an illegal and unconstitutional coup against the Executive Branch,"

"There is equally no doubt from our perspective that Roberto Micheletti's assumption of power was illegitimate."

"Forced Removal by Military was Clearly Illegal"

"Congress Had no Authority to Remove Zelaya"

A thought for wikileak Sunday

Less out of choice and more because of a scratch-that-itch thing, I've spent the last few hours picking over the pending wikileak dump that's supposed to happen later today and the morality or otherwise of it all. I keep coming back to one thing and it gets shared here as a random musing more than anything else.

We, i.e. the John&Joan Qs Citizens of this world, have been told to accept a more intrusive government that knows more and more about what we do and how we spend our lives because "only people with something to hide will be worried". However, according to what we've seen out of the US State Dept the last 72 hours this line of logic doesn't work when the people turn tables on governments.

Hillary's about to find out what an intrusive pat-down really feels like. On with the show.

a song for sunday

Sir Walter Raleigh.