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Checking in on Continental Gold (

On November 17th CNL released details of its PEA on Buritica. The next morning your humble scribe wrote this which tried hard to warn you away from the stock and the hype you were about to get from all the usual suspects. Here's a price chart of (compared to gold), from then until now:

It's bad enough if you were holding at the time, but even worse if you bought the pop.

We good?


The Friday OT: Lilly Wood & The Prick; Prayer In C (Robin Schulz remix)

Chez Otto, we're now at that stage where the eldest daughter is pointing us towards new music. The good news is that none of it is plain bad (so far) and while some of it ho-hum, some is fully good and this comes in the latter category. Pretty decent song and its cheapo alt/art vid.

I like. And good to note the eldest's taste in music has by-passed One Direction completely.

Boxing Day Association Football review; Manchester United 3, Newcastle 1

Thoughts arising:

  • Louis Van Gaal is beginning to get what he wants; most (if not all) of the 90 minutes either controlled or dominated by his team.
  • Wayne Rooney looks great in his new position, 5 to 10 metres behind the front line. Two goals today and he'll take home the MotM award by rote and modern expectations. Her played well and linked smartly with Falcao.
  • On that subject, Radamel Falcao is finally showing good form for Man Utd. He's had injury problems and has otherwise spluttered, but his play today was excellent. A few more like today and he'll start winning the fans over (about time too).
  • Jones in defence was the second best player on the pitch. High quality defending his line and dangerous surging forward, he gives Man Utd an extra option that bypasses midfield and gets the ball to the forward line
  • But the best was Juan Mata. Not a doubt. He bossed the game from start to finish and if he is 100% back in favour this evening from your preferred footy pundit after a painful time under moyes and then LVG stage one, change your preferences.
  • As for those not playing, Di Maria will fit right into this newly flowing team once he's back from injury. Fellaini was not and will not be missed. Januzaj should be talking to his agent as soon as possible. 

Bottom line: There are three teams in the title race this year. Chelsea must be favourite and ManC (who i didn't watch today) second faves due to the points accrued already, but Manchester United are back and have an outside chance from here. The best I've seen them play since SAF retired, they made a good and in-form Newcastle team look ordinary. Mata is one helluva player on his day.

The Argentina "dollar blue" and official exchange rate in 2014

There are always people hitting up IKN from Google, trying to find a chart and a recent quote on Argentina's unofficial street rate dollar, the "Dollar Blue" (in fact known as "Dólar Blue" in exact local spelling). But they hit an old post and don't find a recent quote so here you go folks, here's how the forex has done in 2014 in a chart from here you can go and check in the future to be all up to date as well. You even get the official rate for the dollar on the chart, aren't we useful?

Today, December 26th, you can buy a dollar on the streets of Buenos Aires for ArgP$13.38. The Blue peaked at ArgP$15.95 on September 24th. The trend is fairly obvious, but neither has it done the type of hell/handbasket move that the shrills were confidently predicting. So now you know. 

Gold has not done badly in 2014 (no matter what you hear from the biz-moron-o-sphere)

Here's the gold and silver bullion ETFs, GLD and SLV, 2014 year to date:

This chart gets featured because I've already seen brain dead year-end commentaries, Barry Ritholtz included (who passed a link on over the Holiday season with evident glee), giving us the "oh wasn't it horrible for those silly old goldbugs this year oh ha ha oh silly people" type of thing. So let's be clear that the ~1.5% rise in bullion this morning, December 26th and hour before the NY open, has wiped away half of the year's losses in gold.

Repeat until understood: Gold has not done badly in 2014.

Now I'd agree that gold has not done well. Indeed the acid test is clear, it's failed to return a profit versus its benchmark currency. And once that's stated we can also play comparatives until we're blue in the face, the obvious one is the S&P500 and I'm good about stating that gold hasn't been an obvious winner, a star performer, a feelgood alpha factor in your sophisticated modern investment portfolio kind madam kind sir. But 1.5% down on a year isn't bad. It's not "throw in the towel" bad. It's not unjustified waste of port space and dollars bad. It's not even close to the shellacking it took in 2013. Especially when it wasn't in your port to provide alpha in the first place (hint: there's no alpha in gold, but don't let that factor spoil a good narrative, eh). So therefore with that nice and straight in the mind, here are a few true statements:
  • Silver has done badly in 2014 (see above)
  • Oil has done badly in 2014 (which of course includes the go-getter oil stocks, particularly those shale/bakken/alt hydrocarb things the same mainstream braindeaders wanted me to buy)
  • Junior explorecos running on fumes have done badly.
  • Gold did badly in 2013. Last year, not this year. I mentioned that again for a reason.

Also on a personal note and somewhat to my surprise, my personal portfolio has done much better (not just better) in 2014 than it did in the real waterfall death year of 2013. For sure I've picked my share of losers and lost money on them (there's plenty of red on line items in my port right now, as any subber will tell you) but they've tended to be the most speculative end of the deal and therefore carrying the smaller amounts of cash (one exception to that is the bath I took on this year) and the bigger bets, though fewer in number, have done better.

And we could continue. But don't be dumb and buy into the dumb narrative that's now doing the rounds; despite its hated status gold hasn't been a bad place to park some dollars and it's been a good place to park other types of currency you may have had lying round the house because it's only just been beaten by the star currency performer of the year, the greenback.


Toromocho: The last six months of copper production

Since the early-year glitches we've heard little of Toromocho since it started running its ramp-up again, so with the publication of the MEM monthly number yesterday (Ovais? Get that Ovais? Yesterday Ovais, you're asleep at the switch again Ovais) we now have six months of constant output from the mine and...'s still running way under schedule. That's 8,917 tonnes of copper in November, that's 47,838mt in the last six months, that's not what it was supposed to be. Data from here

A song for the day

Daft Punk, One More Time.

One day on these pages I'll go into my riff about Daft Punk and how their music resembles that of JS Bach. But not today; Today's Christmas, the idea is to enjoy music and relax and smile and use as little brain as possible. And things. Still, the first minute of this track is so perfect it's scary.

Junior mining, Christmas Eve, 2014

'Twas the night before Christmas and through the exchange
Not a miner was stirring, ne’er in trading range;
The geologists were hung by the neck with care,
In hopes that the engineers soon would be there;
The CEOs were nestled all snug in their beds;
While visions of cheaper options danced in their heads;
And CFO in her 'kerchief, and COO in his cap,
Thought Kondriateff winters, not merely cold snap.


The Top 10 Most Impressive Civil Engineering Projects of All Time

Visual Capitalist gives us an easy-read list that's interesting, too. The other thing about it: Barring a minor quibble or two (i.e. personally would swap the positions of Brooklyn Bridge and Hoover Dam) I think they got the choices pretty much straight and correct. Particularly the top three (and if you haven't seen #3 you should, the longer you get to stare at it the more impressive it is). 

Anyway, teaser over, go enjoy it yourself by clicking here.

UPDATE: Reader GA is correct when writing in to comment, "...when it comes to moving tonnes of rock from A to B, slavery beats capitalism all day"

Four things that people buying Eco Oro ( this morning should consider learning at some point in the future

1) The Spanish language. That's the most obvious one.
2) At least a little about Colombian politics.
3) How to read a balance sheet.
4) That you shouldn't believe everything you read, especially when the words are written by people paid to promote junior mining companies.

Reality bites: Results of the IKN "Ten random predictions for 2014"

On December 22nd 2013 we ran our regular "Ten Random Predictions" post for 2014, which you can check out here. Today with scant days left in the year the results are yours. Here come the original calls, the result and the completely subjective and biased score for the year (1, 0.5 or fat zero per call), all by me.

1) Gold, at ~$1,200/oz today, is close to its bottom. 
Score: 0.5. That's because the headline call was right, my "let's say $100/oz lower is possible" was also good, but in the text I also said the upside could be to U$1,500/oz and that was wrong. So, half right result.

2) Quality junior mining companies and explorecos will finally split away from the cruddy juniors and we'll see an all-important gap develop between the companies that need to die and those that will survive and eventually thrive. 
Score: 0.5. That's because the basic call was good but the whole sector dropped, good ones and bad ones, instead of the envisaged up/down split. The good ones did less worse than the cruddy ones, rather than better.

3) Copper will be weak in 2014, with supply outstripping demand and new lows of under $3/lb registered (put me down for $2.80/lb on multiple days, not just a single spike). Average for the year to be around $3.10/lb 
Score: 1 point. Yup, that one was a good call all round. 

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. 
Score: 0 points. Darn, close but no cigar on this one because if there hadn't been that BS pump jump on U in October/November, which peaked the metal at just over U$40/lb before it dropped back, it would have been spot on. But a clear number call is a clear number call, no disputing the facts, a fail is a fail. 

5) Dilma Rousseff, President of Brazil, will be re-elected in 2014. 
Score: 1 point. Closer than I thought it'd be, but it's a win. 

6) Evo Morales, President of Bolivia, will be re-elected in 2014. 
Score: 1 point. To be fair, this was a bit of a no-brainer call and about the easiest prediction anyone could have made on Latin American politics in 2014. But I'll take it. 

7) Juan Manuel Santos, President of Colombia, will be re-elected in 2014.
Score: 1 point. As with the Dilma vote, it was closer than I'd expected for a while and Juanma got taken to a second round run-off by the right wing hatergottahate Zuluaga/Uribe brigade, but Colombia made the right choice in the end. 

8) Both Argentina and Venezuela will continue to defy and confound the non-stop barrage of criticism from the western media and get through 2014 just fine. 
 Score: 1 point. Yes that one's turned out correct. We can debate Venezuela if you want, but the way it's painted from the outside (dictatorial regime about to be toppled any moment) is a far cry from the reality inside the country because you can love em or hate em, but the PSUV party has a tight grip on power and runs the show still. As for Argentina, yeah for sure it's a nuthouse but it's doing just fine under all the blahblah. Sorry haters, I win you lose.

9) Juan Martin Del Potro will win at least one of the Grand Slam tournaments this year. 
Score: 0 points. Turns out my wishes for Delpo were misplaced, his wrist injury has haunted him all season and we've hardly seen the dude play. Oh well, next year.

10) And finally, the big one: Brazil will win the 2014 World Cup. 
Score 0 points. This is the one that I'm happy to have called badly.

GRAND TOTAL: SIX OUT OF TEN. A tad better than my 5.5/10 in the 2013 prediction game and we can safely say that my political calls were better than the sporting ones. At some point next week I'll set out the 2015 predictions for the LatAm/biz/political world that is IKN. Toodle pip!


Buenaventura (BVN): Chucapaca is now San Gabriel

Today's news on a change of name at the Buenaventura project is one thing, the interesting snippet came in the report that quoted the regional director of Energy and Mining, one Jesús Durán, on the project. The interesting bit is that BVN apparently plans to build a 6,000tpd processing facility that will be fed by an underground operation and that number caught my eye because the last time we heard from BVN Chucapaca/San Gabriel, at the Denver Gold Forum earlier this year, the plan was based on the scoping study number of 3,000tpd. Thing is here, 6k tpd would bring mine life down to under 6 years if the current resource is all BVN has. That's way too short a life for a company like BVN.

I get the feeling San Gabriel has got bigger since Gold Fields sold their part of it. 

Chart of the day is...

...five years of gold, silver and the S&P500:

Moral: Don't hire Bruce Willis to advertise your bank

Trust Bank of Russia got a 60 Billion Rouble bailout today.

UPDATE: So apparently it's only 30 Billion Roubles now. Oh well, that's all right then.


The IKN Weekly, out now

IKN293 has just been sent to subscribers. You learn some interesting things while searching for pictures to cover random numbers. For example, you too can find out about Gibco Freestyle 293 on this link, right here. 

The Beatles never existed

Thanks to pal @cinebraille, your author has discovered this wonderful corner of the interwebnetpipes this morning, a website that sets out to prove that The Beatles (as they were presented to us) never existed as a group. Evidence provided, discussion given, photos compared. Beats the moon landing thing hands down. Go see.