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The Friday OT: Everything but the Girl; I don't want to talk about it

Tracey Thorn is one of my very favourite female fact, one of my very favourite voices period. Here you get to listen to her and regale in a cheesy 1980's video (semi-strung together storyline, cutting edge camera techniques, haircuts, long coats) at the same time.

If I stand all alone, will the shadow hide the colours of my heart?

On the subject of Goldplat (GDP.L), Susie Geliher of St Brides Partners, and insider trading fraud

Here's one for our friends over the other side of the pond in dear old Blighty. And it's one that the regulators of the London Stock Exchange AIM market should take an interest in, because it seems that one of their listed companies is playing fast and loose with insider trading laws.

It so happens that a marketing and promotions company called St Brides Partners Ltd has a marketing gig with a company called Goldplat (GDP.L), a company that produces gold from reprocessing waste from mines in Africa.

And it just so happens that all this week one of the St Brides Partners lackeys, Susie Geliher, has been blasting e-mails to all and sundry in the mining sector over there, trying to set up meetings with instos, brokers and anal ysts because next week Goldplat (GDP.L) reports its quarter. So far so normal, but Susie Geliher is also tipping off the investment square mile that the Goldplat (GDP.L) results are going to be good. Here's an example of exactly what she's been writing in her mails:

"They will be in London next week to discuss their soon to be released Interim Results, which will be going live on Monday morning. The results are really positive and reveal a return to profitability for the Company."

That's just an example, plenty more where that came from. And yes, IKN has copies. And yes, she really is that stupid, she wrote that down and sent it to people (plural). Welcome to IKN Susie, we now recommend you look up the phrases "criminal offence" and "securities fraud". You're welcome, have a wonderful weekend.

IKN would really like to know why Susie Geliher thinks it's cool and wise to disseminate non-public material information to market insiders several days before that information is published, when in fact it's not cool at all, it's illegal. And IKN would also like to know how Susie got hold of that information, because it's pretty obvious that Goldplat is leaking its own results to a select few in order that they might profit. Also very very illegal. And wouldn't you know, GDP.L stock is up over 50% in the last month what a shocker!

AIM regulators, you got teeth or are you as whussy as they say you are?

US CPI and gold

I think this is interesting:

Just a few weeks ago, even a 0.1% above expectations inflation number would have sent gold tumbling. Today the downmove started but was nipped in the bud almost immediately. Sign of the times.

Lithium X (LIX.v): Never underestimate the power of a Frank Giustra bullshit pump during a market bull period

In IKN's last update on the Frank Giustra lithium scam Lithium X (LIX.v), we wondered out out loud whether the pump job was already falling flat. That was on January 29th and the stock was at 59c. Let's see how things are today:

How naive I was! How stupid! How did I not see that a scumbag like Giustra doesn't just throw in the towel in on a worthless pumpjob after one round, he doubles down on the bet and gets more people on the payroll to peddle it to the stupid. Now he's even roped in Dundee Securities to offer soft coverage to their client list, man Frank you're good, you're really good. Yes, of course you're a two-faced runt that the world would be better without but what you do and the way you do it? Yeah, you're good at that.

All those people in on the "friends and family" placement back in November 2015 at 15c, including the despicable promo pumpers Tommy Humphreys and Keith Schaefer who don't think twice about ripping off their own subscribers in order to profit from them, are just counting the days before their paper comes out of escrow (late March, just after PDAC, oh what a coincidence). Then it's ka-ching!, then silence will descend and the poor saps roped in won't understand why their stock has suddenly gone South. Viva Howe Street.

At least Tim Oliver had the good sense to see he'd been roped into a scam and resigned from this exercise in retail fleecing before his reputation was sullied by what is about to happen.

PS: Did you ever get round to honouring your Patsy Cline debt, Frank? Or did you weasel out of that, too?

UPDATE: And Tommy can run all the righteous indignation he likes over at CEO CA Chat (thanks for the headsup youknowwho, I laughed hard) but what he can't do is deny his sweetheart "friends and family" 15c share deal. Because that's just plain true. Tommy sold his cute buns to Frank years ago.

Chart of the day is...

...the gold/silver ratio (again):

While the stopped clock brigade whoop about gold, they totally forget about their 100% wrong calls about silver's outperformance of gold in such situations. Because they don't know what the merry blinking flip they're talking about, basically.

The phrase "Do Not Feed The Animals" doesn't just apply to Zombie junior mining companies, it refers to the braindead charlatan parasites who autoproclaim themselves market experts.


Yamana ( (AUY) reports its 4q15, Otto wets his underwear

Because of this (fave bit bold-typed):

In early 2015, the Company designated certain assets to be placed in a separate division and established Brio Gold Inc. ("Brio Gold") as a subsidiary to hold those assets which include Pilar, Fazenda Brasileiro and C1 Santa Luz. Over the course of 2015, Pilar and Fazenda Brasileiro were able to improve the quality of production, improve costs, increase cash flow and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization ("EBITDA") generation, improve mineral resource models and mine plans, and increase mine lives. Given the significant operational improvements at these assets, it has been concluded that they currently carry considerably more value within the Company's portfolio than outside the Company.

Mr. Marrone, your talents are wasted in mining, you need to try stand-up. Go check out one of those Open Mike evenings at a comedy club near you. 

Anyway, I couldn't help it, I need to go change my clothes now.

IKN would like to thank...

...those bullboard posters who copy and paste EVERY SINGLE GODDAM FREAKIN' WORD that is written on IKN by your humble scribe and then publish it all on their little fiefdoms. You and your elevated senses of self-entitlement make the countries of North America what they are today. We salute you. Be proud.

A Flash update...

...has just been sent to subscribers, Thursday 8pm. Brief comments on a couple of trades made today, a couple of trades in the potential pipeline, plus a thought on the gold price. Plus a movie recommendation tacked on the end, just for fun.

Is the Tahoe takeover of Lake Shore Gold in trouble?

Sorry people, I really hate putting question marks at the end of title lines, so many people do it way too often and it always comes across as cheesy and a cop-out. But in this case it's necessary, because Kevin's still mad at me. And there's no way I'm not passing this chunk of decently sourced gossip onto you but you have to realize it's that market chatter, no more or less.

So to matters and, from what this humble scribe's desk has picked up, it seems that there's a small-ish insto holding LSG shares that's very against this deal. And it knows that it won't be able to win enough support from others to vote down the deal come the EGM. And it knows that TAHO is giving it no upside at all from a crappy deal. And it's pissed at Makuch, too. So what they've realized is that the trading on the afternoon of Friday February 5th, after the NR from LSG that day which responded to the IKN scoop on the deal and included...
"The Company is not aware of any material, undisclosed corporate developments that would account for recent trading in its stock."
...may well mean that Makuch may well have been failing in his fiduciary duty towards shareholders, particularly those in the USA. And that means the people who sold to others on Friday afternoon...

...were done by bad info from the top. And if they file suit the whole M&A thing would at the very least be put on a very different timescale. At worst, it falls to bits.

Which is where we are today. My personal opinion is that a suit against this deal is perfectly possible, it would also have grounds (whatever TAHO or LSG might tell you) and that the insto involved isn't just blowing smoke up my trasero by telling me all this. However and after due consideration I want to issue a word of caution: For one thing I've already sold all my LSG shares (as subscribers to The IKN Weekly know clearly (EDIT: I have no intention of buying back in again)), for another I have nothing at all to gain from posting this intel (no payment, no fringe benefits, nothing except for the pleasure of making the markets just a tiny bit more transparent for the general public) and for another (here comes something my intel droppers don't want to read in this post) I'm aware I'm being used a little bit here. IMHO I think I've been tipped on this as part of a fishing expedition by this small fund to see if there are any other like-minded LSG holders out there. So keep that in mind. And give my love to Kevin, Ira. And don't forget to disclose that November 2015 workplace death at Escobal in your year-end MD&A, yeah?

This is like Dr. Evil demanding one million dollars in an Austin Powers movie

Good ol pal Setty sends in this link:

A Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigation found that Grom certified that his March 29, 2012 research report about discount retailer Big Lots accurately reflected his own beliefs about the company and its securities.
But in private communications with Deutsche Bank research and sales personnel, Grom indicated that he didn’t downgrade Big Lots from a “buy” recommendation in his report because he wanted to maintain his relationship with Big Lots management.
Grom agreed to settle the charges by paying a $100,000 penalty, and he will be suspended from the securities industry for a year. continues here

After the judgment was handed down, Grom was heard asking the judge "Cash or cheque?" and "I don't have that on me right now, will tomorrow do?".

Chart of the day is..., dailies:

If you ignore the hype blowoff, that's a pretty decent and constructive chart right there.

For those who care about Goldman Sachs and its technical anal ysis view of gold...

...I was just sent this, hot off the GS presses, Thursday 8am.

2. Gold Daily/ Weekly –The rally since December 3rd continues to look like an incomplete 4 of 5-waves higher. This means there’s likely going to be at least one more move higher to fulfill the setup. Near-term support seems fairly strong between 1,192 and 1,185 (includes 38.2% retrace of the entire Dec./Feb. rise). This entire wave count stands within the A leg of an ABC counter-trend rise. Over time, should have potential to reach as far as 1,381-1,392. This longer-term target includes 38.2% retrace of the ‘11/’15 decline as well as the target from a declining wedge that developed off the Mar. ’14 high. 

Do with it what you will.


"Best mining bios ever...ever"

So I get this mail from reader "J", an age-old sparring partner and IKN friend, with that "Best mining bios ever...ever" you see above in the title line of the mail. The mail's contents, nothing except this link to a company called Mingo Gold which says it has exploration properties (mostly gold) in Senegal.

I'll let you discover all the jewels available to the investigator of junior mining companies but I can't resist offering up just one sample, the biography of company president and CEO, Timothy Mingo;

Mr.Timothy C. Mingo

(CEO, President of Mingo Affiliates Services/ Mingo Gold)
As Founder, Managing Member, General Partner and Investment Adviser. Mr. Mingo also serves as the Chief Executive Officer and founding member of Olive Branch Home Buyer’s, LLC, a South Florida based real estate investment and development firm specializing in the areas of residential and commercial properties including acquisitions, construction, and development. For 24 years Timothy worked in the public sector for the Florida Department of Corrections (“FDC”) with a principal position as Warden of Prisons throughout the state before retiring in 2004. As Warden, he was responsible for care, custody, treatment of offenders and good order of all facilities. Administratively, he oversaw hiring, discipline, separation of employees, development and implementation of policies, procedures, rules and regulations. Timothy’s duties also included insuring security and safety control in the prison and in the general public. During his tenure with the FDC, he managed the construction of prison buildings as well.
Mr. Mingo received his Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice Management from Bethune- Cookman University in (1978) and his Certification in Public Management Degree from Florida State University (1992). Timothy received his Life, Health and Annuities license in 1990 and was an agent with Midland North American and Hartford Life Insurance Companies. Mr. Mingo obtained his Series 6 license and marketed mutual funds and retirement plans for First American Classics Securities and North American Management. Mr. Mingo has 16 years of experience trading equities and options and has extensive training and experience in options strategies, fundamentals, technical analysis and charting. As an expert in developing and managing budgets vital resources, management of maintenance and construction projects, preparation for and passing of inspections, audits and other compliance regulations, Mr. Mingo brings a wide range of portfolio experience to the SUPRA VANTAGE FUND, L.P which his investment company runs.

IKN once again takes you to places where others fear to tread. Thank you J, wonderful stuff. Full fun website here.

Breaking: Steve Letwin quoted in IAMGOLD year-end financials news release after taking LSD

IAMGOLD ( (IAG) just filed its 4q15 and YE numbers and the NR that goes with it, right here. Right at the top of the page we get company CEO Fire Steve Letwin's view on the company's 2015 which starts...

"Our performance was strong in 2015."


You are seriously telling us that numbers as basic as these, just a few centimetres down from your blatherings in the very same NR, represent strong performance?

Revenues lower in 2015 than in 2014
Cost higher in 2015 than in 2014 (WTF! Hit that parrot play button again, right now)

This joker even has the temerity to put "$0.7Bn in cash and bullion" in the title line, as if it were an achievement. People, IMG had $730.2m in cash and bullion at the end of 3q15! That's another $30m down the toilet thanks to arguably the world's worst mining CEO. Until you kick these has-beens out of your industry, Canada, nobody's going to take you seriously.

UPDATE Thursday morning: Ah, those wonderful moments.

New Gold (NGD) on Rainy River: I knew they'd say that

New Gold (NGD) filed its Q4 this evening and the bit that catches the eye is this on its company-maker project, Rainy River:
"The combination of our year-end cash, the remaining stream deposit and the amount available on our credit facility provides us with total liquidity of $595 million," stated Brian Penny, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. "Combining this liquidity with our expected free cash flow, based on the prevailing gold and copper prices and foreign exchange rates, leaves us well positioned to fund the remaining development of Rainy River."

And yeah I thought they'd say something like that. Here's one small segment of the larger anal ysis on NGD from IKN350, dated January 24th, the summing up that comes after the numbercrunch:

So here’s my bottom line on Rainy River:

  • It’s going to get built and move into production, period. When it does you remove the sunk costs from the project economics and are left with a mine that would be very profitable at current gold prices. It’s one thing worrying about a mediocre IRR before a project is green-lighted, quite another when the capex is paid and you watch very decent free cash flow move through and pay off the financial debts quickly.
  • As things stand today, NGD covers all costs and RR happens with no further share dilution or financial burden placed on the company.
  • The risk from here is a 2016 of low gold prices and a capex bust for the project. If those happen, NGD may not be able to cover the capex.
  • I think that risk is low, but admit that it may look tight for a while. Even so, NGD won’t have any trouble in bridging any near-term liquidity issue as it has various options that could cover the final hurdle before  commercial production is declared.

And yes, The IKN Weekly called buy on NGD that weekend. And I got mine at U$2.06.

Obama smoking in Russia

I really don't see what all the fuss is about.

The photo is good graphic art and the captions, which translate as...

“Smoking kills more people than Obama, although he kills lots and lots of people,” 
 “Don’t smoke, don’t be like Obama.”

...are both factually correct and sound advice.

Chart of the day is...

...the precious metals miner ETF (GDX) versus the TSX venture exchange, 6 months:

To underscore the point made below.

Do. Not. Feed. The. Animals.

Regarding 'Optionality' and the First Mining Finance/Clifton Star deal. And old men (from IKN353)

Here's one of the segments in IKN353 out last Sunday evening. It got a bit ranty


A rant on and from the First Mining Finance (FF.v) Clifton Star (CFO.v) deal

On the blog on Monday I published (23) a quick line on sourced intel about Keith Neumeyer;

He's looking to run a equity placement in First Mining (FF.v) to raise cash. In the very near future. So now you know.

In the end I was only half-right, or maybe three-quarters right, because come Friday the imminent deal became fact and First Mining Finance (FF.v) announced its latest deal (24) to buy Clifton Star (CFO.v) for 48.2m in shares. And yes, of course I had a personal comment on the deal on the blog that day, too (25). Let’s be clear as we possibly can, CFO’s development assets are plain awful. For sure it can talk up its projects and point to the fact it has over 900k ounces of gold (all categories, including inferred) under 43-101 compliance. But these are the type of BS moose pasture calculations that got the industry, especially the Canadian industry into trouble. I have no adjective strong enough, plus we know that nearby Osisko has already picked over their projects carefully and handed them back, but the definitive word on the “quality” of CFO and its exploration stage projects came from an e-mail pal (who will remain nameless and, on hearing of the deal, remarked, “Clifton Star, you’ve got to be joking! It’s an arsenic mine with a refractory gold by-product.”. When that popped into my inbox I was in a taxi. I had to explain to the taxi driver why I had burst out laughing so hard.
The “assets” are not that, they’re liabilities. They’ll never be taken seriously by any mining company worth its salt, the ounces will never be mined (unless, as my friend noted, somebody finds an amazing new use for arsenic and the market price for that element skyrockets), they will cost the holder of those concessions far more than they’ll ever make.
Which brings us to the real reason FF.v bought out CFO.v, as a different mailpal “K” noted:

This acquisition is for the Agnico and Yamana shares that CFO obtained after suing Osisko in the twilight hours of the Acquisition of Canadian Malartic Saga. Long story short, Osisko had promised a loan to CFO.V under certain conditions. Osisko respectfully disagreed as they were being acquired and didn't care. Yamana, afraid of damaging their new asset with lawsuits, wanted Canadian Malartic cleaned up and convinced its dance partner to issue some shares to settle everything up.

$11M (was over $14M only 12 months ago!) in very liquid shares is like cash in these markets.

Easy as pie.
So yes easy as pie K, but at what cost? Paying 48.2m in shares for fixed assets worth zero zip squat nada, but a company with C$11m in cash, means FF.v is getting a tad under 23c in cash for each of those shares it’s emitting. When your share price is 41c and 44c and you’re willing to do such a deal, you’re sending a clear message to people who know that CFO’s projects are worthless (i.e. the serious end of the investment community, not the people FF.v is trying to rope in). That’s seriously dilutive and surely it would have been better to go the route I’d heard about on Monday and simply run a equity placement to raise cash at, let’s say, 35c or 40c?
Which brings us to the way in which FF.v has been operating this last year, aggressively buying up fixed assets of very dubious quality (aside from the Coastal Gold acquisition, which it snatched from under the nose of Stan Bharti and comes with a deposit that has a shot at becoming a real mine). To give an idea of the changes in less than one calendar year, consider these datapoints:

  • On April 2nd 2015, when FF.v started trading as a public company, it had 73.767m shares out and a closing day market cap of C$36.14m.

  • Today, less than a year later, FF.v has lost 19.4% in share price, but these days (if we go pro-forma on this CFO.v acquisition) has 356.1m shares out and a market cap of C$140.64m.

  • And as this chart shows unless you were willing to trade in and out of the stock (notice the spikes, caused by paid promotional pumping via the contract FF.v has with stock promoter Daniel Ameduri at “Future Money Trends”), a started holder of FF.v is now 19.4% in the red on his position, despite having watched his charge almost quadruple its market cap.

Or are supposed to change, because I have serious doubts that optionality of the type being marketed to us by FF.v, a Mineral Bank full of subprime, is going to work this time around. It looks to me as though it’s an old man’s strategy, looks tired and won’t be able to contend with the growing sophistication of the investment community. I would agree there’s plenty of space to pick up decent quality assets at cheap prices and hey, that’s exactly what I’m trying to do as I sniff around Almaden’s Ixtaca property for my idea of a great entry price. But the FF.v type of optionality, the Greater Fool variety, is an error and it’s already showing up as the market bifurcates. We’re already seeing the good stuff rising and the bad stuff failing to catch a bid, being completely left behind. When the market turned, was it better to be holding a company with a portfolio of marginal properties, or better to be holding a company with world class assets that produces gold at an operating profit? Here’s a hint to help answer that question:
Wasn’t that the idea behind FF.v, that you the shareholder would benefit from the renewed interest in metals mining assets? Instead, your share price fails to budge and you get further diluted by “value” deals.

We live in an age in which information is far more freely available, which means known moose pasture properties with no chance at all of ever becoming mines will be known as such by more and more people. Not only that, but the peddlers of this tripe have already picked up reputations for being scammy operators and these days, just mentioning Name X as being associated with a company, a trade or a promotion is enough to scare people away. Add in the far greater choice of investment vehicles for (just as our small sector example) mining, such as triple-leveraged gold ETF tickers that give you all the gambler’s trade-rush you can handle (and if not, play the call and put options on those things instead). I contend that the playing field is changing rapidly but people stuck in the past with models that used to work (so they think they still will) such as Neumeyer are making a serious mistake with their money. I just hope you don’t let them make that mistake with your money as well, let them regress to the mean all by themselves.

PretiVm (PVG) ( forgot to thank its ex-COO

A big chunky NR from Pretium PretiVm oh aren't we all cool and Roman Empire Resources (PVG) ( this morning and as I started reading it, it was all a bit weird. The first 34 paragraphs (slight exaggeration, but it did feel like that) was nothing that we didn't know already. The costs...the new costs (disclosed last September), the capex gap of $100m (they should be able to cover that one, as long as the market's trust of SRK hasn't gone completely) was all rather strange to get big long "news" release that was just re-hashing previously published materia.....ah! Wait! What's this?

There it was on paragraph 35:
Vice President and Chief Operating Officer James A. Currie has left the company to pursue other interests. Mr. Currie joined Pretivm in early 2014 and has played an important role in the development progress to date at Brucejack, having established highly competent engineering and operations teams which continue to perform effectively.
It's normally at this point when a company "would like to thank Mr. Currie for his outstanding..." etc etc, but that seems to be missing. And it turns out that all the blahblah in the run-up to the only piece of material news in today's NR, that PVG's COO has resigned suddenly to pursue other interests (fishing?), was to introduce his kinda-sorta successor who isn't a COO but a "project advisor". Based in Australia. 

Well, can't see any problems there, can you?

PS: Feeling a bit better this morning, thanks for asking.


Seems legit!

I get impressive things mailed to me, such as this:

Blue Eagle Gold Making Technology Vid from Martin Burger on Vimeo.

Here's the blurb:

Amazing Alchemical Gold Making Technology eclipses what is popularly known in science and produces gold from barren artificial seed ores under LENR conditions. Bottom line is the proof is in the metal and as a former sceptic myself I can appreciate that position. What has been surprising in sharing the development story is how many of these authoritative fools dismiss the possibility, without even looking at the data. Notwithstanding the objections from the conventional scientific perspective, we do in fact have a proven precious metal making technology, US Patent Pending, and we see an executable technology pathway to industrial smelter scale with precious metal production price points near that of Aluminum.

Otto Rock is unwell

A nasty case of food poisoning round these parts, ladies and gentlemen; I ate a taco yesterday afternoon which, in hindsight, was a mistake. Current status is laid up in bed and not straying too far from the bathroom, hopefully I'll be in shape to get back to the blog tomorrow. Until then, talk among yourselves.


A quick thought on the gold/silver ratio

Gold goes up and silver fails to outperform. Gold goes down and silver gets hit even harder. Silver fanboys, I seriously think the market is trying to tell you something.

PS: Posting will be light today, your author has to play outside the matrix for a few hours.

An important message for all mining company executives

Regarding that deep, inner guilt you feel about what you do and the way you do it, the one you know you cannot share with anyone: You are absolutely right, you must keep it to yourself, it has to remain a secret at all costs.

Have a nice day.


The IKN Weekly, out now

IKN353 has just been sent to subscribers. Plenty to chew over this weekend, trades and politics and market happenings and all sorts. And one stock that's so obviously undervalued compared to peers it just screams at you.

Lionel Messi

What he did to Celta today, my stars. He truly is the best football player I've ever seen.

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

Third Place: "Continental Gold ( The market begins to see the problem". We're still a way to go yet though. You can tell, because CNL shares are still thought to be worth something by people. 

Second Place: "Tahoe Resources (TAHO) and Lake Shore Gold (LSG): Don't say you weren't warned", which capped off the scoop from the previous week. Yes, you did indeed hear it here first, the Thursday before the Monday that it happened. In a crappy deal, too.

First Place: "The latest Keith Neumeyer gossip". Keith will be happy that people are talking about him the most. And although not 100% spot on, the intel jived with the news on Friday that FF.v was buying out Clifton Star (CFO.v) in an all-paper deal, basically so that FF.v could get its hands on those luvverly shares CFO holds and convert them into cash. By the way, I have a good old rant about this and what it implies in IKN353, out this Sunday evening.