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The Friday OT: Jon Hopkins; Emerald Rush

Oh my lordy lord. To begin, it's difficult choosing just one track from the new Jon Hopkins album 'Singularity', you really need to hear the whole thing so do just that (and please, no skimping on the speaker system). But choose I have, it's this one (the edit version that comes with the official video). Be warned, its addictive power is off-scale.

Singularity is the album of the year, hands down. If you see me walking down the street with earbuds in and a gaping weird ecstatic vacant awe smile on my face it's because of this 62 minutes of musical bliss on perma-repeat. Youtube here.

Argentina : The Peso is running again

Less than 12 hours after Argentina announced its U$50Bn rescue package deal with the IMF, the Argentine Peso (ARS) breaks through the 25:1 barrier with the dollar set as a "None Shall Pass" ceiling its Central Bank.

The deal is a direct return to the 1990's, it's incredible to watch as both the IMF and this most FUBAR of all countries willing go down the same road to disaster again. However the forex market isn't as stupid as this match made in hell and you can guarantee they'll be praying for more Central Bank intervention that tries to stop the forex rot; it's akin to giving away free dollars.

Maria Smirnova makes the bull case for silver

Sprott's Smirnova is one of the bets metals and mining analysts out there, so when she publishes a thinkpiece on silver and lays out a bull case, you listen. It's right here so go read yourself, you don't need any of my prose to frame it further. 


The IKN Weekly on Sunday...

...will be about Tinka Resources.

HIVE Blockchain Technologies (HIVE.v)

Well I dunno 'bout you, dear and valued reader*, but I'm really looking forward to the end of this month and the moment when HIVE Blockchain Technologies (HIVE.v) files its annuals. Also, the market looks like it's waiting with keen anticipation and bated brea... Oh:

And as well as the whole "running to stand still" business model, we will of course be paying attention to that travel expenses number again. Because I haven't laughed as much about any financial line item since the last one came out. 

Hey, did you know Frank Giustra won't allow a flight path for his private jet that takes in a stopover in the USA? Not even a fuel stop without getting off the plane. Wonder why that is? Anyway, til the end of the month.

*Except those from of course, either liars or dumbasses who believe liars

A Novo Resources (NVO.v) request

As we had so much fun on Twitter today with this request, it's only fair that it gets an airing here as well. Here's how the Tweet went:
"Request for Novo Resources longs. Please provide either an explanation on how NVO gets to a 43-101/JORC compliant resource or if not, a reasonable path to production of enough size to justify current mkt cap. As without one of those, imo all long theses are pure hot air."
And unlike the thin-skinned pump artist "hhorseman" who thought this was all unfair and about him (more on that tomorrow), you should be clear that this isn't a loaded question. Yes, I'd agree that it's an uncomfortable question for longs because it brings into focus the obvious weak point of the whole NVO story, but it's in no way loaded. Experience has taught me that it's only the promo pump end of the junior world that shies away from the tough parts, companies and supporters of who tackle the weak points to the satisfaction of the world see their share prices and portfolio values really move up.

So quite seriously, I as a neutral on this stock (a well-documented position) would like an answer to this. How does NVO justify its virtual $1Bn market cap (those cheap warrants must be counted in)?
  • If it can put together a compliant resource, good because that may well do it. But how?
  • If it cannot put together a 43-101 or JORC compliant resource, then I can only presume it would need to go into production as stands. So what reasonable production scenario can value this at C$1Bn?
  • And if I'm wrong and there's some third way of placing a tangible valuation on NVO, then what is it? (because for the life of me I'm stumped).
FWIW and to try and help a little, some answers and comments on Twitter today show there are people in (or at least interested) this stock that don't really understand what company equity is.

PS: The "Because we think there are X million ounces" argument doesn't work, that's why third party resource counts under rules and regulations exist.


Carlos Oliva will be Peru's new FinMin UPDATED

So now you know. And 1% you readers will also care. Telling you anyway.

UPDATE: And it turns out that he won't. He was offered the post, initially accepted it on an unofficial level, then something went wrong with the negotiations and he backed out. "Too many conditions" say government sources.Also, the Vice Minister of Economy handed in his resignation today, so that's another candidate off the table. Still nobody for the post this evening.

UPDATE2 Thursday: And now he's accepted the position! It took some convincing apparently, but this afternoon he gets sworn into the job. 

Dear investors of INV Metals (

Are you still long this stock? Did you see what just happened in Azuay? And if you're staking it all on the MacGibbon rep, have you seen the total mess they made at TMAC?

Seriously, run away people while there's still 50c on the table.

More on Nick Hodge of "Outsider Club"

According to reliable sources, he's BBFs with Marin Katusa. In other words, another cog in the scumbag wheel of Vancouver.

Frank Curzio gives them both regular airtime on his show, too. Birds of a feather.

UPDATE: Also this from IKN's Fiore source:
"Hodge is a another paid newsletter writer/promoter for Giustra and a few of the other Vancouverites Usually also does a flashy movie on his touts where he has received cheap shares and cash."
Seems nice.

Itinerant on Sinking Alpha is so cute

Blatantly rips off ideas and concepts presented by this humble scribe, links to this blog to back up his second-hand anal yses and...continues to call me "Rude Otto".

It's far ruder to be an intellectual parasite. Go fuck yourself, Itinerant.


Peru: Roadblocks at mines owned by Buenaventura (BVN), Hochschild (HOC.L) and Fortuna ( (FSM)

Early reports are of roadblocks by locals in the Caylloma district of Arequipa region in South Peru. Locals are angry with mining companies working the zone and say they are fed up with the companies promising community a social programs, only to ignore the agreements later. According to these early reports, locals have set up roadblocks and while allowing private vehicles through, are now stopping any vehicle connected to the mining operations at Ares (HOC.L) and Bateas (, as well as the commission stage Tambomayo (BVN).

More details later when available.

UPDATE: The main complaint seems to be that the dirt track road used by the mining companies has been kicking up enormous amounts of dust due to the quantity of trucks now using the road. Locals have complained for months about this and how the dust is a pollution risk as well as contaminating their nearby crops. The mining companies pledged to pave the road on several occasions but after each agreement, nothing happened. Therefore locals feel forced to take action by blocking the roads.

BVN, FVI and HOC: Winning friends and influencing people in Peru. Certainly a different story to those smiling rosy-cheek kids you always get on their websites.

So I get this question about Millrock Resources (MRO.v)...

And yes, after about 15 seconds on the internetwebpipes indeed turns out that this Nick Hodge is another mining stockpick wealth make-yer-rich guru who plies his knavery on the green and foolish of this world (I'd pay more attention to them all but I can't be arsed these days), he runs something called "The Outsider Club"* and yes, he's pumping Millrock Resources (MRO.v) to his merry band on knownothings and doing this to the stock:

It won't last. It never does. And guess who's selling to the new buyers?

Anyway to answer JR's question, in this case I'm not 100% sure whether MRO has paid people off recently to promo its cause, but I do know that it went with one of the established patterns of getting your name on the Newsletter Writer (NLW) cribsheets a couple of years ago. That's because when it ran its seed financing round, it didn't just offer the cheap shares with juicy warrants to friends/family/financiers and those people who would form a core of loyal shareholders from the start. Instead MRO went out into the wild woods of Vancouver and offered chunks of its flesh to a whole bunch of NLW, including Casey of course (natch) but also a whole range of others. And without knowing for sure, I'd bet yer man Hodge was on the list.

So cut to a couple of years later and for whatever reason, Hodge decides he needs a liquidity moment to dump either his own shares, or to allow one of the NLWs in cahoots with him to get hers or his out. That's when you suddenly get a breathless spiel for the stock, which pops hard on volume and a new set of bagholders are created. Therefore JR, I don't have the certain knowledge and cannot be bothered to find out either (the less time spent in the company of these nefarious merchants of sludge the better, I find) but I'd bet a dollar to a donut the above is significant part of the equation. All legal, but legality and morality are two very different subjects.

UPDATE: Oh man, this Nick Hodge guy is a real treat.

*Because ain't it cool that you're an outsider and there's a club specially for you...filled with outsiders...oh lordy shoot me now.


Peru FinMin David Tuesta resigns

A black eye for the new Martín Vizcarra administration, as we hear Peru's Minister of Finances, David Tuesta, has resigned. Tuesta was the architect of the recent tax rises in some goods (including fuel) that met with strong protests in the country, particularly in the provinces. Looks like President Vizcarra's honeymoon period is now over.

We're now waiting on official word of Tuesta's resignation, which shouldn't be long in coming. No word on who will replace him as yet.

UPDATE: Now confirmed.

On the Mexico and Colombia elections (from IKN471)

A bit of the 'Regional Politics' section of last night's edition of The IKN Weekly, IKN471:

Mexico: All roads now leading to AMLO
With less than a month to go before the big vote date, we’re now getting headlines in Mexico’s press like this one (translated):

“Victory For AMLO Seems Inevitable, According To Polls”

That from the Diario de Yucatán (8) but there are any number of op-eds and reports out there now saying the same thing in different ways. López Obrador’s support has remained strong though the final stages of the election campaign, by general consensus he’s performed well at the two live televised debates so far (there’s one to go in a few days’ time), and what’s more the support of his main rivals Anaya and Meade has stagnated (they continue to split the “anyone but AMLO” vote).

So get used to the idea of AMLO as the next President of Mexico, but don’t fear him as much as some of the near-inevitable English headlines will have you believe in days ahead. You’re sure to get certain media channels screaming about Left Wing disasters and suchlike but fret not, AMLO isn’t the hard left reactionary that he once was and part of his successful march to the presidency this time is because, unlike the previous two attempts, his message and policies are toned down and centre-left in style and substance. Mexico will remain a market economy and investor friendly, there will be decisions around the margin of that but nothing we as FDI people should worry about too much.

In fact I would contend that the outcome to the Colombia election is far more important in regional geopolitical terms than that of Mexico and as you are about to see, that’s pointing toward a happy ending as well.

Colombia: Iván Duque now red hot favourite to be next President
By way of confirmation of this publication’s initial reaction of hearing of the out-sized victory margin of Iván Duque in last weekend’s first round of elections in Colombia, the first set of reliable polls on the round two run-off between Duque and let wing Gustavo Petro look like this (9):

  • Duque: 55%
  • Petro: 35%
  • To spoil ballot/don’t know: 10%

That 20 point margin will be near-impossible to close for Petro and we can now be confident that Duque will win and the Álvaro Uribe dauphin will become the next President of Colombia.

I’ve been asked by a couple of you what this means for mining in Colombia and the best answer is “no worse than today”, which isn’t much improvement of course (the legislation and institutional support for hard rock mining continues to be sorely lacking), but even a continuation of the current “muddling along” situation is better than the overtly anti-mining stance that would have been adopted by a Petro government.

Parsing today's Pan American Silver (PAAS) NR on Dolores

Today's offering from Pan American Silver (PAAS) is on this link. Here we go, your humble scribe does the black ink:

VANCOUVER, June 4, 2018 /PRNewswire/ - Pan American Silver Corp. (NASDAQ: PAAS) (TSX: PAAS) (the "Company") today announces that the security situation on the access roads to the Dolores mine has improved following increased patrol and enforcement by the Mexican authorities. 

We know this. Police have been running heavily armed convoys through the zone.
As a result, road transport of diesel fuel, cement and other supplies to the mine has now resumed. 

Strange that they didn't previously tell us they'd stopped. But so far at least the La Linea narco gangs have not engaged the convoys and trucks have got through.
The Company will increase the use of its private, secured airstrip to transport people to and from the mine site until the situation normalizes.

A nice bit of legalese here. In fact the company has been running 20 light aircraft flights per day to get workers out of Dolores. I suppose that the pilot flying back in counts as "to the mine" as well, but the traffic in reality has been one-way. Hundreds of workers flown out, with the next batch due to leave in the second half of this month. that's when they plan to ship out heavy machinery, too.
Due to the suspension of personnel transport on the access roads and reduced staffing levels, in late May the Company curtailed certain activities, including underground and open pit mining and leach pad expansion. 
Production of silver and gold continues at normal rates due to the large reserve of high and low grade ore stockpiles, which are feeding the pulp agglomeration plant and partial operation of the crushing plant. The heap leaching and Merrill Crowe circuits continue to operate normally. At this time, the Company does not expect a material impact to its annual production guidance for 2018.
Again note the legalese here, "At this time". Heap leach operations are forgiving in nature over a short period, what PAAS needs to worry about is a prolonged supply chain starvation that begins to affect the medium-term production outlook. See above for more on that.
"We would like to express our gratitude to the Federal and Chihuahua State authorities in Mexico for their support and rapid deployment of resources to secure the access roads to our Dolores mine, and we will continue to work closely with them as we move forward," said Michael Steinmann, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company.
Because if the police only hang around for a couple of weeks, they're screwed. Not only that, but we know from experience that the narco gangs such as La Linea tend to make temporary retreats but will always return to claim their transport/shakedown corridors. Anyone who thinks that this issue, which has been months and years in the making, has suddenly and permanently disappeared needs to get out more.


The IKN Weekly, out now

IKN471 has just been sent to subscribers. A short idea. Cheers.

Angry Geologist does Excellon (

And points out a few home truths about the company's turnaround. Right here.