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A blast from the past on Tia Maria

Back in December 2013 IKN ran this post, entitled "How to get a "social licence" in Peru" which has been getting a whole bunch of new visitors this week. It covered the fake community approval process that Southern Copper (SCCO) ran on the people of Islay and the country in general in conjunction with the government of Peru. It included this as one of the segments:

"...Peru's State news agency gets to trumpet the whole process, everybody happy, merry navidad and a prosperous año nuevo for all, right? And later down the line, when SCCO gets its EIA permit (because that's a given now) everybody will swear blind that the locals approved of the mine plan back in 2013. They'll also scratch their heads and wonder just why they're all suddenly protesting against the development, blocking roads, causing mayhem etc when SCCO tries to start the build-out."

Bottom line: One we got right at this humble corner of cyberspace.. Those who are wondering why the whole Tia Maria community situation keeps spinning out of control would do well to read the whole thing.

Nepal Earthquake

This is the USGS page link, here's a screenshot:

As well as the main 7.8mag event, there have been at least 15 aftershocks of 5.0 and over.

The death toll is already over 750, that will unfortunately and inevitably grow.

UPDATE: The Guardian is running a live update site here and has just stuck this summary of the events so far, as Nepal moves to evening. It's pretty grim stuff, I'm afraid:
  • More than 1,000 people have been reported dead after a huge 7.9 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal
  • The country’s deputy prime minister, Bamdev Gautam, has declared a state of emergency and appealed for humanitarian assistance across the region.
  • 18 climbers were found dead on Mount Everest after the tremor triggered an avalanche. Many more are trapped.
  • The total death toll has risen quickly throughout the day, and is now thought to include at least 634 in the Kathmandu Valley and 300 more in the capital.
  • 36 people have also been reported dead India, 12 in China, four in Bangladesh and six in Tibet.
  • The quake caused dozens of buildings in Kathmandu to collapse, including the historic Dharahara Tower.
  • The city’s main hospital is overwhelmed by casualties and residents are facing a night on the streets with nowhere to go.
  • Indian prime minister Narendra Modi has ordered an immediate dispatch of relief and medical teams to Nepal, and the evacuation of Indian tourists.
  • UK foreign secretary Philip Hammond said the government was in close contact with the Nepal and the British Embassy in the country is offering assistance to the authorities and British Nationals.
UPDATE 2: Guardian rolling report link now here. It's getting updated regularly on early Sunday morning Europe time.

The most visited IKN post this week is...

...this one, "Things that annoy Sandstorm (SAND) ( versus things that don't annoy Sandstorm". It's also one that got a lot of mail feedback. Come to think of it, it's one that was written because of mail feedback. It's also one that I linked to via a second post, which always boosts the hit count on an individual post.

Honourable mention also goes to "Shooting geologists in Peru" which came out eight days ago (Friday before yesterday) so is really not this week, but has been hit on regularly all this week. That's something I see when a story isn't picked up on by real media and people Google in trying to find out something, instead of having a serious reporter's work to read.


Tia Maria (SCCO): What the Minister just said, and what it really means

Here's the link to the Reuters report on what Peru's Minister of Energy and Mining, Rosa María Ortiz, said to press today about Southern Copper (SCCO) and its Tia Maria project, and here's a segment:

(Reuters) - Peru's energy and mines minister said on Friday that the government could ask Southern Copper Corp to make additional changes to its $1.4 billion Tia Maria project after protests by farmers turned deadly this week. 
Rosa Maria Ortiz said the government was focused on negotiations with the project's opponents, who fear it will pollute surrounding agricultural valleys in the southern region of Arequipa. 
One protester died from a bullet wound during clashes with police on Wednesday as a month-long protest spread in the region. 
The government could ask for more modifications to the project's environmental impact study if it felt it was necessary, Ortiz said. 
"Every environmental impact study is improveable," Ortiz said at a press conference with foreign media.

Let us be clear about this: SCCO has a 100% approved and permitted Environment Impact Study and according to the letter of the law, it doesn't have to submit to any "additional changes", "modifications" or any other "improveables" if it doesn't want to. In other words, Peru's Minister of Mining is talking about rescinding the EIA. That's what she said today, no more no less, all the rest is funny wordgames and diplo-talk.

PS: A pity the reporters present at that presser didn't realize what she meant, they might have then asked the right follow-up question. 

The Friday OT: Mozart; Requiem, Herbert von Karajan, Wiener Philarmoniker

It was between this one and the Claudio Abbado version, which is more sedate and...well, mournful.

But the von Karajan is the one, nobody did Mozart like HvK. His mastery of the choir and preference tempo allows the piece to retain its main message, but brings an uplifting sentiment as well. And the Vienna Philharmonic knows its reputation is on the line every time they run a Mozart piece, they are perfection itself. And the Lacrimosa (23:47) got me doing just that last night.

Mortality is a tough moment, but it's also something that ultimately should be celebrated.

Courtney Chamberlain, rest in peace.

Yamana (AUY) ( and Mega (MGP.v): Another piece in the nascent big boy land grab

Here's a longview price chart of Mega Precious Metals' (MGP.v):

With the ticket price at 10c, spec players who accumulated at 4c and 5c this year have a decent little win. It's not one I've gone for recently, but the idea of collecting cheapo land assets is one of the main thrusts of The IKN Weekly strategy for 2015. Yamana wants the land, other bigboys will want theirs, at some point the market will notice the trend that's starting and won't allow the Tier 1 and 2 PM producers to get these things so cheaply. Just sayin'.

UPDATE Friday afternoon. Pleasant to see how much inspiration Gwen Preston gets from this humble corner of cyberspace.

A photo of Calbuco from last night


And here's a map, for your consideration:

And if you like those photosets of towns buried under ash, just check the interwebs and see what's happening in Bariloche Argentina. This is Calbuco's first eruption since 1972. For context, 43 years between episodes in geological time is like waiting 10 minutes for your morning transport to work instead of 5 minutes.

UPDATE: Iwnattos gives you videos of Calbuco going ka-boom instead of a photo and a map, because he loves you more.


We now know how the anti-Tia Maria protester died yesterday

Amazingly, stunningly, crazily, it seems as though the chief of police who insisted yesterday evening that the 62 year old local farmer who died during the confrontation between locals and police officers because he tripped, fell, broke his leg and the broken bone punctured his artery was making shit up! (here's the quote from yesterday, "Victoriano Huayna did not suffer bullet or pellet impacts. According to the police chief, the victim fractured his leg and the bone cut through an artery") You'd never believe that story wasn't true now, would you?

In fact, according to the official autopsy today, Victoriano Huayna Nina died from a bullet wound to the upper right leg that blew out his artery and saw him die from the combination of shock and massive loss of blood: In short, he was shot and then bled to death. Pleasant.

Southern Copper (SCCO) must be happy now: A 62 year old farmer who had lived in the Tambo Valley all his life and done nothing more sinister in six decades than tend his fields (or lately protect them) must be one of those "mining terrorists" the company keeps talking about, so now they and the whole of Peru have one less of those dangerous and life-threatening "terrorists" to worry about. Shot to death by a police force that swore blind it was not carrying firearms while controlling the crowds yesterday and headed up by a now confirmed liar.

Hey SCCO guys, how's that community relations program going? ¿Todas observaciones ya estan absueltas? Ah, buenissimo, les felicito.

UPDATE: this evening, the police chiefs in charge of the operation have been relieved of their duties by the Peruvian Minister of the Interior. 

Regarding stupid errors of precious metals streaming companies

The point is this: We all make mistakes, all of us, errare humanum est and all that jazz. I'm a fool, you're a fool, he's a fool and she's a fool over and over again. However, not all of us put ourselves into the position where your errors cost a lot of people a lot of money, which is why of course successful businesspeople who make it to CEO level earn and deserve rich salaries. When it comes to the errors of judgment made by streaming companies they are by no means confined to Sandstorm ( (SAND) as noted in the post earlier this morning either, so by way of example...

Pierre Lassonde over at Franco Nevada (FNV) seems to have a weakness for the Cordillera del Condor in North Peru/East Ecuador. First he sponsored the lamentable and now defunct Dorato (ex-DRI.v), now he's getting hot and sticky over Odin and Lundin Gold. Of the three I'd give LUG a chance of becoming a winner, but no way do I buy at its current price. For another, his pop at diamond riches via Olivut turned into a moneypit of nasty. But the thing with Lassonde is that his high-risk punts may not turn out so well sometimes but he gets the big decisions right. You can tell by the FNV share price and market cap growth. The guy makes mistakes, he also makes a holy crapload of money for his backers and himself.

Moving on, let's talk about the way Silver Wheaton (SLW) has decided to sponsor the geological anomaly owned by Sandspring (SSP.v), which just today got its deal adjusted to give SSP more time and a bit more of SLW's money to play with. The thing here is that SLW started as a brilliant business plan and is a rock solid company, it can afford to throw a few risk dollars at a project or three these days and the amount of cash it has exposed to SSP isn 't much more than a rounding error.

However, that famous Seneca phrase "Errare humanum est" has a second part to it, "Sed in errare perseverare diabolicum" and that's the problem with Nolan Watson. If you make a few small errors, so be it. If you make a big one well that's not good as a CEO, but one in a singular can be forgiven if subsequent deals make it into the win column. But the way in which the SAND investments in Colossus Minerals, Luna Gold, Metanor and True Gold have turned out are ample evidence of serious and repeated strategic stupidity at the highest level at Sandstorm and when you're running a U$414m market cap these are major corporate damage mistakes too, not the SLW rounding errors on (I suppose) understandable higher-risk dicerolls. Ask yourself if you're going to trust Watson's judgment and the chances of success in the next deal he decides to make; trust him to the extent of putting your own money into his hands?

And one final thing: I'm 100% sure that Pierre Lassonde doesn't care a jot when this pissant blog (or anywhere else, often far less pissant) points the finger at his dealmaking errors. Perhaps, just perhaps, that attitude to criticism is one of the reasons why he's become so successful. As my Eng.Lit professor would say, "Discuss".

Things that annoy Sandstorm (SAND) ( versus things that don't annoy Sandstorm

Wasting untold millions of company money on Colossus Minerals doesn't annoy Sandstorm.
Throwing oodles of shareholder cash straight down the toilet by first backing and then doubling down on Luna Gold doesn't annoy Sandstorm.
Doing exactly the same thing on its "investment" in Metanor doesn't annoy Sandstorm.
Ploughing millions into True Gold just weeks before the company's community relations goes haywire, thereby showing the total lack of DD done, doesn't annoy Sandstorm.

But a pissant little blogger running a sideshow backwater publication called IKN, that does annoy Sandstorm. Funny old world.

The New York Times Clinton (well, Frank Giustra really) story

Betcha Giustra's going to just love the next eighteen months or so of US politics. Anyway, the NYT story is here and it's basically essential reading. I'm going to stick one of the sidebars right here as a teaser, because...

Among the Donors to the Clinton Foundation
Frank Giustra
$31.3 million and a pledge for $100 million more
He built a company that later merged with Uranium One.
Ian Telfer
$2.35 million
Mining investor who was chairman of Uranium One when an arm of the Russian government, Rosatom, acquired it.
Paul Reynolds
$1 million to $5 million
Adviser on 2007 UrAsia-Uranium One merger. Later helped raise $260 million for the company.
Frank Holmes
$250,000 to $500,000
Chief Executive of U.S. Global Investors Inc., which held $4.7 million in Uranium One shares in the first quarter of 2011.
Neil Woodyer
$50,000 to $100,000
Adviser to Uranium One. Founded Endeavour Mining with Mr. Giustra.
GMP Securities Ltd.
Donating portion of profits
Worked on debt issue that raised $260 million for Uranium One.

...well riddle me ree, check out those names. Telfer? Name rings a bell from somewhere...some gold mining company head, perchance? Reynolds? Something to do with mining brokerages, perhaps? And GMP, don't just do something in the...ah yeah they do. Woodyer? Not the same Endeavour Financial Woodyer that hangs with Giustra and Serafino Iacono all night long? And is that Frank Holmes the same Frank Holmes that bet a whole tonne of US Global (aka other people's money) on Frank Giustra's Gran Colombia Gold ( vehicle in Colombia and still owns 12% of the company and just bailed them out by "lending" Giustra's pal Serafino Iacono's failing miner another $2m in cash? 

Probably just coincidence.

Regarding "flash crash kid" Navinder Singh Sarao and the question posed yesterday

Yesterday IKN asked, "Why are authorities so keen on charging this Flash Crash guy?" because the rap sheet looked dumb as a bag of nails from the very start. Fortunately there are smarter people in this wonderful blogo-world than your two-dimensionally-brained humble scribe, people who have the insight to get to the bottom of the story quickly.

Step forward John Hempton of Bronte Capital with this post today. Read it all, but here's a slice:
"They have arrested a kid who is spoofing the market with a few thousand e-mini contracts and hence taken money from the front-running computers whose real goal is to rip you (real investors) off. They have made the world safe for the conventional high-frequency traders at a real cost to the investing public."

Whole thing here, well worth your time.

Plumbum non subiciatur

In our modern thrusting times, lead (Pb) has become a bit of an ugly sister in the base metals fashion world. Copper's cool, zinc gets talked up, nickel's shiny, alu gets used in everything, but poor old plumbum is heavy and poisonous and those new fangled batteries don't even need it any more. However, against many odds (if not all) the price has been making a bit of a comeback in the last few weeks:

The heavy metal was spiking down under 80c/lb as late as PDAC time, we're now back at 92c. Lead not dead.

Sunward and NovaCopper: Electrum consolidates

Mr. Kaplan decides that paying for one office worth of G&A is smarter than paying for two, which in fact makes sense. Sunward's been a disaster and Rick Van Alphabet's getting bored with the people who won't build the road, so here we are. NR here, how it starts here:
VANCOUVER , April 23, 2015 /CNW/ - NovaCopper Inc. (TSX, NYSE-MKT: NCQ) ("NovaCopper") and Sunward Resources Ltd. (TSX: SWD; OTCQX: SNWRF) ("Sunward") are pleased to announce that they have entered into a definitive arrangement agreement (the "Arrangement Agreement") pursuant to which NovaCopper has agreed to acquire all of the issued and outstanding common shares of Sunward by way of a court approved plan of arrangement (the "Arrangement"). 
The combination of NovaCopper and Sunward will create a leading exploration and development company with a strong balance sheet of approximately US$23 million in cash for the advancement of the Arctic and Bornite deposits located in the Ambler mining district of Alaska , USA.  The company plans to advance the Arctic deposit towards feasibility with a US$8-10 million field program this summer.  Meanwhile, plans are underway to maximize shareholder value at the Titiribi exploration asset in Colombia.  Sunward has focused on community engagement at its Titiribi project and with its talented and experienced Colombian management team, has built a strong reputation with local communities. 
Under the terms of the Arrangement, Sunward shareholders will receive 0.3 (the "Exchange Ratio") of a NovaCopper common share ("NovaCopper Share") for each Sunward common share ("Sunward Share") held.  The Exchange Ratio represents the equivalent of US$0.1841 per Sunward Share based on yada yada numbers stuff and VWAP and all sorts of wonderful business-speak continues here


(Spoke too soon) A death at Tia Maria today

This a translation of this report from a local news service, just out:

Confirmation Of First Death After Confrontations in Tambo Valley 
Victoriano Huayna Nina, 61, became the first mortality of the strike action in the Tambo Valley, protesting against the Tia Maria mine project. 
The victim was injured during the confrontations this afternoon between farmers in the valley and police officers in the area around the Pampa Blanca bridge in the Cocachacra district 
The injured man was taken to the Manuel Torres Muñoz hospital in Mollendo, where he arrived in a critical state, where he later died. He body was taken to the hospital morgue. 
The head of the Islay Health Service, Walter Vera, confirmed the time of death at around 5:40pm. The victim died of wounds to the right leg.

Because a 61 year old farmer is a terrorist, or something. Right SCCO? And for what it's worth, since posting earlier about two reported injuries, a whole bunch of new reports about injured people and arrests have come in, including the arrest of the woman mayoress of a local town during on of the protests. Because democratically elected lady mayors are mining terrorists, too.

UPDATE: Señor Huayna Nina died from shotgun pellet injuries, apparently. And new reports put his age at 62.

UPDATE 2: Now national news

UPDATE 3: According to the police general in charge of the regional police force (quote unquote), "...Victoriano Huayna did not suffer bullet or pellet impacts. According to the police chief, the victim fractured his leg and the bone cut through an artery." Which may be true. If so we can add it to the impressive number of unlucky accidents protesters tend to have around Peruvian police officers.

Tia Maria news for those of you with a desire to read long technical reports in Spanish

Today and for the first time, Peru's Ministry of Energy and Mining has made public the review process it went through in 2014 that gave the Southern Copper (SCCO) Tia Maria project the environmental green light. You can find it on this link here and the interesting bit is the green link which goes to the 2014 EIA document PDF. At a guess, less than a dozen of you marvellous and wonderful IKN readers will be interested in that link. That's enough to stick it here, so join me in a little bedtime reading material.

As for the regionwide strike action and protest today, it was mostly peaceful but this afternoon we've had reports of a skirmish between anti-mine protesters and police units near the town of Cocachacra in the Tambo Valley. Also one further up the main Panamericana Highway. Together, those have accounted for two arrests and two injuries.

UPDATE: From the document: This is wonderful, a case example of how an Environmental Permit is awarded by a government bureau:

If you read Spanish you'll need no prompting, but basically: "We weren't sure whether to award the permit because we'd heard things weren't great between SCCO and the locals, even though they'd already done some workshops and things. So we asked SCCO to do some more. So SCCO did some workshops and now everyone in the area knows what's going on. Therefore this problem is solved. No problems."

Glenn Chan does mining CEOs

A nice thinkpiece from Glenn Chan today, entitled "Figuring out the skill of mining CEOs". There's plenty of meat on this bone so go over and have a read for yourself. I'm not 100% on board with some of the argument, but here's one bit I agreed with:

"Some CEOs like Nolan Watson do not have formal (or informal) training in mine exploration or mine engineering.  Despite the lack of mining expertise, they do not hire mining professionals onto their staff.  These are the people who make really dumb investments.  So far, every single Nolan Watson investment in Sandstorm Metals and Energy has turned out to be a disaster.  Likewise, institutional investors generally have no idea what they’re doing when it comes to valuing mining assets.  They are also the fish at the poker table.  Usually these people are easy to spot because it is easy to get biographical information on the people involved (e.g. what did these people study in university, did they ever work as an explorationist or mine engineer, etc.)."

Argentina: Daniel Scioli is now favourite for next President (from IKN310)

This was part of IKN310, out last Sunday evening. It gets an airing here on the open blog because several people have written in inquiring about Argentina political thoughts this week. It's easier this way.

Argentina 2015 is going to be one special political showtime.


Argentina: Daniel Scioli is now favourite for next President
To this point, IKN and your author has had Daniel Scioli as its tentative choice as the 2015 winner in Argentina politics, first in the PASO (version of primaries) vote in August and then in the big vote in October to decide who becomes the next President of Argentina. Today that changes, he's now clear favourite.

At the beginning of the year I wrote (11):

"It's a difficult call this early in the process, but I'm contractually obliged to make a call on the Argentina presidential election so the forecast is for Daniel Scioli to be the next President of Argentina."

Then a couple of weeks ago in the Regional Risk update of IKN308 it was:

"'s still too early to call anything with great confidence but things stand so far, my tentative selection of Daniel Scioli for the win has firmed up and looks a little more likely."

But a week is a long time in politics and since then we've had two developments; Firstly, the start of the akin to primaries process (it's very complicated) has begun in some of the provinces of Argentina (last week Salta, today Mendoza and Santa Fe) and initial results have shown decent support in both relative and absolute terms for the FpV candidates. That's the "Frente Para La Victoria" party of both current President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and candidate Daniel Scioli, often known as the Kirchnerist party or simply the "K" party.

So early results in PASO votes have been encouraging for Scioli. Then this morning we have the result of the latest survey conducted by poll people Poliarquia for La Nacion (12)  and here's the numbers from that. with notes below:

1) It was a phone survey of 1,000 people, conducted between April 3rd and April 10th. It covered 40 different representative zones of Argentina and is given a margin of error of +/-3.2%. For what it's worth, Poliarquia is one of the more reliable pollsters in the country and you can tell because they're regularly accused of being pro-govt by anti-govt people and anti-govt by pro-govt people, depending on the poll results on varying subjects they come out with over the course of time.

2) In Poliarquia's previous survey a little less than a month ago (13) Poliarquia scored Scioli at 31%, Macri 25% and Massa 21%.

3) In March, the news was the fading of the frontrunner in 2013 and 2014, Sergio Massa (Frente Renovador party). The latest survey continues to indicate his wilting.

4) Mauricio Macri's (PRO party) share is up from 25% and it's clear he's now the main opposition to an eventual Scioli win and the continuation of the current government in Argentina.

5) Daniel Scioli (FpV party, aka Kirchnerist) is now the clear leader and consolidating. He and Macri and now pulling away from Massa and while here, let's note that although I've added the numbers for two of the other players at htis point there are only three logical possibles for President, the rest is just noise.

6) In the deeper interior party details of the FpV there's more good news for Daniel Scioli. His nearest rival in the FpV ranks for the PASO "primary" vote in August is Florencio Randazzo, and for that August vote Scioli is on 24.5% with Randazzo back on 12.5%. That's a big gap and virtually guarantees his official nomination now (sidebar: Randazzo may now manoeuver for a leading role within a Scioli admin, or perhaps take the Vice President candidacy on the Scioli ticket; for deeper political watchers it's going to be very interesting to watch Radazzo's moves in the next few weeks).

7) Also good for Scioli, in the politically key Greater Buenos Aires region (not to be confused with the separate and relatively small city centre Buenos Aires zone) Scioli is clear frontrunner on 36%, with Massa 22% and Macri 21%. There's an old adage in Argentina politics that you cannot win the presidency without winning Gran BsAs.

8) Finally, it's long been assumed (and confirmed by polls) that if the Presidential vote gives no clear winner on October 25th, a run-off between Daniel Scioli and Sergio Massa would be tough to call but a run-off between Daniel Scioli and Mauricio Macri clearly favours Scioli. As that latter is now the most likely scenario, even the run-off is beginning to suit Scioli.

Bottom line: I'm calling the frontrunner and the most likely challenger, I'm also calling the favourite but please be clear that I'm not calling the winner. It's still not over yet, not by a long haul, but we can now say out loud that Daniel Scioli is favourite to win in October (with a run-off likely in November) and become the next President of Argentina. It's also worth noting that to this point the election campaign has been rather non-controversial and little scandal noise has come so far, which is particularly weird for Argentine politics. It remains to be seen whether the relatively clean campaign continues though it's probably fair to say that the longer things remain "civilized" the more it favours the two frontrunners. As for an eventual Scioli win, ostensibly this would mean a continuation of the current Cristina government and policies as they're from the same but it's also likely that Scioli would be more moderate than CFK, in the mid to long term at least. We can take a closer look at the dynamics of that if the scenario continues to indicate Scioli as dauphin in the months to come.

Mauricio Macri is now the obvious challenger, which is a change from the beginning of the year when I wrote (11), "Main opponent is Massa, in with a squeak is Macri, outsider Randazzo, the rest are just noise" at the end of December. Son of a very rich and successful businessman as well as being current Mayor of Buenos Aires city and president of Boca Juniors football club, Macri comes from as classic a right wing neoliberal political standpoint as you could imagine. If he became President, it would mark a big shift in Argentine politics to the type of "normal" economic policies we see in most industrialized and emerging market growth countries. It would also be a move away from the shadow of Juan Peron (although Macri is bound to swear blind his allegiance to Peron in the months to come). You can expect his candidacy to gain strong support from political and media figures outside of Argentina looking in.

It's going to be fun.

The only game in town

This isn't a difficult market to decipher at the moment:

If the USD is "doing something" then you need to pay attention. If it isn't, there's that cool book to catch up on or garden or maybe it's time I got round to painting that ceiling or how about a coffee downtown or (etc).

This will of course only work right up to the moment that it doesn't. But for the time being it works, so unless you're one of those into picking up nickels in front of a steamroller we are not living in interesting times. 

Assorted mysteries

Why are authorities so keen on charging this Flash Crash guy? The rap sheet is so shaky that even the dullards at Bloomie have blown a dozen holes into it in under 24 hours.

Why is Tim Warman, independent director at Continental Gold (, so keen on exercising a whole bunch of his $1.50 options and dumping them at less than 50c profit? I mean, it's notable that 1) he's a professional geologist and 2) he's not exactly short of a bob or two.

Why is Daniel Ameduri's pump job on First Mining Finance (FF.v) failing so badly? Is it true that he's about to get his $7,000/month spigot turned off for not being able to move the stock in the way he promised?

Why did Eurasian (EMX.v) (EMXX) dump hard yesterday afternoon? We know a million papers got lumped onto an inexistent bid and we know that the company has no new news coming up, because they told us. If Dundee steps up and buys this dip, I wouldn't be surprised.

And why is Bobby Genovese so pissed at IKN? He shouldn't be, because he's previously told your humble scribe that nothing written here ever bothers him. Why the change in mood, Bobby?


Tia Maria Wednesday

Tomorrow Wednesday, the Arequipa region of South Peru sees a regionwide strike against the Tia Maria project of Southern Copper (SCCO). The difference this time is that the protests are now spreading, it's not just the Tambo Valley on the coast. Schools all over will be shut, transport stopped, a massed protest marches in the centre of Arequipa and supposedly some 5,000 police officers on hand in Big City to control things*.

IKN wonders whether Carlos Aranda, Technical Services Manager at Southern Copper (SCCO), will keep on with his story about the protests coming from just 6% of the 52,000 people who live in the Tambo Valley after tomorrow. 

*Hopefully that stays at control things and doesn't turn into "control things".

Petaquilla Minerals versus Global Hunter Securities LLC: The complaint document

Here for your consideration. Page eight was left intentionally blank, so it's not here:

PS: This of course is not the same suit dated April 17th in which Jones Walker is suing Petaquilla for over half a million dollars in unpaid legal fees via a Louisiana courtroom. 

Courtney Chamberlain

A sad day. A most remarkable man has passed on. News release here.

Courtney Chamberlain, R.I.P.

PS: The second movement of Aranjuez, as posted yesterday, is sadly apt for today.


Monday melodies: Paco de Lucia; Aranjuez Concierto

For some reason the small letters "YTEL" are superimposed in the middle of the video. Don't let that put you off, this is magnificent.

I'll leave it to Keith Richards: "You say I'm a guitar legend. You have no idea. There are only two or three guitarists who can be considered legends. And above all is Paco de Lucía."

UPDATE: The second movement, in which de Lucía breaks your heart and then mends it again, starts at 5:46.

Screwtape on silver

When it comes to silver I do try, I really do. I even own some bullion. But the whole wingnut aspect to the silver market and the myopic permabull true believers that overpopulate the magical gun-totin' freedom defending saviour's world of silver, it's really too much. All too often I find myself falling back to the default position of mocking the idiots because, quite frankly, they deserve little else (except perhaps some pity, which you won't find on these pages).

Which is why articles like this one out of Screwtape Files, "Why Does The Price of Silver Matter?" should be read by as many people as possible because it's about silver as an investment (perhaps speculative is better) vehicle and the connection between silver and governments by a smart, intelligent, experienced and reasonable market player who isn't frothing into hyperbole, but does get to make a sensible point. Go read it too.

Brazil Minerals (BMIX) has today's best news release

If you mining trading investing and punting guys in Canada would like to know what your junior mining news releases would look like if the companies didn't have the OSC, BCSC etc to answer to, then read on:

BELO HORIZONTE, BRAZIL--(April 20, 2015) - Brazil Minerals, Inc. (OTC: BMIX) (the "Company" or "BMIX") announced today that it had been featured in TCR, a well-regarded mining newsletter, with a price target for its common stock approximately eight times greater than the last closing price. TCR specializes in smaller capitalization companies in the minerals space, and is read by influential industry members. The Company does not have any affiliation with TCR, and was unaware that it would be featured.  
Thom Calandra, the publisher of TCR, publicly disclosed on Friday, April 17, that he had bought an initial small position in the common stock of BMIX through open market trades. He has no affiliation of any type with the Company but had the opportunity to meet with BMIX’s CEO in 2013 and 2014. Mr. Calandra has decades of investment experience in mining companies.  
The current management of the Company, in place since December 2012, has never sold a single share of their BMIX stock. The Company's CEO, Head of Brazilian Operations, Chief Mining Officer, and General Counsel, all receive partial compensation in the form of restricted BMIX stock in lieu of cash payments.

Absolutely adorable. A couple of points to make:

1) "...a price target for its common stock approximately eight times greater than the last closing price" refers to the fact that BMIX shares closed Friday at 0.0026 and Thom Calandra has slapped a 2c target price on this paper.

2) It's absolutely true that, "Mr. Calandra has decades of investment experience in mining companies". Take for example this link to an SEC litigation filing as evidence. It starts like this:
The Securities and Exchange Commission today brought and settled civil fraud charges against Thom Calandra, a former columnist for the Internet website CBS The Commission alleges that Calandra profited by secretly selling stocks shortly after his investment newsletter's positive recommendations of the stocks caused their prices to rise. In settling the matter, Calandra, who lives in Sausalito, California, will pay over $540,000 in disgorgement and penalties.

3) Nice to see Roger Noriega, ex-Assistant US Secretary of State in the George Bush administration, on the board of directors. And Paul Durand, ex-Ambassador for Canada to a couple of LatAm countries who did so well in the Infinito Gold negotiations with Costa Rica.

NioCorp ( "A computational error"

Ah, bless these people. Here's the latest NR from the Tommy Humphreys promo special, here's the best extract:
Company officials were advised by the authors of the report that a computational error was discovered in the formula pertaining to one section of the report. The error resulted in a portion of the projected revenue not being accounted for in early years of the project, which, together with consequent adjustments to estimates for tax liabilities, resulted in an adjustment to the NPV and IRR results. After correction for this calculation, the Company reports the following amendments to the summary provided on April 13:
  • Pre-tax NPV of US$ 875 million with an IRR of 16.6% (previously reported as US$ 821 million with an IRR of 15.7%)
  • After-tax NPV of US$ 606 million with an IRR of 14.6% (previously reported as US$ 562 million with an IRR of 13.9%)
  • Average pre-tax cash flow of US$ 178 million (previously reported as US$ 177 million).
There were no additional changes to the PEA.

The beauty of this is that we can now file this one under "For Retail Only" and laugh at everything else they ever do.

Jemi Fibre (JFI.v): Balance sheet concerto in Bobby G minor for violin

Bobby Genovese's latest scam's been fiddling its books. Here's the originally filed balance sheet for Jemi Fibre (JFI.v) for the quarter ended October 2014:

And here's the amended filing for the same quarter that was re-filed at SEDAR last Friday:

Oh we love this one, Bobby.

And how, you ask, did the re-filed balance sheet manage to move from negative to positive equity? Simple, all it did was to assign a new value to its newly purchased assets, namely WoodEx Industries, Kootenay Wood Preservers (KWP), and Prairie Holdings Inc (PHI). And to make the transaction nice and clear, we're going to do it by bullet point:

  • When JFI.v bought WoodEx, KWP and PHI it paid the vendors in shares of JFI.v
  • It paid 12m shares for the three properties, to be exact.
  • Those shares were valued at $2.25m
  • It just so happens that two of the directors of JFI.v are Mike Jenks and Georgina Martin, who also happen to be 50% owners of the three properties sold to JFI.v (WoodEx, KWP, PHI)
  • The transaction happened on June 5th 2014
  • Then suddenly, just four and a half months later, in a re-filing of its company quarterly financials, the three properties bought with $2.25m worth of shares have boosted JFI's asset value by over $14m.

The magic of accountancy.


The IKN Weekly, out now

IKN310 has just been sent to subscribers. Going to buy one for a trade here, looking for a reasonably quick flip. I'm now going to open and read Gary Tanashian's weekly missive. 

Argentina Presidential poll

In IKN310 today we spend time and 1,048 words to explain the results of this poll, out this morning in La Nacion:

It's going to be a Too Much Fun year in Argentine politics.

20 years of Oklahoma

Yes, it's really 20 years since that terrible deed.

And if you're up for some longform read this by Gore Vidal, The Meaning of Timothy McVeigh. Written as a polemic (of course), parts of it can and should be taken with the normal Vidal pinch of salt but there's plenty to consider in retrospect, too. Not least because it was written around the time of McVeigh's execution in early 2001 and was the front page story of the September 2001 edition of Vanity Fair. And then everything changed.

Nothing like a common enemy to gird a country and prevent internal wars from breaking out, is there?