start here

start here

The Daily IKN email digest, get all daily posts sent to you next day (& no ads)


President Bachelet

Your humble scribe is trying and failing to raise enthusiasm for tomorrow Sunday's second round run-off vote in Chile, because Michelle Bachelet is such a hot favourite we're to the point of an upset loss to Evelyn Matthei as a statistical near-impossibility, to where Chile polltracker tresquintos hasn't bothered to take detailed reading of polls for round two (after being very accurate about the round one results) and limiting itself to "Bachelet will score 60+%". 

But if you do want more on tomorrow's vote, this English language AP report is as good as any place to bone up on the (non) issues and get a feel for the (non) anticipation in the country.

Let's face it, this one has been so easy to call all year that even IKN got it right.


The Friday OT: Ramones; I wanna be sedated

Great vid

Great song.

The 'trouble with 43-101' debate continues

Mineweb has the next chapter in the ping-pong, as three more mining pros chime in with their thoughts on what's right/wrong with 43-101 and the problem with the solutions already floated, right here.

Rio Alto Mining ( (RIOM) produced 20,950 oz of gold in October 2013

And in the same month of October 2013:

  • Buenaventura (BVN) produced a total (including its wholly owned mines and its share of Yanacocha) of  46,059oz of gold  and 1,435,273oz of silver.
  • Barrick (ABX) at its Lagunas Norte mine produced 53,020 oz gold.
  • Southern Copper (SCCO) produced 53.82m lbs copper.
  • Further down the scale, Minera IRL ( (MIRL.L) at Corihuarmi produced 2,106 oz of gold
 All those and a lot lot more besides. The info is out there, all you need to know is where to look

Quellaveco news

Peru's Ministry of Energy and Mining (MEM) today confirmed that Anglo American has put back the start of development at its Quellaveco copper project in Moquegua, South Peru, until 2015 at the earliest. The official reason given is that AA wants make the mine plan larger in order to increase potential profitability.

Lenic Rodriguez spent too much time on his luxury yacht in the Med this year

What can we say about Aurcana (AUN.v) that hasn't been said already? I know, how about "told you so"?

Nope, I've used that one already. Really the only thing that truly surprises about this stock performance in 2013 is the way it managed to bounce from the low 1s to over $3 in August. That Lenic sure fooled those Red Kite/Orion guys.

Mining PRs and the Ottotrans™, part 81

I need to walk away from the screen this morning and will do once this post is published (opening bell 16 minutes from now), because on watching the pre-market the temptation to add to an already-held short position is becoming very strong. Thing is, adding on a seat-of-pants decision isn't the right thing to do in this current atmosphere and as I'm generally happy with the portfolio positioning right now along with the level of cash reserve held, any decision can wait until the weekend. At least I hope so.

Anyway, to take my mind off things here's a Ottotrans on the NR out of Carpathian Gold ( this morning, a stock that's sadly too cheap to effectively short even if it moves up sharply today.

This is what they wrote:
TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Dec 13, 2013) - Carpathian Gold Inc. (CPN.TO) (the "Corporation" or "Carpathian") the Corporation, is pleased to announce that its wholly owned subsidiary, Mineração Riacho dos Machados Ltda. ("MRDM"), which owns and operates the RDM gold project, Brazil (the "Project"), has received from SUPRAM, the state environmental agency, the Autorização Provisória de Operação ("APO"), a provisional permit, allowing it to proceed with the full operation of its gold producing facilities. The APO provides the same legal rights as the Licença de Operação ("LO") and allows the Project to proceed in the interim while arrangements are being performed by the government agencies and related entities for the issuance of the LO.

As allowed under the previously granted Licença Instalação ("LI"), the open-pit mining operations have proceeded as planned. A total of 19 million tonnes of material have been extracted with daily rates at approximately 80,000 tonnes. Mining operations have demonstrated that the 7,000 tonnes per day of ore production that was proposed in the Feasibility Study, can easily be exceeded, thereby representing an opportunity to increase gold production due of the extra processing capacity of the process plant that is rated in excess of 9,000 tonnes per day.

Wet commissioning and start-up of the process plant has taken place and, with the granting of the APO, the processing and leaching of ore can commence to produce gold. During the commissioning and start-up phase, the process plant has been operating on a continuous basis at a feed rate of 8,500 to 9,000 tonnes per day, which is well above the initial planned rate of 7,000 tonnes per day. During the start-up period, the grinding mill consumed energy at approximately 65% of the estimated power to generate a final product at the design particle size of 80% passing 53 microns. This reduction in power consumption may represent a major opportunity for a reduction of the estimated operating cost of the plant.

The Corporation will provide further information on its forecasted gold production and cash costs once the operation has ramped up over the next few months. With gold now in the circuit it is anticipated that the first gold pour will be in December and that the project will produce in excess of 100,000 ounces of gold per year.

"While the unfortunate delay in the start-up of the operation may have affected the outlook for the Company and led to a cash shortfall situation, it is nonetheless a pleasure to report that with the receipt of the APO the RDM gold project can now commence gold production and be Brazil's next gold producer", said Dino Titaro, Chairman and CEO. "With the wet commissioning of the mill and process plant, the Project is now ready to receive and process ore from the mine, with the expectation of its first gold pour within two weeks. The entire Corporation is grateful for the support it has received from all of its stakeholders during the last three months of uncertainty. In particular, the financial support of Macquarie Bank through this period has been crucial and is highly appreciated by the management team and the board of directors".

As previously announced, the Corporation is conducting a review of strategic alternative options. Even though the Project is now up and running, this process remains on-going with continued discussions with a number of parties that have indicated an interest, and which are presently carrying out due diligence at all levels, including visits to our operation in Brazil. The Corporation intends to keep moving forward expeditiously with the strategic review process but there can be no assurance that any transaction will result. The Corporation does not intend to disclose further details with respect the process unless and until the Board of Directors has approved a specific transaction or such disclosure is otherwise appropriate.

About Carpathian

And this is what it means:
"Look at the gooooold! The shiny shiny gooooold! Don't look at the company financials, look at the beautiful shiny scrummy expensive gooooooooooooooooooooooooold"


On Monday January 27th 2014, at 11am Chile time and 9am Peru time, The Hague's International Court of Justice with those world judges and assorted important people wearing silly clothes will deliver the long-awaited judgement on the maritime border dispute between Chile and Peru (the need to know: Chile says the line should be drawn this way and give Chile more waters for fishing etc, Peru says it should be drawn that way and etc etc).

Which means little or nothing to most of you guys up there, but it's a pretty important thing in South America because it's basically the last border territory dispute left on the continent (barring Colombia's ongoing spat with Nicaragua but the Darien Gap being what it is, that one's not really South America). 

Less interestingly, the run-up to The Hague's announcement is bound to involve heightening levels of bullshit nationalism and jingo assholery between Chile and Peru, two countries that try to make out that relations are good these days but the long-lasting emnity is only a surface scratch away. It's going to be very boring story for the next 46 days and personally, my only hope is that the international beaks manage to come up with a ruling that makes both sides feel like losers. Then they STFU forever.

UPDATE: See? It's starting already:

He must have taken time out between breakfast one and breakfast two.

Kinross ( (KGC): No shopping in 2014

It was looking pretty obvious anyway, but it's always good to get these things down in an official manner. The VP of External Affairs for Kinross (KGC) ( in Chile, José Tomás Letelier, gives us the paydirt quote:

"We have no investments planned for 2014"

And that's for the whole international corporation, not just the Chilean end, as the Spanish language report shows.

A Pretium (PVG) bulk sample table

PVG gives us numbers today, here. So to the chart and the white lines are all published numbers from PVG on this VOK thingy stufferation:

While the peach lines show the differences between the results, i.e. the change in what the numbers have offered.

It's now up to you to decide whether the sample offered to the world by PVG is "representative" of the whole deposit resource. Subscribers know exactly what I think on that subject.

PS: We get an "amended feasibility study", eh?


There are two problems with this Blackwater Feas Study pitch that New Gold (NGD) is giving us

Here's the NR, it has a lot of numbers and Mr Oliphant saying, "Yeah, but Rainy River is gonna be way cool! Don't worry dudes!" But like I say, clear the spin away and there are still two obvious problems:
1) Blackwater doesn't work at current gold prices, period. At $1.3k Au and $22 Ag we have a 11.3% IRR, all after a capex bill of $1.87Bn? Next, please!

2) Rainy River might well turn out to be a better and economically more robust project (a nice way of saying that it has a chance of becoming a mine, unlike Blackwater). Thing is, NGD runs a book value of approx $3Bn as at 3q13, of which $832m is Blackwater and $362m is Rainy River. Write downs, anyone?
So pump up the other project if you want, Randall, we're looking at the hole in your balance sheet at this end.

Holy Beefcake, Batman! The Vatican hunks out its 2014

Here are the 12 faces of the 2014 Vatican calendar, the Calendario Romano, a guide for the year to come that's a top seller in Spain and Italy (75,000 copies published, yours for 10 Euros a shot):

And to clear up any doubt or potential mystery, this is not a catalogue for some sort of auction between archbishops. Oh no, perish the thought.

Changes in country mining laws, 2013

A very useful report from CIM, which gathers all changes made to country mining laws during 2013 in one place for easy reference, plus schedules and plans on the subjetc for the year to come. Featuring Ethiopia, Kenya, Ecuador, Guinea, Bolivia, Mexico, Brazil, Australia, Zimbabwe, Quebec, South Africa, Myanmar, Haiti and The Yukon Territories (no mention of Colombia, but it's still well worth your time) . Read it here

Good to see so many new readers turning up... by way of a handy hint, in order to keep the blog pageviews number to its normal and lower level (and to avoid coming back here six times a day in order to read this tripe), your humble scribe recommends the daily digest e-mail service. All you do is click here, stick in your preferred mail address, then when the confirmation mailer comes through your end, click the link and you're done. You then get all the day's posts wrapped up prettily in one e-mail, sent to your inbox early next day morning (Americas time).

And it's free. Zero money, no fuss, reliable service run by Google, easy to unsub if you get bored (and who could blame you?). Here's the link, try it yourself.

Or to be "with it" (as the young people say in their strange vernacular) and all modern, you can get all "hip" and "ace" and "groovy" by using the IKN Twitter service, right here. Becoming part of the "cool social media in-crowd" is quite the thing, they tell me.

Anyway, there you have a couple of ways to read this blather without having to wade through those annoying adsense ads. Enjoy your day.

The decline of exploration in Argentina

This chart contains data according to the statements made by Oscar Vera, president of the Santa Cruz provincial mining body Formicruz, in this Q&A:

In other words, back in 2007 there were 162 mining companies actively exploring in the country of Argentina. Today there are 25. Here are the reasons, according to Señor Vera (translated):
"The drop in metals prices has caused a profound crisis in the sector, greatl impacting investment plans in all companies, at a world and regional level. Added to this, the mining industry is not separate from other local economic issues such as the foreign exchange leag, rising costs, the restictions on remitting profits abroad, social conflicts; all these make Argentina an unattractive country for mining investment."
IKN would like to add that the Pope is Catholic and orsine fecal matter is often found in rural areas with high tree density. However, it is good to see at least one mining functionary in Argentine admit to the obvious and show that they too understand the real reality.

Chart of the day is..., along with detailed technical analysis:

UPDATE: Gold now at $1,225/oz and TA strikes again! Wheeeee!


More on "the trouble with 43-101": Brent Cook's turn

In yesterday's post "the trouble with 43101, continued" we got to hear from 'W', a very experienced geologist, regarding his opinion of the current 43-101 system.

Today I received mail on the subject from another very experienced geologist, Brent Cook of Exploration Insights, and his opinion is something of a rebuttal. He's kindly given permission to share his words and so here they are below, with no further comment from me. Make of them what you will:

With regard to W's comment 
You cannot legislate away greed, corruption and incompetence—look to Wall Street for proof.  The idea that we should force companies to go thru a second or third review process, require geologists to register and take out liability insurance will only enrich the lawyers and other hangers-on and do little for investor confidence.  How many pages of disclaimers do we need and how watered down a document do you want?
Mining, and particularly exploration geology are not exact sciences and never will be. In general, geologists and estimators are only dealing with between one millionth to one billionth of the deposit and extrapolating from those data into the unknown between drill holes under jungle cover or barren rock. Conclusions and interpretations are therefore subjective.
What it all comes down to, and always will, is the integrity, honesty, competence and experience of the person performing the work—period!
In regards to the 43-101 and its value I have to ask, would W want to get back to the good ol’ Bre-X days? I personally find these reports extremely useful and read many every week. Some are very high quality, many sloppy and too many crap, but the ability to make those assessments is critical to forming an investment decision.
And now a word about capping. Capping or top cutting an assay is in reality a statement by the estimator that they don’t understand the deposit well enough to incorporate the data as is. Capping is by no means a silver bullet for nuggety deposits, it’s usually an admission that you don’t know what else to do.
That’s the way I see it anyway.

The US dollar index is under 80 again

And if it wants to keep in line with the action of the last two years and put in yet another higher low, it has to bounce either now or in the very near future.

Hey, you remember that bit about the Euro going to parity as well? That was funny, made me giggle.

It's not what they say, it's what they don't say

The Sulliden Gold ( 2q13 MDA out last night, now that was a fun read. The best bit is the unwritten bit, because this bunch of Bharti bullshitters guys don't even bother about trying to minimize the well documented, obvious and ongoing awful community relations situation at Shahuindo, they just ignore it. Yup that's right, not a single word dedicated to the most important issue surrounding this project, important as in project-killing important. Whistle past that graveyard, pretend it doesn't exist, keep Reg Fs clear of anything that might be of any slight embarrassment to the company.

It's the way they assume we're all fucking stupid that irks most, I think. Then again, they did manage to sucker in Agnico Eagle so wtfdik?

Christmas comes early for South American Silver ( directors

South American Silver ( is company famous for stuffing their shareholders over the stupidities they performed at Mallku Khota in Bolivia and now re-starting their scam tactics via a bullshit promo with High Desert Gold.

In the last two weeks (the filings started November 29th) directors at have filed insider sales of 345,700 shares, most via the exercise and immediate dumpage of recently awarded options at lower prices. All on the promo paid pump hype they've whipped up around the new deal.

Junior mining bullshit promoters and pump'n'dump scumbags can take heart; there are still suckers out there ready to swallow your assholery, it seems. Meanwhile for the rest of us, a reminder: Do Not Feed The Animals

Chart of the day is...

...the gold/silver ratio:

Top tip for 2014: Stop taking financial advice from people who put silver at the centre of their investment life. They are wrong. Proof abounds. Message ends.


The trouble with 43-101, continued

Last week Mineweb ran an article, this week IKN shares a mail (with permission) from reader W who read the article and wanted to add to the conversation. This first appeared in IKN240, last Sunday:

The validity of 43-101: Follow-up
Last week, two articles from Kip Keen of Mineweb caught my and many other eyes. The first was a report of the round-table event at the Scotia mining bash last week which featured an exchange between Clive Johnson of B2Gold and Joseph Conway of Primero ( (PPP) (20) that covered plenty of ground but along the way included this snippet:

Conway: I can tell you 43-101 is a piece of garbage. It's not worth anything.
Johnson: It's a joke.
Conway: It's a joke. It's not protecting you guys in any way, shape or form.
Johnson: Absolutely.
Johnson: What we typically see where it falls apart is the block model. We just say, give us your usually fails right there. The extrapolation that they're using for their reserves and resources is probably completely out of whack relative to the geostatistical information or data that is there.
Moments later Johnson shared a thought; a bit in jest, but not entirely so, perhaps.
Johnson: We've often talked in our group that one day, some day in the future when we're ready for a change, it'll be interesting to take a technical team like ours and start our own little fund. And with the ability to judge things, and I'm sure you guys have that as well, I can tell you for sure that fund would be short more than it would be long.

The note was quickly followed by the reproduction of a mail Keen received from an anonymous “P. Geo”, who spoke a lot about the old-timer ways and the pressure put on report compilers (21). Again most interesting, thought-provoking reading that’s highly recommended, especially for the context of what follows here.

Along the winding road of IKN, I’ve been lucky enough to have made friends and acquaintances (some physical handshakes, some appreciated virtually) with a wide range of people in the mining trade. Many of them are experts in their field, such as long-time reader “W” who comes from a highly experienced geological background and was kind enough to write in with the following last week, as well as give permission to share it with a wider audience (just one or two minor redactions to protect both guilty and innocent, nothing in the message has changed) as long as W’s ID is kept off the map (in his words, “I insist that it is anonymous – no lights for me, let alone limelights). His thoughts were about 43-101 and its usefulness thereof, sparked by the Mineweb reports references above. Here’s W:


I have very little respect for the NI 43-101 system and agree with those panelists that if we could, after reviewing the reports, we would short most company stocks who hold the asset(s)!  My thoughts:

1.       The U.S. has had a “certified geologist” classification state by state for a very long time; today, I believe that every state requires an exam for certification.  Most of the work is for civil projects, construction, etc., but there is a qualification hurdle!
a.       Such geologist must have professional liability insurance (because he/she is accountable for their work)
b.      There is an oversight body
c.       There are sanctions and “blacklisting”; “black lists” are generally published in the state’s professional newsletter

Thus, while NI43-101 and JORC have provided some standards to abide by, in the end, no one is accountable for these standards.  When a company contracts a 3rd party to write a compliant report, who is ultimately responsible for that report?  The company?  The 3rd party?  Everybody collectively even though the QPs may be responsible, but not really accountable, for only certain chapters in the report?  Generally, the 3rd party has a “hold harmless” clause in their contracts, i.e., if there is a foul-up, the client still must pay for services rendered and the 3rd party gets a “do over” (this was inserted after the Hatch debacle at Galore Creek).  Huh!  Early on the 3rd parties would have a disclaimer that essentially said “here are the data, this is the way I interpret all of it, and I am not accountable for that interpretation”.  Huh!  With respect to oversight and sanctioning, I will give you an example of an extreme case – a Qualified Person was rendered guilty by the Canadian courts of violating a CA by using data “unlawfully” acquired to advance a project, thus his client lost rights to the project.  No sanctions.  Huh!  No accountability, no meaningful oversight, no consequences.  Morality and ethics…….?????????

2.       Resource – the basic CIM definition is “reasonable expectation of economic extraction”; the SEC definition is “mineralized material”, i.e., it is not a reserve, but could be, or not.  I agree with the old-timer’s assessment of the process, for which you graciously provided a link.
a.       On compositing, a company geologist can request that the compositing be limited to defined boundaries for extrapolation, i.e., hard boundary, but if the 3rd-party modeler or geologist (rarely are they one in the same person) says no way, it’s “no way, dude!”
b.      On shareholder-funded science projects, the tables with a range of cutoff grades are just bullshit to me!  The counter-argument is that they provide a sensitivity – for what?  Using the old timer’s logic, the cutoff grade is that which can be mined at least break even or with a very small margin.  How does a 0.2% Cu cutoff for a sulfide project meet that criteria – I don’t care how big the pit or plant is, you just can’t make money on 0.2% Cu (that’s 4lb/t recoverable or $12.80/t rock at today’s prices)!
c.       On NI 43-101-compliant Feasibility Studies, any worthy Jr.-company Board would request a peer-review study before making a construction decision even though the banks and/or possible suitors would do their own study, or review, anyway.  The old timer’s suggestion would make that a formal process with his/her 2-track approach, but that would lead to a Strathcona-Snowden pissing match (except that Pretium is actually mining/producing gold from a bulk sample that Strathcona says is not a resource; imagine if it is all based on only drillholes).  Also, it opens the doors for lawyers (who quickly moved in on Pretium after Strathcona’s statement) – who’s right?  It goes to the old timer’s point that in the old days, if a geologist/engineer “misguided” the shareholder, it is because he trashed a project that came good later.
d.      On common sense, the old timer is right.  But as he aptly points out, we are victims of a perverted system.  In the old days, an underground vein mine would be run very well if it had 2 years of reserves year after year, decade after decade; with the current system, nothing is acceptable to the market unless there are many years of reserves, and certainly no banks would finance such a project without a reserve tail beyond the maturity date.

IKN back. When times are good, systemic weaknesses in the chain of mining development, from resource discovery to eventual operation, are either left undiscussed or are plain ignored because there are too many people making too much money. However (no need for evidence to this educated audience) we’re not in those times now. Blame is being apportioned here and there, with the first line of whipping boys so far the plethora of junior mining companies that have promoted moose/llama/wildebeest pasture on the market and benefitted from easy (aka dumb) money. But the blame cannot and should not stop at the door of the promoters, as theirs is only one segment of the whole mining scene that needs to change for the better. My personal bugbear are the parasite promoters and assorted mining hangers-on. We (and I very much include myself, so yes I am looking to put myself out of business here) are in need of some direct effect supply-demand economic lessons, another way of saying “unsubscribe from the parasites, stop feeding them, let them starve and disappear”. Meanwhile, reader “W” points the finger at another den of iniquity above, which can often be associated with the BS-purveying junior but is also guilty as hell of profiting without being accountable for their deceptions and lies.

If you believe the junior industry needs a shake-up, you’re in good company. However, it’s clear from this observer, one with one foot inside and one on the outside looking in, that there’s a lot more to do than just cosmetically scrape away a few hundred dead explorecos and then ride the next upwave in metals when it comes.

Stockwatch does Barkerville (BGM.v)

Reader JG is kind enough to give a headsup on this slice of Stockwatch: (which smacks of the well-turned prose from their most excellent Caswell)

Barkerville snowman
Frank Callaghan's Barkerville Gold Corp. (BGM) perked up 3.5 cents to 44 cents on 153,000 shares. The company has reassayed some of its Cow Mountain drill cores, boosting their original grade by 20 per cent. Barkerville attributes the increase to the property's nugget effect. The company awaits approval to start trucking Cow Mountain ore (near Wells, B.C.) to its QR mine and mill near Quesnel. It has resumed mining at QR but has not yet restarted the mill. The company produced two dore bars earlier this year, one in January and one in February. With luck it will pour more soon. Barkerville could use the revenue. After taking into account Eric Sprott's $15-million loan in October, the company should have about negative $2.5-million in working capital. It will not have to begin repaying Mr. Sprott until June. In the meantime, Mr. Callaghan can continue promoting old Cow Mountain, his love of more than two decades. He receives $240,000 a year for his work, which now includes teaching his son, Sean, the business. Mr. Callaghan Jr. was given a nice raise this year; he will receive $72,000, up from $37,000 in 2012. The company has not said exactly what the younger Callaghan does at Barkerville, but he did go to Germany last month to help promote. This month he helped decorate the office door. Barkerville's holiday snowman is wearing a company hat, a Gucci belt

Y'see? You can do far better commentary on the promo scumbags than IKN, and all without resorting to a mouthful of swearing.

Scotia Mining Desk so desperate for something to say...

...that they're quoting this humble corner of cyberspace these days. From the "Scotia Mining Scoop" mailer this morning, re First Quantum:
In addition to the Capex Update… Investors will likely ask First Quantum tomorrow how they are fostering a good relationship with the Panamanian government and people.  A well-read mining blog yesterday ( reporting a link below that suggest some concerns over lost jobs / broken promises.

Well-read? C'mon guys, shape up and find somebody reliable to get your leads from, willyaz? You start taking IKN seriously and it's all over, rep shot to pieces, clients running for the exits. Pro-tip: Be like every other Canadian brokerage and keep it quiet you read know it makes sense.

UPDATE: Reader 'MP' has the right idea:

"Notice they said "well-read" and not "well-written"..."

Gold at U$1,260/oz... better than yesterday or last week and I'm not complaining.

However, we have seen this movie before and I'd be much more interested if $1,270 shows up, not just ten dollars more interested.

UPDATE: 30 minutes later, $1269 and yes, more interested.

IKN predicts the next steps in the Animas Resources (ANI.v) takeover business stuff thingy

Business stuffy thingy 1) In late November Animas (ANI.v) receives a bid for its main property from GoGold. Nobody cares, share price doesn't budge.

Business stuffy thingy 2) Marlin Gold (MLN.v) make a competing offer, Gogold matches it, Animas tries to push through with GoGold deal. Share price still doesn't move off 4c because it's just another shitty Canadian deal.

Business stuffy thingy 3) Marlin, feeling all ignored and left, goes hostile and bids 10c cash. That's where we are today, folks.

Business stuffy thingy 4) And so to the prediction: ANI management will try to make out that the GoGold deal is still a better one than the Marlin Gold one, even though the ANI.v share price didn't move an inch under GoGold's offer but will near double today once the trading halt is lifted under the new hostile bid. That's because Animas management are utter twats that give way more of a fuck about keeping their sweet little paychecks flowing than they do about their shareholders. Because that's how the junior mining biz works, it's run by selfish assholes and its main objective is to build mines do deals and add value, it's to continuously rape the people who give them money.

Obama, Raul, rain

An interesting photo.

Click to embiggen


The state of play in the Argentina mining scene

This is a link to a very good overview piece in Spanish on the present day atmosphere in the world of mining, written by Daniel Bosque of Mining Press for a local San Juan province newspaper. Interesting snippets on the negotiations between locals and Barrick concerning Pascua Lama and Veladero, plus another section on the difference between real reality of Argentina mining and Jorge Mayoral's version of reality. For example, here's a snippet that got my sardonic grin on:
""Mayoral te invita a su despacho con cualquier excusa, te saca una foto y después manda una gacetilla en la que tu empresa aparece comprometida con cientos de millones de dólares de inversión”, dicen los empresarios resignados a cómo termina cada cafecito en Diagonal Sur"

Plenty more here. Good note.

So how's First Quantum ( getting on over at its massive copper project in Panama, Otto?

What, you mean the one they got when they successfully closed on the hostile bid for Inmet? Well, let's check the local press and stick a translation of what they're saying on our merry blerg:

Copper Mine Causes Economic Contraction in Panama Region
The Cobre Panama mine, that First Quantum bought from the Canadian Inmet company, is causing damage to the province of Coclé instead of benefits according to residents of the area last week that include its governor, Juan Carlos Rodriguez.

The restructuring of the project in the Coclé area by the new owner is causing uncertainty among the population, who have seen a decline in commerce and a series of lay-offs since First Quantum began to cut costs.
Rodriguez said that the mining company has decided not to execute on programmed civil works such as some road building works that that were originally a commitment made by the mining project to the area, with a view to improving its dividends.

According to Coclé residents, the cuts amount to $1Bn of the original $6Bn budget estimated by Inmet which implies a reduction in employment and a drop in local income levels.

The newspaper Panamá América said that a source close to the company reports that 60% of direct employees at the company have been laid off, which means that from an original near 2,000 staff 1,200 have lost their jobs, along with another 450 third party contractors.

Some of the companies that had contracts with the mining company that were cancelled include JV Panamá, Meco, Santa Fe, Cusa and GPP, amongst others.

For this current stage, it was estimated that 10,000 people would be employed at the project but that has not turned out to be the case and the resulting unemployment has had repercussions in the province, which had created a service infrastructure of hotels, hostals and rented houses due to the mine which all now run the risk of bankruptcy.

Coro Mining ( and Thomas Becket

"Who will rid me of this turbulent priest?"
Henry II

Coro Mining has finally got rid of its welter burden of "asset" (term used loosely, it's really a liability) in Mendoza Argentina, plus (and probably more importantly) the large options payments it's due to pay to Franco Nevada for the "privilege" (ditto) of owning so much luverlee copper in that province. Here's the NR, with details of the suckers highly experienced and astute business investment bodies who have taken San Jorge off COP's hands. Here's a snippet:
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Dec 9, 2013) - Coro Mining Corp. ("Coro" or the "Company") (COP.TO) is pleased to announce that it has signed a binding Heads of Agreement ("HOA") with a group comprised of Aterra Investments Ltd. ("Aterra") and Solway Industries Ltd. ("Solway"), (collectively, the "Group") for them to have rights to acquire an interest in the Company's San Jorge project (the "Project"), located in the province of Mendoza, Argentina. The Group has the right to acquire a 70% interest in the Project, with the provision for an early buy-out of Coro's interest subject to Coro's retention of a 2.5% Net Smelter Return ("NSR") on the production of all payable metals from the Project, except gold. Coro and the Group will work diligently to structure and execute a Definitive Agreement ("DA") expeditiously. continues here

This allows COP to concentrate efforts on its Chilean projects. Might be worth looking at this one again now in fact, there are a lot worse rockbang teams out there. 

Full disclosure: no position

Chart of the day is...

...crude oil, monthlies:

Maybe 2014 will be the crunch year.


The IKN Weekly, out now

IKN240 has just been sent ot subscribers. It says what it has to say and it covers a lot of bases, too.

Bitcoin December 8th

A day's low of U$660, now at U$820, in other words a 24% upswing in less than a day.

That's after the $1.2k to $800 move of late last week. And I'm supposed to call this thing a currency and take it seriously? Are you totally nuts? Go play roulette or blackjack, assholes, stop polluting my brain with your vacant delusions.

This brings to an end all coverage of Bitcoin on IKN. 

Brazil football fans celebrate the World Cup draw ceremony... kicking a fan to death at the match this weekend. UPDATE: hospitals now say that three fans are in a serious conditions, with one in a coma, but no deaths

You'll be hearing a lot about the events at the Atletico vs Vasco match in your sports medium of choice, but the images already going around South America are pretty gruesome. A pitched battle that started inside the stadium during the game, very few police on hand to quell the violence (they say it's not their problem) and the TV close-ups of a gang beating an collapsed opposition supporter to (what we now hear unofficially) death (see UPDATE above) with wooden poles are your sporting highlights of the weekend.

UPDATE: Your fight photos, courtesy of Globo

Your fight video. Incredibly and very stupidly, the match was only delayed after this and was re-started after a 70 minute break.

Sunday songs: Sean Lennon; Friendly Fire

The full album:

Music fully and clearly suited to a 21st century Sunday.