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The IKN Weekly out now

A truly beautiful motor vehicle, had this photo 
on store weeks, waiting for 530 to come up.

IKN530 has just been sent to subscribers. It's amazing what you can cram into 34 pages and 16,500 words if you put your mind to it.

Turquoise Hill (TRQ) and The Gotcha

One day, the golf club pro was approached by one of the older club members, who said, "Hey there! I will bet you a thousand dollars I can beat you in a round of golf today. No handicapping either, a straight shot-to-shot competition, all you need to do is give me two "Gotchas"." The club pro readily agreed, no matter that he didn't really understand what a gotcha was. So on the first tee, just as the pro was addressing the ball and about to hit his drive, the old guy came up behind him and whacked him hard between the legs with a 5 iron, shouting GOTCHA! as he did so.

Come the end of the round and the old guy won. The pro had played terribly and his pals wanted to know what had gone wrong and how he'd lost $1,000. After all, they said, he only had two Gotchas and he'd already used one on the very first tee. To which the pro explained, "Yeah, but you try playing a round of golf waiting for the second gotcha." End of cheesy golf yarn. 

I was asked about Turquoise Hill (TRQ) ( on Twitter this morning and the first thing that came to mind was that golf joke. The problem with Mongolia is that they agree on a contract, promise with all hands on all sacred books that the deal is set in stone, pretend that they are willing to enter into long-term, mutually beneficial deals and then, when circumstances suit the country, its congress will turn around and insist that the mining company re-negotiate the deal (else be thrown out). I don't see why I should expose my cash to the whims and fancies of non-serious Asian country that farks miners around, changes rules and moves goalposts on a regular basis and without a care in the world. I have enough on my plate trying to keep up with the shenanigans played by LatAm politicos, why complicate life further?


The Friday OT: J.S. Bach: Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D Major, BWV 1068: 2. Air

This version of one of the JS Bach Greatest Hits, by the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, is my favourite. Pace, lightness of touch, fluidity.

Youtube here. Get Bach, Jojo.

Copper moves

A literal afterthought about five minutes before closing the edition, in the conclusion points of last weekend's IKN Weekly, IKN529, your humble scribe wrote, "About time copper got off its tush and rallied, no?" A copper chart:

I took my cue from the uranium fanboys; call "gonna fly any moment" enough times and one of them turns out to be right (even if you have to wait eight years, eh guys?). Anyway, TA sez there is resistance right here at U$2.80/lb, then every five cents step up to U$3.00/lb. If it gets that far, blue sky.

UPDATE: An hour later...

...and the quick retest of $2.75. Hmmm....


GLD bullion inventories...

...have just woken up:

This evening's 814.62 metric tonnes is 15mt up in the last two days and also fits with this rumour:

The price of gold

A most fetching chart:


My holy stars Sandstorm (SAND) ( took you freakin' long enough:

Better late than never, though. Lots of up left here, SAND has grown and matured since the last cycle and the bigger boys will now start to notice how cheap it is compared to FNV, RGLD and WPM at the top table. And yes, of course I'm long this one, have been for quite a while.


Ray Dalio's Number One Guru status is confirmed

This morning, Ray Dalio called buy on gold and said it would be "...a top investment during upcoming 'paradigm shift' for global markets." Here's the Kitco spot gold chart:

Yup, Ray Dalio did that and it takes enormous market heft to move the price of the thing at the very bottom of the financial pile by twenty bucks, just on your word. We doff our caps, Mr. Dalio.


Peru ex-President Alejandro Toledo arrested in USA

On charges that require his extradition from The USA to Peru. Game on.

Link to RPP report here

More on silver

Thanks kindly to Gary Tanashian over there in Biiwii/NFTRH land for linking to my previous post, but his thoughts on silver in this chartfest post are absolutely on-point about the metal and its risk/reward future. Pay attention to Gary T people, no better commods chartist.

A word on silver (from IKN528)

This piece discussing the potential for a silver breakout and what I planned to do before and after the event appeared in The IKN Weekly edition of two weekends ago, IKN528 dated July 7th, 2019. Another example of the difference between the blog and the weekly (where I actually get some work done), I'm publishing it on the open blog because from where I'm sitting it's really hard to get a balanced view on this most contentious of metals, all the "silver sucks" versus "silver to the moon" shouting just gets on my nerves. Charts as appeared nine days ago, one company name removed.


A word on silver
A lot of people are now pointing to silver as the place to be, with newsletter writers, columnists and mining radio show hosts all banging the table hard on the inevitable rise in silver that will make us all rich, so let’s have a re-cap of the IKN Weekly coverage on the metal this year. In the fundies note IKN513 dated March 24th entitled, “Regarding the Price of Silver in 2019” I laid out my own case for an improved price of silver this year. Based on fundamentals (instead of hope), the piece examined supply and demand characteristics of silver and came to its conclusion, repeated here:

“There are never any guarantees, but on balance and after looking at the sector from several different angles this week I’m fairly certain that the bottom in the price of silver is in and downside risk is minimal. This isn’t due to lack of demand from its main customers as industries of all sorts, electronics makers, solar panel makers and people who like to wear shiny things on their fingers, ears and necks are buying the metal as per normal. The demand slump comes from the investment community, silver is now totally out of fashion and being puked back into the market at a rate only seen at the height of the financial crisis, ten years ago. That’s the contrarian signal I look for.”

That fundies note got a small update in IKN516 dated April 14th, in which the argument was repeated (and noted the potential for the price of silver to move more quickly than I’d thought). With that in mind, here’s the 2019 YTD comparative chart for silver (SLV proxy) compared to gold (GLD):

So let’s check on the IKN513 conclusion paragraph:

  • The bottom of the silver price was NOT in at the time, we had to wait for late May. Also in IKN517 I posited that silver may start its rebound earlier than I’d imagined in the first piece, so that was wrong, too.
  • Then again, the line about “downside risk minimal” seems to have held. Yes we dropped some more, no the drop didn’t last and we’re now back at U$15/oz.
  • If silver stackers are coming back into fashion (and they are getting the pep talk from all sides of the precious metals fanclub), as noted in the main body of IKN513 that would probably be enough to tip the balance back to bullish.

It’s hardly an inspiring price performance (and the reason I set against gold is to show silverbugs what they’ve been missing), but flatline after three months isn’t a disaster either and there are signs silver is waking up. However, there’s also this:

The gold/silver ratio for the past five years has been one-way traffic, with just the period in early 2016 to alleviate the pain for longs. There’s a lot of talk about that early 2016 period today, the recent gold move being compared to what we saw back then and the way silver may have taken its time to get its act together, but when it did shot like a rocket. And that’s fair enough, if the pattern does repeat anyone buying today will look much smarter than me. However, let’s recall that the move in gold in the first six months of 2016 was sharper than the one we’ve seen so far today, from U$1,085/oz to U$1,355/oz (feel free to argue the toss about intraday reads, I’m going with the London PM fix data), which is give-or-take +25%. In the same time period, silver moved from U$13.80/oz to U$20.30/oz, roughly 47%. Yes, that’s big beta to gold and probably why silver’s speculative attraction is getting column inches, but we need to compare it to the current move in gold, which can be spotted in other prices but I’m going to go with the global general U$1,300/oz to U$1,400/oz, a 7.7% improvement. Even if you pimp the bottom and top prices of the current gold move, it’s difficult to get over 10% and that’s nowhere near the power of the turn we saw in early 2016…not yet at least.

Yes, silver is now more tempting as a speculative opportunity but that’s what it is, no more and no less (and I trust you hold gold bullion for different reasons than mere speculation). The GSR is very high at 93X, but the same people telling you it cannot go any higher are the ones in March and April telling you that 85X was the top as well (and let us be crystal clear about this, I was one of those and even if I allowed myself time for the turn to happen and claim some mitigation, I was wrong). Therefore and for the time being, I will stick with (name removed) as my sole direct silver exposure and stick with mostly gold until there is a definite change in the GSR trend. It is not our friend and fortunes have been lost by people watching black coming up eight times in a row on a roulette wheel and assuming the odds were 9/1 in their favour on the next spin (88.9%). No, sorry, they were 48.64% that you’d win and 51.36% that you’d lose, the same as always. Predicting nine trading days in a row is very different from watching eight and predicting one.

However, both you and I should be ready with our best trade ideas if silver does make that turn. At the very top of the GSR we get a sharp waterfall drop that breaks through trends (note the 50dma and 200dma lines on the above chart, they’ll do as a start) and when that happens, the silver stocks will blast off before you can get on the cheapest prices (better put, “before I can get on the cheapest prices”). However, that should not deter a new long position in silver as this chart featuring a few silver names (from the top of my head, no cute cherrypicking on display) helps to illustrate.

Bottom line: I will not try to catch this falling silver ratio knife, but I am ready with trade ideas if the turn materializes. Until then, gold is preferred at The IKN Weekly (except XXX).


Tia Maria today


The IKN Weekly, out now

IKN529 has just been sent to subscribers. The main event is part one of the site visit report to the Trilogy Metals (TMQ) project in Alaska, though the best thing this week is the write-up on New Gold (NGD). I thought that came out really well.


The Friday OT: Beethoven's 9th symphony, 4th movement, Daniel Baremboim

I revisited The Ninth this week as I had time to spare on planes as well as great earphones, but also because a news item from a couple of weeks ago had been preying on my mind. That moment when the Brexit politicians elected to the European Parliament decided to turn their backs while the EU anthem was played. Controversy ensued, but the aspect that cut deeper was captured in this excellent piece of journalism, "Beethoven's Ninth – Farage turned his back on more than just music" which explained the anthem's refrain is from the ninth and what that symbolized. Here's how it starts:
Yesterday, Brexit party MEPs led by Nigel Farage turned their backs while the anthem of the European Union played at a ceremony to mark the opening of the European Parliament. Their behaviour has been met with disdain by many, with #notinmyname trending on Twitter. This was an emotionally provocative act at a time of political sensitivity, and there is something about the shunning of the anthem itself, an instrumental arrangement of the Ode to Joy from the final movement of Beethoven’s iconic Ninth Symphony, that makes the demonstration particularly inflammatory.
Then later here's another small snippet:
The symphony traces a trajectory of struggle and triumph. It takes the listener on a journey from the dramatic buildup in intensity in the first movement to the energetic scherzo of the second movement, the idyllic lyricism of the third movement, and finally the glorious, visionary redemption in the choral conclusion that is so powerful because it is hard won. Beethoven’s musical choices create drama. There are extreme contrasts of sound. There are frenzied bursts of activity and repeated rhythms that drive the music forward. There are also dramatic silences and disruptions. This is music that is created on a grand scale, using the whole expressive range of the orchestra.

Well worth reading the whole thing, it's much more than my excerpts. Anyway, that got me thinking about it, with time on my hands I stopped all reading and writing to just listen to it, it was great and rich fun, so now it's your turn and here's Daniel Baremboim doing the climax of the symphony, the final "Choral" movement. Stick around for the end, when the crowd go absolutely apeshit.

Youtube here. But if you want the full-on experience and have that hour and a half to spare, go here for Bernstein's 1989 Berlin Wall version of The Ninth. An unforgettable night, to say the very least.

Getting back into the swing...

...after a travel imposed quiet moment on the blog. The standard nonsense will return forthwith, probably before then I'll be writing this week's edition of The IKN Weekly. Main topics this time, the site visit report on Trilogy Metals ( and an update of our keep-eye-on-it coverage of New Gold (NGD).

Finally, all the team here at IKN Nerve Centre continue to thank you for your kind preference.


The Clinton/Epstein flow chart

Shamelessly stolen from Quoth The Raven (who is a great follow on Twitter, btw):

"A flow chart explaining Bill Clinton’s relationship with accused pedophile and sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein."

Further questions?

There ya go, I knew it had just slipped Newmont Goldcorpse's (NEM) mind

Partial Underground Operations at Newmont Goldcorp’s Red Lake Mine to Safely Resume by Tuesday

DENVER--()--Newmont Goldcorp Corporation (NYSE: NEM, TSX: NGT) (Newmont Goldcorp or the Company) today reported that partial underground operations at the Company’s Red Lake mine in Ontario, Canada will safely resume by Tuesday, July 9. Underground mining was proactively paused on July 3 to allow for the installation of additional controls to further protect workers in the event water entered the mine through an historic stope at the Cochenour complex which is part of Red Lake. Processing and other surface operations at the mine have continued uninterrupted and underground workers were temporarily reassigned to jobs at the mill and other surface facilities.

The temporary pause in underground mining was proactively implemented following an in-depth review of an historic stope at Cochenour. Although there were no known changes to conditions at the mine, the decision to temporarily pause underground operations was taken to strengthen controls protecting the safety of Red Lake’s workforce.
The Red Lake mining district is located 180 kilometres north of Dryden, approximately 100 kilometres from the Manitoba border in northwestern Ontario. Mining operations include the Red Lake and Campbell underground mining and processing complexes, as well as Cochenour. The Red Lake mining district has been in operation since 1949.
About Newmont Goldcorp

Bristow the big game hunter: The FT's Lex does the mathematics

Right here. Three excerpts:
"The death (of Cecil the lion) fuelled hostility against wealthy people who hunt rare, charismatic animals. They include Mark Bristow, boss of big gold miner Barrick. MP Zac Goldsmith helped launch the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting in the UK this week."

"Tourism groups and trophy hunters both claim to encourage conservation by giving animals a financial value. Which activity is worth most?"

"Discounted over a 12-year life, any lion would have a net present value of $179,000. That is still more than four times higher than the price for shooting a pride master."

In other words, much like the people who wield the guns the whole "big game hunting revenue helps Africa" line is just one giant crock of shit. Mind you, having a giant crock of shit as a CEO is probably viewed as an advantage by most insto investors. TY reader L for the heads-up.


The IKN Weekly, out now

IKN528 has just been sent to subscribers. Sticky fingers.


Mining ops at Newmont's (NEM) Red Lake have been shut down for the last four days

And counting. 

Turns out that the people who are supposed to be monitoring the potential for flooding at the mine have not been doing their job. So when a consultant hydrologist walked into the mine last week and asked to see the water flow data over the mine (particularly the bits that now connect the new mine to the old Cochenour mine, an area deemed at risk for flooding), there was none to give because they found out there and then that the monitoring stations were all off-line. At this point, the consultant points out that it would probably be bad PR if the mine suddenly flooded and killed a couple of hundred workers and as a result, all UG ops have been suspended.

Here at IKN we are sure that NEM planned on telling us about this unholy snafu and that it probably just slipped their minds.


Bobby G avoids jail

Which is a pity. This from Stockwatch:

Ontario's Bobby Genovese has agreed to a permanent penny stock ban and to pay $4.5-million to settle civil charges that he faces from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the manipulation of Liberty Silver Corp. (All figures are in U.S. dollars.) The SEC had cited him for touting the stock while failing to disclose the sale of millions of shares. According to the regulator, he unloaded $17.5-million worth of stock, generating an $8-million profit.
The settlement with Mr. Genovese is contained in a judgment filed on July 1, 2019, in federal court in New York. Mr. Genovese has agreed to disgorge $3.8-million in gains, plus interest, and to pay a $300,000 civil penalty. He has also accepted a permanent penny stock ban. In accepting the sanctions, Mr. Genovese did not admit to any wrongdoing. The disgorgement portion of the settlement applies to Mr. Genovese and to his private company, BG Capital Group Ltd.

The Friday OT: Fout Tet; Planet

Like nothing you have ever heard. Utterly addictive. Comes at the end of his 2017 album New Energy and what a way to go out.

By the way, it's been a quiet week on the blog and will be again next week, though for different reasons. However I am not planning on moving to Twitter completely and the blog will perk up soon enough. Been sitting around thinking about the market this week, not just writing about it.


Core Gold (CGLD.v): A spanner in the works

This would be more fun if I weren't long for the arbitrage trade. It's still fun in a way, though.

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, July 04, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Core Gold Inc. ("Core Gold" or the "Company") (TSXV: CGLD, OTCQX: CGLDF) announces that, on July 4, 2019, the British Columbia Supreme Court declined to approve Core Gold's proposed transaction with Titan Minerals Limited (“Titan”) concluding that the Company had failed to satisfy its burden of proof in establishing that the transaction was fair and reasonable.  
The Company is considering its options, including appealing the decision. 
The Arrangement Agreement between Core and Titan continues in force and has not been terminated.
About Core Gold


Sandstorm Gold 2q19 sales

Darned good quarter. And more to come like this one.

Great Panther ( (GPL): Here comes the dilution

Nice timing guys, Holiday Week filing, making sure as few eyeballs as possible see it. Therefore, welcome to IKN.


In which Janet Shelton's gold bug credentials are examined and is also called "a hack"

This Vox piece from about a month ago on the new POTUS pick for the Fed. An excerpt:

Perhaps most tellingly, when the Financial Times interviewed her for a May 31 article about her monetary policy views, she chose to conduct the interview at the Trump Hotel in Washington, DC. She also suggested that Mar-a-Lago might be an ideal place to host her proposed international conference on the gold standard. She’s saying, in other words, that she’s a Trump loyalist beyond all else. And while on one level she should be more confirmable than Moore or Cain, having already received Senate confirmation for her current lower-profile job, she poses all the same risks of politicization and lost independence as the other two.

Full thing here.

B2Gold and Calibre took six months... reach this deal:

VANCOUVER , July 2, 2019 /CNW/ - B2Gold Corp. (TSX.BTO. NYSE AMERICAN: BTG. NSX: B2G) ("B2Gold") and Calibre Mining Corp. (CXB.V) (the "Company" or "Calibre") (jointly the "Partners")  are pleased to announce that on July 2, 2019 , the Partners entered into a binding agreement (the "Agreement")  for B2Gold to restructure its interests in, and for Calibre to acquire, the producing El Limon and La Libertad Gold Mines (the "Nicaragua Mines"), the Pavon Gold Project and additional mineral concessions in Nicaragua (collectively, the " Nicaragua Assets") held by B2Gold for aggregate consideration of US$100 million (the "Purchase Price"), which Purchase Price will be paid with a combination of cash, common shares and a convertible debenture  (the "Transaction"). Following the completion of the Transaction, B2Gold will own an approximate 31% direct equity interest in Calibre. Continues here

This from The IKN Weekly IKN505 dated January 25th 2019:

B2Gold and Calibre Mining (CXB.v) are talking (again)
As one source I quizzed on the following correctly pointed out, one of the worst kept secrets on Bay Street (rather than Howe St) is that over the past couple of years Calibre Mining (CXB.v) has wanted to do a deal with B2Gold ( (BTG) for its Nicaragua assets. The two sides have talked, on and off, on at least an informal basis and the last time this happened the conversations stopped around the time BTO made its Limon Central Pit discovery, a year and a bit ago. Quite correctly, BTO wanted to work out what it had there but now it has received an operating licence for Limon Central (with pre-production works now underway) they probably have a good handle on the new asset add-on and the informal talks were broken off.

Until recently, according to a trusted IKN source. Apparently CXB and BTO are talking again about the Nicaragua assets and as we know CXB is getting more aggressive in its positioning (new directors, recent financing and 10-for-1 share rollback, recent deal with Centerra for its “Siuna” property in Nicaragua (14), there’s a decent slug of logic to back up the rumour.

An initial thought on the Tinka Resources (TK.v) PEA

As expected, Tinka Resources (TK.v) announced its PEA this morning. Here's the link and while I'm going to be looking at it all day, an initial thought gets illustrated by this graphic from the NR:

They used U$1.20/lb for zinc in the economics, which was higher than the U$1.15/lb in previous resource estimates and slightly above the current spot price (U$1.17/lb). That's not my idea of a "base case" so in order to get a handle on the robustness of Ayawilca PEA a little math is required. This visual helps the process, as it tells us that at U$1.08/lb Zn the NPV drops to around U$230m. 

We also note that TK's share price has tanked this morning, down 26.5% to 23.5c (and was lower earlier). That puts TK's market cap at U$47.3m. In other words, 13% of NPV at U$1.20/lb Zn and  20% of NPV at U$1.08/lb Zn. And now I'm going to think more about the meaning of this PEA.


Copper reverses

I am watching this reversal in copper and wondering why. Here's the five minute chart:

I was not expecting this. Any ideas? Answers over at Twitter.

Brent Cook talks gold 1400 and vintage bets on Escobal...

...with La Cambone, over at Kitco. Link here.

The IKN Weekly, out now

IKN527 has just been sent to subscribers. Cabbages and kings.


A death at Endeavour Silver ( (EXK)

Yesterday Saturday at 2pm, a worker at Endeavour Silver's Bolañitos mine was crushed to death by a large rock. Though you wouldn't know it by asking at EDR.

Economic Alpha does a Kirkland Lake (KL) 2q19 production preview

Luis/Economic Alpha over at his blog High Grade has put together this post to preview the Kirkland Lake (KL) 2q19 production numbers. As it's his specialty stock and he's called it extremely well these last couple of years, you'd be wise to take his thoughts into account. Click here, go see.


The top three most visited IKN posts this week are... reverse order:
Third Place: "Novo Resources (NVO.v): "My brother made me do it" and other such balderdash from Quinton Hennigh". The very best scams are the ones where nobody ever realizes the scam.

Second Place: "Fun at the Sherritt International AGM". Reader J did some counting and thinks it was John Berry at Foyston, Gordon & Payne. Looks likely, but this is unconfirmed.
First Place: "Belo Sun ( And we wudda gotten away with it too...". A small victory. Happy.


The Friday OT: Gianluca Motta/Molly/Deadmau5 remix; Not alone

I cannot begin to tell you about the sound of this.

So hear it for yourself. Youtube here


Novo Resources (NVO.v): "My brother made me do it" and other such balderdash from Quinton Hennigh

TY for the heads-up reader "ID". This is freakin' hilarious. Go here to read the story behind Quinton Hennigh's "live jackhammer show" pump job of Novo Resources (NVO.v) at Denver in 2017. The funny bits include:
  • QH tells us his brother gave him the bright idea
  • He admits it was a promo pump job that ballooned the share price far higher than it deserved
  • However, he says that we can now trust the company to do good science and is excited for the future, Well, hoodathunkit, eh?

Only in Canada.

The Tinka Resources (TK.v) PEA

Tinka Resources (TK.v) previously guided to deliver the PEA on its Ayawilca project by the end of 2q19, which is officially Sunday and which means to comply, TK.v would need to file its announcement tomorrow Friday June 28th. 

We hear today that the PEA is to all intents and purposes ready. However, the company has decided to take a couple of extra days, go through all items with a critical eye and not beat itself up about hitting the exact date. The PEA will be announced on Tuesday, July 2nd and now you know as much as I do.

Pretium TA

If it's true what they say about gaps filling, PVG has more to come.

Fun at the Sherritt International AGM

Reader 'J' was kind enough to give this desk the heads-up, thank you, sir.

Here's the NR, here's a section of the voting results table:

I mean, even the other 83% and 84% approval votes aren't much to boast about and there was a rough 17m block vote that went against every member of the gang, but it seems that Mr. David Pathe has picked up an extra special fanclub along the way and escaped being voted down by the slimmest of margins (it only needed another 3.5% or so of votes to show up against him and that would have been that). But why was he so unpopular? We get a clue in the NR footnotes:

"1 Sherritt believes that the percentage of votes withheld for David Pathe was negatively impacted by a practice known as “empty voting” whereby shareholders exercise their legal right to vote after selling their positions. More specifically, Sherritt believes that one of its largest institutional investors disposed of much, if not all, of its position subsequent to the record date of the meeting, and nevertheless withheld its vote against Mr. Pathe. Mr. Pathe would have received 74.54% votes in favor without the impact of this “empty voting” had this shareholder’s votes not been so withheld. Sherritt experienced a turnover of 112,082,964 shares, or 28% of its outstanding shares, during the five-day period following the record date of April 25, 2019. The Canadian Coalition for Good Governance has categorically rejected empty voting as a practice because it undermines the tenets of majority voting."

One man's empty vote is another's protest vote, of course. And if we look at the share price chart for in the period, we get an idea of the price change that 112m share churn caused:

As reader J rightly pointed out, being willing to accept a big loss like that just to try and vote down one single board member is true dedication to a cause, Pathe must have really pissed them off.


Belo Sun ( And we wudda gotten away with it too...

...if it weren't for you pesky kids and that dawg. Ahh, here's one of those small victory moments. I know they don't dent much into the great scheme of things, but it's nice to have made a difference somewhere along the line. 

You may remember this post dated June 4th entitled, "Belo Sun ( is the poster child for everything that's wrong in Canadian junior mining", which explained what the BSX board was quietly trying to push through in its upcoming AGM? It went on a bit, but here's how the summing-up came at the end:
  • The BSX cronies get paid a crazy amount of money in the first place.
  • For at least five years (and arguably longer) they have done nothing to move their project forward, but still cut themselves fat cheques.
  • But now, if they are fired for doing a bad job they get fat bonuses
  • And even if the shareholders of the company (i.e. the real owners) boot them out, this is now considered a "change of control" event and they still get an obscene payola.

Cut to today and this little piece of wonderful. Here's the main bit of the NR, your humble scribe adding a bit of dark ink:

TORONTO, June 26, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Belo Sun Mining Corp. (“Belo Sun” or the “Company”) (TSX: BSX) announces that it has entered into a cooperation agreement (the “Agreement”) with Sun Valley Gold LLC and Sun Valley Gold Master Fund, Ltd. (together “Sun Valley”) pursuant to which Belo Sun and Sun Valley, among other things, agree to work together to identify three new independent directors to appoint to the Company’s board following the Belo Sun annual shareholder meeting scheduled for June 28, 2019.  Upon the appointment of the new director nominees, two Belo Sun directors will agree to step down from their respective roles on the board to allow room for the new directors.  Following these changes, the Belo Sun board will consist of a total of six directors. 

“We are pleased to have entered into a cooperation agreement with our largest shareholder that is both responsive to their views and allows management to focus on advancing the Company’s Volta Grande project in Brazil,” said Peter Tagliamonte President and CEO. “We look forward to having Sun Valley continue as a long-term, supportive shareholder of the Company.” 
Pursuant to the Agreement, Sun Valley has agreed to vote all of the common shares of Belo Sun within its control in favour of the nominees recommended by the Company at the upcoming shareholder meeting through to the 2020 annual general meeting of shareholders of Belo Sun.  

In other words, Sun Valley threatened BSX with activist voting if BSX didn't do something about this scandalous one-way street of benefits to the cozy Bharti gang. But more importantly, those self-serving wastes of time don't have unfettered control any more. 

One point scored by IKN. The game continues.


Timestamping a bet

This post notes the following bet between your humble scribe and Brent Cook.
"Brent Cook says that the Escobal silver mine in Guatemala, owners Pan American Silver (PAAS), will receive all necessary permits from the government of Guatemala and announce the imminent re-start of mining by the end of this year."

I, of course, disagree. The bet runs to December 31st 2019, at which point the loser must buy a bottle of red wine for the winner. The wine is of the loser's choosing, but must retail at over U$100 per bottle.


Newmont Goldcorpse (NEM) underperformance continues

Here's how much Newmont Goldcorpse (NEM) is lagging Barrick (GOLD) and the Gold & Silver Miner's Index (XAU) through this new gold bull:

Buy Goldcorpse, live with the consequences.

Osisko sells its shares of Victoria Gold (VIT.v) to Orion

The NR starts like this:

TORONTO, June 25, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Victoria Gold Corp. (TSX.V-VIT) (“Victoria” or the “Company”) announces today that its two largest shareholders, Orion Mine Finance Inc. (and its affiliated funds) (“Orion”) and Osisko Gold Royalties Ltd. (“Osisko”) have agreed a transaction whereby Orion Co-VI Ltd., a fund controlled by Orion, will purchase from Osisko all 154,517,996 common shares of the Company owned by Osisko at a purchase price of $0.46 per common share (the “Transaction”), which is based on a premium of 15%, which is the maximum allowable premium for a transaction of this type. Together with the 163,636,364 common shares of the Company already controlled by Orion, Orion will beneficially control, directly or indirectly, 318,154,360 common shares of the Company as a result of the Transaction, representing approximately 37.1% of the issued and outstanding common shares of the Company. Orion also owns warrants to purchase an additional 25,000,000 common shares of the Company at a price of $0.625 per common share that expire on April 13, 2023.

Full thing here. Anyone who considers this a bullish development for VIT.v needs their head examining, this is what happens when an insto that thinks it's smart about Canadian mining comes up against a man who is.


Chart of the day is...

...the centre of the known financial universe, the US Dollar:

It's going under 90.

The IKN Weekly, out now

I really like Felix the Cat

IN526 has just been sent to subscribers, home to just about the possible worst commentary on the week in mining. A total waste of time.

PS:  Subscribers using Hotmail may need to check trash/spam in case of apparent non-delivery, that mailbox system seems to have tweaked its anti-spam software a little too hard and there were several people who had last weeks' edition sent to spam.


The top three most visited IKN posts this week are... reverse order:
Third Place: "Ari Sussman's crocodile tears". Not often a late-ish Friday post gets to make the weekly Top Three next morning, but here we are. Got some really interesting feedback on this too, including confirmation that the reporter did bugger all background checking and DD into the real story before filing. Ari will be pleased, his desperate scramble to clear himself of any guilt. Your arrogance and weak management killed them, Ari.

Second Place: "Welcome to the gold bull market". I don't deliberately try to write clickbait headlines, but let's face facts; Though not done on purpose, that was a clickbait headline.
First Place: "And on the subject of Eric Sprott and insider holdings...". Talking of clickbait, put his name in the title and you get visitors. I knew that.


Victoria Gold (VIT.v) is now officially over-budget at Eagle

When they published their feasibility study (September 2016) Victoria Gold VIT.v) told us the capex for the project would be C$370m. So let's see how things are doing as at end February 2019 via the annual financials, published today:

Yup, we're already overbudget and with seven months to go from that date to first production (which in turn will not be when VIT goes cash flow positive), this capex blowout will only get worse. In fact VIT.v has already secured a total of around C$550m for its mine construction, which is a fair indicator of where we're really going. With over 860m shares out, a heap of debt to pay back and working cap negative, too. But who cares about boring old math when gold is pretty and shiny, right?

The Friday OT: Eddie Izzard; Death star canteen

Totally OT and unrelated to anything today. Just damned funny.

Youtube here.

Fortuna Silver ( (FSM): Simon Ridgway survives again

One of these years he's not going to scramble over the 50% line:

Just goes to show that not all the insto holders of FVI are twats.

Ari Sussman's crocodile tears

It gives zero pleasure to drag up this sordid tale again, but something needs to be said about the way in which Continental Gold ( is re-writing the history of the murders of the CNL geologists at its Berlín project last year due to this Reuters piece, published yesterday. Here's how Ari Sussman puts it:
Now, nine months later, and with upgraded security, the Buritica project is still on track to kick off production next May, with managers acknowledging last year’s setback but also confident the venture will prosper.
“Even if it’s terrorism you have to accept that you failed. You lost a life you failed, period,” Chief Executive Ari Sussman told Reuters last week on the sidelines of a tour of the mine for journalists and investors. “We couldn’t have seen this coming but it happened so we’ve rebuilt our system and brought in new people.”

Which is, of course, total bullshit. Probably why they invited the generalist biz media and nobody who actually knows about mining or what really happened. It now seems to have slipped CEO Sussman's mind that the team of geologists attacked by the ELN terrorists had been in contact with their bosses in Medellín and their own families and telling them all for the two weeks leading up to the attack that they had been receiving threats and were very nervous about being up there. Sussman also fails to disclose how CNL has been desperate to re-visit its Berlín project for years and hadn't done so because they and everyone else knew for a fact it was a hot zone for "Bacrim" activities (Colombian term for criminal bands of both far right and far left leanings). Of course they could have and should have seen it coming! Plain fact is that CNL decided to gamble and move back to the Berlín project before it was safe, those are decisions taken at C-suite level. 

But what really sticks in the craw about the above quote is the way Sussman tells us he has failed. Damn straight you have, so why are you still there as CEO of the company? This is just an episode of crocodile tears from somebody with blood on their hands who is too much of a coward to do the right thing. An utter toerag.


Welcome to the gold bull market

It's been a while coming, but...

...everything changes now.

Poverty in Argentina

The percentage of Argentina's population under the official poverty line, early 2016 to date (i.e. the Macri presidential period. From here:

Just in case you don't get why Alberto Fernández is favourite to beat Macri in October. He has failed to bring inflation under control (a basic promise of his previous election campaign) and in fact it has spiralled further out of control. That has eaten away at spending power under Macri's austerity plan and the result is the above chart. Also, consider in that linked opinion poll how one of the graphics notes that 63.7% of Argentinians will not vote for Macri under any circumstances in round one.

We again check in on Newmont (NEM)... work out where it would be trading today if it hadn't bought Goldcorpse:

So that'd be between +14% and +19% of today's U$37.65 price. That makes it between U$42.92 and U$44.80. Or if you like, by taking the old 533m shares out count as our level, up to three point eight billion dollars washed down the toilet. Because mining.

Ecuador's Environment Ministry ordered to apologize to the nation for allowing mining exploration in a protected area

Yesterday, the three court judges covering the "Los Cedros" case in Ecuador finally handed down their verdict and it's one that spells real trouble for the Ecuador government's plans for mining development. "Los Cedros" is a protected forest area in the Intag region of Imbabura province. Intag is high on the list of mining development targets due to the presence of many exploration stage companies there, not least the Codelco-Enami JV at Llurimagua. The thing about Los Cedros is that despite being a nationally recognized protected area since 1994, the government thought it wise to permit mining exploration there and allowed Cornerstone Capital (CGP.v) to do just that, then later the State mining entity Enami. Locals have been fighting hard to stop them ever since and this case has come through the ranks and is considered to be one that would set legal precedent in the country. So anyway, here's what the judges decided (translated):
"It is decided to annul the contested administrative act, namely Resolution 225741 dated December 12 2017, in which the Ministry of the Environment and Water permitted the environmental registry in favour of Empresa Nacional Minera (Enami EP) to allow the initial exploration phase of the project Minero Río Magdalena, comprised of the concessions Río Magdalena 01 (code 40000339) and Río Magdalena 02 (code 40000340) located inside the Los Cedros Protected Forest, Llurimagua sector, parish of García Moreno, Cotacachi cantón, province of Imbabura."
But that's not all, because the juduciary are so annoyed at the way the government tried to ride roughshod over its own constitution, the wishes of the people in the Intag region and its own laws that they require the Ministries in question to deliver a public apology to the nation. We quote the ruling once again:
"The public apology must be published at least once in a national circulation newspaper, as well as in a visible and easily accessible part of the front page of its institutional website for the period of three months."
However, don't let freshly written legal precedent get in the way of your own biases, feel free to kid yourself that this will only apply to one small zone of Ecuador and that the other mining companies are not crapping themselves about this development. After all, it's your money.

Chart of the day is...

...copper, hourlies:

Even the useful metals are going up this morning.


Gold and copper are both moving up this evening

Which is most interesting.

And as someone with more net exposure to copper than gold at the moment, all I can say is "about freakin time."

Mexican Gold (MEX.v) will get the full Palisade / Vancouver P+D treatment

We already know Mexican Gold (MEX.v) is one of the scummy Palisade pump jobs. We also know that as usual with this den of thieves, the P has been faithfully followed by the D:

So the news today that "industry veteran" (translation: happy to spread KY Jelly over own buttocks in return for cash) Phil O'Neill has taken over from Carl Hering as CEO, who moves to COO (why does a Mexican exploreco need a COO now?) is a sure fire tell on the plans Palisade has for this vehicle. When the BS pump comes, and it will as day follows night, be crystal clear about who will be selling to the suckers who fall for this perennial crap.

Do not feed the animals.


And on the subject of Eric Sprott and insider holdings...

...when you go over to SEDI, the page they give you before your target name comes up provided this spectacle for me today. Eric Sprott's declared insider holdings (almost always when he goes over 10% holdings) over the last ten years:

For sure there are some great winners on that list, Kirkland Lake an obvious example. But my stars and holy moley there are some utter moneypit dogstocks that have shrunk to nothing on that list, too.

Jaguar Mining (JAG.v) and Eric Sprott

So we get the news this morning that Eric Sprott (and Toqueville) has moved to bail out once again inject vital and company-enhancing working capital in Jaguar Mining (JAG.v). With the company insisting that the U$25m they'll collect from the placement (priced at 8.5c) will be enough to inject life and cover capital needs (now where the F have I heard that one before? This company is doing a Groundhog Day on my head), everybody's congratulating Eric Sprott from getting in this cheaply and now owning over 40% of the company. 

Which made me go, "Yeaah, but how much did he pay for his other positions?", so off to SEDI we go, and...

...the answer is $13.79m. That means with the U$15m coming to C$20m approx today, he's paid a rounded-up CAD$33.8m for 42.6% of Jaguar Mining, the process having started a little under three years ago. By the end of this very dilutive placement, JAG will have 722.623m shares out and as they are being priced at 17c today on this news (though as this 5 day chart shows, we're pretty rampy and volatile today and that price could change), a pro-rata market cap of CAD$122.85m.

In other words, Eric Sprott is now on a paper profit of C$18.53m. Good for him. Even better for JAG, who now get to pay those key management salaries for a couple more years. Not so good for those retail shareholders squeezed between the mediocrity of JAG and its serially under-performing mines, and the big swinging benefactor coming in at a deep discount, a year ago this was a 36c stock (it would take a double from here....after a 119% dilution....ahhh, good luck).

This how the industry works if you are the guy tapped for cash by the distressed end of the gold mining world when times are tough. The billionaire goldbug prime target gets to buy his "bargain" and the godawful assets that should have been shuttered years ago keep on churning out gold at cost breakeven levels because their benefactor thinks gold is going to U$1,800/oz and needs to make this type of bet to make any difference to his pile of coins already. This bet is his equivalent of me going to a casino with U$200 and trying my luck for a couple of hours while sipping my freebie margarita.

Gary T does the copper price charts

Check it out, right here. An extract:

"The bounce is on and while RSI is getting a bit peppy, MACD is good and constructive."

If I knew what the hell he was talking about, I'd agree. Go see for yourself, though.


Integra Resources (ITR.v) with a strong resource update

Here's a freebie for you. Be clear that I'm long Integra Resources (ITR.v), have been for a while, I'm modestly up on the position and I'm not selling any at anywhere near these prices so with a nice shouty clear disclosure, the NR out this evening for ITR.v will price the stock up tomorrow (unless gold dumps $30). Here's the title, click on it to read the whole thing:

This is a strong step along the way of getting the very large DeLamar deposit into gear and this stock price with some momentum. As soon as I saw the NR hit, I shot a mail over to ITR CEO Salamis and asked him for the flavorful comments and here's what he had to say (very slightly edited):
"Very happy with this...Usually with resource conversion to M&I, ounces fall off the table, drop out of the model, etc. Not here. We went up significantly, which is great news. 3.6 M ozs AuEq to 4.4 M is a big jump, and 90% of that is M&I which makes us all happy. All that M&I makes the PEA less risky, as well.

"Other things that make us happy: No major drop in grade, maintained a low strip below 2:1. And...tada!!... 1.5 Mozs AuEq in Ox/trans which we view as fair game for heap leaching. And it’s still wide open for expansion. A win. We are happy."
This one's a buy at these levels, period.

The IKN Weekly, out now

IKN525 has just been sent to subscribers. A choppy weekend.


The Friday OT: BT; 13 Angels On My Broken Windowsill

Brian Transeau really hits the heights in this song. His range and depth of electronica, intersected by some beautifully melodic passages. BT at his best.

Dedicated to reader A and his wonderful partner, fue un gran gusto conocerlos. Youtube here.

Las Bambas breaking news: A truck has spilled a load of copper concentrate

Of all the mines to have this type of accident, it had to be Las Bambas, a contractor truck and along the contentious stretch of road (the "mining corridor") blocked by locals recently. So far the details of the accident this morning aren't with us, we know the truck overturned and spilled its load so that's presumably 30 metric tonnes of toxic dust laying around the place but we'll get to hear how bad it is later, for sure. Link to the Peru government enviro bureau OEFA's report here (Spanish language).


Posting will be quiet... this humble corner of cyberspace for a few days. For secret reasons.


Midas Gold ( kowtow

Last week we had Alexco (AXU) ( ceding to the financiers and running a U$6.5m cheap bought deal, this week it's Midas Gold ( going for C$19.9m at 60c.

With both Barrick and Paulson drinking deeply on this deal, you really get the feeling MAX was "advised" to run one this cheaply.