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Guayaquil Ecuador, Saturday morning

The banner reads "We have phoned 911 and there is no help."

UPDATE: This desk has learned that President Vizcarra of Peru has sent a battalion of soldiers from a barracks in Tumbes to the border between the two countries. The source states that many people for Ecuador are trying to escape illegally into Peru, which would endanger the expansion of Covid-19.

Dominic Frisby on the post-Covid19 UK housing market should also be watched by all North Americans

Obviously more relevant to those living in the UK, but there's more than enough to hold the attention of anybody living in any industrialized nation. Strong recommend. Also, I'll be picking this ball up and carrying it further in The IKN Weekly tomorrow evening, subbers. Youtube here.

Eric Sprott and Covid-19

A post to confirm that yesterday, in his weekly wrap-up, Eric Sprott OMO decided not to apologize for propagating dangerous fake news and lies about Covid-19 being man-made. He did not apologize, he did not correct or even try to roll back his outrageous assholery. In short, too fucking full of himself to admit he was wrong. Which is good, it means there is one less to worry about. Eric Sprott's views on the greatest influence on the market are now irrelevant. Goodbye Eric, you ain't never getting to Davos.


Geologic Time Scale news

From here. For your information:

The Friday OT: Bill Withers; Ain't no sunshine

A sad day. Let's remember how good he was.

Youtube here.

A reminder: Please read "We Need #Masks4All, an important video on Covid-19 prevention"

I'm glad to say that thousands of you already have but, the post from last Saturday that lays out the case for why everybody should wear a mask with pride. Unlike virtually everything else that appears on IKN it's important information and not only that, it's based on good science rather than a wing, prayer and dumbo conspiracy theory. Please watch the video, you will be smarter about our greatest threat once you have.

Willl Eric Sprott apologize for spreading false and dangerous information in this week's podcast?

We await to find out.

Peru Covid-19 new cases chart, to April 2nd

This series of chart-plus-quick line below is likely to be daily for the next two weeks. However, I will deliberately refrain from comment on Peru's numbers. 

Lima positive cases up 69, non-Lima cases up 32, total at 1,414 confirmed Covid-19 cases, 55 deaths.  Source: Peru MINSA.

PS: This report out today Friday on what is happening in Guayaquil Ecuador is a salutary reminder of what can happen in low income countries with poor health services. We may end up judging country performance against Covid-19 by calculating how many people died in hospital vs in the streets. An excerpt:
His 57-year-old father fell ill on 18 March, a week after Ecuador’s president, Lenín Moreno, declared a nationwide coronavirus emergency and nearly three weeks after the country’s first confirmed case.
For five days Reynaldo Barrezueta suffered body and headaches before appearing to improve. But last Thursday Barrezueta said his father deteriorated, developing a ferocious cough, and was taken to Guayaquil’s Monte Sinaí hospital where a chest x-ray suggested he was suffering from pneumonia caused by Covid-19.
Barrezueta claimed swamped health workers told him they had no room to admit his father and they returned home with instructions to treat him with paracetamol. At about 6am on Monday he woke with chest pains and breathing difficulties before dying in front of his family, apparently from a heart attack.
On Thursday lunchtime, more than three days later, his body was still there – a black binbag draped over the coffin in a futile attempt to conceal the growing stench of decomposition.


The personal market position ...

...continues to be "Ignore it all completely until we get some sort of resolution one way or the other (all pre-crash equity positions on hold until such time)", but if you have been playing the market and winning (good for you), my personal call would be to take your profits now, Thursday midday. Don't wait until tomorrow Friday to close or balance, and certainly don't wait until the Monday open when the US infected count is already through 500,000. 

Just my two cents. Opinions are indeed like assholes; everyone's got one, everyone thinks their own doesn't smell.

Two things about the Equinox (EQX) NR today

Thing One: In its previous March 19th NR, right near the top so everyone could see, EQX stated:
"To date there are no confirmed or presumptive cases of the COVID-19 virus at any of the Company's operations or offices." 
In the NR today, that isn't included. Did they forget? Did it slip the compliance legal team's collective mind? Is there anything you are not telling us, perchance?

Thing Two: This part is wonderful, Ross. Heartwarming and the advertisement for the mining industry that we all need:
"The Company's RDM Mine in Minas Gerais State, Brazil is recommencing full operations after a previously announced short-term suspension of mining activities in compliance with a municipal restriction."
Because nothing says it better than, "Well, if the country's President doesn't give a fuck, why should". First Eric Sprott's dangerous wank and now this, it sure is fun to see the true colours of Canada's industrial elite when they get put under pressure. Hey now Beaty, don't forget to mention to Daniela in your next Kitco puffball that your company's people are its greatest asset. Asshole.

Orefinders Resources (ORX.v): Smart thinking on display

So here's the thing with Orefinders (ORX.v): I have never owned shares in it or any of its related companies, but I met Stephen Stewart once upon a time and since that meeting have kept a quiet eye on what he does, as the way he goes about his job and gets a lot done on shoestring budgets is the right way to be a CEO of a tinycap. That includes effective marketing such as the ORX NR today, Exhibit A of that extra level of thought. 

Canada is currently confined to quarters and this humble scribe can promise you, a NR offering the chance to watch a 35 minute webinar video about "The Story Of..." on a tinycap exploring patches of the country would not have made it to the blog if we were still living in the alternate universe. Back in the alternate universe, we had busy and important things to do and we laugh at 35 minute webinars from tinycaps. But not any more, which is why ORX gets a well deserved round of applause from IKN. Here's the NR, read it yourself and then go watch the gig (which you are likely to enjoy).

TORONTO, April 2, 2020 /CNW/ - Orefinders Resources Inc. ("Orefinders" or the "Company") (ORX:TSX.V) is pleased to present its latest webinar, The Story of Orefinders. This 35-minute webinar is hosted by Orefinders CEO Stephen Stewart and covers six focus areas, which correlate to the Company's six core assets.
The webinar covers:
  1. Recent Investments by Eric Sprott
  2. 24% Ownership in Mistango River Resources (MIS: CSE)
  3. McGarry Project, adjacent to the Kerr-Addison Mine, Drill and Exploration Plans
  4. Knight Project Drill Targets and Exploration Plans
  5. Mirado Mine Update
  6. 10% Ownership in Power Ore (PORE: TSX.V)
  7. 32% Ownership in—and planned Spin Out of—Pacific Precious
About Orefinders Resources Inc.

Regarding Ecuador

IKN Nerve Centre passes on a quick thought about the country of Ecuador, as your own country's newsflow probably has more than enough to handle and you may not have heard that this country is going downhill fast. 

The official figures for Covid-19 today are 2,758 infections and 98 deaths, but that is almost certainly wildly underestimating things because testing is very thin on the ground. The city of Guayaquil is catching some world headlines as people have resorted to leaving dead bodies on the streets, as authorities have failed to collect them from people's homes and bodies are being left to rot next to grieving family members. Trying to get a handle on the unofficial numbers is a little like herding cats, but reasonable local reporting that cites people in the worst affected areas say police yesterday picked up 150 bodies from the streets of Guayaquil. Other stories have better sources but are equally as horrific, such as this from the city of Bobohoyo where a man with suspected late stage Covid-19 was brought to a hospital. He was assigned a bed in the Covid-19 ward, refused to enter the ward due to the conditions, evaded security guards and escaped on foot from the hospital, only to collapse and died half a block away.

President Moreno was already unpopular with Ecuador's rank and file, his image has only sunk further due to his country's weak reaction to the pandemic. Its official Covid-19 figures are a tissue of lies and calls for the resignation of Moreno are louder by the day. The country has the smell of one spiralling out of control and you may want to re-consider any financial exposure you have to it.


"Mr. Thornton, a Mr. Margin just called. He says it's urgent"

Barrick Executive Chairman Adjusts Shareholding in Company TORONTO, April 01, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE:GOLD)(TSX:ABX) (“Barrick”) said today that, due to personal portfolio considerations, executive chairman John Thornton had sold 2,632,153 shares in the company during the permitted open period following the publication of its 2019 year-end results. 
Mr Thornton sold Barrick shares that he purchased using his personal funds which were not subject to holding restrictions. The sales have been reported in the applicable securities filing. Mr Thornton confirmed that he would continue to retain and seek to build on what remains a meaningful equity stake in Barrick and that he looks forward to participating in the value created by the many exciting long-term growth opportunities being realized by Barrick’s strong management team.
The shares sold by Mr Thornton represented approximately 50% of his prior holding in Barrick.  He now holds 2,642,127 shares.

Peru Covid-19 new cases chart, to April 1st

Been asked to do this, yup no problem. Source: Peru MINSA:

Lima positive cases up 191 to 990 today, non-Lima cases up 67 to 333, total at 1,323 confirmed Covid-19 cases, 30 deaths. 

Lima is a problem now, as nobody here is going to mistake a small but growing number a as minor issue, not any more. The provinces, particularly those in the North, are a problem for the near future and are probably way uncounted so far, due to the lack of test kits until very recently. All the geographical breakdown information you can eat at that link, above.

There will be many stories like Eric Toledo's before this is all over

...I sadly suspect. From here.

Eric Toledo of Buenos Aires, Argentina, returned from his home country on March 13th from The USA. By that time, Argentina had enacted its anti-Covid-19 quarantine laws and one of those is that all people arriving from countries considered at risk must complete 14 days of obligatory isolated quarantine. 

However, Eric is a cool guy. He don't need no rules in his life, so instead he broke quarantine to attend a big family party with around 100 guests. That party came just a couple of days before he was tested positive for Covid-19, but by that time he was already under arrest and faces the charge of "Crime against the public health" which carries a maximum sentence of two years in jail. However, Eric and his family are already suffering the consequences of his actions because this morning, his 76 year old grandfather died of Covid-19 complications and aside that tragic death, there are already another 10 of the 100 party guests tested Covid-19+. And as a cherry on top, others who attended the party have brought a civil action against him and his parents.

Crash from Dow 22k > Crash from Dow 18k

An excerpt from the intro to the latest edition of The IKN Weekly, IKN566 out on Sunday. The bit in italics also first appeared in IKN565, two weeks ago.

Which brings us to the second point, that I continue to hold all my mining portfolio in deep freeze, no buying or selling. These pages forecast last week’s rally in “I will not participate in the bailout rally tomorrow”, but left the main reason as to why I am in no hurry at all to the last bullet point. This from IKN565 last weekend:

·        On the back of the biggest and most beautiful bailout package ever (Trumpian, no?) I expect the market to rally tomorrow. I will not trade it.

·        Although tougher to call, I envisage that tomorrow’s rally sticks and the markets have a good relief rally week.

·        And the above are good things if they come to pass and would be very welcome at this desk, because I would much prefer the next Dow crash to come from 22k than from 18k. Although I am hoping for good month to come in The USA, my provisioning is the opposite and at present, my scenario expects the market to crash again once the grim reality of the situation and the death toll in The USA is revealed.

IKN566 back, points one and two came to pass and I see no reason why I should change my mind about point three. Notably, the thought of 25 New Yorks across the country seems to be focusing the collective market mind as well, Friday’s action weak and Dow Futures this Sunday evening pointing lower (Dow Futs -1.92% at time of press). We as investors should be less concerned as to whether the images of thousands of dead Americans will affect the US government and administration. We should be worried about the centre of it all, the dollar. However, for the same reasons as before I prefer to hold through all my positions as a stakeholder.

No April 1st post at IKN this year

This humble corner of cyberspace has run a April 1st spoof post every year, but that streak gets snapped today.  I even had the thing ready well in advance this year (a random thought that day, plus 15 minutes of writing and a photo search), all it needed was to hit the publish button. But no, it would feel too frivolous after looking at this chart and understanding it's a best case:

So instead of the April 1st joke, let me tell you my opinion of March 2020: Fuck March 2020. That done, let's make April 2020 something to remember with pride rather than horror.


The Halifax Examiner on PDAC 2020, "The Coronavirus Conference"

This is a strong read, the reporter has done the legwork on how Covid-19 has spread from PDAC2020. It's also long, so pour yourself a cup before hitting that link. Plenty of ground covered and it's kind of unfair to excerpt because it won't give the full picture, but here's a taste:

"On March 20 on his Facebook page, Oumarou Idani, minister of mines in the West African country of Burkina Faso, posted that he had tested positive “after leading a delegation to the Toronto Mines Show (PDAC 2020).” The delegation included six Burkinabe.
Aljazeera reports that Idani is one of four government ministers in Burkina Faso infected with COVID-19, and that there had been a cabinet meeting on March 11. And on March 29, that number has increased to six ministers.
It’s not clear that the other ministers contracted COVID-19 by exposure to Idani, but the timing makes that connection plausible.
The last thing that the government and people of Burkina Faso need on top of all the other enormous problems the country faces is the scourge of COVID-19. Its health facilities are completely inadequate at the best of times, which these are most definitely not."

The worst thing about TMAC Resources (

...apart from that dumbass who writes IKN getting all cocky and shouting "hah toldyaso" at everyone, is that so far this week we've only had the good news out of TMAC. That news on completely scrapping the mill and eating a new U$475m (or so) in capex is the positive stuff, they still have to file their quarter.

As at September 30th 2019 (the last filing), TMR had C$141.6m debt facility open, born of the original Sprott start-up loan that went thru iterations and got spread out as it got larger. That is due to mature 2020 (with a 6 month option) and in most reasonable scenarios will have to be refi'd or booted further forward, but my stars that will weigh on the numbers now. The equity is worth zero, we're in that limbo period before the penny finally drops and we go to remnant value stage. If you are still in this and are licking your wounds, at least save yourself the final chapter of pain and get out now while the getting is good.

Brandolini's Law and wet markets

Here's the famous original slide with the man himself:

Substitute "viruses" for "bullshit", the only quibble that this time maybe orders of magnitude in the plural. However, once you have identified the source of your bullshit or virus and it turns out to be malignant and nasty, the best thing to do is shine light and doxx the evildoer. It is time we made wet markets around the world illegal, no matter what country or continent.


Still no correction or apology from Eric Sprott...

...for disseminating false and dangerous information about Covid-19 to his listeners.

Masks For All

Please read the weekend post on the importance of using masks and the recommendations to use home-made masks. Solid, scientific data back up the conclusions (as you will see) and as 2020 isn't a drill, if you take action on this you can save lives. Thanks in advance.


The IKN Weekly, out now

IKN566 has just been sent to subscribers. Wash your hands.

Detour Lake has a Covid-19 positive employee

That's more gold supply going offline immediately.

Seriously, when will mining companies get it? The Detour Lake worker reported for duty March 12th, was sent home from work on March 14th and tested positive on March 26th. So not only did that employee have direct contact with their fellow workers for two days, but on March 29th the mining sector gets this news from a pissant blogger, not its IR department. The arrogance of mining companies in the face of Covid-19 is breathtaking, toward both their workers and their investors.

UPDATE: Five hours after the above is published (and an impressive number of hits for a Sunday), we get the admission. And incredibly, they still don't give a fuck about their workers.

Mailbag on masks

Thank you, reader BW:

More about Masks

Thanks for sending this out.  It is seriously important.   This video from a front line doctor in NYC also highlights that the masks are great in helping avoid touching the face with your hands and what they have found is that this is a higher likely method of transmission than airborne for the general population who are not caring for COVID19 patients.

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

Third Place: "Eric Sprott thinks the Covid-19 virus is man-made". It is long past time that the old white dumbfucks who have found a level of success in the mining industry shut the fuck up about any other world issue or subject. In my teen years we used to laugh about football players pontificating about politics and justice issues in their post-match interviews, you idiots are taking the game to another level. First we get Mickey Fulp telling us between arrogant sneers that Covid-19 is just the flu. Now we have Eric Sprott OMO (Our Malignant Overlord) pretending that "he's read all the literature" and that "Covid-19 is definitely man-made". You are a stupid tosser Eric and not only that you are an obvious liar, because it is plain to anyone who spends more than five minutes in the arena that you have not read even a small percentage of the material. Read this Eric, a link to one of dozens for real information on Covid-19, not delusional fantasies. What's more, you have deliberately avoided all the serious academia in order to focus on utter wank goldbug conspiracy theories without a single shred of truth or evidence to back them up.

By the way, Eric, when the vaccine shows up it will be on the back of the work done by real doctors using the baseline information found in my above link. You might believe the tooth fairy brings the recipe for vaccines, however.

Eric Sprott, you need to take time out to apologize for your reckless and dangerous stupidity in the public arena and do it as soon as possible. No point asking Fulp, way too much of an asshole.

Second Place: "We Need #Masks4All, an important video on Covid-19 prevention". By far the most important IKN post of the week, only went up yesterday and already at number 2 no the hitlist. This is good. It will be even better when people are masked up.

First Place: "History will remember the 2020 PDAC Committee". It certainly will.