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You'll never use math in real life


And the same goes for language, be it your own or foreign study.

Idea to make U$3,100

1) Start with U$1,050.
2) Make a custom designed name badge, in style used by restaurant waiters, bar personnel etc. Nothing fancy or expensive, just a tasteful and standard looking name tag. 
3) All name tags say the same thing: "Hi, my name is Excuse Me". As there's no typeset changes, a decent wholesaler should be able to do those for a dollar each. You now have a thousand badges.
4) Spend U$50 bagging them into dozens. You now have 83 bags (keep the other four for marketing).
5) Go round restaurants, bars, nightclubs etc and sell each bag for U$50.
6) Look in your pocket, because you now have U$4,150.


Cristina Fernández de Kirchner charged with covering up Iran's involvement in the AMIA bombing

Here's the charge sheet, all 62 300 (!) pages of it.

You'll hear all about it from a whole bunch of sources, but in basic terms this is the charge that Nisman was working on and planned to bring against the President just before he...died from a gunshot wound to the head (suicide/murder, your call). It's all about the AMIA bombing in the 1990s (if you don't know about it, look it up) and the Nisman/new prosecutor charge is that in order to establish better political and economic ties with Iran, CFK and her crew covered up Iran's involvement in that terrorist attack

This will of course be a massive story now, highly complex and with an enormous power struggle going on behind the scenes. There really is no other country like it in the world and if by chance you're an Argentine tuning in and reading that last phrase don't be under any false illusions, it wasn't meant as a compliment.

It's an election year in Argentina. Somebody should have told Peter Marrone. 

The Friday OT: Soundgarden; Fell on black days

From 1994.

From the period when Chris Cornell was contractually obliged to give the smouldering look into camera, apart from that the video is a reasonable watch. Nicely shot band performance genre.

But Kim Thayil's riff is the thing here, it's one you can hear less than a bar of on the radio and it just grabs you, instant recognition.

It's bad business to be honest in the gold sector

This CNN report, "25% of physical gold buyers are crazy, metals executive says" has Peter Hug of Kitco speaking plain truths about truthers, being honest about the honest money brigade, de-bugging the goldbug world. Your extract:
Hug's comments at the Inside ETF Conference last month may raise some eyebrows because he is an executive at one of the largest online retailers of precious metals in North America.These so-called crazy gold provide lots of business for Kitco. He said their influence is most obvious in the market for smaller units of physical gold between one and 32 ounces."These investors buy the metal and it just disappears. It goes under their mattress. They want to use it when the world ends," Hug told CNNMoney.
And of course the goldlovin' mouthbreathers who faithfully follow Dubya's binary Either-With-Us-Or-Against-Us gospel worldview are up in arms now (and Peter Hug, that expression can be taken quite literally so be careful), organizing Kitco boycott petitions (ah those online petitions, they never fail to alter the course of humanity) and suchlike when all Hug had the temerity to do was to be honest. Nutbars are attracted to goldbars like flies to a large fetid pile of elephant excrement lying in the middle of a road just outside Mumbai. We all know that, so get over it people. 

Yamana Gold (AUY) ( thinks Argentina is improving as a jurisdiction

Ah wuz shocked, shocked ah wuz to hear Peter Marrone say that Argentina is quickly turning into the cat's meow of a place to do mining business. In "Argentina's Mining Landscape Improving, Cerro Morro A Go – Yamana CEO" at Kitco today we get the quote...

“You’ve heard me say before that I think Argentina has an improving socio-economic and geopolitical state, certainly from a mining company’s perspective,” 
...along with the news that the company has green-lighted Cerro Moro down in Santa Cruz (part of the portfolio since they bought out Extorre).

Hey, I wonder if owning Gualcamayo, 12.5% of Agua Rica and having your cash stuck in-country with severe restrictions on remittances had anything to do with the decision to hit the capex button, Marrone? Hey, I wonder if having all that real estate and asset value sunk into Argentina kinda nudges you towards saying nice things...just in case. Hey, how's that Suyai thing coming along down there Peter?

And we've done this before but it's worth making the point again so.... In other news The Gold Marketing Board's latest market analysis points to higher gold prices in the near future and considers that everyone should have 5% of their net worth in gold. A spokesperson for Apple (AAPL) told assembled reporters that she prefers Apple computing products to any other company's computing products. Papa John, founder of Papa John's Pizza, let slip that his preferred pizza brand is Papa John's. Oral-B and Colgate got together in a joint press conference to tell people that it's a smart idea to change their toothbrush every three months.  The Optician's Society of America advises all citizens to get a sight test every 12 months. The peanut marketing board announces new scientific research that shows extra nutritional benefits of eating peanuts. Sarah Lee, world famous chocolate cake manufacturer, has also revealed that eating chocolate cake is good for you. And the Bitcoin appreciation society confidently predicted that Bitcoins would soon trade at $2,000 each. 


I've watched the rebound rally in Santacruz Silver (SCZ.v) for the last couple of weeks... UPDATED

UPDATE: And this one is an important update, because I've made a mistake here. It happens, but when it does any error needs highlighting. As a matter of fact, I've mixed up my mine operations and the Santacruz Silver mine is not the one mentioned below, but is located some 12 km away from the offender. 

Therefore, the post below is incorrect. It's not "...mistakes were made..." and it's not "...some confusion due to...". I screwed up, me, first person. Therefore I apologize for the error (and for what it's worth, SCZ wrote in with a very intelligent and friendly mail to confirm the error made) and by way of penance, I'm leaving the post up so that you can all see my mistake.

I'll also write Fe Erratum post on Sunday evening, so that it gets seen by the biz world on Monday morning.

...on low volumes and even though it's coming at the end of a very heavy drop from around the Loonie mark, I haven't been able to avoid wondering if the people promo'ing this thing in the minor level we've seen in the last few days know what readers of The IKN Weekly have known since last Sunday; That anyone holding this thing is playing with fire, bigtime.

Here's the excerpt in question from IKN300, out five days ago:


Mexico: Santacruz Silver (SCZ.v) under risk of closure for poor safety record
Here’s a little list

  • May 2013: Accident and one worker dead (another seriously injured)
  • February 2014: Accident and five workers dead
  • December 2014: Accident and one worker dead
  • January 2015: Accident and one worker dead.

Add to that the recent tailings pipe breach that’s behind the current mine closure and that’s the running score at the Rosario mine in San Luis Potosí, normally known in Mexico as the “Charcas” mine that’s owned and operated by Santacruz Silver (SCZ.v) via its wholly owned subsidiary "Impulsora Minera Santa Cruz". That’s a pretty impressive record for a single small mine, but not impressive in a good way of course. And it would seem that even the authorities Mexico have noticed the series of events there. Here are the main excerpts (translated) of this report (18) in the San Luis Potsosí region (a news report which failed to catch all the deaths at the mine):

Closure of unsafe mines suggested
Juan José Jover Navarro, vice president of the Work and Social Prevention Commission, has demanded that the State Secretary of his department verifies working conditions of mining companies in the state (San Luis Potosí) and has also asked for more severe penalties for companies in the society that register frequent accident and put the lives of its workers at risk.

On February 13th 2014 five workers died at the Minera Santa Cruz in Charcas, this despite authorities reporting that in 2013 four inspections were made at the mine. The events were repeated exactly ten months later, when a young worker was killed by a rock crushing machine.

“We have to set exemplary punishments, the first time an accident is understandable but we we have to measure work risks....when companies are repeat offenders we should move to close the mine or cancel the concession so that it doesn’t keep happening.”

Because the truth is boring, Greg

Greg Weeks starts his note entitled "Latin American Outrage at the United States" today with...
One thing I've periodically mulled over, especially in the wake of Cuba policy liberalization, is Latin American "outrage."
...and ends it with...
We seem to see too few analyses that show U.S.-Latin American relations go beyond what people say, and that differences aren't always as extreme as they appear.
... in order to bemoan the lack of serious, balanced, nuanced analysis and debate on US/LatAm relations. Along the way he takes as example the way in which left-leaners will rail at the unfairness of it all and that's true enough, though the right-wing corollary exists as well of course. That one is "Oh, Evo Morales hates the USA but oh look, he runs his country's economy all capitalist like so oh, what a hypocrite". It's equally as dumb.

The problem is that the truth is boring, Greg. Academics don't get funding from Think Tank X for being reasonable in our sunny and thrusting twenty-first century, they get it for being outspoken and toeing the political agenda line that feeds them, be it left or right (though it must be stated, the right tends to have more buying power). There is no real debate, we live in a world where two people shout right past each other on live TV in order to become and remain famous. The only place you get honest appraisals of politico-economic affairs are in off-record meetings in board rooms of large and rich companies that seek first foot advantage, exactly the type of situation where the truth is announced long after the fact. Don't go searching for level-heads and smart opinions in the public sphere, this is capitalism baby.

Rio Alto ( (RIOM) and Tahoe Resources (TAHO) ( update

I know there are a lot of people watching either this chart...

...or their preferred variant of it, trying to work out what's going on and doing the general tea leaf reading thing. Fact is, to this point the arb has stayed fairly steady and the two equities have traded within 2% or each other, normal SD. The market isn't telling us much about the potential for a third party interloper, but yesterday's counter-current action, in which both stocks beat out the gold price drop and moved higher in the afternoon, had the look of insto buyers positioning into the Next New Big Thing in the tier 1 tier 2 PM space.

Bottom line: It's still early days in this one, we await to see whether more chapters are written in a thriller or it stays as a short story. And fwiw subbers, you haven't received a further update since Monday morning because the call in that one remains 100% in place. Do Not Complicate Your Life.

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit,
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.

Primero Mining (PPP) ( 4q14 results

Here's the link to the whole thing, here's how the 4q14 results NR from Primero Mining ( (PPP) begins. A four-point observation of the paragraph below:

Primero Mining Corp. ("Primero" or the "Company") (TSX:P.TO) (PPP) today reported financial and operational results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2014. On January 20, 2015 the Company reported record production of 225,100 gold equivalent ounces(1), a 57% increase over 2013, at low cash costs(2) of $687 per gold equivalent ounce. Today the Company reports record revenues in 2014 of $274.6 million, operating cash flow before changes in working capital(3) of $73.7 million ($0.48 per share), a net loss of $224.4 million ($1.48 per share) including $209.0 million ($1.37 per share) in non-cash impairment charges(4) and adjusted net income(5) of $5.4 million ($0.04 per share).

a) Adjusted net income does not exist.
b) Seriously, it does not fucking exist. It's a made up name for "We made a loss but if you pretend this item here doesn't exist then we made a profit". It may be something the world has been mesmerized into accepting, but it's still pure fiction.
c) $75m of that impairment was taken against the value of Black Fox. Primero bought Black Fox in March 2014, less than one year ago. The deal at the time was all-share and had a ticket price of C$220m. In other words, P tells us today that it paid 36% too much for its purchase. Way to create value, fucktards.
d) Goldcorp (GG) sold all its remaining holding of Primero in a secondary last year at $7.20/share. The stock's now $4. Goldcorp is many things, but stupid is not one of them.

PS: Primero's financial advisors on the Brigus deal were BMO, who need to be taken out and shot for all the solid financial advice they're capable of offering.

Torex ( The mine is still closed, here's why

It's getting interesting for Torex (, as the local community hit hardest by last weekend's kidnapping don't agree with Fred Stanford's opinion that it has "nothing to do with the mine". In short, the locals have blockaded the Media Luna mine gates since last weekend (the local name for the TXG operation) and are not letting it open until the gang leader and the two people still kidnapped by him are found. They're not happy with the efforts of authorities and want more done. This report does the latest development justice, here's a bit of translation for you:

Communities give ultimatum to Guerrero Government

During a meeting with Guerrero authorities and the Media Luna mine, community protection groups from Real de Limón, Nuevo Balsas and la Fundición said that if the leader of the La Familia Michoacana narco gang, Uriel Wences, weren't captured the company would remain closed.

Iguala: Members of the Real de Limón, Nuevo Balsas and la Fundición community protection groups gave an ultimatum to the State government and the Media Luna mine to capture the leader of the La Familia Michoacana narco gang, Uriel Wences, alias La Burra, and the two kidnapped people who are still captives, because if not the company will remain closed.

During a meeting with Guerrero authorities, the municipal president of Cocula César Miguel Peñaloza Santana and directors of the mining company whose doors were closed yesterday by locals  due to the kidnapping of 18 people last weekend, the communities demanded that soldiers from the Mexican army and Federal Police join the search for the two missing people.

"What we want is that they bring in two helicopters and Mexican soldiers, as well as Federal Police to keep looking for our two community members. The soldiers shouldn't stay on the highways, but move into the hills with us", demanded the community members.


Congratulations B2Gold (BTG) (

...for being the first of the gold producer bunch to give up every penny of its January bounce profits:

Now what did happen on January 27th? Oh yeah!

Moaning that gold's down this morning?

Oh dear, did you bet against the dollar?
You bought Kinross calls yesterday?
Went long that silver producer because it was looking like "great future leverage"?

Chopper has some heartfelt advice for you:

Dedicated to David B.

Dear CNN: Your mother nature does not exist

While languishing in bed with a bout of low grade food poisoning last Thursday (all better now thanks) and trying to take my mind off things, I zapped through the TV channels and for the first time in a very long time, we're talking years, found myself watching CNN. The content hadn't changed much (hey, news is news), the production techniques had become that-much-slicker and oh look Anderson Cooper is the tippytop star now (unsurprised, he's always been head and shoulders above the rest). 

Then came the commercial break and...oh look, CNN 2015 is channelling George Carlin 1995. They do this whole (Julia Roberts doing deep feminine voiced) I AM MOTHER NATURE I DO NOT NEED YOU HUMANS BUT YOU HUMANS NEED ME thing, which you've probably seen if you've had your eyes on the channel for more than 10 minutes at a time, so often that it comes around. Here's a chunk of the script:
"I’ve been here for over four and a half billion years, 22,500 times longer than you, I don’t really need people. I have fed species greater than you and I have starved species greater than you. My oceans, my soil, my flowing streams, my forests, they all can take you or leave you.”
Etc etc. It was fun once again to see the prescience of Carlin and how his insights on modern culture from decades ago are still completely valid today, but it was the difference between Carlin's sneering, sardonic biting delivery of his wonderful 'save the planet' piece...

...and the schmaltzy, syrup-dripping style of the CNN ad that underscored how false and ultimately stupid the message is. There are two issues; one is minor about style, the other is major about substance.

1) CNN takes the false anthropomorphic route and tries to make out the planet has a human thought process, that it reasons the way we do. It hangs the baggage on using 'mother earth', by introducing itself as 'mother nature', which is then supposed to allow us empathy for its situation as  entity doing its thing. We're given the message in the first person. Errr, no. 

2) The message we're supposed to take away at the end is "Hi there I'm the planet and I'm going to be just fine, it's up to you to decide whether you want to continue existing or not". And here's the major problem because it doesn't matter what we do as a species, we're going to die out anyway. For sure we can take the quick suicide route and continue to screw up our environment the way we've been doing for the last couple of hundred years, that's the quick checkout and yes, the planet will quickly become poisonous to us and we die out and the beautiful green/blue ball will keep on tracking round the sun. Bad the bad news is, even if we do everything that CNN and Julia Roberts want us to do, even if we comply to the letter with Conservation International's agenda, even if we get it all right and manage to reverse all the mess of progress, the planet's going to kill us all anyway. We do not stand a hope in hell of eternity, as anyone who's studied plate tectonics for more than six months already knows. In the words of academic geologist and extremely clever person Richard Fortey in his book The Earth: An Intimate History:
“Mankind is nothing more than a parasitic tick gorging himself on temporary plenty while the seas are low and the climate is clement. But the present arrangement of land and sea will change, and with it our brief supremacy.”
We are currently in a period that's conducive to human life, to mammalian life, to life on dry land and that's only because  the current set-up of the continental masses allows the right type of heat moving flows around the world. That will change, with a probablility of 1.0, and we don't even have to wait until the next big joining and pangaea mass for it to happen. Just one example of many, the planet will do for a big slice of our current lebensraum just by blocking off the Strait of Gibraltar and that one will happen soon in geological time. And while we're at it let's also note that the planet will also kill, without a second thought, those crystal streams and lush forests that the Julia Roberts version of earth loves so very much. Without even thinking about it.

The message that the planet doesn't care whether we live or die is a half-truth that's ultimately a lie. The half-truth is that for sure it doesn't care but far more importantly, no matter what we do it's going to kill us. We can do nothing about that. Yes we can make our journey as a species more pleasant, but the destination is set fair. The ultimate lie is the thing that our oh-so-smartypants modern society has refused to admit since the time of Aristotle: We aren't some kind of passengers on a ship, we're part of the planet. 


More Panoro (PML.v)

Up to a couple of days ago, HudBay (HBM) owned 24.64m shares of Panoro Minerals (PML.v), i.e. 11.2% of the company.

Worth watching the wires to see if that changes. A 3m block yesterday, blocks to 9m shares today. Who might it be?

IKN reads brokerage opinions on the Rio Alto / Tahoe Resources deal so that you don't have to

After reading maybe six or eight houses' worth of calls and deeply expert thoughts on the Tahoe Resources (TAHO) ( buyout proposal for Rio Alto Mining (RIOM) (, this humble corner of cyberspace has drawn three inexorable conclusions:

1) If the brokerage analyst had a price target lower than THO offer, it's apparently a GREAT DEAL FOR RIO!

2) If the brokerage analyst had a price target higher than THO offer, we are told that RIO IS BEING LOWBALLED!

3) Therefore we can confirm previous suspicions; analysts are indeed such fucking assholes.

A post on Frank Giustra, but only due to popular demand

I'm now getting "Oh Otto why oh why oh why haven't you mentioned anything about Frank Giustra and the secret Swiss bank account yet?" type mails, so if only to stem the flow  here's a link to one of the many reports about the Swissleaks and how Frank Giustra has $10m stashed away in a secret Swiss bank account.

But seriously, is anyone shocked? I mean, on reading it I was "well yeah, that's what slimy, shady bizpeople do" and if it's $10m, it's probably little more than his own personal parachute money that'll keep him from penury if other things go wrong. Because rich people fear being poor more than anything else in the world. They really are that fucking stupid.

But back to the subject and if I were Frank, I'd be more embarrassed about being found on the same list as Phil Collins.

UPDATE: This post was intended to stop mailflow on the subject, not cause more. If you didn't get the subtext I will therefore spell it out clearly: I do not care about how much money Frank Giustra has or where he keeps it, so stop mailing me on this. His continued failure to honour his word tells us far more about the guy than his chequebook ever will. 

Two copper charts

Self explanatory:

Personal position is neither bull nor bear at the moment, with minimal (though not zero) exposure to the metal in the portfolio (after folding a couple of longs in 2015).

Nevada Copper ( updates

Nevada Copper ( gave us another update on its progress (cornu aspersum) at Pumpkin Hollow this morning. We knew its infamous tunnel was at 1655ft on January 7th and that's because they said so. Today (so let's give them the benefit and say yesterday February 9th) we're at 1,806 feet: Therefore:
  • January 7th to February 9th progress from 1,655ft to 1806ft = 151 feet
  • Days elapsed = 34 days
  • Average progress per day = 4.44 feet per day.

Amazingly, shockingly, they've dropped that "we're making progress at five to seven feet per day" line this time, after insisting on the obviously false statement in the last two updates. What we can say to NCU's credit is that the rhythm has increased modestly from the 3.14 feet noted in the previous 43 days but still, things are tight and it's going slower than they told us it would because three is not five. And four is not five.

It therefore looks as though this tunnel gets finished in late March, which is good for NCU because it means it happens just before the cash treasury runs out. What happens then will likely be more fun for sideline watchers than shareholders.

And now, for your three - four - five viewing pleasure:

"First shalt thou take out the Holy Pin, then shalt thou count to three, no more, no less. Three shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who being naughty in My sight, shall snuff it."


Another way in which China leads Canada when it comes to the 21st century mining sector

In one of the two countries, corrupt and criminal mining leaders are executed:

Mining Tycoon Liu Han Executed  
Mining tycoon Liu Han was executed Monday, after being sentenced to death last May on 13 charges including leading illegal gang activities. continues here

In the other they're given the Order of Canada.

A Flash update...

...has been sent to subscribers, 8am local time Monday morning, an hour and a half before the opening bell.

I'm now off to listen to a conference call. While listening, coffee will be taken.

The difference between the blog and the newsletter

I get asked on that from time to time. "Hey Otto, is your newsletter just as much of a waste of time as your blog, or do you actually do some work from time to time in your slackerfest frictionless life?", or that kind of thing. So for what it's worth and to help answer, here's a link to the referred post "ten random calls" on the open blog and here below is how IKN294 dated December 28th 2014, began. Since that time:

1) The Argonaut Gold ( we bought at $1.47 were sold for $2.53
2) The Rio Alto Mining (RIOM) ( news today.


Two serious forecasts for 2015
As is usual for the time of year, next week on the blog I’m going to stick up my “Ten Random Calls” post with predictions for the year to come. Some are more lighthearted than others, none really make it out of the realm of pure crystal ball gazer, so take them all with a pinch of salt. However, here in the Weekly things are more serious so I’m going to give you two forecasts for 2015 that are actionable, specific and on which I can be fairly judged. Follow me in on these and make some money. There is just one caveat on the calls (see below):

  • Forecast One: Argonaut Gold ( may have started well since being recommended and then moves to Top Pick here at the Weekly, but don’t think for a second you’re too late to get on. You’re not. Get on. This stock is set to move significantly higher in the weeks ahead. I’d like to have a more structured plan on what to do with my shares but with the rough seas of December tax loss/January pop around us, it’s difficult to be mathematically accurate during a momentum-charged period. Right now my rough gameplan is to ride all my large position into January, maybe pick a spot and sell a portion for a decent gain, add dollars to a somewhat cash starved junior port right now, let the rest of the AR shares ride. But that plan is not fixed and could change on new circumstances. Whatever happens, it took until the very end of 2014 to find a trade potential that had all ducks in line and got me buying in with real confidence, no way do I let go too early because there’s money to be made here.

  • Forecast Two: Rio Alto Mining ( (RIOM) will be bought out in 2015 by a larger mining company. Probably a paper deal, certainly at a premium to today’s share price, a bidding war may even develop come the time as more than one larger-scale mining company decides it’s willing to pay up for 200k and 300k oz per annum of low cash cost gold. Put simply, if Rio Alto exists as a separate entity come this time next year I will be surprised.

My only caveat to the above calls is the gold price. If it doesn’t collapse on us (by which I mean that we get it to stay at-or-around its current U$1,200/oz level) I’m very confident about those predictions and be in no doubt, I have my money firmly where my mouth is on both. These are not pussyfooting tentative positions. Own both.

Tahoe and Rio

Deal. NR here

Under the terms of the Arrangement Agreement, all of the Rio Alto issued and outstanding common shares will be exchanged on the basis of 0.227 of a Tahoe common share and C$0.001 in cash per Rio Alto share (Exchange Ratio). Upon completion of the Transaction, existing Tahoe and Rio Alto shareholders will own approximately 65 percent and 35 percent of the combined company, respectively.
Based on the closing price of Tahoe's common shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) of C$17.64 on February 6, 2015, the offer implies consideration of C$4.00 per Rio Alto share which represents a premium of 22.1 percent to the closing price of Rio Alto shares of C$3.28 on the TSX on February 6, 2015 and a premium of 20.3 percent based on the volume weighted average prices of each respective company on the TSX for the 20-day period ending on February 6, 2015.


Bobby Genovese: With friends like these...

Oh how sweet and cute, look what plopped into your humble scribe's mailbox today:

Ah Bobby, not much point, I haven't used my FB account in literally years. I know I set it up to auto-publish the blog's posts once upon a long time ago and assume that still happens, but I can't even remember my password to get into the a/c these days, let alone care about using it. Zuckerberg's monster still sends autospam over to the mailbox from time to time, that's all.

But seriously dude, you gotta be way short on friendly feeling and careship from other human beings if you're down to the likes of me as a potential pallypal. 

The IKN Weekly, out now

IKN300 has just been sent to subscribers. A particularly disappointing issue, beats me why you read the darned thing.

Torex Gold ( Police and locals rescue some of the hostages

Suddenly it's 18 people taken on Friday, not 12. And there are still conflicting reports on just how many employees of Torex Gold ( were hostages (the report I'm linking to here says 12 total, not the four reported by the company last night). But there's good news to report now as a police operation has managed to liberate 10 of the 18. Here's what's probably the most factual news report doing the rounds right now (there are others) and here a translation of the main parts.
During an operation this morning, community police officers from the Nuevo Balsas and la Fundición towns freed ten of the 18 people kidnapped by members of the La Familia narco gang. 
Six people, among them a contract worker from the Media Luna mine and a woman were taken to the Nuevo Balsas and la Fundición health centre and four others managed to escape by hitting one of the hijackers. However, one of them was injured in the fight and stayed on the hill (where they were being held) while the other three victims managed to escape.

The Torex ( can of worms

Just before midnight last night Torex Gold ( gave its version of events, which was bare bones stuff but confirmed one full time member of its staff of 250, plus three of the approximate 1,000 third party contractors are among the 12 people kidnapped outside its mine on Friday evening. Still no news of their whereabouts. Meanwhile this report from Mexico's Progeso shines light on the rotten underbelly and talks of things that TXG would much prefer were kept under wraps. For example:
  • Locals blame Uriel Wences Delgado, a.k.a."La Burra" and a local operator of the La Familia drug cartel.
  • According to locals, he let one of the hostages go so they'd give out his message: "I've come for my money, that of the mine and the population"
  • La Burra was apparently behind the incident a few years ago when seven Torex trucks were stolen. From that moment until 2013, TXG paid him protection money in the form of a monthly quota.
  • That stopped in 2013 when he and his clan were run out of town by the newly militant community guard. Now those movements have been outlawed, La Burra is back and he wants his action again.
  • Locals also note that TXG contracts a local company called Capitsa, which is owned by La Burra's nephew.

So, word among Morelos locals is that TXG bribes narcogangs in order to stop them from targetting their company. Any laws against that in Canada, perchance? I wonder which line-item that goes under in the quarterly financials, Admin? Office and general? Security expenses? Misc? 

The problem TXG has these days is that after the worldwide headline making events around the disappearance of the 43 Guerrero students, now presumed dead and their bodies burned to cinders by the narco assassins who worked with the local politicos and police, the world cares about what goes on there. A few years ago it was just nosy bloggers who were easily ignored, now it's Washington Post and BBC News 24 hours after the incident. It's going to be much more difficult for Fred Stanford to keep a messy can of worms from being opened and all of its contents spilled, not just the drip-drip of carefully managed newsflow he'd very much prefer.

Regarding emperors and clothes

Lefsetz with a good one this weekend:

We used to have a critical society. The only people poking holes in theories were not nobodies online. And the funny thing about the haters is they focus more on the nobodies, the stars are untouchable, because if the stars have feet of clay they’ve got nothing to believe in.
One thousand percent agreement. Even the mining rock stars have their fanatic groupies who'll defend them tooth and nail, as IKN well knows. Read it all here. Well worth your Sunday browsing time.