start here

start here

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


Ernesto Sabato, QEPD

Ernesto Sabato, novelist, physicist and one of the key defenders of Human Rights in Argentina, died today aged 99 years and 10 months. To know more about the great man, La Nacion has excellent coverage of his life and work today.


keynes vs hayek

This is great.

Watch it all. H/T Salmon

The Friday OT: Tammi Terrell & Marvin Gaye; Ain't no mountain high enough

Dedicated to my wife.

Have a good weekend.

IKN congratulates Casey Research on the superb job it does of keeping its readership up to date on changes in circumstances in its covered stocks

Truly top service, guys.


Peru Prez Poll, Round Two

A new poll is out today Friday from pollster Datum and published by Peru 21. This might leave it open to accusations of bias (because Peru 21 is an anti-Humala newspaper), but along with a CPI poll from yesterday that had the gap at 3.8%, there's a clear catchup tendency going on that's favouring Keiko Fujimori. Recall that last Sunday the gap was 6% and as I said back then, this one is going to be very close.

I'd only add one other thing right now: Be careful what you wish for. The full Datum poll publication can be found right here.

UPDATE: Highly recommended on this subject for Spanish speakers is this new post from highly esteemed Peru Political Scientist Cynthia Sanborn, someone who has forgotten more about this subject than most of the so-called experts out there know. Unmissable.

Cerro Casale: Capex increase, what capex increase?

News out of Barrick (ABX) this week was that the estimated capex needed to build the now infamous Cerro Casale gold mine in the uplands of Chile has moved up to a cool $5.25Bn (with a B). That's quite a move and it's hardly the first change of number seen at the project, either, as witnessed by this chart you humble scribe ahs cobbled togethe after doing about 10 minutes' worth of simple Googling:

Find sources for these numbers here, here, here etc. So anyway, it's now been fixed at $5.25Bn and it's hardly likely to change again from that number, is it? After all, they wouldn't underestimate and then revise upwards later on purpose now, would they?

A Flash update...

...went out to subscribers about half an hour before the open.

Chart of the day is....

...the gold:copper ratio.

This has really been behaving itself for close on two years. Also, unlike silver they're two metals you can take seriously.



Still travelling and not much time to post a lot, but this.....this.....

....this is for those that understand futbol. Sublime.

Geologists in popular culture

I was sent this link and the excerpt by a geologist friend this morning. We definitely share this, as it's wonderfully wonderful. Enjoy.

While the media rarely represents geologists to the general population, (excluding sound bytes on Discovery Channel volcano specials), there was one recent attempt to integrate geologists into a television program. According to various blog sources, CBS was looking to produce a new reality tv show for 2008, after correctly predicting that the writers' strike would cut down on their ability to create blue-toned dramatic shows centering around corpses. One of their production managers happened to see a documentary on a volcanologist researching lava in Hawaii, and seeing the danger and excitement inherent in people smashing molten hot 'magma' with rock hammers, pitched the idea of a 'geologist survivor-type' show.
In December of 2007, CBS hired a production crew to pull the show together; the scenario was that nine geologists would be placed in the field, where they would vote each other off based on their willingness to do dangerous geologist type feats common to the field; like researching active volcanoes, trilobite wrangling, earthquake surfing, landslides catching, and landing in bush planes on glaciers. Geologists that weren't up to the task would be voted off, and the last remaining "Hard-core geologist" would win a prize.
The production was plagued from the beginning. They were successful in finding nine geologists, 6 males and three females, between 25 and 50 years of age, and they quickly set up the first challenge; researching an active volcano in the Phillipines. The geologists and camera crew set up camp near the bottom of the volcano. The camera crew filmed the nine geologists bonding. The geologists were supplied with alchohol (a common strategy to loosen up the cast on reality TV shows), but the camera crew was surprised to notice that even after drinking gallons of the liquid, the geologists did not change their behavior, and continued talking in an obscure jargonized language about 'bombs', 'hornitos', 'breccia,' and 'lahars,' none of which made for good reality TV.
This trend continued through the entire first challenge; the geologists were seemingly oblivious to the camera, and the only interpersonal drama occurred when the seismologist and structural geologist got into a yelling match over the best recipe for chili. When the camera-crew and geologists went up to do research on the volcano, instead of sticking together, the geologists scattered into the landscape, and the camera-crew found themselves unable to find more than two at a time. Also, after listening to the volcanologist eagerly predict just how soon the volcano would explode, the camera-crew became extremely nervous and returned to the camp.
The crew returned from the first shoot to Los Angeles with almost no footage. To further complicate matters, the editors were unable to make sense of what footage there was, because they had no idea what the hell the geologists were talking about. However, it did appear that initially a few of the scientists seemed to understand the concept of 'voting off' another member. After consulting a nearby university, the crew finally explained to the geologists were basically 'competing for funding from the National Science Foundation.' Unfortunately, the NSF grant analogy didn't go well either, as the geologists quickly pointed out that they didn't have enough time to write a successful research proposal. Finally, the geologists were simply told agree upon some arbitrary criteria that they could use to get rid of someone. After a series of seminars, the geologists decided that whoever had the worst aim with a rock hammer would be told to leave.
The second event, landing in a bush plane in northern Alaska, was a complete failure. None of the geologists were nervous at the idea, which destroyed the drama the crew was hoping for, and worse yet, no-one in the production crew was willing to accompany the geologists to the field site, out of sheer terror. As a result, small cameras were given to two of the geologists to film themselves. When the geologists returned with their cameras, the editors found tapes filled with footage and commentary about mountains and 'gbbxcvxlacial erratics'. Only ten percent of the footage featured humans, and most of that footage was simply the petrologist standing by outcrops for scale.
By the time the production reached Hawaii, most of the camera-crew had quit (because of the steady diet of chili and the dangerous situations) and only five of the geologists were left; not because they had been voted off, but because they had become over-excited by rock formations at various locations and had refused to leave. Moreover, paying for an almost-constant supply of beer, single malt scotch, and transportation for the geologists' luggage' (which contained mostly oversized rock samples padded with unmentionably dilapidated field clothing), had almost exhausted the budget. CBS finally pulled the plug on the project in January of 2008, despite their fear that they might be sued for withdrawing the promise of a prize; however, none of the geologists sued, as they were still under the impression that they needed to publish a research paper to receive the money.

On The Road

Posting will be light for the next couple of days, because as Jack once wrote, "Live, travel, adventure, bless, and don't be sorry."


Got something to hide, Marin?

Looks like Casey Research is into cyberburial of criticisms. Your list of instructions:

  1. Check out the December 2010 IKN post "Marin Katusa's Modus Operandi and East West Petroleum (EW.v)" on the link.
  2. Go to the photoshow at the bottom of the page.
  3. Mouse over the links provided to the biographies of the scummy, self-serving threesome that make up KBH Capital, namely Marin Katusa, Marc Bustin and Joe Hung. You'll note as you mouse over (without clicking) if you look in the bottom left of your screen that the url's originally provided did indeed go to the correct places.
  4. Now click through the three biog links provided. The links now go to completely separate places in the Casey Research website and feature people that don't even work for the shop any more. The internal links have clearly been swapped by Casey people to send people to the wrong places.

Isn't this fun? It's almost as if Marin and his pally pals have something to hide, isn't it?

Fortuna ( quickmath

To work out the Mine Operating Income (MOI) in a ballpark way for the 1q11 quarter just announced in this NR, what you do is;
take the silver production number (and assume produced = sold 1:1)
work out the average London fix spot price for silver in the period (U$31.66/oz)
take the cash cost number and subtract it from the avg price (negative U$4.52, so in effect you're adding)
multiply the production with the revenue per ounce.
The answer is U$15.82m. Then you have other deductions, including smelter, G&A, tax etc. But you should get the picture from comparing that $15.82m number with previous quarters.

LatAm's richest people

America Economia has out today a new list of the 50 richest people in Latin America, including close-ups on the top ten. As for those ten, here's a little chart thrown together by IKN:

And here's the table of the rankings.

nationality ranking name fortune (billions of U$)
Mexico 1 Carlos Slim Helú 63.141
Brazil 2 Eike Batista 31.824
Brazil 3 Jorge Paulo Lemann 19.906
Mexico 4 Germán Larrea Mota Velasco 15.769
Chile 5 Iris Fontbona 13.902
Brazil 6 Dorothea Steinbruch 12.042
Brazil 7 Joseph Safra 11.877
Mexico 8 Alberto Baillères 11.674
Chile 9 Eliodoro Matte 9.649
Colombia 10 Luis Sarmiento 8.925

Carlos Slim is also ranked as the world's richest person, of course. Anyway, lots of good info on all this at the America Economia feature.

Chart of the day is....

...the Peru IGBVL "general" index compared to Brazil's Bovespa (gold line) and Chile's IPSA (blue line), 2011 to date.

Guess when the Peru presidential elections began to be a factor in stock valuations?



A nicely written note by Felix Salmon includes this chunk:

"...Wall Street does have a habit of boiling everything down to a right/wrong duality: if you say that a stock will go down, you’re right if it does, and wrong if it doesn’t. The intelligence of your analysis, or the idea that all these things are probabilistic rather than certain, rarely even gets lip service. This is why you see so much technical analysis on Wall Street: it makes no intellectual sense at all, but it works just as well as — or even better than — fundamentals-based analysis. (Which, admittedly, isn’t saying very much.) And that’s all that matters."

Please follow title line instruction.

Things that grow in Peru: GDP, exports and anaemia in children

Read in the context of the recent round one election results in Peru, this report out of CNR Peru today (and translated by your humble scribe) makes for interesting reading:
"The other side of growth" in Ica: Agro-export city versus a population with increasing cases of anaemia and TB
Ica, 25/04/2011 (CNR): The model region of Ica, with the highest accumulated GDP growth in all Peru over the last five years, has achieved its significant GDP growth by having a strong presence in the export market thanks to its good quality soils and hours of sunshine which achieves good production levels for its main activity, that of agriculture. Asparagus, grapes, artichokes, onions, mandarins and avocados amongst others make up the main regional agro-export products.

Recently, Finance Minister Ismael Benavides said, "Peru is aligning as an export economy of value-added products, to position itself as an important supplier of food to the world and of quality manufactured products that use natural resources in a sustainable way", adding that, "Ica exported more than U$3.208m (last year),, a growth rate of 118% compared to 2006, and its products are now sold in 80 world destinations."

However, this apparent economic growth is not reflected in the quality of life of the region's population. According to data provided by the Ica Regional Health Authority, Ica has the third largest number of cases in Peru of tuberculosis and has seen an increase in the number of cases in children under five years old, from 44.9% in 2009 to 53.8% in 2010, according to ENDES.

Added to these official data are other indications that generate a poor quality of life, such as the numbers of abandoned children and numbers of children of working mothers. Above all, a latent risk for regional development and economic growth and sustainability for the lifestyle of Ica residents is the scarcity of water.

Because of this, with the objective of generating discourse between the population and regional authorities about the real development situation and how much economic growth is adding to life quality for the population, regional watchdog Codehica is celebrating its 29th anniversary with a national and international campaign, "The other side of economic growth, a view from agro exports".

IKN apologizes to all those who think economic growth automatically benefits emerging market populations. Normal blinkered neoliberal philosophy will resume as soon as possible. ¡Viva Investment Grade!

A ten day comparative chart...

...that compares SLV to our oft-tracked "small silvers" (all producers bar BCM.v).

So apart from the 16% or so put on by SLV, the best (well, least worst really) performances are the 8% drops from, and The worst is from IPT.v.

Funny old world, innit?

Lots and lots of charts to watch, but...

...this is the one I'm watching closest of all this morning.

Disclosure: no position in

UPDATE: vewy vewy huntin' wabbits
dyodd, dude.

Love rollercoaster

                Isn't this fun?


Oh c'mon, where's yer sense of humour gone?

On April 11th we used Wild Thing by the Troggs (when the move was U$42 to U$40...seems so long ago now, doesn't it?). Today's version shows the four buck move of the last couple of hours and gets to play an awesomely rockin' cover done by the Chilis way back then (in the Dave Navarro period).

Anthony says it well: You give me that funny feeling in my tummy.

Chart of the day is....

...Argentine inflation, 2007 to date.

Not the offficial inflation rate bullshit from the government of liars, however. The above charts the figures given by the website inflacion verdadera, which tracks the real prices of things down that way. Thanks due to reader MR for the link.


The IKN Weekly, out now

For those who know their Spanish brandies 
(and sadly you have to count me in)

IKN103 has just been sent to subscribers. If you didn't get it, please send me a mail and we'll sort out the glitch. This week we make a couple of changes to the port and also start looking at a couple of new names.

Something you should do today

Sign up for Mickey Fulp's 'Mercenary Geologist' newsletter. Here are your instructions.

1) Click right here.
2) Fill in the very quick and simple form that awaits you (and privacy rights are fully respected by Fulp and his team, so no worries there and no spam in your mailbox afterwards).
3) That's all.

Fulp's newsletter is about the best deal you can get out there in mining world, because you get the opinions and tips of a seasoned and highly experienced professional economic geologist for free, gratis and no cost. It really doesn't come simpler than this, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain (as his stock recos have been on fire recently too), so go now. Here's the link again, just in case.

Peru Presidential Polls, the second round

Fresh out the oven is the first serious poll on the second round run-off for Prez of Peru between Ollanta Humala and Keiko Fujimori. Here's the chart:

This one is going to be tight. Find the whole survey, with nitty gritty details and vote splits that kinda suggest Keiko has a good shot at closing the gap, right here.