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12/29/12

The IKN 2012 predictions: So how did we do?

Waaaaay back on January 1st 2012 your humble scribe posted this missive which had ten predictions based around mining issues and politics in The Americas. Here we are at the end of 2012 and it's time to laugh heartily at the pathetic forecasts and see how things panned out in reality. I'm going to give myself two points for a definite win, one point for a Curate's Egg (good in parts) and zero for any abject failure. Here we go, with the original prediction on the bullet point and the result under each one. At the end we tot up our score.


  • Gold will make it back up to U$1,800/oz during the year. I continue to prefer gold to silver, by the way. No real call to make on Ag.
PARTIALLY CORRECT, ONE POINT. In fact both calls were close, but in the end gold just failed to make $1,800/oz on a couple of occasions (Feb and Oct) so that's a fail. However, gold (+3% ytd) just beat silver (+1% ytd) so that's in the win column. 


  • Copper has a weak-ish first quarter and picks up as the year goes on, with $4/lb seen again.
INCORRECT, ZERO POINTS. In fact copper saw its best prices in the first quarter and weakened through the year, while it never re-took $4/lb. 

  • Junior mining companies have a much better year than 2011
INCORRECT, ZERO POINTS. Guilty of wishful thinking I suspect, as 2012 will go down as one of the poorest for the juniors sector on record.

  • The USA recovers economic momentum as the Presidential vote nears and Obama gets the re-election.
CORRECT, TWO POINTS. We know Barack won, we also know that economic indicators are now looking up for The USA.


  • Peru's government uses police/army force to quash anti-mining protests and push through projects. The Yanacocha Minas Conga project is approved. Humala ends the year with no more than a 30% approval rating. Peru's mining industry carries on regardless.
INCORRECT, ZERO POINTS. If I were feeling generous to myself I'd give a point for the police/army quashing part, but I'm not. The main parts of this are wrong, with Conga still suspended and Humala posting 48% to 50% approval right now. The mistake made with Conga was originally to have underestimated the local support for Gregorio Santos's position. Come February/March I'd seen the error of my ways and was calling the situation more accurately, but that was too late for this erroneous call.


  • Chávez wins the Venezuela election and loses weight, too. His win is due to 1) promises to his faithful and 2) the mediocrity of opposition.
CORRECT, TWO POINTS. Despite the sidebar thing of weight loss (up for debate) the rest of this was accurate so I'll take the points.


  • AMLO wins the Mexico election and upsets PRI ambitions.
INCORRECT, ZERO POINTS. This was always going to be an outsider call, something I knew at the time, too. In end end AMLO didn't get near EPN, who used the PRI apparatus to take the presidency handily.


  • Brazil's economy has a fairly weak though overall positive GDP growth year, with public sector stimulus and its decent internal economy making the difference.
CORRECT, TWO POINTS. This one has turned out to be remarkably accurate in fact (even if I do say so for myself). Brazil's GDP number is now weaker than most people expected and Dilma has turned to public stimulus measures right on cue to bolster late 2012 and 2013 expectations.


  • Colombia's mining industry has a good year, with % growth and more investment dollars received. Santos remains popular.
PARTIALLY CORRECT, ONE POINT. Santos still polls over 50% popularity though has faded somewhat. Colombia's mining industry is still stuck in a regulatory funk and awaits its mining law reform, but the sector has received record FDI this year. Overall, worth half marks.


  • Evo Morales has a better year and his approval rating gets back over 50%.
CORRECT, TWO POINTS. The latest polls have Evo at 55% approval, so despite having significant social protests during the year he's come out the other end with better numbers than late 2011. 



GRAND TOTAL, 10/20. It's a scrape-through pass mark but nothing to shout and cheer about, that's for sure. Basically it's monkey with a dartboard stuff. In a couple of days time I'll come up with ten random calls for the year to come, so hopefully my soothsaying powers improve on this year's mediocrity.