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11/20/19

African Gold (AGG.v): Another Stan Bharti pump that will later dump

Stan Bharti's African Gold (AGG.v) is getting the paid pump treatment, main distributor Oilprice dot com. Here's the only thing you need to know from the main p&d article (though there are several others to choose from):

"This communication is a paid advertisement. Oilprice.com, Advanced Media Solutions Ltd, and their owners, managers, employees, and assigns (collectively “the Publisher”) is often paid by one or more of the profiled companies or a third party to disseminate these types of communications. In this case, the Publisher has been compensated by 2227929 Ontario Inc. to conduct investor awareness advertising and marketing concerning African Gold Group. Inc.2227929 Ontario Inc. paid the Publisher fifty thousand US dollars to produce and disseminate this and other similar articles and certain banner ads. This compensation should be viewed as a major conflict with our ability to be unbiased."
Can't argue with the last line of that disclaimers. Anyway, this has now popped...


...and its drop back from whence it came is a question of when, not if.

McEwen Mining $MUX to raise U$50m...

....or maybe even U$57.5m, by selling small portions of the company at $1.325 per portion

"...it has priced an underwritten public offering of 37,750,000 units, each unit consisting of one share of common stock and one half of one warrant to purchase one share of common stock, at a public offering price of $1.325 per unit for aggregate gross proceeds of approximately US$50,000,000.  Each full warrant is exercisable for one share of common stock with an exercise price of $1.7225 per share and are exercisable immediately and for five years following issuance.  The Company has granted to the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 5,662,500 shares of common stock and/or additional warrants to purchase up to 2,831,250 shares of common stock at the public offering price per share and per warrant, less the underwriting discounts and commissions.  The offering is expected to close on or about November 22, 2019, subject to customary closing conditions."

And remember: Nobody forced him to buy Black Fox, he did it all by himself.

UPDATE: Here's how well MUX has done in 2019, the year gold moved nicely to U$1,500/oz, compred to gold, the PM miners ETF (GDX) and the juniors ETF (GDXJ):


Winning.

11/19/19

The four year chart for Regulus Resources (REG.v)

On the back of its NR today, Regulus Resources (REG.v) has dumped to its lowest price since early 2017:



Apparently, adding $20/t rock to a $5/t cost rock moving exercise is bad for the company. So be it, not illegal to sell shares. Or as mused on Twitter this morning:







Belo Sun (BSX.to) and INCRA land

Remember this post back on August 22nd as we laughed our fruitiest laugh about the BS pump job being run on Belo Sun (BSX.to) by Porter Scamsberry and John Doody? The post that explained how much trouble BSX was in on its permitting track due to the way they decided to pretend land truly owned by Brazil's agrarian reform bureau, INCRA, was theirs. To jog memories, it includes this:
"...let us be crystal clear on this, the INCRA overlap on the Volta Grande Project footprint does not cover "some of the planned infrastructure", it covers MOST of the infrastructure including pit, tailings facility and mill so fair warning required here, if you are a BSX shareholder and read this, then you do not get in contact with the company and have them explain exactly how much of the important areas of their mining concession and sat on INCRA land, you only have yourself to blame afterwards"

Cut to today, as we just got this from BSX and it includes this as a stipulation for the granting of the construction licence:
"update SEMAS on the negotiations with INCRA (Instituto Nacional de Colonização e Reforma Agrária /National Institute of Colonization and Agrarian Reform) involving the overlap of a portion of INCRA urban development project area within the Volta Grande Project."
And that's not even the enviro licence (the "LP"). This is the LI construction licence and the LP is a whole different and far more complicated thing. Meanwhile, a check on the recent share price action shows that John Doody has managed to ruin Christmas for another section of North America. 


11/18/19

A death at the Great Panther (GPL) (GPR.to) Coricancha mine in Peru

In its 3q19 MD&A, GPL stated that Coricancha is on Care & Maintenance:

Great Panther also owns the Coricancha Mine Complex (“Coricancha”), a gold-silver-copper-lead zinc mine and 600 tonnes per day processing facility. Coricancha is located in the central Andes of Peru, approximately 90 kilometres east of Lima. Coricancha is on care and maintenance and the Company is establishing the conditions under which a restart of production can be implemented.
Therefore, somebody needs to ask this question of GPL management before the markets open tomorrow:
"Do you have a valid operating permit for the Coricancha mine? Do you have all other permits required to operate the mine?"

Here's a NR:
VANCOUVER, Nov. 18, 2019 /CNW/ - GREAT PANTHER MINING LIMITED (NYSE American: GPL;TSX: GPR) ("Great Panther", the "Company") announces with great sadness that an employee lost his life in an accident that occurred during the late evening of November 17, 2019 at the processing plant of the Company's Coricancha Mine Complex in Peru.  The operation was undertaking further processing of stockpiles and limited mining, following the Bulk Sample Program completed earlier this year.  There were no other injuries related to the accident.
Great Panther's personnel immediately initiated protocols to close the plant area, and inform the employee's family and appropriate government and local authorities.  The area of the accident has been barricaded and closed off while an investigation, which is underway, into the accident has been completed.
"We are extremely saddened by this tragic accident and extend our deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of our co-worker, an experienced plant operator who worked at the Coricancha Mine Complex for almost seven years", stated Jeffrey Mason, Interim President and CEO.  "Safety is a core value at Great Panther and we will continue to strive to prevent such accidents from occurring. This includes completing an investigation of this accident and taking remedial action. Great Panther is continuing an in-depth review of its comprehensive safety policies, programs, and training across all operations." 
ABOUT GREAT PANTHER

Dear Wexford Capital

Good morning,

I understand that the CEO of Mako Mining has decided to publish on social media the personal exchange he had with me last week. Very classy.

He may have been under the false impression that I would not like this, or be inconvenienced by my use of strong language in the exchange. Perhaps there was another reason, I do not know, but what I can say is that I am pleased he has decided to take this course of action. It now allows me the full opportunity to use the exact same exchange on my blog with his obvious and tacit permission, which will in turn allow me to go into greater detail about the truth of what happened last week and the insolent and outstandingly insulting way in which that person decided to treat me in order to exonerate himself from any blame. I would also like to point out that the use of swear words is not an issue for me and the only reason there are none in this mail is that you as a company may well run a profanity filter on incoming mail.

Yours, Mark


(also sent to company via mail)

The IKN Weekly, out now



IKN547 has just been sent to subscribers. A rarity.

11/16/19

The top three most visited IKN posts this week are...

....in reverse order:

.
Third Place: "Maybe Zara Boldt should have kept her mouth shut". Because it's not just CEOs who deserve the attention of this humble corner of cyberspace, CFOs enjoy the exposure, too.

Second Place: "Here's the thing about Quinton Hennigh". Only went out yesterday afternoon, too.
.
First Place: "The Art of Promoting Mining Projects". Thank you reader O, your happiness has been spread even more widely.

We now know why Chakana Copper's (PERU.v) annuals were delayed...

...and the stock on management CTO for a couple of months. They late-filed the 2019 annuals (and the latest quarter) on SEDAR last night and...

Subsequent to May 31, 2019, Management discovered that an employee had misused $569,698 of Corporation’s funds for personal benefit. The employee directed unauthorized cash payments to be made, which were supported by falsified supporting documentation. Management has reviewed the payments and determined that $120,169 of these transactions relates to the nine months ended May 31, 2018 and $368,886 relates to the year ended May 31, 2019. Subsequent to the year ended May 31, 2019, Management has determined $80,643 of the misuse loss relates to the period from June 1, 2019 to September 18, 2019, the termination date of the employee.

Management has determined that the effect of the misuse of funds during the nine months ended May 31, 2018 is material to the consolidated statement of loss and comprehensive loss for that period and to the consolidated statement of financial position as at May 31, 2018. The effect of restating the financial position and financial performance for the period ended May 31, 2018 is described in Note 2.

On October 4, 2019, the Corporation signed a settlement agreement pursuant to which 4,000,000 of the common shares of the Corporation, owned by a former employee of the Corporation, were relinquished as compensation for misuse of funds by the former employee. These 4,000,000 shares were cancelled on November 14, 2019. Additionally, as a result of the former employee’s termination for cause, 1,000,000 share purchase options, issued September 17, 2017, have been cancelled.

...it looks like a modest case of embezzlement. And as those tend to create an accounting spaghetti that needs to be un-knotted forensically, the delay is understandable. The silver lining is that they caught the bad actor and that the damage isn't heavy on a corporate level, Chakana will not be killed by this unfortunate event.

PS: It wasn't difficult to work out the ID of the bad actor.

11/15/19

The Friday OT: Claude Debussy; Nocturnes

This week I got on a plane in a bad mood and got off it in a good mood, partly because the nice gent in the uniform served me three rums over ice but mostly because this is downloaded on my Spotify. Nuages relaxes, Fetes gets that pent up energy out your system, Sirenes rocks you to sleep (and when you have the thing on repeat, you're still listening to it when you wake up).




Debussy improved my week, now it's your turn. Youtube here where the publisher has left a nice note:
According to Debussy's introductory note to the Nocturnes: "The title "Nocturnes" is to be interpreted here in a general and, more particularly, in a decorative sense. Therefore, it is not meant to designate the usual form of the Nocturne, but rather all the various impressions and the special effects of light that the word suggests. 'Nuages' renders the immutable aspect of the sky and the slow, solemn motion of the clouds, fading away in grey tones lightly tinged with white. 'Fêtes' gives us the vibrating, dancing rhythm of the atmosphere with sudden flashes of light. There is also the episode of the procession (a dazzling fantastic vision), which passes through the festive scene and becomes merged in it. But the background remains resistantly the same: the festival with its blending of music and luminous dust participating in the cosmic rhythm. 'Sirènes' depicts the sea and its countless rhythms and presently, amongst the waves silvered by the moonlight, is heard the mysterious song of the Sirens as they laugh and pass on."

Here's the thing about Quinton Hennigh

To get to the point, we are going to take as read that he is a world-class and peer-approved geologist, okay? I know that, you know that, good. My issue is that Quinton Hennigh the geologist has somehow managed to morph his stellar academic reputation into one that covers the world of business and finances as well, so it's equally valid to judge him on what he has done to create hard coin wealth. That was the underlying point made as per the tweet this morning which turned into a fair debate with Brent Cook (who is both a friend of QH and a true objective professional admirer of his work, we have no problems there).


Companies create wealth away from capital markets and not in them, that is a basic truth. If your company, via innovation or discovery or whatever, brings new sources of wealth to the capital market arena it will create wealth for itself and those around us. And if it doesn't it won't, so the fact that Quinton Hennigh has not made a single economic discovery while in the junior arena means his companies have not created wealth. We also know the markets are a zero sum game and also that Quinton Hennigh has done very well for Quinton Hennigh. 

So if you really want to hero-worship a economic geologist, look somewhere else. For example David Lowell, a man who not only co-authored a highly significant geology paper (which is also without a shadow of a doubt the single most significant economic geology paper ever), but then went down the coast of South America, said "I think it would be a good idea to stick a big long drill hole in right here" and nowadays more copper comes out of the hole he made than the whole of North America. There's a man who not only made himself justly rich and famous for his geological knowledge, but also created untold amounts of wealth for the planet, from shareholders of BHP to Chinese families with interior plumbing for the first time in their lives.

11/14/19

Alio Gold (ALO.to) and the lender of last resort

This is a classic Rick Rule deal: With very little risk to his company (because he's already worked out how long Alio Gold (ALO.to) can remain in production before the financials ruin it completely) he turns $15m into $20m in three years. It's great business, I mean how many mining equity investments have given you a +10% column in your port for three years running? Meanwhile ALO.to just told the world how bad its financial situation is, even with U$1,500/oz gold. Highly doubt Rule has assumed he'll get 80c for his 1.22m ALO.to shares in 121 days' time. 

Key Terms of the Facility are:
  • Principal Amount of $15 million;
  • Maturity date of October 31, 2022;
  • Interest rate of 8% plus the greater of LIBOR and 2%;
  • Amortization of the Facility in eight equal quarterly payments commencing January 31, 2021;
In conjunction with closing of the Loan Facility, Alio Gold has issued 1,286,228 shares to Sprott.

Alexco Resource Corp (AXU) 3q19 financials and another delay to the water permit

This is your carefully curated news release excerpt:
The Company is in the final steps of renewing the Water Use Licence ("WUL") with a Technical Pre-Hearing Conference scheduled for early December 2019. Following this process step, the final issuance of the WUL renewal will be subject to consideration by the Yukon Water Board and will likely extend into Q1 2020.

Whole thing here.

(Disclosure: long term long here, too. As per today's close, small profit on trade. Not selling anytime yet, either)

Integra Resources (ITR.v) and a Coeur placement and a bought deal

This is an excellent deal for Integra Resources (ITR.v) and raises my fawning fanboy bromance admiration for George Salamis, ITR's dashingly handsome CEO, one notch higher. It's like being a competent club player and watching a chess grandmaster, after a while you get a feel for how many moves ahead of you he thinks.

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Nov. 14, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Integra Resources Corp. (“Integra” or the “Company”) (TSX-V:ITR; OTCQX:IRRZF) is pleased to announce that it intends to raise C$21.6 million via a C$6.6 million non-brokered placement of common shares (the “Strategic Placement”) with Coeur Mining, Inc. (“Coeur”) (NYSE:CDE) at a price of C$1.15 per Strategic Placement Common Share, and a concurrent C$15.0 million bought deal public offering (the “Public Offering”) of common shares (the “Public Offering Common Shares”) of the Company at a price of C$1.15 per Public Offering Common Share (the “Issue Price”).
C$6.6 Million Strategic Placement with Coeur
The Strategic Placement with Coeur will consist of the issuance of C$6.6 million in common shares at a price of C$1.15 per share on a private placement basis. The common shares issued in the Strategic Placement will be subject to a four month hold period from the date of issue. In connection with the investment, Coeur and Integra will enter into an Investor Rights Agreement which will grant to Coeur the following:
  • Participation rights to maintain pro rata share ownership interest for a two-year period;
  • The right to appoint two members to a newly created five person Technical Committee, which will be established to review ongoing exploration and pre-development activities on the DeLamar Project and other mineral properties that may be acquired in the future, so long as Coeur continues to hold at least 3% of Integra’s share capital.
C$15.0 Million Bought Deal Public Offering
Raymond James Ltd. is acting as lead underwriter and sole bookrunner under the Public Offering on behalf of continues here


Disclosure: I am long ITR, nicely in the green on the trade so far (thanks for asking), not selling anytime soon no matter what happens in 2019.

The Art of Promoting Mining Projects

Do you remember the days of Internet 1.0 when we used to send "electronic mails" (sometimes known as "e-mails") to each other? And how we'd stuff inboxes full of funny photos, jokes and silly things via mail groups? 

In order to bring some cheer to your author's day, a friend sent over the piece seen below that he's had stored on his hard drive for about a decade. I'm sure plenty of you have seen it before, but as it's new to me and made me laugh it's going up here. If anyone has a link to an original source I'll be happy to add it, not claiming this as original at all. Rule 20 is spot on, by the way.



THE ART OF PROMOTING MINING PROJECTS
The art of promoting mining projects has a long and undistinguished history. It started with Jason and the argonauts (the fleece was placed in a sluice to trap small particles of gold in streams) carried on by Cecil Rhodes and probably reached its peak with Bre–X in Indonesia.
It can of course be quickly converted to promoting technology or biotech shares by deleting all geological references and replacing them with various technical words from the electronics or genomics industries.
Rule Number 1
Make frequent press releases. The stock will move on what is called “news flow”. Any time someone flies out to the exploration area, or peers down a microscope, tell the world. This is because every shareholder knows in their bones that they shouldn't really be holding this stock. However, constant reassurances by a portly Chairman are known to deter investors from selling.
Rule Number 2
When presenting on TV or to a massed group always take a large piece of rock or drill core and wave it around imperiously. Tell the audience that it is a very rare piece of vermiculated pyroxene gabbro. Don't let anyone touch it and never explain where it came from. Let them make the assumption that as you are holding the rock and you are talking about the company that the two are connected. The fact that it came from your garden is not relevant here.
Rule No 3:
Announce loudly that you are exploring/drilling/flying over immediately adjacent to a property where a large and more famous company is working. The geology may be totally different but few mug punters know the difference between geology and geography and this technique can work surprisingly well in giving your property an undeserved aura of credibility.
Rule No 4.
Make grand claims about how much gold, platinum, copper etc was produced in historical times by the Romans, Greeks, Egyptians, Incas, Chinese and so on. Make it clear that those bozos could never have got it all out and there is still plenty left for everyone.
Rule No 5
Always include lots of pretty coloured geological maps in the annual report and presentations. For maximum effect draw lots of big bold lines and circles on them and call them trends. This impresses the hell out of people. Big maps in TV studios, or on small tables, are particularly effective as it implies the project is so large that it can't fit on a small map. Hopefully, no one will ask why you didn't bring a 1:500,000 scale map and not a 1:5,000 scale.
Rule No 6
Photographs in the annual report of gold antiquities from the local museum add a totally spurious, but very persuasive layer of intellectual credibility to the project.
Rule No 7
Always show photographs of planes and helicopters in the annual report. I don't know why, but everyone does.
Rule No 8
Never show a photograph of a donkey in the annual report. This has associations with crooks form the American Wild West which is far too close to the truth.
Rule No 9
Always show photographs of happy smiling natives. This gives the project a patina of benevolent third world development even if it is only the local mayor who will get rich.
Rule No 10
Make all press releases highly technical with lots of long words and talk of drill hole numbers, intersections, grades and rock types. Do not include anything useful that could be used by anyone to make a proper analysis of the data.
Rule No 11
Keep press releases firmly dedicated to technical issues. Never talk about detailed finances.
Rule No 12
When talking about financial projections always talk about the project as a whole. Don't remind investors that their company only owns 15% of it.
Rule No 13
Financial projections are based on the most optimistic metal prices you can find. But always label them “conservative”
Rule No 14
All projections should be based on 100% extraction of the ore, and no losses of metal in the mill, smelter, refinery or your trouser pocket.
Rule No 15
Remind investors that you are using the latest computer technology. They will assume that everyone else is using slide rules and haven't discovered PC based 3D modelling yet.
Rule No 16
A good trick is to suggest that you have some technology up your sleeve that no one else has. The most plausible ones promise better recoveries or the ability to find metal that no one else can. The name of the technology should include some or all of these words: pyro, hydro, metallic, orthogonal, bio, techno, leach, molecular, sulphidic, oxide and bacterial. The word order is not important.
Rule No 17
The board should include a couple of university lecturers or, even better, a Professor. They will be delighted to fly business class and have people listen to them while they talk about archean orogenies. The presence of academics is proven to increase the fund raising power of these companies by several times. Because academic pay is so low the non-exec compensation can be kept at a modest level.
Rule No 18
On no account actually find anything or even worse, go into production. That removes all the upside potential of the company at a stroke.
Rule No 19
Never forget that of the object of the company is to raise money for the benefit of the directors. It is not the aim of the company to find anything. That makes life far too complicated and the management might have to manage something.
Rule No 20
Always find some newspaper pundit or internet tipster to back your cause to the hilt. This can be done by flying them out business class to the drill site, putting them up in a five star hotel, showing them a few rocks, and giving them a few free shares.



11/13/19

This blog will be quiet for a couple of days...

...for secret reasons.

Well in fact the blog has been quiet for the last couple of months, on and off. That's been a deliberate thing, long-story-short it's me wondering just how much of IKN can be shifted to Twitter and doing an experiment or two. That's now over and you can now expect a return to a more regular posting rhythm this humble corner of cyberspace, as soon as this secret reasons quiet thing is over. Which is in fact a trip to Mako Mining (MKO.v) in Nicaragua and the report on the gig will be out on Sunday in IKN 547. There we go, not so secret any longer.

11/12/19

Maybe Zara Boldt should have kept her mouth shut

Zara Boldt, CFO of Lucara Diamond Corp, in the NR of November 4th 2019:

"Lucara is weathering the current downturn in the diamond market better than most of our peers."


A ten day comparative price chart for LUC.to, using the SPX as guide:

And in the next post, your author will have a good rant while explaining why LUC has fallen off yet another cliff. A drop it fully deserves, by the way.

11/11/19

Interesting that Lundin Gold (LUG.to) is selling off again...

...in the very week that it gets the official inauguration from the government of Ecuador, all pomp and ceremony ribbon cutting, to be sure.


we will remember

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

11/10/19

The IKN Weekly, out now

FACT!

IKN546 has just been sent to subscribers. Just thought I'd let you know.

Bolivia and the OAS report UPDATED

Bolivia is a fun place this weekend for sure, but the reason why Evo Morales has capitulated and agreed to new Presidential elections in Bolivia isn't directly due to the street scenes of yesterday and more about the preliminary findings of Organization of American States (OAS) report on the election that was published early this morning. Here's the moneyline (translated):
“Taking into account the statistical projections, it is possible that the candidate Morales has finished in first place and the candidate Mesa in second. However, it is statistically improbable that Morales has obtained the 10% difference in order to avoid a second round.”

In other words, Evo cheated and has been caught as close to red-handed as our complex electronic world lets us get.

UPDATE Sunday afternoon: Evo Morales has just announced that he will resign as President.

11/9/19

The top three most visited IKN posts this week are...

....(and yes it's been a while since this weekend feature it's just that it's the first week in six or so that I've posted enough to have a reasonable choice) in reverse order:

.
Third Place: "Garibaldi (GGI.v): "Pssst! We think we've found the feeder system!"". The best executed Canadian scam of the last five years.

Second Place: "Mailbag on First Majestic (AG) (FR.to)". Math is fun!
.
First Place: "McEwen Mining (MUX): Puppet Show and Spinal Tap part deux". MUX has always been more sizzle than steak. More people are working that out now.

11/8/19

Philip Pascall of First Quantum (FM.to) featured in the ex-President Carlos Varela "Varelaleaks" scandal

Ah, the Friday evening long title. Anyway, see below screenshots of the whatsapp convo between then Panamanian President Carlos Varela of Panama and chair, joint founder and CEO of First Quantum (FM.to) Philip Pascall, published as part of the Varelaleaks whistleblowing currently rocking Panama's political boat (which you can find under the appropriate number on the scroll list on the left of this page, about a third of the way down).
 
 




The date-stamps on those messages are more than amusing, it's as if he knew in adva....nah! Many thanks to my friend for the heads-up.

The Friday OT: deadmau5; luxuria (ov) [Tinlicker Remix]

This is just so beautiful. That's all I've got, words are superfluous, this man makes such majestic, souch-touhing music that you just need to discover it for yourself.





Youtube here

Mailbag on First Majestic (AG) (FR.to)

Mailbag of the day is from Reader E, who likes playing with numbers as much as I do. He's quick to point out that this is the most basic of calculations and does not include items such as tax, investments, exploration etc. Also, he's being very generous to FR by leaving the production un-discounted, at NPV-5% it wouldn't even make U$600m. But as a ballpark, it does indeed shine a light on the prices people are willing to pay to have something with the word 'silver' in its corporate title.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

In regards to first majestic (AG), I actually made a funny calculation that exposes the craziness:

1) Let's take all of the measured and indicated silver resources of the company (reserves included of course), from their own website (gold is included in AISC already so we ignore).
2) Now, let's assume that their AISC numbers (which include the gold) really reflect the cost of taking those ounces of the ground, 
3) and let's just assume that they somehow succeed in producing all of their silver and gold in just one day and sell it immediately. 

the value we get:
M&I silver ounces: 150M 
AISC: $10/oz

So at a silver price of $17/oz, and AISC of $10/oz.... we get a value of 150,000,000 ounces X $7 = $1.05B  (remember, I'm not using NPV5 here, this is just cash flow, for a company that's traded for $2B).

The Bluestone (BSR.to) CAD$475,000 pump

On September 17th, an outfit called Gold Investor published a 16 page promotional report on Bluestone Resources (BSR.to), both on PDF and in glossy physical copies with a professionally shot front cover of the CEO dramatically entitled "The Gold Getter". Bluestone paid CAD$475,000 for the promo. Here's a price chart:



Another idiot CEO with more ego than brains.

UPDATE: A kind reader offers a link to the C$475k pumpo

11/7/19

Born under a bad sign, Las Bambas has another truck accident and concentrate spill

As announced by Peru's enviro office OEFA just a few minutes ago, a truck carrying concentrate has overturned as it drove the so-called "Mining Corridor", which in turn is still under emergency laws due to the recent protests and road blocks against the company by locals. Due to the Las Bambas trucks and the pollution they cause in their locality, wouldn't you know?

Anyway, great timing there MMG guys! You sure know how to win friends and influenza people.

RIP Ginger Baker.




Dan Earle lands at Solaris Copper

Once of TD Sec, now CEO of Solaris. Read all about it here.

Let us remember exactly what Marin Katusa said about Lucara Diamond Corp (LUC.to) in February 2018

In his extremely loud and promotional February 26th 2018 Special Alert to subscribers (who pay him something like $3k a year) entitled "Total Disruption: This is THE Most Important Alert I Have Ever Sent", Marin Katusa gave the full-court pump on Lucara Diamond Corp (LUC.to) and stated that he was putting his own money where his mouth was in the following way:
"I will be making this one of my largest bets ever and plan on making it one of my core holdings for many years to come."
Largest bets ever...many years to come...mmm lots of crunchy goodness there. He also said he was willing to pay up to $2.60 to build his position.



Got the butthurt yet, you freakin snake oil salesman?

Bear Creek (BCM.v) and the art of de-risking

The art is to ignore anything that is really risky and work hardest on the sequin throwing. I will now leave you in the capable hands of A. Reader, a person who has forgotten more than I know about mining for precious metals.

I love this news release They took a 2015 report that showed that the project was marginal at best and then updated it in 2017. The 2017 updated showed that, surprise, surprise, the project is marginal at best. No more met testing had been done on a very complex ore body and so the result didn't change. 
 
And now their review, using Ausenco's magic, has managed to turn the project into something completely "de-risked". And without even doing any more of the met testing required to decipher the complexities of the orebody. This mine has two distinct ore types that require different processing, and the bulk of the ore is "transition" anyway and no-one knows what portion of the transition ore (which is around 80% of the orebody) will be handled by which part of the plant, nor the real recoveries. The miners had trouble getting to grips with the mining plan, the processors had trouble with the processing, yet now they managed to de-risk the plant without any more actual effort in met testing. I love the magic. So far it appears that no-one has been fooled and that investors know how to read the fine print. But I wonder when someone is going to fall for the trap ...


First Majestic (AG) (FR.to) 3q19 financials

Thanks to its net EPS of 4c, First Majestic Silver (AG) (FR.to) is running a forward price/earnings of 63X (and this is the best quarter for a long time, so don't accuse me of cherry-picking data). Maybe Keith Neumeyer wanted a number that more closely matched the gold/silver ratio. As for a bit of insight on the mines at the company...


...they are hiding plenty behind the gold of San Dimas and Santa Elena these days. On that subject, can we shoot dead the legend about First Majestic being a "pure silver play" once and for all? Yes way back when it got 90%+ of its gross revenues from silver and Keif does everything he can to perpetuate the myth, but these days it's just 58% of revenues from silver. 

Said it once, said it a dozen times, the best way to play First Majestic is to be Sandstorm Gold.


11/6/19

Three charts to get a handle on the New Gold (NGD) 3q19 financials

Rubbernecking car crashes again but hey, we all have our dirty little habits. Anyway, first see this, the shares out chart that shows the count up by 95m after its equity placement that raised a gross of C$150m (U$120m at a forex of 0.8/1).



Then consider that despite raising that capital and making big fuss about paying down $100m of its long-term debt with the money, liabilities did this:
  • Current liabilities up U$46.1m quarter-over-quarter (trade payables shot up bigtime)
  • Long term debt down U$54.4m QoQ (so much for the U$100m spin)
  • Other long term liabilities up U$25m QoQ (so much for the U$100m spin)
  • Total liabilities up U$16.7m QoQ, to U$1.292Bn (with a B)


As for its working cap position after that C$150m injection of love...


Where did all the money go? NR here.

SEMAFO and terrorism

The NR today:

SEMAFO: Attack on the Road Between Fada and Boungou in Est Region

November 06, 2019
MONTREAL, Nov. 6, 2019 /CNW Telbec/ - SEMAFO Inc. (TSX: SMF) (OMX: SMF) ("SEMAFO") regrets to report there was an attack on the road between Fada and the Boungou Mine site in the Est region of Burkina Faso. The incident happened approximately 40 kilometers from the Boungou Mine. The convoy, escorted by military personnel,  comprised five buses transporting  SEMAFO national employees, contractors and suppliers. Information currently has several fatalities and injuries. We will issue a more fulsome statement when complete details are known.
Boungou mine site remains secured and our operations are not affected. We are actively working with all levels of authorities to ensure the on-going safety and security of our employees, contractors and suppliers.
The Company would like to express its sincere sympathy to families of the victims in addition to its firm support of Burkina Faso's security forces.
About SEMAFO


Terrorist attacks have been on the rise in Burkina Faso and just this weekend on Twitter, it was noticeable that the newsletter whores who are pumping Burkina juniors in exchange for payments were all "oh don't worry, that's only in the North". You know who you are, you shameful toerags.

11/5/19

Lucara Diamond Corp (LUC.to): Truth overcomes pumpjob

And the truth hurts:


The Karowe PFS is out and the numbers sting. However, those of you who paid attention to this IKN post from June last year were forewarned, unlike those naive fools who were led to the slaughter in this by Marin Katusa. A reminder of the IKN info that day:

Those of you who have visited Karowe will know that the open pit mine life has always been relatively short, even though the original pit was cut into basalt and had pitwall angles of around 60°. You'd normally think that under the circumstances of such competent host rock, they'd be able to avoid the mega-expense of a shaft and simply push back on the pit in order to extend open pit mine life. Sadly, that's not the case because as the open pit model matures the country rock has become sandstone, cannot support such a sharp angle and was flared out to around 40°. But then it gets even worse, because in the last couple of years of the open pit mine plan the pitwall moves into mudstone and the stability angle drops to a prohibitive 20°. That means it gets way too expense to cut back and the only way forward is to go underground, sink that shaft and go block caving. But even then, there's a serious geological issue at Karowe because normal block caving requires a competent host rock around your kimberlite pipe. LUC doesn't have that, it has sloppy mudstone all the way down so even after they raise a SLOM* from you retail monkeys currently buying into this pumpo, success is far from guaranteed.


With SLOM meaning "Shit Load Of Money." Further questions?

Garibaldi feeder update

Well, the market doesn't seem to be as keen on the results as the company and its breathless prose was. There's a shocker.


11/4/19

Garibaldi (GGI.v): "Pssst! We think we've found the feeder system!"

Heaven help us. NR here.

The Friday OT on a Monday: Coolio; Sumpin' New

I've done them on Thursdays and Saturdays before, let it slide...

Your body will start moving even if you don't want it to. My stars this track is the best, infectious isn't even close.



And the trike, love the trike. Youtube here.

Evo's copter crash

It turns out that the "emergency landing" made by the helicopter carrying President Evo Morales of Bolivia wasn't really that, it was more of a accident on take-off and pilot error. The copter took off and when the pilot swung the tail around to be facing the wind correctly, he didn't notice a large, but old and disused metal advertising frame. The rear rotors clipped the metal frame and the aircraft was thrown about 15m into a ditch. Fortunately, nothing leaked or caught fire and all occupants were safely strapped in and unharmed. 

So now you know. This photo from this Spanish language report.



McEwen Mining (MUX): Puppet Show and Spinal Tap part deux

"If I told them once I've told them a hundred times, to put Spinal Tap first and puppet show last,"
  Jeanine Pettibone, This Is Spinal Tap


The most interesting thing about today's NR out of McEwen Mining (MUX) isn't how they try to bury the bad news at the bottom of the script, even though it's quite fun to get from a headline of "Grey Fox Drilling Hits 10.9 g/t Au over 18.8 m and 14.1 g/t Au over 8.4m" to this:

Updated Cost Estimates for Black Fox and Gold Bar

For Black Fox, cash costs(1) for the full year 2019 are expected to be in line with our guidance(2) of $905 per GEO, and AISC(1) are expected to be higher than our guidance(2) of $1,080 per GEO(3). Actual cash costs and AISC for Q3 YTD 2019 are $859 and $1,326 per GEO, respectively. Management’s AISC estimates for Q4 2019 and the full year 2019 are $1,100-1,200 and $1,250-1,300, respectively.

Cash costs have been well controlled at Black Fox in 2019, and higher AISC are a result of higher than expected sustaining capital expenses related to underground development, improvement projects, and additional capital spending associated with our transition to owner-operated crushing at the Stock Mill. We plan to scale back production in 2020 to enable greater freedom to explore in the mine, and free resources to advance development of the Froome underground deposit adjacent to Black Fox.

For Gold Bar, cash costs and AISC for the full year 2019(4) are expected to be higher than our guidance(2) of $930 and $975 per GEO, respectively. Actual cash costs and AISC for Q3 YTD 2019 are $1,014 and $1,200 per GEO, respectively. Management’s cash costs estimates for Q4 2019 and the full year 2019 are $1,000-1,050 and $1,000-1,050 per GEO, respectively; and AISC for Q4 2019 and the full year 2019 are $1,250-1,350 and $1,200-1,300 per GEO, respectively.

 
Nope, the most interesting thing is that MUX has form on this type of sleight of hand, as seen in the first installment of McEwen Mining (MUX): Puppet Show and Spinal Tap dated December last year. That was about Black Fox (aka White Elephant), too.

Lydian (LYD.to) and Cronimet: Even the Deputy Prime Minister of Armenia knows

Further to the IKN coverage of how Germany's Cronimet has been bribing politicians in Armenia and funding the anti-mine campaign against the Amulsar project owned by Lydian (LYD.v), here's the link to the latest evidence and here's a Google Translate from Armenian (not my strongest suit) into English. Armenia's deputy PM, Tigran Avinyan, tells it as it is:

The Deputy Prime Minister said this on October 22, during a meeting with representatives of the Armenian community in Tbilisi talking about the issue of Amulsar.
"We do not think that mining is a sector that should be stimulated and intensively developed in Armenia. However, Armenia has commitments, which can be seen as a non-partnership step backwards.
Environmental issues are a priority, but it is not our government's policy to make political decisions illegally, this is certain.
The campaign against Amulsar is definitely not. There are sincere and honest people who truly believe that this plan is a disaster. But there are also people who are directly linked to the mining business in the Republic of Armenia, who have invested considerable funds to organize this campaign. Otherwise, I assure you, you would not hear about Amulsar, because serious financial means are needed to make such a loud noise," the Deputy Prime Minister said.
Tigran Avinyan also noted that "the situation in other mines in Armenia is much worse than in the still open Amulsar mine."


As Harte Gold (HRT.to) decided to bury its disaster NR late on Friday evening...

....it's only correct that IKN puts it right in front of your face on Monday morning, all special and ready for the opening bell.

Harte Gold Provides Third Quarter Update and Guidance for 2019

TORONTO, Nov. 01, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- HARTE GOLD CORP. (“Harte Gold” or the “Company”) (TSX: HRT / OTC: HRTFF / Frankfurt: H4O) provided the following operating results for the third quarter (“Q3 2019”) ended September 30, 2019.
Highlights
  • Mined tonnage increased 9% quarter over quarter.  The mill is now being fed 100% run of mine (“ROM”) ore
  • Stope production and sequencing was lower than expected due to continued start-up delays of the paste fill plant and lower than planned development rates
  • Underground infrastructure and contractor performance issues driving the quarter are being addressed
  • A temporary solution for the paste fill plant has been implemented and will continue in the short term
  • Gold production was 6,069 ounces for the quarter.  For the last nine months, Harte Gold produced 19,138 ounces
  • Quarterly results when compared to the Feasibility Study were below target.  Based on results to-date, full year 2019 guidance has been adjusted to 24,000 to 26,000 ounces at an AISC of US$2,000 to US$2,200 per ounce.  Previous guidance was 39,200 ounces at an AISC of US$1,300 to US$1,350 per ounce.
  • A life of mine plan for 2020 is being prepared and further guidance and will be provided when available
Operating Metrics, Q3 2019
   Q3 Comparison to Q2Q3 Comparison to
Feasibility Plan
 
 Q3
September
30, 2019
 Q2
June 30,
2019
Q3 vs. Q2 Feasibility
Plan
Q3 vs.
Feasibility
Plan
 
Ore mined (tonnes)46,235 42,6019 % 58,100(20%) 
Ore processed (tonnes)56,558 53,2166 % 58,100(3%) 
Average daily throughput (tpd)628 5916 % 646(3%) 
Processed grade (g/t)3.64 4.89(25%) 5.96(39%) 
Recovery (%)92% 93%(0%) 96%(3%) 
Gold ounces produced6,069 7,754(22%) 10,600(43%) 
Mine Production Ramp Up Overview
  • The Company is mining from areas developed at the Sugar Zone North and South ramps
  • Mill feed grade decreased due to a shortage of development of higher-grade stoping areas, which resulted in a larger contribution of lower grade development ore as the primary mill feed
  • Development delays and paste plant start-up issues also affected overall stope sequencing, which resulted in the Company mining off plan
  • To address challenges in Q3, the following steps have been taken:

    • Mine performance was addressed with the mining contractor and necessary actions are being taken to ensure adequate staffing and broader recruitment efforts
    • The paste plant is expected to be operational by year-end.  Critical components are being installed.  The Company will provide further updates on start-up of the paste plant as they become available
    • Mine infrastructure to support rock fill has been developed and will mitigate delays in operation of the paste fill plant
    • Improvements are underway to expand compressed air capacity, expected to increase the rate at which stopes can be developed
Adjusted 2019 Production and Guidance
Gold production in the first nine months of 2019 was 19,138 ounces.  Due to issues around mine development and stope availability in Q3, the Company expects fourth quarter production to be in the range of 5,000 to 7,000 ounces.  Accordingly, full year 2019 production guidance has been adjusted from 39,200 ounces per original guidance, to 24,000 to 26,000 ounces.
While operating costs were stabilized in Q3, as a result of lower production for the year and higher costs in the first half, annual AISC guidance has been modified and is expected to be in the range of US$2,000 to US$2,200 per ounce, from original guidance of US$1,300 to US$1,350 per ounce.  Further information on operating costs will be provided when the Company files its Q3 financials.
2020 Life of Mine Plan and Financial Budget
The Company is currently updating its life of mine plan and preparing a 2020 budget.  The Company will provide further guidance for 2020 at that time.
For further information, please contact:
Stephen G. Roman                                                                                         
Chairman and Interim CEO                                                                         
Tel: 416-368-0999                                                                                           
Email: sgr@hartegold.com                                                                           
Shawn Howarth
Vice President, Corporate Development
Tel: 416-368-0999
E-mail: sh@hartegold.com


x

11/3/19

The IKN Weekly, out now


In my salad days, 
When I was green in judgment, cold in blood,
To say as I said then!

IKN545 has just been sent to subscribers. We take a good, hard look at Sandstorm Gold (SAND) and Guyana Goldfields (GUY.to) on the back of their rather disparate 3q19 financial results. Then plenty on the political situations in Peru, Bolivia, Mexico, Argentina and Chile (among other places) and how they might affect the mining sectors of those jurisdictions. And lots of other stuff, of course.

10/31/19

More cost creep in the pipeline for Mexico's mining companies

Better known to the world as "Napito", congressional senator for Mexico's ruling Morena party and (in)famous in the mining world, Napoleón Gómez Urrutia, this week presented a law bill to Mexico's parliament that will place more stringent rules on third-party sub-contracting of labour. If passed, any law that requires the third party companies to fully comply with existing labour laws (e.g. provide medical coverage/pension/profit sharing to workers) as if they were the end company and would put an end to the use of third party contractor groups if they do not comply with the law, as well as clamping down informal and illegal third party companies. 

As third party contracts are a popular strategy in the mining industry (simple reason; much cheaper), any progress in this law should be watched by the sector.

Sandstorm (SAND) on Friday and today

This humble corner of cyberspace picked out SAND from the pack on Friday as it went into "quiet achiever" mode. Since then...


Further questions?


UPDATE: Over at his place, Gary Tanashian has been thinking about SAND today as well. 

Pretium (PVG) and the gold bull run, June 2019 to date


10/30/19

Ely Gold Royalties (ELY.v): The lady doth protest too much, methinks

This isn't the first time Ely Gold Royalties (ELY.v) has used paid promotion of course, they handed over a five figure cheque larger than the $30k mentioned below to Mickey Fulp back in 2018. But what's really hilarious here is how ELY hires a known promo pump and dump boiler room operation, gets all the lift as the idiot sheep pile in, then feigns indignation by pretending not to know the NIA modus operandi. Your NR:

Vancouver, British Columbia--(Newsfile Corp. - October 30, 2019) - Ely Gold Royalties Inc. (TSXV: ELY) (OTCQB: ELYGF) ("Ely Gold" or the "Company") is issuing this press release to address concerns raised by the TSX Venture Exchange (the "Exchange") regarding certain promotional activities.
In July 2019, the Company engaged National Inflation Association of Fort Lee, New Jersey ("NIA"), and Maiella Investment Holdings LLC, (collectively, the "Consultant") to provide investor relations services, including the production and publication of investor bulletins on the Consultant's https://inflation.us website, distribution of investor bulletins to the Consultant's e-mail list, and promotional posts via the Consultant's blogs and social media accounts (collectively, the "Agreement"). The Agreement was not filed with or accepted by the Exchange. In consideration of the Agreement, the Company paid the Consultant a one-time cash fee of US$30,000 for a 6-month contract.
The Company is retracting fifteen NIA articles dated August 1, 2, 5,19 and 30, as well as October 1, 22, 23, 24, and 28 in their entirety. These publications contained overly promotional statements inconsistent with the principles of factual and balanced disclosure pursuant to Exchange Policy and share price targets, revenue and other financial forecasts that failed to comply with National Instrument 51-102. While the Company does believe certain underlying factual information and technical analyses in the Consultant's publications were accurate, the Company does not endorse the share price, revenue and other financial forecasts that have been published by the Consultant and regrets not having exercised greater control over the manner and means by which the Consultant provided its services.
In light of these concerns, the Company has terminated its Agreement with the Consultant effective October 28, 2019. In addition, the Company has requested that the Consultant take down the online publications listed above and not publish any additional information, regarding Ely Gold.

And here's a price chart: