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4/4/15

The most visited IKN post this week is...


The April Fool's Day post was most popular by quite a distance, too. For the record, of the mails received from that one (and there were dozens), maybe half got the joke, 10% thought it might be a April Fool thing and the rest clearly fell for it. But the thing that really surprised me were the content of some of the thank you mails, because I really had no idea people cared that much about this silly little corner of cyberspace. To that end, and to take up one of the more repeated comments, I'm going to stop using strong swear words here. 

4/3/15

The Friday OT: George Thorogood & The Destroyers; Who Do You Love

The trick is finding a decent live version because this isn't a studio song, it's a live song. This one  from 1980 does the trick:



The original is Bo Diddley (of course), but George's rock-out version has always been my idea of the better take. 

Ignore today's cart-before-horse debate on the dollar and US jobs

Today's weaker than expected US BLS jobs report is giving rise to a reprise of the whole dollar and jobs canard, so do yourself the big favour and ignore it all. 

But if you can't get away, your second best option is to note the name any of these so-called experts who are currently telling us that the strong dollar is causing a slowdown in the US economy. Once you're done you'll have yourself a useful list, because it's full of people you can totally ignore on matters financial in the future, thereby simplifying your working life. To repeat (and bold-typing the bit that matters):
Economies do not get stronger due to currencies. Ever. Economies do not get weaker due to currencies, either. One is a real thing that exists, the other is a medium of exchange and its flow from point A to point B allows us to gauge the relative strength or weakness of the two things at either end. There's this big mental image we're sold by the ignorant media show, one that the finance world conjures up of a scales-of-justice type weighing machine: You're presented with a country's economy on one side and the country's unit of currency on the other and told "this up this down". It's complete bullshit, because only one of those things is real and tangible, the other is a ghost. For sure the most persistent ghost of modern society, but it's still a ghost.

If you understand what a currency is, you have the right to expound. Anyone who insists that the movements of a nation's currency affect its economy is guilty of putting the cart before the horse.


Falklands/Malvinas spy shock news thingy

So according to The Intercept, main source for the Snowden spigot, The UK runs* a spy and psych-ops program against Argentina due to the Malvinas/Falklands. Frankly, it would be surprising if it didn't. Not so many details available either. Put me down in the unimpressed column.

PS: On the subject of spigots (but otherwise totally unrelated), here's hoping that those of you in families with kids enjoy this long weekend. SMBC understands why.



*or at least it ran until 2011, but the inference of ongoing is pretty clear.

Jerbs

Biiwii got you covered on the US BLS jerbs repert, here.

PS: This USD chart shows the main reaction and when it all boils down, it's the need-to-know:

Good Friday art

Christ of St. John of the Cross, Salvador Dali, 1951. Its fourth Good Friday appearance on IKN

 click to enlarge (gets very big)

Dali on his painting: 
"In the first place, in 1950, I had a 'cosmic dream' in which I saw this image in colour and which in my dream represented the 'nucleus of the atom.' This nucleus later took on a metaphysical sense; I considered it 'the very unity of the universe,' the Christ!"
For more, here's the wiki page on the painting.

4/2/15

What volumes are telling us about juniors. And nice photos. And Pierre Lassonde.

The market doesn't give a flying banana about junior mining companies, that's the crystal clear message from the paucity of volume being traded through the sector. It's now up to you to decide whether that's a good thing or a bad thing.

This photo collection, entitled "Over population, over consumption" impresses on an individual image scale and as a group. Well worth a looksee.

The latest April 2015 edition of Global Mining Observer has a great interview with Pierre Lassonde. Go here and sign up if you'd like to read it (they'll take your mail address and give you a subscription for free, nice people). My thanks to MM for the headsup.


Why you should read Louis James of Casey Research

It's simple: He's the perfect contrary indicator and bottom-ticks them all. Here's the 12 month copper chart (could show you other base metals charts, but copper's ther bellweather of them all):



See where it bottomed out? Here's what Louis Lobito Little Wolf James wrote to clients on January 27th 2015 under the title "ALERT: Base Metal Meltdown, and More", the only edit being two specific company names taken out:
We are preparing a more in-depth review of the base metal markets for our next issue of the International Speculator. However, I want to bring the matter to Casey Investment Alert subscribers' attention first, as I did with the "come hell, high water, or $1,000 gold" portfolio, because the markets could move significantly before the next edition. Here's our thinking on what to do now:
  • Liquidate any pure industrial metals plays you may still have in your portfolio, unless they can profit at significantly lower prices.
  • Hold on to base metals plays that have very strong precious metal components, such as XXXX and XXXX, as they have the potential to greatly outperform market expectations.
  • Accumulate cash, wait, and watch for wholesale base-metal blood in the streets.
Clever traders may want to consider shorting copper and iron producers as well, but remember that you have to be right on the timing, not just the direction the stocks move. We have not found a suitable vehicle for recommending as a short position to our readers, but it's an idea for the pros to look into.

That was for his premium level clients, too. All this while Casey Research keeps pumping out the "we're never wrong" guff and nonsense in its advertising in order to hook unsuspecting suckers into its multi-level-marketing scams.

 My thanks for the forward to A. Reader.

Chart of the day is...

...the gold/silver ratio:


Nothing has changed.

4/1/15

Just for the record, regarding the cojones of President Ollanta Humala

If he has any, he'll re-nominate Ana Jara as his new cabinet chief/prime minister tomorrow. But he hasn't and he won't. Just wanted to get that down in writing before the dude wimps out and picks some crusty old white dude like Cateriano or Von Hesse to play at Banana Republican.

Amazingly, people outside looking in still think Peru is a democracy.

UPDATE Thursday evening: And it's...Cateriano. 

A Flash update...

...has just been sent to subscribers. Something for the (long) weekend, sir. Or madam.

Eric Coffin does Kitco

Eric Coffin belongs to that small subset of junior mining newsletter writers who are respectable and actually know what they're talking about, so I'll usually tune in to hear or read what he has to say. Here's the latest from him, in Q&A with La Cambone over at Kitco. Worth your time and for me, particular agreement with what he has to say in the last minute of this seven minute vid. 

Gran Colombia Gold (GCM.to) 4q14 results

Here's the NR and oh, how I love these guys. All forward-looking and 2015 outlook and production and stuff, plus they're apparently going to having meaningful talks with the people owed money on those gold and silver notes, too. They even had the chutzpah to put this table in...

...and label it "balance sheet", as apparently that's all you mouthbreathing retailers need to know about the numbers and stuff. However the one thing that Fino and his pals weren't so keen to point out to you was this:

Working capital is now negative $144.13m. And fwiw, cash treasury as at 4q14 was $0.767m. That's not a cash crunch, it's a red dwarf star collapse. By the way, it was good to get confirmation that Frank Holmes' fund still owns 12% of this trainwreck. What's more, his US Global lent them $2m in cash during the period too. Funny how people aren't so worried about throwing good money after bad if it's not their money, innit?

If you'd like to know more about the near-term future of GCM.to, check the Allied Nevada chart. In the meantime, laugh along with IKN about the way in which GCM has rallied these last two days. Those GMP guys are good. Oh, they're good.

PS Apparently red dwarfs don't collapse. And apparently i'm a dumbass for not knowing that. Fair enough.

PPS: The morons coming over from CEO.ca this morning can now stop. Go back to the asslicker Humphreys at his Frank Giustra bankrolled sycophant entertainment site and stop bugging the people who have a freakin' clue about how they're being ripped off. Ignorance is bliss, so stay blissful.

Thanks for all the mails this morning

Whatever you wrote, it was kind of you to take the time.


So, on with the show.

PS: An extra clue:


UPDATE: Yeah well...

...you're going to have to live with it, i'm afraid.

The end of the line for IKN

Ladies and gentlemen, an announcement: It's been an interesting way to watch eight years go past and balancing it all out, it's been a lot of fun too, but today sees the last ever post at IKN. 

I'll admit that wrapping up the blog has been on my mind for a while, but the catalyst came last week when I was offered a new job. Part of the package of this new job, which I have now accepted, means my continued writing will be at the new gig. To that end, I'll be taking a couple of weeks off before joining Tommy Humphreys at CEO.CA as his new Latin American correspondent. 

Finally, a warm thank you goes out to all you IKN readers who've come over and come back so often, you're greatly appreciated. Hopefully I'll see you all soon at the new site.

I've often wondered how the last post would turn out. Thanks and goodbye from IKN, Otto

3/31/15

Checking in on price forecasts and price action for nickel

First those forecasts:

Sep 26 2014: Nickel price to average $20,000 mt in 2015 on ore supply tightness: analyst
Dec 5 2014: Nickel prices should increase, economist says
Dec 31 2014: Mining in 2015: Nickel price promises much
Jan 5 2015: Nickel Outlook 2015: Deficit May Be in the Cards by Q2
March 2 2015: Nickel prices poised to "surge" in 2015: Royal Nickel CEO
March 3 2015: PDAC 2015: Major rallies anticipated in zinc and nickel prices

We could continue. Now the price chart for nickel:


And while we're here, an owl:


Thanks, owly.


The thought process behind offering you up a link to eight violin concertos by JS Bach

As I write these words I'm one hour and forty-seven minutes into this 2hr 9 minute Youtube that contains eight JSB violin concertos. And I know that most of you will roll your eyes and go, "Gawd, not another one" and get back to the important stuff such as cat GIFs or watching the red percentages at the side of the mining stocks on your radar screen blink just a little deeper to the negative, but I'm not linking it because of you the massed crowd over there to my left. It's for you over there on my right, the handful who might consider clicking it and listening, putting it on in the background as you go about your daily duties, allowing the incomparable JSB to add a modicum of pleasure and happiness to your day. I'm guessing that of the X thousand people who come over and read IKN in the next 24 hours, maybe a dozen of you will go for it. And that would be a good result, because if just one person gets as much pleasure out of this as I have since 8am local time today it's more than enough.




Repeating Reason

First put your way nearly two years ago, current circumstances have your humble scribe musing again on the subject. Part of the plot of Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams involves a very successful computer programmer named Gordon Way, so we're also told how he and his company WayForward became successful. It all started with the program he created called "Reason".

Just swap out the now somewhat dated reference to Star Wars for most anything you'd care to consider in our current era: ISIS, oil price, Obamacare, immigration, The Euro, gay marriage, etc ad infin. Also, please note that this program works for either side of any subject for heated debate. I'll leave you with the late Mr. Adams' prose:


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``...it's to do with the project which first made the software incarnation of the company profitable. It was called Reason, and in its own way it was sensational.''

``What was it?''

``Well, it was a kind of back-to-front program. It's funny how many of the best ideas are just an old idea back-to-front. You see there have already been several programs written that help you to arrive at decisions by properly analysing all the relevant facts so that they then point naturally towards the right decision. The drawback with these is that the decision which all the properly ordered and analysed facts point to is not necessarily the one you want.''

``Yeeesss...'' said Reg's voice from the kitchen.

``Well, Gordon's great insight was to design a program which allowed you to specify in advance what decision you wished to reach, and only then to give it all the facts. The program's task, which it was able to accomplish with consummate ease, was simply to construct a plausible series of logical-sounding steps to connect the premises with the conclusion.

And I have to say it worked brilliantly. Gordon was able to buy himself a Porsche almost immediately despite being completely broke and a hopeless driver. Even his bank manager was unable to find fault with his reasoning. Even when he wrote it off three weeks later.''

``Heavens. And did the program sell very well?''

``No. We never sold a single copy.''

``You astonish me. It sounds like a real winner to me.''

``It was,'' said Richard hesitantly. ``The entire project was bought up, lock, stock and barrel, by the Pentagon. The deal put WayForward on a very sound financial foundation. Its moral foundation, on the other hand, is not something I wound want to trust my weight to. I've recently been analysing a lot of the arguments put forward in favour of the Star Wars project, and if you know what you're looking for, the pattern of the agorithms is very clear.''


Torex (TXG.to) news and you

Here's Torex (TXG.to) today on the situation at its build-out in Guerrero:

Security: Quiet and Well Supported By State and Federal Forces
The community members that were abducted in the February 6th incident were returned to their families before the end of the month. The 'community police' are engaging in a process to achieve formal recognition from the State and Military authorities. When completed, this will provide them with more resources and training. The State Police and Military continue to effectively patrol the area and discussions have started and will continue over the next few months with the objective of formalizing a commitment for a permanent Federal and/or State security presence. In the meantime the area has remained quiet and construction activities have accelerated.

And here's a visual representation of that:


With thanks due to Rudyard and Walt.

Biiwii today

A great little screed, entitled "Here's why it could get way better for gold". Excerpt:

"...while it has been a patience play for sure, a strong US dollar is one strong fundamental consideration in bringing on a new bull market maybe not in gold, but in the gold stock sector.  That is because we are 100% focused on economic cycles now.  Not some stupid blathering about a strong US dollar and the Fed’s ongoing Kabuki Theater‘will they or won’t they raise the Funds Rate by a lousy 1/4 point’.
"I really do dislike the MSM’s utter banality, it’s just that I need them to gauge the psychological aspects of an overall plan that includes so much  more than what the average TV star analyst puts out there, not to mention a good chunk of the mainstream financial services industry."

Whole thing here.

3/30/15

Ben Bernanke reaches the pinnacle of his career

He's started a blog. Go read it here, first entry's up already with great use of some cat GIFs as well.

You've come a long way, baby.



Luna Gold (LGC.to) 4q14

Here's the NR. Holy maloney.

I'd kinda held off from saying anything about LGC's numbers (apart from that little explainer on the forbearance with the fruity language that made a few people laugh. I recall) because for one thing there's no point kicking it now it's down and for another, I thought there may be something to salvage from the company in 2015, what with the plan to do the heavy earth lifting during 4q14 and run cheap production for a couple of quarters while it rained. But no, this one's gone, bye-bye Luna. Cash treasury has moved from $22.2m in 3q14 to just $3.7m in 4q14 (plus $6.7m restricted cash, but that's already gone due to the forbearance deal in 1q15), working cap is negative $24m. The notes on the restructuring (in both NR and MD&A) are 100% sadface unoptimistic (sidebar: you may have thought Sandstorm was out of the woods due to its restructuring deal, but it's not) and at times like these, it's worth remembering the golden rule of news releases: That companies will always put the best possible spin on things, so if this is all they can muster things are very bad indeed. 

3/29/15

The IKN Weekly, out now



IKN307 has just been sent to subscribers. The smell of the chase

The Tekoa Da Silva files, Brent Cook edition

Back in December 2014 I linked to an interview Tekoa Da Silva did with Rick Rule that was published on the Sprott website and yeah, I even said it was pretty good.  Today we get Tekoa Da Silva again doing the interview, this time his subject is Brent Legend Cook of Exploration Insights and I'm again forced to admit, this Da Silva guy does a good job of work. 

Here's the Youtube...


...but if you're like me and prefer to read your Q&As instead of watching them go to the Sprott Global page linked right here, there's a full transcript available.

PS: Tekoa Da Silva had caught your humble scribe's beady eye as far back as May 2013, with this interview with Jon Case of Sentry.