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Message for subscribers of The IKN Weekly

Hi people,

Tomorrow Sunday's edition of The IKN Weekly, IKN440, is likely to arrive a few hours later than normal, i.e. it's going to be late evening Americas time. The Argentine mid-term election should give us preliminary results by that time and I'm going to delay on publishing until then, what with the election's importance (not only for the country but the whole Southern Cone region).

Anyway, better late than never.

What Harvey Weinstein tells us about the liberal world, by Thomas Frank

This op-ed, "What Harvey Weinstein tells us about the liberal world", by Thomas Frank is (so far at least) the best piece I've read about the whole sordid affair. Liberals and progressive have lined up to say how shocked they've been since the Weinstein scandal began to unfold. Ah yeah, the rotten apple theory is so easy to digest isn't it? Frank shines much-needed light on the abject hypocrisy at the centre of modern liberalism.


So I get this mail from Michael Ballanger...

...this Friday evening. It's entitled "Gloves are fucking off, dickhead/" (why the slash is there at the end is beyond me) in which Ballanger sends me what he threatens to publish in some place or another tonight. So let's just put it here and save him the bother.

Needless to say, he has many facts wrong. He does have my real name correct, but things like original place of residence, charges of sexual abuse of minors (real or alleged), that i'm on the payroll of Bay St, that i get paid in options and cash to pump things etc etc etc are all false. And to be clear, the mail exchange he published did happen but it was only part of a much longer story and longer correspondence, Ballanger's selective copypaste button is pretty wonderful.

Anyway, read what Michael Ballanger gets up to in his spare time while waiting for his IIROC hearing to come up. I particularly like the "friends in Lima" cute.


Gloves are fucking off, dickhead/

Going out tonight…

“Which brings me to the topic of this simploid human residing in hiding in South America – in fact – Peru. His name is Mark Turner and he was forced to flee to Peru to avoid charges (alleged, mind you) of abusing young girls in his native Nottinghamshire, England. He has a popular newsletter with interesting content called the IKNCOLANEWS which, as I understand it, comes from content he receives from the Bay St. analysts (mainly investment bankers) for whom he used to toil. He derives revenue from subscribers that love to read his garbage drivel about “slimeballs” but the reality is that he actually delivers his sub-par content from the bankers and analysts that pay him to pump their deals.

Now, when I was a consultant for Tinka Resources Ltd., I sent Mark a complimentary email that was totally sincere in its intent in that it communicated the Ayawilca “story” that I had been telling since 2011, when we first made the Ayawilca discovery. Here is the exchange:
MJB: Mark - Thank you for the superb report you did on Tinka. It was the best analysis I have read to date on our project.
Mark: Mike – I don’t give a FUCK what you think of my report. And no you cannot send it out to your “list”.

Here is another classic “Otto Rock” lie from the hinterlands of blogosphere bullshit:
“First we have long-time market scamster Marin Katusa pumping Northern Dynasty's Pebble project, preying on the ignorance of naive mining greenhorns with more money than sense, with the whole thrust of this crazy pump being "Trump will award the permits". Now we have another scumball on the bandwagon, Michael Ballanger over at The Gold Report trying to make the case for NadaGold's Donlin gold project, also in Alaska...”

Notwithstanding the fact that Mark made a mistake in being a liar, he was totally in error in suggesting that I was EVER behind NAK (which I wasn’t EVER). Now, when I asked him to retract, he further decided to go off on a tangent and tell the “world” that I was wrong. He is the first to go off on his dogshit “blog” that “whenever this humble scribe is wrong”, he owns up to it.

He doesn’t. He is dishonest. His newsletter is not his content. His newsletter is really investment bankers from Toronto pumping their deals.

More to come next week. Gloves are off. We have friends in Lima that know Mark and they are NOT his friend. The old Tinka gang before GC and Alvaro bowed down to HIS BS. The options and cash will be revealed in the next email.

And this is being CC’d to the friends in Lima. Who know you.

Did I EVER write up NAK?

Answer the question, dickhead. IN FUCKING PRINT.

Your friend,

“Sour grapes, Mikey”


PS: And here's what I replied to Michael Ballanger, a couple of minutes after this post went up:

It's already out. See blog.

Have a great weekend.

On Fri, Oct 20, 2017 at 22:05, Michael Ballanger wrote:

Lots of comments received on the Excellon ( bought deal...

...announced last night 5m units (share+ 1/2 warrant at $2.80 strike) to raise $10m, then upped this morning to 6.25m units to raise $13.25m (and with the overallotment bound to fill, that's really 7.619m units to raise $15.13m). We'll take a good look at the deal this weekend in IKN440 subbers, including your mailed-in views, EXN's opinions and reasons for the deal, y por supuesto mis dos centavitos tambien. Pros, cons and balanced out conclusion.

The Friday OT: George Harrison; All things must pass

Daylight is good at arriving at the right time.

Youtube here.

West High Yield (WHY.v): This is WHY the junior mining sharks will never go away

I've just been pointed to this: Check out the people over at who actually think there's a potentially legitimate story in this total scam. Seriously, it's worth checking it out and considering how many dumb plug stupid people there are who still throw there money at the junior mining world. If they can't see this company, the most obvious scam possible, for what it is and are still hoping for a positive result when it comes out of halt, it's all the proof you need for my title line. The scumbags will never leave because the pickings are just too easy.


Auryn Resources (AUG.v)

It took longer than many thought it would, but the day has finally arrived. Today's the day the market ran out of patience with the jam tomorrow tosh and nonsense out of Auryn Resources (AUG.v). A junior cannot live on cool presentation material and large sponsors alone because all the talk about its wonderful plan has to show in the drill core, too. And don't even get me started about the stuff they picked up in Peru, picked over for over two decades and now packaged as the next Chucapaca or something. Cardozo really saw you coming, guys.

When (not if) AUG.v breaks $2 to the downside, the wholesale margin calls that Haywood will deliver are going to push this over-hyped vehicle even lower.

Be afraid, Frank Giustra. Be very afraid

Trump just said that "The real Russia story is uranium" at the end of his live presser.

A whole lot of suck

McEwen Mining's Q3 sucks
Asanko's Q3 sucks
Auryn's latest drill numbers suck
Alpha says MX Gold sucks.
Even Angry Geologist saying the latest numbers from Solgold kinda suck.

The Dark Side (from IKN439)

This was the intro piece from last week's edition of The IKN Weekly, IKN439. A couple of subbers said I should put it on the open blog. So I have.

The dark side
Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he
does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough
into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”
Friedrich Nietzsche

I have something to get off my chest, please forgive the introspection of this week’s intro. The opposition to the type of scamster exposing that I do over at the blog has always been there (they don’t like the publicity) but in recent months their noise has got noticeably louder and along the way, from time to time, I’ve actually wondered why I do the whole exposé thing on their nefarious activities. I don’t need to do it, not even for the sake of the “soft marketing” advertisement that the free blog is towards this publication, the one that provides cash flow for the food my two daughters eat. For enjoyment then? Well sometimes yes, taking some stuffed ego down a peg or two by uncovering things they’ve been doing behind the backs of the world has its own fleeting charm, but I’ll just as often go through periods when it’s a royal pain in the posterior to run the blog.

Alongside, there are the moments of the Dark Side. What if I’m wrong about the position I take and the attitude I prefer? What if Mr (add preferred scamster name here) of XYZ Resources Inc is right to use the inherent laws of Darwinism and all tricks of the Vancouver/Toronto book in order to transfer cash from the pockets of the naïve in his (or her, but dammit it’s nearly always his) pockets? That, in short, they are right and I am wrong and it’s about time I stopped tilting at windmills, joined the throng, used the same strategies (because at this stage I know a lot of them backwards, if you can spot them a mile off they’d be simple to put into practice) and make myself a mint. And when this line of thinking comes up, like it did on Friday as I was putting the end-week numbers into the Excel sheets for this weekend’s edition, somewhere in the back of my head a frustration and anger boils up because this issue bothers me deeply.

Right at the heart of the matter is the fact that I am a Capitalist. It’s the way I was brought up, it’s the world in which I operate, but there’s also a moral duty to be true to your other values as well as the economic so when faced with a me-first-f__k-you-gimme-gimme-gimme capitalist at the far end of the same spectrum not only do I see that I’m not that kind of boy, but my abhorrence of those people sends me into aversion mode. What’s more I’m not shy about calling myself a Capitalist in its truest sense, because what I do to pass the time and make money is write this thing, The IKN Weekly, every weekend. If it’s good and people like it then it grows and I make money. If you the customer don’t like it you stop paying me, I go out of business and end up happily flipping burgers. So what is it about the thing that I the Capitalist (with a large C) hate about these people who call themselves capitalists, those who go out of their way to make money in the stock market at the direct expense of others? I took time out on Friday evening to consider just where the cleavage point is and on doing so, it didn’t take long before Nassim Nicholas Taleb and his “skin in the game” ideal came to mind. So as one does in the 21st century, in order to pin down a quote and crystallize the concept I went off to Google to remind myself and find the mot juste (along the way, I watched this 45 minute Youtube interview of Taleb (1) a good one and recommended). But I also know that Taleb didn’t coin “skin in the game”, he may have co-opted the phrase and has become closely associated with it but it’s not his, so I was pleased to find that the quote most matching my position came from another author. This is Bob MacDonald, retired CEO of Allianz Life NA now author/blogger and it was written in 2011, before Taleb picked up on the catchphrase (2):

The Era of the Fake Capitalists
Today that system that worked so well to stimulate the American economy is despoiled and infected with fake capitalists. Those who run the gigantic corporations of today no longer have any real “skin in the game.” And yet, they expect to be rewarded – in the form of obscene salary and bonuses – as if they did. Few of these individuals have put their personal capital at risk and any ownership they have was given to them by the board of directors. If they do fail, their fall is cushioned by the comfort of multimillion dollar severance packages.  How can this be called capitalism? It is even stretching the term “capitalist” to apply it to shareholders. When someone buys stock in Ford or General Electric today they are not putting capital into the company so it can expand and grow. They have no material power to add value or make a difference in how the company performs. The capital they “invest” goes, not to the company, but to the person from whom they purchased the stock. This is no more than a form of gambling.

While MacDonald talks of giant US Corps, my mind springs to people running junior mining companies. When you seed yourself stupid amounts of penny stocks and options then run an IPO up over a Loonie, you have zero risk. When you entrench and resist any overture, simply happy to cut you and your buddies a $10k or $30k cheque at the end of every month for the right to go fishing, you have zero risk. When you can quietly transfer stock to your friends who then sell it through House Zero and nobody ever knows you were insider selling, you have zero risk. And when there’s zero risk and plenty reward, the only logical thing for the sociopath businessman to do is to repeat the mold and create the same type of company over and over again, creating not just one or two but dozens of worthless enterprises that have no intention whatsoever of creating wealth for society but are formed and exist as a cash funnel from you to them. These people (no need to name any here, I do enough of that on the blog already) are not true capitalists, they don’t care about society, they are mere parasites. That’s why the IKN blog will continue to do what it does, or in the words of MacDonald in another part of his article:

What will save capitalism in America is a return to the basics of capitalism that demands true risk and offers reward for those who have the power to add value to an enterprise and invest their capital – in any form – that gives them “skin in the game.”


Skynet news

One zero. In three days.

This is how this report starts:

Google’s artificial intelligence group, DeepMind, has unveiled the latest incarnation of its Go-playing program, AlphaGo – an AI so powerful that it derived thousands of years of human knowledge of the game before inventing better moves of its own, all in the space of three days.
Named AlphaGo Zero, the AI program has been hailed as a major advance because it mastered the ancient Chinese board game from scratch, and with no human help beyond being told the rules. In games against the 2015 version, which famously beat Lee Sedol, the South Korean grandmaster, AlphaGo Zero won 100 to 0.

Full report here.

The Marc Faber affair: In praise of Sprott Inc and its CFO

The whole sordid Marc Faber issue may have indeed exposed that erstwhile thought leader and industry paragon for what he truly is, i.e. a grubby and pathetic racist, but it has its silver lining. Over the years this humble corner of cyberspace has been largely agnostic about the big industry player Sprott Inc (SII) but the way in which that company acted swiftly and decisively when faced with the fact that they'd unwittingly brought a bigot onto their board of directors deserves the fullest praise. There was no hesitation, the tone was set immediately and I am quite sure the way in which Ivanhoe and NovaGold quickly followed suit (not to mention the media companies who have vowed not to book Faber again) was at least in part to the lead given by Sprott Inc and its CEO Peter Grosskopf.

But special praise goes out to Kevin Hibbert, CFO of Sprott. He happens to be an African-Canadian and around midday yesterday sent this internal mail to his colleagues at Sprott. IKN has got its hands on the mail and it's well worth a wider view. Well said Kevin Hibbert and full kudos to Sprott. 

Note: One name has been redacted from the mail.

From: Kevin Hibbert
Sent: Tuesday, October 17, 2017 12:06 PM

Many of the people who reached out to me including a couple of my CFO peers on the street, one of the analysts covering our stock, and even (name removed) said how impressed they were with how it was managed.

I respectfully disagree with Dr. Faber's views. In my view, we are a smarter, more capable society when we are all embraced for who we are and what we can bring to the table. I like to think that if the concept of diversity and inclusiveness was in place 200 years ago (and admittedly we still have a ways to go as a society), that perhaps our world would be in a much better place than it is right now. To suggest that a majority group established to a large degree on institutionalized discrimination, racism and oppression was somehow "beneficial" in any way to a society (economic, political or otherwise as Dr. Faber suggested in his comments) is puzzling to me. I am still a little shocked and embarrassed to know that a board member of a company I was so proud of working for could have these views.

Actions speak louder than words, and clearly, the way Sprott responded to this matter shows me that this is truly home.

Fernando de Szyszlo 7

We finish our series in homage to the late Fernando de Szyszlo with the work widely considered to be his masterpiece, 'Inkarri'.

Asanko (AKG) demands a correction from IKN

Yesterday morning this humble corner of cyberspace received a mails from one Rob Slater, the "Executive Coporate (sic) Development & Strategy" person at Asanko Gold (AKG), which demanded "an immediate public correction" of the post published by IKN last Friday that stated Asanko had once again (i.e. these people are serial offenders) given special tip-off information to a select group of sellside anal ysts at a recent breakfast meeting. Sorry Rob, you can stick your correction where the sun doesn't shine because either a) you are not aware of the meeting in question which did in fact take place b) you are deliberately trying to confuse it with a meeting that was declared by the company or c) you are lying. 

This blog has previously and will happily provide in the future correction when information published turns out to be incorrect, but in this case there is no retraction at all, not a single intercoursing word. For further thoughts on this matter, Rob Slater coporate executive (see screenshot below), we refer you to the reply given in the case of Arkell v. Pressdram.


Michael Ballanger has been a naughty boy

And now Michael Ballanger is going to have his botty spanked. Link here.

IN THE MATTER OF Michael Ballanger – Settlement Hearing
October 17 , 2017 (Toronto, Ontario) – A hearing has been scheduled before a Hearing Panel of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) to consider whether the panel should accept a Settlement Agreement entered into between IIROC staff and Michael Ballanger.
The Settlement Agreement concerns conduct involving a failure to comply with the policies and procedures regarding new product reviews and the receipt and containment of confidential information at the investment firm where Mr. Ballanger worked.
The hearing is not open to the public, but will become open in the event that the panel accepts the agreement. If the agreement is accepted, the Panel’s decision and the Settlement Agreement will be made available at
Documents related to ongoing IIROC enforcement proceedings – including Reasons and Decisions of Hearing Panels – are posted on the IIROC website as they become available. Click here to search and access all IIROC enforcement documents.
Hearing Date: Thursday October 26, 2017 at 10:00 a.m.
Location: IIROC, 121 King Street West, Suite 2000, Toronto, Ontario
IIROC formally initiated the investigation into Mr. Ballanger’s conduct in October 2014. The conduct occurred while he was a Registered Representative in Toronto with Richardson GMP, an IIROC-regulated firm. Mr. Ballanger is no longer a registrant with an IIROC-regulated firm.
The Notice of Application announcing the settlement hearing is available at:

Thank you reader W for the heads up.

UPDATE: We don't know the details of the charges against Ballanger, but we do know it's about his conduct in October 2014. Just out of interest, in October 2014 Tinka Resources was trading at around 18c, sometimes as low as 16c. On November 13th 2014, when Tinka announced its graduation to the Tier 1 of the TSXV, it shot to 26c and 27c on volume. In that same NR Ballanger was named as the new member of the company's advisory committee. He has since then been fired by TK.

Marc Faber can go fuck himself

"I don't want to enter into a serious discussion of about the tearing down of monuments of historical personalities, but I cannot omit mentioning how the liberal hypocrites condemned the Taliban when they blew up the world's two largest standing Buddhas (one of them 165 feet high), situated at the foot of the Hindu Kush mountains of central Afghanistan, in 2001. But the very same people are now disturbed by statues of honourable people whose only crime was to defend what all societies had done for more than 5,000 years: keep a part of the population enslaved. And thank God white people populated America, and not the blacks. Otherwise, the US would look like Zimbabwe, which it might look like one day anyway, but at least America enjoyed 200 years in the economic and political sun under a white majority. I am not a racist, but the reality — no matter how politically incorrect — needs to be spelled out as well. (And let's not forget that the African tribal heads were more than happy to sell their own slaves to white, black, and Arab slave dealers.)"

There are several thousand things that could be said about this, but let's keep it succinct: Taking a myopic view of one segment of history, packaging it not only as an objective fact but the only one that should be considered, then using it as a prop for white supremacist opinion isn't just racist, it's the epitome of racism. I spit on your grave, Marc Faber.

UPDATE: I hope the boards of NovaGold and Ivanhoe follow suit quickly:

Sprott Announces Resignation of Director

TORONTO, October 17, 2017 - Sprott Inc. (TSX: SII) ("Sprott" or the "Company") today announced that at the request of the Board of Directors and Sprott management, Marc Faber has resigned as a director of the Company effective immediately.
“The recent comments by Dr. Faber are deeply disappointing and are completely contradictory with the views of Sprott and its employees,” said Peter Grosskopf, CEO of Sprott. “We pride ourselves on being a diverse organization and comments of this sort will not be tolerated. We are committed to providing an inclusive workplace for all of our employees and we extend the same respect to our clients and investors.”
Also, this on Bloomberg now:



UPDATE 2: And NovaGold and Ivanhoe also do the right thing:

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Oct. 17, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ivanhoe Mines’ (TSX:IVN) (OTCQX:IVPAF) values of equality, respect and dignity for all people are a fundamental underpinning of the company’s enterprise and the conduct of every aspect of its business. There is zero tolerance for racism. Ivanhoe Mines disagrees with, and deplores, the personally-held views about race that Marc Faber has published in his current investment newsletter. As a result, Ivanhoe Mines requested, and has accepted, Dr. Faber’s resignation as a member of the Ivanhoe Board of Directors, effective immediately.

NOVAGOLD Announces Departure of Director

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Oct. 17, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- NOVAGOLD RESOURCES INC. (TSX:NG) (NYSE American:NG) today announced the resignation of Marc Faber from NOVAGOLD’s Board of Directors effective immediately.

There will be no further posts on this blog today

For secret reasons.

Fernando de Szyszlo 6


So here's the juice on the "BTO is buying SBB" rumour...

...that's been doing the rounds this morning.

It's Bullshit.

But like all the best rumours, it's wrapped in a package of small facts and logical assumptions. We know The Clive has had informal chats with Sabina and we know BTO likes the project, but for one thing the asking price is too high and for another, the whole sale will be one of those shopping processes, an auction that won't kick off til 2018 earliest. SBB isn't even going to entertain formal offers before then.

Bottom line: Another BS tale doing the rounds in order to try to drive BTO's share price down.

The brainstorm meeting at the junior mining company

"Well gents*, we need to do something. Commercial production has been delayed again, we're going to run out of cash, the balance sheet is an unholy mess and we're going to have to raise via another dilutive placement soon."

"But that's going to kill our share price! And it's already a pig this year!"

"Yeah I know, so we need to think of some way to pump it up and get a bunch of sheep to run it up before we announce."

"Hey! I have an idea! Why don't we announce a "three year plan"? We can tell them we're going to explore and add a boatload of ounces. After all, getting a resource out of all the sulphide stuff we have will be easy!"

"But we can't leach the sulphide like that! Totally different thing!"

"Dude, the dumbass sheep won't catch onto that! They'll just look at the headlines like they always do. This is a way of sounding serious, making it look long-term and adding resources without it costing much. And the longer we do this, the less they'll look at our financials. We can talk up adding oxide ounces too if you want."

"Hmmm...not a bad idea. When can you get a NR out there?"

"I'll put it together this weekend, we can publish on Monday."

"Great. Do it."

Welcome to the Rye Patch Gold (RPM.v) news release this morning.

*There are no ladies present. This is, after all, a junior mining management team.

There aren't many certainties in this world, but... thing you can bet the house, car, dog and contents of your kitchen upon is that after its production NR today, in the next few days Eric Sprott is going to choose one of his preferred lines of media communication and pump the merry bejeez out of Excellon Resources (

And don't say you weren't warned.

Fernando de Szyszlo 5


The IKN Weekly, out now

I don't know if that number's still accurate. I presume it must have been.

IKN439 has just been sent to subscribers. Gold producers day.

Fernando de Szyszlo 4