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Excellon ( faces reality at La Platosa...

...and buys Otis Gold (OOO.v) and the Kilgore project. Probably wise, considering how it's all worked out.

Back to the drawing board, guys.

Argonaut Gold ( impairs half its market cap

You have to scroll down the YE results NR to get to the fun paragraph as they don't seem to be too keen on this info at the top of the missive. But make the effort, because when you do...
There were two significant impairment write downs in 2019: first, a write down of mineral inventory at the El Castillo Complex ($15.4 million) and La Colorada mine ($12.1 million) primarily related to changes in the expected recovery of gold ounces in the leach pads and second, a non-cash write down of the book value of the San Antonio project ($111.0 million) following the denial of the permit application. The associated tax impact of these, along with other results from operations, was an income tax recovery of $15.4 million compared to income tax expense of $6.7 million in the same period of 2018. get to read how a C$276.5m market cap company has just written off assets to the tune of U$111m. That's over half its current market cap in Loonie terms.


One year ago: "Victory Metals (VMX.v) looks overpriced out the gate"

It was this time last year that the ironically named Victory Metals (VMX.v) IPO'd to the TSXV and at the time, this humble corner of cyberspace stated in this eponymous post that "Victory Metals (VMX.v) looks overpriced out the gate". So, let's check in on how Collin Kettell's* playtime CEO job has been getting on:

That's 47% down in a year. Such an obvious promo pump job. Further questions?

*Far too many Ls in his name. Parental literacy is not to be underestimated.

The IKN Weekly, out now

The famous IAS 561 squadron

IKN561 has just been sent to subscribers. Plenty of numbers and one small dog.

Jim Sinclair, from "cornering the silver market" to running scams on gold juniors in Africa

A sad mess of a man with his swindling intentions now clear to see. This one is a three-parter:

1) Post-close on Friday Feb 14th they ran news of "unclassified resources", a NR that caught the attention of this humble corner of cyberspace.

2) TRX moves up 26% on the week, all on improved volumes (whenever there's a buyer there's a seller, so ask yourself who was selling to the retail dumbasses).

3) And then post-close this Friday, we get "Tanzanian Gold Clarifies Disclosure" in which we get the inevitable retraction:
TORONTO, Feb. 21, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Tanzanian Gold Corporation’s, (TSX:TNX) (NYSE American:TRX) (the “Company’s”) Board of Directors wishes to retract in its entirety, as a result of a review by staff of the Ontario Securities Commission (“OSC”), the disclosure of unclassified resources included in the Company’s press release of February 14, 2020 (the “Prior Release”) regarding the Buckreef Project. Unclassified resources are not a CIM category of mineral resources and such disclosure is contrary to paragraphs 2.2(a) and 2.3(1)(a) of National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects.

Jim Sinclair used to run all that CIGA moral high ground shtick on us about gold. Now that he's reduced to scamming the naive by selling them paper in his African junior miner, that high ground has all gone away. 


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

Third Place: "Alexco's (AXU) YESAB water licence is happening this time, it seems". Follow the bouncing ball. You could have bought AXU after this NR for under U$1.90 on Tuesday. Now a U$2.19 stock.

Second Place: "Harte Gold ( goes for the Lake Superior share dilution strategy". The things instos like Appian will do to save face. 

First Place: "This is why Kirkland Lake (KL) is being hammered again". Posts about widely-held held stocks get more hits. Normal.

Answer: No

Not happening.


The Friday OT: JS Bach played by Neville Marriner: Was mir behagt, ist nur die muntre Jagd, BWV 208 (IX: Schafe können sicher weiden)

Better known for the "Sheep may safely graze" aria, JSB wrote this is 1713 and we'd be much the poorer species three hundred years later if he hadn't existed. This is the ninth movement, no singing in this bit, just Marriner's love of Bach shining through.

Such a beautiful piece. Youtube here.

Gold at U$1,600/oz

That's quite a chart:

If your precious metals mining company is not in the green today, it better have a damned good reason.


Confident prediction about Tony Makuch

He won't win in 2020.

Crux Investor does Royal Road Minerals (RYR.v)

Another in the series of Crux Investor interviews, which we like because the team takes time and asks harder questions than the average milquetoast junior mining media outlet. This one with Royal Road Minerals (RYR.v) and its CEO, Tim SackOfMonkeys Coughlin. 

This is why Kirkland Lake (KL) is being hammered again

This time last year, Tony Makuch was happy to explain the thrusting and wonderful results at KL were due to improved grade and reserves at Fosterville.
"Makuch emphasized that it is the 34% increase in the Fosterville Mineral Reserve grade that is driving the million-ounce revised production guidance. He also praised the effectiveness of the infill drilling programs both at Fosterville and Macassa, the latter in Canada."

Kirkland proceeded to spend a bucketful of cash exploring Fosterville, Swan etc, in order to increase resources and reserves. Which brings us to today:
  • At Fosterville P+P reserves are down 610,000 oz.
  • At Fosterville P+P grades are down from 31 g/t to 21.8 g/t
  • At Swan, reserves are down from 2.34m oz to 1.56m oz
  • At Swan, reserve grade is down from 49.6 g/t to 38.6 g/t

All with no meaningful increase in inferred resources. In plain English, the exploration program at Fosterville in 2019 was a bust, the mine is now facing depletion and I wish I could find those quotes of Makuch's about how Fosterville could finish producing 100m oz.

PS: Just imagine how much KL would be down today if they hadn't bought DGC.


Good quarter from Pan American Silver (PAAS)

NR here, a chart of earnings per share here:

The Coeur (CDE) 4q19 financial report highlights

Another raging mess from Coeur.

Non-Cash Write Downs
Fourth quarter non-cash write downs of $277.7 million reflect (i) an impairment on the carrying value of Silvertip’s long-lived assets, (ii) an inventory adjustment related to concentrate at Silvertip, and (iii) an inventory adjustment related to ore stacked on a leach pad at Wharf. Full-year non-cash write downs of $320.0 million also include (i) inventory adjustments at Silvertip during the first three quarters of 2019 and (ii) an adjustment with respect to the partial settlement of a receivable associated with the bankruptcy filing of Republic Metals Corp., which occurred in 2018.
Silvertip Update
The Company has elected to temporarily suspend mining and processing activities at the Silvertip silver-zinc-lead mine in British Columbia, Canada, which represented approximately 6% of the Company’s revenue in 2019. Coeur has been focused on stabilizing mill performance, which has shown signs of improvement, and implementing cost optimization initiatives. Despite these efforts, prevailing market conditions for lead and zinc concentrates remain significant headwinds for the operation.

AMLO: "I don’t want femicides to distract from the raffle"

In today's edition of LADB, Jordana Timerman does a great job of reporting the brouhaha created by AMLO's comments of the number of women murdered in Mexico, plus the latest batch of verbal vomit from Jair Bolsonaro. Anyone into the region's news and affairs should read Latin America Daily Briefing, every bit as good as any Spanish language curation site.

The reality of Keith Neumeyer, Kitco's 2019 Clown CEO of the Year

The reality is that Keith Neumeyer's First Majestic cannot even turn a profit in a U$18/oz silver price environment. This is the baloney that Keith wants you to swallow:

"Adjusted net earnings $0.3 million, or $0.00 per share, after excluding non-cash and unusual items."

That "unusual items" is in fact a near-$45m net impairment, so effect this is Keith saying, "Yes, we threw $45m of your money down the toilet, but fuck it! Just an unusual item people, not our fault. Relax and do some hot yoga."

Fact: First Majestic made yet another net loss in 4q19, due to crap management and poor decisions. Nothing changes.

UPDATE: Keith may be the clownshow CEO, but the joke's on you shareholders:

Silver up 3.5% in that chart scale, too.

Great minds think alike and fools seldom differ, Alexco (AXU) edition

IKN on the Alexco Feb 18th NR, as seen yesterday:

Cormark's Tyron Breytenbach* on the Alexco Feb 18th NR, as seen this morning:
"While the Water Use License (“WUL”) is still pending, ongoing permitting successes (note) are demonstrating that the process is still moving, and the project still remains firmly on track to restart operations in 2020. We see the divestiture as a strong indicator that the WUL is just around the corner, and believe Alexco was looking to streamline its business into the production restart."

*Crazy name, crazy guy

Mo' Wesdome ( Nice visuals out of Kiena this morning

Middlemiss puts the hammer down on newsflow, with PDAC just around the corner. The summer's PEA will be the opening bell for potential buyers of WDO (if anyone starts a sweepstakes, put me down for McCluskey and Alamos). The PDF version of the NR here, with plenty to chew on, too.



And the Opaxe "Top Drilling Intercept" award for week seven of 2020 goes to...

...Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd. ( For the month in fact, as this slide further on in the bulletin shows:

Read the whole thing here (and hey, get your free subscription while you're over there, always a good read).

Harte Gold ( goes for the Lake Superior share dilution strategy

That's a $27m overnight offered bot deal from a syndicate of deep bagholders Canadian brokerages and instos who, as per normal form, are determined to throw their clients' good money after their bad: NR here, business end of it below:

TORONTO, Feb. 18, 2020 /CNW/ - HARTE GOLD CORP. ("Harte Gold" or the "Company") (TSX: HRT / OTC: HRTFF / Frankfurt: H4O) is pleased to announce that it has entered into an agreement with a syndicate of underwriters consisting of Canaccord Genuity Corp. and Haywood Securities Inc. (the "Co-Lead Underwriters") on behalf of a syndicate of underwriters, (collectively and together with the Co-Lead Underwriters, the "Underwriters") to complete a private placement financing of flow-through common shares (the "Flow-Through Shares") on an overnight marketed basis from the treasury of the Company for gross proceeds of up to C$27 million (the "Offering").
The size and pricing of the Offering will be determined in the context of the market at the time of entering into a definitive underwriting agreement between the Company and the Underwriters. Appian Capital Advisory LLP ("Appian"), a significant shareholder of the Company, has advised the Company that it is supportive of the Offering and that it intends to participate by purchasing common shares of the Company to the extent of its pro rata interest, which represents approximately 24.4% of the issued and outstanding common shares of the Company.

Mark Bristow must be happy with The Clive

More things for Bristow and his fellow small penis friend, Marcelo Kim, to shoot later on.

B2Gold Donates 1,000 Ounces of Gold to Conservation Initiative to Protect Endangered Black Rhino in Southern Africa

Full story here.

Kinross ( (KGC) sells its Integra (ITR.v) shares

Probably out of shame for selling DeLamar to ITR too cheaply, Special K on Friday sold its remaining 5m block of Integra Resources (ITR.v) in a AH trade, the buyer being two instos.


In early 2013, gold dropped under U$1,600/oz and has been under that line ever since, until today:

Also on the last day of U$1,600/oz gold in 2013 (March 22nd, according to the London PM fix), here are the prices of three majors and three streamer/royalties, just so you know that Harquail and Lassonde still rule everything.

  • NEM was a U$37.19 stock. Today it's U$45.35 (+21.9% in seven years)
  • AEM was a U$37.47 stock. Today it's U$49.04 (+30.9% in seven years)
  • GOLD was a U$14.62 stock. Today it's U$20.28 (+38.7% in seven years)
  • FNV was a U$40.67 stock. Today it's U$116.71 (+187.3% in seven years)
  • WPM was a U$28.03 stock. Today it's U$31.33 (+11.8% in seven years)
  • RGLD was a U$63.95 stock. Today it's U$104.83 (+63.9% in seven years)

The Kirkland Lake (KL) rally continues

Now only 15% down YTD:

More Randy Smallwood cobalt news

From Reuters:
Exclusive: Tesla in talks to use CATL's cobalt-free batteries in China-made cars - sources

 Beijing (Reuters) - Tesla (TSLA.O) is in advanced stages of talks to use batteries from CATL (300750.SZ) that contain no cobalt - one of the most expensive metals in electric vehicle (EV) batteries - in cars made at its China plant (continues here)

In June 2018, Randy's Wheaton Stuff'N'Things (WPM) paid U$390m for its part of the Voisey's Bay cobalt stream. By the last set of financials (3q19 Sept 30th) that had already been written down by U$165.912m, the asset now on WPM's books at U$227.51m.

Looks like Randy will have to impair again in the YE numbers. But it's not your fault, Randy. Blame Elon, Randy.

Alexco's (AXU) YESAB water licence is happening this time, it seems

We got this:

February 18, 2020 - Alexco Resource Corp. (NYSE American: AXU) (TSX: AXU) (“Alexco” or the “Company”) today announced that it has entered into a Share Purchase Agreement (the “Agreement”) for the sale of Alexco Environmental Group (“AEG”), to AEG’s Executive Management (“AEG Management”) led by Jim Harrington, AEG President. Under the terms of the Agreement, AEG Management purchased all of the shares of AEG in consideration for payment to Alexco of $13.35 million

We got this:
Vancouver, British Columbia--(Newsfile Corp. - February 18, 2020) - EMX Royalty Corporation (TSXV: EMX) (NYSE American: EMX) (the "Company" or "EMX") is pleased to announce the closing of a US$3.79 million strategic investment in Ensero Holdings, Inc., a privately-held Delaware corporation. Ensero Holdings, Inc. operates through its wholly-owned subsidiary Ensero Solutions, Inc. ("Ensero") formerly known as Alexco Environmental Group ("AEG"), which was previously the wholly-owned environmental services subsidiary of Alexco Resource Corp. ("Alexco").

And we even got this:
The Company has also filed the independent technical report dated May 8, 2019 with an effective date of March 28, 2019, as amended February 13, 2020, prepared by Mining Plus Canada titled “NI 43-101 Technical Report, Prefeasibility Study of the Keno Hill Silver District Project, Yukon Territory, Canada” (the “PFS”) in order to update certain disclosure issues in the text. These changes have not affected any of the numbers contained in the original PFS, nor were there any changes to the mineral reserves or mineral resource categories previously reported.

Want to know what a company about to go into production does? It gets focused.


Goldmining Inc ( is mining the depths of the German people

The below is a German language pump job promo for Adnani's waste of time and space, Goldmining Inc ( Kindly sent in by reader CM, he leaves this message with it:

"I copied the "research" (just text, deleted 2 pics) from It is about GoldMining Inc. Marked yellow is the disclaimer. Whoever invests in a company based on a document where the disclaimer is twice as long as the text itself should be forbidden to have children, vote or drive a car."


The IKN Weekly, out now

The answer is 42, what's the question?

IKN560 has just been sent to subscribers. Contains lots of things, does not contain one thing.

PS: Managed to confuse Andes with Alamos. No need for mails.

Tanzanian Gold (TRX) ( Psst! wanna buy some unclassified resources?

You cannot make this shit up. Here's the NR and here's the title:
"Tanzanian Gold announces 4,291,000 ounces of gold contained in unclassified resources at the conclusion of its Phases 1 & 2 Resource Upgrade drilling along the 1.2km Buckreef Shear Zone"
And if that brings a chortle and guffaw to your lips, go have a look at the cut-off on those 4.291m oz gold too. You may notice how tonnages...well, let's just say they drop quite sharply as the cut-off rises. 

TNX is of course the goldbug cult following stock run by Jim Sinclair, who once held the dumbasses rapt with his predictions of $10,000/oz and $50,000/oz gold. My how times change.

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

Third Place: "Mark "Self Awareness" Bristow splains about young people in mining". He can talk up the Barrick operations and results all he wants and you won't hear a word out of me. But role-model advisory service from a person with his private tastes require all the pushback possible, the last thing we need in this world is another bunch of teens idolizing a big game hunter. 

Second Place: "It's well worth reading the Raymond James "Coronavirus Impact Call - Key Takeaways & Call Notes"". This is a good read, giving good pro/con advice about the virus as it may affect the economic sector and markets. All theory and we surely have a lot more to learn before covid-19 is done, but you have to start somewhere. 
First Place: "Wesdome ( and a killer visual from Eagle River". Won the view count by a mile, what with it getting picked up by the social media crew. Not surprised, either, an image that shot the stock +10%.


Goldmoney (XAU.v): "The smartest guy in the room"

Mr. Josh Crumb, it's time to change rooms. The title is not for people who make themselves rich, it's for people who make themselves and others rich as well.

Also interesting is the deterioration in the stock price since the pop of last March, when Goldmoney announced that a) it was leaving the crypto space and b) on March 7th said it would buy back up to 3m shares. On that date, XAU.v had 77.28m shares outstanding. As per end quarter December 31st, the number of shares out had increased to 77.933m. Talk is cheap.


The Friday OT: Tinlicker; Neko

Some strong, rhythmic, throbbing trance to get you in the mood this Valentine's evening.

The whole album's been on repeat this week. Youtube here.

Earnings: Zero tolerance for misses in mining companies in GDX/GDXJ*

We saw Royal Gold (RGLD) miss by a penny and get slaughtered last week. Today is the turn of Agnico Eagle (AEM), which returned merely decent numbers (costs the issue):

It's one thing as a company to make it to GDX and GDXJ, but once you're there the rules change and you are judged as a normal company, not a miner.

*And all other ETFs and Wall St-based funds of their ilk.


Your Sandstorm (SAND) YE filings quote:

Based on the Company’s existing Gold Streams and royalties, attributable Gold Equivalent ounces sold (individually and collectively referred to as “Attributable Gold Equivalent”) are forecasted to be between 60,000–70,000 ounces in 2020. The Company is forecasting Attributable Gold Equivalent production of 125,000 ounces in 2024.

On SEDAR and EDGAR now. Over at the company website later too, I suppose (likely by the time you click). First pass financials in-line, no third-party impairments to swallow year-end and no comments on photos.

Mark "Self Awareness" Bristow splains about young people in mining

IN the G&M report "Barrick CEO says younger generation desperately needed to rejuvenate ‘dinosaur’ gold industry" today, Barrick (GOLD) CEO Mark Bristow bemoans the lack of young people moving into mining. Here's how Stockwatch reported on Bristow's words:
"The industry needs to grow and be more relevant." The CEO stressed the need for mining companies to both attract younger employees with fresh ideas, and a sprier set of investors. Attending the annual Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada conference in Toronto, Mr. Bristow said, is like "walking into an old age home.""

Hey Mark, I wonder why the industry has such a crappy image with younger generations? Any ideas, Mark?

From here.

A Flash update has just been sent to subscribers...

....on this warm and pleasant Thursday afternoon. Bargain hunting.

Dr. Copper's flu prognosis...

...remains cautiously optimistic, despite the raised media volume today. The Good Doctor is trying to tell you something.

More seriously on New Gold (NGD)... that the brain has caffeine, no more GIGO, we've had a bit of time to push the numbers around. BV/share is now U$1.43 and the stock opened lower at U$0.81, which puts us on 0.56X NAV. Assuming NGD's revised mine plan is up to scratch and the the company starts making a profit (would be novel), that ratio should move up. It shouldn't target 1.0X and above immediately, this is still a dysfunctional company and until proven otherwise its home is the penalty box. But a more reasonable first move to 0.8X NAV would be enough for a U$1.14 share price, that'd be 40.7% up on this morning's knee-jerk reaction to the reserves pain. 

However, this time NGD is less about its Q4 filings and more about the earnings ConfCall and subsequent learn-in on the new numbers for Rainy River and New Afton. Bet your hide that brokerages will only form their opinions after listening to Renaud and Friends, so do the same and join in the CC, here's the link.

UPDATE: NGD sinking fast this morning, now 12% down on heavy volume.

Get well soon, Sabina

Joaquín Sabina had a rough night in Madrid yesterday.

Joaquín Sabina In Emergency Operation After Suffering Stroke and Fall On Stage

He's made of stern stuff though, we should expect another recovery. Meanwhile, a video.

New Gold (NGD) Rainy River gold reserves drop by over 3m oz gold <---Errr, wrong. It's 1.55m

 EDIT: I am stupid and did this too early in the morning. Yes, it's not 3.1m oz, it's 1.55m oz lost because dumbass IKN double-counted the total. I leave my mistake for all to see (seriously dumb in fact, I knew the reserve was 4m oz and not 8m oz, didn't even register).

Here's the table:

The mine life now goes to 2028, previously 2031.


Wesdome ( and a killer visual from Eagle River

Wow. They underplayed this in the NR script, you get the feel for what they are unveiling in the assay tables, but it's only when you open the visual aids that it hits you. Duncan doesn't have a Jewel Box, it's a whole freakin pirate's chest.

New Gold (NGD) about to report

Place your bets. As for the markets...

...they can't decide.

Pretium (PVG) and a one minute chart

We shall not dwell on the fact that IKN > Lobito's Golden Runway. We move directly the to one minute daily of PVG because...

...that is simply not the way a company that supposes itself to be in a competitive bidding process trades. PVG needs to find a bottom before Newcrest or Barrick decide to pay a "premium", that bottom is clearly not today.

KL and a six year old IKN chart

Impressively similar:

Garibaldi (GGI.v) news

GGI has hired someone who was laid off from Vale 18 months ago and hasn't worked since. Though if you read the NR, you'd think Mark Scott were the Second Coming Of Our Lord Himself. This is the kind of bullshit that late stage pumps come out with, all they now care about is keeping the wool firmly placed over the eyes of the True Believer hardcore.


Repeating our advice on mining newsletters

Gary's below doesn't count, because 1) it's not a mining newsletter and 2) it's brilliant. For the rest of them, here's the advice first published last year, true then and true now:

A free month of Gary Tanashian's 'Notes From The Rabbit Hole'

I strongly advise all readers to take Gary T up on his offer, made today. His post is:

You too can get a free month of his excellent weekly publication. Go over, read the requirements (easy), click and be done.

Randy Smallwood's predictive power over metals prices

Randy Smallwood, head cheese of Wheaton StuffnThings (WPM) on September 16th 2019:

"...silver's gone from 13 to 19 dollars...silver always outperforms gold, it's got a higher beta. You go back over 40 or 50 years of history. Gold always starts moving first and silver lags, but then it outperforms."

The gold/silver ratio since then:

And if you think his vision on silver is bad, don't even look at the money he threw down the toilet with cobalt.

New Pacific Metals (NUAG.v): Probably just coincidence

Following the bouncing ball:

1) IKN publishes "New Pacific Metals (NUAG.v) and ministerial bribery" on February 6th, which sets out the allegations of bribery and corruption made by the interim Bolivian government against the ex-Minister of Mining. NUAG and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Alcira, are central to the mess.

2) NUAG publishes "Summary of Exploration Activities in New Pacific’s 100% Owned Silver Sand Project and Acquisitions and Agreements Outside the Silver Sand Project" on the morning of February 10th (i.e. yesterday Monday morning pre-bell), a long and winding title for a long and winding NR that gives even the casual outsider an idea of the "human complexity" that must have been part of the deal. The best bit is this:
"The MPC was approved by Bolivia’s Ministry of Mining and Metallurgy on January 7, 2019, but remains subject to ratification and approval by the Plurinational Legislative Assembly of Bolivia.  As of today, the MPC has not been ratified nor approved by Plurinational Legislative Assembly of Bolivia."
3) NUAG share price does this:

Probably just coincidence.


It's well worth reading the Raymond James "Coronavirus Impact Call - Key Takeaways & Call Notes"

Please find below the transcript. A straight copypaste of brokerage gear isn't something IKN normally does, but considering the depth of analysis on display compared to the utter crap we have to suffer in 99% of media channels, it's happening today. As they say round here, "más vale pedir perdón que pedir permiso".


The Coronavirus Crisis: Economic Impact in China and the Region, Government Response, and What to Expect Next
Hosted by Pavel Molchanov, Tavis McCourt, and Ed Mills
Amy Celico, Head of China Practice at Albright Stonebridge Group (ASG) and formerly a senior official at Commerce and State departments. ASG is a Washington-based global strategic advisory firm that is co-chaired by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez.
Headline Takeaways:
·         This remains priority #1 for the Chinese govt. The main issue is the amount of conflicting information regarding incubation period (could now be as long as 17-24 days), testing kits (seeing false negatives), and what the true numbers are (patients physically unable to see doctors, tempering official numbers).
·         Amy believes that while the Chinese govt may have been slow to initially respond (and faced harsh criticism for it), they are now cooperating as much as possible and have allowed a committee of WHO experts into China to assist with the outbreak. Numbers may not be entirely accurate due to patients being turned away/unknown cases, but likely not due to lack of effort from the govt.
·         For an outbreak timeline, Amy believes that late-Feb/early March is likely an optimistic scenario to see a peak in the disease. This is mainly due to the widespread confusion around the true nature/characteristics of coronavirus and the longer-than-expected incubation period, adding additional risk. Global risk remains to be seen but the general stance is overwhelming caution.
·         From an economic perspective in China, part of the challenge is each local govt/region is taking a different approach to the issue, restarting factories and other industries on a case-by-case basis. For now, mainly “essential” personnel are back at work, with a focus on getting much needed food and medical supplies into the city.
·         On ports & the import/export situation, companies have been reporting that is increasingly difficult to get goods into China. This should ease somewhat as the CNY holiday has ended, but it will again likely be on a port-by-port basis. This is a challenge for China as travel within the country is bogged down, meaning if the regional port is not open it can be very difficult to receive supplies.
·         As for the most impacted industries, it really depends on regional impact. The auto industry is one we have heard some challenges around and there is concern regarding factories having proper ventilation to return to work. Additionally, consumer spending will remain challenged on a broad-based level. Demand for e-commerce is overloading the system as no one wants to leave their home and there aren’t enough willing delivery people.
·         From this, the optimistic scenario for a “back-to-normal” economic environment would be April. This implies that should this escalate any further, this could dampen economic activity for a majority of 2020. As reported by news outlets, China is looking to stimulate the economy, but many of the measures are short-term in nature (injecting liquidity, providing financing, etc.) and an extended outbreak would pose questions on if China could support the economy longer-term.
·         From a trade-war standpoint, there is some additional urgency in implementing Phase-One reforms and we have seen China reduce tariffs on US imports. However, we feel getting Phase 2 negotiations going will be a significant challenge due to travel restrictions, all hands on deck for coronavirus, and continued tensions between the US and China (ex. China angry at the US for banning travel and inciting further fears around the virus.
Call Notes:
Opening remarks: Disease outbreak is still not under control and is priority #1 for the Chinese government.
  • Chinese economists are predicting that GDP growth will drop this Q to around 4%, but could be worse. This will hit the annual rate bringing it between 5-5.4% for 2020. The longer-term impact remains uncertain as it appears to have yet peaked in China.
  • Today marks the first day that China is to officially return to work following the Chinese New Year holiday, but this will likely be a stunted process due to travel restrictions and other logistical issues. This will make ramping up difficult along with the local approvals needed to restart certain types of work in China.
  • With 900+ deaths from this, it has surpassed SARS and is now being viewed as more significant. Over 40,000 confirmed cases of the disease are reported with the majority of these in Hubei province, with 6,500 in critical condition.
  • However, the proportion of patients who have been cured has been rising, up to 8.2% from 1.3% when polled on Jan 27th. The fatality rate of coronavirus is lower than it was with SARS, but authorities are still struggling to confirm what is actually transmitting this virus, spurring this outbreak.
  • There are conflicting researcher reports of what methods it transmits by, how long until symptoms show, etc. and with this uncertainty, we think an optimistic timeline is for this to peak in late February.
  • This will cause on-going disruption in China but any predictions are extremely difficult until we actually see this peak in the virus and have some sightline to containment.
  • People are viewing this virus as a "potential Chernobyl like event" in terms of public impact and there are growing levels of unrest. The death of the doctor who initially tried to flag this disease caused considerable public outcry in China, despite attempts at silencing this.
  • This outbreak will be a major test of the Chinese government's ability to govern and control this situation.
  • For example, each local government is taking their approach very differently on a one-off basis and plenty of factories have still not resumed, have changed what they are producing, or are not producing at regular levels.
  • Other things we are watching this week: WHO will have an expert group arriving to monitor the situation and aid the Chinese government. American doctors have been invited to be a part of this group.
  • Also have the Chairman of the Federal Reserve testifying to Congress this week and he will certainly speak on the impact of the coronavirus on the global economy.

Question - how reliable is the data and the numbers you threw out? Anything in China is not an exact science, how much confidence do you place on these?
  • The govt is acutely aware of the dangers of under-reporting, which is why you've started seeing the number of cases and even fatalities jumping - trying to reduce citizen concern around the "true numbers".
  • Part of the concern with determining the true number of those affected is for one, many patients simply aren't able to get access to doctors so they cannot be tested, despite showing symptoms. Additionally, other patients are being told to go home unless they are deathly ill to make room.
  • Further to that, a lot of the testing equipment used is providing false negatives and this leaves some uncertainties as well. So overall, many predict there is a much higher rate of infection but it may not be fair to blame the Chinese government in this specific case, apart from the initial delay on reporting on the disease.

Mentioned in a few jurisdictions the restrictions on factories have already been loosened, yet others remain under complete metro area quarantines. So for the authorities to lift the restrictions in a more concerted way, what do they need to see before pulling the trigger on that?
  • Think local govts are struggling with this, some "essential" personnel were asked to return to work but it's a challenge where factory conditions are not ready (ex. Not enough ventilation) or simply not having employees finished their mandatory 14-day quarantine after travelling for CNY.
  • Some are being asked to work remotely where applicable, but some industries such as auto have been quite disrupted and supply chains are looking for ways to adapt and function outside of China.
  • While local govt desperately need the revenue, they are very concerned and are taking a very conservative stance on this despite the impact on the economy

On this late-Feb/early-March timetable, assuming that's true for the moment, is that when we'd see a more widespread relaxation of regulatory constraints?
  • When you look at the incident rate, while we thought a few days ago it was slowing, it actually has not.
  • The fact that the govt is saying "we want people to get tested" rather than simply staying  home is telling. An early-feb peak doesn't seem possible any longer, in our view.
  • What that would mean for a return to normalization in the economy, that means April to us. Need to see efforts to contain this, make sure things are truly slowing down, and April in our view is actually the earliest for normality.
  • Think it's a matter of time before more events and forums are postponed and March should be out the window.
We can assume there are fewer exports out of China right now, but how backed up is the import situation in your mind? And on factory activity, are there any industries where activity where it should come back first/be most impacted?
  • On an anecdotal basis, we have continued to hear that it is challenging to get product into China because there simply weren't workers there to unload ships. However, that is one of the activities we believe is resuming today as govt wants to make sure there is access to food, medical supplies, necessities, etc.
  • Don't think we'll see a resurgence in retail, restaurants, etc. but the govt wants to make sure citizens can go to the grocery store and get what they need.
  • On areas more impacted, it's tough to pinpoint but generally the geographic areas with higher incident rates are more affected - so pinpointing those regions & relevant industries is probably a good guide.

Following the trade-war dynamic, how do you see that impacting the Phase-One deal and does this speed up any further negotiations as they see some pain?
  • On Phase-One, both govts continue to say they are working as much as they can to get parts of the agreement to go forward - saw China reduced some of the tariffs already.
  • However, the practical reality of negotiating further on Phase 2 will be challenged as “all hands are on deck” for coronavirus, along with elevated tensions between the two that still remain on various issues.
  • A lot of China's ire seems to be pointed at the US for closing its borders, raising alarm, and not offering more aid to suffering Chinese citizens. We don't feel that claim is accurate and there have been global relief efforts, including help from the US but they had a bit of a "tiff" last week, which is another example of the deep-seeded tensions.
  • Overall, we feel this will be a problem getting Phase 2 negotiations off the ground. Prior to the outbreak Chinese officials were supposed to be in the US in Feb, but there is no potential for travel now and US officials were actually evacuated from Beijing, making it harder to be discussing.

Missed the full question - Believe it's "what steps is the govt taking to in regards to the economy?"
  • On the policy moves, have been open about stimulus and supporting the economy but on another front, they have come out and said they are looking to crackdown on the illegal wildlife trade to prevent more outbreaks like this.
  • There is additional liquidity being pumped in, tax-breaks incoming, further easing, etc. which will all help but are relatively short-term measures. However, if this continues to drag on and we have a peak later than expected, what could China do to meaningfully stabilize the economy/market in that type of scenario… hard to say.
Seen international flights cancelled and other restrictions from other govts, any sense what these countries need to see before resuming normal travel conditions with China?
  • Will probably be guided by what the Chinese govt is actually releasing in terms of how the disease is spreading/being contained in Feb, but there is an overwhelming attempt to be quite conservative here.
  • Diff govts are taking different approaches and don't see anyone being too excited to restart flights until at least post-Feb. The threat right now is as people return to their homes post-CNY, is there a risk that this further accelerates with the additional migration of people.
  • The WHO arriving in China this week is a good sign but some feel this is simply the tip of the iceberg that we haven't woken up to yet. Think the WHO has been a bit slow to be critical of China and haven't pushed enough to get access there… so we hope they can now better advise the airlines and other countries being on the inside.
  • Additionally, companies are now further reducing travel not even to China, but to other international events (ex. MobileWorld in Barcelona) after someone spread the virus from Singapore to Europe, and these flight bans might accelerate even on an individual corporate level.

Second dimension of this is ports, any sense how many are re-opening and how the govt might prioritize which ports and which goods?
  • Chinese govt put together a special channel to expedite medical supplies and anything on that front. The second tier focus will be on food stuffs as mentioned, but we do not have a sense of which specific ports are being prioritized as one of the continued challenges is once things enter one city, there are still so many restrictions on movement within China.
  • This argues for more ports being re-opened to get goods to those local areas as it will be hard to flow things through a couple main areas due to these restrictions.

Do we get to a point where warm weather works in our favour and helps spur a decline and additionally, how do you see the opportunity for e-commerce? Is there one or is there too much disruption to delivery?
  • Can't answer the first question, not sure warmer weather has any impact.
  • On e-comm, they are being somewhat overwhelmed right now as people rely on these but there haven't been enough people willing to provide delivery services yet.  As people return and spend their time in quarantine, we should see a resumption in e-comm sales as there will likely be an on-going view of needed to reduce contact.
  • For example, people did not want to ride the subways in Beijing today on the first day back to work.

Question on stimulus, have we seen anything so far or are we likely to see anything in terms of consumer stimulus as they lose out on potential income?
  • Will be tough, the immediate impact of the virus was consumers simply weren't spending, saw a huge impact on the Chinese box office for example. Gross sales were ~$2m on CNY weekend this year vs. $360m last year.
  • International food retail is closing chains, local Chinese cos. are closing, and it's difficult to see where consumers will want to go out and spend money in this environment and liquidity will be crunched.
  • China is still trying to stabilize its economy from its end-2019 issues and coronavirus is just putting them back in the whole, making things exponentially more challenging.

Saw two global reports that incubation periods can be 17-24 days, is that longer than normal and is it built into your predictions previously stated?
  • Info like this is contributing to why late-Feb/early-March is now an optimistic timeline in our view. The Chinese govt is still lacking some basic information about the disease and the main challenge with this particular strain.
  • It's defying health authority abilities to really nail down the incubation period, testing for it, and more. Chinese citizens are clamoring for this information as they want to protect themselves and truly be in the clear.

Mike Wilkes, CEO of OceanGold (, creates mining history

This, ladies and gents, is an all-time first in corporate mining history. Here's the link to the OceanaGold ( 2020 guidance NR, and here's the unprecedented moment in modern mining:

"In the Philippines, the FTAA renewal process continues to progress with the Office of the President currently reviewing the renewal. We remain actively engaged with key regulatory agencies and government officials, stakeholders from the communities and our employees. We continue to receive strong support for the FTAA renewal from the national and local governments and from the local communities. More recently, approximately 1,200 members of the local Didipio and host communities including Indigenous Peoples travelled 10 hours each way to rally in support of the FTAA renewal, OceanaGold, the Didipio Mine and their livelihoods in front of the Presidential Palace in Manila. This unprecedented show of support was a humbling experience and a clear demonstration of the strong social license we have to operate in this remote, rural community in northern Philippines."

Did you spot it? Yes indeed ladies and gents, Mr. Mike Wilkes creates history tonight by becoming the first ever mining CEO to have had a humbling experience. It's about time one of you fuckers did.

The IKN Weekly, out now

Yes, thirteen multiplied by forty-three equals five hundred and fifty-nine.

IKN559 has just been sent to subscribers. just about set for the bull run in gold now.


Kirkland Lake (KL) has been decimated by Detour Lake sellers

Do not say IKN didn't try to warn you.

The day after the deal was announced (and with $2Bn already wiped off the fantasy of a ticket price), IKN published "The chilling effect of this ill-conceived Kirkland Lake $KL Detour Gold $ deal is bad news for the mining sector" which included this:
"What we have witnessed yesterday and today is the destruction of goodwill at KL, over $2Bn in bets that "this time is different" and KL would remain a low cost, high margin producer have all lost. Money, by the way, that only ever existed in the imagination of KL longs who fell for the ruse. Welcome to reality people, KL yesterday stated for the record that its future is the same mediocrity as every Tier 1 mining company."

In the post "Makuch's bullshit on Detour", dated November 28th, this:
"...double-talk from a weak puppet of a CEO who does not have executive control of the company he pretends to run that has annoyed people who like money more than gold. And that's the worst part of the words that tumbled out of his mouth, as he knows it's a lie, the reporter knows it's a lie and anyone with an inkling of the sector knows it, too. All Makuch is doing is giving a nod and a wink to his owner, John Paulson. Plus the fact that the whole "will/won't it close?" question is a false dilemma, ain't no way this deal is voted down."
In the post Kirkland Lake (KL): "Money talks and BS walks" dated December 13th, this:
"All the column inches in the world can't disguise the bloated wankery behind this deal, Paulson wants his print and the DGC BoD get their juicy change of control bonuses. And the mining industry stubbornly refuses to grow up. And if the biggest and splashiest deal of the year is based on scratch-back dealmaking, may the good Lord help the rest of them."
John Paulson has played Kirkland Lake (KL) and its shareholders like Itzhak Perlman plays the violin.


The thing I have discovered this week about the mining sector

Shareholders of Kirkland Lake (KL) are as thin-skinned as the rest of us.

Copper reverses

So much for the textbook chart pattern:

It's one thing for Mr. Market to hear of a sharp rise in cases, quite another to hear about the boatload of tourists quarantined off New York. So, we backtest. As $2.55/lb is the place and that's right now, today Friday will be more "interesting" than I expected.

The Friday OT: The Chats; The clap

Australia's finest, with the new single from their upcoming album. Youtube here.

The video is Beavis and Butthead live action. Great lyrics, too.

I was cautious 
Double wrap 
But I still
Got the clap

Rick Rule knows how to make money in the uranium sector

On receiving the latest edition of Sprott's Thoughts this morning and discovering its two main pieces are this one...

...and then this one... was a salutary reminder that Rick Rule is one of the very few people who have made money in the uranium sector post-Fukushima. Not by owning stocks of course, he's lost an absolute shitload in U plays just like the rest of the poor suckers who insist that "this year is different". Rule hedges his losers with the money he makes talking about U stocks. His picks may suck, but he's really really good at the talky talky bit.


Dr. Copper continues to behave itself... a private school educated toff at his first coming out party*.

I mean, you don't even need me to draw in a trend line there now, d'ya guv? Innit.

*Not the second.

Aldebaran (ALDE.v), then and now

Then is here, October 28th 2019 at the start of the Aguas Calientes drill program:

John Black, Chief Executive Officer of Aldebaran, commented as follows: “We are very excited to begin our first drill campaign at Aguas Calientes. The goal of this drill program is to identify the source of the significant mineralized boulder train we see on surface. Our geological team has extensive experience working in epithermal vein systems which helped us to identify characteristics previous explorers missed, primarily that the boulders were not sourced in-situ, but from nearby alluvial fan deposits, which has direct implications for exploration. We look forward to advancing this very exciting gold-silver prospect.”   

Now is below, the results NR out this evening:
Dr. Kevin B. Heather, Chief Geological Officer of Aldebaran, commented as follows:  “Although we didn’t hit any high-grade mineralization, the first ever epithermal vein intercepts in Hole 23 at Aguas Calientes prove that epithermal-style mineralization exists on the property. We have six kilometres of well mineralized float-boulders that have not been transported very far and therefore must be coming from a source nearby. The intercepts in Hole 23 may represent the edge of the potential source of the boulders and certainly justify follow up work.

They clearly didn't identify all the characteristics that previous explorers missed. On the other hand, the program has added to the extensive experience of their geological team, so we can feel happy about that. As for the results, "that's exploration" I suppose. Just wish those two paid more attention to Regulus. No position in ALDE.

The last time Bear Creek Mining (BCM.v) traded at $2.10

See it here. A brief patch in October:

This is a brutal bought deal price.

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Feb. 06, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Bear Creek Mining Corporation (“Bear Creek” or the “Company”) (TSXV:BCM) (BVL:BCM) (OTCQX:BCEKF) announces that it has entered into an agreement with BMO Capital Markets (“BMO”) as sole underwriter, under which BMO has agreed to buy on a bought deal basis 7,145,000 common shares (the “Common Shares”) of the Company, at a price of C$2.10 per Common Share for gross proceeds of approximately C$15 million (the “Offering”). The Company has granted BMO an option, exercisable at the offering price for a period of 30 days following the closing of the Offering, to purchase up to an additional 15% of the Offering to cover over-allotments, if any. The offering is expected to close on or about February 18, 2020 and is subject to Bear Creek receiving all necessary regulatory approvals.
The net proceeds of the offering will be used to carry out early development works for the Company’s wholly owned Corani silver-lead-zinc deposit located in the department of Puno, Peru.
The Common Shares will be offered pursuant to the Company’s base shelf prospectus dated September 12, 2018. The terms of the Offering will be described in a prospectus supplement to be filed with securities regulators in each of the provinces and territories of Canada, other than Quebec, and may also be offered by way of private placement in the United States.
The securities offered have not been registered under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an applicable exemption from the registration requirements. This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy nor shall there be any sale of the securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful.
On behalf of the Board of Directors,
Anthony Hawkshaw
President and CEO

Palladium has topped out

Ballistic, exponential* price move in issues are rare for sure, but they happen. And when they do, they almost always end the same way:

1) Initial run
2) Acceleration into blow-off top
3) Top arrives as mainstream media pays attention
4) Drop, recovery and then a struggle to revisit the previous high
5) Waterfall drop
6) Then death

Here's a palladium chart:

Today is point number 5 of the six. Take profits, people.

*That word!

New Pacific Metals (NUAG.v) and ministerial bribery

Interesting developments out of Bolivia, where the interim government that took control after the Evo Morales ouster* last year has announced that the ex-Minister of Mining in the Evo Morales government, César Navarro, has been benefiting from bribery and corruption inside the Bolivoan mining industry and one of the most suspicious deals of all is his involvement as "strategic partner" of the "Empresa Minera Alcira S.A.", which just happens to be the wholly owned subsidiary of New Pacific Metals (NUAG.v) and hold its flagship property in Potosí.

Here's a link and below a translation of one of the Q&As between the reporter and the new minister, Carlos Fernando Huallpa, who is on the trail of Navarro's corrupt activities

Reporter: What action is your ministry taking regarding the corruption cases connected to the previous government?

CFH: Clearly, there are cases of corruption and cash-for-favours. I have also denounced issues from the previous government. Contract irregularities have been identified, as they show preferential treatment for private companies and not toward the (state-run) co-operatives.

In Potosí, the company Alcira (Empresa Minera Alcira S.A.) has been concessioned almost 70 concession blocks. And of the reports of irregularities we have, Alcira is a large company which has señor César Navarro (ex-Minister of Mining) as a strategic partner and who was the person who made sure the concession blocks were awarded to Alcira easily.

In the offices of the Ministry of Mining, we have also discovered the existence of a group called "Inti", made up of people who participated in the marches defending the previous government. It appears there have been illegal payments and extorsion going on inside the ministry, we are still investigating this."

*Coup or not? Up to you and not the point today-

In The IKN Weekly this weekend...

...the main event will be entitled "New Gold (NGD), buy sell or hold?"

We take a close look at the company numbers and make the call before its earnings next Thursday Feb 13th. Because all that chatter from the company about 2019 being its key year was just so much soft soap and marketing, the year that will make or break this company is the one we've just started, 2020. Plenty of money to be made by getting the NGD call right, not playing with 20c explorecos that do 50k volumes this time.