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Terry Lynn Karl: "Falling Oil Prices Could Rock Canada's Politics"

I was mailed and reco'd the link to this report earlier today by A. Person (far too well known in certain circles to be named here) who happens to be a friend of Terry Karl's. I'm glad I got the link too because it's a very perceptive piece from a peer-respected expert on the subject. Recommended reading for The Great White North, for LatAm watchers and OPEC-watchers too, as the effects of low oil prices on Venezuela, Russia, Saudi Arabia and OPEC in general are also in focus during this Q&A. Here's how it starts:

What do the plummeting oil prices tell us not only about our near term economic future in Canada, but the political fragility of the world's petro states?If Canada fully joins the petro state club, as our prime minister and his party desire, is oil's volatility just the cost of doing business, or a threat to our nation's well-being?The ideal person to ask is Terry Lynn Karl, one of North America's foremost experts on the politics of oil. The Tyee recently caught up with Karl, who teaches at Stanford University and lives in San Francisco.

whole thing here. Very good stuff.


The Friday OT: Robert Earl Keen; Merry Christmas from the family

The seventh year running, I believe:

It's still the best Christmas song ever, no matter how many times I try to stuff it down your throat. Merry Christmas one and all, hope you have a pleasant one with your families, too.

McEwen Mining (MUX): Mr. Market changed his mind

In "Remind me again why you think McEwen Mining $MUX is worth U$950m, mister market" dated August 6th, the evening of MUX's 2q14 filing, we wondered once again just why the market valued this company so richly compared to peers. It's always been a mystery here at IKN Nerve Centre as to how Robbie Mac could keep this highwire act going. Four months later, things have changed.

The cult of personality is notorious for its limited shelf-life. Ian Ball got out at the right time.

Chuqui: Going underground

Chile's State mining company Codelco, still the biggest copper producer in the world, yesterday approved and signed into effect its biggest ever investment. The Chuquicamata mine is going to become an underground operation and it's going to cost U$3.3Bn to do the job. Some of the stats are pretty darned impressive about the job in hand such as the 180km of underground tunnels it'll start with and how they'll end up at over a thousand about 40 years down the line when the resource is depleted. But the one that really boggles the mind is the ventilation shaft they're going to build, which is 11m wide and a 918m deep, i.e. seven times the height of the Eiffel Tower (modern society's standard unit of measurement). Not a hole you'd want to fall into. More here for those with the necessary Castilian knowledge. 

It's notable the way the big players are still spending big on long-term copper infrastructure in Chile. Add in the $7Bn+ that BHP is ploughing into La Escondida (world single bigger copper mine), via site investment plus $3.5Bn or so on a desal plant that means it gets to run on seawater in the future. All at the same time as BHP warning that 2016 (a year out) will be one of the low production years for the mine...these dudes are looking to the serious future and don't share the marketwatcher's neuroses of every up or downtick.

Anyway, the Codelco news this week gives me the excuse to stick this one up here. Great tune. 

Chart of the day is...


It's the chart I've been watching most closely all week and as a metals long yeah, it's been with a concerned eye. Copper futures have traded under $3/lb all week and threatened to break under the (what seems like) key $2.80 level, though admittedly trading and volumes ahve reportedly been thin in this pre-Christmas period (normal). This morning's brought a little relief, but it's only a little and there's still plenty to watch here. A far more important chart than anything around gold.


Two questions about Anglo American at Michiquillay

Question One: Who's told you that Anglo (AAL.L) (AAUKY) is abandoning Michiquillay?

Answer: Just about everyone in the trade press these last few days.

Question Two: Who told you that Anglo (AAL.L) (AAUKY) would abandon Michiquillay six and a half years ago?

Yup that's right. And considering the cavernous block of time between today and this May 2008 post on Michiquillay and its serious community and political issues, although the details may have changed (and Quellaveco has managed to survive the cut) the general thrust of the post has held together very well. 

just sayin'

Music for a Thursday afternoon

Impossible not to love...

...Rocks, by Primal Scream.

This makes up for tomorrow's Friday OT.

Breaking News: Sellside mining analysts shock the world by daring to state...

...that mining stocks will have a good year in 2015. Kitco with all the details in its current site-leading top story exclusive, right here. And in other news:
  • The US Automotive Retail Chamber of Commerce today said that it's a smart idea to buy a new car in 2015.
  • The potato marketing board of Idaho today stated that potatoes are delicious, nutritious and you should eat more potatoes.
  • Scientifically based findings in a groundbreaking medical report sponsored by the World Chocolate Council show overwhelming evidence that eating chocolate is good for you, helps weight control and stimulates a higher sex drive as well as imparting more pheromonal scent into the air arround you that will immediately attract the more beautiful and otherwise unattainable members of the opposite sex.
  • The Tree Frog Society of Madagascar predicts a threefold growth in the popularity of tree frogs in 2015.
  • The Campaign To Prove That The Pope Is Catholic today released susbstantial evidence to support the case that the Pope is indeed Catholic.
  • The Fur Coat Club of Canada today released experimental results using cutting-edge brainwave reading technology that proves beyond reasonable doubt that small furry animals enjoy being trapped and killed in large metal trapping devices and that people should take this evidence into account when shopping for their next warm and luxurious winter coat.

We could continue. Go fuck yourselves, mining anal ysts.