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Neil Armstrong, R.I.P.

After living in several countries and having visited many others I've yet to meet anyone, no matter their age, race, religion, sex, culture or education, who doesn't instantly recognize the name Neil Armstrong. Today the world takes one of its collective pauses and remembers the man that embodied the single crowning achievement of the 20th century.

UPDATE: The family's statement is brief, fitting, eloquent and ends this way:
“For those who may ask what they can do to honor Neil, we have a simple request. Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink.”
Roger that.

Five days of metals and miners; August 25th

Our regular Saturday slot of 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).

A very good week for the complex, period. Worst was the industrials, best was silver, the whole thing riding on gold's broad shoulders. 

Amuay Venezuela

Horrid news out of Amuay Venezuela this morning, as an explosion now being blamed on a gas leak  at the big oil refinery during the small hours of today Saturday (01:10am local time) has killed at least 24 people (toll is rising) and injured at least 84, with the casualty list including local residents caught up in the blast. Reports now say that the majority of fatalities have been suffered by the personnel of the Venezuelan army (Guardia Nacional Bolivariana ) on duty at the refinery at the time of the blast. Rolling news coverage of the accident here.

UPDATE: Here's a quote from Rafael Ramírez, Venezuela's Minister for Petroleum and Mining, about the explosaion at Venezuela's largest single refinery:
"We had a gas leak and we are going to determine its origin. The gas formed a cloud that then exploded and has caused fires to break out at two refinery storage tanks and in areas around [the refinery]. The explosive wave was of large magnitude, the result of which is significant damage to infrastructure and houses located in front of the refinery."
He also said that the refinery is temporarily closed and that they expect to re-start operations in two days.

UPDATE 2: The death toll is now at 39, including 18 soldiers, 15 civilians and six other bodies still to be identified. Grim, grim stuff from Venezuela today.


The Friday OT: Jimi Hendrix; Fire

I've been on a Hendrix jag all week, so come Friday the only tough decision was "which one".

We go with this one, mainly because of the crowd shots. Albert Hall 1969, the mix of people there is just wonderful.

And while we're sticking up links to great things to read...

...this is making the blog today, too. Totally OT and about the current thinking of physicists on how the universe is. Longform and with video, too.

UPDATE: This received from reader 'JMD', who seems to have enjoyed the piece as much as your humble scribe:

energy does in fact come from "nothing"

But when you calculate how much high tech explosives these guys would have to have at their disposal to start the universe formation, they would need 1080 tons of high tech explosives, compressed to a ball smaller than 1 centimeter, and ignite all of its parts exactly at the same time with precision better than 1 in 10,000. 

But to say it with the accent of The Count off seasame street just made my year. Wonderrrful. Ha Ha ha ha ha. (thunder and lightning, bats fly)

Setty does Colombia, Pacific Rubiales (, security guards and all sorts of other

A great piece on Colombia from Setty, today's must-read. Here's an excerpt:

It’s not the sort of thing you learn if you contact Pacific Rubiales Energy Corp. and request a tour of their field and get flown the 200 km from Bogotá on a small plane in 45 minutes, with charming overhead views of the pastoral countryside. It is the sort of thing one learns when visiting with an embittered former farmer who is now a labour activist for oilfield contractors, whose family owns a little parcel of land bought by an oil company to develop the pictured well in what is no longer simply some finca in the middle of nowhere but is instead “the Jaguar field.” He and his siblings can’t afford to farm anymore, since prices in the region have shot up with the presence of oil money, while prices for farm goods haven’t risen. I did not know that Dutch disease could affect a single town, but there it is.

continues here

Zincore's boss buys Zincore (

It may have been beaten up in this downturn, but Jorge Benavides, head honcho of Zincore (, still believes in his company:

Insider NameOwnership
SecuritiesNature of transaction# or value acquired or disposed ofPrice
Aug 23/12Aug 21/12Alfaro, Jorge BenavidesDirect OwnershipCommon Shares10 - Acquisition in the public market7,462,687$0.130

That's just under  $1m cash and a pretty sizeable chunk of stock . No word on the counterparty though...perhaps old man HOC?

PS: oh yeah forgot to say, no position in ZNC right now, though owned it previously.

Updating our Argentina junior mining investment guide

First featured in this post on June 22nd, here we are two months later so it's time to catch up with all things Argentina junior mining and give you the approximate location in the life cycle:

Any further questions?

Chart of the day is..., this time monthlies:

Your humble scribe is fully aware that this humble corner of cyberspace been far too obsessive over gold in the CotDs this week, but sometimes the dollar is the ballgame, sometimes it's copper sometimes it's frozen concentrated orange juice Valentine and sometimes, this the present time, it's gold. Therefore and thusly here we are again with a chart that points out the patterns them there highly qualified philosophers of the markets and of life itself (you know them as technical analysts) have been seeing for weeks. 

It explains the broken furniture. All that table-banging is going to take its toll.


Street art in La Paz Bolivia

Via good old stick & expert on things Bolivia @karaspita (aka Emma, aka T'anta Wawa) your humble scribe discovers La Paz Stencil, a blog of street art in said city. And very good it is too so check it out, but here's a sample to get your interest piqued:

See more here. Plenty to discover.

UPDATE: For those with a knowledge of Bolivia, this section "Clausurado" is particularly good social comment and urban art. Smacks of Mint&Serf in New York, even Banksy to a certain extent.

PS: Oh, and this link for all those you appreciate Daft Punk and traditional Andean music. These guys are now officially great.

Time to own Rio Alto Mining (

...if you don't already. I do (and I'm not selling today, as the target is plenty higher still).

The 52 week and all-time high is $4.76 and once that goes it's going to be blue-sky all the way for all passengers. We're six minutes from the open and I'll eat my hat* if the ATH doesn't fall today. 

Disclosure: Long

UPDATE: Ain't gonna be eatin' no hats today.

*At the moment i do not own a hat but if necessary I'll buy a nice marzipan one for the occasion

In Venezuela, Chávez still leads the polls for the October Presidential election

There are polls and there are polls in Venezuela, with only the stupid and/or biased swallowing the more extreme numbers presented by either the Chávez-friendly pollsters or the Capriles-friendly equivalents. To be honest none of them really shape up as totally trustworthy houses, but perhaps the closest there is to reasonable is Datanálisis, run by anti-Chávista Luis Vicente León but noted for trying to keep personal preferences out of things.

Perhaps that's why Datanálisis lands the juicy private survey contracts from overseas, as an unnamed foreign client recently got Datanálisis to take the election pulse and, as these things do, the numbers have leaked out. This chart shows the difference between the last Datanálisis poll and the one reported on August 20th:

The headline story is that Chávez still leads and by a comfortable margin, but Henrique Capriles has closed the gap somewhat. However, we note that the undecideds have dropped and it's interesting that most of the ones that have made up their minds seem to be moving to the opposition candidate. 

Two comments: Firstly, Capriles has managed to cut the gap a bit but time is now against him and the Chávez hardcore support means that the incumbent is unlikely to lose percentage support from now. If the opposition has a chance, it will be about convincing those undecided voters to come over en masse and as that's an unlikely scenario, it means that Hugo Chávez is still the hot favourite to win this vote. Secondly Datanálisis is due to report one more poll result, which will be in the last part of September and close to the day of the big vote, October 7th. This pollster is about the best in Venezuela but that's more "best of a bad lot" than "best", with its owner a clear anti-Chávista. If León is going to massage a poll it'll be then, at the business end of the campaign.

The Once and Future Queen

You might think like me that this one has come around quickly, but 2013 sees the next Presidential election in Chile. The thing that grabs the eyeballs however, is that even though we're a while from the vote scheduled 17th November 2013, Chile seems to have made up its mind who its wants in La Moneda. Step foreward once again, Michelle Bachelet as we check in on this report of voter intention from Chile's benchmark pollsters, CEP (excerpt translated):

"...when asked the question, "You have decided to vote for...?", Bachelet received 46% support (as well as 22% who "could" vote for her), against 14% for (likely admin candidate and popular minister Laurence) Golborne, 5% for Enríquez-Ominami, 4% for Allemand and 3% for Lagos, Weber and Parisi." continues here

That's pretty wild, but then again if we consider that 'Chelle left her post with a 76% approval rating and current gatekeeper Seb can't break 30% the logic is clear enough. Chile's had enough of its Right wing experiment and is going to go back to Centre-Right-That-Calls-Itself-Centre-Left. 

Chart of the day is...

...silver dailies:

And who is this Jackson guy? And why is everyone so concerned about his hole?



13 out of 13, 8 group 1 wins, stepped up to 10 1/2 f, a stupid amount left in the tank, made fellow G1 winners look like selling platers. With likely just one race left in his career before he goes to stud, it's looking evermore doubtful that we'll ever find out just how good he is. His last race is likely at ascot, but it would be the most marvellous thing if he went to Longchamps and ran the Arc instead. On today's performance, he'll almost certainly get the trip. The highest ranked racehorse ever, officially, by the formbook handicappers, even before today's procesion.

World's greatest racehorse, period.

Family Feud, Humala edition

You'll be hearing about it soon from far more reputable news sources, but let's get the gist translation down for you here:

Isaac Humala (father of Ollanta): "My daughter in law is a money-obsessed bitch and my son's a dickhead."

Ollanta Humala (son of Isaac): "Well actually, it's my father who's the dickhead."

Bet they can't wait for Christmas lunch to come round again.

How to be a mining newsletter writer

It's easy.

click image to enlarge if necessary

dyodd, dude. Honestly, I'm not joking

Chart of the day is... dailies again, a quick repeat of virtually the same chart but one feels it is one's duty to point this out, TA wibblewobble or not:

Meanwhile and utterly OT, one would also like to make clear that as parts of the interwebnetpipes have already noted, it is NOT a scandal if a single man who happens to be a prince and a military officer currently on leave is photographed naked in Las Vegas with hot women. However, it IS a scandal if a single man who happens to be a prince and a military officer currently on leave is NOT photographed naked in Las Vegas with hot women.


It is of course sheer coincidence...

...that Louis Lobito James of Casey Research starts pumping Atna Resources ( to his flock just four trading days before the company announces a $12.5m bought deal private placement at a loonie a pop run by The Can of Corn.

Aug. 21, 2012 /CNW/ - Atna Resources Ltd. ("Atna" or the "Company") (TSX: ATN) (OTCBB: ATNAF) is pleased to announce that it has entered into an agreement with Canaccord Genuity Corp. ("Canaccord" or the "Underwriter") pursuant to which the Underwriter has agreed to purchase, on a bought deal basis, 12,500,000 common shares of the Company (the "Common Shares") at a price of C$1.00 per Common Share for gross proceeds of C$12,500,000. The Company has granted yada yada continues here

Yup, utter coincidence. Or in the words of the late great Amarillo Slim, "“If you can’t spot the sucker within the first half hour at the table, then you are the sucker.”"

UPDATE: Bot deal now $15m, so expect a Nicholas Campbell-Soup buy call on the thing soon.

Colour confusion

What's all this green doing on my computer screen? That's rather confusing, as it's normally a pleasant shade of red. Has something gone wrong? Something changed?

And oh! what's this? Apparently the nice people that look after my financial accounts inform me that I have more net worth in equities than just a couple of short days ago. All rather strange...

How the GDPs of LatAm countries have changed in the period 2009 to 2011

On checking through virtual dust covered files of this computational machine this morning, your humble scribe came across a dataset put together in 2009. It contained the GDP figures in purchasing power parity terms for all Latin America countries, with the figures supplied by that reliable source for world macro numbers, the CIA World Factbook*. So like one does, it was back to the Factbook once again to see how things had changed in the intervening period and here's how the new data (tasteful green red) compares to the old data (tasteful red green...oops):

By the way, I've only included the numbers for the 2011 GDP dataset because the chart got too busy otherwise. However, the immediate thoughts turned to "So who's done best in that time period, Otto?" and a few clicks and drags in Excel later we get this, a chart that shows the relative percentage gains of all the countries in the period provided, which is a much more interesting thing I think:

The result is that Argentina is the best performing country in Latin America between 2009 and GDP PPP terms at least. Which is interesting I think, because all you hear from the wise and sagacious North is how Argentina is a craphole of death and horrible. The above is this kind of snapshot which helps explain just why Klishtina managed to get re-elected with ease, but don't tell that to the dumbasses in suits (aka economists) that draw a healthy salary from predicting Argentina's imminent collapse every year.

Other winners include Panama, Paraguay, Chile and Peru, all scoring over 20% GDP growth (in ppp terms at least and if you want to know more about this metric and what it measures, try this page to start). We note the big economies of Brazil and Mexico firmly entrenched in mid-table obscurity on the list. We also note, in general terms at least and with exceptions, that South American counties have done better than Central American countries in the time period. Finally, we note the poor showing of both Venezuela and El Salvador, despite the relative popularity of those state's leaderships (Chávez is on course for re-election, Funes is still scoring 70%+ popularity numbers). Money isn't everything, you see.

PS: If you want the GDP per capita numbers, work em out yourself this time because I can't be bothered. If you care enough, mail me and I'll send over my dataset to get you started.

*a numberwonk's paradise, check it out if you haven't been there before and find your whole day slipping away too

Chart of the day is...

...the gold/silver ratio, last 6six months:

A change from the recent monotony came yesterday, and this morning the GSR stands at 56.23x which means people like silver just a little bit more than they've been liking it recently. Which is a tentative positive for the sector. Nothing we can really get hot and bothered about yet, though the potential change in tendency makes today's CotD worthy of its mention.


Nicaragua's export mix: Gold now kickin' tush and takin' names

So there I was, pootling around the Nicaragua export bureau website...y'know, like you do on a normal Monday...looking at the export mix for Nicaragua and how the rise of gold exports in said country has changed in recent years. Here are a couple of charts put together from the datamining. This one gives the overview of all exports, including the top eight sector exports (coffee beans are the biggest traditional export, though beef recently caught up with the beans and took a slight lead in 2011) from 2006 to 2011 and as the six month figures for 2012 are also out, we can compare them to the 2011 six and 12 month totals and make an educated guess or two about how 2012 is shaping up.

Yes, the land of Daniel Ortega has been doing very well export-wise recently. In the six years fully registered ('06 to '11) the total country exports are up by 116.6% in dollar terms and 2012 is shaping up as beating 2012 as well (not bad for a world recession year). But the one that catches the eye, for this metalhead at least, is the rise in gold exports:

Back in 2006 gold made up less than 5% of the country's export mix. In 2011 that was up to 15.7% and it looks like rising further this year (with U$198.57m already dispatched in the first six months of 2012). The main reason is the moves made by B2Gold ( to re-open the La Libertad mine and get its other Nica asset at Limón running more smoothly than ever before, but it's also testament to the miner-friendly attitude of the country and its government. Gold is now the third largest export product in Nicaragua and if the growth keeps up it will soon be up there fighting it out for the top spot.

Energy prices in South America: Spot the odd man out

Chile might have dropped a little recently, but its spot price for electricity still 270% higher than the regional average. This interesting chart from local energy specialist bureau Montamat & Asoc via this report in EntornoInteligente:

Brent Cook on Barkerville (BGM.v), from yesterday's edition of Exploration Insights

Today we follow on from the IKN post on July 3rd that featured (by permission) the note written on Barkerville Gold Mines (BGM.v) by Quinton Hennigh of Exploration Insights, and follow on from the publication of the BGM.v 43-101 and the subsequent Cease Trade Order slapped on the stock by the BCSC last week (IKN coverage here).

In yesterday's edition of Exploration Insights, Brent Cook published a takedown of the BGM 43-101 and this humble scribe has been given kind permission from the man himself to reproduce it on these pages, which is what you see below. So without further ado...


Barkerville Gold MinesHow many ounces does it take to fill the Albert Hall?
On June 28 Barkerville Gold Mines (BGM.TSX-V) published their NI 43-101 compliant resource estimate of an indicated 10.6 million ounces grading 5.26 grams per tonne gold. The Qualified Person (QP) for this report, Peter George, went on to suggest that, based on his interpretation of the geology, the district had the geological potential to contain between 65 and 90 million ounces grading between 4.11 and 5.49 grams per tonne gold. Needless to say, this tweaked our interest because, if accurate, the Cariboo Gold project represented one of the most important gold discoveries of the past two decades and we wanted in.
Our internal review turned up some fundamental red flags that we felt were serious enough to alert readers—we had received numerous queries from subscribers and felt it was important enough to issue an “avoid” commentary. If the BGM resource announcement didn't immediately raise some red flags, you may want to re-consider speculating in this sector. Quinton’s initial review can be found in the July 2 issue of Exploration Insights. 
On July 11, Barkerville issued a clarification statement that was mandated by the British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC), the gist of which was, “The Company cautions investors not to rely on either the indicated resource estimate or the "geological potential" disclosed in the Original News Release.” On August 14, BGM filed the Technical Report on SEDAR reporting an indicated resource of 6.605 million ounces grading 0.126 opt plus an inferred 5.729 million ounces grading 0.189 opt; the BCSC immediately issued a cease trade order until the company file a technical report that is acceptable to the commission.  

So, what is the problem with this resource estimate?
First let’s be clear on what a resource estimate really is. It is merely an estimate and that is the critical concept to bear in mind when considering any such report. The objective of a resource estimate is to come as close as possible to representing tonnes, grade, metal content, location, and distribution while accurately honoring the available data. Because the distribution of the data, usually in the form of drill hole and/or underground samples, in relation to geological controls is almost always uneven, levels of confidence in the resource are assigned to the estimate. From most to least confidence it reads like this; Measured, Indicated and, Inferred. The resources theoretically have to exhibit “reasonable prospects of economic extraction” but do not require an economic study to substantiate those criteria. To qualify for the highest level of confidence, Proven and Probable Reserves, which are a subset of Measured and/or Indicated resources, the estimate has to be backed up by an economic evaluation. Detailed explanation is presented here.
Because resource estimators are always interpolating between known data points (samples of variable quality) into areas with no data, there is considerable subjectivity, as is implied by the term “reasonable”. In reality, the actual volume of material that is assayed typically comprises between 1 millionth to 1 billionth of the deposit volume (for instance a 30 gram sample pulled from 5 kilograms of crushed rock can be used to determine the grade and tonnes of rock 50 meters away). Therefore, a stringent and accurate interpretation of the sample quality, geology and geostatistics is critical to extrapolating where mineralization is and at what grade. Got it? 

The Geoex Report on the Cariboo Gold Project, August 12, 2012
Let’s get this out of the way at the start: The technical report is deficient with regards to the inclusion of details of the project database and many aspects of the resource modeling procedures; so much so that a complete understanding of the process and conclusions could not be arrived at. The report also lacks relevant figures and tables that are key to any resource report’s ability to give a full understanding. If Barkerville is serious in their efforts to produce a reliable and widely acceptable resource report they should bring in another independent firm to re-do the entire study in order to clear up this mess. Mine Development Associates and AMEC come to mind; although it is actually the estimator that matters more than the firm.
Probably the most “unique” aspect of the Geoex resource estimate is the treatment of high grade, low grade, and no grade in the model. They are all given equal weighting; meaning, each composite assay whether it is 0.01 opt, 54.0 opt, or not assayed are given equal weighting in the estimation (another problem we’ll leave to the estimators, but note individual assays are being decomposited into multiple assays, thereby manufacturing data that doesn’t exist). Basically, the report describes what can be interpreted as extremely high grade samples being projected (smeared) into rock (blocks) that does not contain high grade mineralization and probably is essentially barren. It also appears to us that grade is being projected beyond drill core that was not assayed (reportedly because only visually mineralized core was being sent out for assay at the time).
It’s as if you threw all the assays, from 0 to 54 opt, into a pot and said they all have equal continuity, when the actual geology tells us that high-grade mineralization is quite poddy and has much more limited continuity than lower-grade samples. The end result is an exaggerated volume of estimated high grade material for which you have no support and we would have little confidence (not an official NI 43-101 designation by the way).
In fact, the entire approach of the resource estimate reported in the Technical Report ignores the known geological reality that gold mineralization at Cariboo occurs in high grade, steeply dipping, erratic pods. Further, within the high grade zones, gold mineralization is extremely variable and nuggetty yet the values are uncapped in the resource estimate, so the high grade “nuggets” are treated with equal influence in the estimation as the lowest-grade samples.
What this means is that within the conceptual pit, which was eyeballed in by the estimator, the estimate reported is unconstrained and with no cutoff grade applied—everything is included and co-mingled in the estimate and reported as the resource! Yet, more than half the assay composites used in the resource model are described by the estimator as having no significant values. Therefore in the absence of extremely closely spaced drilling to tell you where the high grade is, the results of such an unconstrained estimation will most likely be a total lack of correspondence between the resource model and the actual in situ mineralization. This applies to the entire model, but particularly so for the higher grades. Again, the important point here is that if this were to be mined, most of us would have virtually no idea what grade to expect and little confidence that ore is even there—a very tough way to go if you are serious about making money digging holes in the ground.
The resource tonnage estimate is also rather “unique”. An eyeballed open pit was used to capture all the modeled mineralization. Since every bit of rock within the estimator’s mineralized limit is included in the hand-drawn pit and would have to be mined anyway, it was therefore included in the tabulation of the resource tonnage (no cutoff grade was applied to the resource model blocks). This methodology is indeed unique—that is, an NI-43-101 resource in which no cutoff grade is applied. Blocks with 0 grade were compiled along with all mineralized blocks.
The “mineralized zone” was interpreted on cross sections spaced at 400’ intervals across a 3,200’ strike length and brought down to level plan (horizontal sections) representing (in the report’s terminology) mine benches 100-feet in height. Again, this methodology completely ignores the geological reality of the mineralization, and fabricates horizontal controls to gold mineralization that in reality do not seem to actually exist.
Another unusual aspect of the bench level estimates is that 48% of the resource ounces lie within one 100-foot bench (#3950). For the non-geostatisticians in the audience, the coefficient of variation (CV) for this bench is over 7. The CV is a fancy way of expressing the variability of the assay (or composite) grade population used in the estimation.  A CV of about 1 or less means the global variability of the data used in the estimation is at a level that, assuming all other methodologies used are appropriate, introduces little risk of the estimate being wrong. Progressively higher CVs indicate there are increasing risks of producing an unrealistic estimate due to excessive variability in the underlying data. A CV of 7, with no other mitigating constraints applied to the modeling (as is the case at Cariboo) demonstrates that the risk in the estimate is extreme and significantly outside of the geologic reality. Again a major bummer if your mine plan relies on the mineralization to be there and it isn’t.
Corroborating evidence for our lack of confidence in the estimated resource comes from the calculation that, 73% of the gold in this single 100-foot bench (#3950) vanishes if you apply the top cap used by the estimator in a test case to evaluate its effects. Surprisingly, this extreme result did not prompt a reconsideration of the use of an essentially unconstrained estimate. 
I’d love to tell you more 
Before leaving the NI 43-101 report here are some fun cocktail party facts:
  • The resource tonnage of 88.7 million tons is six and a half times higher than the previous 2006 tonnage of 13.8 million tons.
  • The 13.1 million resource ounces is 22 times more than the previous 0.59 million ounces. Interesting that 6.5 times the tons produces 22 times the ounces, eh?
  • The indicated resource is based on only 22,355 feet of core sample data.
  • 48% of the indicated and inferred resource lies within one bench (#3950).  This bench has a Coefficient of Variation of 7.
  • A total of 4.58 million ounces are removed from the 3950 bench if a grade cap is applied.
  • 78% of the resources are estimated in benches with a CV of greater than 3.
  • More than half the composites used in the estimation have a grade of 0 opt.
  • Of the 16,076 composite assays that exceed a grade of “0” only 794 have grades that are not equal to those immediately above or below them in the drill hole.
  • There are 266 composites that equal or exceed 1opt. Only 44 have values that are unique from the two surrounding composites from the same hole.
  • There are two consecutive composites grading 56.44 opt. 
  • The inferred grade is 50% higher than the indicated grade.
  • The tonnage factor (density) was not measured, it was calculated.
  • There was no evaluation of QA/QC (quality assurances and control) other than Barkerville’s assurance that no problems were experienced with the standards and blanks submitted to the lab.
  • The possible effects of core recovery and percussion drilling on assays are not addressed other than the estimator’s confidence that they are generally good.
So, long, complicated, and boring story short: In our opinion, the 43-101 compliant Technical Report is crap, the estimated tonnage of mineralized material, particularly the high grade, is bloated and meaningless and, high grade has been smeared and is flying all over the place. We don't buy into this estimate, and Barkerville Gold Mines would do well to hire a recognized resource estimator to complete a full-blown independent resource estimate and put all questions to rest. Quinton and I don’t doubt that there is gold there or that there may be a decent deposit at Cariboo, we just have no means of evaluating what it might look like or be worth.

Checking in on Dan Rather and Hugo Chávez

Here are the words of Dan Rather on May 30th 2012, 82 days ago:

“This reporter has been told that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has metastatic rhabdomyosarcoma, an aggressive cancer that has ‘entered the end stage.’  The information and the quote come from a highly respected source close to Chavez and who is in a position to know his medical condition and history. This source says the prognosis is dire and that Chavez is now not expected to live ‘more than a couple of months at most."
So how's that hopey changey thing workin' out for you, Dan? Personally I find it amazing that a North American journalist would be party to the spreading of rumours that might potentially destabilize the elected government of Venezuela, though then again I am a really sarcastic bastard. Either way Dan, this one's for you:

Vladimir Pussy

Seems to me the best way of pissing this guy off is by laughing at him... doing some of that blogging solidarity thing, normal service will be resumed as soon as possible. Photo from here, thanks to the evergood @jfowks for the headsup.

Chart of the day is...

...Peru's IGBVL "general" index versus the S&P500, 12 months:

This time period covers (bar three weeks) the first year of Ollanta Humala's government, but that's kind of sidebar. The interesting bit for lil me is how the S&P and the IGBVL were pretty much lockstep until April, but then the US big index kicks the lilly ass of this emerging market, 6% GDP growth or not. The likely reason is that Peru's stock market is chock full of mining company names (the IGBVL's weighting is now around 50% pure miners) and as the mining companies have sucked like a black hole this year, there is no escape. Not even for this star economy.


The IKN Weekly, out now

IKN172 has just been sent to subscribers and as part of its new approach, we take a close look at the first in a series of producing junior miners that lie outside of the LatAm region. All the normal guff, too.