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The IKN 2012 predictions: So how did we do?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bananama Republic is back

Indeed we are glad to inform readers that Bananama Republic, Panama's finest news service by a considerable distance, has returned from a two month pause. Go visit the front page here but make a particular effort to read today's dispatch which gives more details on the President Martinelli insider trading scandal that we mentioned at this humble corner of cyberspace yesterday.

Great to see Okke back, visit him early and often.


The Friday OT: Molotov; Hit Me

Leading out the year:

Viva Mexico Cabrones

Venezuela GDP grows by 5.5% in 2012

The Venezuela Central Bank (aka BCV) announced the 2012 GDP estimated growth figures today, Venezuela Analysis (aka V-Anal) picked up on the story for EngLang readers and here's how the 5.5% growth stacks up against the previous four years (pre/post LehmanSubprime), according to World Bank figures:

One of those things that tends to get missed in the rush when considering Venezuela 2012 is that the country's doing much better, that "it's the economy stupid" works for all types of countries and that Chávez's re-election wouldn't have been anywhere near as easy, or even in doubt, had the back pockets of rank and file Venezuelans not been improving. 

FP's Peter Koven on the Liberty Silver ( Bobby G insider trades story

The Financial Post story is right here, Peter Koven goes into some of the more interesting aspects of the long list of trades and he's been kind enough to link this humble corner of cyberspace's previous post too, which is good of him (though I'd mention that the first to notice the trades was not I but was a commenter who left a message on the Southridge Enterprises post yesterday evening).

Liberty Silver ( Bobby Genovese's inside trades

Link here. Screenshot here:

click to enlarge.

They were all dumped on SEDI last night. This bit is fun, what happened in September only:

UPDATE; ok, so I'm already getting complaints that the big screenshot isn't very visible. Therefore here's a link to view a PDF downloaded directly from SEDI which has all Genovese's trades in Liberty Silver ( during 2011 and 2012. What a scumbag he is and let's not forget how much of a scumbag is paid pumper James West is too because the moment West pumped, Bobby G dumped bigtime. 


This Thing Isn't Like That Thing, Southridge Enterprises (SRGE) ( edition

You get used to BS and scam-type NRs from US OTC companies, but lesser spotted NRs contain outright, direct and easily discovered fraudulent lies. Big fat whoppers, in fact. Here's an NR from Southridge Enterprises (SRGE) (, dated December 13th and here's an extract:
DALLAS, Dec. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Southridge Enterprises Inc. (SRGE) ("Southridge" or the "Company") is please to announce that it has signed a Confidentiality Agreement (CA) with a major NYSE listed gold mining company regarding both the Cinco Minas and Gran Cabrera properties. Due to terms contained within the CA, the Company is unable to announce either details of the CA or the parties involved.
Now here's another from SRGE dated December 26th and here's an extract or two:
DALLAS, Dec. 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Southridge Enterprises Inc. (SRGE) ("Southridge" or the "Company") is excited to announce a new Joint Partner, Kinross (KGC), a Major listed Mining Company for its Cinco Minas and Gran Cabrera properties. Southridge's joint partnership with Kinross, a major NYSE listed gold mining company, is valued at roughly $550,000,000 to $600,000,000. Due to numerous shareholder inquiries Southridge and its Board of Directors felt the need to update the market on its recent announcement named, "Southridge Announces Signed Agreement with Major NYSE Listed Mining Company on Cinco Minas and Gran Cabrera Gold & Silver Mines in Mexico." 
Mr. Martin Moscosa, Exploration Manager at Kinross Gold Corporation stated, "We have made great and good progress regarding Cinco Minas property. Southridge controls the best area at the Gran Cabrera and there will no problem regarding the influence area, also, because in case everything will be growing, possible adjacent claims could be incorporated or added to the project."

Now here's one from Kinross ( (KGC) tonight:
TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec 27, 2012) - Kinross Gold Corporation (TSX:K)(KGC) would like to clarify a news release issued by Southridge Enterprises Inc. ("Southridge") on December 26th, 2012 announcing a joint partnership between itself and Kinross relating to the Cinco Minas and Gran Cabrera properties in Mexico. The news release contained a number of statements regarding the value and status of the joint venture, and a quote from a Kinross employee. 
Kinross wishes to make clear that there is no such joint partnership, joint venture or other similar such arrangement or agreement in place, and nor do we expect there to be such a joint partnership, agreement, acquisition, investment or other equivalent transaction involving Kinross and Southridge in the foreseeable future. The statements regarding the value and status of the joint partnership are, to the best of Kinross'' knowledge, without any basis in fact. The statement attributed to the Kinross employee in the Southridge news release was incorrectly attributed to him. 

Spot the slight difference? And just for a moment back there, SRGE was a 1.5c stock

But it's back to half a cent already, after burning through 419m volume yesterday and another 130m volume today. 

First Quantum (, Inmet (, Petaquilla (, Panama, President Ricardo Martinelli and Mayte Pellegrini

The stakes are high in the First Quantum ( hostile bid for Inmet (, owners of the Cobre Panama project in the eponymous country. There are a lot of sellside bullshitters screaming about the massive arb gains to be made when sweetens the bid to $79 or $80 or whatever other number the anal ysts are extracting from their collective hind quarter orifices too, so it's probably wise for those who care to hightail it over to Panama's "La Prensa" newspaper and read the half dozen or so (to date, more almost certain to come) reports on the scandal story that medium is currently breaking. According to the sworn statements of Mayte Pellegrini, an ex-employee of a Panama brokerage named Financial Pacific (FP) that's under investigation for shady practices by Panama's equivalent of the SEC, FP had a secret account fund named "High Spirit" which was used for the purposes of insider trading and stock price manipulation in several public traded companies. The only company specifically named as a target for treatment by High Spirit is Petaquilla Minerals (, the gold mining company headed up by Richard Fifer*. 

But the most interesting bit is that High Spirit, according to Pellegrini's sworn testimony, is owned and run by one Ricardo Martinelli, who just happens to be the President of Panama.

That kind of puts a different light on the failed bid by Inmet to buy out earlier this year, doesn't it? You have to kind of wonder whether has any idea of what type of political and financial snafu it's attempting to buy into here in Panama. Anyway, if you're thinking that the sweetener is some kind of slam-dunk, IKN strongly suggests that you get over to that Prensa link above and get wise on what's going down in Panama. What, you got trouble with Spanish? Oh deary me, you're at a bit of disadvantage then. 

 My thanks to reader JG for the headsup.

*see IKN posts passim for news and views on that company and its boss, including his history and convictions for cocaine and marijuana dealing

Junior mining company red flag alert

It goes like this:

1) Read the 2012 end year president's/CEO's letter to shareholders
2) If the missive contains the phrase "2012 has been a challenging year", sell all your shares
3) The end.

Tahoe Resources ( (TAHO): San Rafael, The loss of a harvest

A most interesting 10 minute video that goes a long way in explaining just why residents and the community around the Tahoe Resources ( (TAHO) Escobal silver mine in San Rafael, Guatemala, are so vehemently opposed to the arrival of the company.

On hearing the complaints of local agricultors and the negative effects that the new arrival has had on the town, you have to wonder what kind of environmental impact study THO did and whether the effects of the arrival of the mine were ever explained to the population, or even the national government of Guatemala, before permits were approved and the development began. 

Along with the loss of harvests, the way in which markets for the San Rafael agro produce is rejected by its traditional customers because "it comes from where the mine is and we don't want to buy that" and obviously awful community relations standards of the company that doesn't even want to sit down and hear what the farmers have to say, let alone provide reasonable financial recompense, one of the most interesting parts was the mention of how the vast majority of locals resent THO's presence but are scared of speaking out, because if Person X does, the son or daughter or cousin or nephew now employed at the mine will suddenly and coincidentally get laid off.

By watching this Spanish language video, you ge to understand that those opposing THO at Escobal aren't just a bunch of anti-progress anti-everythings, but real people who have seen their lives changed beyond recognition by the arrival of a mining project sitting "a block and a half" from the town (you'll see how close it is on the video, even if you don't get the language used). You'll also get an idea of just why Canadian mining companies are gaining their rotten reputation in Latin America.


Peru: GDP vs Electricity demand

Now isn't that pretty?

Data from MEM and BCRP.


Copper Fox (CUU.v) is the most fun possible with your clothes still on

The hastily convened ConfCall was a total hoot built for suckers and the trading... going very much along the lines predicted in IKN190, out last night. Here's an excerpt from that script:

"’s fairly likely that CUU will not dump to its real intrinsic value, because we need to recall that over 50% of shares are in the hands of one person, Ernesto Echavarría, who will be keen on protecting his asset value. Also, as reader, market professional and mailpal ‘AM’ rightly pointed out (excerpted)...
“If only there was an easy way to short stocks like this without having to cover your position if it trades under $1. It is a failure of our capital markets that this could trade at a $425M market cap with so many people aware of its absurd valuation.”
This is true. Once CUU goes under $1 selling pressure will automatically drop and although I want to be crystal clear about the lack of real value behind these overinflated shares and wouldn’t recommend that anyone held or even tried to trade this stock, not next week and not ever, if I had to guess I’d say that CUU will drop hard when trading resumes next week, but it will find support and won’t be a direct road to hell."

So I'd just like to thank Elmer for making Christmas 2012 an entertaining affair.



So, fall or pushed?


The IKN Weekly, out now

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