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6/20/15

Argentina: Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner steps back

This evening brought the limit date for inscriptions for those running for political office in Argentina in the October elections, not just those going for the presidency but all levels of regional candidacy.

The main news is that President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner's name does not appear on any of the lists put forward by the governing FpV party. She's not running for governor of anywhere, nor even a congressional parliament position. And be clear, she would have been a shoo-in for any job she'd have wanted. However, her son Maximo is running for congress in his native Santa Cruz province (another shoo-in).

The most visited IKN post this week is...


To repeat a theme, I know how to make IKN a lot more popular than it is and this tack is one of the most obvious. You pick up on the all-star big name interview segments, fluff and curate a bit, make your site known as a place to get the views of the Legends in the mining world, sit back and watch the clicks roll in. Sadly it's never going to happen, for that type of malarkey you need to go over to the websites and blogs run by people who are stupid enough to want fame. Well, not entirely true of course, it will happen on occasion as last weekend's popular Brent Cook post shows, but I'm not in it for the sycophantics so this blog is boring when I'm boring (often), snarky when I'm snarky (ditto) and will save itself for the occasional nugget that's different from the rest (rare). And it will remain firmly backwater bloggery.

6/19/15

The Friday OT: Blur; Parklife

I fell upon this feature on the actor Phil Daniels today, which was a good read and also linked to this (he's the lead in the video):



So I hit the link and wow this song still sounds great. Nothing complicated, fun vid, catchy as hell, daisyfresh and a seriously luxurious Ford Granada.

Then I was 'appy for the rest of the day.

UEC

I received this mail this morning from reader KR about a company I've never followed (what with hating the whole uranium space), Uranium Energy Corp (UEC):

Thought you would enjoy this fine mess of a uranium company's story: UEC.
It appears that the company, for whatever reason, without publicizing the fact, stopped mining, and has been publishing sales numbers based solely upon inventory sales.
The link below details how that was discovered.
So the stock is down 33% today as a result, and shareholder lawsuits are being filed.
I see that the CEO of UEC is also the CEO of Brazil Resources, so if any of your readers/clients are invested or thinking of investing, perhaps a word of caution, which you are so subtly adept at giving, would be in order. :)

Thanks for thinking of me and very happy to oblige, KR.

Link to the investigation here and even though I've had my own issues with the website (the street sweeper) before this one is well worth your time, some good sluething done. As for Brazil Resources (BRI.v), that one's been on my avoid list forever. The three magic words are "Pumped By Casey", it's been a total BS-peddler for years and will stay that way.

UPDATE: Several of you have forwarded the latest June 2015 edition of the Louis Lobito Little Wolf James International Speculator, published (oh what a surprise) by Casey Research that's basically a long pump for UEC.

And you want me to be surprised? Scumbags pumping scumbags, period.

UPDATE 2: UEC responds:
CORPUS CHRISTI, TX, June 19, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Uranium Energy Corp (NYSE MKT: UEC, the "Company" or "UEC") is responding to recent press releases relying on the unfounded allegations of a third party.
The subject press releases have absolutely no merit and are comprised of unfounded allegations made by a third party whose motives are questionable.  The Company has reviewed the referenced article. The Company's SEC disclosure is very clear and we will not comment further on the possibility of groundless, frivolous litigation.  UEC is in discussions with counsel with a view to doing whatever is necessary to bring these parties' motives to light and to seek such legal and equitable relief and any and all damages suffered by the Company and any of its shareholders as a consequence of these unfounded allegations.

full NR here

Editorial note

Yesterday's post "Argentina Presidential election: The stage is now set" was picked up and run therewith by "Los Huevos y Las Ideas", one of the premier Argentine political blogs, in its entirety and in English. Link right here.

It's an honour to appear on those widely read and illustrious pages, I'm suitably humbled.

This Modern World: A Confederacy of Denial

Tom Tomorrow has given permission to distribute this new 'toon to one and all. So here it is.





x

Since we last spoke about copper...

..., which wasn't so very long ago, it hasn't got any better. It's got worse.


Earlier in the week I was forecasting $2.50/lb this (northern) summer, but the way things are going there's no need to wait for the really hot weather to get your cheap metal.





A January rant that's still good today

I had reason to revisit an IKN post of nearly six months ago last night. It could have been written yesterday, still totally valid, so by way of filling up space being a the lazy blogger passing on the wisdom here it is again.

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In which your author rants about things without using any swear words

This made me laugh. Some dude over at Stockhouse linked over to my note on True Gold (TGM.v) yesterday by writing this on the company bullboard:

You''ll notice immediately how your average retail market player feels it necessary to apologize to the members of his psychological support group (you may recognize its alternative title more readily, "Bullboard of Heavily Promoted And Deeply Underwater Mining Stock") because the author in question is "habitually negative".

Here's a suggestion: Instead of "habitually negative", let's go for "has firm grasp on reality when it comes to the junior mining world". People, have a good hard stare at this chart:


That's five years...AH SAID FIVE YEARS...of the TSX Venture Exchange Index versus the S&P500. And in that five years yes indeed madam and yes indeed sir, your author and this humble corner of cyberspace has been "habitually negative" about the junior mining sector, the companies it houses, the people therein. I mean, got an idea as to why that might be yet? Meanwhile...
  • Canadian brokerages continue with a coverage universe recommendation 95% buys, 4% holds, 1% sells.
  • Mouthbreather central websites run by and for the corrupt rich folk in Vancouver (yes CEO CA that's you, but sadly you're not the only ones out there) tell you that fame and riches are just around the corner, not just now today but in September 2012, March 2013, August 2014 etc etc ad infin.
  • Places at the very bottom of the foodchain such as the unreadable waste of time that is Stockhouse band together the losers and if anyone dare tell them anything that doesn't suit their fantasy narratives they're immediately branded "bashers" and placed on ignore.
  • Company IR departments are all yeah for sure it's been tough but hang in there guy, things are getting better and...you know the rest.
  • Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

And among all this jam tomorrow nonsense spewed at you by people who do not care whether you live or die, let alone make it to be rich or poor by playing the market as long as they get theirs first, there are a few small squeaky voices such as IKN* who have the temerity to inform you on the negative aspects of the junior mining world. 

And if you read them and find something of use, you feel the need apologize before passing on the info.



*Yes there are others, but not many. I wish there were more.


BMO on six gold miners

Somebody at the NuLegacy website has stuck the new BMO research note, with 120 pages of fundies and coverage initiated on six Tier 1 or 2 gold names (AEM, ABX, ELD, GG, KGC, AUY), onto its website. Site friend M alerted your humble scribe to this, not it's your turn to know. Here's how it starts:
BMO Research is initiating coverage of six of the North American-based gold miners. After two years of cost cutting, balance sheets are showing positive improvement and debt is less of an obstacle toward a new stage of growth focused on return that will drive the next cycle. 
1. We have moved toward a more constructive view and believe that the senior miners looks to begin to screen more constructively in early 2016 when viewed by generalist investors. 
2. We recommend that investors position in advance of this catalyst, taking advantage of seasonal weakness through the summer. 
3. ABX and GG are rated Outperform: ABX on execution of strategy, GG on delivery of growth. AEM, AUY, ELD, and KGC are rated Market Perform but have catalysts that could change our view.

Get your copy of the full report on this link before nulegacy gets into trouble with BMO and is sent one of thoses snotty lawyers letters and has to take it down.

Thanks, M.

6/18/15

Fortuna Silver (FVI.to) (FSM): Everybody loves Mario

Well, not quite true. Better said is juuuuuuuuuust enough people love Mario.



He got 57.0% approval last year. Slipping there Mario. Slipping.

Don't say we didn't try to warn you

The IKN True Gold (TGM.v) lunchtime Tuesday post here.

True Gold's Wednesday morning puffball spin here.

Result Thursday afternoon here.

Franco Nevada (FNV): Ten months on and Pierre is still smarter than you

And don't you forget it:



If you do, phone Pierre. He'll remind you personally.

Know your place, prole

As from July 1st 2015 it will become illegal to criticize the Spanish royal family on the internet, which includes all your favourite social media such as Twitter (Sp. Tuiter) and Facebook (Sp. Feibu). The penalty is up to two years in prison. This according to Article 573 of the new Spanish penal code which comes into effect that day.

The good news. If you slag off La Familia on LinkedIn or Goole Plus you're unlikely to be prosecuted. Nobody will ever read you.

Your savings choices expand if you happen to be the Chair of Niocorp (NB.to)

So, let's see now...here come the choices:

1) Put your U$1.5m in cash into a time deposit paying an annual compound of four lynx's farts.
2) Put your U$1.5m in cash where it earns U$225,000 U$187,500* in one flat year

NioCorp Developments Ltd. ("NioCorp" or the "Company") (TSX:NB)(OTCQX:NIOBF)(FRANKFURT:BR3), is pleased to announce that the Company has arranged a loan agreement dated June 17, 2015 in the amount of USD $1.5 million from Mark A. Smith, Executive Chairman of NioCorp, which will serve to further improve and refine the Elk Creek Niobium Project. These funds will contribute to work done on the Preliminary Economic Study (PEA), additional hydrological testing of the planned mine site, and additional hydrometallurgical work necessary to keep the project on its original timeline for completion of the Company's Feasibility Study. The one year term loan will bear an interest rate of 10%, is secured by the Company's assets pursuant to a concurrently executed general security agreement, and is subject to both a 2.5% establishment fee and 2.5% prepayment fee. continues here

Tough one, yeah? Beats me why these mining executives bother with the sector, there's no money in it.


*read the 2.5% pre-pay thing too quickly. Still, 187k is still handy moolah

Argentina Presidential election: The stage is now set

Recently in Argentina we've had the lethal fading of the Sergio Massa campaign, as well as the quick death of the never gonna work weird UNEN coalition, plus CFK's decision yesterday to ask Randazzo very nicely to stop pretending (it didn't go down well, but he toed the line). So aside from the minor distractions and non-important candidatures, we're now down to an obvious straight fight between two players for the job of President of Argentina in October 2015:

Daniel Scioli, the chosen one from the ranks of the CFK government.
Mauricio Macri, the mayor of Buenos Aires and head of the PRO party.

Scioli will win. Get used to the idea.

PS: For Ricardo, Abel and anyone else who might care. The last 48 hours have shown one main thing, that CFK is in charge. She's chosen Scioli and she's chosen correctly. Two points:

1) Randazzo never was, is or ever will be 'presidenciable', that special secret sauce a politico needs to make it to the top of the greasy pole. Scioli is, period. In the eyes of the wider electorate, Daniel Scioli has paid his dues and won't ruffle feathers as the Head of State. However, if Randazzo became the chosen one, Macri would be offered an open door to the election. It was only a matter of time and timing for the Randazzo retirement and what's more, his decision to do (or not do) what he wants in the election cycle this time around is unimportant. There's only one job that matters, folks, and it isn't the governorship of Buenos Aires province. Not this time, at least.

2) On the question of timing, that's now and that's CFK pulling the trigger via her decision to pair Scioli with Zannini and her decision to have a little chat with Florencio Randazzo. With these moves she states that a) she is in charge and b) a vote for Scioli is a vote for the continuation of the project. And it may come as a surprise to those outside looking in who only get to note Argentine goings on via mainstream English language press coverage, but both a) and b) are distinct advantages for Daniel Scioli. Despite what you might have heard, CFK is a popular president in Argentina and Argentina's not doing badly at all right now. That may pain you politically, that may go against your preconceived ideas of what inflation is, but that's also true.

Scioli's only weak point for October is the potential for accusations that he's the chameleon candidate, that he'll take Kirchnerism away from its path and pull it to the right thereby alienating its grassroots. The people who feel this way are some of the most vociferous in social media complaints about the way Randazzo has been treated today, which is another reason why CFK has acted early. By clearing the field today in June, long before the PASO comes around in August, she gets the time needed to rally the whole FpV, from the wishywashy Scioli faithful to the hardcore Campora, around the same flag. On this score, the choice of Zannini (by CFK, not Scioli) is inspired and hints at the rise in ambitions of Maximo Kirchner.

I digress, but the basic point is that CFK is much better at Argentina politics than all of us and she's now played the main cards. She's named Scioli (which changes nothing, he was always going to win the FpV nomination over Randazzo) but she's done it in a way that will assuage the doubts of the hardcore K members. Scioli is the one that is deemed 'presidenciable' by the wider population, he's now had the Kirchnerist collar fixed firmly round his neck. And he's your new President come December.

PPS: Life is a lottery

The solution: Armed guards in every church

It's what Jesus would have wanted.

Rob McEwen starts paying himself at McEwen Mining (MUX) (MUX.to)

Rob McEwen has always had this trumpety rah rah thing on two facts about his running of McEwen Mining:
1) He draws no salary

2) He owns 25% of the company's shares.
So with Rob McEwen's MUX's decision today to start paying a one cent per share annual cash dividend to Rob McEwen shareholders, and with Rob McEwen currently owning 74,718,564 shares, Rob McEwen has de facto decided to pay Rob McEwen 747.2k per annum*

By the way, I put the name Rob McEwen in this post a lot because that way he'll read it, too. He likes reading his name.

*pre tax of course, and we know those shares he owns through 2190303 Ontario Inc will pay all their tax.

Four lines on Lawrence Williams of Mineweb (all he deserves)


This from the person who thinks that impairments are "just a financial accounting mechanism".

Fact: Mineweb pays this moron. 

Other fact: You do not need to read him.

6/17/15

TAHO was inflated before the GG secondary, you say?

No! Perish the thought.



Just a coincidence.

Hans Peter Black of Williams Creek Gold (WCX.v) and Tyhee Gold (TDC.v), busted





Did you invest in Williams Creek Gold (WCX.v) over the last few years? Or Tyhee Gold (TDC.v)? Did you ever wonder why your investment wasn't working very well? Wonder no longer, The SEC explains all:
Washington D.C., June 17, 2015 — 
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced fraud charges against a Massachusetts-based investment advisory firm and its owner for funneling more than $17 million in client assets into four financially troubled Canadian penny stock companies in which the owner has undisclosed business and financial interests.
The SEC alleges that clients at Interinvest Corporation may have lost as much as $12 million of their $17 million investment based on the recent trading history of shares in the penny stock companies, some of which are purportedly in the business of exploring for gold or other minerals.  Interinvest’s owner and president Hans Peter Black has served on the board of directors of these companies, which have collectively paid an entity he controls approximately $1.7 million.  Black’s involvement with these companies and his receipt of payments from them created a conflict of interest that he and Interinvest failed to disclose to their advisory clients.

Full complaint here and you'll note that Hans Peter Black has never been touched by the toothless wonders that are supposed to protect investors in Canada, it's the US SEC that's got him.

Sometimes it's what's not in the news which is more interesting

May 8th 2015, after a series of several public announcements by Frank Giustra, IKN ran a post entitled "Some non-sarcastic, serious, sincere advice for Frank Giustra" which began:

Frank dude, whoever's running your personal PR, sack them now. Whoever told you it was a bright idea to put out a press release is an idiot, whoever got you to agree to a Q&A with the NatPost guy is a moron. Stop talking to the press about being annoyed over your links to the Clintons. It doesn't matter if they're totally true, totally false or somewhere in between. It doesn't matter how innocent you think you are, or how wonderful, or how successful, just STFU and stay that way
It continued with sage advice, too. And it's probably just coincidence (innit guv) but from then until now we haven't heard a whisper from Giustra. We've gone from two weeks of Frank's name everywhere to six weeks of total radio silence.

Y'know, I might be wasted in this blogging lark. Waddya say, Tommy? Your master ready for a new PR dude? How much does he pay, anyway?

Andy Home on copper

As someone who watches the price and stocks movement pretty carefully for clues and what have you over at The IKN Weekly, I fully agree with the thrust of this note by the superlatively good metals commentator over at Reuters, Andy Home.

The question: Is it now baked into the price?

6/16/15

Corvus (KOR.to) releases a PEA

Congratulations on the 3,648 shares traded on the back of your PEA this morning, Henk.




PEAs in 2015:



Unless you've been paid to pump this dog, of course.

UPDATE: Now uo to 15,000 shares traded this morning. Oooh, there's a rush on.

There's a reasonable chance that True Gold (TGM.v) rallies today...

...on the back of this newsIt's not some sort of closed book everybody 100% now deal, but it is a deal and it at least has the local religious leader guarded onside with the project. In the three-party deal, you have the government and the company making the concrete assurances and most enthusiastic noises, while the Chiek dude is signing onto a "well yeah, we'll be happy to work with you and talk through any problems arising" type of goodwill agreement. But it's better than nothing and according to the mining minister dude, it should allow Karma to start its build-out next month. 

Y'know, the one they said they'd started in May.

PS: No, I don't own any. Not planning to, either. 

The short thing about Nevada Copper (NCU.to) in IKN318 last Sunday plus The Doors in 1970

This was two days ago, it's down even more now.

Nevada Copper (NCU.to): No amount of hype can save a marginal project. Since the Nevada Copper (NCU.to) feasibility study NR came out on May 28th, the change in price trend has been as abrupt as it is obvious on that 2015 year-to-date chart. We've also had NCU's management team aggressively marketing the project in both Toronto and New York in the post-NR period, so the reception for the message among professionals is clear; not buying.

I'm aware that Pumpkin Hollow is "one of the last big copper projects not in the hands of a major" or whatever other line they use to sell the thing. Well folks, perhaps one day it'll dawn on people just why no major has bought it in the years it's been shopped around. Or perhaps that fact is finally dawning on people this month. It's about time it did.



Everybody loves my baby.





x

Chart of the day is...

...the US Dollar index (USD):

6/15/15

New mining law in Burkina Faso

A long, detailed and well written article on the slow passage of the new mining law in Burkina Faso and the main bones of contention it includes, right here. 

Goldcorp (GG) sells its Tahoe (TAHO)

I'm trying to think of something to say that isn't "not surprised" and failing.

So, not surprised. NR here

PS: The full SEC filing is here. It includes the ostensible reason why GG wants to dump its THO:

Certain of the Underwriters (BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc.,             and            ), are directly or indirectly, wholly-owned subsidiaries of Canadian chartered banks which are members of a syndicate of 17 lenders (the "Lenders") to Goldcorp, the parent company of the Selling Shareholder, and its subsidiaries under a US$3 billion credit facility (the "Goldcorp Facility"), and/or lenders to Goldcorp under certain other credit facilities. Accordingly, the Selling Shareholder may be considered to be a connected issuer of BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc.,            and            under applicable Canadian provincial securities legislation. The debt outstanding is unsecured.
        As at June 15, 2015, there was approximately US$1.134 billion principal amount outstanding under the Goldcorp Facility and approximately US$673 million outstanding under the other credit facilities. Goldcorp is in compliance with all material terms of the agreements governing such indebtedness and none of the Lenders has waived any material breach by Goldcorp of such agreements since their execution. The financial position of Goldcorp has not changed substantially and adversely since this indebtedness was incurred. Goldcorp expects that the net proceeds of the Offering will be used to reduce the indebtedness under the Goldcorp Facility.
        The decision to offer the Offered Shares and the determination of the terms of the distribution were made through negotiations (with reference to the market price of the Offered Shares) between GMP Securities L.P. and BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc., on their own behalf and on behalf of the other Underwriters, and Goldcorp. The Canadian chartered banks referred to above did not have any involvement in such decision or determination, but have been advised of the Offering and the terms thereof. As a consequence of the Offering, each Underwriter will receive its share of the Underwriters' Commission and the Lenders will receive their proportionate shares of the repaid indebtedness.
        Because more than 5% of the net proceeds of this Offering will be used to reduce indebtedness under the Goldcorp Facility, the Underwriters named above are deemed to have a conflict of interest within the meaning of Rule 5121 of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. Accordingly, this Offering is being made in accordance with Rule 5121. Because the Offered Shares have a "bona fide public market", pursuant to Rule 5121, the appointment of a "qualified independent underwriter" is not necessary. The Underwriters named above will not confirm sale of the Offered Shares to any account over which they exercise discretionary authority without the prior written approval of the customer.

Bart Simpson has a message for Argonaut Gold (AR.to)

Argonaut's message here.

Bart's message here.

Chart of the day is...

...copper.

6/14/15

The IKN Weekly, out now


oldskool!


IKN318 has just been sent to subscribers. Not much talk about politics or market happenings this week, we're all about companies covered. 

Brent Cook does Vanessa Collette live on air in front of cameras for over ten minutes

Right here



They talk about mining stocks, too.

Greenwald on The Sunday Times on Snowden

There's this whole Snowden thing going around this weekend, centred on a report in The Sunday Times on how Russia and China have hacked the Snowden files and put spies in danger. Here's Glen Greenwald's response piece linked (you can get to a non-paywall link of the Sunday Times report from there, too) and the kernel of Greenwald's argument is in this short paragraph:
This is the very opposite of journalism. Ponder how dumb someone has to be at this point to read an anonymous government accusation, made with zero evidence, and accept it as true.
And that's exactly right.

UPDATE: Zelo Street gets in on the act and points out factual errors in the ST story. Good job of fact checking from one of the smartest UK media-watch blogs out there.