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John Coltrane: Blue Train

Some pleasant jazz for a Saturday

Dedicated to Lucho.


Mining PRs and the Ottotrans™, part 75

There are so many wonderful, mirth-inducing and chortle-worthy moments in the releases from Santacruz Silver (SCZ.v) today, not least in the Reg Fs that announce a $1.31m loss on operations and a $0.56m net loss. But the biscuit is duly taken by this portion of the covering NR, a mini-classic moment all by itself.

This is what they wrote:
On April 18, 2013, based upon the operating staff's assessment that the mill had demonstrated its ability to operate continually at rated capacity while maintaining forecast recoveries, the Company announced that the Rosario Mine had achieved commercial production. Such consistent mill performance, however, does not in and of itself satisfy the definition of "commercial production" for accounting purposes. As such, the Company has not reported the Rosario Mine's results of operations in its consolidated statement of loss for the second quarter but instead capitalized the operating costs less proceeds from the sale of concentrates as mine development costs.

And this is what it means:
If any retail shareholder ever believes a single word that comes out of this company again, or decides to trust blindly the word of the bunch of blatant bullshitters that passes for its management team without doing any DD, that shareholder deserves what's coming to them, good and hard.
UPDATE post-bell: Unbeknown to lil me, Vancouver Venture picked up on the exact same passage of the same NR this morning. His take on it is here

Quote of the day...

...according to Mineweb at least, comes from Santiago Yepez, president of the Ecuador Chamber of Mining, who says:

And yes, it's true. Here's that map of which he talks:

Maps don't lie


Yes, it's another one of those magical red card moments from South American football

The occasion, a Copa Peru match between Unión Deportivo Chulucanas and José Chiroque Cielo played on Tuesday August 27th. The match finished 2-1 to Chulucanas, but the magic begins when referee Edwin Benítez shows a red card to Edwin Arica. The sent off player punches the ref twice and knocks him cold (and to be honest, the first punch is pretty useful) before walking off. The ref was taken to hospital


IKN Welcomes Roy MacDonald, head investor relations dude at Gran Colombia Gold (

Hi Roy, how you doing? Good to see you dropping by. Hey Roy, this is my favourite line of yours about GCM, from March 8th 2012 when you joined:
"I look forward to joining Gran Colombia. The Company has a very experienced leadership team with a track record of success and delivering shareholder value. "
So how's that working out for you, Roy?

Better than my Cambridge House joke, for sure. Anyway, have that nice day won't you?

A Flash update...

...has just been sent to subscribers, Wednesday evening after dark. Nothing particularly time-sensitive, more of an explanation as to why the blog will be quiet for the next couple of days.

PS: A random joke: This was overheard on the wires yesterday by the NSA in Canada:
Investor; "Hi, I'm a retail investor calling from Vancouver. Tell me, when does the 2013 Cambridge House Toronto Resource Investment Conference begin?" 
Cambridge House: "That all depends. When can you get here?"

PPS: I'm sure there's a logical reason for this dollar/rupee action tonight:

For example, a lot of people panicking a very lot much, then some big financial entity squashing it all and giving it the "nothing to see here move along".

Exploration trends, by Kip Keen of Mineweb

Over at Mineweb between yesterday and today, reporter Kip Keen has put together an excellent two-part read on the state of the exploration sector 

Part One is right here, in which Keen interviews Richard Schodde and uses as the central part of the reprort the same Schodde authored PDF that we featured on this humble corner of cyberspace a few weeks ago (and Keen kindly gives IKN credit for the link, which is cool of him).

Then Part Two is here, in which Keen interviews Richard Hills of the Deep Exploration Technologies Cooperative Research Centre in Australia to get his views on how cutting edge technologies might change the way exploration is done.

Both parts are fascinating reading for any rockbrain. Go read them.

Peru new vehicle sales say growth is slowing

New vehicle sales are one of the more useful indicators of any country's health. In the case of Peru, there has been a big surge in vehicle sales in the last two to three years on the back of the strong economic expansion and particularly the advent of access to easy credit for average José consumer. 

However, latest figures suggest that things are slowing down. First the raw numbers, with source the Peru motor vehicle chamber of commerce people, Araper.

The line points in the right direction of course, but more experienced chart-gazers out there have probably already picked up on the trend change of the last 12 months or so. To make it easier to spot, here's a chart derived from the above figures which shows the year-over-year (YoY) monthly percentage change in sales figures:

Barring the latest November and April (for what it's worth, April saw new versions of popular models arrive in Peru and so you can average out March 13 and April 13 for a fair estimate of the real state of things) the treand is clear and in the last couple of months, the slowdown in sales growth has accentuated.

This on the back of the latest official GDP growth estimate from FinMin Castilla yesterday, who called 2013 at +5.7% instead of the +6.0% to +6.3% that the Finance and Economy Ministry has claimed all year. Now for sure sure a figure is still very good in absolute terms, no arguing there, what we're clueing into here is a distinct change in trends.

A dream

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon-light of hope to millions of negro slaves, who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity. But 100 years later, the negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the negro is still sadly crippled by the manacle of segregation and the chains of discrimination.
One hundred years later, the negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we've come here today to dramatise a shameful condition. In a sense, we've come to our nation's capital to cash a cheque. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.
This note was a promise that all men - yes, black men as well as white men - would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note in so far as her citizens of colour are concerned. Instead of honouring this sacred obligation, America has given the negro people a bad cheque, a cheque which has come back marked "insufficient funds".
But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this cheque, a cheque that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.
We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquillising drug of gradualism.
Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy.
Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice.
Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.
Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.
It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality.
Nineteen sixty-three is not an end but a beginning.
Those who hope that the negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquillity in America until the negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.
But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds.
Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.
The marvellous new militancy which has engulfed the negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realise that their destiny is tied up with our destiny, and their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.
And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality.
We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities.
We cannot be satisfied as long as the negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one.
We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating "For whites only".
We cannot be satisfied as long as a negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote.
No, no we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.
I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality.
You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.
Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.
Let us not wallow in the valley of despair. I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow. I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal."
I have a dream that one day, on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, one day right down in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.
This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the south with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.
This will be the day, this will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning "My country tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring!"
And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.
Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.
Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado.
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.
But not only that, let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.
Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi, from every mountainside.
Let freedom ring.
And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old negro spiritual, "Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty, we are free at last."


Dear Newmont (NEM) and Fresnillo (FRES.L): Isn't losing a $100m+ lawsuit a material event these days?

Your humble scribe is slightly bemused that Newmont (NEM) and/or Peñoles/Fresnillo (FRES.L) have yet to make any public mention of the court case its JV in Mexico, Penmont late last week. Isn't losing a court case that looks like costing at least $100m a material event these days? Maybe I'm behind with the times and they consider that kind of cash loose change. Or maybe they were waiting for the press to get a hold of it before thinking they had to say anything to their English language only "stakeholder community" (mushroom politics and all that). Who knows...all a bit of a mystery to me.

Anyway, here's how the issue was reported to IKN Weekly subscribers last Sunday.
Last week (15) the representatives of a 77 person strong landowner group (ejido) ‘El Bajío’ won an important court ruling again the La Herradura mine owned by the Penmont JV (Fresnillo/Peñoles 56% and Newmont 44%). The ejido owners filed their suit in 2009 that said the mining company had illegally occupied 3,025 hectares their land area, which has always been disputed by Penmont who said that their actions only affected 300 hectares of the disputed area and that they had obtained all permits to use that area.

The ruling last week came after appeal, is immediately actionable and upheld the argument of the ejido landholders who now have the legal right to evict Penmont from their property as of this week, as well as being awarded compensation. That eviction of all Penmont assets and operations may begin in some symbolic manner this week, but the landholders have already indicated that they prefer to come to a full financial compensation deal and not threaten the jobs of the 5,000 or so workforce at La Herradura than carry out their legal right of eviction. The bill may be eye-popping too, as in the words of the legal representative for the El Bajío ejido, the estimate for the damage already caused to the 3,025 hectares is around U$100m and that “Today the mining company is condemned to total eviction and the payment of damages”.
A deal needs to be reached and the likely size means that it’s one that neither Fresnillo or Newmont will be able to sweep under some regulatory carpet.

Badly named explorecos

Ecometals (EC.v): No eco, no metals

Catalyst Copper (CCY.v): No catalyst, no copper

Ryan Gold (RYG.v): No Ryan, no gold

Cream Minerals (CMA.v): No cream, no minerals

Golden Hope (GNH.v): No golden, no hope

BREAKING: Gernot Wober (aka Jernoc Wobert) freed

According to normally very reliable Colombia news source CMI just seconds ago.

The army operation began about an hour ago and the hand-over has apparently gone as planned.

Good news.

UPDATE: The Red Cross now confirm his release. Fat lady has sung.

UPDATE 2: For an English language report on this, go to Colombia Reports here

UPDATE 3: Braeval's ( NR on the release just out and here

The flight to silver quality!

Much as I hate them, I just couldn't resist throwing an exclamation in that title. This is why The Syria Excuse is bullshit:

Gold getting safe-haven love, yup I'd buy that if it were only gold. But silver, the metal of choice for financial blowhards and puerile political rantings, doing better than the real thing? Yeah right (unless of course Eric Sprott, King World News, Jim Sinclair and every other charlatan on the list of hoodwinkers is right about silver for the first time in two years, stopped clocks and all that jazz). 

But don't get me wrong, I'm not moaning or complaining against the pop in PMs here. It's the dumbass reasoning behind the pop, the trend-chasers and their wise saws and modern instances who try their very very hardest to sound smart but only succeed in doing their Monday Morning QB for the umpteenth time; they're what this post is all about.

UPDATE: Oh wow, I've just seen that Biiwii was all over this issue earlier today, and he gives it the full rant too. Great minds think alike or fools seldom differ, you be the judge.

Gernot Wober (aka Jernoc Wobert) to be released today, says ELN

According to the leader of the ELN terrorists (call them freedom fighters and I'll tell you to fuck off), the Canadian hostage Gernot Wober, often spelled Jernoc Wobert by local press, will be freed today as a humanitarian gesture. Wober is the geologist taken hostage with five others in January when Braeval Mining ( was dumb stupid enough to send him into terrorist hot zone of Colombia. The ELN has used him as a pawn in its larger game to get a seat at the government/FARC negotiation table in Cuba and it looks like it's worked. Also, has already capitulated and complied with the ELN demand that it give up its concessions in Colombia before Wober is freed (despite trying and failing to find him by hiring locals to go play search). So much for not negotiating with terrorists, Canada.

Let's hope that the ELN keep its word on this, as history shows there are no guarantees on hostage handovers in Colombia. By the way, in the photo of that above link the ELN leader 'alias Gabino' looks bizarrely like my neighbour. 

Setty does Venezuela corruption issues like no other

And this post, right here, is a tour de force. Yep it's long, but you'll do very well to sit back, grab something nice and wrm to drink and read the whole thing. Wonderful stuff, the recommended LatAm read of the week, nay month, nay year.

Loonie looks cheap

Metals rising, USA macro indicators under pressure, and the Loonie/Sterling correlation that usually works quite well:

All kind of pointing to a forex trade opportunity, no?

Pascua Lama: Barrick's (ABX) latest mea culpa

Fun for all in the Chilean courtrooms yesterday, as Barrick (ABX) is under more legal pressure concerning its Pascua Lama project and by way of defence, is giving it the "yes, we were bad boys before but now we're good boys and we won't do it again, promise" defence strategy.

The occasion was hosted by Judge Sergio Muñoz the third chamber of the Supreme Court and the hearing is all about opposition to the mine, led by communities from the Huasco Valley who want the thing stopped for good and are appealing against the July ruling that paralyzed the project because it didn't comply with the Environmental Permits.

Say what, you say? Yup and in fact it makes sense. Those against the project don't want the current situation of "paralysis of project until Barrick complies" to continue. They want the courts to rule that ABX has broken the deal and therefore the whole EIA permit (known by the initials RCA in Chile) needs to be thrown out. It goes without saying that this is something ABX doesn't want, as in very not want no thank you, because it would set them back to square one on the enviro permitting track and instead of a delay of months, we'd be talking years minimum and it might even turn out to be the final nail in the Pascua Lama coffin.

So Barrick's line with the Supreme Court? Here's how Chile's main newspaper, La Tercera, reported on the words of ABX's lawyer at the show, one José Antonio Urrutia (translation, your author):
He said that it, "It is not because the (current) ruling suits the company, as it is a ruling that has ordered the paralyzation of the project and goes some way to confirm the sanctions imposed by the Environmental Authorities (SMA), but because the company has recognized that it has committed infractions to the Environmental Permit (RCA) and therefore believes that the ruling is correct for the circumstances. 
He added that, "As a company we now hope to do things well, we are complying with everything required by the authorities and we are going to do everything possible in order that this project is done in full compliance and strict adherance to the actual law, to administrative resolutions and that which the authorities and neighbouring communities require."
In other words, that some serious boot-licking going on there. Kow Tow Barrick! Kow Tow!

Chart of the day is...

...SQM, 12 month:

This mundo bizarro arrest story out of Belarus/Russia this morning is being followed very closely by the Chilean business press because of the above chart. It come to something when the fate of one of a country's biggest insto holdings is in the hands of weird and entangled Moscow dealings.


Really trying hard to rustle up some enthusiasm for the market action today...

...but the fact is that...

Though I think I've worked out why, as well as working out why I couldn't get my head round a set of numbers in the Weekly that I've crunched without particular problems previously;  the youngest has kindly shared her cold with me. And as the three planned trades are done, subbers, there's now nothing between me and a lie down. Catch you all tomorrow.

It's a good day to take some profits

So I'm taking some profits.

In other news, EPZ up 37% 40% on this news. Are you sure you're reading the same NR as we normal people, Mister Market? You seriously think EPZ stating that EPZ wants to sell its shares at the deal price with AGI immediately reverses the position AGI has in this? Ah, blessya guys, never you never fail to entertain.

Chart of the day is...

...the gold/copper ratio:

Pretty patterns.


The IKN Weekly, out now

IKN225 has just been sent to subscribers. Here endeth the post