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Five days of metals and miners: June 16th

The regular Saturday slot: 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).

Best gold worst the juniors. That's the basic story of a week overshadowed by Greece-type nerves.


The Friday OT: Jet; Are you gonna be my girl?

Because four guys playing straight-edged guitar rock and singing about sexy girls has been good fodder for the last 50 years. It'll be good for the next 50, too.

Just a solid track of music.

The bit I really liked about the South American Silver ( NR yesterday was... they made it sound as though the government of Bolivia would side with a Canadian junior mining company instead of the indigenous local population when push eventually comes to shove. Here's the link to the NR, go have a read yourself and marvel at the use of prose. I'm a-telling you, that Greg Johnson guy is one smooooooooooth talkin' dude.

Oh, perhaps not quite smooth enough. dyodd

Copper Fox (CUU.v) news

I know it's kind of unfashionable to actually read quarterly reports these days, but has anyone else noticed how Copper Fox (CUU.v) is now running on fumes? As per its April 30th quarterly filed yesterday evening on SEDAR, the company had a working capital of $44,000 (thousand, not million) and since then it's been loaned $2m by a director (Ernesto? Natch).

The company now has 387,974,079 shares outstanding which at last night's close values CUU.v at $446.2m. I still feel like I'm taking crazy pills here.

UPDATE: News is that Ernesto is not applying the "when in hole stop digging" principle.

Vancouver, British Columbia – June 14, 2012 – Copper Fox Metals Inc. (“Copper Fox” or “the Company”) (TSX-V: CUU) is pleased to announce that subject to the approval of the TSX-Venture Exchange, the Company intends to complete a non-brokered private placement to raise up to CDN$4,480,000 (the “Offering”). The Offering is expected to consist of 4,000,000 units at a purchase price of $1.12 per unit, for aggregate gross proceeds of $4,480,000. Each unit consists of one common share of Copper Fox and one common share purchase warrant of Copper Fox (a “Warrant”). Each Warrant entitles the holder thereof to acquire one common share of Copper Fox at an exercise price of CDN$1.25 prior to 5:00 pm on the one year anniversary of the closing date of the Offering. Mr. Ernesto Echavarria, a Director, insider and a control person of Copper Fox, as defined by the regulations of the TSX-Venture Exchange, has committed to participating in 100% of the Offering. Monies raised from the Financing will be used to fund costs associated with completing the Feasibility Study of the Schaft Creek Deposit and general operating expenses.

Mining PRs and The Ottotrans™, part 59

The latest in the series zooms in on Lumina Copper (LCC.v) and its NR this morning.

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire -06/15/12)- Lumina Copper Corp. (LCC.V) (the "Company") announces that its Board of Directors has initiated a strategic review process to consider a range of strategic alternatives that have presented themselves to the Company, with a view to enhancing shareholder value. Strategic alternatives may include, but are not limited to, the sale of all or a portion of the Company's assets, the outright sale of the Company, a merger or other business combination transaction involving a third party, a joint venture, as well as continued execution of the Company's existing business plan, or any combination thereof.
A special committee ("Special Committee"), consisting of independent directors, Ross Cory, Donald Shumka, and John Wright, has been appointed to oversee the strategic review process.
It is the Company's current intention not to disclose developments with respect to the strategic review process unless and until the Board of Directors has approved a specific transaction or otherwise determines that disclosure is necessary or appropriate. The Company cautions that there are no assurances or guarantees that the process will result in a transaction or, if a transaction is undertaken, as to the terms or timing of such transaction.

And this is what it means:

Notice Ross Beaty (played by Graham Chapman) making an appearance in the last five seconds of the clip. dyodd

Chart of the day is...

...the price chart for Batero Gold (BAT.v) from March 1st to date.

March 1st is chosen because that's the date Ed Bugos of The Dollar Vigilante published his report on Batero Gold entitled "Batero Undeservedly Plummets on Whittle Pit Shell Misunderstanding" and told everyone to load up at the $1.20 to $1.30 prices.

It was such a good note that Canaccord's Wealth Management people sent it out to their clients in a special mailer on March 2nd. After years of pumping BAT.v to their lists, the least they could do was to get them all to buy more, right?

Moral: There are utter dumbasses everywhere.


Carlos Slim buys 8.4% of YPF corrected

Here's the SEC filing.

8.4% under his own name, another 8.4% under two indirect holdings.

UPDATE  Ok, my mistake, Slim controls 8.4%, not 16.8% He didn't buy any directly, but bought through his indirect holding companies. That's what comes of reading SEC filings too quickly. To be precise, his Inmobilaria Carso company holds 6.997,456 shares (class D) of YPF and his GFI company (Grupo Financiero Inbursa) owns 25,911,050 Class Ds. Meanwhile, twitterpal @cansarnoso knocks a bit of rust out of your humble scribe's ears and points to the origins of this new holding:
"slim's ypf shareholding wasn't bought, it was the collateral pledged for loans to the eske nazis which have now gone sour"

Thanks man.

CEPAL expects LatAm/Caribbean region GDP growth at 3.7% for 2012

Respected regional beancounters CEPAL/ECLAC has revised its 2012 outlook for the region's GDP growth and now expects a +3.7% overall average haul for the year. Meanwhile, here's the CEPAL list of individual countries and where they stand in comparison to that 3.7% benchmark:

Panama leads expectations for this year (+8%), with Haiti (+6%) and Peru (+5.7%) and Bolivia (+5.2%) and Costa Rica (+5%) and Nicaragua (+5%) and Venezuela (+5%) all polling well. 

On the flipside, note big Brazil below the average at +2.7%, while the region's second largest economy Mexico just about scraping in over the average at +4%. Only one country is expected to post a GDP contraction this year, though to be fair Paraguay did post the best 2011 numbers.

Reuters: "Peru provinces sit on cash from mines; discontent grows"

This is a good note from Reuters which explains a little about how a substantial percentage of the mining royalty revenues received by local governments in Peru is either spent on silly projects or not spent at all. Here's how it starts:

Insight: Peru provinces sit on cash from mines; discontent grows

Peru's provincial governments are sitting on billions of dollars in mining tax revenue earmarked for new roads, schools and water projects - an institutional failure contributing to anti-mining protests nationwide.
Regional and local governments had 9.5 billion soles ($3.5 billion) from natural resources taxes collected over the last decade lying dormant in bank accounts as of December, according to a Reuters analysis of finance ministry data. The swollen coffers represent a fortune in poor provinces where the poverty rate is around 60 percent despite Peru's decade-long boom fueled by minerals exports to a rising China.
Most of the receipts come from mining, though a fraction come from energy or commercial fishing companies.
The central government blames a lack of administrative capacity in the provinces - a polite way of saying incompetence - for the spending shortfalls that contribute to a cauldron of discontent in the hinterlands and feed anti-mining sentiment continues here

Another sign that the Financial Times is going downhill fast

It's now using IKN as some sort of reliable source of information :-). Here's how the FT piece starts, read on for more (incl the IKN bit)

Peru deficit: a warning sign?

Will Peru have to start taking advantage of its international reserves and counter-cycle fund sometime in the not-so-very-distant future? A gloomy April suggests yes. continues here

Thanks for the link-o, Mapstone.


Nuff said

Thanks bro

If you think Eike Batista paid too much for Ventana Gold, think again

According to your humble scribe's rough calculations, what with taking into account the 20% of shares of Ventana Gold Eike Batista owned at lower prices before buying out the other 80% in early 2011, the man paid about $1.35Bn for the company.

Today we read that Eike plans to sell 49% of Ventana Gold to a strategic partner for around $2Bn (apparently there are five entities in serious discussions at this point). Hey, of course he might be exaggerating for media purposes, but chances are he's not. 

By my rough calculations, 49% of $1.35Bn is very less than $2Bn. This is why you're not as rich as Eike Batista. Thus ends today's math lesson.

Is Peter Holier Than Thou Grandich pumping this Cap-Ex Ventures (CEV.v) thing yet?

Because if he isn't* it's only a matter of time, we suspect. Here's a link to the post we did last year on the amazing coincidences between companies connected to Mark Morabito and companies pumped by Peter Holier Than Thou Grandich.

Here's a link to this morning's NR out of Cap-Ex Ventures (CEV.v), which already has rum players sas directors uch as Andrew Bowering and Graham Harris, the insider-trading flotsam washed up after ATW Gold hit the skids (and let's recall how they bailed in true rats-and-sinking-ship style before the bad news hit there). Anyway, back to CEV.v and here's how today's NR kicks off:

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire -06/14/12)- Cap-Ex Ventures Ltd. (CEV.V)(CPXVF)(X0V.F) ("Cap-Ex" or the "Company") is pleased to announce that Mr. Mark J. Morabito has been appointed as Special Advisor to the Chief Executive Officer of Cap-Ex.
Mr. Morabito is the founder of the Exploration Group, the predecessor company to Forbes West which became part of Forbes & Manhattan in 2012. Mr. Morabito has more than 15 years' experience as a financier in the mining and exploration sectors. He is the founder and continues here

And hey wow, he gets 250k options at 50c a pop for all that trouble of climbing on board and advising the CEO! Ain't Canada just the most generous country ever?

Here's a 12 month chart of CEV.v plus "the Morabito Companies" pumped by Peter Grandich on that list above:

Well give him credit for Alderon, that's only down 15%


*i haven't looked. You think i'm going to waste my time trawling round that hypocrite's website?

Driving in Peru? Don't use mouthwash

Peru is now about half way through the process needed to pass a "zero tolerance" law for drivers as regards alcohol. The Congressional Transport Commission approved the bill of law yesterday and if things go as expected, it shouldn't take long before it gets over all hurdles and into law. The law will mean that any amount of alcohol in the bloodstream above 0.00% is a punishable offence with a maximum penalty of five years in prison. So with that in mind, here's a chunk of wiki to chew upon:

"...illustrated in a study conducted with Listerine mouthwash on a breath machine and reported in an article entitled "Field Sobriety Testing: Intoxilyzers and Listerine Antiseptic" published in the July 1985 issue of The Police Chief (p. 70). Seven individuals were tested at a police station, with readings of 0.00%. Each then rinsed his mouth with 20 milliliters of Listerine mouthwash for 30 seconds in accordance with directions on the label. All seven were then tested on the machine at intervals of one, three, five and ten minutes. The results indicated an average reading of 0.43 blood-alcohol concentration, indicating a level that, if accurate, approaches lethal proportions. After three minutes, the average level was still 0.020, despite the absence of any alcohol in the system. Even after five minutes, the average level was 0.011."

Similar observations have been made over time about breath freshener sprays and even eardrops.

Chart of the day is...

...Peru's IGBVL index versus the S&P 500 index, 12 months:

And it just so happens that investing in an index that covers a growing emerging market country and contains a bootload of mining stocks is the same as investing in the SPX.

Who knew?


Lumina Copper (LCC.v)...

...really does look like it's going back to $6.

On the chart, anyway. And chartists never get things wrong.

What is it about Aprils at the Barrick (ABX) Lagunas Norte mine, anyway?

Searching for the reasons behind the big miss in Peru gold production in April, this chart found itself being generated:

Funny thing is that it's not always like this. In fact the best single month of production in the last five years was an April. April 2007 to be exact, with 137,056oz Au.

Deutsche Bank on commodities this morning

A good PDF report on the state of play,which you can access by clicking this link. Meanwhile, get the gist by reading the front cover blurb:

We believe today's OPEC meeting and the IEA's Oil Market Report will provide an important update on the state of oil markets.  We believe the main risk to oil prices will be further downgrades to the oil demand outlook.  Given the deepening eurozone crisis, an ongoing US data disappointment cycle and slowing Chinese growth, it appears increasingly likely that the IEA will revise lower its global oil demand estimates.
In thermal coal markets, port inventories in China rose to 19.6mt (Figure 2), with Qinhuangdao accounting for 8.9mt, the highest level since at least 2008. US thermal coal exports were also up substantially year-on-year in March and April. If sustained, this rate of export would imply 48mt in 2012, up from 31mt in 2011. As market fundamentals remain extremely negative, front-month Newcastle prices at $85.9/t have now dipped into the Australian marginal cost range of $83-86/t.
In natural gas markets, new LNG contracts signed demonstrate continued desire to secure volumes as little new supply enters the market in the next 3 years. Statoil signed a three-year supply contract for LNG to Petronas to supply a total of 1bcm over 3 years to its newly constructed Melaka LNG terminal. Also, Qatargas signed a 1mtpa agreement with TEPCO beginning August 2012. This news came despite the announcement that a Japanese scientific panel appointed by Governor Nishikawa concluded that safety measures are adequate at two nuclear reactors, which opens the way for a potential restart approval by the Prime Minister and three other ministers on 16 June, according to Kyodo News. The Prime Minister urged public support for reactivation of nuclear power in a 9 June press conference.
The USDA released its June WASDE report yesterday which was bullish for soybeans and wheat but bearish for corn and cotton.  Soybeans ending stocks for 2011-12 were cut from last month and lower than pre-report estimate. They also cut wheat ending stocks for 2011-12 on higher food use and exports.  The USDA left its corn ending stock estimates unchanged for both 2011/12 and 2012/13 with downward revision of exports by 50 mn bu and increased ethanol by 50 mn bu for 2011/12. In cotton, the USDA has revised upwards ending stocks to a record 74.51mn bales for 2012/13 (August/July).  China's cotton imports estimate was also reduced to 13.5 mn bales, from 14 mn bales for 2012/13.

Chart of the day is...

...uranium U308 price, 2 year chart:

We catch up with this chart on occasion, supplied as it is by source the Ux Consulting Company LLC that shows the price fluctuations for the last couple of year. Or non-fluctuations perhaps, because since Fukushima the song has remained the same. At what point will the "it's only a temporary blip2 brigade admit their error? Is a full year enough for them, or are we still in the "temporary" phase?


Peru posts worst single month of gold production in the last decade

We had the mining production numbers from Peru's Ministry of Energy and Mining for the month of April this afternoon, with the eye-catcher stat being the 11,453.637kg of gold produced in the country during that month. This is the worst single month of gold production for the last 10 years in Peru (minimum, I carry an XLS back to Jan 2003) and you can just about make out the April 2012 bar on the right of this long-term chart:

Zooming in on the last 12 months, here's how April's big drop looks:

Then combine the volume with the average price for the month (courtesy of Kitco, which tracks the London PM fix price here) we get the other chunk of bad news: $607-and-bits million dollars is either down or way down on previous months.

Strangely, the historic gold production slump is missing from the spin offered up by MEM.

So, getting back to the legal bullies running Curis Resources (

Last week we gave Curis Resources' CEO the right to reply after our first post on the matter of his company's (and serial legal SLAPP bullboys HDI, controlling group behind decision to file suit against a poster of Stockhouse who goes by a handle 'erinG'. Here's a chart that shows the last three months of share price action, with a couple of notes besides.

Yes, on May 6th 2012 (after after holding for a considerable period) respected and well-followed newsletter writer Brent Cook folded on his position. The next day, May 7th, 289,800 shares traded as low as 65c 64c (ty commenter). But even those who got out at the worst of the "all out the door same time" selling rush on Cook's call are doing better than the current PPS which stands at 60c.

But apparently, the sell-off is due to an anonymous poster on a freakin pisspoor bullboard that nobody in their right mind could ever imagine as a prime driver of share price action. Even though that's the only significant day of volume since January (2nd best was 125k traded on March 28th, all other trading days since Feb 6th are sub 100k). And of course, we note that since the legal action was made public has seen another 10c shaved off its PPS. Who are HDI going to blame for that? Me? If they do, then c'mon boys, slap one of those lawsuits on my tush too. I'm sure it'll make you feel a lot better.

PS: An open message to "erinG", whoever s/he may be. I understand you've been banned from Stockhouse so if you still want to get your side of the story published, I'll happily make space for anything you'd care to put into print. After all, if the bullyboys get space here at IKN no reason why you can't have some either. And I guarantee you'll get far more eyeballs (and ones that actually matter) on your script than you would at Stockhouse.

FVI and RIO: Has anyone else noticed this?

I mean, they have things in common of course (Peru exposure, PM producers, good mgmt, growth stories) but on the other hand one is silver with 125m S/O and and one is gold with 175m S/O. Thing is, since the market (apparently) bottomed out they've been trading in a very tight price lockstep. Not percentage-wise, but real world penny-for-penny stuff.

Or maybe I'm reading too much into it. 

disclosure: i own both but currently reco just one of them

The Falklands/Las Malvinas and the first rule of a good trial lawyer

"Never ask a question that you don't  already know the answer to."

This from The Press Association:

Falklanders to hold referendum
The Falkland Islands are to hold a referendum on their "political status" - hoping to bring an end to the continuing dispute with Argentina over the islands' sovereignty, their government said.
The announcement comes as Falklanders prepare to mark the 30th anniversary of the liberation of the islands.
Three decades after continues here

The Pinochet documentary

Chilean website The Clinic has got hold of a copy of the controversial documentary about Augusto Pinochet and put it on its (slow loading) website. It's right here. Those of you who've followed this story over the last week or so and care enough can go watch it all yourself and see what the fuss is all about.

Beating the IR at Gran Colombia Gold ( to the punch

We surely do know that pally pal Serafino Iacono loves to tell the world when he buys stock in Gran Colombia Gold ( IKN noted as much in this post back in April , in which we went into detail about just how much money he's flushed down this equity toilet sagely invested in GCM equities at various prices, though some a teeny weeny tad higher. We also saw him get his flunkeys to tell the world in May when he bought another 260k of

So with the filings yesterday that note he's purchased another 1.077m shares of at prices between 33c and 35c these last few days, we get to look forward to Serafino telling us poverty stricken mortals how he's wasting spending his cash this time, too. So look out for that NR.

UPDATE just 45 minutes later: Damn, right on time!
TORONTO , June 12, 2012 /CNW/ - Gran Colombia Gold Corp. (GCM.TO) announced today that its Executive Co-Chairman, Serafino Iacono, has purchased an aggregate of 1,000,000 common shares of the Company between June 8 and June 11, 2012 at an average price CDN$0.336 per share, on the open market.  As at today's date, Mr. Iacono holds 9,681,416 shares of the Company (representing 2.53% of the issued and outstanding shares).  Mr. Iacono also purchased 100,000 units of the Company's Silver Linked Notes (GCM-NTU.TO) at an average price of US$77.00 per unit. Mr. Iacono commented, "My latest investment in continues here

Chart of the day is...

...crude oil, monthlies, back to 2003:

I remember the last time this chart was featured, I got comments like "WTI doesn't matter any longer, it's all about Brent". To borrow from Dr. Johnson, I refute it thus. It might drop a bit further, it might not, all depends on just how uncontrollable the world scene really is and honestly, I don't see our world leaders in a frothing panic. Then once it's done dropping it'll float back up to that $110/bbl mark (just don't ask me when).

OT: Not so much posting yesterday due to a big local blackout. It's one thing having alternative sources of power, quite another when your ISP shuts down as well. The good news is that I caught up with a bit of the dead wood ink reading that's backed up to the horizon at IKN Nerve Centre™.


Is Serafino Iacono working to save the cute fuzzy monkeys?

We rejoice that (it seems it's him, but no confirmation yet) Venezuela's Colombian multimillionaire (??) Serafino Iacono has decided to join in on the conversation regarding Pacific Rubiables ( and it buyout of Alange ScrewUp PetroMagdalena (PMD.v) over at Settyblog. Go over and see what he (apparently) wrote, but don't miss out on Setty's reply.

Good clean fun. After all, Serafino Iacono has nothing to hide. Right?

Musical message to a friend

no explanation either. aimed at one person only.

As I read today's edition of Reuters Inside Metals this morning...

...while sipping my cup of coffee, I couldn't help but think "Hmmm, those newfound shorters of copper look like they're going to get their hind quarters handed to them on a platter."

Have a look yourself, right here. Take in the top four or five stories and do your own cogitations.

Four thoughts on last night's Mexico presidential debate

1) Quadri isn't a politician. 
2) Josefina Vázquez Mota is unelectable.
3) AMLO did ok, but hardly shone until the very end in his closing remarks. He was really insistent about reaching out for the youth vote, doubtless moving to capitalize on the #yosoy132 movement and its momentum.
4) Enrique Peña Nieto didn't win it, but he didn't have to. He put in a good enough performance to keep his supporters on his side. All he really had to do last night was get through without dropping any big clangers, which is precisely what he did. Not my idea of a drinking partner, but looking more like the next President of Mexico after last night.

And one more thought: English language journalists covering the election, do us all a favour and find out where the "ñ" is on your keyboards. Thanks in advance.

Chart of the day is...

...Peru imports versus exports, December 2008 to date:

And yup, that last month saw a trade deficit, the first since 2009 (remember all that depression of commods prices? Yeah me too). For what it's worth Peru's FinMin Castilla said the negative trade balance for April 2012 wasn't very important. I wonder what he'll say when Peru racks up three or four in a row?

These days there's an upsurge of people who seem to think that Peru's internal economy will be good enough to see it through and post 6% annual growth figure indefinitely. They're dickheads.


The IKN Weekly, out now

IKN162 has just been sent to subscribers. I'm off to watch the Mexico debate.

Go read "The Macroeconomics of Chinese kleptocracy "

Today's highly recommended reading is the post over at Bronte Capital entitled "The Macroeconomics of Chinese kleptocracy". An excellent overview of the dynamics of today's Chinese economy and the people who are benefitting from it. John Hempton's blog is always a great read, today he's an essential read.

Here's the link again, to make sure you click through. Now click through.