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Peru: The Independence Day presidential address to Congress

It's Peru's equivalent of the State of the Union address in The USA, as every year on July 28th (Peru's Independence Day) its President speechifies to his Congress. Here's a link to the Reuters report about what was said and perhaps equally important, what wasn't said by Ollanta Humala.

Five days of metals and miners; July 28th

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).

Let's not try to parse things too far and keep to the basic fact that it was a very good week for the complex.  The juniors screamed higher, the whole caboodle backstopped by the rise in gold. Above all, what we saw was rebounds of really beaten up stocks.


Best. Flame. Ever.

That, I'm just lost for words.

A moment about which you'll be able to say "I watched that live" decades from now.

The Friday OT: Republica; Ready to go

I adore one-hit wonders.

What makes this one great? Take a band put together from session players especially for the occasion who obviously don't give a toss, a girl who has trouble holding a note at times, a truckload of 90's video techniques and the combo still can't ruin the fact that the song is wonderful chunk of pop catchiness. 

It's also kind of a nod to the start of all the Olympic fun, name of the song and opening ceremony just a couple of hours away and all that. Dedicated to Amber.

A good read on Barrick's 2q12

We call out bad work by analysts, we call out good work done too. Here's a link to the report on Barrick's 2q12 compiled by Scotia's Tanya Jakusconek that deserves a big shout-out for its concise manner and the way it catches all the important points of the filings and the ConfCall.

A good job of work, because in just two pages of bullet points you'll be up to speed on the world's biggest gold mining company. Link again here, just to make sure and kudos to Jakusconek

Oh by the way, while we're on the subject I think we can put to bed the rumours that were floating around as to why Regent was sacked as CEO and thrown off the board of directors at the same time. It wasn't because he opposed a merger with Kinross, it was because he turned out to be a crap CEO who couldn't control costs (see Pascua Lama) and put his stock in crappy, über high capex projects (see Donlin, Casale) that simply don't fly. Mediocre bosses get fired, y'see.


Here's an example of the only occasions your humble scribe reads bullboard*. Reader JR mailed in last night in response to this post yesterday, his title line was "Sprott is on our side" and the subject matter was Takara Resources (TKK.v). Here's the whole of his mail, for your viewing consideration:


Mar 8, 2011        2,011,900    
Mar 7, 2011        3,430,300

IKN back. Thanks for the mail JR, good to know there are sharp eyes watching these self-serving doubletalkers.

*when somebody mails me a link. You guys trudge thru the 999 worthless chunks of blabber and find the one thing worth reading so that i don't have to. Your efforts are appreciated.

Chart of the day is... dailies:

Because I'm gonna go all charty on you and point out the resistance now getting hit. Good to see it getting hit, though.

And happy birthday Peru. My, haven't you grown?


This morning's Flash Update for subscribers

It's now post-bell and this (bar one redaction) is what was delivered to subscribers 30 minutes before the bell this morning, Thursday July 26th 2012. And yes, it means your humble scribe has today taken a long position in U.S. Silver ( with a near-term bias to the trade.


Good morning, about half an hour before the opening bell on a pleasant, crisp Thursday morning.

Four things to mention in this Flash update:

1) U.S. Silver ( is a potential near-term trading buy, sweetened bid likely:

The news out last night is that Hecla (HL) is offering $111m, or $1.80 per share, for U.S. Silver. 

It's a hostile bid and needs 66 2/3rds % approval to win through. This bid is very interesting because it's a better deal on paper than the current merger plan between and RX Gold & Silver (RXE.v), but at the same time it's unlikely to be high enough to secure the two thirds of votes it needs. Therefore, the most likely situation is a sweetened bid down the line from HL that moves this to a friendly acquisition status. On consideration (and some early morning math and estimates), I think HL will be willing to pay up to $2.10 per share for all cash.

Therefore if $1.80 is offered this morning, those looking for a near-term trade with little downside risk and a good chance of perhaps 15% upside may want to take a position in However, if counterbids get baked in immediately and trades higher (let's say $1.95 or above), the risk-reward balance tips against our favour and the trade isn't one that appeals, for your author at least.

2) Baja Mining ( No trade here

This morning, Baja Mining ( secured a $90m funding for Boleo in exchange for 21% of its ownership ((BAJ) is now down to 49%). NR here:

However, the most important part of the NR is right at the bottom where it says (key sentence bold-typed and underlined):

SRK Consulting has been retained to prepare an updated NI 43-101 compliant technical report on the Boleo project. Baja anticipates that the updated technical report will be filed in September 2012. Upon completion and filing of this report, Baja will have 60 days to complete a non-backstopped rights offering to provide it with funds to exercise its Stage II participation right. Mount Kellett has advised Baja that it does not intend to participate in such rights offering.

Our prospects of a trade in BAJ have always hinged on Mount Kellett arranging a deal that it likes (and that can be coattailed by us smallfry). As that is now clearly not the case, we're dropping our radar coverage on BAJ as from today. There's no trade here, unless you like them über-risky (and that's not for my blood, folks)

3) Market comment

Gold looks strong this morning on the back of the Draghi comments today that boils down to "We will print Euros if necessary". Although this doesn't mean gold will rally in the very-short-term, the roadmap is now pretty clear. I added a few more [STOCK NAME REDACTED] yesterday close to lows and was glad to do so. Although somewhat dangerous to say out loud, I'm more confident that the worst of 2012 is now behind us and will look to add exposure in the quality end of my portfolio (rather than the illiquid tinycaps). More Sunday on this.

4) Sunward Resources (

Quite a few mails about the Colombia-may-ban-cyanide report yesterday. More in IKN169 on Sunday, but just a quick note here to say that our exposure to Colombia juniors, namely Sunward Resources (, is unlikely to need cyanide in any eventual processing operation. According the the first-pass met studies in the Titiribi 43-101, standard gravity-plus-flotation techniques return very good recovery rates, so cyanide is not needed for economic extraction (or at least that's the obvious conclusion to draw from these early-stage met results) 

Best, O

How Canadian brokerages work

Now that they've had all today to position favoured clients in U.S.Silver (, expect a raft of analyses from the liars-in-suits tomorrow morning that reco as a buy due to the high likelihood of a sweetened bid from Hecla (HL).

Moral: You think Eric Sprott is on your side? Hah! Asshole!

NovaGold (NG): intelligent commentary time at IKN


errrr, toldyaso.


UPDATE 2: We remind readers of the Ottotrans™ number 44, dated September 7th 2011, on Donlin Creek. Read the NadaGold real NR over there, here's the Ottotrans™ again:

And this is what it means:
Press Release Source: NovaGold Resources Inc. On Wednesday September 7, 2011, 8:30 am
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire -09/07/11)- NovaGold Resources Inc. (TSX: NG.TO - News)(AMEX: NG.TO - News) The feasibility study completed on the Donlin Gold Project (formerly Donlin Creek) in 2009 is being updated to include power generation utilizing natural gas delivered to site via a proposed 500-kilometer natural gas pipeline from the Cook Inlet to the mine site. Utilizing natural gas is expected to lower costs to generate power and reduce operating risk. In connection with this update, Donlin Gold LLC, owned equally by wholly owned subsidiaries of NovaGold Resources Inc. ("NovaGold") and Barrick Gold Corporation ("Barrick"), has provided its owners with preliminary capital cost estimates of approximately holy shit you gotta be joking me Rick US$'re serious, dude? for the Project with an additional approximately US$1 billion for the natural gas pipeline...oh, just another billion thrown in there, don't worry about it. The previous capital cost estimate for the Project released in April 2009 was US$4.5 billion and did not include a natural gas pipeline. NovaGold was advised by Barrick that it will also discuss these preliminary capital costs estimates for the Donlin Gold Project at its Investor Day taking place today in Toronto, Canada.
"Since April 2009 the price of gold has more than doubled, so for fuck's sake stop looking at that seven billion dollar capex number, willyaz?" commented Rick Van Nieuwenhuyse, NovaGold's President and CEO. "We are encouraged by these developments because that's what we have to say to look good in front of the mining knownothings in New York that we've strung along so far and we hope that they fall for our bullshit again this time."
Donlin Gold has advised its owners that this capital estimate is preliminary in nature with significant review and coordinating work remaining to be completed before the estimate is eventually doubled in the manifold studies that will be done before anything close to a build decision is made, perhaps around 2025. Such work includes, among other activities, hitting rocks with hammers, drinking copious amounts of alcohol in the evenings and sitting around wondering just why we're still taken seriously as a gold exploration junior, what with a combined capex of over $12Bn for our two main projects....I mean, what's 20% of the market cap of Barrick between friends anyway?
It is anticipated that the feasibility study update, including a revised National Instrument 43-101 compliant technical report by AMEC will be completed before the end of 2011. The feasibility study update will include the finalized capital cost estimates whatever that means, because we say finalized to make it sound all certain then throw in estimates to cover our asses with the reality of thing, updated operating costs, reflecting lower power costs and higher diesel, labour and other costs relative to the previous study, and revised economics based on these and other reviewed technical inputs which sounds all important, doesn't it? The revised economics will be based on current long-term forecasted gold prices which have risen significantly compared to US$900 per ounce of gold that was used in the 2009 feasibility study, but we haven't decided which number to guess at yet. NovaGold will announce details and results of the updated feasibility study when available.
The Donlin Gold Project is one of the world's largest undeveloped gold projects and will almost certainly stay that way until the cows come home with proven and probable mineral reserves of 33.6 million ounces, measured and indicated mineral resources of 4.3 million ounces and inferred mineral resources of 4.4 million ounces, all of which worth precisely nothing until they can be dug out the ground so quit it with all those in-situ valuation comparatives will you please, dumbass anal ysts? The updated feasibility study will contain revised mineral reserve and resource estimates. The Project is anticipated to be capable of producing over one million ounces of gold per year for over 25 years with significant additional exploration targets identified on an eight-kilometer mineralized trend. The Partners expect to formally initiate permitting for the Project early in 2012.
The technical information contained in this press release was reviewed by Kevin Francis, SME Registered Member, VP, Resources for NovaGold and a Qualified Person as defined by NI 43-101.
Love and Kisses, Rick!


UPDATE 3: Oh this gets better and better. Here's the NadaGold (NG) ( NR out minutes ago to address the Barrick snafu and here's a piccy to go with it.

UPDATE 4: And in the annals of 
"FuckTheRichAssholeWhoMadeOneGoodCallAssholeThenThinksHeIsSomeKindOf OmnipotentAssholeBeingWhoWillNeverBeWrongAsshole", we have this report from Bloomie on John Paulson and his mega loss in NadaGold. 

ps: tell ya what, this updating lark is more fun than posting separate posts

A flash update...

...has just been sent to subscribers. At 9am EST, half an hour before the opening bell this Thursday morning.

UPDATE: Dear subbers, for your information I have acted on point 1) of the Flash update. The price was right.

Chart of the day is... that tracks the massive capex hikes at Barrick's (ABX) Pascua Lama project on the Chile/Argentina border.

Here's today's 2q12 results NR that includes the latest hike call, here's the chunk of script:

         Pascua-Lama Cost Increase
- Due to lower than expected productivity and persistent inflationary and other cost pressures, as previously disclosed, the company initiated a detailed review of the cost and schedule estimates for Pascua-Lama in the second quarter. Preliminary results currently indicate an approximate 50-60 percent increase in capital costs from the top end of the previously announced estimate of $4.7-$5.0 billion, with first production expected in mid-2014. The company will provide a further progress update with third quarter results.

Holy crap, an $8Bn can of worms.

Hecla (HL) makes a $111m all-cash hostile bid for U.S. Silver (

This news (main NR here or if you prefer a Reuters gig here) is interesting on several levels. Firstly, a bigger fish in Hecla (HL) with a market cap of around $1.3Bn is making a $1.80/share cash bid (+29% Weds close) for a smaller fish ( at what looks like the right time for cash bids that add eventual equity long as the market rebounds at least. Secondly, this offer clearly trumps the opportunistic-looking deal with RX Gold & Silver (RXE.v) and offers more value to beaten up/beaten down holders (disclosure, no personal position at this time but I have held previously). Thirdly, HL is taking a bit of a corporate gamble here, buying up a high cash cost producer that might not be profitable even now and would certainly start running at a loss if silver dropped just a few dollars more. Fourthly, we now have two sets of management teams fighting over an asset, which means that a bidding war is in the cards on this one. It's reasonable to assume that $1.80/share is a starting point.

Lastly, I was adding to a personal silver company position just yesterday (note to subbers: the same one I added to the week before) in the belief that sectorwide M&A can't be too far round the corner. For sure a pity I didn't pick as my buy and get the instant win, but this type of action bodes well not just for the back pockets of those long-suffering shareholders.


World's most wonderful wikipedia page? Richard Fifer, thug, drug dealer and general piece of shit, gets the full ass-lick treatment over at wiki

Thanks due to reader D for the headsup on this

This is simply magnificent, a whole Wikipedia page dedicated to the convicted drug dealer and disgraced politician Richard Fifer that's obsequious to the Nth degree. You have to go over and read it now, link right here (for one thing it might disappear very soon, see below) but just three excerpts for your entertainment and to whet your appetite coming right up:
"Richard Glenn Fifer-Carles, born on January 23, 1957 in the Republic of Panama at Gorgas Army Hospital is recognized in his native country as the Father of Panamanian mining."
"In 1986, the visionary engineer found the land where he would implement his main goal: to create a mining project in Panama which would bring tangible benefits to the country." 
"Richard Fifer-Carles is a man of many talents who has contributed not only to the growth of the mining industry but different sectors of the Panamanian economy."

And we could continue, because it's quite the most bizarre thing your humble scribe has read this week month year. And let's be crystal clear here:

In fact, it's so biased and bizarre that proposals that the article be deleted are already on the Wiki page. Here's what the top of the page reads right now:

So hurry up and go see this masterpiece of bootlicking before it's gone forever. And take a copypaste of it too perhaps (i have).

Kramer versus Bolivar

The end

Finally, South American Silver ( gets some English language coverage (aside from this blog, of course)

And it's a good piece too, written by Dario Kenner of AIN. It lays off the inflammatory blah balh (unlike your author), strips out the company spin and does a good job of getting to the bottom of just why Greg Johnson's bullshitting couldn't work its magic in Bolivia. Anyway, go read it.

So here's a question about Colombian junior mining

If Colombia bans the use of cyanide in mining, what would happen to all those Colombian gold exploration projects that are planning to use cyanide recovery techniques?

This report states that after a meeting on Monday between Colombia's agro and mining ministers, there's an agreement between them to add into the upcoming mining law project, about to be presented to Colombia's parliament for debate, a stipulation on the non-use of mercury and cyanide in mining in the country. 

Catching up with Stillwater Mining (SWC)

Your humble scribe read today's NR from Stillwater Mining (SWC) (he reads all the pre-bell NRs from miners, no matter how boring) and the interesting part of the operations update and 2q12 confcall announcement wasn't what was in there, but what wasn't. They talk about the North American things they're doing, but nary a peep of a squeak of a word was forthcoming about Altar, the massive porphyry that SWC acquired by buying out Peregrine last year for $487m

I mean, surely if you pay nearly half a billion dollars for a mine project you'll have it up there with an important place in your company structure? But no, apparently not, because SWC doesn't seem to want to talk about Altar any longer. I wonder why?

Ah yeah, that'll be it. Maybe, just maybe, the fact that they paid $487m just 12 months ago for another company and find the whole of SWC priced at $880m today has something to do with it? Y'know, just a wild guess.

In fact, thinking about it, it's kind of impressive that these dumbasses haven't been on the sharp end of a proxy slate...yet.

South America GDP growth in 2011, by country

With the last of the regional central banks now reporting their preliminary numbers (note that final GDP growth figures aren't set in stone for a couple years), here's how the South America country GDPs now look for 2011:

Top regional growth was seen in Argentina, which cocks a snook at all that death from inflation talk yet again. Let's face it, all the dumbasses in suits (aka economists) have been calling for the imminent demise of the Argentine economy year after year and their lapdogs in the press keep churning out the doomtalk, good little puppies they are. Therefore you can guarantee that another dose of reality in 2011 won't stop them from the party line in 2012. When faced by facts that disagree, dumbasses in suits simply ignore them.

South America's commie lefty bedwetters would also like to apologize for placing Ecuador in second spot for 2011 growth, despite that lack of FDI which (we were told) would be vital for the country. Errr, no. It wasn't. 

Then come "the friendly countries" Peru, Chile, Colombia, Uruguay. Then comes Bolivia, posting a very decent 5%+ growth number. Then we have Venezuela and Paraguay and finally, the market darling Brazil and...errr fund manager dudes...change the record please?

Chart of the day is.. gold price, the famous little black Kitco chart (bless 'em).


So what part of...

..."No major mining company with a nominally sane and rational board of directors that doesn't want to suffer a proxy slate attack is going to commit upwards of three billion dollars to a major copper project in Argentina and it doesn't matter how many fancy dancing 'strategic reviews' you do" do you not understand?

Seriously, if you were one of the accredited suckers investors that got the pump call from their Canadian thief in suit (alt title, 'broker') and was cajoled into taking on Lumina Copper (LCC.v) stock at $10 or above last month it's time to change your investment advisor (term used very loosely), is it not?

And on the subject of today's action in LCC.v, here's a special message for reader and pal, Doug L:

Nuff said. (Best enjoyed with sound on, DL)

AuRico (AUQ): Knives out for Marion

The following from Scotia this morning brings to mind a couple of issues. Firstly, because the Canadian mining world is a such a tightly-knit, everyone-knows-everybody-else community, it's difficult to get the necessary straight talk criticism of any given company's management team from the people whose job it is to give fair and unbiased commentary, namely analysts. Secondly, as a friend and I were discussing recently (regarding your humble scribe's own less than perfect faculties more that anyone else) people tend to overestimate their abilities as judges of character,  fair comment re. myself and for what follows.

Getting to the point it's now noticeable that those who fawned over Rene Marion, now ex-CEO of AuRico (AUQ) (ex-Scammon Gold), are being less guarded about criticism of his tenure now that he's out to pasture. A good thing too, because all evidence to anyone looking in from the outside is that Marion was always a mediocre company chief.

So to the text, copypasted from this morning's Scotia mining daily letter:

AuRico’s New CEO Discusses Challenges and Progress at Ocampo: Yesterday, Scotiabank hosted an update for institutional investors with CEO-designate and current CFO, Scott Perry.  Since July 17th when AUQ reported their disappointing q2 production numbers, revised lower 2012 guidance and management changes - the share price is currently -19% vs -3% to -5% for the average Senior & Mid-tier Producer.  Focus during the lunch was on Ocampo given the source of the negative news last week came from this Mine.  The root problem of Ocampo's issues stemmed from a sudden surge in labour turnover during Q2.  Scott Perry said that once bonuses were paid a high number of skilled workers left the company for other jobs.  The disadvantage in working at Ocampo is the fact that workers are on a 20 days On - 10 days - Off schedule which generally pays better but workers are away from their families more than they are home.  Scott said AuRico once had a retention program whereby if workers stayed at the Mine for 3 years they would get a 50 to 60% bonus paid but this program lapsed after Ocampo reached a steady production profile and this was a big mistake in retrospect.  Scott said the company recognizes they need to pay more to keep their workers and they have reinstated their retention program - they have now filled 90% of their vacant labour positions.  In addition, an underground contractor is being used to catch up on Mine Development with a target of having 6 months of Ore accessible to production workers (Note: that during Q2 this got down to an unacceptable 1 month which bottlenecks Mine Production).  The contractors are hired for development work only.  Currently, Ocampo is developing about 100 m a day, while it needs only 75 m a day to keep pace with production. The company expects to be caught up by mid-2013, but it may keep the contractor on the job beyond that to build a greater development buffer.  By 2014, AuRico still plans to expand the mill to 4,000 tonnes per day (tpd), with 3,000 tpd coming from the underground and 1,000 tpd coming from the open pit. Crushing and grinding capacity exists to support the expansion and only minor modifications to tankage and filtering are anticipated.

What about Acquisitions?  While the company made two acquisitions in 2011 that brought them El Chanate (Capital Gold acquistion), and Young-Davidson (Northgate acquisition) - the company will not be looking at further acquisitions for at least 18 months as they hunker down to surface value with their existing assets. PDF 

More on the new Peru cabinet

What with the cabinet re-shuffle in Nadine Ollanta Humala's government yesterday, your humble scribe exchanged with "a friend in Lima" this morning and after batting a couple of mails off each other, got said friend to agree to putting thoughts down in script for the blog, which is good. Needless to say, "friend in Lima" is a very sharp and informed observer of the political scene there. So with further ado, less of my blather and more from somebody who knows what they're talking about (with just one necessary redaction made):

Third cabinet in one year, five new ministers.  This is typical for Peru, we can´t expect otherwise with the lack of political parties and Presidents who are novices in this game.   So we keep hoping for the best with each turn, but know the doors will keep revolving in some of these ministries.   My general impression? Civilians and Liberals, people who respect the Rule of Law and human rights, politically independent and technically competent, on the whole. In general the five new cabinet members seem like competent folks in their areas of expertise.   Milton von Hesse is a decent and honest person.  People and companies have tried to corrupt him (includes [name of large company, redacted]) but he is someone who is incapable of taking bribes or looking the other way.   His original field was agro and he is a good match with Carolina Trivelli, with whom he has worked on agro development issues in the past.   The rural sectors need urgent attention. Midodi de Habich is widely known as a leading expert in health policy.  She knows the public sector in and out and also has good ideas for reform.   
Jimenez is PUCP (ottonote: long-established Lima University, good reputation for academic standards) and a relatively young PCM, which is a nice change, and has credentials on the right side.  Both he and Pulgar Vidal are for dialogue, and respecting basic rights, even if they may have supported State of Emergency in Cajamarca which is not unreasonable in itself (killing people with use of lethal force by the police, IS unreasonable, of course).  Let´s hope that the slogan "Cabinete del dialogo" rather than conflict is realized.  One can always hope.  I have two concerns. The first is political leadership. These folks are largely independent, technical people who know their fields but we need real old fashioned political leadership in this government, ability to communicate to citizens and the press and explain and just LEAD.  Who is going to do that?  Nadine?  Seriously, Ollanta still has to stand in front and I don´t know if Jimenez has those skills. The second is Conga. Or rather, the need to “de-Conga”, to shift attention to the many other issues on the agenda and other regions that need support. Jimenez´s first comments suggest this administration remains focused on Cajamarca, but as the Regional President of Cuzco said this morning, the rest of the country is anxiously awaiting projects in infrastructure, gas, health and education, you name it.  Its time to shift Conga to one side – deal with it, of course, and hopefully the Jimenez Cabinet will be more effective at that -- but not give it such exclusive attention.

Reflections on Argentine foreign policy

1) Bring your father and your households and come to me; I will give you the best of the land of Egypt, and you will eat the fat of the land. (Genesis 45:18, new king james version)


3) "We can do without butter, but, despite all our love of peace, not with arms. One cannot shoot with butter, but with guns." (Joseph Goebbels).

Or in other words, the world cares more about Argentina than Argentina cares about the world. Nothing new in those attitudes, either. Just thinking out loud, basically. 

Chart of the day is...

...12 months of Baja Mining (

A chart that goes with this photo of John Greenslade, taken as the markets opened yesterday morning.



Peru's new ministers

The new cabinet make-up after the ministerial re-shuffle brings the following names:

  • Juan Jiménez as expected has moved from Justice Minister and is the new Prime Minister and Cabinet Chief. On the key issue of Conga this isn't a conciliatory signal at first light, because while at Justice he publicly supported the imposition of the State of Emergency in Cajamarca recently, as well as being against lifting the Emergency measures early
  • Pedro Cateriano is the new Defense Minister. A previous Vice-Minister in other government roles and currently Peru's representative at the Interamerican Court of Human Rights, this is a direct promotion. An interesting choice, as he isn't beyond ruffling feathers of Peru's great and good, including a recent run-in with Nobel Literature laureate Mario Vargas Llosa.
  • Eda Rivas is the new Justice Minister, taking over from the promoted Juan Jiménez and coming up from the vice-minister of justice role. A straight promotion and a logical choice.
  • Fernando Bolaños is the new Minister for Education (see below) and comes from the Humala party (Gana Perú) ranks. His twitter account here, for those interested enough.
  • Milton Von Hesse, until today director of Peru investment promotion body ProInversión, is the new Minister of Agriculture.

That's what we have so far, with just miutes before the official swearing-in ceremony. Any more to add, we'll add them later. 

UPDATE: More for the pile

  • Midori de Habich is the new Minister for Health. A health consultant and has worked with USAID over the years. Twitter here
  • Wilfredo Pedraza is the new Interior Minister . He's the ex-head of the Peru INPE prison service and a lawyer with his own buffet.

UPDATE 2: Patricia Salas remains Education Minister. Something strange went on there, because Bolaños was unofficially named by many trustworthy sources, but at the last minute was a no-show for the ceremony. We'll probably never find out

Did Yanacocha hire a hit man to assassinate Gregorio Santos?

Wow, this is a pretty heavy story if true (and of course it's why I stuck that "?" in the title line, cya and all that). According to this report, a hit man from the Trujillo gang "Los Mudos" was captured by local vigilantes in the Cajamarca region this weekend and has confessed to having been hired by Yanacocha S.A. to assassinate local Regional Governor Gregorio Santos along with other leading anti-mining figures in the region who are vehemently opposed to the new Conga project. According to his apparent confession to his captors, he was recently let out of prison after finishing a sentence and soon afterwards approached by people representing Yanacocha S.A and offered 12,000 soles (U$4,562) to whack the regional president of Cajamarca Santos. He was captured after robbing locals of cellphones and later confessed to his true motive for being in the region, according to these somewhat second-hand reports at least.

Santos is expected to make a declaration on the matter later today.

Juan Jiménez is Peru's new Prime Minister and Cabinet Chief, as of tonight

We've just heard that current Minister of Justice, Juan Jiménez, has been chosen as the next PM and Cabinet Chief in Peru and will replace outgoing PM Oscar Valdés in a swearing-in ceremony tonight.

Other ministerial positions are bound to change hands in this cabinet re-shuffle too.

UPDATE: Here's Reuters EngLang on the story.

Cash4Gold, Dynasty Metals ( style

Well, the insurance policy is one way of liquidating stock, I suppose. NR here, excerpt here:

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire -07/23/12)- Dynasty Metals & Mining Inc. ("Dynasty" or the "Company") ( announces that the processing plant at the Zaruma Gold Project, located in the El Oro Province of southwestern Ecuador, was the target of an armed robbery in the early morning of July 23, 2012.
A group of armed robbers gained access to the site and escaped with dore bars containing approximately 1,300 ounces of gold and 4,000 ounces of silver. No employees were fatally injured during the assault and the gold storage facility sustained some repairable damage. The robbery has been reported to the appropriate Ecuadorian authorities. Police are currently on site at Zaruma working with the Company to investigate the incident.
Dynasty has insurance to cover this type of loss with an internationally recognized insurance company and is in the process of filing a claim. Continues here

What, me? Cynical? Nah...

Scorpio Mining ( and The James Stonehouse Reverse Midas Syndrome

Back on December 15th 2011, when James Stonehouse was appointed VP Exploration at Scorpio Mining (, this humble corner of cyberspace greeted the news in the following way (excerpted):

"...for all I know Mr Stonehouse may well be the nicest person around, always willing to help old ladies across the street, do fine things for charity and be the life and soul of any Christmas party. But when a VP Expl...
  • was at the centre of the clustafark called Ascendant Copper in Ecuador
  • and then at the centre of the clustafark called Mercer Gold in Colombia
  • and is then hired by a company that makes a point of NOT mentioning the names of companies in Mr Stonehouse's background in the NR, preferring to talk in general terms about his years of experience in The Americas and his fluent Spanish makes his new employer, Scorpio Mining ( a very easy avoid." CONTINUES HERE

Here we are a few months down the line and here's how things have developed at since December 15th:

Telling ya, that Stonehouse guy is one helluva market indicator. A contrary one, that is.

Gold Resource Corp (GORO) comes up with a 43-101 resource (at last)

I bring you glad tidings of great joy! Unto us a child is born! On this fair day, Gold Resource Corp (GORO) decided to stop actively insulting the market and finally publish the 43-101 compliant technical report compiled by Pincock Allen Holt (PAH) that's been floating round their offices since what looks like December in draft form, March in more solid form, May in "got all them there drills in there" form and June in "let's put a front cover on it" form. There's a lot to chew over in the 150 page document linked right here but if you're like me you'll want to hightail it directly to that little table that has the resource count. No worries, here it is for your dee lek tay shun:

So, GORO has a 415k ounces of indicated "gold equivalent" and another million and bits of "gold equivalent" in the inferred, all wrapped up in 2.75mt of rock at the low end cut-off. What's strange is how just 105k oz of that indicated resource is covered by gold the metal and how the vast majority of GORO's resource is silver, along with significant additions from the copper, zinc and lead.

Now is it just me, or does that make the company a tad expensive on a resource in-situ basis?

Chart of the day is...

...the gold/silver ratio, three year timespan:

One of the very few TA-type ratio indicator charts worth paying attention to, the GSR is still showing all the signs of rolling over without actually rolling over.


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IKN168 has just been sent to subscribers. Just sayin'