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David Coffin, R.I.P.

Word reaches the mailbox of your humble scribe that David Coffin, one half of the Coffin Brothers Hard Rock Analyst team that has a great reputation in the field of junior mining, has passed on. The news is confirmed via a quick search of the web that brings up this link. We extend our sincere condolences to his brother Eric and all other family members.

Five days of metals and miners: Feb 18th

It's the 2012 Saturday morning slot again, with the last five days' worth of action in the gold bullion ETF (GLD), the silver bullion ETF (SLV), the miner ETF (GDX), the junior miner ETF (GDXJ) and the copper ETF (COPX), all in visual form:

So a negative week for the complex, barring the tiny gain eked out by GLD. The industrial metals had the worst of it, with COPX down 2% though it looked like being worse than that on Thursday morning. Juniors and silver down 1% in a week isn't that bad, considering the volatility both normally show.


The Friday OT: ChocQuibTown: Calentura

Fact is, we don't do a lot of brand new music on The Friday OT. That's because the fact is, music these days rarely matches up to the previous era's quality. But now the good news! as the fact is that ChocQuibTown is probably Colombia's finest and most original sound right now and their brand spanking new track and video is so so sooo good, even if you don't speak the Spanish thing. The quality oozes.

If you do get the lingo it moves to the utter sublime but fear ye not, it still kicks serious trasero just by letting the emsemble wash over you without picking the words to bits. This is the track that has taken me from "like ChocQuibTown" to "adore ChocQuibTown". I hope you enjoy it, too. 

Chart of the day is...

...the gold/silver ratio, 12 months:

Hi, nice to be back. Did we miss anything? By the looks of the above chart, not so much.

Glad at least four of you liked the Robert Frost as well (got mailbag to prove it)


Kinross ( (KGC) in Ecuador....and an owl

Owl first:

News second, via DJNW:
Ecuador's minister of nonrenewable natural resources said Thursday a final contract to allow Canadian gold-mining company Kinross Gold Corp. (KGC, K.T) to mine the Fruta del Norte deposit might not go through.
"The negotiations have been very difficult," Wilson Pastor told foreign journalists. "There is a possibility that a final contract won't be signed."

continues here


Chart of the day is...

...McEwen Mining (MUX), 10 day chart:

Can you dig it?



On the road

A couple of days flitting around and pointing at things starts as of now, so posting will be light until Friday minimum. Instead of leaving you with some Jack this time, here's a short poem from another house fave, Robert Frost:

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

And for those interested, while searching for a copy of Nothing gold can stay (1923) to paste here I stumbled across this analysis of the poem by Dana Gioia (who was one of George W. Bush's better decisions while in office) that was previously unknown to your humble scribe. It's very good and a recommended read.

Graça Foster

Yesterday, a woman named María das Graças Silva Foster but known to all as Graça Foster became President of Petrobras. A favourite of President Dilma since 1998 and totally qualified for the post too, so nothing really out of the ordinary so far. But the reason you should take notice is that she joined Petrobras as a 28 year old intern, fresh out of university and she'd gone through the university system a little later than her peers because she had to drag herself out of one of the Rio de Janeiro shanty towns (favelas) first. In fact, she tells of how she had to collect used tin cans and paper cartons when she was a child so that her family could pay for school materials.

This link will take you to an EngLang report done by the BBC on Graça a few days ago. We salute Graça, damn good job done so far, madame.

Africa, land of mystery

As it's a slow news day, so far at least, we jump across the Atlantic just for a change (good as a rest they say) and  here are a couple of NRs for your consideration. First this one, dated Feb 13th:

Ethiopian Potash Corp. VP Exploration resigns

TORONTO, Feb. 13, 2012 /CNW/ - Mr. Bruce Cumming advises that he resigned from his position as VP Exploration of Ethiopian Potash Corp. (TSXV: FED) on January 29, 2012 with immediate effect as of such date. Mr. Cummings initially resigned from Ethiopian Potash Corp. on August 19, 2011, however, this resignation was not formally accepted by the Board of  Ethiopian Potash Corp. until January 29, 2012. In connection with the resignation Ethiopian Potash Corp. undertook to remove Mr. Cumming's name from its website by not later than February 3, 2012. Mr Cumming remains a director of G&B Central African Resources Ltd. G&B Central African Resources Ltd. owns the potash permits in Ethiopia and is the company that granted Ethiopian Potash Corp. the option to acquire an interest in such potash permits.
For further information: Bruce Cumming
bruce (AT)

+27 (0)82 850 3189

Now this one, dated Feb 14th (and it seems Valentine is not in the air here):

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire -02/14/12)- Ethiopian Potash Corp. (TSX-V: FED.V - News)(TSX-V: FED.WT) ("EPC" or the "Company") wishes to clarify an unauthorized press release issued February 13th (yesterday) by a former employee of the Company.
EPC has been made aware that a former employee of EPC has issued a press release naming the Company and announcing his resignation to the public. This press release issued over Canada Newswire was widely disseminated to investors, given the unauthorized use of EPC's name in the subject line.
The Company wishes to confirm the employee's resignation as a non-material event regarding a non-senior employee and, further, is puzzled by the unauthorized use of EPC's name on his behalf. The Company confirms that all claims and licenses continue to be in good standing, and that the Company continues with its successful drilling campaign, and will release results to the public as soon as they become available.
EPC is aware that the press release itself as well as its content may have caused confusion amongst its investors and is investigating how an unauthorized non-material press release was issued and widely distributed without the consent of the Company.

That Ecuador mining contract signing ceremony

The "honest guv, we're about to sign soon" out of the Ecuador government has been going on for well over a year, with a few IKN posts linked on these words to witness that (and there are more than just those four five, sadly) But let's just hike back a single month and use Ecuador's newspaper of record, El Comercio, as our guide today, rather than the silly snark of IKN. Here's what Minister Wilson Pastor said about the deal with Chinese-owned Ecuacorriente (ECSA) over the Mirador copper project on Friday, January 20th 2012:

"We have concluded the negotiations and expect that on January 30th we will sign the definitive contract [with Ecuacorriente]."

And here's what he said yesterday, Monday February 13th 2012:
"If there aren't any surprises we will sign the contract with Ecuacorriente at the end of this month or at most in March."

Señor Pastor, let's be straight here; The surprise won't be something that stops the signing, the surprise will be that no further delay happens.
ste contenido ha sido publicado originalmente por Diario EL COMERCIO en la siguiente dirección: Si está pensando en hacer uso del mismo, por favor, cite la fuente y haga un enlace hacia la nota original de donde usted ha tomado este contenido. ElComercio.coAny further questions?

Chart of the day is...

...generated from this Ritholtz post entitled "Fukushima Reactor Temperature Surpasses 752 Degrees":

Fortunately for all those governments and civil engineers planning their next generation of electricity generation plants, natgas is still cheap. Not so fortunate for all those uranium juniors, however.


Catching up with Jaguar Mining (JAG) (

After considering the pump on the mediocrity cubed we know as AuRico earlier, isn't it odd that the subject of Jaguar Mining (JAG) ( just popped into my head after weeks with nary a thought on the subject?

Meanwhile, its 4q11 production numbers were the usual pile of underperformance. Surprised? Nah, me neither.

AuRico (AUQ) ( (ex-Gammon Gold) is getting the brokerage pump...again

Your humble scribe notes this morning that both Can of Corn (in its Morning Coffee daily mailer) and Scotia (in its Mining Scoop daily mailer) are giving AuRico Gold (AUQ) ( da pump, largely based on the roadshow they witnessed last week and how wonderfully shiny and happy the company is nowadays. Jeesh, people, that all you got there days? Dragging out that tired old meal and re-heating it (new toppings and sauces to make it tastier) instead of actually going out and finding a company worth mentioning to your respective flocks?

The problem with AUQ is pretty simple: It's historically one of the worst managed gold companies out there and that doesn't change just by changing its name (as it did last year) from Gammon Gold to AuRico (which is a freakin' stupid name, by the way) then overpaying for the Young-Davidson property and then finally pinning all hopes on its development when management has a long track record of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory at its other mines. I mean seriously, check this out:

AUQ is so mediocre it make Kinross ( (KGC) look like a decently performing company. Gammon/AUQ's chequered past includes way higher than expected cash costs, production forecasts that hardly ever hit the mark when reality rears its ugly head, long term strike actions at its mines and reserve/resource counts that have to be adjusted downwards at a later date because they were eventually found to be full of so much brown fecal matter. And suddenly you're pinning buy on the thing because you believe its roadshow, full of forward looking statements, without even bothering to doubt management's word? Lemme did a financing for them at some point, right?


UPDATE: We hear:
"This is also a Casey pump job for their Big Gold (another stupid name) subbers. It is a "buy, 2nd tranche" right now which means it has fallen substantially below the buy 1st tranch level. Go figure."

Baja Mining ( Giles Baynham, pwned

This from Mount Kellett this morning, this how it starts:

“Baja’s circular is direct and undeniable proof of the need for better oversight at the Company. Baja is seeking to misdirect shareholders by making misleading, slanderous and incomplete statements about Mount Kellett’s intentions. In addition, the ridiculous hypotheticals put forward by Baja assume that Baja shareholders have a limited understanding of shareholder rights and Canadian securities laws, which is an insult to everyone involved.

Continues here.

I just can't get past the feeling that BAJ management has something nasty that it wants to hide from view...

Disclosure: no position in and i don't give a rat's ass about Mt Kellett, either.

Chart of the day is...

...the US Dollar (USD) versus the Euro (EUR) and the British Pound (GBP) versus the Euro (EUR), five year chart:

So in other words, the Pound's performance against the Euro has been basically the same as the Dollar's performance against the Euro, give or take the odd murmur along the way.


The IKN Weekly, out now

might even do a plane next week, too

IKN145 has just been sent to subscribers. Have a pleasant end of weekend, all out there, catch you tomorrow.

Apple (AAPL) is the world's biggest company

Here's why: It has no problem about putting the price of a Whitney Houston Greatest Hits album on iTunes from $3 to $7.99 on news of her death.

Steve would be proud. Source here