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Lionel Messi's idea of a bad season

There's a lot of "he's not that good any longer" talk going about these days. Therefore:

From here. Also, when Argentina wins the World Cup in a couple of months' time it'll all be forgotten.

The Saturday OT: Kate Bush; Aerial A(n Endless) Sky Of Honey

The whole of part two of the double album Aerial, subtitled 'A(n Endless) Sky Of Honey'

Weekend bliss music

ps: For new people to this exceptional album, consider everything to 13:30 as a type of prelude. Then melt. But listen to it all, guaranteed satisfaction and movement for the human soul and being


Bullish news for gold

A full 57.9% of the monkeys with dartboards at Kitco think that gold's going to go down next week. By way of reminder, when their "expert" verdict is over 50% on any direction (up, down or unchanged) gold does the opposite 2/3rds of the time. And for the record, they're on course to fail again this week, we'll know the result in three hours' time.

Monkeys. With. Dartboards.

UPDATE: And sure enough, the week just closed was predicted to be bullish for gold by 63.2% of the Monkeys with dartboards. The result: a -0.31% move on the week. That makes just 13 correct weeks out of the last 34 overall, and only eight times correct out of 24 when the signal is a strong one (i.e. above 50% in any option)

Gold Resource Corp (GORO) at 52 week low this morning

In fact, it's a four year low.

But who's counting, right Mr Doody?

The Bitcoin to Gold Ratio, 2014 to date

This one comes as a request (because we do requests) from reader PA, who couldn't find a chart that shows the recent relationship between the price of gold and Bitcoin. After a medium-sized search I couldn't either, which was slightly weird, but I did find a database of daily Bitcoin prices (taken "end of day" and though I'm not sure which time zone or who's day, on a daily basis they'll do just fine).

As for gold the price of GLD is chosen, because it's (just a touch less than) 10% of the bullion price, it's makes a cleaner ratio chart thanks to Bitcoin's own price range, it's an easy database of daily closes to find.

So without further ado...

By way of a little commentary, the downwards slope direction means that Bitcoin (BTC) has been performing comparatively worse than gold. However (and the basic reason PA got in touch, his hunch was right) for the last month BTC has flatlined against gold and may even be showing signs of improvement. 

Chart of the day is...

...Uranium, dailies:

Chart from here. And by the way, here's how one of your humble scribe's ten predictions for 2014 was framed:
"4) Uranium won't break $40/lb at any point and the sector will continue to get the rah-rah from the promo people still holding their large bags. "
How we doing?


The main gold bullion ETF (GLD) $GLD hits a new record

Here's a chart for gold holdings in GLD (the bullion ETF) in 2014:

At 785.55 tonnes they're at a new low for 2014. Which also means it's the lowest level since January 2009. Oh yes. Data from SPDR, of course.

Copper Mountain ( and yet another piece of crap quarter

Copper Mountain ( filed its 1q14 this evening,  you can expect the following tomorrow morning:

1) Soft soap NR early tomorrow morning
2) The usual bunch of anal yst apologists for this permanently underperforming stock to lipstick the pig and tell us "Oh No! You only THINK it was a bad quarter, in fact it was a GOOD quarter!" and then throw the same BS as always at your face.
3) Nodding donkeys will then swallow the BS whole and tell you about how next quarter's gonna be just great...just like every freakin' jam tomorrow quarter at this joke of a copper miner.

But here's the paydirt:

And you can stick your high falutin' details where the sun doesn't shine, brokerage anal ysts, because that's the bottom line. In fact the real paydirt is perhaps even more straightforward. The grade (0.39% in 1q14) plus the strip rate (2.31X in 1q14) plus the recovery (83.57% in 1q14) means this dog will underperform permanently forever, amen. It's up to you to decide when the emperor is seen with no clothes.

Augusta Resource Corp (AZC) ( $AZC: Ever get the feeling a mining company isn't telling you everything?

So I'm looking at this from November 2013...

"The EPA does not determine appropriate mitigations, this is the ACOE's responsibility.
Rosemont has developed a comprehensive environmental, social and cultural mitigation program with detailed monitoring and reporting protocols to address the concerns and requirements of numerous agency and permit requirements under the National Environmental Policy Act and the Clean Water Act 404 processes.
This mitigation program addresses, and goes well beyond, the EPA's comments on the approximately 65 acres of direct and indirect impacts to dry washes and waters of the US that are under review by the Army Corp of Engineers for the 404 jurisdictional mitigation."
...and I'm looking at this from the Augusta Resource Corp (AZC) ( news release this evening...
Rosemont has been informed by the ACOE that there is a shortfall between the mitigation plan proposed in April and the mitigation needed to fully offset impacts to waters of the U.S. associated with the Project.
Rosemont has been informed by the ACOE that there is a shortfall between the mitigation plan proposed in April and the mitigation needed to fully offset impacts to waters of the U.S. associated with the Project.
...and I'm thinking that maybe, just maybe, the AZC mitigation proposals that were supposed to go "well beyond" the ACOE requirements probably weren't as good as AZC thought they were. Hmmmm...

And I also get to wondering if HudBay isn't making an enormous and very expensive mistake here. After all, AZC does seem to have the USFS on-side, and if they can overcome the clear problem they now have with the ACOE they may get the piece of paper from those guys, too. But the EPA people have always been the most antagonistic towards Rosemont and they still have a veto over the final sign-off. So I think I'll stick to LatAm, because political risk appears to be higher when you cross the Rio Grande these days.

You won't be hearing about press freedom concerns in Mexico...

...because Mexico is "a friend", Mexico isn't Ecuador or Argentina or Venezuela, Mexico is a neat and juicy free trade agreement, Mexico plays by the rules of the North. But still we need to pay heed to the news of the new Mexican telecommunications reform bill (h/t the incomparable MexFiles) covered by Guanajuato resident Sterling Bennett. Here's an extract:
"In a disturbing development in the telecommunications reform, the President and the Secretary of the Interior will have the power to censor Internet communications, including email, Twitter, Facebook messaging and others.
"In this trend, censorship poses as modernization; and dictatorial control, as democracy."
You see? Nico Maduro's doing it all wrong: His focus is the content of censorship, he should have been working on the marketing all this time. And yes, Venezuela's government been doing things that are illegal according to its laws, so he should have been thinking the way Peña Nieto thinks and changed the laws first. The whole post is here.


This six minute Youtube is required viewing for any football fan. It's easy to forget just how good Diego Maradona was, this is full of reminders.

Quite simply, the greatest player ever.

Agnico Eagle (AEM) 1q14 results

Say what you want about the price they're paying for OSK, or the company's sketchy strategic investments in juniors: Agnico Eagle just reported a strong 1q14. NR here

This one will rally tomorrow.

UPDATE: AEM popped 5.6% in after hours trading on its US ticker. Deserved.

B2Gold (BTG) ( Early warning

Regarding the "Well in fact BTO's numbers kinda sucked" post from yesterday:

Just sayin'

And on the subject of adverts...

...I don't get to see these things, being in a different geographical zone that doesn't get targeted by such things, but according to the mailbag at least, this ad is appearing on these pages for those of you tuning in from US/Canada:

Who said capitalism doesn't have its lighter moments?

PS: A free report is the same concept as a free lunch.

Trimetals (TMI.v) offers up one of them old time PEAs

Hey, you remember back four or five years ago, when these scam merchant explorecos would publish a Wow! Wow! PEA and the share price would zoom as a result? No matter that the projects pumped turned out to be total pieces of shit, it's the market!

Well, today we had one of those flashback moments when Trimetals Mining (TMI.v), up to recently known as South American Silver and infamous as the people who royally screwed everyone except themselves at Mallku Khota (shareholders, locals), give us a PEA on its Gold Springs thing in Nevada/Utah with a 57.5% IRR.

Bless em. It's conceptual, you know.

Chart of the day is...

...the amount of cash this humble corner of cyberspace earns from its ads, per month:

Updated, because the last time we ran this was March 2013 and I get a few inquiries on the subject from time to time. So, current state of affairs is maybe $150 or $200 a month, which is still the same non-life-changing-but-not-bad amount of money as before. For me it's a bit like a dividend yield on a security.


B2Gold $BTG (BTG) ( 1q14 production

Just in case you were wondering:

The 96,303oz Au produced in 1q14 is about 8k off forecastsand 9.2k oz lower than 4q13. BTO says it's higher than the 1q13 number and that's true. But it's also lower than the last two quarters and kinda sucked.

A really interesting call on Probe Mines (PRB.v)... Mike Hocking of Scotia this morning. No details here because that'd be unfair to Scotia clients and Hocking himself. I'll simply add "agreed" here.

Gold Resource Corp (GORO): The gold miner with 150k oz of gold that's worth over U$250m

Slowly, slowly, the truth is revealed about this overvalued bullshit story. 

But even today on revealing just how little this company has in the way of real reserves, GORO can't help itself and has to find some way of bullshitting the market. This time it's by using a 51.4X silver to gold ratio for its banner NR number, instead of the reality today of 67x (or more). What that means in real terms is that when GORO tells the world it has 381,400 ounces of "gold equivalent", in fact that number is 327,913 oz AuEq. Par for the course from The Reids.

By the way, today's announcement values GORO reserves in-situ at U$777/oz AuEq. Which may be fine if they could actually make some money by mining them, but that's...

...simply not the case. People serious about mining companies said goodbye to GORO many moons ago, now it's time for the True Believers to wake up and smell the coffee.


Timmins Gold (TGD) $TGD ( 1q14 results

Timmins Gold ( (TGD) is a stock I'm watching carefully at the moment, mainly because I recently bought the thing. Tonight it reported its 1q14 numbers and here's a general comparative overview of the operational results:

  • Revenues (green bars) at $47.05m was fine and as expected.
  • Costs (red bars) at $31.515m were maybe $2.5m higher than my guesstimate.
  • Gross profit (light blue bars), best in last four quarters
  • Ditto operating profit (grey bars).
  • Net income wasn't as high as I forecast but that's due to a larger than expected tax provision so it's not one to fret about.

The above is the most basic of charts, but the more detailed stuff looks fine too. Also, balance sheet items make for interesting reading because TMM is clearly looking to strengthen that part of its game and pay down liabilities. Overall, a good quarter's worth of numbers that justifies the purchase and will make the scare-story peddlars who wailed over the 4q13 net loss eat their words. The main job, to retun a net profit (when many other small and medium sized precious metals mining companies have failed to do that most basic of jobs) was done in style and TMM has shown it can operate successfully in these low(ish) gold price times. As for the near future it's valued at ~4.5X foward operating earnings on tonight's close, and that cheap in my book (and should be in yours, too). No wonder Clive Johnson wanted (and maybe still wants) to buy it, but when TMM wouldn't let him have a CA he stomped off into a corner and moaned about how unfair it all was. Such is life.

Anyway, full disclosure: Long this one via the TGD NY ticker. DYODD, dude.

Understanding brokerage whoring

Scotia on ABX/NEM today:

"Despite Dueling Press Releases…Still See a 66.6% Chance of a Barrick-Newmont Merger Within 6 Months"

Absolutely shameless.

Chart of the day is...

...a longer timeframe look at the US Dollar:

The new pax americana?

AP on the big Peru crackdown on illegal mining in Madre de Dios today (Monday April 28th)

Read the whole thing here and see some great photos, too: Here's how it starts:

 — In a surprise raid, about 1,500 police and troops dynamited $20 million worth of heavy machinery as Peru's government throttled up a crackdown on illegal gold mining that has badly scarred the ecologically rich southeastern jungle region of Madre de Dios.
The operation Monday was the first such action since a nationwide ban on illegal mining took effect April 19. Security forces accompanied by prosecutors blew up backhoes, generators and water pumps in the Huepetuhe district, a mining boomtown dating back to the 1980s that includes two entire streets of brothels and many more of machine shops.
continues here


The Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Peru and The USA: Take a guess as to who's getting the better of the deal

Inspired by this column in El Comercio today, authored by Peru's greatest economist Jurgen Schuldt, your humble scribe decided to check up on how trade has been doing between Peru and The United States of America recently. 

By way of some necessary background, the early 2000s saw protracted negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Peru and The USA. An agreement was eventually reached in 2006, which then went through a slight amendment process and then a ratification process in 2007. The final agreement was signed in December 2007 and the FTA came into force on February 1st 2009.

Now that we have the context straight, let's have a look to see how Peru's monthly trade balance with The USA has been since 2005, with all data from the specific US Census Bureau page right here:

Well riddle me ree, looks like The USA is doing better out of this deal than Peru. Hoodathunkit, eh?

Or maybe the timing is just sheer coincidence and I'm just too suspicious about these things.

Shorter Barrick (ABX) and Newmont (NEM) today

He hit me!
I didn't!
You did!
Well you called me names!
I didn't!
You did!
Well I'm rubber and you're glue!
You suck!
No, you suck!

(multiplied by thirty-one billion dollars)


The IKN Weekly, out now

IKN259 has just been sent to subscribers. It's full of the usual guff and nonsense.

Continental Gold ( and a very carefully worded news release tonight

Plenty more on Buritica, including the other explosives accident that CNL decided not to tell you about this evening*, in IKN259 out later on.

*almost certainly because the lazy foreign press couldn't be bothered to report that one, so no need to make English language statements. Whereas the latest accident got to Bloomberg and gotta say something, right Ari?

Dealing with racist scum in sport, Dani Alves edition

It's quite the subject these days (Clippers) but the reaction from Barcelona's Brazilian player Dani Alves today when some piece of crap Spaniard threw a banana at him from the stands is exemplary:

He ate it. 

So yes, take a leaf out of Alves's book and make racists look stupid in the eyes of the world. It's not that difficult, they're stupid as fuck to begin with.

UPDATE: This Vine shows it even better