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Ever wondered how penny stock scams work?

Check out the latest from supersleuth David Baines, who notes how easily manageable the Haywood dudes' hadslap was on this one, too. Thanks to PW for the quick headsup.

What we're reading this weekend

Tim's El Salvador Blog gives us the headsup to "Free Markets and the Food Crisis in Central America" by Carlos Sanchez at CIP Americas, probably this weekend's best read and a spot on piece of analysis. Thanks Tim.

Setty does Arevenca again and I have a sneaky deaky feeling he's really on to something here.

Argentina won the doubles and the Davis Cup lives to its last day, though Delpo has to play Nadal on Rafa's fave surface tomorrow.

Biiwii worries too much about something that has no importance whatsoever. Me.

Ritholtz shows us how to protect our online reputations but I've found a much easier way of dealing with the subject. I don't give a shit about anything said of me.

And just so you know, I've replayed Cloudbusting about 15 times since yesterday. It's been too long and I'd forgotten how wonderful it was, but I remember now.


The Friday OT: Kate Bush; Cloudbusting

I just know that something good is going to happen
And I don't know when
But just saying it could even make it happen

I've been having a Kate Bush fest. Last week, and I have no idea why, her first hit Wuthering Heights popped into my head and I couldn't stop mind-playing it. Then last weekend I read by chance that she'd brought a new album out, which was pleasing to hear.

And then Bina over at News of the Restless topped off the coincidences* by featuring this very track, Cloudbusting, on her blog last Sunday.  I hit play over there and oh wow, how good is this song? How good is Kate Bush? Answer: very very very very but very good indeed, oh yes. I thought about a variation on Bina's most excellent choice for this week's Friday OT but favourites are favourites so it's Cloudbusting here, too. Thanks Bina, I owe you one.

For what it's worth, I also found this wiki page on the track and as it's pretty good, here's the bulk of the text for own enjoyment.

"Cloudbusting" is a song that was written, produced and performed by the British singer Kate Bush. It was the second single released from her no.1 1985 album Hounds of Love. "Cloudbusting" peaked at no.20 in the UK Singles Chart.
The song is about the very close relationship between psychologist and philosopher Wilhelm Reich and his young son, Peter, told from the point of view of the mature Peter. It describes the boy's memories of his life with Reich on their family farm, called Orgonon where the two spent time "cloudbusting", a rain-making process which involved pointing at the sky a machine designed and built by Reich, called a cloudbuster. The lyric further describes Wilhelm Reich's abrupt arrest and imprisonment, the pain of loss the young Peter felt, and his helplessness at being unable to protect his father. The song was inspired by Peter Reich's 1973 memoir, "A Book of Dreams", which Bush read and found deeply moving.

The music video, directed by Julian Doyle, was conceived by Terry Gilliam and Kate Bush as a short film. The video features Canadian actor Donald Sutherland playing the role of Wilhelm Reich, and Bush in the role of his young son, Peter. The video shows the two on the top of a hill trying to make the cloudbuster work. Reich leaves Peter on the machine and returns to his lab. In flashback, he remembers several times he and Peter enjoyed together as Reich worked on various scientific projects, until he is interrupted by government officials who arrest him and ransack the lab. Peter senses his father's danger and tries to reach him, but is forced to watch helplessly as his father is driven away. Peter finally runs back to the cloudbuster and activates it successfully, to the delight of his father who sees it starting to rain.
Filming took place at The Vale of White Horse in Oxfordshire, England. Bush found out what hotel Sutherland was staying from actress Julie Christie's hairdresser and went to his room to personally ask him to participate in the project. In the UK, the music video was shown at some cinemas as an accompaniment to the main feature. Due to difficulties on obtaining a work visa for Sutherland at short notice, the actor offered to work on the video for free.
The Cloudbusting machine in the video was designed and constructed by people that worked on the Alien creature and bears only a superficial resemblance to the real cloudbusters, which were smaller and with multiple narrow, straight tubes and pipes, and were operated while standing on the ground.In an oblique reference to the source material of the song, Bush pulls a copy of Peter Reich's "A Book of Dreams" out of Sutherland's sweater.

*don't exist

Daytime television

After watching TV this morning, your humble scribe feels it safe to say that Rafael Nadal is one helluva heckuva full-on good tennis player.

Delpo vs Ferrer up next (if you were wondering why blogging is light here today, you now know)

The cost of mining copper in Chile

From this month's AreaMinera comes this chart:

The ICCU index is a pretty carefully constructed dataset compiled by local beancounter firm Xlibrium that tracks the input costs for copper production in Chile. With October's numbers now in, the ICCU indicates that it's 0.15% cheaper to produce copper now than it was at the start of 2011. We also note that it's about 40% more expensive to mine copper than it was in January 2009.

Chart of the day is...

...zinc again, this time the six month chart.

It's going back to a buck.


Douglas Adams, Candente Copper ( and an owl

Act One: A Douglas Adams quote.

"I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by."

Act Two: A Reuters report dated November 10th.

WARSAW | Thu Nov 10, 2011 7:57am EST
Nov 10 (Reuters) - Europe's No.2 copper producer KGHM will make a decision on a large takeover by the end of this month, its chief financial officer told a news conference on Thursday.
"In November there will be a decision in relation to the large acquisition, whether we'll buy or not," Maciej Tybura told reporters.
Local media have speculated that the state-controlled Polish miner was looking at Candente, a company with licenses to explore for copper and gold in Peru.
Act Three: A 12 month price chart:

Act Four: An owl:

Potato vodkas served, the end

Corruption in The Americas, 2011

Transparency International's 2011 Corruption Perceptions Index is out and you can see the website and its results by visiting right here. However, as we at IKN Nerve Centre™ only give a blinking flip about The Americas (we've found the rest of the world is rather boring in comparison) here are the results for Anchorage to Tierra del Fuego only:

And here's a nice chart that has all those in order, too:

For me, the funniest one of the lot is Canada, because it makes darned sure that it does all its corruption outside of its own borders....and that doesn't count, does it?

The 'Small Silvers' 2011 sweepstakes end November update

With just one month to go in the great race, here's how our competitors are faring:

click image to enlarge

The top three show no change from last month, with Endeavour Silver ( (EXK)  in the lead and around 85% up on the year. In second spot comes Fortuna Silver ( (FSM) and third place is First Majestic ( (AG).

And then comes our benchmark, the silver ETF (SLV) that tracks bullion and shows which mining companies are doing better than the metal they rely upon. From here down, the stocks are officially underperformers and start with Great Panther ( (GPL), U.S. Silver ( and IMPACT Silver (IPT.v) in a little heap between SLV and the YTD breakeven point.

So seven down and only the three outright woofing, howling, barking dogs to go. They be MAG Silver ( (MVG), Bear Creek Mining (BCM.v) and Adam Graf's hot pick for 2011, Golden Minerals (AUMN). A shame on all your houses.

So around the time you're picking on what's left of the turkey and refusing any more chocolate truffles cos you're thoroughly fed up with them, we'll declare the 2011 winner of the race. Til then, toodle pip!

Chart of the day is...

...the Gold/Silver Ratio (GSR), year-to-date:

There's too much getting read into this ratio at the moment, methinks. Sorry Gary, what you're watching like a veritable hawk's just noise nowadays. It's charty twiddling that cannot and will never be able to predict the type of CenBank move we saw yesterday...y'know, the stuff that really matters.

Sometimes the Gold/Silver ratio has a purpose. Othertimes it's just one more random walk in TA Fantasyland.


Joyous news for Adam Graf of Dalman Rose!

Golden Minerals (AUMN) is flying today, up 7% at U$6.87 at time of writing.

Which means it only has another U$97.13 to go before it makes Graf's U$104 price target that he set back in October 2010!

Hey Adam, you go girl. And for the rest of you, don't miss out of reading Graf's magnificent oeuvre by downloading your copy of his $104 price target call on AUMN from right here. Guaranteed guffaws and will certainly break the ice if you're invited to the Dalman Rose Christmas party.

On a day when most everything is going up...'s a little unfair to single out just one price change. But copper is kicking serious, serious ass out there.

Rio Alto (RIO.v)

Oh my oh my oh my! Is that really Rio Alto Mining (RIO.v) at a new all time high this morning?

Why, yes it is! Hoodathunkit, eh?

Jesús Arias Dávila, QEPD

A leading figure in the Peru mining world passed on yesterday. Jesús Arias Dávila, chairman of the Poderosa gold mining company and a stalwart of the local scene, was greatly admired by all his peers. The photo above shows him at a ceremony in April this year, collecting a medal for his 67 years of service to the Peru mining industry. As the person who alerted your author to this sad news wrote (reproduced here because it's better than anything I could write and as the writer knew him well):
As Peruvian mining magnates go, he was in a class of his own. In the years of Sendero, he was probably the only one who was prepared to show his face at the mines where the moolah came from. He had balls, and put a lot more back into the region he operated in than was necessary. And long before it was de rigueur for mining companies to extol their "social commitment" policies by adding the odd class room, or funding an organic vegetable patch to keep the natives from revolting.

Jesús Arias Dávila, 1924 - 2011, QEPD


Looking good Billy Ray!

Here's how IKN134, last Sunday's edition, started:

Stupidly bullish
We’re now at that moment when the Very Serious People line up to tell us that, “Europe is now at a critical phase” and in fact, it seems that phrase is de rigueur in any type of financial publication this week (and as I didn’t want to be left out, there it is above in IKN134). Sorry people, I still can’t get round my personal contrarian instincts as laid out in the opener of IKN132. I’d love to reaffirm your fears and reinforce those OhMyGawd sentiments you’re getting from umpteen other places, but it’s the very fact that mainstream has these warnings so on tap and flowing to order that makes me stupidly lemming-like and long this market. I therefore confidently stick with my forecast that the worst will not happen, the “Bang! Moment” (latest buzzphrase I’m led to understand, and how you guys up there love a good phrase to pigeonhole things) isn’t going to happen and I may well spend the last of my spending money on a few more shares next week (I have a few shekels...not many...left to invest). MFN, SOL are the ones that most tempt at this point, from a personal portfolio standpoint of course (I am not you, you are not me etc etc).

Here's what gold thinks of WorldLiquidityPump™

And here's a song to get you in the mood for December's market action:

dyodd, dude

Atico Mining Corporation

There's a new IPO coming soon in the mining world. Here are a few details:

1) It's called Atico Mining Corp
2) It's headed up by the Ganoza family, of Fortuna Silver ( (FSM) fame
3) It's all about mining copper in Colombia
4) It'll hit the ground running and be a producer from the start
5) Right now it's running its IPO book and as long as you're an accredited investor, you can get on board.

This link takes you to the download for Atico's corporate presentation and also includes contact details if you're interested in getting in on the IPO level, priced at 50c. Or if you prefer you can mail me (usual address) and I'll forward your inquiry to the right place (i.e the dude running the IPO book on this). And by the way, your humble scribe gets zero zip nothing for this post or for any eventual lead as I much prefer to stay away from the seedy world of finder's fees and commissions. This one is a public interest post, no more no less and it's one I'm very comfortable about highlighting because I personally have done very well thanks to Fortuna Silver, so the Ganozas for me are the type of team to follow and support. I leave you with just four frames from the 26 page IPO presentation to give you an idea of the story:

Chart of the day is...

...crude oil, weeklies:

Well, here we are again.


Guatemala thoughts

Longtime reader and thoroughly good egg 'RK' writes in today and this extract from his mail below lays out the reason for the missive:
"I am interested in your assessment of the political risk in Guatemala. I own Tahoe Resources and like everything about the company (although it's kind of expensive to add to now, I bought it substantially cheaper), but I am concerned about political risk."

Well, in fact I haven't mused or cogitated on Guatemala here at the blog for a while, but it is one of the regions we keep an eye on quite closely in the Weekly and the last time it got a mention was in IKN133 dated November 20th (a week and a half ago). So here you go RK, below is what got published that day in the subscription thingy.

Guatemala thoughts and Radius Gold (RDU.v)
Above we mentioned Firestone Ventures (FV.v) in a quick update of our Zinc Basket integrant and noted that met results for its small but decently grading Torlon Hill came in positively last week. One more thing needs to be taken into consideration as regards FV.v though, and that’s its country risk profile, as the most advanced projects at FV.v are in the Central America state of Guatemala.

I’m on record as saying the country should be avoided for its high political risk factors (including general political stability, problems in permitting to production stage, anti-mining undercurrents at local levels etc) but I’m also a realist and can see that Guatemala may get some sort of improvement (or perhaps better said, commentators that talk their books promote what they see as improvement just about to come) due to the recent election of right-wing Otto Perez Molina as President. The meme we’d expect is that Perez Molina is pro mining because he said he was and so as soon as he gets into power, Guatemala becomes this instant pro-mine region. That’s unlikely, as even if Perez Molina makes all the right noises there are innumerable problems faced by any mine operation to be in the country (just start with the low and high level corruption rife in the country and work down). But no matter what I think, more important is what the market collective thinks about Guatemala as mining country in the near future and, no matter whether eventually right or wrong, we may see a new chapter in optimism about the place.

These comments apply to FV.v of course, but also apply to other exploration stage juniors with projects in the country. First among those is Tahoe Resources (, the company exploring and developing the Escobal silver project there. Be in no doubt that the rocks at Escobal are exceptionally good ones, with vein widths, extensions and grades that all point to the best type of world class mine potential. The rocks have never been in doubt, but I get all giddy thinking about a junior with a $2.6Bn (with a B) market cap that’s exposed to the vagaries of a country as unstable as Guatemala. I suppose the thing I want to say here is that I’m more in tune to risking a few very high risk shekels on a microcap play such as FV.v than I am putting serious money down and making an investment in, because both have the same type of political risk to contend with but one of them might end up making you very poor (while the other loses you a chunkette of fun money).

The other play that comes to mind, and another that makes more sense to your author than, is Radius Gold (RDU.v), Simon Ridgway’s mothership company that has plenty of exposure to Guatemala. However this time the exposure is leavened by also having exposure to the eminently miner-friendly Nicaragua as well as Yukon assets (though those are getting spun out soon). The other thing we like about RDU.v right now is clear from this two year price chart; the stock price is at a low ebb with Friday’s close of 33c back at the levels seen in 2010 before RDU started fizzing and popping up to nearly a Loonie. RDU has lots of moving parts and isn’t a company that rests on its laurels, so a bit of risk cash here, especially as the entry price is appealing compared to just a couple of months ago, wouldn’t be the worst high risk trade you could consider right now.

The bottom line here that my personal call isn’t going to change and i still say “avoid Guatemala”. However, high risk money may feel like a flutter on Guatemala risk and potentially playing a new-found pro-mine feeling on the Perez Molina election. Who needs reality when you have perception, anyway? Of the three Guatemala vehicles mentioned here, RDU.v appeals the most and those into flippy type of trades (and as long as you go in with eyes wide open knowing that risk here is high) may want to consider it, tax loss selling season or not. FV.v is also a possible (see Zinc Basket) but is so tiny on a market cap level it brings its own risks., for its sheer size compared to the others, scares me far more even though it’s got wonderful rocks and world-class mining potential.

Disclosure: No position in any mentioned company

What we know about US Conservative Think Tank, "The Heritage Foundation"

1) They're way GOP
2) When it comes to Latin America, they're the classic unbearable standard-bearers of The Monroe Doctrine.
3) They can't spell Colombia or Ecuador.
4) Not surprising, as arrogant assholes tend to be pig ignorant too.

Mojitos served, the end

Nepomuceno Moreno murdered

Aguachile has the saddening news of Nepomuceno Moreno, one of the chief movers of the "No More Blood" campaign in Mexico trying to bring a halt to the narcoviolence. Link here.

Chart of the day is...

...Zinc, 60 day chart:

I spy a trading range. Not only that, but it's a range just high enough from keeping those Oz Zn mines from mothballing.


Hope springs eternal

Today's Spanish lesson: Esperanza = Hope

Contrary to nasty, vicious and totally false rumours to the contrary, we can assure readers that Rick Rule is NOT dumping wholesale into today's price pop in Esperanza Resources (EPZ.v). For one thing, he wouldn't do such a thing to a pal. For another, he owns a whole shyteload more than today's volume. Finally, as he was pumping the thing at $2 why the devil should he sell at $1.20?

dyodd, dudettes and dudes

Disclosure: No position in EPZ.v and Rick Rule isn't my pal. He's not my enemy, either. In fact I've never met the guy.

Questions for our time, Jaguar Mining (JAG) ( edition

1) Why do fools fall in love?

2) Is it true what they say about Dixie?

3) Will the world end on December 21st 2012?

4) Is this the chart of a stock that's under a $9.30/share takeover offer?

5) How long until the market calls bullshit on market bullshitters?

Answers on a postcard please to:

Anne Elk (Miss)
Behind the Hot Water Pipes
The Gentleman's Rest Room
Minnesota Airport
(wide stance)

Citigroup: 2012 copper deficit at 110kt

The most interesting thing about this analysis is that copper deficits are invariably underestimated at this time of year, so expect the real supply deficit in 2012 to be plenty more than 110kt. Anyway, here below is the content (all text plus the two tables) of the report out today, if you want a copy of the PDF download it from here

PS: $8,113/t = $3.68/lb


Copper supply in 2012 – mine by mine

  • Mine supply — Ongoing supply issues have been a major driver of the copper price over the past 5 or so years. Analysts continue to be to be over-optimistic on mine supply, in our view. Putting this to the test we have compared Wood Mackenzie against CIRA forecasts mine by mine. Wood Mackenzie are expecting around a 6% increase in mine supply in 2012 (concentrate and SXEW) to around 16.5Mt. Our analysis suggests that this may prove to be overly optimistic.
  • Bottom up analysis — Citi global equity analysts cover over 40 individual copper mines, which collectively produce over 6mt of copper or around 40% of global industry. We have compared Citi’s forecasts mine by mine against that of Wood Mackenzie. Overall Citi are forecasting 5.80mt vs 6.24mt from the same mining operations, thereby representing a 7% or 440kt difference. We believe this provides a strong read through on the major copper producing regions which are impacted by similar mining issues (head grades, strikes, equipment availability etc). We provide a detailed breakdown in this note.
  • Outcome — We are currently forecasting the copper market to be in a deficit by around 110kt in 2012. Ongoing mining issues are likely to provide additional support and this underpins our view for an average copper price of $8,113/t in 2012 and a 6-12 month point target of $8,500/t (3-month LME price).

Mining PRs and the Ottotrans™, Part 51


Today we go with Cameco ( (CCJ) and its pre-bell NR linked here.

This is what they wrote:

Cameco (TSX: CCO.TO - News) (NYSE: CCJ - News) announced today that it will not increase or extend its offer to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Hathor Exploration Limited, which expires on November 29, 2011.
"After careful consideration we cannot justify increasing the price beyond our current offer and accordingly, we will let our offer lapse," said Tim Gitzel, president and CEO of Cameco. "Cameco has remained disciplined through the bid process to ensure that we make the best decisions for our company and its shareholders."
Gitzel said that allowing the bid to lapse will not adversely affect Cameco's plan to double annual uranium production to 40 million pounds by 2018.
"Our plan involves existing assets in our development pipeline and we remain on track to meet our objectives. We will continue to explore other growth opportunities, but only where there is a clear benefit to our shareholders," Gitzel said.

And this is what it means:



PS: Oh, did your humble scribe really write this in IKN133 dated November 20th while traded tidily over $5 a share?
Hathor Resources ( I’d take profits
Since our original $3.90-or-so call to buy and expect a bidding war that would push the stock up to $5 and above we’ve seen a bidding war develop that has pushed the price to (just) beyond $5. If you’re still holding this one, it may be time to cash in and take the approx 28% win the post-Cameco offer period has given in profits. The feeling is that there may be another round of bidding (which would see Cameco raising to around $4.90 and Rio Tinto very likely to come back at $5.10 or so), but the feeling here is also that we’re at about the limit that Cameco will go to (and the next counter to $4.90 is hardly a given, either), so with potential further profits starting to look a bit thin, maybe selling now and giving somebody else the chance of a few pennies is the wiser course.

Why yes he did!

Chart of the day is...

...stolen from Setty and it's the two year USD vs local monies chart.

Flight to safety, anyone?

And then gold decided to stop going down

Bit of a rally this morning, up 2% so far.

Man, I wonder if Iacono will threaten me with a defamation suit for complimenting his investment acumen.


The IKN Weekly, out now

definition of hebrew: a male tea bag

IKN134 has just been sent to subscribers. I like the bit that says that there stock is cheap.