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Presidential Popularity in The Americas

Respected Mexican polling firm Mitofsky has come out with its occasional "poll of polls" analysis of Presidential popularities in the whole of The Americas, top to bottom, Arctic Circle to Tierra del Fuego. Here's the link to get your own copy of the report (and there's plenty of good info there) and here's the paydirt page copied out for your delight.

So, Rafael Correa of Ecuador is the number one most popular Prez in the whole region. Bet that didn't make Fox News...

Monopoly: Occupy Wall Street edition

Village Voice and Ritholtz have it featured and this humble corner of cyberspace believes it's exactly the kind of thing that should go viral on the interwebnetpipes, so click thru and get your copy of William Banzai's Occupy Wall St Monopoly board.

Also, don't miss the Where's Waldo Occupy Wall St edition, from the same Banzai dude.

Latin America Leads The World!

In murder rates.

The new United Nations UNODC report on violence around the world is out and you can download your copy from this link right here. Meanwhile, here's a chart with mainly LatAm counties featured (though not all-inclusive, with just a selection named) as well as a couple of other non-LatAm counties thrown in for comparative purposes. If you want the a complete lists and numbers for all countries, you'll surely care enough to download the full report anyway.

And we have a winner! Honduras is the world's most violent country according to the UN, with 82.1 murders per 100,000 population. Second comes El Salvador, with Ivory Coast in Africa taking third spot. Fourth is Jamaica and then Venezuela makes the top five with a bad rate (though not the "world's most violent", as it's often portrayed in the silly Northern media channels).

Notice Brazil, with a high rate of 22.7 murders/100k, but also with 43,909 murders registered in 2010 it's the biggest absolute killer (almost three times as many as the 15k murders in the USA, for example). Notice Colombia, which is still very high but has been dropping considerably in recent years. Notice Mexico, far less than you'd imagine from the newspaper reports, no? That's because the narcos tend (with headline-making exceptions) to kill each other, not the general population. Then notice places like Argentina and Peru, way down on the lists and comparable to The USA in relative safety. Finally, China has its murders of course, but it also has lots and lots and lots of people....which helps the stats no end.


The Friday OT: Green Day; American Idiot

Your author has fuzzy music memories and sharp music memories, just like everyone else. One of the sharp ones was listening to Dookie for the first time (in an apartment somewhere in Spain with rocking company) and falling in love with Green Day. Then a fuzzy one was buying and listening to Nimrod for the first time, because Green Day lost their edge for a while.

Then the sharpest Green Day memory of the lot, when this hit my eardrums and I fell in love with the band all over again..... IN THE FIRST FIVE SECONDS OF THE TRACK. It was, "ahhhhh, they're back!".

An utter blastout tune, so play it at eleven and we love love love Green Day forever and ever amen, oh yesssss.

UPDATE: Longtime reader and all-round good egg, TW writes in with this:

"I was a huge fan after the Slappy Hours release when I was a Lad. In roughly 90, before the Kerplunk release, I saw them play a small venue with about 100 people.  My buddies band even opened up for them!   I remember sitting in the hallway waiting for the show to start and a guy walks by with Annie Warbucks bleached blond hair, skin pale as the moon, wearing a ladies bright pink nighty.  Strange anywhere but especially in my small town; Tres Cool had entered the building.  To this day was the most fun show I have ever been to.  They snuck mud balls into the building and threw them into the "mosh pit" creating some chaos.  Billy Joe sang and performed the same then as he does now.  Other than becoming more refined, they really haven't changed their style of music or performance after 20+ years which proves they are timeless."

How do I like my junior exploration gold companies?

I'll tell you how I like my junior exploration gold companies. Ah likes 'em resilient, that's how ah likes 'em. For example Sunward Resources (SWD.v) here in a ten day chart, compared to GLD, GDX and GDXJ. 

Disclosure: Long SWD.v. Nuff said.

IKN on all you need to know about the world economy and the markets

All you need to know in three Q&As:

1) Is the USA in recession?
Answer: Yes

2) Will the Occupy Wall St movement achieve anything?
Answer: No

3) Will The Euro/The Eurozone implode?
Answer: No

So now we've got all that sorted out, go and buy some gold and STFU, willyaz?

The South America World Cup Qualifiers: Round One

Yes they're back! South American sees the start of 'Las Eliminatorias' for 2014 Brazil today, with four matches scheduled. We at IKN, many moons ago, ran a silly theoretical betting thingy on the games in the run-up to the last World Cup (and by the way, I was proven crap at soccer betting), so we're going to try it again this time.

We start with a $100 betting fund and then consider the four matches (with odds supplied by Ladbrokes dot com). Then we go for a couple of bets. So here are today's games :

Uruguay (2/9) Draw (5/1) Bolivia (12/1)
Ecuador (1/2) Draw (3/1) Venezuela (6/1)
Argentina (2/5) Draw (7/2) Chile (7/1)
Peru (7/5) Draw (9/4) Paraguay (2/1)

(for those of you not versed in the way these odds are displayed, a quick tutorial. For example, Uruguay to win is marked "2/9" which means if you bet $9 you win $2 and get $11 total return. Or another example would be Venezuela to win away from home against Ecuador, which is marked at "6/1" and means that if you bet $1 you'd win $6 and get a total return of $7).

So to the bets and after due consideration your humble scribe is only going for one wager today. Peru has improved greatly in the last year under new boss Sergio Markarian, has all of its European stars on the field today and is up against a Paraguay side depleted by injuries. I think the 7/5 for a Peru home win is a good value offer and I'm going to put $40 of my $100 theoretical piggybank on Peru. so the bet is:

  • $40 on Peru to win, price 7/5, total return envisaged: $96
Amount of money left in betting fund at this point: $60

And let's see how we get on.

Chart of the day is...

...the Small silvers YTD update, October edition:

Endeavour ( leads, then the next three (,, are all beating out the underlying metal these days, so they get pass notes. Then come the semi-fails and after those the real fails, still down YTD. We've swapped for AUMN, because Golden Minerals bought out ECU. Still an utter dog, mind you.


Keith Laskowski of Estrella Gold (EST.v) interviewed by Reuters on Peru mining scene

This is an interesting interview.

7 hours ago by Thomson Reuters
* Changes in mining sector welcomed by some miners
* Estrella has big exploration portfolio in Peru
By Terry Wade
LIMA, Oct 6 (Reuters) - President Ollanta Humala's effort to solve conflict over natural resources by steering more money to rural communities is welcome and could make life easier for mining firms, the head of a top Peruvian junior miner said.
Keith Laskowski, chief executive of Estrella Gold , said the previous government paid too little attention to settling disputes between corporations and communities that arose as billions of dollars poured into Peru's mining sector over the last 15 years.
"The prior administration wasn't dealing with this very much, or at all," Laskowski, whose company runs exploration and resource definition work on 30 properties in the Andean country, told Reuters.
"I'm very glad (the new president is) trying to deal with it because it was becoming prohibitive in some instances to try to explore."
Then-president Alan Garcia helped lure $40 billion in planned investment to Peru's mining sector, only to see his term marred by conflicts that often turned violent. More than 200 communities have organized to halt mining or oil projects.
But Humala, a leftist former military officer who took office in July, has won quick approval for two bills in Congress aimed at calming tensions.
One requires firms to consult with local communities about mining and oil projects proposed near their lands before beginning construction, while the other raised royalties on miners to fund infrastructure and social programs.
"(The government) has to equalize these issues and improve the landscape for the communities that, to some degree, have certainly been offended and overlooked," Laskowski said.
He said mining companies of all sizes must develop strong relations with communities, which often are worried about pollution, losing control of scarce water supplies or not receiving direct economic benefits from mining.
"To be successful, you can't have a separation between the community and the company," said Laskowski, a geologist who is also a consultant for the International Finance Corporation -- a member of the World Bank group -- on its potential equity investments in small mining companies.
"You can have the best deposit in the world, but if you don't have the community on your side you aren't going to go anywhere," he said.
Estrella arguably has the biggest exploration portfolios in Peru and 24 of its properties are part of a strategic alliance with Cliffs Natural Resources .
"We are in Peru because it has fantastic mineral endowment, meaning that we have a better chance of success, and it has a good mining law," he said. "We used to think South Africa was incredibly endowed -- I think Peru is the new South Africa when you look at the amount of diverse metals here."
Though Peru is a top global metals producer, its mining ministry says less than 1 percent of the country's existing mineral deposits are being mined.
The laws introduced by Humala, who was initially feared by many in Peru's mining sector, were made after he negotiated the content of the bills with mining companies.
In practice, that means the consultation law will not give veto power to communities when it goes into effect in January and royalties will be charged on a sliding scale depending on profit margins in boom and bust years.
Those two laws still need to be implemented and companies are trying to persuade the government to apply them in ways that won't turn off investors.
Humala is also reviewing the process for giving licenses to exploration companies, apparently in a bid to make sure all companies are actively exploring their concessions and not just holding them to speculate.
Any changes for junior mining companies will need to be made in a way that does not hurt exploration and shut off the country's future pipeline of big projects, Laskowski said.
More and more hurdles could reduce Peru's competitiveness in a difficult and often risky business.
But for now, Laskowski's feeling is that the new taxes and consultation requirement are reasonable.
"I think the bottom line is there is a need for more money to go to the communities and this is one way to do it," he said. (Editing by Dale Hudson)


No mystery at Pershimco (PRO.v)

To make sure that you guys are on the same playing field as the Canadian brokerages who already know the score here, the "major mining company" is Osisko Mining Corp ( Here's today's NR:

Press Release Source: Pershimco Resources Inc. On Thursday October 6, 2011, 12:48 pm EDT
ROUYN-NORANDA, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Oct. 6, 2011) - RESSOURCES PERSHIMCO INC. ("Corporation" or "Pershimco") (TSX VENTURE:PRO - News; FRANKFURT:BIZ - News) announces that it continues advanced negotiations for the conclusion of a strategic alliance with a major mining company on the Courville Gold Project. Any important information relating to the progress of the negotiations will be released by the Corporation through further press releases.

DYODD, dude.

Even in a very-short-term trading situation, understanding company fundamentals is useful if you want to make money

For example, understanding cash cost profiles for junior silver miners.

In a silver sell-off they'll all go down, but the stronger companies rebound first and fast. So with that in mind, guess which one of these three above shows greatest leverage to its cash cost? (hint; don't ask motley dumbass Christopher Barker, who prefers to swallow the company lines and not bother to work things out for himself).

Calling bullshit on Inter-Citic Minerals (

Holy wow, the stench of BS is so strong you can smell it from the other side of the Pacific Ocean: Here's the NR, here's how it starts:

Mark Frederick, Chairman of the Board of Inter-Citic Minerals Inc. (TSX:ICI) ("Inter-Citic" or "the Company"), reports that the Company has rejected an unsolicited preliminary proposal from a large Chinese mining company to acquire all of the outstanding shares of the Company ("the Proposal"). The Proposal was rejected by a Special Committee of the Inter-Citic Board after consultation with its independent financial advisors and legal counsel. The Proposal, from a company that to the best of Inter-Citic's knowledge is neither an insider nor shareholder of the Company, included an indicative price of between $1.20 and $1.70 per share for Inter-Citic.

You gotta be kidding us here! After all the shady bullshit the market has gone through about Chinese companies these last few months, they're trying to shore up a rapidly fading share price like this? Consider just three things here:

WHO is the phantom bidder? If this is a hostile/unsolicited bid, Inter-Citic ( has no reason to keep the name quiet. So c'mon, WHO is this "large Chinese mining company"? Where does it operate? Who's in charge? What kind of assets does it hold? Why doesn't feel like shedding some light on the matter?...this is China after all. You seriously expecting us to swallow a Sino-pump wholesale after all we've seen from the scumbag companies operating these in recent times?

WHEN was this bid first heard about? Right now, after the sink in gold price, or has this been on the table for a while? Makes a big difference, especially when the "timing" of this NR today is taken into account (see price chart below).

WTF is that bid price about? My stars, you just got to explain a range of $1.20/$1.70, you can't just leave that hanging there without a word of detail.

All this from the type of junior exploreco that uses the criminal scumbag frontrunning shyster Thom Calandra to promote its cause to the naïve end of the market and sure enough, with just minutes to go before the opening bell (at time of writing) shares are up 20% in the pre-mkt.....oh how amazingly lucky for them.

Be clear: IKN calls TOTAL BULLSHIT ON INTER-CITIC unless and until it provides solid details of this extremely convenient and so-called unsolicited bid to the market. Caveat emptor should be writ very large across the name of Inter-Citic for trying cheap stunts on flimsy evidence.

Bullshit scam Portage Resources ( and the most Fabulous! NR of the week

This NR linked, one of a recent series of pump bullshit NRs out of the lying toerag scumballs at Portage Resources ( made more than one marketwatcher laugh. The reason is this quote:

Portage Resources Inc. ("Portage" or the "Company") (POTG-OTCQB) through its subsidiary Portage Minerals S.A. has opened new corporate offices in the most prestigious business district of Lima, Peru.......The Portage offices are within minutes of Larcomart, and are directly located across from the fabulous Crown Plaza Hotel.

For context, please read this line from a mail received from an experienced Lima mining head:
The “fabulous Crown Plaza Hotel”. There´s a gay disco on the ground floor, I guess it´s fabulous all right.

Meanwhile, Seeking Alpha hits new lows. Once upon a time it was just a mediocre site but it did have some type of barrier for entry. Sadly these days it's just turning into a straight pump site, as seen in this note that promos Portage to the unwary masses there. Jeesh dudes, this thing is a paid pumpjob! WTF are you doing allowing a bucketshop device to darken your steps. The demise of SinkingAlpha is clear to see, just a penny pumphouse these days.

Chart of the day is...

...copper futures, hourly chart:



RIP Steve


UPDATE: See XKCD today.

Andina (ADM.v)

This is a bizarre quote by George Bee of Andina Minerals (ADM.v) in today's NR:

"Given global market uncertainties and the market's lack of recognition to our recent exploration success, Andina has eliminated all Volcan exploration activities from its current plans and will focus solely on delivering the key milestones for the Company."
Or in other words, "It's just not jolly well fair! So now we have to close the camp and lay off the cook."

Oh well, what's $30m between friends these days anyway?

Great news for Louis 'Lobito' James of Casey Research!

His recommended stock, East Asia Minerals (EAS.v), is 12% up at $0.56 today! Good volumes traded today too! Congrats, Lobito!

Hey now Louis, you're a mere 89.1% down on your buy call since you reco'd your sheep into the stock in May this year! Wow, fighting hard there dude!

Fortuna Silver ( (FSM) record monthly production at its Caylloma mine for the second month running

All eyes trained on Fortuna Silver ( (FSM) tend to be trained on its brand new San José mine in Oaxaca Mexico these days, but that might just turn out to be a mistake. Because suddenly Fortuna's original operation, that of Caylloma in Peru, is going great guns as this monthly production chart shows:

The August production figures have just been posted on the Peru MEM website and after the record July, we've a new record for August of 6366kg silver. We're sure to get the final quarterly figure from FVI in a few days time, but expect it to be a blowout quarter from the company as at Caylloma alone the mill is running at 200k oz silver a month these days and then we get to add all that crunchy goodness from the newly commissioned San José gig.

disclosure: way long

The intro from IKN126, October 2nd

Here's how IKN126 started last weekend. We'd already raised cash by selling a few positions and although we're still long the junior mining market, there's a nice cash pile on the sidelines these days. The question nowadays is when to use it. The following text is edited very slightly to remove specific company names.

Be clear: It can get worse in juniors
It was always going to be a rough week last week and sure enough, the market didn’t “disappoint” our expectations. Your author executed his cash raising plans early Monday, then as noted in the Flash update of Thursday decided not to go for the other mooted sale, that of (removed), as its share price action has been fairly good and its news that very morning was very good (more on that NR below).
So that’s how I’ve decided to position myself to the current airs and trends of the market; put simply, some hatches battened down, risk-off silver in particular, but without doubt I’m still long the junior mining sector (just less long than I was). I’m now at XX% cash in the trading account, which could be a little more come this time next week because sales in the small positions are in the cards  However, I’m eyes-wide-open to the fact that the stocks I’m holding, especially those tiny illiquid things like  (removed) or whatever other you’d like to mention may well see further downside before things get better. Or they may not just stay where they are for a while. Or they may rebound tomorrow morning and get 50% bounces by this time next week.
Be clear: I DO NOT KNOW.
I’m not your guru, folks, never have been and never will be. I’m the value investor, the risk-adjuster and the whussy weakhand/stubborn obstinate holder. However, what I DO know is that I’m comfortable with my personal current portfolio positioning and exposure, it’s where I want to be right now and the relief of raising cash is offset nicely by the positions and risk exposure still held. I’m fully aware that there may be further short-term pain in the works, but I’m also fully aware that the tidy little cash pile now raised might be better used in buying back a few positions tomorrow morning. In other words, I’m good about the balance here and don’t feel the need to buy back immediately...that can wait a couple of weeks at least.
With the emphasis firmly on “at least”.
With last week’s sales done there’s an automatic and natural tendency to sniff the air, see recently sold stocks at significantly cheaper prices and think “hmmm...could buy that back right here”. However I’m going to resist rushing back in to any position until mid-October at the very earliest, because it doesn’t matter how good a stock looks (or not) on a stand-alone basis when the macro scene is the most important price driver. GPR, FVI, MFN, GOZ, RIO or whatever other company could have a blow-out excellent quarter under its belt and could guide strongly for the quarter or quarters to come, but if gold drops $50 and/or silver decides to swoon another $5/oz it won’t matter a jot. They’ll all go down.
Therefore your author will stay consistent and be the whuss that he normally is regarding the market. In my considered opinion it’s too early to think about buying back into the market and I much prefer the safety of the sidelines for the cash recently accumulated. Repeat: The earliest for a re-buy would be mid-October and that’s only if things go very well from now until then, so it’s far more likely that the cash stays on the sidelines through October and into November. No definitive calls being made here, it’s going to be one step at a time and a constant consideration of risk vs reward in the short-term. In a perfect world, even lower prices will turn up for purchase before a decent rebound sets in. In an imperfect but acceptable world the bottom is already in, the positions still held make gains and the cash is used to buy back at higher prices in a few weeks’ time. But either way, I’m holding on tight to the cash for the moment as the risk factor is still way too high for my cowardly blood.

Posting will be light again this morning


Today, then one more session to go afterwards. I promise I'll be brave.

Chart of the day is...

...this one, a Bloomie screengrab featured in yesterday morning's Scotia Daily Mining Scoop mailer:

That's pretty interesting and, according to the Scotia guys, shows how China's coming back to market to buy Cu Conc. I'm forced to agree this time, however this is the very same Scotia mailer that confidently predicted copper would see $4.50/lb before $3.50/lb just a few weeks don't just swallow the party lines whole, people. DYODD.


Annals of statistical bullshit, Peru Madre de Dios gold production edition

The August metals production figures for Peru mining were published today and along with the normal datadump type stuff, your author's red flags were unfurled by the production figures for Peru's ecological disaster zone Madre de Dios (MDD) region because WE ARE OBVIOUSLY BEING BULLSHITTED HERE. Here's the chart:

  • Note October 2010, which until today was the winningmost production month in MDD's history. That month, according to the official Ministry of Energy and Mining figures, MDD produced 2,453,545 grams of gold.
  • Now August 2011, in which according to the official Ministry of Energy and Mining figures MDD produced 2,453,545 grams of gold.

You gotta be shittin' me, dudes! The exact same number, down to the very last gram, and both the biggest ever production months out of MDD? I thought my database on this must be wrong, so I went back to the old MEM data and checked but sure enough, October 2010's production was exactly, to the gram(!) the same as August 2011.

Will the lying bastards in government please stand up?

It's interesting to watch Minera Andes (

....get the holy crap beaten out of its share price. Hey, I wonder how shareholders are feeling about the McEwen-forced merger with US Gold (UXG) ( these days, what with the production now heavily weighed down by the exploration guff and nonsense UXG holds in Mexico and the US?

Your humble scribe's guess: they don't feel wonderfully wonderful about it.

Disclosure: No position in, not for quite a while in fact. Once upon a time yes, but then Robbie Mac got all egomonster position nowadays.

IKN suspects that the guys at Capstone and HudBay would like to offer their sincere thanks to Stillwater Mining (SWC)

In every commodities cycle there's always one deal, the one that comes right at the end of the top of the market and gets the title of biggest, most mistimed buyout of all with ensuing egg-on-face for the buyers. So thanks to Stillwater (SWC) completing the purchase of Peregrine ( today, the guys at Capstone (bought Far West) or HudBay (bought Norsemont) won't be remembered as the major suckers cos the platinum guys get that award. Here's the NR:

Press Release Source: Peregrine Metals Ltd. On Tuesday October 4, 2011, 1:46 pm
BILLINGS, MONTANA and VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire -10/04/11)- STILLWATER MINING COMPANY (NYSE: SWC - News)(TSX: SWC-U.TO - News) ("Stillwater") and PEREGRINE METALS LTD. (TSX: PGM.TO - News) ("Peregrine") today announced the completion of the acquisition of Peregrine by Stillwater.
Stillwater has acquired all outstanding shares of Peregrine pursuant to a plan of arrangement under the Canada Business Corporations Act. The transaction was previously approved by the Peregrine shareholders, who voted in respect of the arrangement, and the British Columbia Supreme Court.
Effective today, each common share of Peregrine has been exchanged yada yada continues here

DYODD, dudes.

Gold (GLD), Silver (SLV), the miners (GDX), the juniors (GDXJ), chart update

Here's the last 10 days in yummy chart form:

No rush to buy back yet, folks. Ommmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

The Vampire Squid's new commods calls

Goldman Sachs (GS) has a new commodities report out this morning, Sept 4th, and your humble scribe got his grubby hands on a copy. Here are the six individual trading recommendations mentioned in the note:

Long ICE Brent December 2012 contracts (initial price $105.16/bbl, current loss $8.14/bbl)
We recommend a long position in the ICE Brent December 2012 contract, as we expect that the market will continue to tighten to critical levels by 2012, pushing oil prices substantially higher to restrain demand.

Long UK NBP Q4 2012 ICE Natural Gas contracts (initial price 70.8 p/th, current gain 0.3 p/th)
We continue to recommend a long position in UK NBP Q4 2012 contracts as we expect UK NBP prices well above the current forward curve in 2H2012. Our view is mainly driven by our constructive oil price forecasts implying higher oil-indexed natural gas prices than what the market current expects. This would imply an arbitrage between UK NBP and oilindexed gas at higher price levels than what is currently embedded in the market.

Long Copper: Buy June 2012 LME copper (initial price $8,804/mt, current loss $1753/mt)
Although we have reduced our 12-mo copper price target to $9500/mt from $11000/mt as Goldman Sachs economists have reduced global economic growth forecasts, our downwardly revised copper price forecast still suggests substantial upside from current depressed levels. We caution that sentiment regarding the economic outlook and the European sovereign debt problems are likely to remain poor in the near term, presenting further downside risk to prices as well as our forecasts. However, we also note that the speed and magnitude of the copper sell-off suggests an accumulating short position in the market. Further, a potentially powerful upside catalyst lies ahead in China should policymakers shift to an easier stance and/or should lower prices entice Chinese buyers back into the market. Thus, given the mainline expectation of still lackluster but substantially positive global economic growth, we continue to recommend long positions in copper.

Long Zinc: Buy December 2012 LME zinc (initial price $2,189/mt, current loss $256/mt)
Although we have lowered our 12-mo zinc price target to $2400/mt from $2700/mt as Goldman Sachs economists have reduced global economic growth forecasts, our downwardly revised zinc price forecast still suggests substantial upside from current depressed levels. We caution that sentiment regarding the economic outlook and the European sovereign debt problems is likely to remain poor in the near term, presenting further downside risk to prices as well as our forecasts. However, zinc prices are currently low enough to motivate reduced production in coming months. Medium-term, we continue to expect zinc to become more supply-constrained owing to growing demand from China as well as important mine closures that are set to take place in 2013-15. Thus, given the mainline expectation of still lackluster but substantially positive global economic growth, we continue to recommend long positions in zinc.

Long Gold: Buy December 2011 COMEX Gold (initial value of $1,364.2/toz, current gain $258.1/toz) 
We expect gold prices to continue to climb in 2011 and 2012 given the current low level of US real interest rates.

Long soybeans: Buy November 2011 CBOT soybean call options (initial value of $11.60/bu, current gain $1.69/bu)
Our price forecast does not suggest upside potential to our outstanding long soybean trade recommendation. However, we had locked in potential gains in early August by rolling the long Nov-11 CBOT future position initiated in November 2010 into a long Nov-11 soybean $14.00/bu call position and we recommend keeping this position open in case of a supply disappointment in South America should the La Nina weather condition intensify.

IKN back. So there you go, all you have to do now is decide whether the GS scumballs are fading their own clients and shorting these reco'd long positions in secret. After all, it wouldn't be the first time, would it?

Chart of the day is...

... voter intention for the Nicaragua Presidential election, now just one month away.

We did the analysis of this chart as regards the mining sector in IKN126, but as a stand-alone it has just about everything you need to know, so no big blahblah here. In other news, posting will be light this morning as your humble scribe has to go talk to penguins.


As soon as I wake up, before I put on my make-up...

One thing that never lasts long in South America is a frank, open and honest Finance Minister that knows about economics and the little any LatAm country can do if China stops buying their stuff. So we'd better enjoy Luis Castilla, new FinMin in Peru, while he's still around. This from Reuters today (translated):

"The truth is that I also light a little candle every day and pray that China doesn't fall apart on us."

And of course it's a great excuse to include a chunk of the voice of all voices. You think I'm going to pass up an opportunity like this?

News Release of the day (aka, you cannot make this shit up)

When a bullshit scam raises its head, your humble scribe tends to roll his eyes these days as there are so many of them. But when a news release such as the one you're just about to read ticks off so many boxes on the "we're actively planning to rip you off" tearsheet, it goes way beyond simple indifference...nah this time it's comical to the point that I had to wipe my screen clean after reading it.

You want an object lesson in the hatching of stock market scammery? Read on, kind lector

Press Release Source: GolfGear International Inc. On Monday October 3, 2011, 2:21 pm
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA--(Marketwire -10/03/11)- GolfGear International, Inc. (PINK SHEETS: GEAR) announces that it has cancelled 1,000,394,000 Common shares and 50,000 Preferred shares through voluntary stock cancellations. These cancellations have significantly reduced the Company's Issued and Outstanding stock.
Dale Geck, President of GolfGear International stated, "The reduction of over one billion shares of the Company's Issued and Outstanding stock should reassure shareholders that the Company is serious about its commitment to its shareholders. Major shareholders have been asked to participate in voluntary share cancellations in order to increase stock value. We are extremely pleased with the response to this program thus far. Management emphasizes that no reverse stock split is anticipated. The Company will continue to seek opportunities to reduce the Company's Issued and Outstanding stock in order to add value to the Company and build shareholder confidence."
Due to the Company's change in business direction from golf equipment to gold and silver mining and processing, Management has proposed a change in the name of the Company from GolfGear International, Inc. to GEAR International, Inc. Management feels that the name, GEAR International, Inc., better reflects the Company's new business focus and will eliminate confusion in the market. The Board of Directors has given its approval for this name change subject to necessary due diligence and legal advice. The Board anticipates a formal announcement to be forthcoming upon final approval.
The Company has recently announced the execution of a joint venture agreement with Mission Holdings, LLC for placing into production the Silver Cord Mine in Arizona, a historically producing silver and gold mine with over 900 feet of existing tunnels. GolfGear plans to process gold and silver extracted from the Silver Cord utilizing an efficient environmental extraction and refining technology under a licensing agreement with EnviroXtract, Inc. (PINK SHEETS: EVXA). GolfGear anticipates further announcements regarding additional gold and silver mining and processing opportunities to be forthcoming.
About GolfGear International, Inc.:
GolfGear International, Inc. was originally incorporated in 1996 as a golf equipment company. The Company has recently altered its business strategy to include gold and silver mining, providing financing for gold and silver mining projects, and precious metals processing and refining.

Great Basin Gold ( (GBG) is up 32.03% since December 2008

Which is OK, a win's a win and all that, but surely you'd want more from a gold play in a period that includes the late '08 depths of despair and then the all-time wow wow look-at-that gold bull run? After all, I have tenbaggers in my portfolio from the same time period.

But strangely, the company's market cap is up by 185.57% in the same period

Now why should that be? Oh yeah! It must be the way the company has diluted your scrawny asses non-stop for three years and printed paper in a style that would make Ben Bernanke proud. As it happens, GBG had 215m shares out at the end of 2008 and now we're at 465m and counting

GBG = Great WashBasin Gold (it's the dilution, y'see). Anyway, I'm sure the GBG BoD would like to thank you for your contribution to their lifestyles....and no, sadly your share purchases cannot be classed as charitable deductions in your tax form...though on second thoughts you might have a case.

Chart of the day is...

...the gold/silver ratio (again), but this time we're zooming in on the 2011 year-to-date action only:

So tell me again about how silver's going to directly 19:1 or 15:1, silverbugs? Or was that the bit about how the Rapture's* going to change everything?

*Errr..yeah, there's bad news on that, too. The rapture actually happened a couple of centuries ago and it's been End Times ever since then.


Enjoy gold trinkets

Hey there gold buyer, great news! By buying gold you are helping trickledown economics in developing nations.


Yes indeed, moneyed-up gringo, when you buy that cut priced necklace you too might be helping to supply the money earned by a thirteen year old girl forced into prostitution in the Peruvian jungle after being lured by pimps with promises of jobs that don't exist. Bet that makes you feel better about capitalism, eh? Here's AP (translated):

Lima (AP) -  police rescued 234 women from sexual exploitation in dozens of whorehouses in a remote zone of the Peruvian jungle where for the last three decades informal miners have dug for gold, according to authorities Sunday.

"234 women, 15 of them under the age of 18, have been rescued. They were found in 60 whorehouses in the city of Puerto Maldonado and in nearby zones where they were sexually exploited", the Vice-Minister of the Interior, Alberto Otárola, told Associated Press.

Puerto Maldonado, capital of the Madre de Dios region, is located 861km South-East of Lima and is surrounded by an abundance of informal gold mining operations that have been the reason for an intense migration from other regions.

Otárola added that, "during the operation we found a girl of 13 years old."


A good job of work done this weekend by Franklin Briceño of AP Lima.

The IKN Weekly, out now

IKN126 has just been sent to subscribers. Got pretty pictures this week (which means it's a touch over 2Mb, so any delivery failures may be to do with that).

Rio Alto (RIO.v): It's owltime!

Reuters sez this:

Rio Alto says disruption at Peru mine now over

Oct 1 (Reuters) - A labor disruption at Rio Alto Mining Ltd's (RIO.V) La Arena gold mine in Peru has ended, an official at the small Canadian company said on Saturday.
"The illegal work stoppage is over," the official said via email.
On Thursday, the Vancouver-based miner said its 2011 gold output would be cut due to the disruption, adding it would provide an updated production forecast following the resumption of mining activities at the site.
Owly sez this:

The IKN Weekly said this (excerpts) in a Flash update to subscribers on Thursday morning just after the opening bell:
The news this of an "illegal work stoppage" at the Rio Alto (RIO.v) La Arena gold mining operation. In fact what we have there is an illegal blockade that's stopping workers from getting to the mine, and not a strike (continues). ......This blockade will blow over and will likely blow over soon, for the simple reason that (continues).......Overall, the effect on RIO.v is likely to be minor and short-lived....

There was lots more too. And oh yeah, we noted the end of the blockade Friday evening in another Flash update to subscribers, not Saturday evening like the guys over at Reuters (thanks to the the news getting out in Spanish language on the radio station right next door to the La Arena mine). But hey, DYODD,dude.