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A question for Louis James of Casey Research regarding Gold Port Resources (GPO.v)

With Louis Lobito Little Wolf James of Casey Research currently pumping Gold Port Resources (GPO.v) for all he's worth to the Casey high level elite extra pay clients, and with GPO.v last week suddenly announcing (oh the coincidence!) a placement at 6c per unit* (1 unit = share + full warrant priced at 10c), would somebody care to ask Louis Lobito Little Wolf  James whether he's in line to benefit from the finder's fee noted in the NR above? I'd ask him myself, but he tends to hang up on me....dunno why.

Anyway, we think that he should be nice and clear on whether there's any conflict of interest on this one. Sincerely hope there isn't.

And before you ask, yes GPO.v is indeed run by the same man disciplined by the BCSC for late-filing of insider trades. And yes, GPO is the same team on this p&d, then managed to run that stock price into the ground before "being resigned" later. Small world, innit?

*yeah, six whole cents

Thom Calandra and ammunition

I got to thinking about that Stockwatch piece we featured a couple of days ago in which this was written...
"Recently, Forbes & Manhattan's Western division, Forbes West, held a party during the Cambridge Conference at Lift in Coal Harbour. As usual, Forbes made sure lots of pretty girls were in attendance, many local models. Newsletter writer Thom Calandra also attended. He partied late into the night, and then had to get up early for his conference presentation. After one morning Bloody Mary he was ready to go, commenting that he was lucky Joe Martin had scheduled him so early in the day. Had he been scheduled at 4 p.m. or 5 p.m., he said, he would have had to stay sober for 14 hours. As a Torrey Hills representative, Mr. Calandra talked up the California-based IR company's latest promotion. He says if Torrey Hills fails to move a client's stock up 20 per cent in six months, it has promised to supply the company with six months of ammunition. Puzzled investors had a hard time telling whether Mr. Calandra was joking, and if he was, what the joke was. He said twice that it was okay to laugh."
...and decided to go over to the right page, find out exactly which companies are paying the proven securities fraudster (who is banned by the SEC, no less) for IR services and see how they've been gettting on recently. On the Torrey Hills Capital / Babybulls books are 16 mining companies at present and here two 12 month price charts with all of them featured (bigcharts only takes ten at a time):

Now, I don't know just how long each one of these companies has been paying Torrey Hills Capital / Babybulls so it's not exactly a scientifically controlled sample, but all the same....errr...we congratulate Quantum Minerals (QMC.v, now 15.5c and a $3.85m mkt cap) and Canarc Resources (, now 18c and a $19m mkt cap) on their good 12 month performances, with one cheer for Strata Minerals (SMP.v, now 10c and a $6.8m mkt cap) as well.

Might we suggest to those companies considering Torrey Hills Capital / Babybulls as their IR provider that they do a deal using incentive options only, with no monthly cash payments?


Susana Villarán no hace nada (a message for IKN's Lima friends)

¡IKN presente!

And to add one to this list, we'd like to make it clear that in the case of Susana losing the vote, when the world finds out the reasons why Lima will be an international laughing stock (hazmerreír) of a city. That's no joke.

I like my mailbag simple...

...and because of that, this one from reader FW received about 20 minutes ago gets answered here:

"...if you had to choose one junior for 2013 which one would it be?"

The answer: B2Gold (

How did gold do versus other asset classes in January 2013?

According to this Economonitor note (with pretty tracking table and plenty of words) of the 26 asset classes tracked gold came in 25th by losing 1.0% on the month. In other words, nee ner nee ner stoopid fer holding gold, goldholder.

Yours, A goldholder.

PS: However, gold's the best performer of the lot over five years. 

Chart of the day is...

...that Kitco spot gold chart again:

Basically, Thursday didn't exist.


Mo' Almaden ( (AAU)

Looks like Almaden head honcho Morgan Poliquin's* presentation at Roundup today went down well:

Today's intraday comeback kid. Disclosure: No position Almaden of any type, but watching it all with more than a little interest.

*crazy name, crazy guy

Oh the yearning to be a part of the international jet set mining community

People have asked why I'm not that bothered about "joining the circuit"., let me think....

This sent in by reader JG, who entitles his mail "Thought of you as I read this - I don't usually read crap, but there are times". From Stockwatch.

“Stan Bharti's Belo Sun Mining Corp. (BSX) rose 15 cents to $1.56 on 2.28 million shares. The company has a pleasing round of assays, including 12 metres of 11 grams per tonne gold, from its Volta Grande property in Brazil. There, it awaits a prefeasibility study, expected this quarter. Unlike most gold explorers, Belo Sun has risen since January of last year, when it was trading around $1. It has climbed from 25 cents three years ago, when Mr. Bharti took control from Stephen Roman. Mr. Bharti's highly paid management company, Forbes & Manhattan, has since helped Belo Sun raise more than $120-million, drill more than 187 kilometres and boost its Volta Grande gold resource by 4.7 million ounces to 6.9 million ounces. Belo pays Mr. Bharti's management company $280,000 a year for its fine services.
Recently, Forbes & Manhattan's Western division, Forbes West, held a party during the Cambridge Conference at Lift in Coal Harbour. As usual, Forbes made sure lots of pretty girls were in attendance, many local models. Newsletter writer Thom Calandra also attended. He partied late into the night, and then had to get up early for his conference presentation. After one morning Bloody Mary he was ready to go, commenting that he was lucky Joe Martin had scheduled him so early in the day. Had he been scheduled at 4 p.m. or 5 p.m., he said, he would have had to stay sober for 14 hours. As a Torrey Hills representative, Mr. Calandra talked up the California-based IR company's latest promotion. He says if Torrey Hills fails to move a client's stock up 20 per cent in six months, it has promised to supply the company with six months of ammunition. Puzzled investors had a hard time telling whether Mr. Calandra was joking, and if he was, what the joke was. He said twice that it was okay to laugh.”


Today's TA question

As your author continues his attempts to fathom the wonders of technical analysis, he comes across this chart and decides to throw another question out there for educational purposes:

Dear proponents of Technical Analysis: Would you buy this chart today?

Answers to the usual spaces (mail or comments). If you're feeling wordy then lay it on, but a simple Yes or No answer will suffice and makes things much easier to gauge at the later date.

The word is Waterton

We can draw a couple of conclusions about topical news from this week, firstly the story a couple of days ago out of Huldra Silver (HDA.v) that we've already reviewed and secondly the news out of Gryphon Gold ( just minutes ago:

1) Junior mining companies: Do not do a financial deal with Waterton. But more importantly...

2) Investors: If your preferred junior mining company does a deal with Waterton it means that nobody else wanted to touch them. That, all by itself, tells you all you need to know about the miner so if you see a NR pop up with the word "Waterton" in it, use this as your leitmotif:

The end.


1) According to mailer "D", Huldra Silver info people (HDA.v) don't limit their BS news strategies to the general public, as they apparently hold their mailing list subscribers in great esteem:
Just an addendum to your post.

Huldra sent the NR about chip samples out to its mailing list. It didn't send out the one about the debenture.
Anyone else confirm this? If true, both management and those investors who rely on the company alone for their source of information have it coming to them, good and hard.

2) Almaden's (AAU) ( awaited resource for Ixtaca is out and even though the numbers look fairly solid on a first pass, the market (which has been fed all sorts of highball rumours about this deposit) is unlikely to be impressed with less than 2m oz Au at the company preferred 0.5 g/t cut off. We'll now probably descend into one of those debates when the "geologists love the potential".//UPDATE: though wtfdik, as AAU is up 4% in the US pre-mkt right now (25 mins to go before the open).

3) And late-breaking news, we receive this:
Subject: Thanks

Thanks for writing free info on your blog. You are not stupid but I'd never pay money to an rude asshole like you.

Tim Mooney

I think it's best to leave it to Mr Mooney to work out why the world doesn't pay him as much money as he thinks he's worth. Using his own criteria. Karma's a bitch, dude.

UPDATE: Seems my first impression was right on Almaden, the thing is selling off to the tune of 4% early doors. As for mail inquiries regarding IKN reader Mr Tim, nop sorry, that's all he wrote so I don't know for sure which example of cusseration pissed him off (but I'd bet a shekel on him being an HDA long).


And the cost of producing copper in Chile... also going up. Quickly.

Bloomie is your news with "Antofagasta Falls Most in 16 Months as Copper Mining Costs Jump". FWIW, seems to me that ANTO's main problem is its new CEO, who insists on being honest and open with the market. We're just not used to these strange attitudes.

Huldra Silver's (HDA.v) news release

No, not the smoke and mirrors one about chip samples this morning, we're talking about the one that came out late last night. Oh, you missed it? Didn't see it because it came out so late and you were already into your 5th round of happyhour fun and frolics? Now there's a thing, if you were of a suspicious natures you'd even start thinking that the company published it late to avoid eyeballs, wouldn't you? Anyway, enough blahblah, let's have a few words on balance sheets. Yeah, those boring "fundamentals" that nobody (especially not the chorus of pumpers that sang HDA's praises a few short months ago...or their flocks who read their words, couldn't be bothered to check behind the curtain themselves and blindly bought this thing at prices of $1.50 and above) seems to care about these days. What, they didn't tell you about the welter debt burden on the short-term liabilities? The assembled pumpers didn't point out that if the ramp up to production didn't go silky smooth the company would be left in a rather large financial hole that was crystal clear for anyone to see if they'd bothered to look at the 3q12 financials? Why, how remiss of them, must have collectively slipped their minds!

Which brings us to the NR published late last night, which can be boiled down to one word: Refinancing. Check it out at your own leisure, but I'm sure you too will like this bit:
"As consideration for the amendment, the Company has agreed to pay a restructuring fee of $125,000 per month for the remainder of the term subject to a minimum restructuring fee of $750,000"

Borrowing from Waterton, eh? Then there's the way in which HDA proposes to dig itself out of the financial mire:
"In order to raise the funds necessary to make the upcoming payments under the Credit Agreement and the Strategic Acquisition Agreement and for general working capital purposes, the Company intends to complete a private placement of unsecured convertible debentures in the aggregate principal amount of up to $6,000,000. The principal amount of the Debentures will mature twelve (12) months after issuance and accrue interest at 16% per annum payable on the Maturity Date."

Surprise! So the company has just taken away large chunks of cash that shareholders thought they'd see flowing to the bottom line instead of the people in the front of the queue when the benefits are ladled out (you know them as the financiers) because they missed on a tight looking commissioning schedule and are under the thumb of the real money (hint: not you). But fret ye not gentle retailer, as the HDA CEO sez:
"We are pleased to have come to these agreements with our lenders during this transformational period for the Company. This helps to provide certainty and clarity to our goal of being Canada's next primary silver producer."

Yes, he really said "transformational period". The question shareholders should be asking themselves isn't whether HDA will make it to be that new primary silver mine. The question is 'cui bono?'. Disclosure: No position in HDA.v of any sort.

PS: Think I'm being a little harsh? Well fuck you.

My favourite bit of the Endeavour Silver (EXK) ( NR today... this:

"Our strategy to acquire under-performing mines in historic districts for their turn-around and expansion potential does entail a certain amount of ''short term pain'' but our track record shows it can create exceptional ''long term gain''. I would like to thank our shareholders for their patience during this turn-around period at El Cubo." Continues here
 At least he didn't use the word "challenging", FFS.

Now what was that Keynes said about the long term and death?

Lachlan Star ( ( December numbers

Numbers here. A chart here.

Not bad. Costs seems to be moving the right direction too, even before the new fleet came online. ConfCall on now.

Chart of the day is...

...that 24 live spot gold chart over at Kitco:

People living and working in New York have apparently decided that they would like to own more gold this morning.


The cost of mining gold in Argentina... going up. Quickly. 

Here's how Troy Resources' Casposo mine in Argentina has done costs-wise since hitting full production five quarters ago. FWIW, it's produced between 18.4k and 20.7k oz Au in each of the quarters you see, and because the mine runs decent Ag credits we present both sets of cash costs, gold net of silver credits and gold/silver co-product.

Data from Troy Resources' ( ( website, including its latest quarterly out tonight. FWIW, MOI for the last three quarters looks steady at around $21m

TA question of the day

Do gaps always fill?

Those long are probably mulling on this age old hocuspocus mumbojumbo squigglylineration serious science of technical analysis mystery.

What made Calibre Mining (CXB.v) drop like a whore's drawers midday?

The answer is this NR, which outlines BTO's FY12 exploration results and FY13 plans. When it comes to the Primavera JV with CXB, BTO has now optioned into its 51% and the FY12 results just published (the ones BTO were paying for) were pefectly ok without being great. The other news is that the companies consider there's a lot more drilling work to do in order to understand the large system there. Also a modest FY13 budget (phase one) of $2m has been set. So in other words, now that BTO has fulfilled its option terms CXB, a tinycap with low treasury, has to pay its own way with a large and treasury rich JV partner to keep its share and as Primavera apparently needs serious moolah thrown at it, the $1m that CXB has just pledged is probably the first of many budget awards it'll have to make. Which means that either the Primavera JV deal changes shape, or CXB will have to raise more cash. Which means this...

...a high volume dumpage. And y'know what? I think that position of weakness with its partner or not, this selling is overcooking itself today. But the other thing is that what with being on the sidelines and looking in there's no need for a snap decision, so I'll mull it all over for a few days (and take a much better look at the CXB books) before making a real decision.

Minera IRL termsheet

For those who need to read these things (ty L):

Minera IRL Ltd. (TSX: IRL / AIM: MIRL / BVL: MIRL) - Best Efforts Treasury Offering of Ordinary Shares
Not available for sale to residents of the Province of Quebec
  • Leads: RBC 60%
  • Co-Mgrs: Jennings 15%; Canaccord 10%; FinnCap/Fraser Mackensie/Desjardins 5% each
  • Issuer: Minera IRL Limited
  • Issue: Offering of ordinary shares of the Company (the “Shares”). The Shares are to be issued from treasury.
  • Issue Size:     Up to C$32 million.
  • Issue Price: $ per Common Share, to be determined in the context of the market.
  • Over-allotment  Option: The Company has granted the agents an option, exercisable at the Issue Price at any time until 30 days following the closing of the Issue, to purchase up to an additional 15% of the Issue to cover over-allotments.
  • Use of Proceeds: The Company intends to use the net proceeds of this offering to fund the development costs of the Ollachea Project and the Don Nicolas Project and exploration cost on its portfolio of properties. The balance of the net proceeds, if any, will be used for other general corporate purposes and working capital.
  • Listing: The Company’s outstanding ordinary shares are listed and posted for trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange (the “TSX”) under the symbol “IRL”, and are posted for trading on the AIM market operated by the London Stock Exchange (“AIM”) under the symbol “MIRL” and listed on the Bolsa de Valores de Lima (“BVL”) under the symbol “MIRL”.
  • Company Description: Minera IRL Limited is an AIM traded, TSX and BVL listed holding company of precious metals mining and exploration companies focused in Latin America. The Company operates the Corihuarmi Gold Mine and the advanced gold projects, Ollachea in Peru and Don Nicolas in Argentina.
  • Sales Commission: 3%
  • Pricing Date: Expected on or about January 30, 2013.
  • Closing Date: Expected on or about February 6, 2013.

Chart of the day is...

...the gold/copper ratio.

Considering this chart, there hasn't been a major game-changer of a move between the money metal, gold, and the one that typifies the economic supply and demand of metal commodities for over a year. Yeah sure, fluctuations in FY12 are there to see, but nothing on the lines of April to August 2010, nothing like the move around the turn of 2011, certainly nothing like August 2011. And let's recall 2012 includes that Bernanke QE3 moment back around September 2012 which turned out to be much ado about nothing for the metals and their overlying miners.

Gold isn't copper. It isn't silver, zinc, uranium, nickel, palladium or any other traded metal you care to mention, either. So why has gold been marching to the same drum for this extended period of time?


The difference between blogging about junior mining and writing a newsletter about junior mining

In fact it's very simple.

  • The blogger must always write about other people's bad picks.
  • The newsletter writer must never write about his or her own bad picks.

Thus is the law, here endeth the lesson.

About that silver producer stock you decided to buy three months ago

You might have decided that First Majestic ( (AG) was the right pick: A sector leading company, excellent execution of plans these last couple of years, big muscly $2Bn market cap, plenty of growth baked into the pie, highly regarded management team.

You might have gone for Fortuna Silver ( (FSM) as the preferred vehicle: Profitable, run by smart family that really knows its mining, growing production and on the lookout for the next deal, plenty of treasury to play with.

You may have stuck your neck out a bit further and gone with Aurcana (AUN.v): A history of missing guidance and a management team that doesn't command the same respect as the others mentioned here, but one good looking growth story at its Mexican operation and another new mine in the USA finally coming on line that will shoot production forward, a decent risk/reward option.

The problem isn't choosing carefully and picking a stock from a sector with care and criterium. The problem is stock selection in a sector the world hates.

I'd like to say...

...that I got round to reading Biiwii Gary's latest edition of his subscription weekly, NFTRH223, this morning and thought it a really excellent edition. I highly recommend his subscription service for anyone interested in keeping a close eye on market trends (and it's not just gold and PM miners). Go see his free blog here and get a small flavour of what he does, but the really good work happens for those smart enough to pay him.

No, i'm not on commision.


The IKN Weekly, out now

IKN195 has just been set to subscribers and in the words of Reg, leader of the PFJ* in Life of Brian, "Let us not be downhearted! One total catastrophe like this is just the beginning!"

UPDATE: What is all this insolence? You will find yourself in gladiator school vewy quickly with wotten behaviour like that.