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...in reverse order:
Third Place: "Argentina mining: The false dawn". The good news form last week is that the Macri government managed to cut a deal with the opposition and one part of it was to stop the reinstatement of the export tax on mining. The bad news is that the whole central government plan for a Federal Mining Agreement is now falling apart. Chubut is the test case.
Second Place: "The Odebrecht/Braskem case sending shockwaves through Latin America political circles". It's going to be mighty interesting to see whether establishment politicos from countries all over the LatAm region managed to keep the lid on this story and stop names of people who took the bribes from becoming public knowledge.
First Place: "The Clive wants to clean up his (online) image". All hail The Clive.
I logged on to Spotify a couple of days ago and was presented with a nice little surprise; the site had auto-collated my most listened-to tracks of 2016 into one compilation, a fun option to put on Shuffle Play. And right at the top of the list, my most-heard of 2016, was Nils Frahm's More. So rather than Tom Waits, Robert Earl Keen, Bing Crosby or something from that Phil Spector album I'm going for this spellbinding piece as the Christmas Friday OT:
Youtube here. Wishing all IKN readers a very Merry Christmas.
There's no doubt about it any longer, Peter Marrone thinks the people holding YRI shares are stupid. This morning the hugely unpopular, crazily expensive, shareholder unfriendly spin-out of Brio Gold was closed by Yamana Gold (YRI.to) (AUY) was announced closed by the parent company. How unpopular? Allow this humble scribe to quote from the November 17th final prospectus NR:
The final prospectus qualifies the distribution of an aggregate of up to 59,225,957 Brio Shares at a price of C$3.25 per Brio Share (the "Exercise Price") upon the exercise of up to an aggregate of 59,225,957 Purchase Rights, for aggregate gross proceeds to Yamana of up to C$192,484,360....
...Brio Gold will become a standalone public company effective as of the closing date of the Offering, with Yamana holding 46.3% (on a non-diluted basis) of the issued and outstanding shares of Brio Gold. The closing date of the Offering is expected to occur on or about December 23, 2016.
And now, today's missive:
"A total of 17,324,507 Brio Shares owned by Yamana were transferred pursuant to the transactions ...Yamana continues to be a significant shareholder of Brio Gold, holding approximately 85% of the issued and outstanding Brio Shares."
Spot the difference? Yup, Marrone wanted to sell 59.2m shares and leave YRI with 46.3% of the company. Instead he's only managed to find enough suckers to sell 17.3m shares and YRI still holds 85% of this collection of utter dog assets. But the real rip-off is how he's managed to feather the nest of his pals Leticia and Gil; seriously, how many IR execs get a $300k guaranteed salary and $600k of free shares as a golden handshake? For doing precisely fark all? And Christmas has come early for Gil Clausen, who just cut himself a cheque for eight million dollars straight out of the pockets of YRI shareholders.
There ought to be a law. Well in fact there are. Several.
This is the type of bullshit CEO.ca dumps on unwitting idiots. Derek and Clive Resources KNT.v (okay, you know it as K92 Mining, but our name is much better), the stock pumped by Tommy Humphreys' band of delinquents to stupidly high levels in return for a fat paycheck into Tommy's back pocket, just released one of the funniest correction NRs this year and here's the magic bit:
"K92 does not expect changes to the resource estimates provided in the prior Report and no changes in the pre-tax NPV. However, a post-tax NPV will be included in the amended report. When K92 acquired the Kainantu Project, it acquired significant tax losses and these losses and other related factors will be considered and utilized in the preparation of the after-tax NPV."
Soooo....they pump it on a PEA with no post-tax economics. That's a naughty-naughty all by itself, but when you're also hiding "significant tax losses" that came from the original purchase (from Barrick), we're into another level of BS. Waddya say, owly?
And I know what Derek and Clive would say.
So Arizona Mining (AZ.to) President and CEO Jim Gowans was on Andrew Bell's show today to talk about all this manganese thing and below find the transcript of the chunk about Mn and that. But before we get to that, anyone long the stock should be concerned about the plan AZ.to has to jump straight from PEA (due 1q17) to a full feasibility study by the end of 2017. To quote President/CEO gowans, "Current schedule is to push for a feasibility study by the end of next year". No pre-feas, Jim? That's to say no pre-feas and a full FS in 9 months straight after the PEA on a deep deposit with 2/3rds inferred resource and complex met? Are you serious? Do you realize what "fast and loose" means, Jim?
But anyway, here's the transcript of the Mn section and you just gotta love the way he says "we do know there's a problem" and "we do know that's it's an issue" after the company's recent flat denial that it's any sort of problem or issue. Jim Gowans, caught with his pants down by good journalism:
Jim Gowans: "We do have manganese in our zinc concentrate and that's been acknowledged since the first technical report that came out in February this year. I think just because of the errr...latest technical report because the resource has grown so large so quickly it's become much more on everybody's radar. Err, but the results have never been changed. We're currently going through...errr...metallurgical test work as you always do in work towards a feasibility study. We do know we have some manganese in our zinc concentrates. Our zinc concentrates on the whole are quite clean except for the manganese and its, it's variable in the orebodyAndrew Bell: "Brent Cook is one of our regulars, he and Joe Mazumdar run the website Exploration Insights. I'm going to give you a quick couple of quotes from Brent Cook who very kindly shared his comments on this. He said, "The article forced the company to advise the market about this issue". He also says. "We don't think preliminary results are a fatal flaw for Arizona Mining", however he does go on to say, "This will force the company to manage risk by reducing the manganese content in its final concentrate and working with smelters that are capable of blending down the content, which will no doubt add costs and risk". So can I ask you one thing, were you slow to disclose this manganese issue prior to the website raising it?"Jim Gowans: "No, we put it out in our technical report from the metallurgical test work that you saw. And that technical report from October was actually put out in February this year. I think they just errr..became more aware errr...errr..with all the conversation everybody looking at our stock. Err, we do know there's a problem...errr...you know about certain amounts in zinc concentrates, so we're working on our metallurgical test work at (place name) to see what can be done..errr...with that...err any of our conversations we've had and, you have to understand that we've had all the major mining companies have been to the site and looked at our core...err...they've looked at our results and everybody from South Deep, Teck errr...Rio Tinto and all the big companies that are interested in the orebody have been around and looked at that. We've never had anybody say that it's an insurmountable (problem), we do know that's it's an issue, so we'll just have to make sure that when we're selling our concentrates we do it well. The...the...errr..manganese in low amounts is a good thing in processing zinc in the electrolytic process, but high amounts it just causes some downtime and some interference in the processes. But in our conversations with all our people and concentrates sales people, we do know we'll get some penalty in the amount, it's very small, 1% to 2% of the total value of the concentrates, but nobody's ever come close to saying that it would be a not-saleable concentrate, because other than that it's very clean."
PS: You see how Gowans casually names major companies with CAs at AZ.to? Is this guy really that stupid? I wonder how Rio Tinto feels about being used as a pathetic marketing ploy on live TV by a junior that's already been caught out telling fibs?
On December 31st 2016, Fairmont Resources (FMR.v) is due to lose its Badajoz purchase due to court order, unless of course it pays up the 2 million plus Euros it owes to close the deal. It hasn't paid because it doesn't have any money (natch). Spanish language links to the story of how FMR is about to lose its asset here and here (among many others).
Today FMR.v has announced a $300,000 financing, trying to sucker in people before the bad news drops in order to cover the outsized salary cheques of the scamsters in charge.
DO. NOT. FEED. THE. ANIMALS.
To begin, check out Reuters on the $3.5Bn fine agreed upon by Brazilian companies Odebrecht and Braskem, after they pleaded guilty to a whole mountain of corruption and bribery charges in a US court this week. But the reaction to the details disclosed so far by the ruling has sent governments all over Latin America into a tizzy, because Odebrecht and Braskem has admitted paying massive bribes to people in governments all over. Here are a few examples:
- Colombia: U$11m in bribes paid between 2009 and 2014 to secure civil works contracts with government.
- Peru: Between 2005 and 2014, $29m in bribes paid to government officials, mostly via middleman property development company, in order to win civil works and transport contracts.
- Venezuela: U$98m in bribes to government officials and middlemen between 2006 and 2015.
- Dominican Republic: U$92m in bribes to secure civil works contracts with government.
- Ecuador: Between 2007 and 2008 Odebrecht couldn't get permits for its projects. Then from that time until 2016 the permits were signed off. Odebrecht admits to paying U$33.5m in bribes.
- Guatemala: An U$18m bribe to win a large scale infrastructure contract.
- Mexico: $10.5m in bribes between 2010 and 2014.
- Panama: $59m in bribes between 2010 and 2014.
So far, specific names of people who received bribes have not been released. But those names are bound to flow and when they do, the repercussions are going to be felt by every sector of the political world in all countries. This one is going to be big.
Definitely worth tuning on for that one.
What a complete surprise that Randy Reifel (Goldcorp et al) has been playing it fast and loose in Guatemala, cutting corners and trying to sneak concession ownership past a local community that doesn't want mining activity on its lands. Not.
No, the surprise isn't that. The surprise is that Guatemala is cleaning up its act and not allowing the dirty, sneaky underhand methods used by Reifel and his like to prosper any longer. The community of Las Casillas has been fighting the concession awarded to Reifel's vehicle Gunpoint Exploration (GUN.v) for many years because according to them, GUN.v ignored the rules and didn't consult them on their plans before getting its "El Escorpion" concession (called locally 'Las Lajitas'), a 900 hectare block that sits right next door to Tahoe Resources' (TAHO) (THO.to) Escobal mine. And yesterday The Constitutional Court of Guatemala agreed with the locals and slapped a three year suspension on the Lajitas /Escorpion concession. So ha ha, Mr. Randy, no fish today.
The fun bit is Tahoe of course, because their locals have been fighting that concession for years to, and one of the legal actions against Kevin MacArthur's band of funboys is exactly the same, no local consultancy before it happened. And by the way, that thing TAHO tried to bullshit you with recently about the protest at La Cuchilla being all resolved? Don't believe it for a second, the locals are about to put in the papers to demand the closure of the mine with Guatemala's Mining Ministry.
After negotiations with opposition political groups, the Macri government in Argentina today reached an agreement on a 2017 tax package which was passed this afternoon by the upper house of Congress (Senate) and is expected to be passed by the lower house of deputies then signed into law by Macri soon. Most of the deal is about higher minimum level for non-taxable salaries for workers, but one point that matters to us is that the opposition plan to reinstate the 5% export tax on mining has been dropped. In the words of Sergio Uñac, governor of pro-mining San Juan province who was a voter of the deal that passed:
"Mining will continue without the export tax because it implied raised judicial insecurity, which I believe is the most complicated condiment we can show to international investors".
Back on November 2nd when Brazil Resources was a $2.57 stock, this humble corner of cyberspace tried to point out the obvious; that paying proven securities fraudster Frank Porter Stansberry $3,000 to get this name as a hot stock tip by return of post was strictly for the intellectually challenged.
Then when Amir "Adam" Adnani changed the company name to TwatMining Inc (TWAT.v) earlier this month in order to "...better reflect the type of person we wish to attract as a shareholder", the stock was still floating around the $2 mark and due to the badge swap, managed to attract another raft of utter morons.
So let's see how it's getting on under the new moniker:
Cool, only 29% down in the eleven trading days of its new name. You go Adam!
...by paying a Brazilian company U$250m for a whole bunch of Peruvian silver. The deal looks expensive to me so Votorantim should be happy, but WTFDIK and in this way Milpo gets some of the money it needs to build out Magistral. NR here.
The last time we checked in on New Gold (NGD) at this humble corner of cyberspace, via White Oliphant and White Oliphant update, we saw that the Rainy River project was way over-budget but defended tooth and claw by Randall. However, it would seem that not all top management are as enthusiastic about the state of play at NGD's company
killer maker project. Here's yesterday afternoon's NR:
"David Schummer, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, is leaving New Gold and Raymond Threlkeld, currently a member of the company's Board of Directors, will become Interim Chief Operating Officer."
Abrupt departure of the COO at a critical stage of development, you say? Interim taking over the RR build-out, you muse? Ahhh, probably nothing at all....the project's probably going just fine. It's probably just coincidence, guv. Innit.
UPDATE: And reader MP reminds your humble scribe that...
UPDATE: And reader MP reminds your humble scribe that...
"...the interim COO is the former RR President and CEO who engineered the deal in the first place...".
First affected will be Pan American (PAAS) (PAA.to), but it won't stop there. This from IKN396, out last night:
Argentina: Das Neves spells it out in ChubutWe’ve followed the declarations of Chubut governor Mario Das Neves on mining quite closely on these pages, as the province is one of the clear testing grounds of Argentina’s supposed new attitude towards mining and home to the big Navidad project owned by Pan American Silver (PAA.to) (PAAS). The national Macri government has aggressively promoted mining in the region, with its known anti-mining governor Das Neves being guarded up to this point in his responses. But not any more. While visiting the nation’s capital Buenos Aires on December 13th last week, Das Neves took the gloves off and spelled it out for all to hear (9) while participating in a press conference on the opposition tax reforms that were passed by the lower house and are about to the debated by the Senate of governors (of which he is one). He said (translated), “In Chubut there isn’t going to be any mining investment because we are going to defend the environment and the quality of life of our people”. And to make sure the message got through, on the 14th on his return to Chubut Das Neves said (10) (translated), “In this province we are not going to allow mining company investments because we want our people to live well and to care for the resources of Chubut”.If we consider these statements in the light of the proposed Federal Mining Agreement (see IKN394 and IKN395) which needs people such as Das Neves to sign on and is already delayed, the inertia in mining reform is now palpable. The sooner the North realizes it’s been sold a false story about the imminent opening of the whole of Argentina to the mining industry, the better.
Jeesh you guys, gimme a break. Erdene Resource Development Corporation (ERD.to) is 15% up today on 4X average volumes and all due to today's NR. Oh for sure it sounds cool with its...
...but as they say in American Beauty, look closer.
They. Drilled. Straight. Along. The. Strike.
And you fell for it, dumbass spec momo buyer.
News reaches IKN Nerve Centre that The Clive, the man that "f***ing made this company" we know as B2Gold (BTO.to) (BTG), has hired one of those Online Reputation Management firms to spruce up the way he looks in the world of cyberspace, scrub clean any sort of bad interwebz feelings about his utterly charming self and turn him into a contender for the Canadian Medal of Honour Award (or whatever that gong Rob McEwen won is called).
IKN expects a call from the SEO firm in question in the next few days.
The latest edition of Global Mining Observer is out now. No manganese, lots of Warburg, lots more dynamite. Read it all here.