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Thank you, President Trump and Vice-President Pence

Your presser today is on-point, well-delivered and full of smart, actionable advice. You are stepping up to the plate and doing the right things, thank you.

No matter what your political stripe, we should all support the US Administration and encourage them to make more good decisions.

A message for those #StuckInPeru

As these words are written, Saturday March 21st midday-ish, over 400 British citizens, over 1,600 US citizens, several hundred Canadian citizens (I do not have the figure) and other citizens of other nationalities are creating, passing round and signing petitions to complain they are "Stuck in Peru". They are angry with their embassies for "abandoning" them, they are bitter that other nationalities have benefited from relief flights, they are worried about members of their groups with underlying medical conditions. They are demanding the resignations of ambassadors, tweeting messages to celebrities to try and find a sympathetic ear, in short they are making a massive fuss.

A message for you people:

Drop the privilege. Stop thinking you are special, different and deserve more than the people around you. It is not fair and we realize it is not fair, but Covid-19 is not about you. People all around you have already made sacrifices, now it's your turn and the thing about sacrifices is that they do not get handed out evenly. Chance has handed you one that is slightly more onerous than the average, but you better get it through your skulls immediately that yours up to now has been a life of privilege. It's your turn, at least for a while. Sit down, STFU and start thinking of the collective for once in your lives.

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

Third Place: "March 2nd 2020 at PDAC: "Coronavirus Fears Are Overblown, Says Mickey Fulp"". Loudmouthed pontificating, direct from the very top of Mount Stupid, that isn't merely ignorant assholery but also actively dangerous to the well-being of mining investors daft enough to believe his politically stained blathering. You should be fucking ashamed of yourself, Fulp.

Second Place: "Mining PRs and the Ottotrans™, Part 106". Exactly why this 106 on Equinox (EQX) got more hits than the post 105 on B2Gold (BTG) that same day is beyond my ken. But there you have it.

First Place: "PDAC and Covid-19 update". Won the hit count by a nautical mile. I'm not surprised.


In The IKN Weekly this weekend...

...we try to make a bit of sense of the macro mess, explain* why you should buy gold, explain why you should hold all your junior mining shares (especially the exploreco shares) and also point out the relative un-importance of all this market thing, at least for a few weeks. 

Plenty of other stuff as well, for sure. See you Sunday and wash your hands, kind subscriber.

*Once again and if necessary, I will do it til the cows come home. Moo.

The Friday OT: Tinlicker; Need you

Dedicated to C, S and G, who go Day 1 quarantine together as from tonight. Good luck girls, thinking about you.

Youtube here. Stay strong, people.

Advice for mining CEOs about Covid-19

After seeing the way Troilus turned a tragic mess into a scandal yesterday, are you ready to get the news of your Covid-19 positive employees out before social media does? 

Madam or Sir Mining Executive, if your operations are still open, it means you have not thought this through enough as yet. It is only a matter of time before one of your employees at your mine or project tests Covid-19+ and you will go through the same turmoil, so get ahead of it now. As explained on March 16th on these pages, there is only one way of getting in front of Covid-19 (rather than play a rather dangerous game of catch-up):
1) Send all your staff home, now.
2) Tell them to isolate, no matter what the local rules might or might not be.
3) Set up as much from-home virtual office as possible*
4) Then tell the world in a news release
5) And in that NR, tell your peers to do the same, immediately.

And wash your hands.

Some companies and their C-suites got it at the time and closed up shop. They are now looking good, but too many did not and are now exposing not just their employees to unnecessary risk, but their families as well. A few extra days' worth of production is simply not worth the downside risk any longer.

Happy 80th birthday, mum

My mother turns 80 years old today, a solid and impressive age. There was a big party planned, and a family get-together and all sorts (I was flying over in 10 days' time), but we find the world in a different moment and plans are sometimes suspended.

However, a few lines of noise on the blog isn't harmful or illegal. I love you mum, you've always been there for all of us, many happy returns and many to come, have a great day and see you soon.


March 2nd 2020 at PDAC: "Coronavirus Fears Are Overblown, Says Mickey Fulp"

This is really good. Gives a great feel for the atmosphere at PDAC two weeks ago when nobody in the mining industry gave a flying sexual intercourse about Covid-19. Now we have a whole bunch of people down with it simply because they trusted the PDAC committee and attended, including an attendee in a coma. Still feeling wise and flippant, Fulp?

 Some choice quotes from the mouth of Mickey Fulp:
"Three newsletter writers failed to show, they cancelled out."
 "I think it's overblown."
"All these shows are flu incubators, anyway." (Yes he actually said that)
"I think it (i.e. infections) is going to be less this year, because people are doing things like washing their hands."
"This is a blip on the radar screen. Especially in the US where I'm from, because our economy is absolutely roaring and virus fears are not going to do major damage to the US market."
"I think it absolutely is an overreaction and the quicker it's realized, the better."
"This is a variety of flu." (Again he said that out loud).

Here's hoping those words haunt him for the rest of his life.

PDAC and Covid-19 update

IKN has learned today that a mining executive has contracted Covid-19, he has been hospitalized and has gone into a coma. We will not name the person due to the gravity of the situation, however it is understood that the person contracted Covid-19 at a party during PDAC.

PS: It wasn't an easy call to publish this and if the person hadn't contracted Covid-19 at PDAC, this post would not exist. However, it's long past time that the people who went to PDAC realized the exposure they had. This is not fake news, the person in question is known to many in the industry, has worked for one of the big majors for many years and has been a speaker at many international conference events. He is in a serious medical condition and it feels rather intrusive to publish even these words that leave out ID and location, but the welfare of the collective is more important.

UPDATE: It is extremely irresponsible of Justin Reid to tell a select few people and not the general public.

Dear Colleagues,
I am sending this email to advise that Troilus has become aware that an attendee at our PDAC Breakfast event on Tuesday, March 3rd had been exposed to COVID-19 prior to attending PDAC.  The individual subsequently developed flu-like symptoms and is now recovering.  It has not been confirmed if he actually has COVID-19 as he has not yet received his test results, but based on what we do know it seems likely that this is the case. 
In canvassing other attendees, we are aware that at least 5 other people who attended the breakfast event have subsequently developed flu-like symptoms and one of these people is now in intensive care in the UK.  Only one of these people has had a positive test for COVID-19 and the others are still waiting for their test results.  All 5 of these people were active participants at PDAC and would have attended the conference and numerous other events so the source of transmission is not entirely clear.
It is now 16 days since the breakfast event and therefore beyond the 14-day incubation period, however having now become aware of this information, we felt it prudent to pass it on to guests who may have visited our office during PDAC.  The Troilus offices are currently closed as staff are all maintaining self-quarantine and working from home. 
This is a very challenging time and we want to extend thoughts of good health to our friends and colleagues.  Hopefully the extreme measures the government and all of us are taking will check the spread of this devastating illness sooner rather than later.
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out.
Yours Truly,
Justin Reid
Chief Executive Officer

UPDATE 2: Please note the timestamp:
| Source: Troilus Gold Corp.
TORONTO, March 19, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Troilus Gold Corp. (TSX: TLG; OTCQB: CHXMF) (“Troilus” or the “Company”) confirms that an attendee at its PDAC breakfast reception on Tuesday March  3, 2020 has tested positive for COVID-19 and is now receiving medical attention.

The Troilus offices are currently closed as staff are all maintaining self-quarantine and working from home until further notice.  

Health and safety is our number one priority. Troilus is following medical protocols from local, global and national health authorities and has implemented staff guidelines in relation to social interactions, hygiene and travel.
About Troilus Gold Corp.

The dinosaur is Mark Bristow

Barrick seems to think that its African Ebola policy is adequate for Covid-19. Any further behind the ball and you'll be watching from the grandstand, fucktard elephant killer.

Mining PRs and the Ottotrans™, Part 106

And another! Hot on the trail of BTG just hours ago, Equinox (EQX) joins the "oh we care we really really care" fun:

This is what they wrote:
VANCOUVER, March 19, 2020 /CNW/ - Equinox Gold Corp. (TSX: EQX, NYSE American: EQX) ("Equinox Gold" or the "Company") is closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and has taken precautionary measures at its mine sites and offices to help protect the safety of the Company's workforce and local communities. Equinox Gold has also taken steps to support business continuity and is implementing contingency plans so the Company can continue to operate as effectively as possible.
To date there are no confirmed or presumptive cases of the COVID-19 virus at any of the Company's operations or offices. Equinox Gold's producing mines continue to operate normally, with no significant impact to date beyond the implementation of additional education and safety measures.
Equinox Gold will continue to closely monitor the rapidly changing COVID-19 situation and will adjust its plans as necessary. The Company is following the COVID-19 safety guidelines outlined by the state and federal governments at each of its operations and will provide updates to the market as appropriate.
About Equinox Gold

And this is what it means:

We'll keep making them work until a couple of them die, then we'll see.

We like Jonathan Pie

TY reader N for the heads-up:

As one of the twats myself, special applause for this:

"Thousands of people are jumping for joy as they realize they can do their job from the comfort of their own sofa while watching Netflix, but not everyone has a job that allows them to do that. Not everyone can afford to self-isolate for 14 days. It's fine if you're some middle-class twat in the media, who can happily lock themselves away in the comfort of their own loft apartment for two weeks passing the time by wanking to Mumford and Sons, not so great if you're on a zero hour contract as a cleaner or a bartender or whatever. In which case, the government advises to default on your rent and use a fucking food bank. This is a real them-and-us moment, and only the well and the well-off will survive. Survival of the richest."

And as a bonus, Pie even solves the toilet roll mystery (at the very end). Youtube here.

Honestly, Keith...

...I always knew you were inept. I mean, just one look at the First Majestic books will tell that to anyone who understands numbers. But I didn't fully grasp how much of a wanker you are until today.

Mining PRs and the Ottotrans™, Part 105


It returns! Our occasional series is back, as we try to make sense of the gobbledygook, flotsam and jetsam regularly spewed by mining companies into their news releases. Today we catch up with that old IKN friend, The Clive and B2Gold (BTG) ( as they "care for stakeholders".

This is what they wrote:
VANCOUVER, March 18, 2020 /CNW/ - B2Gold Corp. (TSX: BTO, NYSE AMERICAN: BTG, NSX: B2G) ("B2Gold" or the "Company") has been monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak and the potential impact at B2Gold's operations since mid-February and, as  such, has put measures in place and introduced additional precautionary steps to manage and respond to the risks associated with COVID-19 to ensure the safety of our employees and surrounding communities where we work while continuing to operate.
All B2Gold corporate personnel travel has been restricted to absolute minimum requirements and employees in the corporate offices have been encouraged to work remotely. At each of our mines in Mali, Namibia and the Philippines, and at our development project in Colombia, we have implemented several control measures for dealing with the outbreak of COVID-19. These include pre-screening for symptoms and travel history with possible COVID-19 exposure of any employees, visitors and contractors (site personnel) prior to any travel to or from a site and isolation, where necessary, from the general site population. Each site has implemented restrictions and isolation procedures that are particular to each region's situation and response capabilities. Procedures continue to evolve according to the World Health Organization and Center for Disease Control guidelines as more becomes known about the virus. The Company is regularly monitoring the situation and following local and national health authority requirements and recommendations. A critical care specialist has been consulting the Company on the guidelines and global implementation.
To date, B2Gold has not experienced any incidents related to COVID-19 at its sites or corporate offices and continues to operate all mine facilities and is proceeding with its projects as previously planned. The mill expansion and solar facility projects at the Fekola Mine in Mali are still projected for completion in the third quarter of 2020, the Gramalote Project in Colombia continues to drill off the Inferred Mineral Resource and progress its feasibility study, and development of the underground mine at Otjikoto in Namibia is moving forward. The Company does not expect material delays in the current schedules, but will continue to monitor the situation, seek advice from specialists where required and adjust plans, if necessary, to adapt to the ever-changing landscape.
B2Gold continues to engage with local stakeholders to prevent the virus from entering the communities around our operations. Education programs are being put into place to protect the communities by promoting hygienic practices and limit social interactions in an effort to prevent the spread of the virus.
About B2Gold Corp.

And this is what it means:

We'll keep making them work until a couple of them die, then we'll see.


McEwen Mining (MUX) breaks the world record for the fewest number of words to announce the firing of your COO

Ouch, that there be terse. Didn't even say thanks or wish him well:

McEwen Mining Announces Management Change

TORONTO, March 18, 2020 - McEwen Mining Inc. (NYSE: MUX) (TSX: MUX) today announced that Chris Stewart has left his position as President and Chief Operating Officer of the Company.  His responsibilities will be assigned to other members of the management team.


Lima Peru, day three of 15 day mandatory quarantine

The quarantine is in place and for the most part, Peruvians are taking it seriously. You are allowed to leave the house to go shopping for food, to go to the bank or for healthcare services (from the local pharmacy on the corner to the largest hospital, all stops between), but only one person per household and the trip must be direct, no hanging around or diversions (e.g. if you are in your vehicle 7km from your house and claim you are going food shopping, you are going to get your drivers' licence confiscated until the State of Emergency is repealed).

It was time to buy some food, so this morning I walked the 10 minutes or so to my nearest supermarket. Here is a view of Av. Santa Cruz, normally one of the most congested roads in the Miraflores district of Lima, five blocks of constant daytime bumper-to-bumper. This shot looks toward Óvalo Gutiérrez, 10:50am, Wednesday morning:

Here's the other direction, looking toward Avenida Arequipa with your author spoiling the view.
 Show some Limeños those shots, and tell them where it is and what time, see how they react. 

The other thing observed was the army checkpoints, as all around the Óvalo there were armed army personnel, stopping every vehicle and asking for ID. When I asked the checkout girl in the supermarket (just opposite) if they had impounded any cars, she said "Un Montón" ("a mountain", "loads").
Couldn't do a good job of framing that shot as the Peruvian army doesn't like its photo being taken much.

The SilverCrest (SILV) bot deal is in trouble

NBF is trying to squirm out of it.


Financially, things are now moving fast

Here's a segment from The IKN Weekly of last Sunday evening*, underline/bold added:

We know the Fed will cut (EDIT: has cut). We know that Central Banks around the world will do the same. We know that the financial powers of the major countries all agree on Whatever It Takes. That liquidity drop is coming very soon and will likely match the amounts doled out in 2008, though its distribution is set to be different and spread more evenly over the planet, not merely confined to the major financial institutions. Why so? For just one example, take a trip three or six months into the future and consider the social protests that would begin if people began to get their water/electricity/gas/whatever cut off because of non-payment. Or if they were evicted due to non-payment of rent or mortgage. People, that is not going to happen, what is far more likely is that cheap credit, generated in the next days by the world’s financial governors, making it right down the line. Deferring utility payments is cheap credit. Not allowing evictions for X period of time is also cheap credit. Food banks are cheap credit and we may even see some sort of direct offer, governments offering cash loans at attractive rates and easy payment terms. There you have a couple of possible scenarios and while I’m not going to guess exactly right on the manifestation, the point is that life after Covid-19 is going to be different and you better get used to that idea right now.

Here's a news article from today:

At least financially, the Trump team gets it. On the social angle, we shall see how things are in two weeks' time and wishing them the best of fortune. 

*The edit due to the final draft being finished Sunday midday, a few hours later and before publication, the Fed cut

IKN knows how to put a smile on your face

Cheer up people, listen to this:

The highest praise for any band; better live than studio. Damn what a song, impossible not to smile, Youtube here, RIPNP.

Buy gold

It's the only investment advice I have at the moment. Own some gold bullion, esteemed readership of this humble corner of cyberspace. It's still cheap, it's not too late, the move has only just started. The debasement of The US Dollar in order to save its economy is now a given and it's only a matter of time before the Greenback slumps against gold (not "gold goes  up", the metal isn't the one that does the moving).

Buy yourself some financial peace of mind this week, you will be glad you did.


Dear mining CEO: To get ahead of Covid-19, do this:

1) Send all your staff home, now.
2) Tell them to isolate, no matter what the local rules might or might not be.
3) Set up as much from-home virtual office as possible*
4) Then tell the world in a news release
5) And in that NR, tell your peers to do the same, immediately.

And wash your hands.

PS: Or put another way, as from today and the obvious danger Covid-19 now poses, no analyst of mining stocks could ever approve of a company that has willfully put its employees and their families at risk. 

*Massive sidebar benefit: the geols get paid to block-model at home and will love you forever, they do it for free as a hobby when they are off-duty anyway

Lima Peru, day one of 15 day mandatory quarantine

The supermarkets are open, you are allowed to go shopping. Here's a photo of one that sits on a very busy corner. Streets are quiet but the store is open

However, take a closer look:

Five soldiers, making sure there are no loiterers or issues with panic buyers.

Although not much there is some light traffic today, but the head of the army has just announced that from tomorrow Tuesday drivers will be stopped by patrols and if they cannot justify their travel, their licence will be taken from them.

The IKN Weekly, out now

IKN564 has just been sent to subscribers. Wash your hands.


The Fed slashes

We are in a different world.

Peru to declare State of Emergency at 5pm today

That is in 90 minutes' time. Peru will close all non-essential businesses and severely restrict travel by individuals in much the same style Spain, only allowing people out their houses to buy food, medicines etc. All of Peru's police force has been put on alert, with patrol cars ready to diffuse the order via megaphone sorties.

UPDATE: Yes indeed. Peru is now under a 15 day stay at home quarantine, with only food shops, banks and medical centres allowed to remain open. Peruvians can visit those establishments, but nowhere else.

Kimberly Harrington, take a bow

From one bingo card compiler to another, brilliant.