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The Friday OT: Frank Zappa; Muffin Man

Live, 1997, Zappa's on top form and shreds one in this.

For those days when you crave a quality extended guitar solo.

Yes Virginia, Ovais Habib of Scotia is a fuckwit

Yesterday on IKN:

Rio Alto Mining $RIOM ( produced 17,199 ounces of gold in August 2014 
Add that to the 19,435oz of July and you're 2/3rds of the way there to the 3q14 quarterly total, just this month of September missing. The data comes from the official filings makes to the Peruvian Ministry of Energy and Mining, here*.
And it continues, with chart and blabber.

Today from Scotia's "Daily Mining Scoop", its morning mailer to Scotia clients:
Her Name is RIO and She Dances On The Sand! Q3 Production Estimates from Rio Alto’s La Arena Meet Our Expectations; Potential Buying Opportunity on Index-Related Share Pull-Back: 
Rio Alto (RIO-CN/PE, SO, C$3.25, Ovais Habib) produced 17,199 oz Au in August according to the Peruvian Ministry of Energy and Mines which combined with July production of 19,435 oz, represents 68% of Ovais’ Q3/14 estimate of 53,639 oz. At this run rate, the company remains on track to meet the upper end of its 2014 guidance range of 200-220 koz (Ovais models 215 koz for the year using conservative 2H/14 gold grade assumptions). The chart below highlights RIO’s La Arena operating history.....(continues)

And continue it does, with nary a hat tip or mention of IKN of course because blogs are good enough to read and good enough to rip-off but you can't dare mention them as source material, right Ovais? Because that's what assholes do, Ovais. All you need to do is make a simple acknowledgement, it's not difficult you know. Cowardly piece of shit, Ovais.

PS: The funny thing is, the Peru ministry info was on its site a full 24 hours before I wrote my post so if cowardly shit Ovais had really been paying attention the way he pretends, he would have known and had been able to inform his clients before this humble corner of cyberspace had done its bit.

Good TA

Responding to mailbag from yesterday's post on Technical Analysis (two mails this morning, in fact), if you want good, solid,  independent, reasoned/reasonable TA and chartwork look no further than here.

This is an easy call, the best I've ever seen.

Mining PRs and the Ottotrans™, Part 86

Today, IKN proudly presents a new high-water mark for the Ottotrans™, as we managed condense a 1,659 word junior mining company news release to just one word.

This amazing, stunning, Pulitzer-level achievement is all thanks to the NR entitled "SilverCrest Updates Santa Elena Mine Transition", with phun'n'phrolics provided by Silvercrest Mines Inc ( (SVLC):

This is what they wrote (and we'll do the print small today to fit it in easily):
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Sep 26, 2014) - SilverCrest Mines Inc. (the "Company")(SVL.TO)(NYSE MKT:SVLC) is pleased to provide an update for the transition of the Santa Elena Mine in Sonora, Mexico from open pit heap leach to underground mining and milling operations. Activities at the mine are now moving from capital intensive expenditures for the overall Expansion Plan to operating costs and sustaining capital expenditures for underground development with emphasis on generating free cash flow through continued strict cost controls. The most significant transition activities are outlined below. For additional information and to view photos and videos, please visit the Company's website at
N. Eric Fier, President and COO stated; "We are pleased with our transition to a conventional milling operation at the Santa Elena Mine. The commissioning of the mill was completed on budget as of August 1, 2014. The ramp up of underground stope production to 1,500 tonnes per day has encountered short-term delays. These delays are primarily due to finalizing detailed stope designs based on recent in-fill drilling with associated geotechnical constraints. Also, delays in long-hole drilling start-up for stope development are attributed to personnel training in drilling procedures while testing stope ground support. These short-term delays are manageable but will impact previously announced 2014 metal production guidance of approximately 3.3 million AgEq ounces at a ratio of 60:1. Guidance for 2014 is now projected to range from 3.0 to 3.3 million AgEq ounces. Estimated operating cash costs for 2014 of $8.50 to $9.50 per AgEq ounce and all-in sustaining cash costs of $11 to $12 per AgEq ounce, remain unchanged. These costs continue to make SilverCrest one of the lowest cost producers in the sector with anticipated free cash flow for Q4 2014".
Santa Elena Transition
The new mill and CCD/Merrill Crowe processing plant is currently running at an average throughput of 2,500 tonnes per day. Grind size testing for optimization is ongoing which impacts throughput, recoveries and efficient operation of the dry tailings belt filters. Optimized milling rate of 3,000 tonnes per day is targeted for Q4 2014. 
Current underground ore development grades are averaging 1.72 gpt Au and 115.4 gpt Ag which is consistent with reserve estimates. Average pad ore grades in September 2014 are 0.68 gpt Au and 50.0 gpt Ag or 8% and 38% higher, respectively than budget. 
The plant is currently processing a blended mix of 30% underground development ore and 70% pad ore with an average blended grade of 1.0 gpt Au and 71.2 gpt Ag. 
Approximate mill recovery rates of 90% for gold and 68% for silver are consistent with budget target rates. It is anticipated that recoveries will increase as the mill grind size is optimized. 
For Q4 2014, monthly metal production is projected to range from 3,000 to 3,750 ounces of gold and 140,000 to 180,000 ounces of silver to achieve guidance of 3.0 to 3.3 million. 
Although behind schedule, mining the first production stope has commenced which is being developed between the 600m and 575m levels. Underground ramp access continues to be driven ahead of mine development with the bottom of the ramp currently at the 564m elevation. Completion of a ventilation raise in Q4 2014 is expected to increase operating efficiencies and improve advancement rates for both underground development and mine production. 
Total underground development to date, including ramping, lateral ore and waste development, and raise development, is approximately 6,000 metres. Six levels currently have ore and partial waste development completed in anticipation of stope production. 
With major capital expenditures completed for the 3 year long Expansion Plan, the Company anticipates generating free cash flow in Q4 2014 at current precious metal prices. 
The Company is assessing the possibility of re-opening the Santa Elena open pit over the next 2 months which would increase projected metal production for Q4 2014 and H1 2015, providing safety and permitting requirements are met. Approximately 100,000 tonnes grading 1.4 gpt Au and 88.0 gpt Ag remain in the pit for possible low cost excavation and mill processing.
The Qualified Person under NI 43-101 for this News Release is N. Eric Fier, CPG, P.Eng, President and Chief Operating Officer for SilverCrest Mines Inc., who has reviewed and approved its contents.
SilverCrest Mines Inc. (SVL.TO)(NYSE MKT:SVLC) is a Canadian precious metals producer headquartered in Vancouver, BC. SilverCrest's flagship property is the 100%‐owned Santa Elena Mine, located 150 km northeast of Hermosillo, near Banamichi in the State of Sonora, México. The mine is a high‐grade, epithermal silver and gold producer, with an estimated life of mine of 8 years at an average operating cash costs of $11 per ounce of silver equivalent (55:1 Ag:Au). SilverCrest anticipates that the new 3,000 tonnes per day conventional mill facility at the Santa Elena Mine should recover an average of 1.5 million ounces of silver and 32,800 ounces of gold per annum over the current reserve life. Major expansion and commissioning of the 3,000 tonnes per day conventional mill facility is complete and is expected to increase metals production at the Santa Elena Mine in the second half of 2014 and beyond. Exploration programs continue to result in new discoveries at Santa Elena and also have rapidly advanced the definition of a large polymetallic deposit at the La Joya property in Durango State, Mexico.
This news release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Canadian securities legislation and the United States Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements concern the Company's anticipated results and developments in the Company's operations in future periods, planned exploration and development of its properties, plans related to its business and other matters that may occur in the future and include, without limitation, statements with respect to: the economic viability of a project; strategic plans and expectations for the development of the Company's operations and properties; the amount of mineral reserves and mineral resources; the amount of future production of gold and silver over any period; the amount of expected grades and ounces of metals and minerals; expected processing recoveries; cash operating costs and outflows; life of mine; average mine recovery rates; anticipated free cash flow generation and prices of metals and minerals.
These forward-looking statements relate to analyses and other information that are based on, without limitation, the following estimates and assumptions: the presence of and continuity of metals at the Company's projects; cost of production and productivity levels; plant and equipment function as anticipated; the availability of skilled labour; contracted parties provide goods and services on agreed time frame; ability to develop and finance projects; accuracy of the interpretations and assumptions used in calculating reserve and resource estimates; and operations not being disrupted or delayed by unusual geological or technical problems.
Forward-looking statements are subject to a variety of known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which could cause actual events or results to differ from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements, including, without limitation: risks related to precious and base metal price fluctuations; risks related to fluctuations in the currency markets (particularly the Mexican peso, Canadian dollar and United States dollar); risks related to the inherently dangerous activity of mining, including conditions or events beyond our control, and operating or technical difficulties in mineral exploration, development and mining activities; uncertainty in the Company's ability to raise financing and fund the exploration and development of its mineral properties; uncertainty as to actual capital costs, operating costs, production and economic returns, and uncertainty that development activities will result in profitable mining operations; risks related to reserves and mineral resource figures being estimates based on interpretations and assumptions which may result in less mineral production under actual conditions than is currently estimated and to diminishing quantities or grades of mineral reserves as properties are mined; risks related to governmental regulations and obtaining necessary licenses and permits; risks related to the business being subject to environmental laws and regulations which may increase costs of doing business and restrict our operations; risks related to mineral properties being subject to prior unregistered agreements, transfers, or claims and other defects in title; risks relating to inadequate insurance or inability to obtain insurance; risks related to potential litigation; risks related to the global economy; risks related to environmental laws; risks related to the Company's status as a foreign private issuer in the United States; risks related to all of the Company's properties being located in Mexico and El Salvador, including political, economic, social and regulatory instability; and risks related to officers and directors becoming associated with other natural resource companies, which may give rise to conflicts of interests.
Should one or more of these risks and uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described in the forward-looking statements. The Company's forward-looking statements are based on beliefs, expectations and opinions of management on the date the statements are made. For the reasons set forth above, investors should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. The Company undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements included in this news release if these beliefs, estimates and opinions or other circumstances should change, except as otherwise required by applicable law.
This news release includes the term "Free cash flow". This term is commonly used in the mining industry but is not defined under International Financial Reporting Standards ("IFRS"). The Company believes that, in addition to conventional measures prepared in accordance with IFRS, certain investors use this information to evaluate SilverCrest's performance and its ability to generate cash flow. It is intended to provide additional information and should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for measures of performance prepared in accordance with IFRS. Free cash flow is calculated from net cash provided by operating activities less SilverCrest's capital expenditures on its mining interests.Contact:SilverCrest Mines Inc.Fred Cooper(604) 694-1730 ext. 108Toll Free: 1-866-691-173(604)

And this is what it means:



Chart of the day is...

...this copper stocks and spreads chart from this Reuters Andy Home article:

I'm not a fan of double Y-axis charts normally, but as this one's more a case of trying to squeeze in more info in less space and not trying to convince you of a non-existent correlation, it's ok. The article it's from is well worth your time, oh reader interested in base metals. That's basically why it's CotD today, to try and get you interested enough to click through and learn something worth learning about the copper market of today. 


A request

Dear technical analyst currently writing your "bullish formation on gold" article,

Please inform us in same piece all other times and dates you made a bullish call on gold in 2014.

Fortunately the capital markets are not a court of law and we normal people have the right to call you blowhard scamming pseudoscientific snake oil peddling fucktards until proven wrong*. With the greatest respect, of course.

*Which does happen. Of the dozens of TA merchants that have crossed my path, two have shown themselves to be smart and trustworthy. Just goes to show that my presumption can be fucktardery too. Which is how it should be.

Precipitate Gold (PRG.v) has a message for exploration mining companies

And the message is: 

Do not waste your money by drilling your properties.

On Tuesday morning Precipitate Gold (PRG.v) gave us this news release on initial drilling results from its property in Dominican Republic. It included this table of results...

...and as I've scribbled on the thing, that hole 5 is a bona fide, real live classic discovery hole which announces the arrival of a new mineralized body of gold to the world. And the market's reaction to this news?

It couldn't give a flying fig. The type of news that would have shot a $7m market cap company such as PRG a mile higher just a couple of years ago is completely ignored by the world. So, dear and loving junior exploration stage mining company CEOs, why bother drilling your site? In the world of 2014, not only do you run the risk of ruining your best prospect by finding out the truth, but even if you get lucky and hit something in the style of PRG the reaction will be plain fat zero. 

Meanwhile for the rest of us: Contrary bullish signal? Oh yes, you know it's true.

Disclosure: No position in PRG.v. Never had one, either. That may change.

Rio Alto Mining $RIOM ( produced 17,199 ounces of gold in August 2014

Add that to the 19,435oz of July and you're 2/3rds of the way there to the 3q14 quarterly total, just this month of September missing. The data comes from the official filings makes to the Peruvian Ministry of Energy and Mining, here*.

There's this thing about heap/dump leachers, that when you have them running smoothly they tend to start kicking out reasonably predictable and steady results as if on rails. There's always some slight variation as grade or tonnage moved in a small sample timescale such as one calendar month will never be exactly the same, but the uniformity of numbers since January 2014 from La Arena smacks of a "we have this thing down pat now" operation. So all in all, it's a fair guess that gives us around 55k oz for 3q14, that would be at upper level of annual guidance and that'd be fine by me.

*All you need to do now is get to the right page inside the MEM site. Good luck and enjoy the Spanish practice.

The most valuable brands in LatAm

Millward Brown Vermeer (a subsidiary of advert giants WPP) has put together its annual list of the top 50 most valuable brands in Latin America. The concentration of cash in trade marks is simplicity itself, you need:
  • A business in Mexico, Brazil or Chile. Then Colombia. 
  • A beer or a bank, or if in Chile a retail chain
  • Then maybe a phone or an oil & gas company.

The minor variations come further down the line (whole thing here), but apparently the whole region is just one big account-holding, beer slurping, car driving mass of people who love their companies. Maybe you don't get the perspective in your local market, but when you compare the reality of this region to the image the publicists try to sell you the superficial bullshit of advertising gets written in large letters in Latin America. Humanity will not miss them when they are gone.


Suggestions on how to play the O&G sector in 2014

Any recent updates from John Mauldin or Marin Katusa about PRD Energy (PRD.v), the "next Bakken" and their red hot top pick oil and gas investment pick for 2014? 

No, nothing you say?

They've gone very quiet on the stock recently, you say?

In fact, nothing for weeks on end, you say?

Well riddle me ree, there's a surprise. It's almost as if they were running a pump and dump operat....nah, perish the thought!

Suggestion for Pierre Lassonde: What to do with the U$500m $FNV raised in the bought deal recently

Buy Sandstorm, Pierre.

SAND now under $500m market cap.

Hands up all those readers who remember Brazilian o&g/mining magnate Eike Batista

  • He of selling bigtime iron ore deposits to Anglo.
  • He of the oil and gas company OGX with the 100% hit rate on drilling its prospects
  • He who bought Ventana Gold in Colombia
  • He who was once in the world's top 10 of rich people and with the stated ambition to be number one.
  • And he who is now bankrupt, of course.

Here's the very latest on Eike, hot off the presses this morning
"Businessman Eike Batista and seven other executives of OGX were today charged by the Sao Paulo Federal Court, accused of the crimes of fraud, conspiracy and deliberate misleading of investors with false information related to the dissemination of information considered highly optimistic regarding potential oil reserves of the company that were later revealed to be unfounded."

Dear employees of Reuters: Invest in a dictionary

Seriously Reuters, WTF is that?

This is Times of India or Breitbart level, from the supposed world leader in news* it's frankly embarrassing. Link here, screenshot above to make sure they don't alter without announcing the correction.

*AP will argue that: After today, they have another stone to throw.

Argentina: Critics tend to forget how salary increases compare with high inflation...

...because if their petticoats slip and they mention the subject, dirty little secrets are let out. The following from Hernan Pablo's incisive Argentina econoblog, Hache as it considers the period of 2001 (the financial crisis moment) to the beginning of 2014 in Argentina's macro economy, considering private sector salaries:
"...from 2001, real salaries increased by 1,205%, while inflation increased by 920%. In other words, if somebody earned ArgP$1,000 they now earn ArgP$13,050, while goods that cost ArgP$100 now cost ArgP$1,020."
Yes folks, you just read that right, no typos there: People in Argentina are better off now in real terms than they were before the high inflation environment kicked in. Go read all the note, plenty more food for thought there. This is the dirty little secret of econo-pseuds that jump to conclusions about high inflation economies, because if salaries keep up or even (in the case of Argentina) outstrip the rate of inflation, buying power of your average citizen is either unaffected or improves.

Here's another example to think about. Who would you rather be?

1) Avg Joe bluecollar in USA, receives average pay increase of 2% per annum in an average 3.5% per annum inflation environment.

2) Avg José azulcollar in Argentina, receives average pay increase of 28% per annum in an average 25% per annum inflation environment.

Don't think about it too long now, willyaz? And before you jump to conclusions about the dataset used by Hernan, the quoted 920% total inflation figure isn't the official State beancouter INDEC version which is rightly considered a tissue of lies; that's the parallel IPC version, the one that's used to whack into INDEC by government opposition parties and the country's constantly hostile mass media. Also drole is how Hernan is picking up on an article in anti-CFK newspaper La Nación and using its figures verbatim, a report that was designed to criticize the sitting administration.

Understanding climate change

The planet is warming. This statement gets agreement from 99% of scientists studying the issue and disagreement from scientists sponsored by rich people that don't like the idea. As for public reaction:

1) My parents' generation doesn't give a fuck.
2) My childrens' generation thinks it's the most important problem in the world today.
3) My generation just can't seem to make up its mind. 

Statement 1 is correct because this generation will be dead before climate change fucks up their lives.
Statement 2 is correct because this generation will still be alive when climate change fucks up their lives.
Statement 3 is correct because this generation can't decide whether it will be alive or dead before climate change fucks up their lives.

Or put another way, human beings in 2014 are doing their normal thing because the selfish fucks who run the world are still the rich people from my parents' generation. It just so happens that my kids' generation will be acting from the very same limbic self-preservation, but don't get all misty-eyed over the change when it happens, it's not going to be from altruism or touchyfeelyness about cute fuzzy monkeys in jungles or saving rare mosses in tundra zones. When it's their turn they'll be making choices and decisions that coincide with the well-being of the planetary environment, but the key word is coincide, as in coincidence. Because they'll be the same selfish fucks as we adults are, hardwire reactions don't change in 50 years and humans will continue to be selfish fucks. 

But there is some good news: We will not destroy the planet*, so take heart from that.

PS: Did I mention the bit about selfish fucks?

*The planet will destroy us.

Chart of the day is...

...the subsequent performance of the silver mining companies tipped as excellent investments by Sean Rakhimov of "silver strategies dot com in this interview in The Gold Report dated July 16th, 2014:

Hey, you could have been lucky and picked out Santacruz Silver (SCZ.v) from his list of his expert moneymaking ideas; if you did you'd only be down 8% or so on your investment.

Rakhimov said silver would break through $26/oz and flying off to $32/oz, too. 

Gold at U$400 an ounce (the intro to IKN280, out last Sunday evening)

It was a fairly simple intro to IKN280 last Sunday, but I felt like writing it and did so. For whatever reason the feedback's been positive so what the devil, let's stick it on the blog and give it a wider airing.


Gold at U$400 an ounce
Due to several disparate influences, some market related and others far removed from the world of the screen and the number, there’s been this thought experiment going round my head for a few days. The basic premise is to assume that gold is worth a lot less and the über-bear crowd is correct, so I picked out of the air the number $400 for a target price of gold (which could have been higher or lower, it’s just my personal line in the sand) and tried to envisage the price there and what it would mean. But however much I try I can’t see it happening, because to get to what’s best described as “an abnormal price*” we’d need wholesale dumping of reserve gold by the world’s central banks. This would happen at the same time as nearly all gold mines around the world closing due to unprofitable operations. Finally, we’d also see a massive increase in consumer demand for gold jewelry. So unless our tastes as consumers dramatically change and humans turn their collective backs on gold, the outright “gold is worthless” brigade want us to suppose that drops and supply dries up while demand rockets, all at the same time. Expanded thought on those:

1)      Most gold mines would close. Unless of course the US Dollar doesn’t get simply stronger but a LOT stronger than peer and world currencies, operating costs would soon rise above revenues for gold mining companies. Most businesses can survive a period of time under such circumstances, but only if balance sheets are in order. But then, once revenues fail to cover even a small percentage of fixed costs all you’ll hear from mines around the world is the sound of keys turning and locks snapping shut.

2)      But the world would crave supply (see point 3 below), so gold would have to come from vaults and suchlike. This would mean banks giving up their solid reserves in preference for currency (again, most likely the dollar) but as most country central banks only carry a minor part of reserves in gold and already have a major part in USD (central bank holdings of the Venezuela type are few and far between) the benefits would be minimal and the dangers of reducing reserve diversification would quickly be pointed out by the sober end of the econosphere (not just the goldbug or hard asset fringe). Unless gold goes suddenly out of favour as a thing worth money by human beings, a move that would go against thousands of years of human culture and habit, it’s tough to see gold being swapped for cash on such a scale by the institutional and country movers.

3)      Demand would rocket. To repeat, we’d need human beings to move away from a historical love for the rare, shiny, long-lasting metal (1) that can be made into very pretty objects. And as I look around this me-first, fuck you, baby boomer world of self entitlement and overwhelming consumer greed it’s very difficult indeed to imagine a situation where gold wouldn’t be bought in ravenous quantities by people with access to disposable income and buying power on a level previously unknown. Bling would be made into crass shapes and forms as yet unimaginable (anyone for a 18k twerking robot model of Miley Cyrus?) as the post-industrial consumer dream is offered in 12, easy to pay zero interest installments. Karl Marx would look down (up?) upon us and smile contentedly as the last great bastion of elite wealth is spread among the proletariat, not just confined to the oligarchs or bourgeoisie

Not gonna happen, folks. Not. Gonna. Happen.

Gold is a circular argument after all. Its critics (and there are many) are the first to point out that it’s only expensive because it’s precious because it’s sought after because it’s expensive etc etc and that circular argument may be annoying to the cold and calculating world of the quant, but like it or not it’s also a long-standing fact (and they don’t like it). But it also means the rich have a vested interest in keeping the barrier to entry high, because they already own a heapload of the stuff and if the last 200 years of capitalist economic development has taught us one thing, it’s that the rich don’t like it when you start messing with the value of their assets. Play with the currency all you like but don’t discount the value of the things they own, the solid things that are heavy (house) or pretty (Warhol) or both (gold bar) for which they paid a lot of money to own.

The argument is loosely scripted and not particularly original or eloquent either, but that’s ok because I’m not trying to break into the Gold Bullion Expert Commentary Club anytime soon, merely defending the position of a holder of juniors in the face of the current bear in their main underlying metal. Gold may drop in price some more in 2014 but it’s not going to drop much further, because in 2014 it won’t suit the haves to give away ownership to the have-nots so easily. In dollar terms we’re either at or close to the bottom now, the asset value hasn’t changed a jot and it won’t do so in the future either. As for upside to bullion, I’m aware that my preferred “gold to $1.4k by end 2014” has taken several knocks over the last two weeks but I contend it’s still perfectly possible, which is something that will affect our juniors more positively than any bullion you might own because (hopefully at least) we’ll reach a price point where selling the juniors and exchanging shares for cash is the right move.

*For once I make no apology for the inverted commas


Yes, Latin American statisticians really are this stupid

1) Base two decades of economic growth on primary industry and rapid growth of commodities exports.

2) Complain the way regional beancounters CEPAL complains, because apparently the economic costs of Climate Change would take 2.5% away from regional GDP growth in the event that average temperatures rise 2.5ºC.

It's like all just so fucking unfair, why can't we have our cake and eat it too? 

B2Gold $BTG ( Anyone else notice the heavy AH action in the stock yesterday evening?

Twitterpal Ross did:

UPDATE after the close today. Ross solves the mystery.



I've had a few inquiries about this JV project over the months and years, the answer has always been "avoid". Today's news is one of the reasons why.
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Sep 22, 2014) - Rokmaster Resources Corp. ("Rokmaster" or the "Company") (TSX VENTURE:RKR)(RKR.V) announces that as a result of the continued presence of illegal miners on the Pinaya Gold-Copper Project (the "Pinaya Project"), in which the Company has an option to earn up to a 75% interest, and Rokmaster's continuing inability to obtain unrestricted access to the portions of the Pinaya Project controlled and occupied by illegal miners, Rokmaster has declared force majeure in accordance with the Option and Joint Venture Agreement dated July 16, 2012, as amended (the "Agreement"), with AM Gold Inc. ("AM Gold") and AM Gold's Peruvian subsidiary, Canper Exploraciones S.A.C. Rokmaster has also learned that the illegal miners have produced toxic substances on the project area as a result of their illegal activities. As a result of the declaration of force majeure, all time limits imposed by the Agreement are extended until the illegal miners and the toxic substances which they have created are removed from the Pinaya Project area rendering such areas accessible and safe.

But only one of the reasons. Link to NR here

How Peru politics works

Your humble scribe was reading a minor report on the state of play in the regional election campaign in Cajamarca this morning (Peru chooses its regional and provincial governors, city mayors etc on October 5th in a pretty important election for the country). It's not the type of article that gets mention on these pages normally, more the type that forms the general background reading, but this one suddenly expanded and gave a quote about the wider political scene in Peru that's both succinct and very accurate. Here it is, translated:
"The person who has the most money gets access to be a candidate (for election).... Simply put, politicians are those who have the most money. Businesspeople are welcome and if they're associated with narcotrafficking it's even better, because they handle even more money and one of the ways to legalize it is to go into politics in order to get protection."
And that's exactly right.

Chile: Tax revenues from mining are dropping sharply

According to this report and Álvaro Merino, head of studies and Chile's National Mining Society (Sonami), here's how things look:

In 2012 Chile benefitted from U$8.2Bn in tax revenue from its mining industry. That's set to come in at just U$4.5Bn this year 2014. So now you know.

The other part of the Argentina media BS show: The local media regurgitation

On Saturday this humble corner of cyberspace showed how Bloomberg frames its anti-Argentina/anti-Cristina editorial line by being careful about the facts it chooses to present and preferring not to give context. In this way its biased reporters such as Camila Russo, author of the flimsy and unbalanced hit piece, can scream dire nastiness without bothering about normal journalism ethics. Bless their hearts.

However, there is another part to this media game in LatAm, that's the way in which this biased nonsense itsthen rebounded in the local press. Here for example is the front page of the print edition of Clarin (famously  anti-CFK and Argentina's biggest circulation newspaper) that greeted Argentina on Saturday morning.

Yup, a direct re-hash of the Bloomberg note. And what's more, you read the whole Clarin report and it makes it plain the screaming headline comes directly from the Bloomberg report as paragraph three begins "As reported by the Bloomberg news agency...". But in the very same way as Bloomberg, Clarin's re-hash skips over the facts (not opinion or cherrypicked data, but facts from the very same World Bank from IKN Saturday)...
Argentina has 10.8% in the poor bracket, then 31.4% in the vulnerable column and that's how Bloomberg gets the "quadrupling" word into its headline. But what they don't tell you is...
  • Argentina has the second lowest level of vulnerable in Latin America
  • Argentina has the third lowest level of poor in Latin America
  • Argentina has the second highest level of established middle class in Latin America
And this is how bullshit becomes accepted knowledge among the mouthbreather opposition forces in South America (because sadly, this pattern is all too common in most of the region). It goes

1) English speaking media channel publishes bullshit
2) Country media channel picks up on the bullshit
3) Lies repeated in true strategic Goebbels propaganda style until they're accepted as fact.

A cute little roundabout.

The IKN Weekly, out now

IKN280 has just been sent to subscribers. A 13,000 word incoherent rant that nobody in their right mind would read. Blergh. And argh. 


Dilma Rousseff's Presidential campaign art kicks butt

From one of her official campaign houses, Muda Mais:

Love it, and there are other varieties too. Right here. Via the guy you need to follow for English language coverage of the upcoming election in Brazil , Vincent Bevins of the LA Times and other quality media channels.

Grupo Mexico $, pollution and that Oscar Wilde quote again

Paraphrased, of course:

"To pollute one river may be regarded as a misfortune; to pollute two looks like carelessness"

News this afternoon is that Grupo Mexico has alerted authorities (at least this time they didn't try a cover-up) that another batch of toxic waste has escaped from its Buenavista copper mine in Sonora State and into water supplies. Yes indeed, this is the very same mine that messed up the local water just a few weeks ago and got the country's politicos baying for its licence to be revoked, well remembered ma'am/sir. This time they're blaming the tail end of the hurricane that came in over the West coast of Mexico last week. Good to have a reason, isn't it?

Thank you, Lady Bracknell. Handbags at dawn.

Alessandro Florenzi's goal celebration

1) Score goal
2) Run across pitch
3) Climb into stands
4) Find grandmother
5) Become IKN's hero of the weekend

The second for Roma in their 2-0 win. Alessandro Florenzi, you win.

Peru: At least 23 anti-drugs police officers re-selling confiscated cocaine

The shock isn't that they've been found doing it, the shock is that this is finally coming to light because everyone knows how corrupt Peru's police force is. You'll note however that it took a years-long investigation by an outside force, namely the US DEA, to shine light on these scumbags. 

Here's the report, here's a translation of how it starts:
"Thousands of recordings made during a DEA bugging program reveal that at least 23 police officers from the National Anti-Drug Directive (Dirandro) have for years been hiding cargos of drugs and stealing drugs of mafia groups in order to re-sell it. Despite the evidence, the national internal investigation by police has moved very slowly and the accused are still working in the units that are supposed to combat narcotrafficking."
Full report here

A final thought: If you think these 23 officers were doing what they were doing without the knowledge of the higher ranks of Peruvian police, I have a bridge you may be interested in purchasing. Easy terms, low downpayment.