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There is a sporting event this weekend:

Zico's world cup final preview is very good

If you want to read smart things on football, read smart footballers. As a player Zico was a refererence point for footballing excellence and since retirement has shown brains that match his talent. That's on show in this World Cup Final preview and it's just about the best reading of tomorrow's Germany vs Argentina game I've seen. Forget the rest and read the best, right here.

PS: The reason it's a good analysis isn't contained in the headline or Zico's personal prediction that Gemany will win (reminder of my personal position: it's way too difficult to call this match, plus I'm an Argentina supporter). Look beyond the easyread headers and to what he says about the teams, that's the gold in this note.

UPDATE: Found another. Jim White on the final and the potential that Lionel Messi brings to the game is also smart and insightful football writing. Equally high recommendation, read it here.

The Kitco gold survey now resorting to outright lies to cover its pathetic tracks

Here at IKN, we've kept an eye on the pisspoor track record of The Kitco Gold Survey, in which a whole bunch of monkeys with dartboards consistently fail to make good predictions for the movement in the price of gold in any given week. To date and since we started watching on September 6th 2013, we've seen this:
  • 44 weeks of predictions, of which just 16 have been accurate.
  • In the weeks when more than 50% of participants choose one of the three options (bullish, bearish, neutral) the track record is even worse, with just 10 correct weeks out of 30.
And maybe, just maybe our careful tracking of their pathetic calls is starting to irk Kitco. That's because this week the person in charge of the weekly report. Debbie Carlson, has resorted to outlies bullshit lying in order to cover the tracks of the self-appointed experts (monkeys with dartboard is far more accurate. This week Carlson wrote:
"Last week, survey participants were mildly bullish for this week. As of 11:30 a.m. EDT, Comex August gold was up about $18 for the week."
When in fact last week's predictions were nothing of the sort, as according to Kitco's previus weekly report, of the 18 monkeys with dartboards that opined, just 7 of them were bullish on gold last week. Then another 8 were bearish and three were neutral. Bottom line, Carlson is a liar.

So, we already knew the people pretending to be experts were full of shit, now we see that the people reporting on these monkeys with dartboards as their very equal. Quite a reflection on a website and precious metals trading company that tries to pass itself off as the industry standard.


The Friday OT: Gustavo Cerati and Andrea Echeverri: En la ciudad de la furia

Cerati's Soda Stereo hit, reworked to die for.

Dedicated to the city that'll be on my mind Sunday afternoon.

I'd forgotten how much of a twat Doug Casey was

But all this Freedom Fest thing has come as ample reminder.

Seriously, what a complete twat.


On the road

Your humble scribe is off to do things like talking with people and pointing at things for a couple of days. The blog is likely to be quiet til Sunday evening, though a post or two may show up, y'neverknow.

Meanwhile, recommended reading on mining matters is this from Eric Coffin (h/t iwnattos)

And a pretty decent 2q14 production from Timmins Gold (TGD) ( too

This one just in, here's the NR link:

It was never going to beat the 1q14 blowout quarter (for Q1's own special reasons), but 33k oz gold sold was about 1k more than I'd modelled (production 68oz lower, very little in it and all normal) and what's more, I'd seen estimates from The Houses significantly lower than that. This news will go down well with that nice Mister Market, which is good because I own a few of this one.

Another good quarter of production from Fortuna Silver (FSM) (

Yesterday we noted the lacklustre production numbers from Endeavour Silver (, today it's Fortuna Silver (FSM) (, but these numbers are strong.

Here's the most important chart, that of silver quarterly production:

Here's the minor gold credit chart:

The throughput upgrade at San José is the key to these new record numbers, of course. The only issue is that at CAD$6.47 the production upgrades are fully baked into the pie, but that's a problem only for us market parasites, let's take nothing away from laudable execution of plans at the company. NR here.


Germany versus Argentina

Yes, as predicted.

And this guy...

...just put in one of the all-time great performances of any World Cup, not just this one. 

And so to Sunday, when the casual viewer will expect Germany to roll over Argentina in the same way that it took Brazil to the woodshed. Sorry people, that's not how real football (instead of the utterly disrespectful beach volley football Brazil tried to play yesterday) works.

Sunday will be tight, a toss-up of a match. See you then.

UPDATE: I'm going to put the Vine here, rather than embed it. Well worth seeing to get an idea of just one of the several hundred things Javier Mascherano did today. Instead here's a shot of Obelisco, in the centre of Buenos Aires, taken a few minutes ago:

Final word: As so often happens in football, out of chaos comes order and yet again we see the best two teams over the length of the World Cup Finals reach the big game. On considering the different playing styles, the teams' balances and the potential individual and collective match-winning capacities of both, I honestly believe it to be an uncallable match. Both Germany and Argentina have shown themselves to be talented, brave as lions but also down to earth and humble about their achievements to date. Yes I will be supporting Argentina on Sunday (have done so since 1998, that's never going to change), but the game is the thing so let the best side win on the day.

A weak quarter from Endeavour Silver (EXK) (

NR linked here, tracking charts below. Here's the silver quarterly production chart...

...and here's the one for gold.

Both metals' production was off, but mian metal silver's poor showing is the one that catches the eye most. As for the NR, the bit that made me laugh was the forked-tongue Cooke saying, "Quarterly gold production was lower compared to last year primarily due to the over-production of the Bolanitos mine in 2013", because isn't it funny how it just kinda all slipped his mind to say they were overcooking Bolanitos gold at the time?

Anyway, crappy quarter.


Hochschild (HOC.L) puts its last 4.1m shares of Gold Resource Corp (GORO) up for sale

Here's the link to the secondary offering.

Checking back on what I wrote as a preview for the Germany / Brazil match, yesterday morning

Let's see, how did it go again? Ah yeah

Germany will beat Brazil... 
..I've been unimpressed with Brazil going forward..
...against teams with either plain mediocre or reasonable defences...
..Germany has arguably the best defensive line-up at the tournament, plus (again arguably) the best goalkeeper in the world..
...Without Neymar Brazil will still attack, but their strategy has to turn around 180º ... and I don't see the necessary form in the front line....
...Brazil will also miss Thiago Silva greatly...
...Germany has played in the classic German style and is consistently dangerous up front, it's a simple game they play but they play it well....
...from what I've seen Brazil don't seem to have the necessary mental toughness....
...emotions and nerves running in the wrong way and causing the team to lose balance at vital times.... 
...This I blame squarely on the manager Scolari...

Any further questions?

PS: A jolly song

To answer a few mails on Bear Creek (BCM.v)...

...the only rumour this desk has picked up is the same old one about talks between it and Pan American Silver ( (PAAS). Nothing else to report and the above's hardly new news either, so I'm not in the loop on its current upmove. By way of full disclosure, as known by subbers I owned some BCM recently, sold at a profit and too early, currently no position and not intending to go back either.

On double Y-axis charts

Every time I see somebody plotting two lines on a chart with two separate Y-axes, my bullshit detector goes haywire. Here linked is another great example of the charlatanery* and this comment...
"...this is the type of reasoning you'd expect from a seven-year-old from a stone-age culture, not from someone who can be trusted to manage people's money." right on the mark, too.

In fact, this one's an even worse example because it runs the double sin of messing with the timelines too. But the really funny thing is that this time it's freakin' Raymond James proposing the anal ytical stupidity, a supposedly reputable shop and not some dubious tinfoil hat extremist.

In short RJ, your analyst needs a large dose of pinkslip.

*dat a word?

Rio Alto (RIOM) ( 2q14 gold production

The NR out a few minutes ago, linked here. Here's a chart:

The 54,517 oz was a touch under the IKN estimate of 55k for the quarter, but the strip rate means further cost savings are very likely. Calling this one in-line, no problems foreseen, this dump leach is running on rails. The end.

Grant the media one thing: On Argentina, they're consistent

In our post one month ago, "Argentina and bonds and defaults and business death and stuff and money: Things the media will show you today (and things they won't)", we noted that the media were howling and screaming about the dumpage in the local stock market (e.g. its main Merval index) due to this bonds holdout thingy, even if the context of its massive run in the last 12 months...oooh, how can we put this?...hmm...well, it's kinda just slipped they're collective minds, all accidental like.

Since then it's been quiet again, which can only mean...

...yup, the Argentina stock market has rallied and we're back to where we were.

And yes, Virginia, that does say 160% in 12 months. And yes, Virginia, I know you were under the impression that the country was about to fall apart at any given minute. And yes indeed, Virginia, perhaps you should stop reading The Economist for your "insight" on LatAm.


Want to know who was behind the bullshit pump of Condor Resources (CN.v) last week?

That'd be Cal Everett, the archetype Vancouver slimeball who's probably made his summer vacay cash (from you, sucker), because from pennies it came and to pennies to will certainly return. Here's the mail he sent out to prime the pumps, just 24 minutes after the CN.v NR came out on Thursday morning (oh, wow, it's almost as if he was prepared for the news, innit guv?) and 27 minutes before it came off its halt.
From: Cal Everett
Date: July 3, 2014 at 11:03:55 AM CDT
Subject: Condor drill results - see attached
This is interesting.   CN has 30 percent, 70 percent in a UK listed company called Mariana

If you open up the link on the map, the drilled breccia pipe is small, say 100 m by 100 m by 175 m vertical, by guess at an SG of 2.9 due to the sulphide content.

- guess tonnage of around 5,000,000 tonnes, and you arm wave in around 17,500,000 ounces of Ag and 120,000 ounces of gold, plus base metals.
- the hole 50 m away, drilled a while ago was 33 m at 3.45 gms Au and 22.8 grams Ag, outside of the pipe.
- not a lot of drilling, but inferences are a large area with isolated blob like Ag Au targets.

Could be size to this.  There is an inference in the release of a porphyry body feeder system to depth.

You'll note the inferences of something special (oh oh feeder system!!), total BS guesses on metal content (that are wrong) and the way it's carefully written so when the pump goes to crap, you can't pin a thing on him. All normal, Everett and his band of merry pranksters have been in the game for years and know just how to press all your buttons. Jeesh, if ever there were a bunch of parasites who needed putting out to grass once and for all...

Forecasts and bets for the World Cup semi-finals and finals

Tomorrow Tuesday sees the first semi (Brazil vs Germany), Wednesday the second semi (Holland vs Argentina), then the final next weekend. After watching the run-up to this deciding week and checking the best available odds and prices from the website oddschecker  here, what follows are a couple of thoughts and a couple of potential bets.

No beautiful game. The World Cup tends to have the eyepopping games in Group stage, the drama in the KO phase and the final is often a tense but niggly affair. From what I've seen of these four teams the matches are set to be tight as drums, exciting in their own way but not about to win over new fans of football.

Germany will beat Brazil. I've been unimpressed with Brazil going forward, and that's against teams with either plain mediocre or reasonable defences. Germany has arguably the best defensive line-up at the tournament, plus (again arguably) the best goalkeeper in the world at the moment in case a hole in the line is found. Without Neymar Brazil will still attack, but their strategy has to turn around 180º for this match (as ex-star Bebeto has noted, Brazil's three game plans so far have been "give it to Neymar, give it to Neymar and give it to Neymar") and I don't see the necessary form in the front line. Brazil will also miss Thiago Silva greatly, who was excellent vs Colombia in the last round but is carded out for tomorrow. Meanwhile, Germany has played in the classic German style and is consistently dangerous up front, it's a simple game they play but they play it well. Finally, from what I've seen Brazil don't seem to have the necessary mental toughness this time around, with emotions and nerves running in the wrong way and causing the team to lose balance at vital times. This I blame squarely on the manager Scolari, who's been a hothead all through the process and has little in the way of grace under pressure

Argentina will beat Holland. If there's one trait that runs through all World Cups, it's that a team running into form at the right time, going from lesser to greater as the tournament progresses, is the one to fear the most. In 2014 that's Argentina, who played well in all departments vs Belgium in the last round and as well as having the whole team clicking and working together smoothly have one man on their team who can single-handedly change any match against any team in a matter of seconds. Argentina's defence has been more solid than anyone expected pre-tourney (that includes goalie Romero), its midfield has arguably the best player of the whole championships so far in Javier Mascherano (NB: not the most decisive or game-determining, as that would probably be Colombia's James Rodriguez; best player comes from a different set of rules), the front line will certainly miss Angel Di Maria but Gonzalo Higuian has finally come good and was massive in the last match for his whole 80 minutes (not just his goal). Over at Holland, Van Gaal's job will be to contain the Argentina attack and I think he'll therefore rely on the danger posed by Robben and Van Persie via counter-attacks. Those two can certainly do damage if given the chance, but if that's the only attacking outlet, Argentina should have a game-plan ready. Also, one player Holland will definitely miss is the Nigel de Jong, whose absence through injury weakens the midfield. But overall, I haven't been as impressed by Holland as the other three survivors and I'm sure that if Argentina could have chosen their semi-final rival from the list, they'd have gone for this tie.

No idea for the final. Even if my predictions above work out, the final is just too difficult to call. They tend to be tight and non-spectacular games and toss-ups that hinge on turning point moments and defensive good/bad plays. 

A couple of bets. After checking the odds available, the 5/2 (bet 2, win 5, get your stake back as well, total return 7) on a Germany vs Argentina final looks reasonable odds to me. The other bet that catches the eye is the 7/2 (even 4/1 at one bookmaker) that Lionel Messi finishes as top scorer in the championships. With four goals he's 2 behind Rodriguez, but he has guaranteed two games to play and three goals is well within the range of the possible if he turns it on (I've watched him score three in 20 minutes). 

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Tom Bartel's visit to Auschwitz and Birkenau

Published today. You really should read this.