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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?

The Friday OT: Smashing Pumpkins; 1979

No particular reason for this one this week, just because it's a great song.

Youtube here.

Thinking of buying a company, CEO? Let Sibanye (SBGL) be a lesson to you

  • In theory at least it's the right time in the cycle for an all-cash buyout.
  • The fit is a reasonably good one, both on production and geopol risk terms.
  • When I read the NR this morning I thought it a good deal and it turned out that I wasn't alone, with one industry pal calling it "probably the most logical/stable deal on the table in 2016".

 But none of that stopped Sibanye (SBGL) from dropping 15% at the open this morning:

It's a tough market for mining M&A right now, worth keeping that in mind. Here's how the NR kicked off:

LITTLETON, Colo., Dec. 9, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Stillwater Mining Company ("Stillwater" or "the Company"; NYSE: SWC) today announced that it has entered into an agreement with Sibanye Gold Limited ("Sibanye"; JSE: SGL; NYSE: SBGL), under which Sibanye will acquire Stillwater for $18.00 per share in cash representing an aggregate enterprise value of $2.2 billion. The $18.00 per share transaction price represents a 61% premium to Stillwater's volume-weighted average share price over the 52 weeks prior to the announcement of the transaction, a 25% premium to its volume-weighted share price over the 30 trading days prior to the announcement and a 23% premium to its closing share price on December 8, 2016.  The transaction also represents a 14.0x multiple of IBES consensus 2017 EBITDA1 estimate.
Following a thorough review of Stillwater's strategic opportunities, including a process in which over 20 parties were contacted, the Company's Board of Directors has unanimously approved the transaction. continues here

Argentina's lower house of congress votes to re-impose mining export tax

You know all that hoopla and "isn't Argentina wonderful?" stuff we got from the rah-rah boys about Argentina under Macri, and you remember how his decision to repeal the export tax on mining was the Best. Thing. Ever? Well last night the lower house of congress (deputies) voted to re-install that very tax. It's a bill that needs to get past the upper house (senate) and then not be vetoed by Macri himself before it becomes law, but even if it doesn't prosper it's a serious shot across Macri's bows for the mid-term elections of next year.

When it comes to Argentina and mining, fools rush in where angels fear to tread (not that I'm particularly angelic, mind you).

Chart of the day is...

..the gold/silver ratio:

No answers, just a question today.


Inca One (IO.v), a scam pump

It doesn't need a brain surgeon to realize that...

...when a company with less than a $20m market cap and a negative working capital spends nearly a million on a bullshit pump campaign (example of the stupidity here)...'s for suckers and idiots only. 

You gringos really will buy anything.

Posting will be light today

For secret reasons.


The IKN Blowjob Futures Market (FEL8)

Here's an idea that sprang from an conversation with a pal but before going any further, let's make it clear that even though IKN is an equal opportunities blog and is fully down with all things equality, for purposes that should become clear the focus group for this futures market is heterosexual males. It has to be this way.

The concept is simple enough; In our world of insincerity and constant two-facedness, there's a near obligatory duty to kiss the ass of people during your working day. It could be your boss, your colleague, your customer, your supplier or any number of other labour workday contacts, but whoever it might be there's that need to plaster on a smile and talk pretty to them at some point in order to keep them onside, no matter how you might truly feel about the jerkoff in question.

With this in mind, we reach stage one. Imagine if you will this situation:

1) A colleague, person X, needs to kiss your ass.
2) You need to kiss the ass of your boss, person Y.

In such a case you can simply cut out the middleman by sending the following mail to person X:


In one fell swoop you have just simplified your day without adding to the workload of person X or affecting the day of person Y.

Or another situation: You have done a good piece of work and two people behest to you feel the need to congratulate you (even though deep down they hate your guts and you know it). In such a situation you write a simple mail, CC'd to both people:


Once again, your day is simplified with no detriment to the others in the equation.

In fact, the logic of the blowjob clearing house is so compelling that the concept can be easily expanded. Assuming blowjobs are fungible in nature, an exchange could be set up where one could buy blowjob futures (contract code FEL8) at which a person who needs to suck up to boss/customer/whoever just goes to, buys a blowjob futures contract and sends it to the target as a promissory note. The amount of time such a system would save the business world is incalculable! It would be one of the greatest innovations in productivity of the 21st century. The only thing to remember is to cancel out your futures contract before its expiry date, because if not the delivery day will be a bastard.

Chart of the day is...

...copper, monthlies:

No further comment.


And now a special message...

...for a couple of groups of ex-directors of a certain gold mining company. A blast from the past that's worthy of a new airing, given the circumstances:

Ho ho ho, guys.

Watching Pershing Securities...

...desperately trying to prop up the share price of the Moose Pasture peddlers West Red Lake Gold (RLG) after that company's disastrous drill assay results news release this morning is the most fun a number-nerd like me can have on a Tuesday morning.

Scott Gibson is either sweating hard on his shares or he's sold already. I'd bet the latter, he may be morally challenged but unlike the retail saps pumping this dog on he's smart about the market.

The Arubis Copper Mail...

...issue 142 (December 2016) came out a few minutes ago. Always a strong read on the fundies of the metal, read it here. Or do what I do and subscribe to the free mailer.


Buenaventura (BVN): Roque Benavides steps down as CEO

As from January 2nd 2017, the new CEO of Buenaventura will be Victor Gobitz, poached from Peru's Milpo to take over the running of Peru's biggest gold mining company (that does plenty of silver and copper, too). In this Spanish language interview Roque B explains the reasons behind the change, but as he's staying on as President and the Benavides family holds all the Class A voting shares, don't expect a sudden change in corporate policy or think for a minute that BVN is now a buyout candidate. It isn't.

Argonaut Gold ( Find The Fish

I really don't know which is more surreal, the Argonaut Gold ( CEO comments today on the drill results at their marginal junk Magino property (for which they seriously overpaid a few years ago and have constantly refused to admit it)...
"Pete Dougherty, President and CEO commented: "We liken the Magino deposit to a large river of low-grade mineralization with higher-grade fish swimming within it. In keeping with this analogy, by tightening the drill spacing to 10 to 12 metres we have been able to define additional high-grade fish."

....or the wonderful 'Find The Fish' sketch from Monty Python's Meaning of Life:

You be the judge.

UPDATE: A. Reader chimes in:

"The analogy of a sewer with turds would be more apt.

UPDATE 2: A. N. Other adds to the fun. I love my mailbag.

"'s the truth about Magino but the river is more like an ocean and the fish are really plankton."

On the blackmailing of Ivanhoe Mines ( by The Democratic Republic of Congo (from IKN394)

A few thoughts on the latest goings on at Robert Friedland's monster marketing vehicle. No, not the silly graves thing, but something that can really affect the stock price. From The IKN Weekly issue 394, out last night:

Ivanhoe Mines ( Once again this Friedland company is making the biggest news splashes in the exploration copper sector, but this time for a deal that can easily be called controversial. I’m a little late to this due to the travels and that, but I’d like to say something today because this issue got a few of our juices flowing last week. I shall explain.

On November 18th IVN announced (9) that it and its partner Zijin were giving an extra 15% of the Kamoa-Kakula copper project to the host country, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) (insert irony joke), bringing its participation to 20% (with Zijin and IVN on 40% each, give or take a tenth or so). This report (10) in Mining Journal gives the Robert Friedland polished quote space

“This is a historically significant event for the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo,” he said. 
“We now are united as partners committed to working closely together toward our shared objective of ensuring that the major copper discoveries we have made at Kamoa and Kakula during the past eight years can be predictably, efficiently and expeditiously developed into a world-scale mining venture with a lifespan of multiple generations.”

But the grumblings and rumblings got louder, so on Monday November 28th (i.e. last week) IVN held a Conference Call (11) to explain about recent company developments and it was one of the phrases used by the company in the CC, about how the deal to hand over this large slug of Kamoa-Kakula would “safeguard” its future, that got the hackles up of certain people a little group to which your humble scribe belongs, a bunch of five or six reprobates who can collectively be called “mining professionals” (even I just about scrape in on that qualification these days). It started with one of them sending a group mail entitled “DRC Rolls Friedland”, it continued after November 28th with another asking the difference between this deal and a bribe (e.g. “no 20%, no permits”), then IVN was semi-defended by a couple of others on the string. I’m not in a position to quote any of my friends but I can reproduce here my additions to the debate. Here’s the first (grammar brushed up very slightly)

“Aside from any precedent set, this deal doesn't safeguard a thing inside IVN's suite of assets in DRC, including the one that's just been safeguarded. 

There is a difference between a bribe for a specific permit or "consultancy fee" and this, because the DRC "safeguard" is legal, but only because the country makes the laws! [Name] is 100% correct, this is a shakedown, extortion, blackmail, call it what you will. And if there's one constant about blackmailers over the course of history, it's that they'll never just shake you down once; when on the hook the victim will pay, pay and pay again.”

In other words, I too believe DRC is taking “Resource Nationalism” to a whole new level. The subject then turned to the difference between “legal” and “illegal” bribery, for example the US lobbying system in which it’s perfectly legal to give a large sum of money to a politician and in return expect tacit support for your cause. The thing is, what’s going on in DRC now isn’t mere bribery, it is in my opinion blackmail and I tried to make the distinction in a later mail to the group:

“I absolutely agree with your lobby group argument. However, there is a difference between common or garden corruption be it illegal (a million in banknotes for a permit) or legal (election campaign donation from NRA) and outright blackmail be it illegal ($20,000 or I tell your wife) or legal (DRC "safeguard"). The premise of blackmail is different, it's the threat of removing the asset from your life permanently (wife, copper project) if you don't do as I say. It's very different.”

Now be clear, mine is just one opinion and the others in the experienced groupette of mining people either agree with all, some or none of my position depending on their taste. But the episode recently recorded by IVN in DRC, and then watching the way it got spun by IVN to make it sound like a wonderful step forward instead of what it truly is, legalized theft, is another in the set of reasons why I prefer not to be exposed to that country.

Monday melody

The regular one, too.

Hit the crystal!

Lawrie Williams does Minera IRL... that I don't have to. His piece, "Benavides New IRL CEO", right here.

Mining PRs and the Ottotrans™, Part 95


Our occasional series is back for its 95th incarnation and today we celebrate the genius that is Amir "Adam" Adnani over at Brazil Resources, soon to be re-named. So on with the Ottotrans™:

VANCOUVER , Dec. 5, 2016 /CNW/ - Brazil Resources Inc. (the "Company" or "Brazil Resources") (TSX-V: BRI; OTCQX: BRIZF) is pleased to announce that its board of directors has approved a change of its name to "GoldMining Inc.", effective December 6, 2016 , in order to better reflect its existing business. The Company also announces that it will concurrently complete a continuation (the "Continuation") under the Canada Business Corporations Act (the "CBCA").
Chairman of the Board, Amir Adnani , stated: "We are pleased to change the name of the Company to GoldMining Inc. to better reflect our diversified project portfolio and strategy to build a leading gold acquisition and development company throughout the Americas. With more than $21 million cash on hand – and now, a name that better reflects our Company's objectives – we plan to continue our exceptional growth with additional low-cost acquisitions of high quality gold projects, to build value throughout this period of a weak gold price environment."
The Company's common shares are expected to commence trading on the TSX Venture Exchange (the "TSX-V") under the new symbol "GOLD" and on the OTCQX International market (the "OTCQX") under the new symbol "GLDLF" on December 7, 2016 .  The Company expects that on the same date its listed warrants will commence trading on the TSX-V under the new symbol "GOLD.WT" and on the OTCQX under the new symbol "GOLWF".  
In connection with the Continuation, the Company will adopt new Articles and By-Laws under the CBCA, copies of which are available under the Company's profile at . The new By-Laws include, among other things, advance notice provisions whereby a shareholder seeking to nominate a candidate for a board seat must provide timely notice in proper form to the Company in advance of meetings of shareholders where directors are to be elected.
The Continuation, including the adoption of new Articles and By-Laws, and related matters were approved by shareholders of the Company at its annual general and special meeting held on November 23, 2016 .
The CUSIP numbers assigned to the Company's common shares and listed warrants under its new name will be 38149E101 and 38149E119, respectively. No action will be required by existing shareholders or holders of warrants with respect to the name change or the Continuation. Certificates representing common shares and warrants of Brazil Resources will not be affected by the name change or the Continuation and will not need to be exchanged. The Company encourages any shareholder or warrantholder concerns in this regard to be directed to such person's broker or agent.
About GoldMining Inc./Brazil Resources Inc.

And this is what it means:

VANCOUVER , Dec. 5, 2016 /CNW/ - Brazil Resources Inc. (the "Company" or "Brazil Resources") (TSX-V: BRI; OTCQX: BRIZF) is pleased to announce that its board of directors has approved a change of its name to "TwatMining Inc.", effective December 6, 2016 , in order to better reflect its existing business. The Company also announces that it will concurrently complete a continuation (the "Continuation") under the Canada Business Corporations Act (the "CBCA").
Chairman of the Board, Amir Adnani , stated: "We are pleased to change the name of the Company to TwatMining Inc. to better reflect the type of person we wish to attract as a shareholder."
The Company's common shares are expected to commence trading on the TSX Venture Exchange (the "TSX-V") under the new symbol "TWAT" and on the OTCQX International market (the "OTCQX") under the new symbol "TWTLF" on December 7, 2016 .  The Company expects that on the same date its listed warrants will commence trading on the TSX-V under the new symbol "TWAT.WTF" and on the OTCQX under the new symbol "TWTWTF".  

About TwatMining Inc./Brazil Resources Inc.


The IKN Weekly, out now

IKN394 has just been sent to subscribers. The main event is a fundamentals analysis of Red Eagle Mining (