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6/7/13

Current betting on the Alberto Fujimori Pardon Stakes(updated with race results)

This Friday afternoon* Peru's Justice Ministry is holding a press conference to tell the world about the Alberto Fujimori pardoning case that been going on (for what seems like year). Here's the betting:

  • Even money: Given house arrest
  • 6/4: Stays in jail
  • 5/1: Pardoned on health grounds
  • 10/1: Deemed healthy enough to be moved to a real prison instead of his current luxury apartment with full visiting rights
  • 50/1: Sentence increased due to obvious lying about his (non) delicate health
  • 100/1: Death penalty handed down 
UPDATE: Breaking news is that Alberto Fujimori is not being pardoned.

 *just hours before Peru play Ecuador at home in World Cup qualifiers that are bound to get all the headlines if Peru win....shome coinshidensh shurely ossifer!

A death at Yamana (YRI.to) (AUY) Gualcamayo

Responsible mining companies tend to inform the market of deaths at their operations. Yamana (YRI.to) (AUY) doesn't seem to want to join in all this 'responsibility' fad, though. However there are reports that reach the world in other languages, such as this one which explains how one miner was killed and two others injured at the YRI Gualcamayo mine in Argentina.

Dear IR departments: It does not reflect well on your job when pissy blogs like IKN break news about your companies to the English speaking world. Think about it.

PS: And even worse is when the local subsidiary of a transnational company announces the news in a local language but the bigger international corporation decides it's best not to tell its investors in English. That's what happened here with Minera Argentinas S.A. BTZ Minera* (wholly owned subsidiary of Yamana and operators of the Gualcamayo gold mine) in Argentina telling locals but YRI deciding that mushroom politics are the way forward with the moneyed shareholders. Well fuck you,Yamana. Seriously, your attitude has all the hallmarks of utter assholes running head office.

*BTZ is the subcontractor that directly employed the now dead miner at Gualcamayo


Petrobras (PBR) pulling out of Peru

Reuters has the exclusive story here. This report is the first official print story of rumblings that have gone around Peru for a while, with the main problem being Petrobras's (PBR) overspending in Brazil (subsalt, anyone?) more than a sudden disdain for doing business in its neighbour country. Still, nice scoop for Reuters, go read.

Chart of the day is...

..gold on the 5 minute just after the May payrolls report:

On considering this alongside yesterday's chart of the day, the chances of it regaining 1415 are roughly 100%, so if you feel like playing a 2% gap (options, triple leveraged ETF, whatever) knock yourself out. As for an interpretation of the payrolls, stick me down with Gary T and his post here.

6/6/13

The South America World Cup Qualifiers: Round 13



YAY! South America's qualifiers are back with round 13 on Friday and round 14 Tuesday next week, which is darned peachykeen news for admirers of the beautiful game. After round 12 back in March we still have $126.80 in the pot (we started with $100, so not breaking any banks yet but still no complaints) and with that it's time to check the matches for round 13 here, with odds supplied by Ladbrokes dot com (as always) to see if there's an interesting wager to run on the round:

Bolivia 4/5            Draw 5/2      Venezuela 7/2
Argentina 1/2           Draw 3/1           Colombia 5/1
Paraguay 7/5         Draw  11/5           Chile 15/8
Peru 11/8               Draw 11/5         Ecuador 2/1

Most of these aren't easy to call (they rarely are) but one match stands out from the others. Argentina has a great record at home and Colombia's current team, while professing decent class (esp up front, Señor Falcao et al) hasn't been performing on the road (eg the 1-0 loss to Venezuela in Caracas last time out). Both these teams are near certainties to make it to Brazil but due more to home form than away. With Argentina hosts (and Messi likely to play, but be clear that unlike Barcelona this Argentina isn't a one man team) the odds are short, but they're also justified and the bet looks a good one.

In other news, a modest tilt at may be in order on Peru. This Pacific coast clash when played in Lima is always a tight and entertaining match (it's the single game I'll be looking forward to watching) and host Peru is back to a full strength squad for the first time in a long time. Peru also knows that three points here is 100% vital if the country wants to have a chance at qualifying for Brazil, so they'll be up for this game no doubts. Ecuador is a good team this time around and no pushover, plenty of stylish attacking and a decent defence. But on balance and with the reasonable price of 11/8 for the win on offer, a value bet is there for the home team.

So to the bets:
  • $40 on Argentina to win at 1/2, total potential return $60
  • $10 on Peru to win at 11/8, total potential return $23.75

Which means that if both bets fail our treasury will be down to $76.80 but if both come in, we'll be over $160. And let's see how we get on.

On the Inside: Venezuela’s Most Dangerous Prison

Time Magazine's Lightbox section brings us a set of superlative photos from the infamous Vista Hermosa prison in Venezuela. Mere words do this photo essay no justice whatsoever, go and see for yourself because you'll be glad you did.

Colorado Resources (CXO.v) was weak yesterday and...

...we mortals found out why today. NR here, paydirt here:

Expect geologists to find these rocks very interesting and full of potential. To be fair, the gold kicker really isn't that bad. To be doubly fair, this project is by no means dead. To be triple fair, a serious exploration campaign will never hit pure wonderholes all the way through. But still, as Iwnattos pointed out on several occasions, it was a lot of hype for just one hole. Hey, that's what Canada does.



disclosure: no position in CXO.v.

UPDATE: Dear mining dot com: You shouldn't have given credit to the blog who doesn't give a toss about it and your crummy clickthrus, you should have given credit to the blog that deserved it. Now look what you've done. Knock knock

Chart of the day is...

...gold.


6/5/13

Mining PRs and the Ottotrans™, part 72



And here we jolly well are again, the seventy-second edition of our occasional series that takes the gobbledygook produced by junior mining companies and translates it into something a little more understandable. Today we return to our old pal, Copper Fox (CUU.v):

This is what they wrote:
VANCOUVERJune 5, 2013 /CNW/ - Copper Fox Metals Inc. ("Copper Fox" or the "Company") (TSX-V: CUU) today provides an update on the Schaft Creek project and reports that discussions are continuing between the Company and Teck Resources Limited ("Teck") regarding Teck's back-in to the Schaft Creek property.  Discussions with Teck commenced following the Company's completion of a National Instrument 43-101 technical report pertaining to a feasibility study on the Schaft Creek Mineral Deposit.  As disclosed in the Company's news release datedFebruary 4, 2013, the feasibility study has been filed and is available on SEDAR (www.sedar.com).  There can be no assurance that the discussions with Teck will lead to Teck exercising any of its earn back options nor that the Company and Teck will enter into a definitive joint venture agreement as contemplated under the Teck Option Agreement.

And this is what it means:
VANCOUVER, June 5, 2013. Copper Fox Metals Inc. would like to report that it's fucked. Ok ok, not quite yet but it needs to soften up its brainless fanclub that sees no wrong in what it does no matter what that was expecting news from them today, day 121 since the filing of the feas, because CUU has always tried to make out that the definitive clock is running on the deal and Teck had a deadline when really they pulled that bit out of their well-remunerated and smoothly massaged asses. But all the same, they're fucked and you'd all better get used to the thought that Teck isn't going to take them up on the back-in. All they can do now is spin this out as long as possible so that Echevarria doesn't send the hitmen in straight away and they get a few more months' worth of salaries paid by their sucker in chief. But yeah, this one has a sell-by date and they're now way past the numbers on the bottom of the tin. They're utterly utterly fucked and Schaft Creek is shafted.
dyodd, dude

UPDATE: IKN is happy to welcome the bunch of lobotomized true believers that the rest of the world knows as the Copper Fox Agoracom fanclub. Hi guys, have a nice day now y'all.

IKN does TA

We iz yer chartist. We haz teh chartz



dyodd, dude

Today's junior mining exploration company trivia quiz question

Which of these is NOT a made up name for an exploration mining company president or CEO?

  • Nigel Scumbag
  • Angela Ripoff
  • Craig Naughty
  • Philippa Badass
  • John Twister
  • Reginald Flipper

And the answer is....here

(i'm sorry, tried to resist but in the end couldn't stop myself)

In some ways I'm going to miss Sebatian Piñera when he leaves office

He's such a twat, y'see.

"Hey Barack, go on, let me sit in your chair yeah?"


'Chelle is much less of a giggle.

Chart of the day is...

...LME copper inventories:





Which are dropping at last. Not as much as the Shanghai gig, but the signs of rollover are finally with us here as well.

6/4/13

Dead people at Las Bambas, Peru (UPDATED, apparently no deaths)

There's an unconfirmed report this afternoon from Las Bambas, the Xstrata/Glencore owned copper project in Apurimac Peru, that two people were killed during protests between workers and security yesterday at around 2pm. This youtube from the local news channel El Buho has a phone interview with one of the workers there who says that the two people died during clashes involving about 500 workers protesting against one of the contracting firms on site, Peru's Graña y Montero (a civil engineering company quoted on the local stock exchange). Tear gas and live rounds were used against the protest, according to the phone interview.


Aside from this phone interview, there are no other confirmed reports from Las Bambas yet and the company has so far refused to make any official statement. A hat tip to Juan Arellano, editor of Global Voices in Peru and a smart guy to follow on twitter, for the headsup.

UPDATE: Word just in from Xstrata is that there have been protests but no deaths are reported. Apparently the protests are connected with Graña (not Xstrata) and concern a road project being built at Las Bambas. 

What does Marin Katusa know about Atico Mining (ATY.v) that we don't?

Just a few questions, Marin:

Why is KCR LLC, the Doug Casey Fund (well, Doug and all his merry pals including special guest star and 'fund advisor' Rick Rule) and run on a day-to-day basis by Marin Katusa, chief fork-tongue at Casey Research, so keen all of a sudden on dumping its position in Atico Mining (ATY.v)?


Why hasn't Marin mentioned this to the people he previously pumped ATY.v to?

Is it because he still has over 3.3m shares to get rid of and doesn't want to attract attention and start a rush for the door before he's out?

Or maybe it just slipped his mind. Y'know, in that way it always seems to slip his mind when it's time to sell. Strangely, when he's already bought in on a stock and wants it higher he forgets less often. Now, why is that, Marin?

Marin, if you want to be a stockpicker then be one. If you want to be a fund manager, be one. But there's something called 'conflict of interest' and if I were you, I'd look it up in the Big Book of Business Words before it's too late and you get your ass wiped clean in some courtroom.

UPDATE: Vancouver Venture chimes in on this story and adds smart thoughts to the mix, right here.

A dome in Bolivia

Who said mining operations can't be pretty too?


What you have there is a photo of the brand new dome built by Sumitomo at its San Cristobal mine (silver/lead/zinc) in Bolivia (the country's biggest single mining operation, by the way). It was inaugurated yesterday Monday June 3rd, has a diameter of 140m and is 59m high. It was built to protect the silver/zinc and lead/zinc concentrate produced at the mine from high winds and bad weather (it snows round there, for example) and according to company president Yoshio Nojima (translated):
"We have constructed this dome voluntarily. It's in the vanguard (of technology) and we're looking to do right by the environment and for the health of our workforce, complying with the law and always trying to push the boundaries further than are necessary. 
"The dome will be our symbol that shows our great respect for the environment as well as our firm commitment to health and safety. Over the last two years we believe that San Cristóbal has become a model company in Bolivia, not only for the mining sector but for all productive industries."
Yeah right. The fact that valuable conc was being blown away and this new dome is going to save you decent money and more than pay for itself has nothing to do with it, right Yoshio? But let's not be too cynical, because it is bound to improve the environmental footprint at San Cristobal and yes, it sure is pretty too. Other mining companies that make and sell conc, take note.

For more pictures and the source of all this, click here.

The Financial Times does Colombia

This link is to a big fat 48 page PDF that's available as a free download (thanks to the carried adverts, presumably) and is the FT's take on Colombia. Entitled 'The New Colombia', there's plenty of business issues covered of course, but also politics (established and up-and-coming figures featured) plus the social scene (Bogota's nightlife gets its own section for example). Worth a read if you want to know more about the country.




Another Flash update...

...has just been sent to subscribers, just before 11am EDT Tuesday. Also about Rio Alto.

Chinalco and China Minmetals lead the pack for Las Bambas

Unofficial word from Peru's Mining and Energy Ministry (MEM) (therefore no links, because this is gossip picked up) has two Chinese companies, Chinalco and MMG (subsidiary of China Minmetals) as frontrunners to bag the big prize of Las Bambas, which is up for sale as part of the terms of the recent fusion between Glencore and Xstrata. 

These two names come as little surprise, however. Although Las Bambas doesn't have to be sold to Chinese money, it's been assumed by the market that China's deal with Glencore would mean that China, via whatever company, gets first refusal on Las Bambas, a very big copper prize that's right up the alley of a country looking to secure copper resource supply. And as it happens, Chinalco via Toromocho and MMG via El Galeno both have presence in Peru already.

For what it's worth, if I had to put a dollar on the outcome of this I'd back MMG to win out. El Galeno has been stuck in a rut behind Conga in Cajamarca and Las Bambas would allow them to get to production status far more quickly. Meanwhile Chinalco already has lots on its plate in Toromocho and the government of Peru will be keen to see Las Bambas up and running as soon as possible without having to wait for Toromocho to get to 100% production status before the owners start getting serious.

A final thought: First Quantum (FM.to) owns Haquira, right next to Las Bambas. But it now also owns Panama Cobre and will surely move on that one first, so maybe FM.to will look to sell Haquira and monetize . That's just a side-issue, however.


A flash update...

...has just been sent to clients, pre-bell Tuesday morning. It's about Rio Alto Mining (RIO.to) (RIOM).

Chart of the day is...

...Uranium Participation corp (U.to) as a proxy to the metal. 2011 to date:



Along with your humble scribe, you too may have noticed recently yet another round of "Uranium about to explode!!!" (three exclamation marks, of course) articles and op-eds floating around the metalosphere. 

And this time they're not joking.

Fortunately, said articles do provide a use. All you need to do is to remember the names of the people writing them and then ignore anything they ever say again on any subject. Life simplified and improved, the end.

6/3/13

What a Peruvian hairdresser can do for your image

This from an RSS fave, PeruFail, today:

And for those of you just tuning in:
Peluqueria = Hairdresser's
Antes = Before
Despues = After

Something for the weekend, sir?

"For those who tell me that the proper gold-silver ratio is 15--or maybe 16--my answer is "show me"."

That title line is a quote from this post over at The World Complex, a really good write-up of the gold/silver ratio with a couple of excellent charts to boot. Recommended reading for metalheads, go and have a look for yourself.

Doug Kass buys GLD (from IKN213)

This was one section of the intro into IKN213, out yesterday Sunday:

Doug Kass buys GLD
For me. the most significant gold market news last week came in this report (1), in which Doug Kass of Seabreeze announced that he’d gone long GLD last Wednesday morning. I encourage you to read his note and get the full story, but here are the reasons he cites for his decision to build a long position in gold:

1) Expectations for the price of gold are now low and diminished.
2) A most unpopular asset class provides a contrarian's appeal.
3) Last month's gold selloff looks like a selling price and volume climax.
4) Negative sentiment extreme.
5) The growing consensus view of an acceleration in the rate of global economic growth may be too optimistic.
6) The U.S. dollar's recent strength might peter out.
7) More currency debasing lies ahead.
8) Inflation is gold's friend
9) Tail risks remain
10) Demand for physical gold is rising

Now I don’t know about you, but reading that list the one word that comes to mind is “contrarian”. It really sums up at least the first five points Kass makes and although he pays lip-service to tried and trusted goldbug themes (inflation, fiat printing presses, physical gold demand, lahlahlah) his long thesis looks tightly tied to the fact that Kass is a contrarian who’s making a contrarian’s call. This isn’t a goldbug with deeply held ideological convictions speaking, this is a man famous for making money in the stock market (usually using short positions) who really likes to zig when others zag. And that’s what I most like about Kass’s call; it’s coming from a non-believer who sees gold as a simple medium for a potentially profit-making trade. There’s no religion involved, no deep philosophy, no guns, no Austrianisms, no preppers, nothing but a bit of old fashioned capitalist greed from a guy that deserves the moniker market legend far more than any of the permafool goldbugs that drown out more reasoned voices on gold.


Eighteen months of Pan American Silver (PAAS) (PAA.to)

How time flies...


Minefinders deal price from this Reuters report.

Scotia sums up the Rainy River (RR.to) New Gold (NGD) deal in just ten words

Who needs a mouthful of prose, pages of charts and hours spend sweating over XLS spreadsheets when all the information that needs to be conveyed can be done in just ten words? Leily Omoumi, the analyst covering Rainy River (RR.to) over at Scotia did just that on Friday, when commenting on the deal struck between RR.to and New Gold (NGD) in her note to clients by headlining the implications in this way:

"We believe this is a good deal for New Gold."

Short, sweet, diplomatic, to the point. Agreed and well said, Leily. We should however also point out that IKN said much the same thing that very morning, but...errr....we did admittedly use a different linguistical tack and rather more Anglosaxon terminology in our own short and to-the-point analysis:

Congrat to all those who bought Rainy River (RR.to) in 2009 and held on...
...because the rest of you have just been fucked up the ass.

Same difference.

Chart of the day is...

...this heap of pure steaming bullshit offered up by the lying toerags at Aurcana Corp (AUN.v):


The amazing piece of utter crap is part of the June 2013 corporate presentation. You see, all you need to do to make money at this game is to buy on the day of the absolute bottom and then sell your shares two months before the company promotes its crunchy goodness to you. Oh, and don't worry about the way in which the share count has quadrupled between May and now, either: just keep your eye firmly fixed on the market cap and pretend it's all assigned to your shares.

My thanks to reader DR for the headsup.

6/2/13

The IKN Weekly, out now



IKN213 has just been sent to subscribers. It has 13,004 words.

Peru's international currency reserves are dropping

For the first time in a long time. Please note the cropped Y-axis in this chart as your humble scribe isn't trying to dramatize things, merely making sure the contrasts are suitably illustrated.


That's interesting. Data from the Peru Central Bank, right here.