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A rarity: A geopolitical event that may affect the price of gold for longer than a day

And it's got nothing to do with the orange haired guy:

Four people fighting for two run-off spots. Hard right populist and hard left populist in the mix, too. France votes next Sunday. Could be an interesting week or two.

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

Third Place: "Arizona Mining ( So much for "clean concentrates"". It's pretty rare to see a late Friday post make the Top Three list the next day, this one must have struck a nerve out there. Still want the name of my kids' school, Richard?

Second Place: "The impressive bullshit artists at Northern Dynasty (NAK) (". Last week's move by this company's management and board has removed all doubt about their intentions. This isn't just some innocent junior that's seen a bunch of promo hype BS artists latch on, the scam here starts and finishes with the company itself.
First Place: "MarkITorpedo is Michael Ballanger". Hilariously, my sources at tell me that Ballanger is still trying to pretend that it's not him. Pathological liars are like that.

The Friday OT on an Easter Saturday: JS Bach; Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring (Cantata, BWV 147)

After searching Youtube for a few minutes I found this version, upbeat and better than the normal, modern,  over-reverential approach to one of Bach's signature melodies.

Music for the rest day of Holy Weekend. Youtube here.


Arizona Mining ( So much for "clean concentrates"

The devil is in the details. For the last year, we've listened as Arizona Mining ( has insisted that its Hermosa Zn/Pb/Ag project would produce what it auto-denominates a "clean concentrate" for smelters. Even when Global Mining Observer pointed out its dirty little Manganese secret, set to screw up the Zn conc, they denied everything and continued with its marketing spiel on how its conc would be "clean" and rather than address the project's fatal flaw weaknesses decided to try and kill the messenger and tried to dig up dirt on the people who dared to point out a few basic truths about its overhyped and overexpensive stock price. 

But reality bites. Come the day that a third party needs to sign off on the idea, i.e. the 43-101 compliant PEA compiled by AMC and filed to SEDAR last night, we get the following (and IKN does a bit of highlighting for you) from page 182 of the PEA:

19.2 Concentrate terms

19.2.1 Zinc concentrates
The project is expected to produce approximately 235,000 dmt zinc concentrates on average annually. Based on indicated grades, the zinc concentrates should be suitable for most zinc smelters; however, elevated levels of manganese may result in the imposition of minor penalties for AMI. Commercial terms
For the purposes of project evaluation, the following terms were used in derivation of the zinc concentrate NSRs (all figures in US dollars).
Payable metals:
  • Zinc: 85% of the Zn content, subject to a minimum deduction of 8 units
  • Silver: Deduct 3.0 ozs/dmt and pay for 70% of the balance of Ag content
  • Treatment charge: US$210.00/dmt ($190.51/dst)
  • Penalties: All inclusive, US$12.60/dmt (Mn - 0.50% free; US$1.50 per dmt for every 0.10% above 0.50%)

19.2.2 Lead concentrates
The project is expected to produce approximately 189,000 dmt lead concentrates on average annually. Based on the expected analysis, the concentrates can be considered ‘clean’, high grade with valuable levels of payable silver and no deleterious elements which might affect their marketability.

You see that? Cool, huh? Suddenly, and even at this early PEA stage when Everything Is Awesome (will we ever see a PFS or is the spymaster Warke going to try and flog it first?), AMC are only willing to call the Pb conc "clean", as when it comes to the Zn conc we only get "suitable" and that guff about minor penalties again (and repent at thy leisure on that one, true believers). Oh to have been a fly on the wall when AMC refused to sign off on "clean Zn concs".

And that's just one thing that stands out about the difference between the promotions to date and the PEA we finally got to see yesterday (ConfCall Monday, I hope GMO calls in). Others include the way they've decided to build the dry stack tailings on top of the Central deposit (in other words, kiss that goodbye forever) or the way they're so land constrained they've had to jam the whole above ground into postage stamp dimensions.


Galantas Gold (GAL.v) offers us another example of the IKN First Law of Mining NRs

Galantas Gold's (GAL.v) "development update" (love the words) came out last night while your humble scribe was computerless, but it wasn't going to pass us by so here we are, second ever post with the new machine. To start, here's a reminder of the IKN First Law of Mining NRs:
"The IKN First Law of Mining News Releases: Considering that anything contained in a mining news release is presented in the best possible way for the company in question, any piece of information contained in a NR that comes across in any way negative means the real news and/or events behind it must be very, very bad indeed."

With that in mind, here's part of the script out of GAL.v yesterday evening:
The Company has also been in discussions with Police Service Northern Ireland regarding further blasting arrangements for the underground mine development. Until those arrangements are in place, the tunnel development is temporarily on hold. The delay is not expected to exceed one month and the Company will advise if the delay is significantly prolonged.

The First Law writ large, they can't develop the mine because they don't have the permits. Take a cue from Brexit, folks.

A lesson in silver that, one day, you may heed

Way back in August 2016 it fell on deaf ears, perhaps this time those that know everything will listen more closely. Here's what CEOca's latest wunderkind Pamplonatrader told the world in mid-August 2016 when IKN had the temerity to explode the silver myth and patiently explain, once again, that the joke precious metal wasn't going anywhere.

And here were are today:

Anyone eating their words yet?

UPDATE post close: We learn the arrogance of the trader who is either...

1) Correct
2) Will be correct in the future.


The Asanko (AKG) rumour

It's been doing the rounds this morning, it's probably why the stock is off in early trading, your humble scribe passes it on. We already know that K2 Associates were mocked by the Canadian sellside dumbass brigade for their short call on the stock in mid-2016, but we now know K2 called things well and AKG has been a serious underperformer and for all the reasons pointed out by K2. But now it seems AKG may be in more trouble more quickly than even K2 expected, according to today's buzz at least.

The rumoured reason AKG has been so keen on building a stockpile at Nkran in recent quarters is that at some point in 2017 they're going to fake a geotechnical safety issue, say "sorry guys, this has only been discovered and for the good of our employees we must halt normal production", then move production over to the stockpiled material, which will allow them to try (and probably fail) to remedy the fakey high-grading they've done in the last year in order to pretend their mine is so much better than it really is, all under the cover of "unforeseen" circumstances. They will, of course, pat themselves on the back for their foresight in building up the stockpile and being all clever and that.

For an early signal that this is the plan, watch the Q1 and Q2 strip rates as well as any minority use of the stockpile.


The impressive bullshit artists at Northern Dynasty (NAK) (

Only a company dead set on hoodwinking the stupid would do what they did today. Instead of being granted a real and serious permit, they were given a temporary, 12 month permit that was granted to give strictly limited surface access to their own property and only means they are obliged to make environmental reparations to the shit they've already done to the land there (they even have to deposit U$2m in an escrow account to convince authorities they'll do the repair work). But then comes the magical moment as they the zero-moral scum at NAK spin it to the world of the believe-anything gullibles in junior world that the piece of paper they received is in fact a positive, rather than the reality. It's a de facto fine and news that NAK cannot drill, explore or in any way advance its project. And the market falls for it.

My stars, you junior mining speculators are fucking stupid. And that's what scamsters like the management at NAK rely upon.

A hardware thing

The nice man at the computer shop has finally convinced me to upgrade my eight year old HP machine. Which means that instead of lugging around a 5kg brick with a 14" screen and a battery that lasts 90 minutes tops, as from tomorrow I get to play on a supercool thing with a fabbo resolution screen, tons of extra memory and a processor of suitable speed for this modern day and age. It also means no posting until tomorrow, while I wait for all the collective junk in the memory of my old laptop to get transferred to the new one. Enjoy your Wednesday.

Belo Sun ( and some beautiful chocolate cake

I was sitting at the table. We had finished dinner. We are now having dessert. And we had the most beautiful piece of chocolate cake that you have ever seen. And President Bharti was enjoying it. And I was given the message from the generals that the concessions are suspended. What do you do? And we made a determination to do it. So the sell orders were on the way.

“And I said: ‘Mr Bharti, let me explain something to you … we’ve just launched 59 sell orders on BSX heading to Vancouver [sic] … heading toward Toronto and I want you to know that.’ 
“I didn’t want him to go home … and then they say: ‘You know the guy you just had dinner with just attacked Volta Grande.’”


Freeze Frame

IKN salutes John Warren Geils.

Youtube here.

Atico (ATY.v) 1q17 production

Another good quarter.

NR here.

The IKN Weekly called this move in gold last Sunday

The intro to The IKN Weekly IKN412 out Sunday evening had an unusual direction, as your non-goldbug author moved to bullish on the price of gold. Here we are, two days later and gold has broken away from its 1250 anchor. Just lucky i guess...


Gold still lacks US buyers and that’s not a bad thing (from IKN412)

We like war! We’re a war like people. We like war
 because we’re good at it. Do you know why we’re
good at it? Because we get a lot of practice.
George Carlin, 1992

I wrote on this subject at the start of last week’s edition and also stuck something on the blog last week, but there’s more to say about the way in which gold is being ignored by the self-appointed Smartest Guys In The Room over on Wall St. We have noticed the way in which gold bullion inventories at GLD, the financial jocks’ preferred method of playing the gold market, have done little else but flat-line over the last few weeks. GLD inventories have been in a tight, 830 metric tonne (mt) to 840mt range for a full month except for one day when they dropped to 825mt and that shows up in the first chart you see below.

But as you also see, I’ve highlighted another time in which GLD holdings did very little recently, the block of time just before and after the Trump inauguration, even though the holdings at that point were rather lower at around the 800mt mark. Why that period interests me is in the second of the chart, that’s the ratio chart I like the GLD inventory/price ratio and the two red boxed periods show when the ratio has traded at the 7.0X level. As scribbled directly on the chart there, the tentative theory is that it denotes a period in which gold gets ignored by the flash financial jocks, bullion goes out of fashion and the higher-speed big money looks for somewhere else to park. And once that’s understood, the implication is clear; these are good times to think about gold because when Wall St comes back to the gold market and starts to buy, it becomes a new cycle of interest for the price and the metal. Once fashionable Gordon Gekko buyers return the ratio goes up (because GLD isn’t the only buyer of gold out there) but so does the price and it’s typical to see the gold price pop jump higher after a sustained period of GLD inaction (e.g. the 4.5% rise in just eight days after the quiet period that ended early February). With gold now nearly at 2017 high close on Friday, even after the pop and drop it got on the Syria/US Jobs news and failure on Friday, it’s not going to take an extra catalyst to get gold up and over at U$1,300/oz any longer. Less than four percent’s worth of move, in fact.

So yes, no matter if I’m mocked as A. N. Other goldbug I’ll say it clearly, I’m more bullish about gold’s prospects this weekend than for a while and not because those few showman-type bombs, a measured dose for public flag-waving consumption dropped on some strategically chosen airstrip which now let all sides say things how right they are without anything changing much (at this point I’ll add that although I’m no Trump fan, he should be congratulated for replacing that dubious Flynn guy with the morally upright and undoubtedly smart H.R. McMaster as National Security Adviser, there’s “smart strategy” written all over last week’s action). Do NOT be bullish on gold for geopolitical events and repeat the mantra with me:

Geopoliticals have no long-term effect on gold.
Geopoliticals have no long-term effect on gold.
Geopoliticals have no long-term effect on gold.

They might have done before, but the information highway and fly-attention-span news cycle first brought the half-life down to days, now it’s barely more than hours. Remember the very last scene in Peter Weir’s somewhat flawed but still darned wonderful ‘The Truman Show’? The two security guards? Literally the last seconds of the movie? Welcome to 2017. No madam and no sir it’s not the Tomahawks and its not CNN’s shrill, hand-wringing or Fox’s flag-wrapped coverage, it’s the economy stupid because gold has quietly slipped away from its TIPS ratio anchor (that’s still in the ‘New Normal range’) and may be ready to run. My best guess (and it’s only that, a guess) is the holding pattern period is coming to an end so call me a goldbug, I don’t care. To da moon, Alice! Audit Fort Knox! Live Free Or Die!


Nobody loves Peter Marrone as much as...

...the Yamana Gold ( (AUY) compensation committee:

That list of wonderful, found by A. Reader (ty sir) and sent into IKN Nerve Centre, is how Peter Marrone got his big fat performance bonus for 2016, despite his company severely underperforming the benchmarks such as XAU and GDX.

Q1 crapness from EDR, GPR and CS

Crapstone ( this morning reported a disappointing set of 1q17 production numbers.

Endeavour Silver ( this morning reported a disappointing set of 1q17 production numbers.

Great Panther Silver ( this morning reported a disappointing set of 1q17 production numbers.

Mediocrity, like misery, loves company.


Compare and contrast: Ross Beaty and Mario Das Neves on Navidad

Ross Beaty, Chairman of Pan American Silver (PAAS), at the World Economic Forum in Buenos Aires Argentina last week:
"I remain optimistic that we will find a solution that works for the government of Chubut."
Governor of Chubut province, Mario Das Neves, on the Navidad project and other mining projects in his province yesterday:
"As long as I am governor, mining activity will not be established in any way, shape or form."
Das Neves also went on to say this about the decision of Barrick (ABX) to sell half its Veladero mine to Shandong, "You can see it in the newspapers, like yesterday when these shameless people like the company Barrick Gold who are leaving San Juan, and these are the people who told us that theirs was the model to follow. Don't fall for their tall tales".

MarkITorpedo is Michael Ballanger (UPDATED)

I'd just like to thank Tommy Humphreys for tipping me off that the basher trying his very hardest to get people to sell their shares of Tinka Resources over at is none other than Michael Ballanger, the guy who used to consult for Tinka but was fired by the company last year for being a twat. Sour grapes, Mikey?

UPDATE: It's a measure of the absolute intellectual dumbassery of this abject idiot Ballanger that he thought he could be anonymous on the internet. You have to wonder what century these faded heroes think they're living in.

UPDATE 2: A wonderful, face-saving, lawyer-dodging lie from Tommy H:

Oh c'mon Tommy, admit for once! Both you and I know the truth and the way you decided to mis-spell Michael's last name isn't going to get through any lawsuit. Plain Fact: Michael Ballanger has been slagging off Tinka Resources for months. Not only that, but he's short the stock and in a painful loss-making place since the company saw its project take off and run, so now he's trying any underhanded slimy method that comes to mind in order to con the idiot end of the market out of their shares. Why the two-faced Giustra fellator Humphreys should decide to dox Ballanger and then just hours later go back on his word is an issue you should take up with his paymaster Frankie, not IKN.


The IKN Weekly, out now

IKN412 has just been sent to subscribers, dance to the funky music here.

Matt Kuchar wins The Masters

I don't care who takes home the famous Green Jacket this evening, because what Matt Kuchar did on the 16th...
  • Hits hole in one (crowd go wild)
  • Picks ball out of hole
  • Signs it
  • Hands it over to a little kid in the gallery
...makes him an all-time champion. He won The Masters.

UPDATE: Ahh, Sergio at last! That's wonderful, and on Seve's birthday too. Two winners, then.