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9/14/13

Spanish mining vocabulary practice

Diego Benavides, president of Minera IRL (IRL.to) (MIRL.L) appeared today on the Peruvian mining weekly TV show 'Rumbo Minero' and was interviewed about the company's Don Nicolas project, now fully permitted and financed. Watch the Q&A here:



9/13/13

The Friday OT: Beastie Boys; Sabotage

Dedicated to Nicolas Maduro, for this.



Anyway Nico, I thank you for a good excuse to play a top vid. Directed by MCA RIP.

Kirk McKinnon has left the building

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Sept. 13, 2013) -Red Pine Exploration Inc. (TSX VENTURE:RPX) (the "Company") -
The Company wishes to advise that Kirk McKinnon has resigned as Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, effective September 12, 2013.

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Sept. 13, 2013) -MacDonald Mines Exploration Ltd. (TSX VENTURE:BMK) (the "Company") -
The Company wishes to advise that Kirk McKinnon has resigned as President & Chief Executive Officer, effective September 12, 2013.

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Sept. 13, 2013) -Honey Badger Exploration Inc. (TSX VENTURE:TUF) (the "Company") -
The Company wishes to advise that Kirk McKinnon has resigned as President & Chief Executive Officer, effective September 12, 2013.

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Sept. 13, 2013) -Energizer Resources Inc. (EGZ.TO)(ENZR)(YE5.F) (the "Company") -
The Company wishes to advise that Kirk McKinnon has resigned as Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, effective September 12, 2013.

Can't think of a single reason why, can you?


This is probably not Mister McKinnon's best day. It's a good sign for the industry, however. Obvious reasons.


*but honey badger doesn't care, he doesn't give a shit

IKN Recommends: King One Eye

King One Eye is a new-ish blog run by one Sean Brodrick, a natural resources analyst who's been on the scene for as long as I can remember. Its site description is "Charts and analysis of gold & silver, other metals, energy, and commodities of all types"* so it's very much a technical analysis/charty type of place. Now, that as you may know isn't the preferred method of market anal ysis for your humble scribe BUT I am at least trying to understand them and I do pay far more attention to those people who use charts as a starting point for arguments, rather than using them as a facile form of conclusion. 

That's where Brodrick comes in; he's better than the herd, therefore I'm recommending King One Eye to you, because it's been more than worth my while reading it in the last few weeks and those of a charting ilk will really enjoy the blog too. Go read.


*making elegant use of an Oxford comma as well, which wins bonus points


Chart of the day is...

...the gold/oil ratio:


Getting expensive to produce gold, isn't it?

9/12/13

Silvercorp (SVM) (SVM.to) beats the Ottotrans™

There is no way to improve on the comic value of this news release from Silvercorp (SVM) (SVM.to) today, so no alternative Ottotrans™ is offered (that and it's difficult to type and laugh at the same time).

 Tell me, what's your favourite part? Is it this?
The mining contractors at the Ying Mining Camps are paid based on tonnes of ore mined. To determine the amount of ore mined, ore-trucks were scale weighed at the gates of each tunnel. This review has revealed that some mining contractors however were blending waste rock from development tunnels with the ore to obtain higher mining fees, resulting in dilution of ores and reduction of head grades.
Or is it this?
In August 2013, the Company ordered the contractors to implement the New Method. As a result silver and lead head grades at the SGX mine improved by almost 35% and 21% respectively with an approximate 45% reduction in ore production (a 25% reduction in overall silver metal production) compared to July 2013. The New Method has eliminated significant waste rock resulting in less ore being produced. Additionally, some drillers and miners left the mine sites as they feel that under the New Method their pay would be uncertain, which also caused reduced ore production.

How they laughed all the way to the Chapter 11 and Muddy Waters courtrooms.

PS: And we remind ourselves how much Rui Feng, the leader of this tightly-run, carefully managed company, pays himself. From the 2013 MIC:


Oh, just the million or so per year in basic cash is it? Oh, plus options bonuses for efficient workeration, of course. You can't find the people these days at such meagre cash, can you?

Breaking: First Majestic (FR.to) (AG) and Frisco kicked out of Wirikuta

In precedent-setting news from Mexico, First Majestic (FR.to) (AG) and Frisco (the Carlos Slim mining company) have had all their mining concession licences in the Wirikuta region suspended by Mexico, as the country's beaks have come down in favour of locals who have been protesting for years about the concessions due to them being on sacred ground for indigenous peoples. La Jornada has the story here

For what it's worth, FR.to carries its affected properties at an asset value of $23.4m according to last set of financials, so the hit in real terms to the company is minor. This decision is far more interesting for the legal precedent it looks like setting. Sacred ground in Mexico has suddenly become just that, sacred.

Mexico mining royalties: EPN playing smart with the miners

Enrique Peña Nieto: "Ready to accept a 5% royalty on revenues, mining people? Because if you don't STFU right now, it's going to be 7.5% minimum and 8% for precious metals."

Mining people: "Chinga."

A large volume dumpage in Belo Sun (BSX.to) on a Wednesday afternoon, you say?

Oh, look at that!


It's almost as if some news started floating around the English language world that we down here have understood as an obvious freakin' given for months. Wait! What's this?!?!?
Brazil prosecutors seek to block Canadian gold mine in Amazon
By Anthony Boadle

BRASILIA, Sept 11 | Wed Sep 11, 2013 2:03pm EDT 
(Reuters) - Brazilian prosecutors want to block the permit for a massive gold mine planned by Belo Sun Mining Corp on the Xingu River in the Amazon, arguing that the Canadian company has failed to study the impact on local Indian communities, the prosecutors' office said on Wednesday.
The Volta Grande, or Big Bend, open-pit project is slated to start operating in 2016 and become Brazil's largest gold mine. It is in the northern state of Para next to another controversial project, Belo Monte, which is designed to become the worlds third largest hydroelectric dam and has also been the target of lawsuits and public prosecutors.
Environmentalists, and now federal authorities, are saying the double impact of the two massive projects on the habitat of two local Indian communities straddling the Xingu River has not been properly studied.
Federal prosecutors have asked the state government of Para, which is in charge of licensing for the project, to deny permission until the impact continues here


Hmmm, do you think that the denial of permits for the Volta Grande project because BSX.to have only done a half-assed job on its enviro application might negatively affect the share price of the company? Dunno man, let's have a think about that one, I'll get back to you later.

And a reminder to greenhorns sucked into new shareholders of Sulliden (SUE.to): Same people, ok?

UPDATE: And in another bizarre coincidence, the always on-the-ball Kip Keen over at Mineweb notes that there were big inside sales of BSX yesterday. Probably just a coincidence, right Stan?

A Flash update...

...has just been sent to subscribers, a hour and a bit before the opening bell on this fine Thursday morning. Tweaking the port.

Chart of the day is...

...gold:

Well, here we are again.

9/11/13

Understanding nepotism

Exhibit A: The June 20th 2013 Annual General Meeting voting results (check line two)






Exhibit B: Yesterday's news from Gold Resource Corp (GORO) that Jason gets to play bigboss now that his father is retiring (along with his shares that can be sold without anyone knowing)

COLORADO SPRINGS – September 10, 2013 – Gold Resource Corporation (NYSE MKT: GORO) (the “Company”) announced today that Chief Executive Officer William (Bill) Reid intends to retire from the Company. Mr. Reid will step down as CEO effective September 30, 2013. He will continue to serve as Chairman on the Company’s Board of Directors to assist the Company with an orderly leadership transition. Jason Reid, the Company’s President, was unanimously selected by the Board of Directors to succeed Bill Reid as the Company’s CEO effective October 1, and will continue to serve as its President and a director.
“I come to this retirement decision with appreciation for all of the people I have known and worked with during my career. I embark on my retirement with the strong belief that the Company is in great hands to continue building value for its shareholders. I am excited about the Company’s future led by Jason Reid as President and CEO and the excellent team of professionals we have assembled,” stated Mr. Bill Reid.
Jason Reid was appointed President of the Company in July 2010 and continues here

Exhibit C: Jason's brand new salary:
This Amendment No. 1 to that certain Amended and Restated Executive Employment Agreement dated July 1, 2010 (this “Amendment”) is made by and between Gold Resource Corporation (the “Company”) and Jason D. Reid (the “Executive”), effective as of October 1, 2013, with reference to the following facts:

........

“4.1 Base Salary. As compensation for the Executive’s services rendered hereunder, the Company shall pay to the Executive a base salary at an annual rate equal to five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) (the “Base Salary”). The Base Salary shall be payable to the Executive on a monthly basis in accordance with the Company’s standard policies for management personnel.”
GORO is down 45% year to date. Any further questions?

Andy Home on copper's mating season



As is so often the case, required reading from Andy Home on metals this week. Above is the chart, here's the link to the whole note, here's how it starts:

LONDON, Sept 10 (Reuters) - The copper "mating season", when terms are negotiated for next year's shipments of both raw materials and refined metal, has just been declared officially open by Japan's Pan Pacific Copper.
Senior company executives laid out their starting positions at a press conference on Monday.
Pan Pacific Copper's views count.
Not just because with 710,000 tonnes of refined copper capacity it is one of the world's largest producers.
But also because its views are implicitly those of the rest of the Japanese copper smelter pool, still a powerful enough entity to determine "benchmark" prices.
And Pan Pacific's views are that both raw material conversion terms and refined metal premiums should rise next year. And substantially so.
To some extent this is no more than a smelter wish-list, the opening shots in what, based on previous years' experience, are likely to be protracted and fiercely-contested talks.
And to some extent the company's stance reflects no more than the current reality in the spot market for both copper concentrates and refined metal. Treatment charges for the former and physical premiums for the latter have soared in the last couple of months.
But there is an inherent contradiction between implied surplus in the raw materials market and tightness in the refined metal market, or at least sufficient tightness to justify Pan Pacific's call for a 50-percent hike in premiums.
Can the two apparently contradictory trends be reconciled? Yes, but continues here

Read it all and be smarter than the pack about copper.

A Rorschach test for your broker on LatAm political risk for mining


Can you make anything of this totally random inkblot? Fear for your sanity if you can.

It's an easy one, too: If your broker advises you to buy Sulliden (SUE.to) today on the back of this news...
TORONTO, Sept. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ - Sulliden Gold Corporation Ltd. ("Sulliden", or the "Company") (SUE.TO) (SUE.TO) (SDDDF) announces that Peru's Ministry of Energy and Mines ("MINEM") has approved the Environmental Impact Assessment ("EIA") for the Shahuindo gold and silver project in northern Peru. The approval of the EIA is the key milestone in the advancement of the project towards the construction phase. Continues here
... because the Shahuindo project is now de-risked, fire your broker. Or put another way, try not to be as stupid with your money as Agnico Eagle.

Chart of the day is...

...gold versus silver (using the proxies), 12 months:



Silver is not a leader metal. Silver follows gold. Period.
In precisely the same way, those that trade silver are not leaders. They're followers.
What part of "this is obvious" do you not understand?

Forty


9/10/13

Dog goal!

The dog scores (a very neat headed finish, too) and the crowd go wild



From a 5-a-side game in Argentina over the weekend.

Last weekend's massacre in Guatemala and anti-mining protests

In this post, Mike over at Central American Politics floats the potential connection about the massacre in Guatemala last weekend that saw 11 dead and 17 other injured by a wild hail of bullets in a small, relatively crime free town.
"None (?) of the initial reports on Saturday night's massacre in Guatemala speculated that mining or anti-mining protests might have been the motivation before the shootings that killed eleven people in San Jose Nacahuil. ...However, yesterday some began to connect the massacre to ongoing conflicts in the country over mining, natural resources, and indigenous rights. The attack was carried out to justify the militarization of the community."
A couple of other things about the town of San José Nacahuil:
  • In 2005 it kicked out the police force due to complaints of its corruption and since then has done its own civic patrolling. Up to last weekend the town was reknowned as enyoing one of the lowest crime rates in Guatemala.
  • According to eyewitness reports, that same evenings the national police force arrived at the town unannounced (and unwanted), tried to shake down the owner of the bar that was subsequently shot up (the owner one of the fatal victims) and left just before the shooting started.
  • It sits next to the controversial El Tambor gold project that been a test case for anti-mining protests in Guatrmala in recent times.
  • The national government quickly laid all blame on "narco gangs" and the Guatemala media swallowed the line whole, no questions asked.

As for coincidences, anyone remember what happened around the Tahoe Resources (TAHO) (THO.to) Escobal project in Guatemala earlier this year?

1) Violence erupted, killings and kidnappings ensued
2) Locals blamed violence of incitement by the mining company and overhwhelming rejection of the project, whereas the government quickly blamed "narco gangs".
3) The area was militarized and put under a State of Emergency.
4) Locals are now too shit scared to say what they really feel about the Escobal mine project sat on their doorstep, while the company now claims that a majority of locals support their presence.

But like I say, purely coincidental for sure.




So let me get this privacy thing straight....

...yeah? You're worried about the invasion of privacy and you're complaining bitterly about how large tech companies are providing backdoors to secret government programs for wholesale data storage.

But you think the fingerprint lock on the new iPhone is really cool.

Is that right? Just trying to catch up here.

Potential causes of the recent weakness in Pretium Resources (PVG.to) (PVG)



1) The way in which it suddenly runs placement financings
2) The delays announced to the bulk sample tests
3) The foot-dragging on the drilling program that should have been completed in August
4) The way in which it announces the delays just after the financings are closed
5) The stupid fucking annoying way in which they insist on spelling their corporate name with a V instead of a U like they're some kind of offshoot of the Holy Roman Empire.
6) It's being non-stop pumped by Louis Lobito Little Wolf James
7) The serious doubts that serious geologists have about the project
8) All of the above.

Interesting news out of Focus Ventures (FCV.v) this morning

I'm normally against shining light on news around stocks that I own on the public blog (full disclosure: long FCV.v, not planning to add or sell on this news, basically it's a long-term speculative lottery ticket type position) but exception to rules and all that. This news out of FCV this morning about having secured a big phosphate property in the Bayovar region of Northern Peru is more than interesting and has the look of a game-changer. FCV has been collecting phosphate (sidebar: not to be confused with potash) properties for a while now and this is the fifth big acquisition, but it's a different animal to the others because this is prime, A-1 location, right next to a big producing phosphate mine and with very decent drill assays already under its belt. Knowing the thin state of the FCV treasury at the moment it's likely that the company will need to raise cash soon, so that needs to be taken into account. But even in light of that, the news today puts a very different and very positive face on what FCV has been doing in the South America ferts space. Bayovar is where companies like Vale, Mosaic and other world-sized miners go to play phosphate and now here's lil old FCV with a big old land package in the same spot. Easy mining, its own dedicated port, very low environmental/community footprint. Darnit, there's a lot to like here.

FCV has been a very lightly traded stock in recent days and weeks. That may well change. DYODD.

Chart of the day is...

...Reservoir Minerals (RMC.v), 12 months.


So if you were the leader big head honcho of a big Tier One mining company, in a JV with a junior and on a project that you really, but really liked, what would you do to try and dampen down market enthusiasm for the gig and perhaps get the junior more interested in sitting down and doing a final deal at a reasonable price?

If it were me, I'd pull one of the drill rigs off the hotpot project for some ostensibly logical reason such as "budget" or "we have all this information to process already! We don't need any more!" and start dragging heels and talking about 2014. I'd also include the news in an NR which brought another set of decent-but-not-like-that-first-wowser-hole-is-it results.

Disclosure: No position in RMC.v. Yet.

9/9/13

The South America World Cup Qualifiers: Round 16




Round 15 royally sucked for our betting record and the bankroll is down to just $42.55 from our original $100 as a result. But hope springs eternal so here we go with the round 16 matches, all happening in the next 24 hours. Odds from Ladbrokes dot Com as always

Bolivia   9/4                   Draw  2/1            Ecuador 23/20
Uruguay 21/20               Draw 21/10         Colombia 12/5
Venezuela Evens        Draw 21/10             Peru 13/5
Paraguay 19/5          Draw 5/2         Argentina 2/3

So to the bets and alongside the tricky to call Paraguay/Argentina match (this stage of the tourney Argentina doesn't tend to care much, their ticket is virtually booked already so it's difficult to know whether they'll turn up as a visiting team and pour on 100%) and the even trickier Uruguay/Colombia (Uruguay all to play for, Colombia good team, this one promises to be the best match to watch of the round) there are two games with decent bets available. 

The altitude of La Paz (3,800m above sea level) always favours Bolivia, except against Ecuador who play at 3,200m in Quito regularly and can handle the extra more easily than any other national side. Ecuador is also a far better team than Bolivia and really want these points to secure their berth in Brazil'14, so this one is my idea of a banker away win.

Then Venezuela/Peru looks like a draw to me. Both sides still have an outside chance of qualification, but they don't score many goals between them and the chances they cancel each other out in this one are quite high. Therefore:

  • $35 to win on Ecuador at 23/20 (total theoretical return $75.25). This is a banker bet and so we go heavy with what's left.
  • $7 on the Venezuela/Peru draw at 21/10 (total theoretical return $21.70), which offers decent value for money.


And let's see how we get on.

Mexico's Camimex Chamber of Mining thinks you're fucking stupid

The patsies that hang out at "Big Al" Korelin's place were wrong, are wrong and will continue to be wrong about this and so many other market issues. And we can confidently predict they'll remain sad and angry about the unfairness of it all until the day they die.

A version of this appeared in IKN227 yesterday (less swearing of course) along with the chart you see and I thought that would be it, but I'm just so wound up about those assholes at Camimex that the need to rant needs assuaging. A version of this table...


...has been popping up here and there in the Spanish language reports and analysis I've been reading about the Mexico government's plans to introduce a royalty payment on mining activity in the country, for example in this report at CNN. It comes from Camimex, the country's Chamber of Mining, and is an obvious part of their anti-royalty lobbying that goes in hand with the "oh everything will be a disaster" and the "we're already taxed to the hilt in this country" arguments they've been trying to promote. Which are false, but that's another story as we're not looking at the subjective nonsense they're feeding us, because apart from the complete lack of mention about tax breaks and offsets miners get in Mexico the plain and simple math that they offer us is BS. What Camimex wants you to believe is that miners pay 40% tax on revenues, via a 30% corp tax and a 10% worker's participation tax. In other words, if a miner has $1m in revenues, it ends up with $600k. But what Camimex doesn't bother mentioning to José Publico scanning its table full of stupid is that the worker participation deduction comes before any national taxation, so that $1m in revs works like this:

$1m ...minus 10% WP ...equals $900k....then 30% corp tax is applied...taking $270k from the $900k...and leaving Mr Miner with $630k.

Got that? The tax rate as proposed by Camimex is 37%, not 40%. So the message to Camimex is...


....quit the BS and start paying your royalties just like every other mining country in the whole world (except one: China) willyaz?

Catching up with Liberty Silver (LSL.to)

Any word on whether the criminal pumper James West is still following this company? Or did that stop at the same time he sold the shares of Liberty silver (LSL.to) he received from Bobby Genovese for doing his dirty work? And you remember the piece IKN did on LSL at the time? Yeah, sure you do.



We're all clear that Bobby Genovese is a scumbag of the worst type, but don't forget James West's role in the sordid affair. Why this disgusting excuse of a person hasn't been banned for life by the BCSC and OSC is beyond me.

Chart of the day is...

...The Peru IGBVL "general" index versus gold (GLD as proxy), 12 months:


All you need to know about Peru's cap mkt, in one chart.

9/8/13

The NSA does Petrobras (PBR)

The latest Greenwald report for Brazil TV on the NSA and the wonderful things that it does in that country, in English language, right here.

The IKN Weekly, out now



IKN227 has just been sent to subscribers. Lots of charts.

It's not about life and death, it's much more important than that*

I occasionally get asked the deal about posting on futbol (football, soccer) on a blog that, ostensibly at least, is about LatAm economics/politics and is more about things connected with the mining world than anything else. One answer is that it's my freakin' blog and I'll post what I like. But the real answer is that if you don't understand or appreciate the deep, socio-cultural significance of futbol in the Latin American way of life, you shouldn't be reading about anything remotely connected to the region in the first place. For a really topical example of this, go read what Cynthia Sanborn has to say in this freshly-minted post over at her place. Here's an excerpt:
"In the midst of a painful 2 -1 defeat by the national soccer team against Uruguay, in which Peru lost hopes for going to the 2014 World Cup, President Humala tried to leave the National Stadium quietly, alone and on foot.  But enraged fans prevented him from doing so, raining bottles, insults and worse from the stands, shouting “salado” (meaning “jinxed” or bringing bad luck), and blocking his way out. Security guards struggled for some time before Humala was finally able to get to his car and drive off."  
continues here

*Bill Shankly dixit: "Some people believe football is a matter of life and death, I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that."

Why we love Tom Tomorrow

Award winning cartoonist Tom Tomorrow, author of 'This Modern World', has been featured on these pages a few times in the past (and has a permalink on the links list, of course). That's basically because he totally rules. But this...wowsers...this is from 1994, people.


Click image to enlarge

Nineteen freakin' ninety-four. Tell me he wasn't close. Go on, tell me.