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The Friday OT: Mozart, Overture from The Marriage of Figaro, Georg Solti, London Philharmonic

Holy wowsers on a stick with chocolate sauce, is this piece of music amazing or what?

A short and unimportant anecdote: Everyone knows this tune as it's one of the most famous ever written, but I hadn't listened to it for a long, long time until last weekend. While flicking through Spotify for some background while writing up the Weekly last weekend I came across a "50 Best Of Mozart" compilation. "That'll do" thought I and stuck it on. It started with the above and when that amazing first few bars ( we's about to...EXPLODE!) kicked in it was like listening to it for the first time. And it was this very version, Georg Solti and the LPO. 

Music that makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, your heartbeat accelerate, your reaction of "phew!" when its four minutes are done. It's one of the most famous tunes in the world because it's just so damned good. Do yourself a favour and play it really really loud, worth every decibel.

Youtube page link here.

Frank Giustra's LIX pump job already falling flat

“If you can’t spot the sucker within the first half hour 
at the table then get up, because you are the sucker.” 
Attributed to Amarillo Slim Preston

My stars, Lithium X (LIX.v) is dropping back on low volumes already! That didn't take long. Follow the bouncing ball, people:

1) Specs buy on news that Frank Giustra has flown out a bunch of newsletter sycophants and the shady end of the Vancouver promoter world to the LIX property on his private jet, the ones who'd sell their mother at the right price. And what happens in Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas, right Tommy?

2) Keith Schaefer publishes his whore-piece, pumping LIX in an article that Frank Giustra paid a fat fee for. You suckers buy in, Keith banks his cheque.

3) Insiders, "friends and family", early specs sell you suckers their shares.

4) All suddenly goes quiet.

Meanwhile in the background your humble scribe has been receiving very interesting mails on the subject of LIX and the whole Clayton Valley promo BS. Those people who know what they're talking about on Li (a group that most definitely does not include Schaefer, Giusta or you, LIX long) are laughing hard at the whole thing. The area play is a bust, the economics of Li projects there don't stand a chance against the real players (look to Chile first, then perhaps other places such as Argentina) and when LIX brings out their "oh but we got special patented technology!" argument real techs have had difficulty in stifling their giggles. And then there's the concession costs in NV, crazyhigh prohibitive. And then there's the amount of activity in the whole valley, i.e. one drill program going on, virtually nothing.

This whole thing is a pumphouse bullshit play, more obvious impossible, stone soup served for one and all. You have been warned.

Ten days of B2Gold ( (BTG)

I mean, it was getting a bit silly back there:

Seventy-five United States Cents still dirt cheap for this company, by the way.

Rick Rule on hope as an investment strategy and mining CEOs he most likes (the ones who ignore him)

And his call on the gold price, too (that one may surprise you).

Reader DW sends IKN Nerve Centre this Youtube link this morning, seven minutes of wise saws and modern instances from Rick Rule. But this one really isn't bad at all and there are a couple of decent nuggets of advice inside. Better than most of these talking head segments and well worth a look, thanks DW.

Plus the look of hero-worship on the face of the interviewer is a constant amusement all the way through.

Well that TGZ quarter sucked

Let's see what they have to say for themselves at the ConfCall later today. An anal ysis of the stock is now definitely the main event in IKN351 on Sunday.


Teranga Gold ( ( reports this evening...

...and will almost certainly be the main feature of IKN351, out this Sunday evening (what with your author being an underwater holder of the stock). Should be an interesting quarter's worth of figures and information to crunch and at current levels, I think there's way too much negativity baked into the share price. But we'll know more after the bell this evening.

Oh I'm sorry, did I say 20% up in three days on my new position?

I meant to say 24% in four days. Oh, silly old me!

Even on a gold down-day, too.

PS: What? Me annoying you? Surely not!

Gold down today but doing well (so far)

Here's a chart:

While the dumbass goldbug rah-rah brigade wring their collective hands and rail at THEM! for manipulating their loved and cherished metal down a full ten dollars (when they're all determined to hold until it's a thousand higher anyway....these people are warped) your author regales in Mozart's concerto for flute, harp and orchestra K299 (the one with the famous second movement that's a little piece of heaven) and reflects that the move down is a solid and necessary re-test of the U$1,110/oz line. And it's holding, so far at least.

Liking gold in this market all of a sudden. Liking gold.

Endeavour Silver ( (EXK) puts El Cubo on care & maintenance

Back in April 2012 when Bad Crooke bought El Cubo from AuRico and paid U$250m (!!) for the pleasure, IKN had exactly and precisely this to say about the deal in the title of its pithy and topic post which went into the numbers of the mine (I'd call it "asset", but...y'know...)

"Oh look, Endeavour Silver ( (EXK) just spent a third of its market cap on a piece of shit asset and thinks the deal is non-dilutive"
And yes, that was our call in 2012, but Bad Crooke insisted to the world that he'd be able to re-work El Cubo, make it a leaner and more profitable machine etc etc ad infinitum. Then in January 2013 Crooke said this about El Cubo...
"Our strategy to acquire under-performing mines in historic districts for their turn-around and expansion potential does entail a certain amount of ''short term pain'' but our track record shows it can create exceptional ''long term gain''. I would like to thank our shareholders for their patience during this turn-around period at El Cubo."

...and oh how we laughed.

Today we hear this from EDR:
"...we plan to mine the accessible reserves this year at El Cubo and have suspended investments on exploration and mine development there until metal prices improve. That means El Cubo will see a steady decline of production through the year until it goes on care and maintenance in the fourth quarter." Continues here

All the pain, none of the gain. And to think that before buying El Cubo EDR was a $750m market capper, AFTER buying it it was a $1Bn (with a B) market capper and today, its market cap is $129m. What's really funny is the way that just this week Bad Crooke got called "legendary" by sycophantic coverage in Palisade Radio that's then picked up by Kitco. Legendary at pissing shareholders' money  down the toilet, it probabl means.


Randy Smallwood wastes more money

This time on Panoro at Cotabambas, the project that needs to move a provincial capital before you can build the pit.

You thought these big swingin' metals companies did more DD than you, didn't you? Nop, sorry, they just download the corporate presentation and then fall for the CEO's pitch, just like you did, my venerable retail investor friend.

The Legendary Brent Cook does BNN again

Legendary Brent Cook had a slot on the legendary Andrew Bell's legendary TV show on BNN this morning, which you can watch by clicking this link right here. He makes calls on not one but six junior gold miners.

Oh I'm sorry, did I say 12% up in two days on my new position?

I meant to say 20% in three days.

Hope you're enjoying your week too, non-IKN Weekly subber.

UPDATE: Oh am I annoying you? Oh dear...

"A bunch of migrants"


Mining PRs and the Ottotrans™, Part 93

Our occasional series gets to number ninety-three and today we're doing the NR out of Bear Creek Mining (BCM.v) this morning. As is our wont, we take the long thing (889 words), and crunch it down to the small thing (three short lines).

This is what they wrote:

Bear Creek Mining provides an update on corporate activities

VANCOUVER , Jan. 27, 2016 /CNW/ - Bear Creek Mining Corporation (TSX Venture: BCM) ("Bear Creek" or the "Company") is pleased to provide shareholders with an update on its activities regarding the Santa Ana and Corani projects in Peru , and an outlook for 2016.
"2015 was a productive year for Bear Creek, with the completion of the Corani Optimized Final Feasibility Study* and the submission of our initial statement of claim (the "Memorial") in respect of the Santa Ana project arbitration," states Andrew Swarthout , President and CEO. "Corani is one of the largest undeveloped silver projects in the world, and coupled with our Santa Ana deposit, forms the basis of Bear Creek's future growth profile. We recognize that during this sustained downturn in mining markets and metal prices our treasury is a key asset and a factor that separates us from many other exploration and development companies. Our goal for 2016 is simple; to continue to meaningfully move the Corani project forward and work to unlock the value at Santa Ana while operating in as cost-effective a manner as possible so that our treasury continues to buffer us from the worst of the mining downturn. Ultimately, our aim is to weather this mining market slump and emerge from it in a 'front-row' position, able to accelerate quickly and decisively when the markets improve."
Santa AnaThe Santa Ana arbitration, being heard at the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes ("ICSID"), is proceeding on schedule. Bear Creek's Memorial was filed on May 29, 2015 , which was followed by the Government of Peru's Counter-Memorial filing on October 6, 2015 . Bear Creek submitted its reply to Peru's Counter-Memorial in early January, 2016. Peru's rejoinder to this filing is due to be submitted to ICSID in mid-April and a final submission from Bear Creek will be filed in late May, 2016. ICSID is posting these written submissions on their website, generally within several weeks of their filing, at In-person hearings before the arbitration tribunal are scheduled to occur at ICSID headquarters from September 8 to 16, 2016 , after which the tribunal will commence its deliberations. An award on Bear Creek's case is anticipated within the second half of 2017, though there is no prescribed deadline for the tribunal's ruling. Bear Creek and its legal counsel remain very confident in the merits of its claim that the Santa Ana project was expropriated without compensation in June 2011 through the Government of Peru's issuance of Supreme Decree 032, which nullified the Company's rights to advance the Santa Ana project.
CoraniAfter completing the Corani Optimized Final Feasibility Study last year, Bear Creek undertook an exploratory investigation of possible Corani project-financing scenarios. Feedback from a range of potential participants, including lenders, off-take partners, development banks, equity markets, and streaming partners, aligned closely with the Company's internal conclusions; Corani, as one of the largest, and longest-life-span, undeveloped silver deposits in the world, is a financeable and buildable operation but will require significant upfront capital access and improved metal and share prices to justify a development decision. Therefore, our plans for Corani during the coming months are to continue to de-risk the project by acquiring key permits in preparation for an application for the Construction Permit that is ultimately required to commence development, while maintaining the excellent community relationships we have worked hard to foster. The Company's goal is to ensure the necessary components are in place to make sound and nimble decisions for Corani when the opportunity arises. To this end, in late 2015 Bear Creek submitted modifications (based on the Corani Optimized Final Feasibility Study) to its Environmental and Social Impact Assessment ("ESIA") originally approved in September 2013 . In mid- January Bear Creek received approval of the modified ESIA from the Peruvian Ministry of Energy and Mines; a key milestone for the Corani project and an important component of the eventual Construction Permit.
Exploration ProjectsBear Creek has 3 prospective exploration properties in Peru under joint venture; the Sumi and La Yegua copper-gold projects and the Maria José gold-silver project. While we continue to maintain an ownership interest in these projects, they are currently being advanced at virtually no cost to the Company.
Cost-CuttingBear Creek's strategy for the coming months will continue to comprise both offensive and defensive elements. We will continue the Santa Ana arbitration process so that its value to shareholders can be unlocked. We will continue to meet our Corani social and environmental obligations and maintain our cooperative and respectful community partnerships while we work to secure the additional permits required for its eventual development. Our focus on longevity will be amplified in the coming months however, in order to preserve our treasury as long as possible without reversing our forward momentum. General and administrative expenses are being lowered as much as possible, staffing levels are being reduced to core functions only, and the Company is preparing to replace a significant percentage of the cash component of director and management compensation with non-cash alternatives.
*see Bear Creek news releases dated June 2, 2015 and July 20, 2015 , available on its website ( for details of the 2015 Corani Optimized Final Feasibility Study.
On behalf of the Board of Directors,
Andrew Swarthout
President and CEO

And this is what it means:
  • We're still pretending we'll get something from Santa Ana.
  • Corani doesn't work.
  • We're running out of money.

Let's talk about plagiarism

Peru's presidential election has finally started getting fun.

César Acuña is no also-ran candidate in the Peruvian 2016 Presidential race. Currently joint second place in the polls, he's fighting for the all-important second spot behind Keiko Fujimori that will make up the run-off fight and decide who gets the Big Job. Hes' a very rich guy too, having set up his own private university with branches in many major cities in Peru.

He's also been a very naughty boy. Y'see, people who don't want him to become Prez (roughly 85% of Peru, as he's polling 15% tops) decided to look at his doctoral thesis published in 2009 and guess what? Yup, he's a cheat. And hey I get annoyed when bullboard posters copy and paste IKN material wholesale and never bother offering a link (and then claim their work as original) but that personal gripe pales into insignificance when compared to real cases, such as when candidates running for the Presidency of countries are found out for what they are, liars and intellectual thieves. Here's a segment I've translated into English of this report in Peru's newspaper of record, El Comercio, today (for the rest you need to go over and read it yourself...don't accuse me of stealing others work or taking clicks away now will you...)

The findings
Acuña's doctorate thesis is entitled "Professorial Competence and Academic Results of Students in Private Universities in Peru", it has 359 pages.

On pages 21 and 22 of the thesis it contains, without quotes or any references, more than nine paragraphs of pages 4, 5 and 6 of the document entitles "Educative quality in the crediting of training program for specialists in professional certification", published by the World Health Organization in 2000.

On page 25, under the sub-title "Regarding the quality of teaching in the university" we find a text identical to the introduction written by Maria Belando Monto in "Professors in the 21st century and the quality of university teaching: Centred on training", publish in a Valladolid University Review in 1999, once again without any citation.

But there are more examples: Pages 23 and 24 of the work by César Acuña show identical extracts of a thesis by Martha Calderón Franco presented to the San Marcos University (in Peru). From page 33 to 39 the document copies an article published by the professor of Oviedo University (Spain) José Vicente Peña, in total six pages identical to the information in the work of that professor. Also page 129 of the César Acuña thesis is shown to have copied an article published in 2004 by Sergio Montico, professor at Rosario University (Argentina). The non-cited sources have not been included as part of the thesis bibliography either. It's worth noting that other examples have also been detected.

There's one thing that never ceases to amaze me about people who want to become Presidents of countries; however apparently coherent and intelligent they sound and seem on the surface, the way in which they all assume their past foibles and skeletons in cupboards will never get found out is arch-stupidity, cubed and concentrated. Especially when the candidate is Peruvian, wants to be President of Peru and is up against Alan Garcia (if you think his band of "investigators" isn't behind this one, I have a bridge to sell you).

Hey, maybe there were some rich and influential Chinese people in Davos this year

Ya think?

Pre-Davos, The IKN Weekly chose to feature the following in IKN349, dated January 17th 2016:

China’s GDP is only growing by 2.5% per annum
This is one of those pieces that could be part of the “politics” section above, but in the end I’ve plumped on putting it here. But no matter where it goes, it’s interesting and has the potential to affect a lot of mining issues, so get ready for this message to gain greater traction.

Professor Xavier Sala i Martin (a Catalan last name, for what it’s worth) of Columbia University is no lightweight and he’s about to get a platform on the world stage, being as he is co-author of “The Global Competitiveness Report 2015-2016” published by the World Economic Forum (Davos shindig coming very soon).

He’s been warming up for Davos by touring South America this week and the message he’s offering is a simple one: China isn’t growing its GDP by a 6.5% or 7% rate as per the official figures, it’s more akin to 2.5%

“China data are the type that mathematicians would call “complex numbers”, that’s to say half real and half imaginary” he says, as quoted by the media in Chile, a country that really cares about the China growth number due to its dependence on copper exports and its relatively serious nature on finance and economy. The report on his presentation continues in this way (translated) (26):

According to the economist, there are two measurements that show Chinese GDP growth is less than that announced by Beijing. The first is called the Li Keqiang Index, named in honour of the current Prime Minister. This indicator is the one the government follows in order to make decisions on macroeconomic policy, includes measurements on the movement of containers on trains/through ports etc, electrical consumption and financial credit/debt figures. According to this index the country is growing by 2.5%.

The second measurement is a study that Mr. Sala i Martin made that will appear in the February edition of the Quarterly Journal of Economics (hey coincidence, just in time for Davos). The expert analyzed NASA satellite photographs and measured the quantity of light in each pixel, with each one equivalent to 1km2 on the ground. Each square has 63 different light intensities, which is “perfectly” correlated to GDP. “Today, if you calculate the luminosity that comes from the NASA satellites, China is also growing at 2.5%”, he said.

Post Davos, now that the same bunch of economists have had their say in front of the Very Important People, the Very Important People have said some stern words to other Very Important People who have decided to Do Something and all of a very sudden we now have the NYT on the case:

Inquiry in China Adds to Doubt Over Reliability of Its Economic Data

HONG KONG — The veracity of China’s economic data has been increasingly questioned as the slowing pace of the country’s growth has startled the world. And a new investigation into the official who oversees the numbers is unlikely to inspire confidence.

It's how the sausage is made, folks.


Minera IRL ( (MIRL.l): Jorge Ramos speaks

Here's a shot of yesterday's feature in Peru's newspaper of record, El Comercio, an interview with Jorge Ramos of Cofide.

It goes into all the things the quasi-State investment bank Cofide is up to at the moment (far more than just IRL), but also confirms that Cofide is good about moving forward with the full U$240m financing package for IRL to build Ollachea, as agreed. Ramos also states for the record that his entity has nothing at all to do with Sherpa, the people that Team Hodges tried to smear everyone that got in their way with during the incessant BS and lies campaign.

It's pretty amazing to think that a small junior can get a $240m line of credit to build a mine in this current market. It's simply incredible when you realize that Daryl Hodges and Jaime Pinto wanted to turn their backs on that cash (and certain members of the current board still do). The reason is simple; they wanted to carve up their own deal and get the commish. Scumbags.

12% up in 24 hours on the new position

A decent start to the new position called in IKN350 on Sunday and bought yesterday morning, long may it continue. Toot freekin' toot. (EDIT ten minutes later: Make that 13%, ...15%...running like Forrest Gump now).

Also and unconnected, by a small miracle B2Gold is now up for the week (by three thousandths, but gotta start somewhere) and by the way, the smart money is now on The Clive eating a large slice of crow and agreeing to a streaming deal on Fekola in order to finance it. The devil will, of course, be in the details but you get the feeling the market has backed him into a corner.

Continental Gold ( kiss that permit goodbye, Ari

Here's a link to a Medellin news report about the way in which CNL has been going about the "pacific" eviction of local informal miners, including firing revolvers at them, using threats of violence and one rep of the informals who says CNL is involved in the deaths of 15 of his colleagues.

All good clean fun i'm sure.

Has HudBay (HBM) told you about the Constancia mine blockade yet?

As from yesterday, locals fed up with the crappy way that HudBay (HBM) has been treating them, spilling copper conc all over their land etc, have blockaded the mine and are stopping all traffic and workers from going in and out. This blockade is set to run for 72 hours, they won't be so accommodating next time though.

And there were you, believing all that nonsense HBM spun you the other day about their logistics problems all solved at the gig. Oh how we laughed at that one here at IKN Nerve Centre. But why should Garofalo care anyway? New job and all that...

If you want to know more, Google "Chumbivilcas" and read all about it.

Gold holding above $1,110/oz...

...which is moderately promising.

Nothing wrong with BTO by the way. Go fill your boots.


Gold's doing well, but... still has to clear U$1,110/oz.

Though I have to say, boy cry wolf or not I think it's going to do it this time. If not, the next. Cautious optimism here.

The Muck Pile is back

Muckpile Mike is back at the helm of his sturdy blog after a couple of weeks of doing real things, which is good news for virtual people such as your humble scribe. Two good posts up already:

This one on the idiocy of a new round of British Columbia gubmint rules and regs. If you want to sell a mining property or prospect in BC, any advert you run can't include assay results or pictures.

And this one on the Vancouver Resource Conference, on now, at which attendances are being padded out as well as the promoters can manage but the lack of real attendees or interest is palpable. In the words of Muckpile Mike, "Lots of geologists, chopper pilots, drillers, and IR types. Not much sign of the mythical retail investor."

You need to read The Muck Pile more often, way better than IKN.

The Vancouver promotion community LIX Frank's ass

Here at IKN we're going to have a lot of fun watching the promo pump roll out on LithiumX (LIX.v), the BS pump vehicle sat on a very iffy lithium asset that's being run by Frank Giustra. It started last week with that Keith Schaefer "sponsored coverage" (translation: He got paid to write a pump) and now that Frank Giustra spent most of last week wining and dining the brokerage and newsletter whores, including flying them all into the project on his private jet, this week's looking to become a real hoot.

Let's be clear: LIX doesn't stand a chance of becoming the world's next supplier of lithium and once the pump runs out of steam it's gong to be a classic short opportunity, but first we get to see how far these whores can pump it up. Ah, just like the old days, en Tommy?

And while we're here, let's review the Vancouver promoter's business model:

1) Speak in glowing terms of moose pasture properties run by scam management teams
2) Watch as retail investors pile in, rub hands with glee.
3) Continue watching as reality bites, investors lose all their cash, the scumballs close up shop and run away.
4) Happily promote another moose pasture.
5) Wonder why nobody believes you any more and calls you a bunch of lying shitbags in public.

UPDATE: Reader A.N. Other mails in and comments:
Thanks a bunch for  calling out LIX.  It is such a transparent, cynical, craven Howe street fleecing it just chokes me.  It reminds me of the Grade 3 smart guys cleaning the Grade 1 kids out of Beatle cards when I was in school.

That's spot on.

UPDATE 2 Friday: This LIX pump is already falling flat.

Tahoe Resources (TAHO) ( Interpol re-captures Alberto Rotondo (from IKN350 out last night)

Another banana, all ready for TAHO to slip upon in public view in front of Guatemala's new government. Here's the piece:

Guatemala: Interpol re-captures Alberto Rotondo
Ex-military officer Alberto Rotondo was the man in charge of Tahoe Resources’ (TAHO) ( security detail at the time of the violent episodes at its Escobal mine that left sic anti-mining protesters with gunshot wounds. He was eventually arrested and was under house arrest in Guatemala and due to face the courts this month of January 2016, but in November he escaped and made his way back to his native Peru.

On Friday Interpol informed the world (14) that it had re-captured Rotondo on petition of the Guatemala government and the extradition process to send him back to Guatemala in order to face trial has begun.

TAHO will say that Rotondo was never an employee, just a mere contractor of the firm and doesn't work there any longer. Washing their hands of dirty affairs, such as the recent unreported death of a worker, is the M.O. under MacArthur.

Paul Singer woke up fresh and alert this morning

According to President Macri, today's the day that Argentina is going to make an offer to the bond holdouts/vulture funds (delete to taste), you of course remember all that Judge Griesa thing from a couple of years ago that CFK never got round to adhering to etc.

In other words, today marks the end of Macri's honeymoon period. 


The IKN Weekly, out now

IKN350 has just been sent to subscribers. I'd like to thank Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven for helping me write this one. Bless 'em.

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

Third Place: "Continental Gold ( IKN congratulates Louis James of Casey Research on a good call". Tell you something Lobito, you sure are popular round these parts, anything I publish on you always gets consistently high hit numbers. Must be your winning smile...or perhaps the humility. 

Second Place: "Why have just one BOHICA day...", which was a lightweight post, basically me just moaning a bit and shaking my fist at the world for a few minutes (I wouldn't bother clicking through and looking, nothing special). But these sometimes hit a nerve with people and get extra eyeballs, seems to be the case this time too.

First Place: "The Can of Corn jumps the shark on copper". Oh I'm glad you liked this one because I did, too. It even featured the wonderful WTF Parrot. Apparently somebody linked to this post on LinkedIn, because I got a hatful of hits from over there (don't use it myself).