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The single best Occupy Wall Street post out there

It's on this link right here. So many cracking segments are worth an excerpt here to give you a taste, but to choose just one...

"The protests will fail. They will eventually be co-opted by the pre-election media orgasmia, branded as either this team or that and assigned a leader no one would have ever picked, ever, ever.  The Tea Party may have started with Rick Santelli but they soon got Sarah Palin, figure that out. Half of you will vote, all of you will complain, and nothing will change until the day we are buying fake iPads with real yuans, hey, who's the balding guy on the 20?  And the 50?  And the 100...?  And the reason it will fail is that you don't want it to succeed.  You are still holding on to the mercantilist, zero-sum economic delusion that tariffs and gold standards and less money for Wall Street means more money for you, and then you can go back to living like it's 1999 again.  You  can't. It's over."

Now go read it all. Hat tip to Ritholtz

The South America World Cup Qualifiers: Round Four

After yesterday Friday's triumphant $26.25 net profit thanks to Venezuela's draw versus Colombia we spring into Las Eliminatorias round four bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and full of cocky arrogance heartwarming confidence. So without further ado, here are the matches on the slate for Tuesday November 15th with the betting odds as usual stolen from Ladbrokes dot com:

Venezuela (4/7) Draw (5/2) Bolivia (4/1)
Colombia (5/2) Draw (11/5) Argentina (10/11)
Ecuador (4/6) Draw (9/4) Peru (7/2)
Chile (11/10) Draw (11/5) Paraguay (5/2)

And now the bets. These are tough matches to call and tight odds offered too, with the bookmakers not giving much away. Bolivia will be thinking that if they can grab a draw in Buenos Aires they can do the same in Caracas, Colombia will fancy their chances against the continued mediocrity of Argentina but also know that the Argentines could wake up at any moment and thrash the living daylights out of any team on the planet. Chile were rotten against Uruguay but a completely different side when they play in Santiago (as Peru found out to its dismay in round two). Peru has never visited Quito and won a competitive match. Not once.

As usual though, it's price value we're after more than anything else and on that score, Peru to visit Ecuador and win, priced at 7/2, doesn't look bad. Ecuador were flat against Paraguay last night, showed little ambition and a lack of defence-beating moves. Meanwhile, Peru's defence isn't the best around but it is more disciplined these days. They also look good and fast on the break and have star quality going forward thanks to the combo of Farfan, Pizarro, Guerrero and Vargas (I particularly like Farfan's game). It won't be an easy match but it's likely to be an exciting one with goals probable at both ends and as such (and considering that world-class front line firepower) Peru has its chance in an open-ended affair. So the theoretical bets are

$8 to draw Ecuador - Peru, price 9/4, potential return $26
$14 to win Peru, price 7/2, potential return $63

In other words, we're risking just $22 of our $112.25 pot because all these games look very trappy. With that twenty-two dollars we're betting most on a Peru upset win and then covering the draw to give a tad of insurance. If all fails and Ecuador wins, we'll be left with $90.25 in the kitty for another day. And let's see how we get on.

Junior silver producers over the last five days

This chart shows how six small silver producers (we're leaving out companies that aren't in production or aren't mainly silver producers this time), namely Fortuna Silver ( (FSM), IMPACT Silver (IPT.v), Endeavour Silver ( (EXK), U.S. Silver (, First Majestic ( (AG) and Great Panther Silver ( (GPL) got on against the silver bullion ETF (SLV) last week:

  • The best performance was seen in FVI (yay!), undoubtedly helped by the strong 3q11 released last week.
  • Interesting late move by, especially as the company is due to release its 3q11 numbers before the bell on Monday. 
  • IPT.v has never been a personal favourite, but it's been showing well recently and with decent volumes too, so maybe it's time I revisited that one.
  • Silver bullion (SLV) was flat on the week.
  • EDR and FR have both been on runs this year, but neither showed great 3q numbers and the "in line" feeling dragged on both.
  • GPR also releases its 3q11 numbers Monday, though post-bell. Gotta be said that the whisper is stronger for



The Friday OT: Calle 13 sweep The Grammy Latinos

Last night saw the annual Grammy Latino awards and  the most excellent Calle 13 were nominated in ten categories...and won nine (a new record for the awards) including best song (Latinoamérica) and best Album (Entren los que quieran) They then stood up with the world renowned and decorated Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela conducted by Gustavo Dudamel and sung their awesome "Latinoamérica". Watch that right here

¡Que viva América carajo!

Yet another Quick-Guide-For-Reading-Junior-Miner-NRs, Excellon Resources ( edition

We clearly state: When the company quarter highlights are of this type:

  • Third quarter sales: 276,942 oz of silver, 1,519,787 lbs of lead and 2,572,547 lbs of zinc;
  • Net cash costs after lead and zinc by-product credits for the three months ended September 30, 2011 were $6.95 per ounce of silver;
  • Realized price per ounce of silver $37.18 for the third quarter and year-to-date $37.14;
  • Exploration expenses for the quarter totalled $1.6 million for the ongoing program at Platosa with results that continue to be  encouraging;
  • The Company's cash and cash equivalents at September 30, 2011 was $15.1 million and working capital was $18.4 million.

It means the company, in this case Excellon Resources (, has made a loss. For a producing miner there are zero repeat ZERO excuses in the current pricing atmosphere for silver, gold, copper etc. Rule One™ = Make a profit. Insist on nothing less and do not complicate your life.

The South America World Cup Qualifiers: Round Three

Matchday three is upon us today, with the World Cup qualifiers starting to take a bit of shape and some interesting matches on the card this afternoon. After today we have round four early next week and after that a big break til round five, so we'd better make the most of the two rounds.

Here are today's game, with odds as usual supplied by Ladbrokes dot com:

Argentina (1/8) Draw (7/1) Bolivia (18/1)
Uruguay (4/7) Draw (13/5) Chile (11/2)
Colombia (4/7) Draw (11/4) Venezuela (5/1)
Paraguay (4/6) Draw (5/2) Ecuador (9/2)

And now the bets, as we draw upon the $86 left in the pot after our round two strike-outs. Today's are difficult matches to call as the trick is to search for value, not just obvious winners (e.g. even the current mediocrity of the Argentine national squad should have no problems in rolling over a very weak Bolivia...and the odds reflect that). So on due consideration we're going to plump for the decently improving Venezuela to take at least a point back home after visiting Colombia, a team that can beat the world on a good day and slump to embarrassing defeats versus much lesser lights on others. We're going to bet $15 on the Venezuela win and another $15 on the draw, which means we walk away with a decent profit if either comes in and we lose $30 if Colombia beats our ride. So the theoretical bets are

$15 to draw Colombia - Venezuela, price 11/4, potential return $56.25
$15 to win Venezuela, price 5/1, potential return $90

This leaves $56 in the pot for next week just in case we crap out. And let's see how we get on.

Update: Jeesh, Argentina were just awful.

Update 2: Venezuela managed to equalize against Colombia, the match finished 1-1 and our tiny corner or the world made a profit on the theoretical betting. This puts us with $112.25 in the pot going to next week's round. And by the way, Uruguay made mincemeat of Chile with all four goals coming from Luis Suarez.

Chart of the day is...

...China's copper imports, courtesy of Reuters:

Well blow me down, it looks like they prefer buying when it's cheaper. Hoodathunkit, eh?

Lest we forget

We owe so much.

We must never forget.


South American Silver ( It's not what they say, it's what they don't say

South American Silver (, the junior developing the Mallku Khota silver project in Bolivia and run by arch-sophist Greg Johnson, reported its 3q11 numbers this evening along with the usual blah-de-blah you get from a company with more style than substance. But scratch the surface and you get to see that not all is going swimmingly Chez
Let's start with this NR dated March 31st 2011 (last day of 1q11) that went heavy on the pomp and circumstance while announcing the company's PEA (scoping study) results and included the line "Budget of $16 million approved for 2011 with Pre-Feasibility activities beginning in Q2."

Next, we skip to the 2q11 report NR here, which noted that, "During the 2nd quarter ended June 30, 2011, expenditures at the Malku Khota project totaled approximately U.S.$1.0 million."

And so we get to tonight's NR for the 3q11 numbers that has this line: "During the 3rd quarter ended September 30, 2011, expenditures at the Malku Khota project totaled approximately U.S. $0.9 million."

And while we're at it, both quarterly NRs noted in more than one spot that community relations work was ongoing, with meetings and suchlike. Also both the 2q11 and 3q11 NRs said, in the exact same words, that the cash had been spent this way: "Work focused on metallurgical testing, environmental baseline data collection, community meetings and various engineering optimization studies."

And what does all this mean? Well, we can fluff around and start throwing different marginal possibilities into the mix, but when it comes right down to it there are only two real possibles looking at us. Either...
1) South American Silver ( plans to spend $14.1m on the project in 4q11, or...
2) Locals aren't letting drill.
And when you start poking around the interwebnetpipes and start picking up on stories of how protests by locals (yup you guessed it) have stopped activities at Mallku Khota and accuse the company of polluting nearby lakes and poisoning their trout farms therein, a little bit of sense is made.

The tough part for is that the prohibited drilling is the number one most important thing the company has to to move the project from its current PEA level to the Pre-Feasibility (PFS) level. According to that 43-101 compliant technical report published in May 2011, the recommendations for moving to the PFS started, first and foremost, with this:
"Carry out infill drilling of the deposits in the early stage of the PFS to ensure that sufficient Inferred Resources are promoted to Measured and Indicated categories to support the decision to proceed to DFS."

Then came a list of other things it needed to do, but the infill drilling was given top priority for a good reason. That's because you can include inferred resources in a PEA but you can't include them in a PFS and as nearly half the mineralized tonnage at Mallku Khota is still in the inferred category, if you can't include that little lot in the mix your numbers are not going to impress. But of course, the teeny tiny little fact that the isn't allowed to drill at its project, when drilling is the single most important ingredient in the PFS that's supposedly coming out in 2012, isn't mentioned in the company literature at all. After all, it is a Canadian junior mining company run by an Ex-NadaGold director. Waddya expect?

Portage Resources ( Scams are invariably run by liars

We've run enough of the obvious scam junior Portage Resources ( to last any self-respecting blerg a long while, but all the same a little note is necessary in light of new information. Today your humble scribe received a mail from a friend who will remain anonymous on these pages but really, REALLY knows the Peru mining scene...we're talking in terms of decades and generations, not a couple of piffling years like IKN. 

Anyway, here's what your author received:

" curious about your comment on Portage, had never heard of them before. But sure, it looks and reads like a scam.
On a quick glance at their website two things got my attention, the first one in the presentation: “We are going to find a several hundred million ounce resource in the most effective way possible.”
Now, whether in an effective or ineffective way, that sounds a bit pretentious, doesn’t it? It would make Newmont and Barrick (even put together) look like midgets!
Unfortunately for Mr. Luna, Universidad de Lima only teaches Industrial and Computer engineering..."

So for one thing (and you'll have to believe me on this up to a certain point, because names must be kept out of limelight on occasion) if the person who wrote that mail had never heard of Portage or its CEO, there's something amiss already. Secondly, he's absolutely right to nail all that stupidity about "several hundred million ounce" deposits, but it's the third one that shows the true calibre of Portage Resources. Yes that's right folks, Paul Luna Belfiore, CEO and centre of this whole shoddy bullshit scam we know as Portage Resources ( is lying about his qualifications. He couldn't have the qualification he says he has, because that course Simply. Doesn't. Exist.

Oh, and another thing that doesn't exist any more is your money if you bought shares in this scam. 

But don't say we didn't try to warn you. And warn you. And warn you. And warn you. And warn you. And warn you.

How's your morning going so far?

Betcha it's going better than Jim Sinclair's:

Tanzanian Royalty Exchange ( just the 42% down on 15X normal volumes after one hour of trading. It's the lizard people illuminati, of course. Thanks to Ben for the headsup.

ps: before you tinfoilhatters get started, no position in of any sort, not me, not family, not friends to my knowledge, and that's extremely unlikely to change.

Fortuna Silver ( (FSM) 3q11 results

Check 'em out on SEDAR and we'd expect Fortuna ( (FSM) to have a NR out before the bell too, but until then here's a chart:

Not bad...not bad at all.

UPDATE: Ok, here's the NR. Interesting comments about the ramping at San José from CEO Ganoza, too.

Q: When is a bought deal not a bought deal?

A: When a bought deal is run in the heads I win tails you lose world of the Canadian rip-off brokers and bankers society.

I saw this yesterday and decided to let it pass, but I woke up this morning thinking about it and couldn't get it out my head even after a strong and delicious cup of coffee either, so to get the monkey of mine back here we are. First let's note the definition of a bought deal as shown in Wikipedia which in this case is accurate enough and succinct too, therefore quoteable:
A bought deal occurs when an underwriter, such as an investment bank or a syndicate, purchases securities from an issuer before a preliminary prospectus is filed. The investment bank (or underwriter) acts as principal rather than agent and thus actually "goes long" in the security. The bank negotiates a price with the issuer (usually at a discount to the current market price, if applicable).
The advantage of the bought deal from the issuer's perspective is that they do not have to worry about financing risk (the risk that the financing can only be done at a discount too steep to market price.) This is in contrast to a fully marketed offering, where the underwriters have to "market" the offering to prospective buyers, only after which the price is set.
The advantages of the bought deal from the underwriter's perspective include:
  1. Bought deals are usually priced at a larger discount to market than fully marketed deals, and thus may be easier to sell; and
  2. The issuer/client may only be willing to do a deal if it is bought (as it eliminates execution or market risk.)
The disadvantage of the bought deal from the underwriter's perspective is that if it cannot sell the securities, it must hold them. This is usually the result of the market price falling below the issue price, which means the underwriter loses money. The underwriter also uses up its capital, which would probably otherwise be put to better use (given sell-side investment banks are not usually in the business of buying new issues of securities).

So in essence;

1) The company sells the placement shares to the brokerage
2) The brokerage takes on the risk of selling the shares to its clients or being left holding some or all of them
3) And in return for leaving itself open to that risk, makes a bit more money from the deal (via cheaper shares, or warrants awards, or higher commish, or other)

And thus the scene is set, which allows us to move on to a news release from Sulliden Gold Corp. ( from November 3rd which went like this:

Sulliden Gold Corporation Ltd. ("Sulliden", the "Company") (TSX:SUE)(OTCQX:SDDDF)(BVLAC:SUE) is pleased to announce that it has entered into an agreement with National Bank Financial Inc. and Cormark Securities Inc. as co-lead underwriters on behalf of a syndicate of underwriters to be formed (the "Underwriters"), for the issuance of 43,353,000 common shares (the "Shares") of the Company, on a bought deal basis, at a price of $1.73 per Share for gross proceeds of $75,000,690 (the "Offering").
The Company will also grant to the Underwriters an option, exercisable at any time until 5:00 p.m. on the 30th day following the closing, to purchase up to an additional 6,500,000 Shares.
The net proceeds from the Offering will be used by the Company to expand the exploration program at the Shahuindo project given recent exploration results, to acquire the existing net smelter royalty on the Shahuindo project, to acquire additional mining concessions adjacent to the Shahuindo project, and to fund other advancement activities at the Shahuindo Property and for general corporate purposes.
The Shares will be offered by way of a short form prospectus to be filed in all of the provinces of Canada pursuant to National Instrument 44-101 Short Form Prospectus Distributions.
The Offering is scheduled to close on or about November 29, 2011 and is subject to certain conditions including, but not limited to, the receipt of all necessary approvals including the approval of the Toronto Stock Exchange and the securities regulatory authorities.

All well and good, no? Canada's National Bank Financial division, along with Cormark, have taken on a bought deal for shares to the tune of $75m. This means that according to the terms of a bought deal is guaranteed to get its 75 large ones and the brokerages are taking on the risk. so we now cut to the NR of yesterday November 9th that has been bugging me ever since:

Sulliden Gold Corporation Ltd. ("Sulliden", the "Company") (TSX:SUE)(OTCQX:SDDDF)(BVLAC:SUE) announces that in connection with its previously announced public offering, the Company and the syndicate of underwriters (the "Underwriters"), have agreed to revise the size of the offering. Under the revised terms, the Underwriters have agreed to purchase, on a bought deal basis, 28,910,000 common shares (the "Shares") of the Company, at a price of $1.73 per Share for gross proceeds of $50,014,300. 

Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaat? In effect, the brokerages running this deal decided to make Sulliden agree that it didn't want $75m any longer, almost certainly because somebody suddenly realized post-facto that they wouldn't be able to place all $75m worth and were about to be left holding a rather large bag. So therefore we now see that the monopolistic Canuck money houses can demand higher cuts by running bought deals, but when the market goes against them they just pretend they're normal placements and hand the risk straight back to the mining company.

The time is ripe for alternative sources of financing for mining activities other than the rip-off Canadian houses. 

Chart of the day is...

...the quarterly net income of Jaguar Mining Inc (JAG) (, 4q09 to date:

According to this morning's NR they lost $51m this last quarter, worse than even I imagined, though to be honest I would have left them alone this morning if it weren't for the ridiculous, puffed-up way they describe themselves. In the "About Jaguar" blurb at the end of this morning's NRs we're treated to this pearl:
"Based on its development plans, Jaguar is one of the fastest growing gold producers in Brazil"

Ha! In that case, based on its development plans, the fabulous scam Portage Resources ( is one of the fastest growing gold producers in Peru. Or based on its development plans, Greece is one of the fastest growing countries in the Eurozone. Or based on its plans, Bre-X was one of the fastest growing gold explorers in Asia.


Bear Creek Mining (BCM.v) has got a Feasibility Study for Corani

And you can see the pretty extensive NR if you click right here.

Mining PRs and the Ottotrans™, Part 49

Hey, remember this post from last week about Explor Resources (EXS.v) and how to spot a junior scam? Well those jokers at EXS.v have just released an update NR on the issue and it's up to IKN's patented Ottotrans™ to translate it for you, of course:

ROUYN-NORANDA, CANADA--(Marketwire - Nov. 9, 2011) - Explor Resources Inc. (TSX VENTURE:EXS)(PINK SHEETS:EXSFF)(FRANKFURT:E1H) announces that the Board of directors has decided, after much consideration, not to reprice the 2,650,000 stock options that were granted to directors, officers and consultants of the Company on January 28, 2010 and the 500,000 stock options that were granted to a director on May 18, 2010, repricing which was previously announced on November 1st, 2011. The price of these options remains at $0.92 per share. Consequently, this item will not be presented to the shareholders at Explor's annual and Special Meeting of shareholders to be held on December 7, 2011.

And this is what it means
ROUYN-NORANDA, CANADA--(Marketwire - Nov. 9, 2011) - Explor Resources Inc. (TSX VENTURE:EXS)(PINK SHEETS:EXSFF)(FRANKFURT:E1H) announces that the Board of directors has decided, after much abuse taken from shareholders thoroughly pissed off with our self-serving attitude, not to rip them off one more time. The price of the options we were going to reprice at a massive discount therefore remains at $0.92 per share, they haven't got a chance of running into the money and the bastards won't let us cash in. Consequently, we will no longer have the bare faced cheek to present this item to shareholders at Explor's annual and Special Meeting of shareholders to be held on December 7, 2011.

dyodd, dude

Dorato Resources (DRI.v): Even Eric Sprott works it out eventually

Interesting SEC filing from Dorato Resources (DRI.v) yesterday afternoon, coming as it does hot on the heels of the "corporate reorganization" at the company (aka "sauve qu'il peut") that saw Carlos Ballon's sinking ship being rapidly deserted by those charming fellows over at The Cardero Group. Yesterday saw Eric Sprott's Sprott Asset Management LP declare that it had dumped two point five million shares of DRI.v recently, bringing its holding down to just over 3.5m shares:

It's still a mystery how Eric fell for the Dorato BS. Maybe it's because 'Lucky' Pierre Lassonde was already up to his eyeballs in DRI.v stock after buying in large for Franco Nevada. Maybe because Eric is still surrounded by yes-men and advisors who know precisely zero about political and regional risk in Peru (after all, look how far is phosphate project has moved forward so far due to exactly the same type of problem). Or maybe he's just an easy mark and swallows promo pump jobs for breakfast. 

Or maybe it's something else, Eric, but I'm damned sure you need to listen to better advice on LatAm investments going forward. You could have started here, for example, as we ran a whole series of posts explaining why Dorato Resources (DRI.v) didn't have a snowball in hell's chance. And y'know what? We were right.

Minefinders (MFN) ( Well blow me down, a Canadian brokerage anal yst shows a bit of backbone

Kudos and a round of IKN applause goes out to Brian Quast of CIBC, who today downgraded Minefinders (MFN) ( and dropped the house target from $19 to $16...damned good to see one of you guys with a bit of gumption for a change. Here's how Quast lays out his call and if you want to read the whole thing, click here and download your own copy of the PDF:

  • As of Nov. 8, we are downgrading MFL from SP to SU and reducing our PT from C$19 to C$16 due to the recent announcement for the proposed mill at Dolores. We believe the mill size of +6,500 tpd is too large for the deposit, which ultimately results in a lower NAV and increases execution risk.
  • A formal technical report was not released with the announcement. Instead, our estimates have been cobbled together through previously released data and discussions in the conference call. Given the plethora of uncertainties, we believe there are considerable downside risks to our valuation.
  • While the mill still gives MFL production growth, we see this as lower-quality growth compared to our prior assumptions and are lowering our target CF multiple from 6.5x to 5.5x. Furthermore, we see at least 6% dilution to shareholders in the near-term due to the maturing convertible notes.
  • MFL reported Q3 adjusted earnings of $0.21/sh, essentially in line with our estimate of $0.22/sh and consensus of $0.21/sh. Production of 16K oz. gold and 692K oz. silver was pre-released. Guidance of 65K - 70K oz. gold and 3.3M - 3.5M oz silver was reaffirmed.

continues here

Chart of the day is...

...the US Dollar index, 90 minute chart:

Lots of talk on how the dollar is strengthening against the world today, which is utter claptrap. All it's doing is treading water versus a weak Euro and if you don't believe me, take a look at the dollar versus real money (currently one ounce of real money is selling for 1792 of your dollar thingies).


The CB Gold (CBJ.v) clarification and Brent Cook's comments from October 30th

In light of this news release from CB Gold (CBJ.v) tonight that "clarifies" (and if we understand 'clarify' in its literary form to mean 'shine light on obscure or badly lit areas' it certainly fits the bill), that nice Mister Brent Cook guy from Exploration Insights has given your humble scribe permission to re-print his comments on CBJ.v and its original NR. He published what you see below on October 30th and in light of tonight's news it's well worth a read.

Finally, I wanted to spend a little time on CB Gold (CBJ.TSX-V) and their spectacular drill hole from the Vetas property in Colombia. Drill hole RM-046 intersected 114.98 meters grading 7.57 grams per tonne gold, including 40.89 meters grading 17.17 grams per tonne gold. The company notes one assay interval near the top of the hole averaged 316.67 grams per tonne gold over 2.09 meters. If we pull the 2.09 meters grading 316.67 g/t Au out of the 40.89 meter high grade interval near the top of the hole, using our handy dandy drill interval calculator, we are left with 38.8 meters grading 1.04 g/t Au. It does not appear CBJ used any top cut in their calculations (refer to Geo-Insights page 34).
In CB Gold’s press release they recognize two principal vein types: stockwork and grey quartz pyrite. The veins are associated with intense alteration overprinting an early stage of alteration. The mineralization seems to be related to a structural corridor along the contact of a granodiorite and gneiss. The company has completed five additional holes from the same drill location and six more from a nearby drill platform. Assays are pending, including for “holes which contain comparably encouraging visual indications of mineralization, including intercepts with visible gold at both Real Minera and El Dorado Zones”. Hmmmm…
So there you have it. No maps, no sections or detailed drill assays. The company has, understandably, been swamped with phone calls, and I have been unable to talk to anyone with some knowledge of the geology, mineralization, drill spacing, etc. There is, therefore, no way I can judge the importance of this drill hole or make a recommendation to you based on facts. We don't know if they are drilling down a relatively narrow structure that offers no size potential, or across it. Is it a pipe of mineralization and, if so, of what dimensions? The Vetas district is well known for its narrow high grade veins, but to my knowledge has not demonstrated the potential for large bulk mineable gold mineralization. Are they smearing high grades, or is the mineralization evenly distributed?
Three days after releasing the results of drill hole 46, CBJ announced an $11 million non-brokered private placement with Lumina Capital at $1.10. Lumina Capital is a limited partnership headed by Ross Beaty that includes many of the people that were instrumental in the success of Lumina Copper. I know the geologists at Lumina and trust their judgment. I would guess they had access to considerably more information than the public by way of a confidentiality agreement. Lumina’s involvement is a strong endorsement of the project. I only wish we knew more.
IKN back and I'd like to add just one thing to the mix here; most people connect Lumina Capital to the wildly successful deals it's done with Ventana Gold and the likes. I do too of course, but I also remember Lumina wading into Blue Sky Uranium (BSK.v) it just goes to show.

Good reporting on South America exists, AP edition

Today's report on the state of the transport system in Lima Peru, by Frank Bajak of AP, goes far beyond the normal two dimensional mediocrity you get in journalism about South American issues and gives real insight as to what's going on. It's highly recommended reading and yours to read on this link right here.

Go on, learn something about South America that you didn't know before today. I dare you.

How did the market react to the Minefinders 3q11 results published post-bell yesterday?

Like this:

Yup, looks about right to me. This is why Minefinders (MFN) ( is a "watch from the sidelines" right now, not an automatic buy. We leave that call to the Canuck brokerages that have run all those financings for the stock.....although their anal ysts aren't compelled to call the stock a buy...oh no no no no no. 

Anyway, check out the MFN NR yourself or better still, download your copies of the quarterlies from SEDAR. All the brightest young dudes do it that way.

OT: Currently rocking da house Chez Otto... this:

Speaking in purely technical music terms, Maisky absolutely nails that sucker. And while I'm doing OT, hey I like this new North America clocks back winter hour thingy by the way. Right now it's 11:30am here and 10:30am in New York so I get to take the kids to school, not hurry back, time for a (second) java, then and only then does the market open. I get to sort through the relaxing end of my music collection without feeling pushed to read all the pre-bell NRs as well. Hence the above. 

Enjoy your day.

Peru: Humala's honeymoon period ends today

Today Humala gets his first dose of governmental setback. His deputy Vice-President and sitting member of Congress for Humala's Gana Peru party, Omar Chehade, is about to resign his post (or at least "suspend his activities until investigation is complete") due to a typically sleazy back room deal he tried to run all nice and quiet that was found out by the press (and for the record, if he resigns later today note that this post went up at 09:13 am). For more details on the sleaze Google up the words "Andahuasi" and "Chehade" then read to your heart's content, but this little message is more about what it'll mean to the Humala government going forward.

One of Humala's strongest cards to play during his campaign was his uncorrupted, virginal image and how he'd fight tooth and nail to rid the country of its deep-seated corrupt activities in the halls of power. So today his cherry gets popped and a member of his entourage either falls, or is pushed (or in the unlikely circumstances that Chehade refuses to step aside, stains the Humala gov't going forward in a chronic manner). Reality sets in and the honeymoon is over, just 48 hours after his first 100 days are done. Sounds about right.

IKN has used the phrase "Welcome to the New Peru! (just the same as the old Peru)" on many occasions this year. From about today onwards, you might get why it's the catchphrase we prefer on Peru round here.

PS: By the way, it's Omar Chehade's 41st birthday today so maybe he'll wait until tomorrow to announce his step-aside-eration. ¡Feliz cumple, Omarcito!

UPDATE 19:15h EST: Ok, he's gone for the "I'm suspending my activities until the investigation is complete", route.

Brazil auto sales: Shock headlines from dumbass reporters

It's LiesDamnedLiesStatistics time as yesterday Reuters tried to make the world feel worried about Brazil's economic future via this report (three updates!!!) that highlighted a 10% drop in new car sales in Brazil in the month of October. Here's how their note kicks off:
SAO PAULO, Nov 7 (Reuters) - Automobile production in Brazil barely recovered in October from a September plunge while sales extended their decline, reinforcing signs of a slowdown in Latin America's biggest economy.

The 280,600 cars sold was down from the 311,600 of September this year, which according to Reuters is a sure sign that the world is indeed coming to an end and that Harold Camping shouldn't have given up so easily. Yes you've guessed it already, IKN is calling bullshit on another round of shrill reporter waffling and here's why, courtesy of the stats at Brazil's official auto chamber of commerce people, anfavea:

Are you seriously telling me that's a worrying sales chart, Alfredo Alerigi Jr., dumbass hack at Reuters? How many days have you worked as a biz reporter anyway, cos by the looks of things it's unlikely we can count your experience in years. Are you seriously trying to spin one soft month into a Brazil recession story, you fuckwit?

It's a crystalline lesson in how facts beat out conjecture, so look at the chart because it's a dataset that clearly shows only abject fools read downturns into just one or two months of auto sales in Brazil and the trend most definitely is your friend in the country. And you didn't have to see it here either, all you had to do was the same as me and spend 15 minutes checking the stats at anfavea to get a better idea of the true state of Brazil's car market.

So this one's for you and your freakin' dumbass editor too, Alfredo Alerigi Jr, because I can guarantee you won't bother to run the "Brazil's economy fine as the spike in November auto sales demonstrates" type report next month, willyaz?

Differences between South America and Europe

One is an economically unstable region with artifically controlled unreliable currencies, governments loaded down by debt, revolving-door political administrations and social unrest that has the makings of a popular uprising.

The other has the Amazon jungle.

Hey Europe, we be laughing at you.

Chart of the day is...

...the gold/platinum ratio, three year chart:

The last time we noted this ratio was back in August when it was zooming up and about to crash through the 1:1 level. Since then (as you can see) it's just carried on and nowadays an ounce of gold is worth a tidy slice more than a slice of platinum.


Bolivia and The USA are talking again

Ahhh, that's nice isn't it? After all, it's good to talk. Here's AP, here's how it starts:

LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) — Bolivia and the United States agreed Monday to restore full diplomatic ties three years after the Andean nation's leftist government expelled the U.S. ambassador and the Drug Enforcement Administration for allegedly inciting the opposition.
The two nations signed a joint framework agreement in Washington, D.C. that a U.S. official familiar with the document said seeks both to mend frayed relations and return ambassadors to the respective capitals as soon as possible.
The agreement's "objectives include strengthening and deepening" relations, according to a joint statement from the governments, including continues here

Sebastián Piñera's trainwreck approval rating continues

The latest from Chilean pollsters Adimark/GfK came out today and showed approval for President Sebastián Piñera at 31%, one point up from last month, four points up from the 27% trough and still its own private disaster area.

Perhaps he can take solace from the fact that he scores better than his government's approval (29%). Data here

Message to subscribers

Thank you for allowing me to get some at reasonable prices before they shot off into the distance. Happy author.

Now for the selling as of tomorrow....

Your private placement cash at work

It may be over two years since its first showing, but this captioned photo... still far more accurate than most junior exploration company presentations or capital raising roadshows.

This Modern World

Tom Tomorrow's latest strip is just wonderful. Linked here.

Gold Bullion Development Corp (GBB.v): Checking in on what the combo of Casey bullshit and company drill assay smearing can do for your portfolio

Back in early July we featured the story of Gold Bullion Development Corp (GBB.v) and how it was partial to smearing its drill assay numbers. We also noted that GBB.v was a recommended buy (at 45.5c) over at Casey Research, thanks to Louis Lobito and his "rock kickin and stock pickin". So let's check on how this near irresistible combo of bullshit analysis and bullshit news release has been doing since then:

Hmmm.....I've seen better, Lobito. For example, a monkey with a dartboard. It remains to be seen whether, like last time, the CEO of GBB.v Frank J Basa will write in and demand that your humble scribe remove this post. Isn't this exciting!?!?

Chart of the day is...

...the gold/silver ratio 2011 year to date:

By the looks of things, the abject panic and OhMyGawdWeGonnaDie stuff coming out of Greece and now Italy (Spain next?) is having great difficulty in disturbing the metals market, which is how is darned well should be, frankly. That's the whole point of owning PMs, no?

And while I'm thinking about ratio charts and stuff, I'd just like to say that even though he himself calls it a "weird one", Gary Biiwii's NFTRH160 letter yesterday was above and beyond even his normal high standard. If you're not a subber to his weekly missive, you're missing out. Dirt cheap for the quality he offers, too.


Otto Perez Molina is the next President of Guatemala, Daniel Ortega is the re-elected President of Nicaragua

One for the left, one for the right.

As obscenely well predicted by these humble pages back on July 30th, Otto Perez Molina is tonight the President elect of Guatemala. Meanwhile, all polls also point to Daniel Ortega's re-election in Nicaragua tonight (a call we kept for Weekly subscribers during the campaign, but another one we nailed all the same).

Good luck to both, they're going to need it.

The IKN Weekly, out now

IKN131 has just been sent to subscribers. Belt and braces announcement complete, enjoy what's left of your weekend.