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The top three most visited IKN posts this week are... reverse order:

Third Place: "Stephan Bogner of Rockstone Research, Zimtu's whore", one of those occasions when I care enough to spend more than four minutes on putting a post together. Whatever way you cut it, people who get paid by junior mining companies to writing glowing reports are just trouser-droppers.

Second Place: "Just when you thought Porter Stansberry couldn't be more of an asshole...", another example of how this proven securities fraudster and arch scamster feeds his personal greed by sucking the blood out of the naive.
First Place: "Ten random predictions for 2017". Not a surprise this side of the screen, this post is a popular one every year.


New Year Spanish Language Spelling Tip

Your humble scribe sees it happen at least once every year so let's take two minutes to mark your collective cards, ladies and gentlemen. If you want to wish good things for 2017 to a Spanish speaker, do not say or write "Feliz ano nuevo".

In Spanish, "Año" means "Year"
In Spanish, "Ano" means "Anus"

Indeed that squiggly little line (the enye) is important, because if you get it wrong you're basically wishing your friend a happy new asshole. Therefore, IKN wishes you...

¡Feliz Año Nuevo!

The Friday OT: Beethoven, Symphony No.9, opus 125, Riccardo Muti, Chicago Symphony Orchestra

It's been called so many things over the years. The most innovative symphony ever written, the most important, the world's most widely recognized piece or quite simply, the best musical work ever. Whatever it is for you, it's a rousing end to the year and an underlying message of joy and optimism that will serve us all well in 2017.

It's tough to choose a version, so many good ones out there, but I've gone for Muti and the CSO in 2014. But what you do get today isn't the greatest hits snippets or a cut straight to the big choral finish, you get the whole thing because to truly appreciate #9 you need the full experience.

Youtube here. Magical.

Chart of the day is...

...the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD), the world's biggest gold bullion ETF, 2016 year-to-date, versus the S&P500 index:

The broad markets beat you again, goldbugs. Live with it.


Ten random predictions for 2017

Here we go with the IKN Never-Fail Forecasts* for the year to come. As per the last three years we're sticking to the same general format and a mix of financial, politics and sport. After scoring 5.5/10 in 2013, 6/10 in 2014, 5.5/10 in 2015 and 6/10 in 2016 (financials good, sport mediocre, politics bad) the trend is intact, I'll need to keep up that kind of result number and break the 50/50 barrier again, but as always part of the deal is to go for a real left-field call or two and try hard to fail in a few:

*some restrictions apply

So to business:
1) Gold to break through U$1,400/oz in the course of 2017. I'm setting a higher bar this time, $1.4k looks a long way away here at the back end of 2016, but once the Trump Honeymoon wears off and people realize his macro policy is dollar bearish money is going to return to gold. That's the call and it also means IKN expects an excellent year for the precious metals stocks.
2) Copper to break through U$3.10/lb this year. This is also a weak dollar play in part, but it's more about China and the way its economy will pick up as 2017 goes on. I've gone for U$3.10/lb (spot price) to make it just a little more interesting than the more obvious $3.00 line.
3) Uranium will finally put in a rally and move back above U$30/lb. It's been such an easy call to fade the U-Permabulls these last three years, but even stopped clocks get it right twice a day and the one thing we can comfortably predict from a Trump presidency is a new focus on uranium. If you discount the way it turns glass those pretty green colours it only has two real uses and both are likely to get more play from this new Prez.
4) Goldcorp (GG) to merge with Agnico Eagle (AEM). Because Garofalo and Boyd are BFFs, because one has cash and a shitty asset book, because the other has assets and a lack of cash, because GG has been an abject failure in the last three years and David needs to do something before the activist shareholders come around begging for his head.
5) Colombia to become the LatAm mining success story of 2017. The country is finally getting its formal mining ducks in line, FDI will like the roll-out of the peace deal, there are already some good stories there that will get better.
6) Venezuela's government to implode. This is a repeat prediction from last year and one that failed me, but Maduro can't hold on much longer and the oft-delayed recall election is going to be difficult to put off for another year. Once again the acid test of this call will be the ousting or resignation of Maduro, if that happens I win the point.
7) Mauricio Macri and his government to lose heavily in the Argentina mid-term elections. Some happen in August, the big batch in late October/Early November (final date not set yet) and we expect Macri to be a lame duck president once it's all finished. Sergio Massa the likely beneficiary.
8) Juan Martín Del Potro to win at least one Grand Slam tournament in 2017 (Oz, R.Garros, Wimbledon, US). After years in the injury wilderness Delpo returned in style in 2016, first from his near-miracle run in the Olympics, then improving on the Tour, then leading Argentina to its first ever Davis Cup. Now we await the consecration and the long-overdue second GS win.
9) Barcelona to win the 2017 Champion's League and Spanish Primera double. Real has a decent head start on Culé in the league right now, but In Leo We Trust. And by the way, no half points available on this call, both have to happen else it's zero points for me.
10) The UK will not invoke Article 50 before the end of March 2017, the way its PM May said it would just a few weeks ago. The sooner you realize Brexit is one big red herring, the better.

There you go, our Ten For The Prize in 2017, expect the usual postmortem post around next Christmas.

The five most popular Friday OT posts of 2016

It's the back end of 2016 and time for the Friday OT review post (other places do look-back reviews of their fave or most popular posts in the year, we stick to the music). Here are the top five Friday OT posts by hit popularity during the year, all of which can be accessed by clicking on the names:

To begin I'll note that The Friday OT segment got more popular this year and the 5th place song got more hits than last year's winner. Second, it's great to see the variety that made the top five, with a big fat 2016 smash hit (Sugar), a Spanish language track (Hasta el techo) and neo-classical (Nils Frahm) all featured. The only tinge of sadness is the number two top hit post, for obvious reasons. As for numero uno, her impeccable music and that all-time great video is a combo for a worthy winner.

Gold will rally into the New Year

Expect gold to touch U$1,180/oz before my eldest child's 13th birthday*. That's what TIPS is telling us and here's the famous TIPS/Gold correlation chart (TIPS 10 yr inverse yield) for visual proof:

Since this was taken last night, TIPS has rallied further and the yield is 0.52%. Lots of room for gold to bounce now.

UPDATE: Gold up U$13/oz since this was published, which is a nice start to the rally. But there's more to come.

*Not telling you the exact date, but it's early January.


Just when you thought Porter Stansberry couldn't be more of an asshole...

..this happens.

Here's the text of the mailer that the proven securities fraudster Porter Stansberry sent out to the list of greenhorns who were stupid enough to give his Casey Research (now a branch of Agora) their e-mail address at some point over the last 20 years and try as they might, can't stop these serial scam merchants from sending them spam:

Dear Reader, 
The most common complaint we get from our readers is that we advertise too much.
Perhaps you think this is true...
It may surprise you, but I wish we didn't advertise so much as well.
Though I'd never apologize for aggressively getting the word out about Casey Research, I'd prefer to devote all our resources to financial analysis... in an ideal world.
Here's the thing, if I did that we'd quickly go out of business and everyone would lose out. So it will never happen.
However, there is a way for you to "switch off" 99% of our advertising...
I can't guarantee the odd ad won't slip through somewhere, but the vast majority of our advertising will be banished from your inbox with this...
You simply need to become a Casey Platinum member...
With Platinum, you get everything we publish, for life... and for a massive discount on what we normally charge for our research.
What that means is, there's nothing more you can buy from us, and that means no ads.
In fact, this could be the last ad you ever read from us...
But no advertising is a tiny benefit compared to everything else you get as a Platinum member...
The real value of Platinum is that you get all of our moneymaking research, every single alert, issue and recommendation... plus much, much more...
See for yourself, right here.

Justin Spittler
Casey Daily Dispatch

(And on the words "right here" at the end is a link to the Casey Platinum service advert). In other words all that spam you get from these assholes isn't their fault, it's yours for giving the your mail address at some point. And if you want to turn off the incessant noise you pay them $3,500. Never mind that there is anti-spam laws that Porter Stansberry should adhere to, such as giving clear links and ways to opt out of all unwanted e-mail. Jeez, what a complete moneygrubbing, lowdown asshole he truly is.

PS: We remind readers of the true intentions of this scumbag fraudster Stansberry, via the previous series of posts "Casey Research, now with Stansberry/Agora, will market you to death", which includes excerpts from the Stansberry secret internal dossier on how to extract as much money as possible from anyone stupid enough to hand over their e-mail address to this company of scammers.

Mining PRs and the Ottotrans™, Part 96


It's number 96 in our occasional series and this time it's over to Nolan Watson and his merry crowd at Sandstorm (SAND) (, with the top block of today's NR up first and the Ottotrans™ underneath:
VANCOUVER, Dec. 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - Sandstorm Gold Ltd. ("Sandstorm" or the "Company") (NYSE MKT: SAND, TSX: SSL) is pleased to provide an update regarding activity under its normal course issuer bid ("NCIB") as well as exploration and development progress at a number of assets underlying the Company's streams and royalties.

Sandstorm previously announced a NCIB (see press release dated March 30, 2016), providing the Company with the option to purchase its common shares when management believes that the common shares are undervalued by the market. The fourth quarter of 2016 has seen significant declines in the price of gold, impacting Sandstorm's share price and market valuation. As a result, the Company has recently purchased some of its common shares. Since December 15, 2016, the Company has purchased 545,977 common shares at a weighted average price of C$4.56 per common share.

And this is what it means:
We had a deal planned but it fell through and we didn't have anything else to do with the cash.

Stephan Bogner of Rockstone Research, Zimtu's whore

Okay, let's make this clear, I have nothing against prostitutes and no particular beef against what's sometimes called the world's oldest profession. That those who practise the trade tend to be women and even if they're not, that the vast majority of clients are men is also beside the point. Also in the sidebar is the way that most prostitutes don't enjoy the luxury, high-class high living ideal (or get picked up and then married to Richard Gere, or kindly help out then fall in love with a guy who later corners the market in frozen concentrated orange juice in a movie) but usually suffer a hard life and come from a difficult family background.

No, what we're talking about here is the financial hooker, the business prostitute, the analyst whore who pretends to be something he (or she, but oddly this sub-sector tends to be male) is not. Take for example Rockstone Research, an outfit that writes up Canadian junior companies in both English and German for audiences in North America and Europe, plus its lead analyst Stephan Bogner. Bogner, along with other names connected to Rockstone such as John P. Barry, pretend to offer up sound investment ideas and carefully researched company fundies. Sadly, it's not the case because these people aren't just common whores but much worse than that, they're sneaky fakes who are in the pocket of those flaming rip-off Vancouver scam merchants, Zimtu Capital.

Evidence: If we check on the top core holdings of Zimtu (i.e. the companies they set up and own using other people's money, most of which also pay heavily to the owners of Zimtu) we get this list:

According to the Zimtu website Voltaic Minerals (VLT.v) is its top holding. This company happens to be covered by Rockstone Research and its coverage is paid for by Zimtu Capital.

Next comes Commerce Resources (CCE.v). Somewhat by coincidence this company is also covered by Rockstone Research with coverage paid for by Zimtu Capital.

Number three on its list of top holdings is Equitas Resources (EQT.v). And shock! Covered by Rockstone Research, coverage paid for by Zimtu Capital.

Then ALS Uranium (AL.v): Covered by Rockstone Research, coverage paid for by Zimtu Capital.

Then Electra Stone (ELT.v): Covered by Rockstone Research, coverage paid for by Zimtu Capital.

Then Arctic Star (ADD.v): Covered by Rockstone Research, coverage paid for by Zimtu Capital.

Then MGX Minerals (XMG.cse): Covered by Rockstone Research, coverage paid for by Zimtu Capital.

Then 92 Resources (NTY.v): Covered by Rockstone Research, coverage paid for by Zimtu Capital.

Then True Leaf Medicine (MJ.cse): Covered by Rockstone Research, coverage paid for by Zimtu Capital.

And the list goes on. Now, is this purely coincidence, or is Rockstone Research a pumphouse bullshit merchant that is trying to sell complete crap to naive greenhorn investors in exchange for cash from the companies it's pumping? You be the judge.

More Argentina: Why Cristina won't ever go to prison

We now know why Macri chose this post-Christmas period to dump his FinMin. In-country the chatter about Prat-Gay lasted all of two days, right up to the moment when Judge Ercolini published his 800 page charge against Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and her friends (notably Baez, De Vido, López) regarding charges that basically add up to "ripping off the State using public works contracts".

The charges are heavy and they're going to be difficult to counter too, for her friends. CFK's defence will be 1) it's all politically motivated against her, which may be partially true but the evidence is between strong and overwhelming no matter who was/is/will be in charge and 2) it was in the time of her husband rather than her, which is a better defence though it drops her pals right in it. However, the 1) argument should be enough for her to beat any prison time because in 2017 there are two sets of legislative elections in which she'll be able to run for Congress. When she does she'll have more than enough hardcore vot to be elected under the Argentine system, which means she'll then enjoy immunity from prosecution. In short, we're looking at a Carlos Menem type of situation in which she sees out her days of declining power from the back rows.


Argentina: Fallout from Macri's sacking of the FinMin

As reported here yesterday, President Mauricio Macri has decided to lay blame for the underperformance of Argentina's economic recovery at the door of his now-ex FinMin, Alfonso Prat-Gay. The country's chattersphere has been in overdrive about the decision and commentary, as you'd imagine, has been split down party lines (haters gotta hate, bootlickers gotta lick boots) but out of all the noise, this humble corner of cyberspace picks the comments made by Guillermo Nielsen as some of the most insightful and balanced. For a bit of background and in as few words as possible Nielsen was Finance Secretary (i.e. number two to the FinMin) in the first Nestor Kirchner government, then fell out with the Kirchnerists (and Cristina in particular). These days he's aligned with Sergio Massa, the right-ish wing Peronist. Here's what Nielsen said about the departure of Prat-Gay:

"'s showing that the sectors of the international community who were prudent about Argentina ('s economic recovey potential) are right. The fact there has been no large influx of dollars as the (Macri) government expected indicates there was a certain amount of mistrust. The sacking (of Prat-Gay) ratifies this lack of confidence. We're going to see an Argentina that will probably be more volatile than it was this year. The challenges are going to be greater."

This humble corner of cyberspace, one that has been a lone voice of warning against the crazy bullish screaming about Argentina in the mining sector throughout 2016, fully agrees. Your humble scribe also wonders how the "Argentina Mining Get On Now" rah-rah boys are feeling this morning. At what point is Fortuna Silver a short?

Reality bites: Results of the IKN "Ten random predictions for 2016"

On December 27th 2015 we ran our annual "Ten random predictions" post for the year ahead, the usual mix of biz, politics and sport that blend serious and left-field calls that we don't expect to become reality. Here we are at the back end of 2016, it's time for the results so here below come the original calls, the result and the score for each call (1 for a win, 0.5 for "close enough for my taste", big zero for anything else). And by way of reminder of previous years' results:
  • In 2013 we scored 5.5/10
  • In 2014 we scored 6/10
  • In 2015 we scored 5.5/10
...which means our mediocrity is at least consistent. On with the show:
1) Gold to break through U$1,250/oz in the course of 2016.
SCORE: 1 point: It didn't even need a quarter, let alone a year. And by the way, we may seem all worldly wise and "Ahh, but that was an easy call Otto!" now, but this time last year with gold deeply under U$1,100/oz and most of the mainstream telling us with their serious voices that gold was certain to drop under one thousand, it was a call made in a very different market. 

2) Silver to rally against gold and the gold/silver ratio will finally break under 70/1.
SCORE: 1 point: Again, hindsight makes this one sound easy. Again, it wasn't so obvious back then. I'll scoop up my point and move on. 

3) Uranium to go nowhere yet again.
SCORE: 1 point: Just so easy to fade the idiot uranium permabulls. While they were predicting the same rally they predict this time every freakin' year, IKN called it the way it is and then sat back and watched Uranium spot prices drop by 50% in 2016. Chau, losers.

4) Goldcorp (GG) to buy Lake Shore Gold (LSG).
SCORE: 0.5 point: I'm taking half points here for two reasons. First up LSG sold all right, but to Tahoe and not Goldcorp. Second up, as subscribers know very well, a few weeks after this call I changed the buyer to Tahoe in The IKN Weekly and then even managed to pre-empt the merger announcement by scooping it here on the blog a couple of days before it happened.

5) Copper to go under $2/lb early year and to rally to $2.50/lb by the end of the year.
SCORE: 1 point: No bones about it, this is my favourite prediction win of the year because I made it hard for myself, needing a bottom and a top call to come in (and in the right order), but score it did.

6) Venezuela's government to implode.
SCORE: 0 point: It was looking likely for a while, especially in the first couple of months of 2016. Also, as we leave the year the country is in an awful state and making headlines on a daily basis (hyperinflation, de-stocked supermarkets, political upheaval, whole nine yards) but the plain fact is that my main criteria, Maduro out by now, hasn't appeared. Therefore, nul points. 

7) Keiko Fujimori to become the next President of Peru.
SCORE: 0 point: Again, close but no cigar because by a thin 0.14% margin Keiko lost the second round run-off to Pedro Pablo Kuczynski. I could cheat and give myself a half point for being that close, I won't. Fail.

8) Usain Bolt to break the world record for the men's 200 metres in the final at the Rio 2016 Olympics. Because hero (and I'll be taking half points for a gold without a record that day).
SCORE: 0.5 point: I get the half point for the bit in brackets. In mitigation, it poured down with rain an house before the final and scuppered all chances of the record falling, so Usain did enough for the gold without threatening the record. 

9) England to win the Euro 16 European Football Championships.
SCORE: 0 point: Abject fail. I mean, beaten by Iceland. Embarrassing.

10) Christopher Froome to win the Tour de France and retain his crown.
SCORE: 1 point: Oh yeah. Froomy pwned them Frenchies.

And so...roll on the drums...

GRAND TOTAL: SIX OUT OF TEN. That's half a point better than last year, which is good. Even better is that the "serious calls" about metal and money things were damned close this time. On the other hand, I've sucked at politics in this continent for at least the last year and a half.

And that's that for 2016 but fear not, in the next couple of days you'll get the IKN Ten Random Predictions For 2017, your next opportunity to laugh at my stupidity.

Primero Mining (PPP) ( has fallen so far...

...that it's now getting stuffy letters from the NYSE:
"TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - December 27, 2016) - Primero Mining Corp. ("Primero" or the "Company") (TSX:P.TO) (PPP) today announced that is has received formal notification from the New York Stock Exchange ("NYSE") of its non-compliance with the exchange's continued listing standards for minimum trading price."
Translation: The share price is under a dollar and if it stays there, the NYSE will de-list this dog*. Here's the funny thing, though. In order to regain compliance, PPP decided to write a nice letter to the NYSE and explain what it's going to do. The three point plan is (and I quote)...
  • Reducing costs and returning operations to industry-leading profitability as historically reported at its flagship San Dimas mine;
  • Delivering increased cash flow from its Black Fox mine with production focus on the high-grade Deep Central Zone;
  • Exploring and identifying high quality mineral resources in and around our current mines and projects. other words, all the things it's abjectly failed to do for the last two or three years. Hey, maybe the NYSE should send out more letters to these pathetic mining companies run by self-serving mediocrities who try to pass themselves off as smart businessman. We may get a few more delivering bottom line profits that way.

*Don't let me stop you guys, sooner the better as far as I'm concerned.

Gold: a pulse

Not exactly a definitive breakout, but there were eager buyers as the markets opened up:

Semi-related, here's a question: Who is more stupid?
  • The technical analyst that studies gold and will tell you with exact certainty all the reasons why gold has performed the way it has in the past, then continue with a confident prediction that gold may go up, down or perhaps remain unchanged in the future.
  • The idiot who pays attention to these charlatans and keeps them in business.


Argentina: Papering over the economic cracks only works for a while

Big economy news out of Argentina today, as President Mauricio Macri asked for and received the resignation of his Finance Minister, Alfonso Prat-Gay. Macri's spokesperon, Marcos Peña, trotted out the the official government line that (translated), "The President asked for his resignation. It's a question of political differences. It's not about the (upcoming) mid-term elections, but about a vision of how to organize the work inside the ministerial government", which is basically a large mouthful of nothing-speak.

What's clear is that Macri is now worried about the 2017 mid-term vote, because if that goes against his political line his government becomes very lame duck very quickly. The economic benefits he has promised Argentina after they've suffered through his austerity plan are not appearing and citizenry patience is wearing thin. All this means that Prat-Gay, as orthodox an economist as you could imagine, has taken the fall and we're likely to see Macri switch to a nearer-term, more populist stance in order to bring quick benefits to the order to save his own hide.

UPDATE: Top Argentina political blogger Abel adds his dos centavitos: Excerpt:
"...that the exit of Prat-Gay was inevitable due to the friction caused by the recession, the rate of inflation, the exchange rate lag, the frustration of a economic policy that isn't showing the results that were expected."
Full thing here.

Global Mining Observer is about to make Michael O'Keeffe into a mining superstar

Here's the main story of the latest edition of Global Mining Observer and if it really is the first in a series, you're going to be hearing a lot more about O'Keeffe from other media outlets too. The intrepid AW with another scoop.


The IKN Weekly, out now

IKN397 has just been sent to subscribers. A thin edition, Merry Christmas one and all.


The top three most visited IKN posts this week are... reverse order:

Third Place: "Argentina mining: The false dawn". The good news form last week is that the Macri government managed to cut a deal with the opposition and one part of it was to stop the reinstatement of the export tax on mining. The bad news is that the whole central government plan for a Federal Mining Agreement is now falling apart. Chubut is the test case.

Second Place: "The Odebrecht/Braskem case sending shockwaves through Latin America political circles". It's going to be mighty interesting to see whether establishment politicos from countries all over the LatAm region managed to keep the lid on this story and stop names of people who took the bribes from becoming public knowledge. 
First Place: "The Clive wants to clean up his (online) image". All hail The Clive.


The Friday OT: Nils Frahm; More

I logged on to Spotify a couple of days ago and was presented with a nice little surprise; the site had auto-collated my most listened-to tracks of 2016 into one compilation, a fun option to put on Shuffle Play. And right at the top of the list, my most-heard of 2016, was Nils Frahm's More. So rather than Tom Waits, Robert Earl Keen, Bing Crosby or something from that Phil Spector album I'm going for this spellbinding piece as the Christmas Friday OT:

Youtube here. Wishing all IKN readers a very Merry Christmas.

Yamana Gold ( (AUY) and Brio Gold: The shareholder rip-off of the year is rammed through

There's no doubt about it any longer, Peter Marrone thinks the people holding YRI shares are stupid. This morning the hugely unpopular, crazily expensive, shareholder unfriendly spin-out of Brio Gold was closed by Yamana Gold ( (AUY) was announced closed by the parent company. How unpopular? Allow this humble scribe to quote from the November 17th final prospectus NR:
The final prospectus qualifies the distribution of an aggregate of up to 59,225,957 Brio Shares at a price of C$3.25 per Brio Share (the "Exercise Price") upon the exercise of up to an aggregate of 59,225,957 Purchase Rights, for aggregate gross proceeds to Yamana of up to C$192,484,360....

...Brio Gold will become a standalone public company effective as of the closing date of the Offering, with Yamana holding 46.3% (on a non-diluted basis) of the issued and outstanding shares of Brio Gold. The closing date of the Offering is expected to occur on or about December 23, 2016. 
And now, today's missive:
"A total of 17,324,507 Brio Shares owned by Yamana were transferred pursuant to the transactions ...Yamana continues to be a significant shareholder of Brio Gold, holding approximately 85% of the issued and outstanding Brio Shares."

Spot the difference? Yup, Marrone wanted to sell 59.2m shares and leave YRI with 46.3% of the company. Instead he's only managed to find enough suckers to sell 17.3m shares and YRI still holds 85% of this collection of utter dog assets. But the real rip-off is how he's managed to feather the nest of his pals Leticia and Gil; seriously, how many IR execs get a $300k guaranteed salary and $600k of free shares as a golden handshake? For doing precisely fark all? And Christmas has come early for Gil Clausen, who just cut himself a cheque for eight million dollars straight out of the pockets of YRI shareholders.

There ought to be a law. Well in fact there are. Several.


Derek and Clive news (KNT.v)

This is the type of bullshit dumps on unwitting idiots. Derek and Clive Resources KNT.v (okay, you know it as K92 Mining, but our name is much better), the stock pumped by Tommy Humphreys' band of delinquents to stupidly high levels in return for a fat paycheck into Tommy's back pocket, just released one of the funniest correction NRs this year and here's the magic bit:
"K92 does not expect changes to the resource estimates provided in the prior Report and no changes in the pre-tax NPV. However, a post-tax NPV will be included in the amended report. When K92 acquired the Kainantu Project, it acquired significant tax losses and these losses and other related factors will be considered and utilized in the preparation of the after-tax NPV."

Soooo....they pump it on a PEA with no post-tax economics. That's a naughty-naughty all by itself, but when you're also hiding "significant tax losses" that came from the original purchase (from Barrick), we're into another level of BS. Waddya say, owly?

And I know what Derek and Clive would say.

Arizona Mining ( Here's what he said

So Arizona Mining ( President and CEO Jim Gowans was on Andrew Bell's show today to talk about all this manganese thing and below find the transcript of the chunk about Mn and that. But before we get to that, anyone long the stock should be concerned about the plan has to jump straight from PEA (due 1q17) to a full feasibility study by the end of 2017. To quote President/CEO gowans, "Current schedule is to push for a feasibility study by the end of next year". No pre-feas, Jim? That's to say no pre-feas and a full FS in 9 months straight after the PEA on a deep deposit with 2/3rds inferred resource and complex met? Are you serious? Do you realize what "fast and loose" means, Jim?

But anyway, here's the transcript of the Mn section and you just gotta love the way he says "we do know there's a problem" and "we do know that's it's an issue" after the company's recent flat denial that it's any sort of problem or issue. Jim Gowans, caught with his pants down by good journalism:
Jim Gowans: "We do have manganese in our zinc concentrate and that's been acknowledged since the first technical report that came out in February this year. I think just because of the errr...latest technical report because the resource has grown so large so quickly it's become much more on everybody's radar. Err, but the results have never been changed. We're currently going through...errr...metallurgical test work as you always do in work towards a feasibility study. We do know we have some manganese in our zinc concentrates. Our zinc concentrates on the whole are quite clean except for the manganese and its, it's variable in the orebody

Andrew Bell: "Brent Cook is one of our regulars, he and Joe Mazumdar run the website Exploration Insights. I'm going to give you a quick couple of quotes from Brent Cook who very kindly shared his comments on this. He said, "The article forced the company to advise the market about this issue". He also says. "We don't think preliminary results are a fatal flaw for Arizona Mining", however he does go on to say, "This will force the company to manage risk by reducing the manganese content in its final concentrate and working with smelters that are capable of blending down the content, which will no doubt add costs and risk". So can I ask you one thing, were you slow to disclose this manganese issue prior to the website raising it?"

Jim Gowans: "No, we put it out in our technical report from the metallurgical test work that you saw. And that technical report from October was actually put out in February this year. I think they just errr..became more aware errr...errr..with all the conversation everybody looking at our stock. Err, we do know there's a know about certain amounts in zinc concentrates, so we're working on our metallurgical test work at (place name) to see what can be done..errr...with that...err any of our conversations we've had and, you have to understand that we've had all the major mining companies have been to the site and looked at our core...err...they've looked at our results and everybody from South Deep, Teck errr...Rio Tinto and all the big companies that are interested in the orebody have been around and looked at that. We've never had anybody say that it's an insurmountable (problem), we do know that's it's an issue, so we'll just have to make sure that when we're selling our concentrates we do it well. The...the...errr..manganese in low amounts is a good thing in processing zinc in the electrolytic process, but high amounts it just causes some downtime and some interference in the processes. But in our conversations with all our people and concentrates sales people, we do know we'll get some penalty in the amount, it's very small, 1% to 2% of the total value of the concentrates, but nobody's ever come close to saying that it would be a not-saleable concentrate, because other than that it's very clean."

PS: You see how Gowans casually names major companies with CAs at Is this guy really that stupid? I wonder how Rio Tinto feels about being used as a pathetic marketing ploy on live TV by a junior that's already been caught out telling fibs?

How scamsters think, Fairmont Resources (FMR.v) edition

On December 31st 2016, Fairmont Resources (FMR.v) is due to lose its Badajoz purchase due to court order, unless of course it pays up the 2 million plus Euros it owes to close the deal. It hasn't paid because it doesn't have any money (natch). Spanish language links to the story of how FMR is about to lose its asset here and here (among many others).

Today FMR.v has announced a $300,000 financing, trying to sucker in people before the bad news drops in order to cover the outsized salary cheques of the scamsters in charge.


The Odebrecht/Braskem case sending shockwaves through Latin America political circles

To begin, check out Reuters on the $3.5Bn fine agreed upon by Brazilian companies Odebrecht and Braskem, after they pleaded guilty to a whole mountain of corruption and bribery charges in a US court this week. But the reaction to the details disclosed so far by the ruling has sent governments all over Latin America into a tizzy, because Odebrecht and Braskem has admitted paying massive bribes to people in governments all over. Here are a few examples:
  • Colombia: U$11m in bribes paid between 2009 and 2014 to secure civil works contracts with government.
  • Peru: Between 2005 and 2014, $29m in bribes paid to government officials, mostly via middleman property development company, in order to win civil works and transport contracts.
  • Venezuela: U$98m in bribes to government officials and middlemen between 2006 and 2015.
  • Dominican Republic: U$92m in bribes to secure civil works contracts with government.
  • Ecuador: Between 2007 and 2008 Odebrecht couldn't get permits for its projects. Then from that time until 2016 the permits were signed off. Odebrecht admits to paying U$33.5m in bribes.
  • Guatemala: An U$18m bribe to win a large scale infrastructure contract.
  • Mexico: $10.5m in bribes between 2010 and 2014.
  • Panama: $59m in bribes between 2010 and 2014.

So far, specific names of people who received bribes have not been released. But those names are bound to flow and when they do, the repercussions are going to be felt by every sector of the political world in all countries. This one is going to be big.

Arizona Mining ( on Andrew Bell's BNN show today

Definitely worth tuning on for that one.

UPDATE: Here's the segment. Interesting stuff as Jim Gowans responds to the dulcet tones of Bell. And here's the transcript.

Randy Reifel's Gunpoint Exploration (GUN.v) has its Guatemala concession suspended

What a complete surprise that Randy Reifel (Goldcorp et al) has been playing it fast and loose in Guatemala, cutting corners and trying to sneak concession ownership past a local community that doesn't want mining activity on its lands. Not.

No, the surprise isn't that. The surprise is that Guatemala is cleaning up its act and not allowing the dirty, sneaky underhand methods used by Reifel and his like to prosper any longer. The community of Las Casillas has been fighting the concession awarded to Reifel's vehicle Gunpoint Exploration (GUN.v) for many years because according to them, GUN.v ignored the rules and didn't consult them on their plans before getting its "El Escorpion" concession (called locally 'Las Lajitas'), a 900 hectare block that sits right next door to Tahoe Resources' (TAHO) ( Escobal mine. And yesterday The Constitutional Court of Guatemala agreed with the locals and slapped a three year suspension on the Lajitas /Escorpion concession. So ha ha, Mr. Randy, no fish today.

The fun bit is Tahoe of course, because their locals have been fighting that concession for years to, and one of the legal actions against Kevin MacArthur's band of funboys is exactly the same, no local consultancy before it happened. And by the way, that thing TAHO tried to bullshit you with recently about the protest at La Cuchilla being all resolved? Don't believe it for a second, the locals are about to put in the papers to demand the closure of the mine with Guatemala's Mining Ministry.


Argentina: The mining export tax will not be reintroduced

After negotiations with opposition political groups, the Macri government in Argentina today reached an agreement on a 2017 tax package which was passed this afternoon by the upper house of Congress (Senate) and is expected to be passed by the lower house of deputies then signed into law by Macri soon. Most of the deal is about higher minimum level for non-taxable salaries for workers, but one point that matters to us is that the opposition plan to reinstate the 5% export tax on mining has been dropped. In the words of Sergio Uñac, governor of pro-mining San Juan province who was a voter of the deal that passed:

"Mining will continue without the export tax because it implied raised judicial insecurity, which I believe is the most complicated condiment we can show to international investors".


At least we now know the big buyer of Excellon ( last week

It was Factor Advisors, the people behind the Pure Funds ETF "SILJ". Your Bloomie screenshot:

Checking in on TwatMining Inc (TWAT.v)

Back on November 2nd when Brazil Resources was a $2.57 stock, this humble corner of cyberspace tried to point out the obvious; that paying proven securities fraudster Frank Porter Stansberry $3,000 to get this name as a hot stock tip by return of post was strictly for the intellectually challenged.

Then when Amir "Adam" Adnani changed the company name to TwatMining Inc (TWAT.v) earlier this month in order to "...better reflect the type of person we wish to attract as a shareholder", the stock was still floating around the $2 mark and due to the badge swap, managed to attract another raft of utter morons. 

So let's see how it's getting on under the new moniker:

Cool, only 29% down in the eleven trading days of its new name. You go Adam!

Elliott Assoc puts some of its Argentina bonds payout to work... paying a Brazilian company U$250m for a whole bunch of Peruvian silver. The deal looks expensive to me so Votorantim should be happy, but WTFDIK and in this way Milpo gets some of the money it needs to build out Magistral. NR here.

New Gold (NGD): More trouble for the Rainy River White Oliphant

The last time we checked in on New Gold (NGD) at this humble corner of cyberspace, via White Oliphant and White Oliphant update, we saw that the Rainy River project was way over-budget but defended tooth and claw by Randall. However, it would seem that not all top management are as enthusiastic about the state of play at NGD's company killer maker project. Here's yesterday afternoon's NR:

"David Schummer, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, is leaving New Gold and Raymond Threlkeld, currently a member of the company's Board of Directors, will become Interim Chief Operating Officer."

Abrupt departure of the COO at a critical stage of development, you say? Interim taking over the RR build-out, you muse? Ahhh, probably nothing at all....the project's probably going just fine. It's probably just coincidence, guv. Innit.

UPDATE: And reader MP reminds your humble scribe that...
"...the interim COO is the former RR President and CEO who engineered the deal in the first place...".

True dat.

The Tuesday quiz question

How much will Arizona Mining ( drop today?


Argentina mining: The false dawn

First affected will be Pan American (PAAS) (, but it won't stop there. This from IKN396, out last night:

Argentina: Das Neves spells it out in Chubut
We’ve followed the declarations of Chubut governor Mario Das Neves on mining quite closely on these pages, as the province is one of the clear testing grounds of Argentina’s supposed new attitude towards mining and home to the big Navidad project owned by Pan American Silver ( (PAAS). The national Macri government has aggressively promoted mining in the region, with its known anti-mining governor Das Neves being guarded up to this point in his responses. But not any more. While visiting the nation’s capital Buenos Aires on December 13th  last week, Das Neves took the gloves off and spelled it out for all to hear (9) while participating in a press conference on the opposition tax reforms that were passed by the lower house and are about to the debated by the Senate of governors (of which he is one). He said (translated), “In Chubut there isn’t going to be any mining investment because we are going to defend the environment and the quality of life of our people”. And to make sure the message got through, on the 14th on his return to Chubut Das Neves said (10) (translated), “In this province we are not going to allow mining company investments because we want our people to live well and to care for the resources of Chubut”.

If we consider these statements in the light of the proposed Federal Mining Agreement (see IKN394 and IKN395) which needs people such as Das Neves to sign on and is already delayed, the inertia in mining reform is now palpable. The sooner the North realizes it’s been sold a false story about the imminent opening of the whole of Argentina to the mining industry, the better.

You Gringos Will Buy Anything, Erdene Resource ( edition

Jeesh you guys, gimme a break. Erdene Resource Development Corporation ( is 15% up today on 4X average volumes and all due to today's NR. Oh for sure it sounds cool with its...

...but as they say in American Beauty, look closer.

They. Drilled. Straight. Along. The. Strike.

And you fell for it, dumbass spec momo buyer.


The Clive wants to clean up his (online) image

News reaches IKN Nerve Centre that The Clive, the man that "f***ing made this company" we know as B2Gold ( (BTG), has hired one of those Online Reputation Management firms to spruce up the way he looks in the world of cyberspace, scrub clean any sort of bad interwebz feelings about his utterly charming self and turn him into a contender for the Canadian Medal of Honour Award (or whatever that gong Rob McEwen won is called).

IKN expects a call from the SEO firm in question in the next few days.

GMO is out now

The latest edition of Global Mining Observer is out now. No manganese, lots of Warburg, lots more dynamite. Read it all here.

The IKN Weekly, out now

IKN396 has just been sent to subscribers. The main event is a site visit report on Continental Gold (, we also do Starcore ( numbers. And laugh at Argentina, of course.


The top three most visited IKN posts this week are... reverse order:

Third Place: "Hey, do you remember all those hot gold/copper projects...". One of those silly little ones that resonates sometimes.

Second Place: "Out now, the latest edition of Global Mining Observer", the publication that kicked off all that Arizona Mining ( hoo-hah last week. There were several other updates and developments of course, plus of course the stock was 20% lower by Friday's close.

First Place: "Nice spot...", in which IKN's esteemed readership apparently appreciated your humble scribe's very limited photographic skills. The technique used is simplicity itself, take 55 shots and one will come out okay-ish. Yousuf Karsh I am not.


The Friday OT: Moby/Skylar Grey; The last day

Your humble scribe is not a big fan of Moby, most of his stuff comes across good-not-great and a tad superficial. But every so often he knocks one out the park and here's an example of great Moby. And Skylar Grey has a great voice. Also because of the great line "All this rapture right here all along in scraps he tore away".

Great Youtube here. For the great Maisie.

IKN's submission for #DisruptMining

So Integra Gold (ICG.v) and Goldcorp (GG) are sponsoring an event at PDAC next year called #DisruptMining (read all about it at this link) and together they are, "Calling for Disruptors to pitch their disruptive technologies and business ideas to a panel of industry senior executives and a live audience of mining industry influencers and decision makers".

Which looks fun, so here's IKN's submission: Jail the industry scamsters. Nothing would improve the state of the mining industry more rapidly.

In The IKN Weekly this weekend...

...the report on the site visit to Continental Gold's ( Buriticá project.

Chart of the day is...

...the USD Dollar index, monthlies:

Most of the time it's up there as one of the most important squiggly lines in business, but not right now. Because that's not even close, at the moment it's the only chart that matters.

Shocked! Shocked ah wuz! Argonaut ( San Antonio permit denied

OK people, IKN has been going on about this one for years. Literally. Therefore the news out this morning that the environmental permit for Argonaut Gold's ( San Antonio project has been denied by Mexico comes with no side dish of surprise or "disappointment" (pace CEO) round these parts.

And by way of just a single example here's what was written at this humble corner of cyberspace way back in April 2014, a post prompted by GMP's buy call on the stock that included a NAV weighting of $1.30 for this single project. 

All the meta-twaddle and nonsense you read above was prompted by reading GMP's call on Argonaut Gold ( this morning. They like the thing, want you to buy it and even resort to the puerile "it's a smart money buying opportunity right now" argument to get your ego stirring and you on the phone to the trading and compliance desks. Thing is, GMP and IKN could argue the toss about its valuation call on the numbers (1.15X of NAV8% is rich as hell for this thing, guys) but when it comes to its pol risk call on what's happening in Mexico, they're just being plug dumb stupid. The subject is again San Antonio in Baja California Sur State, and the line GMP uses is...

"We continue to take a conservative approach, estimating production beginning in Q4/15."

Woah! Stop! That is not a "conservative approach". The true conservative approach is estimating production that will never begin and removing the $1.30/share NAV estimate for that "asset" (word used loosely, because in fact it's the exact opposite, a liability) from the calculation. Expecting San Antonio to ramp up in 2015 and calling that a "conservative" estimate shows a complete and utter lack of understanding about the political risk factors around the project, even if you decide to disagree with IKN's own "never gonna happen" call. It's the hallmark of a nodding dog analyst who cannot speak Spanish, hasn't bothered to read up on the local situation, has no clue about the type, strength or depth of the opposition to the project and has limited their DD to a phone call to the IR department to find out the company's own viewpoint and repeated it verbatim to brokerage clients.

The day of the GMP buy reco closed a $4.03 stock. This morning it's $2.01 and in all likelihood it's about to go lower. More IKN kung fu strength.

Eldorado Gold ( (EGO) in December, IKN in September

Remember this September 6th IKN post? It went like this:

"The next news from Eldorado Gold ( (EGO) now that the Jinfeng mine deal is closed and the company has got the cheque, will be the exit of president and CEO Paul Wright who is about "to be resigned" by its board. Shouldn't be too long."
Well in the end it took three months because that cheque took a while to clear, plus they were trying to find the person to take over, but here we are and...

VANCOUVER, Dec. 16, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - Eldorado Gold Corporation ("Eldorado" or the "Company") today announced that Mr. Paul Wright will retire from his position of President and Chief Executive Officer following the Company's 2017 Annual General Meeting in April 2017. Continues here

So, 63 and "retired"? You're kidding me, right? IKN kung fu is strong.


Calvin & Hobbes explains today's market

H/T reader C, expert on the strip:

Remember, ladies and gentlemen...

...that this chart on junior mining newsletter writers is as true today as when it first appeared:

So here's my question about Arizona Mining ( and manganese

You know that feeling you get when you suspect a junior mining company isn't disclosing everything it should? In two of its NRs in this whole manganese brouhaha, Arizona Mining ( has claimed the following:
  • With further work done, they claim to be able to optimize the concentrates to create a cleaner product (regrinds, treatments etc).
  • They also claim that the penalty they'd incur on Mn content is "approximately 1%" of the value of the concentrate "and is therefore immaterial".

Hence the question: If it's immaterial, why spend time and money to attempt optimization? Why consider an expense-laden re-grind for your operation, or extra machinery for your circuit?

Meanwhile, a luckily timed NR out of this morning on a "major step-out hole". We know the Zn content because they tell us (22.8%). As yet no word on the Mn content. 


More GMO on Arizona Mining (, zinc, manganese, things like that

So Arizona Mining got stuffy about being compared to Bre-X and got a retraction out of AW at Global Mining Observer. Fair enough, but the follow-up GMO article that came out last night is just too much fun.

The basic point: Juniors should not hide the weak points of their story from the market (, they need to be open and honest about the weaknesses (because there's always at least one) and work hard on improving them to the market's satisfaction (REG.v), else risk being behind the curve and playing catch-up to public opinion. That's not a good image.

I mean, who reads Forward Looking Statements anyway?
"Although Arizona Mining has attempted to identify important risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual performance, achievements, actions, events, results or conditions to differ materially from those expressed in or implied by the forward-looking information, there may be other risks, uncertainties and other factors that cause performance, achievements, actions, events, results or conditions to differ from those anticipated, estimated or intended."

Hey, do you remember all those hot gold/copper projects...

...peddled by the BS juniors back in 2011? The ones that became hot copper/gold projects in 2014 after gold went out of fashion and then became hot gold/copper projects earlier this year? You do? Oh good, so now the great news; They're hot copper/gold projects again.


Nice spot...

...for a gold mine.

Your humble scribe's location, earlier today.


On the road

Your humble scribe has been invited to go and look at something, an activity that threatens to keep posting light at this humble corner of cyberspace until later in the week. Feel free to talk amongst yourselves.

Welcome to your beautiful and soothing Monday

Wrap your arms around the day and celebrate its existence. Youtube here.

"Hit The Crystal"

Oceanagold (OG): Haile Mary update

(sorry, doing this on the phone, can't embed)

Hey, remember this post back in April?

Here's a chunkette from the script:

"...changes, framed as "design enhancements" by OGC in its February 2016 NR, are anything but that. Those that really know about these things believe Haile has turned into a migraine-level headache for OGC, with overruns in capex and timeline to production (first ore through the mill was supposed to happen 4q16...kiss that goodbye)."

Now compare that to the news out of OGC this morning on Haile:

"The results of the exploration program at Haile will be a major input into the Company's optimisation study currently underway and on schedule for completion mid-2017.

"Over the course of 2016, the Company has increased its Greenfields exploration ground by approximately 50% from the start of the year and commenced drilling of the Longleaf target. Additionally, the Company continues to progress target generation activities with the interpretation and integration of geology and drill hole data with magnetic, electro-magnetic, gravity, and induced polarization data to identify and prioritise both near mine and Greenfields targets."


The IKN Weekly, out now

IKN935 has just been sent to subscribers. The usual tripe, I wouldn't bother if I were you.

Happening right now in Ollachea, Peru

The Minera IRL Christmas party for local residents.

The new IRL CEO, Diego Benavides, is guest of honour at the party. This is the type of return you get when you treat locals with loyalty and respect. Sadly, too many people in Canada will never understand these basic concepts. They never get invited to the best parties, either.

Out now, the latest edition of Global Mining Observer

The latest edition of the wonderful AW's wonderful Global Mining Observer has hit the streets. Find its top stories here on Altius and here on Arizona Mining (which I particularly liked).

But you don't need me for all this, the way forward is to get a free sub and get GMO straight into your inbox. Do that on this link.

UPDATE: Oh this is fun! Here's what Tommy Humphreys of has to say about the GMO article on Arizona Mining:

 "Provocative, misleading headline and one-sided article"

Because if there's one thing that Tommy Humphreys, two-faced scamster and purveyor of paid-pump bullshit to greenhorn idiots, knows about, it's provocative misleading headlines and one-sided articles. GMO should wear it as a badge of honour.

PS: To fully understand Tommy Humphrey's petulant little outburst, three items to consider:
  • Richard Warke is Frank Giustra's pally pal and business partner.
  • Tommy Humphreys is Frank Giustra's poodle.
  • Tommy speaks up when given orders from his owner.


Bloomberg's "The Pessimist’s Guide to 2017"

Reader MM sends this along from Bloomie, its "Pessimist's Guide To 2017". An interesting read, worthy of a few minutes of your weekend.

BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND: The top three most visited IKN posts this week are... reverse order:

Third Place: "On the blackmailing of Ivanhoe Mines ( by The Democratic Republic of Congo (from IKN394)". Write anything about a flavour-of-month junior miner and you'll get hits. Write a long piece pointing out an obvious weakness in its carefully marketed story and you'll get even more. And the hatemailers later too, bless 'em all.

Second Place: "Watching Pershing Securities...". and at time of posting Tuesday, that house was propping RLG at 19 and 19.5. It closed the week at 16c. Further downside to come from this moose pasture scam pumped by Scott Gibson and to the idiot end of the market.

First Place: "The IKN Blowjob Futures Market (FEL8)", which is what happens when I'm bored and sitting in an airport departure lounge.


Millrock (MRO.v): At least it wasn't after the close

When it's a Friday afternoon NR on drill results, you know it's not going to be the most sparkling news event of all time. And when all Millrock (MRO.v) can muster is a paragraph like this...
The best intersections were from hole 16-04 which returned 4.0 meters grading 0.69 grams per tonne gold and hole 16-09 which returned 6.3 meters grading 0.185 grams per tonne gold.
...the only thing left to do is applaud the company for getting the news out before the closing bell, rather than after it. The next bit was about how "Millrock and Centerra are evaluating options for further exploration of the Los Chinos property". Guess what that really means?