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The Friday OT: Chumbawamba; Tubthumper

To be precise Chumbawamba are from Burnley, about 20 miles from the centre of the world of news and events this week. And though they up there will swear blind I'm a daft kid for saying so, they're the same culture, same accent, same way of life, same spirit. I could have chosen Oasis, Happy Mondays, New Order, Buzzcocks, The Smiths, Joy Division, Stone Roses, Chemical Brothers and the list goes on and on. I went for this one.

I get knocked down. But I get up again. Dedicated to Manchester. Youtube here.

Five days of Cordoba Minerals (CDB.v)

Brainless idiots sell. Bottom feeders move in. Another week in the juniors.

A tale told by an idiot full of sound and fury signifying nothing.

Trek Mining (TREK.v) and the long trek South

At least with the big Metals Writer Circlejerk conference next week you'll be able to ask the architect of this dog's dinner, Marin Dracula Katusa, just why it's D.O.A.:

I just hope it's Nolan selling into these bids. Liquidate, Nolan! Buy Turkey rocks with the proceeds, Nolan!


Advice for Komet Resources (KMT.v): For extra giggles, next time use millimetres

Gotta love this NR headline today:

"Komet Intersects 10.62 g/t on 57 cm Au and 8.64 g/t on 52 cm With Core Drilling South to the Guiro Mine"

Yes, they have the brass neck to present a shitty uneconomic vein to you in centimetres. So yeah, really they should have gone the whole hog and given us "10.62 g/t over 570mm". Because big number. 

H/T Reader R.

Gold drifts

The irony of this is that U$1,250/oz or U$1,260/oz is a pretty decent number for gold, any producer mining company worth its salt will make money at this level* and the decent projects will show robust margins**. But until and unless gold stops drifting at its current level, both the metal and its derivative plays in the precious metals miners sector will remain unattractive to generalist money.

For what it's worth, I think U$1,270/oz is a trigger level (and have said as much in the last couple of weeks in the Weekly). But the chart above has a big elephant in the room, the real one is $1,300. K.I.S.S.

*Which means a lot of crappy companies won't
**In theory at least. They'll all promise you their project "works" at U$1,200/oz gold. Most of them are lying

Soroche Macri Cartes Moreno

Two regional Presidents came down with altitude sickness, also known as 'soroche', at the inauguration of Lenin Moreno as President of Ecuador yesterday in Quito (appox 3,000 metres above sea level, just under 10,000 feet in old money). Both Horacio Cartes of Paraguay and Mauricio Macri of Argentina felt sick, went back to their hotels once the official swearing-in was done and dusted and left Quito early (no lunch for you). Both are reported in good health today in their respective countries (pretty typical that lowlanders recover quickly once down from altitude) but as Macri has been in ill health on a couple of occasions in the last two or three years (he suffers from irregular heartbeat) there's still concern about him among supporters and his health is making the front pages again the Argentina this morning.


Wednesday has been cancelled

Due to lack of interest.


Sibanye Gold (SBGL) and that rights offering (from IKN418)

I really don't feel like writing much today so here's the piece from IKN418 last weekend on Sibanye Gold (SBGL) and that rights offering we saw last week. It's an explainer on how the rights offering works and, as the company is part of our tracking "Producer Basket" in the weekly, a word on a necessary price adjustment for the 2017 table in The IKN Weekly.


Sibanye Gold (SBGL): Friday morning saw a big change in numbers at SBGL as the bottom fell out of the nominal share price of Sibanye Gold (SBGL). This was due to the announcement (8) of a rights issue to existing shareholders that lets them buy nine shares for every seven they already own at a discount which is up for debate (it depends how you frame the terms), but was generally reported at 60% by the bizwires and media. That made for a big difference and the 32.2% drop on Friday got me blogging (9) along with the rest of the world. Before we go any further I do think it a negative deal because the raise was much bigger than expected. In effect SBGL are saying that equity is cheaper than debt, the implied message being shareholders are bigger suckers than banker (no disagreement there but I wish they hadn’t been so blatant about it). I also certainly stick by the main thrust of my post on Friday, that sell side anal ysts sitting in their cubicles in brokerages are either 1) groping in the dark about company strategies along with us or 2) in possession of illegal inside information. However, we need to address the share price drop caused by the rights call because as you can see above, SBGL shares are still in the green in my little list. How so? Read on.

Rights offerings are more common in UK listed stocks than they are in companies listed on in The Americas and I don’t mind admitting, it’s a long time since I modelled a real live issuance (though I did have to do a few ciggypack calcs on Minera IRL when the scumbags running the show in 2015 and 2016 threatened us all with one). In this case SBGL (the object of our affection, the NYSE ADR) is offering two things to its existing shareholders:

  • If you own 7 shares of SBGL you have the right to buy 9 new shares.
  • You can buy those 9 new shares at a hefty discount (details further down on that)

That means the current share count is going to be diluted heavily and that showed in the share price dumpage. SBGL closed U$8.13 on Thursday, the day before the rights announcement and after the hoo-hah of Friday closed 32.23% down at U$5.51. But! What we need to understand is that the holders of SBGL shares haven’t just lost that money. They’ve also been given the right to buy a whole bunch of new stock at a big discount which they can either buy and hold or, if they prefer, sell immediately. That’s the “right” they have in the deal, (it’s called a rights offering after all) and it’s worth money. Our job is to find out how much it’s worth and for that, here we go with a little model based purely on the SBGL ADR that’s traded in New York. The bullet points go like this:

  • Person X owns 1000 shares of SBGL. As they closed at U$8.13 on Thursday, the position was worth a total of U$8,130.

  • The rights offering happens and as a result, SBGL gives Person X the right to buy 1,285 shares at a 60% discount. As a matter of fact, the much-bandied 60% number is a bit false, it’s done to a nominal price of U$8.60 per ADR as the deal is being struck in South African Rand and on May 17th closing prices, there is a bit of looseness to reality.

  • Anyway, in real terms that means Person X can now buy 1,285 shares at U$3.44 per share (assuming the US Dollar/Rand forex remains unchanged during the period).

  • Person X decides that they will indeed take up their rights in full. Friday sees the stock close at U$5.51.

  • Therefore person X now owns U$5,510 of common stock, plus 1,285 pieces of paper, called “rights”, to buy SBGL at U$3.44 a pop.

  • The difference between the U$5.51 close and the U$3.44 rights price is U$2.27. therefore and in effect, Person X holds 1,285 in-the-money call options that they can exercise and sell on the very same day (if they so desire) which would net them U$2,917 (pre-commish).

  • Therefore, as at this weekend Person X now has a total holding in SBGL of (5510 + 2,917) U$8,427. Far from being down, that person is now theoretically up on the deal by U$297. For sure there is commission to take into account, but it’s a lot less dramatic than it looked in the first place.

So that’s the math, far less dramatic than the big fat red number we saw on the boards Friday, is it not? However, it also means that to stay within the realms of reality here at The IKN Weekly Producer Basket I need to adjust the table line item for SBGL. Therefore, in order to make the SBGL position in the Producer Basket as near to reality as possible I’ve decided to reduce the December 31st reference price by U$2.27 (the difference between the rights value and Friday’s close). That brings down the original price as at December 31st to an artificial U$4.79, which obviously wasn’t the price that day but is in line with true stock value.

It’s not a perfect solution, it doesn’t take into account any slippage due to commissions on trades of the rights stocks or any forex adjustments, but it’s the easiest way to get to a more reasonable baseline level for SBGL. You’ll also note that I’ve assumed a 100% take-up of the rights offering and the shares out count has moved from 228.71m to 522.77m (228.71/7x9+228.71). That’s an interim number, we’ll find out how many ADR Equivalent shares exist once the rights offering is closed but at the moment it values SBGL at U$2.88Bn.


It was the details of first two named victims that tipped the balance and started me crying. An eighteen year old girl. An eight year old girl. And there are at least another 20 names to come.

No further posts today.

Chart of the day is...

...Asanko Gold (AKG), June 28th 2016 to date:

June 28th because that was the day K2 Associates published its short report on the company. A lot of sell side suits laughed about that call at the time. Still laughing, assholes?

Asanko Gold (AKG): Everything Is Awesome

Is there anyone left out there who still doubts that K2 Assoc was right about its "Short Asanko" call last year? And that all the fawning sell side coverage that pumped it to absurd levels was wrong? If there are any True Believers holding out against cruel reality, they should take a look at today's NR from AKG this morning and have a jolly good think about what it really means. Here's an extract, your humble scribe does a bit of highlighting:

Peter Breese, President and CEO, commented, "With the successful in-fill drill program completed and timely approval from the regulatory authorities, it made perfect sense to accelerate Akwasiso ahead of Dynamite Hill given its proximity to the plant, lower capital costs and that it is a larger and higher grade deposit than Dynamite Hill. The local mining contractor has already mobilized to site with road construction and site preparation at an advanced stage. First ore from Akwasiso is due in June 2017 and we expect the mining and processing costs of this ore to be considerably cheaper than the current hard rock operations at Nkran.

Yup, they're this desperate to tap a 214k resource. As they say round these parts, pez por la boca muere. Whole NR here.

A longer view of the ten year TIPS yield chart

It doesn't do everything all the time, but it does mark the trend changes in gold:

I find it particularly interesting (no pun intended) at the moment, as the new Trump rally tries its very hardest to jawbone prosperity and growth. Each spike and drop adds to the money market's reply: They're not buying it.


A suicide bomber at a teen pop concert

My hatred of religious dogma grows.


The IKN Weekly, out now

IKN418 has just been sent to subscribers. More numbers than words in my weekend this time.

Feel free to take the day of tomorrow.

Sarunas Jasikevicius has got his priorities right

Watch this short segment of press conference as Sarunas Jasikevicius, head coach of basketball team Zalgiris Kaunas, teaches the reporter asking the questions a few facts of life:

The subject was one of the players, Brazilian Augusto Lima, who had been given time off before a crucial semi-final match for the birth of his child. So the reporter asks coach Sarunas:

Reporter: "Is it normal for a player to leave the team during the semi-final?"
Sarunas: “What do I think about it? I allowed him to go.”
Reporter: “But is it normal for a player to leave the team during the semifinals?”
Sarunas: “Do you have kids? When you have kids, youngster, you’ll understand. Because that’s the height of a human experience. Wow, that’s a good question, really. Do you think basketball is the most important thing in life?”
Reporter: “No, but a semifinal is important.”
Sarunas: “A semifinal? To whom is it important? Did you see the number of fans at the game? Important? When you see your first child, you will understand what the most important thing in life is. Comand have a chat with me then. Because nothing can be more majestic in the world than the birth of a child. Not titles, not anything else. Augusto Lima is now in heaven emotionally. I’m really happy for him.”

A new IKN hero. Youtube here.

The UK General Election: Potentially a little more interesting than previously anticipated

According to polls today, the Conservative party's lead over Labour is down to 9 points. That's still a big lead for sure, but when PM Theresa May called the snap election on April 18th the Tories' lead was 18 or even 20 points. The vote is on June 8th and that's probably too soon for Labour. Probably.

Meanwhile, the Conservative Party's never-ending repetition of its slogan "Strong and Stable" is beginning to get on people's nerves, it would seem:

Well played, London.


The top three most visited IKN posts this week are... reverse order:

Third Place: "Eldorado and Integra". Beats me how a five word post devoid of information can rack up thousands of views. You internet people are nuts.

Second Place: "The Alset (ION.v) scam and its classic red flag price action (updated)". The type of capitalism that makes me vomit. Shame on you, Canada.
First Place: "Cannabis Wheaton (CBW.v): A total scam". By a mile. Just goes to show this blog is wasted on covering junior mining, if I cared about an interesting sector I could retire next year.

Pussy on the GDXJ

Colombia Gold Letter's Paul Harris and his now weekly blog missive, here. This one's called "Pussy on the GDXJ", for reasons explained.


The Friday OT: Greg Haines; Azure

Oh my stars. This song...

...and the stupendous Bose earphones I was lucky enough to receive as a birthday gift recently are...well, it's a total addiction. It's 14 minutes long and the first time you listen you may start thinking that it's not going anyway fast but don't fret, relax, take the journey, start from the beginning and let it grow because if you do (and make sure it's coming out of good speakers) you're in for a musical trip like no other. Amazing, amazing, amazing. 

Updating the Alset (ION.v) scam

Popped on volume and dropped away again, you say? Ah wuz shocked!

Full explanation in Tuesday's post but it's worth asking yourself, who was selling into that greenhorn buying?

UPDATE: TY reader JB for the heads-up. For more on the Alset scam, read the latest installment from the real geologist unafraid of calling out a few homes truths about the company. DanO published this today, it's funny, too.

The decline and fall of the Goldcorp (GG) empire

This time last year, Goldcorp had a market cap of U$14.4Bn, U$2.9Bn more than Franco Nevada (FNV). Today Goldcorp has a market cap of U$11.5Bn, U$1.5bn less than Franco Nevada.

The Sibanye (SBGL) rights offering and sell side reality

As your humble scribe writes these words, Sibanye Gold (SBGL) is 33% down on heavy volume at the open in NY, all due to the announcement earlier today (South Africa morning time) that the company was running a discounted rights offering in order to raise the cash to buy Stillwater (SWC). 

That's the background, here's the reason for this post; Of all the things around this large-scale snafu (which investors approved on April 25th you'll recall...wonder how they're feeling now?) this section of the Mining Dot Com report on the fallout is easily my fave:
A report by Citi last week – which re-initiated coverage of Sibanye – said the weakening in the share price had now fully priced in the risks of the Stillwater deal.
It added that the Stillwater takeover was value destructive on both earnings per share and net present value per share wich would result in a 19% to 48% decrease in headline share earnings from Sibanye’s 2017 to 2022 financial years.
Following publication of the terms of the rights offer, however, the bank’s analyst, Johann Steyn, amended his position saying the dilution was far heavier than the 643 million shares issue he was expecting at only a 20% to 25% discount.
“The final terms of the rights issue is thus much more dilutive than we expected and as a result places a further downside risk to our estimates,” said Steyn. “The larger than expected discount of this rights issue could also imply that our 7% per year cost of debt assumption on the remaining $1bn to $1.65bn might be too favourable,” he added.

It just goes to underscore that the only way sell side anal ysts offer real value to clients is via procuring illegal inside information (then making it sound like assumptions or estimates). If not, they're just out there guessing like the rest of us.

UPDATE: Somebody who has previously traded in and out of SBGL and really knows their way around capital markets, "A. Reader" writes in:

 "...the purchase by SBGL was one of those hideous management decisions.  Any investor could just buy SWC cheaper if they wanted to diversify, there was no real synergy or special advantage to SBGL buying SWC.  SBGL deserved to get knocked down significantly.  And you are very right, the analysts are just guessing mostly.  They get the same SEDAR and SEC filings we do.  And then they have even more cognitive biases than the average person."

Antioquia Gold (AGD.v): And so it begins

At the Request of IIROC Antioquia Gold Inc. Advises it is Unaware of Any Material Changes

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - May 19, 2017) - Antioquia Gold Inc. ("Antioquia" or the "Company") (TSX VENTURE:AGD)(OTCQX:AGDXF) At the request of IIROC, Antioquia wishes to confirm that Antioquia's management is unaware of any material change in the Company's operations that would account for the recent increase in market activity.
Antioquia in accordance with TSXV policies also announces that it has terminated its contract with its Vice President, Investor Relations, Mr. Jim Decker, effective June 18, 2017. Antioquia's management does not view this as a material change in the Company's operations.

Because when a brand new CEO fires one of the founding shareholders of the company for no good reason whatsoever "it's not material". Oh of course not guys!

UPDATE: It also turns out that Jim Decker, as VP IR of AGD, was being deliberately kept in the dark about progess at the company''s Cisneros project. According to reliable information received by IKN, he has been asking for progress reports from the Colombia end of the company for the past six weeks, but to not avail. He seems to have been completely ignored by the people setting up the firesale merger. Too dangerous to their sneaky plans, probably.

Just so we're clear on Cannabis Wheaton (CBW.v)

May 26th or not, it's still a classic Canadian scam. Are you seriously suggesting they've magically converted a couple of million dollars into over $150m under that share structure for the good of their beloved shareholders?

The thing about IKN is that it doesn't have to cower under the pressure of a corner office boss, we're free to tell the messy truth about matters.


The rulers of junior mining newsletters: A straw poll

It's been nearly two weeks since the Metals Investor Forum (MIF) in Vancouver (May 5 and 6) and just over a week since the presentations of all newsletter writers who presented there were stuck on Youtube (all right here). By luck or judgement, this evening your humble scribe was over at the page where all the presentations are stored for a completely different reason but, while there, couldn't help but notice the viewer figures for the MIF newsletter writer slots. They're a straw poll of overall popularity for me, take a look for yourself:

It doesn't surprise this humble corner of cyberspace to see Joe Mazumdar (1,714 views) of Exploration Insights at the top of the poll. Then come Kaiser (1,375) and Coffin (1,019) but even those don't really pack in the viewers. Meanwhile, nobody else can even muster 1,000 views. 

In comparison, if I stick a video of the neighbour's cat playing with a ball of wool or my dog going wappy running round the house and banging into furniture, we're both guaranteed 10,000 views minimum. That's junior mining for you.

IKN explains what's going on at Antioquia Gold (AGD.v)

Did you see Antioquia Gold (AGD.v) drop 30% on big volume today? Are you wondering why this company that's recently been pumped for cash payments by Northern Miner's despicable racist John Cumming has suddenly given back all the price gains won since Cummins's puff piece late last year? Pretty simple really, as the dynamic duo of Cori Puno (a piece of crap private mining company in Peru which treats its employees and locals around the mine like shit), Alvaro Espinoza and the recently appointed CEO Gonzalo de Losada, are engineering a price crisis in order to snatch the company at a bargain price and fold it into Batero Gold (BAT.v) at pennies on the dollar.

You read it here first, sportsfans.

Brazil: The Temer scandal

LADB has your back. Here's how Jordana Timerman's post starts, but you need to go over and read it all:
Two businessmen secretly recorded Brazilian President Michel Temer telling them to continue paying a jailed politician hush money, according to a report yesterday by O Globo that has scandalized a country already accustomed to House of Cards plot twists. 
The tape from March forms part of the plea bargain testimony submitted by brothers Joesley and Wesley Batista, who run the country’s biggest meat-packing firm JBS. Their tapes reportedly implicate other high level politicians such as former presidential candidate Aecio Neves and the former finance minister Guido Mantega.

In covert recordings made during two conversations in March, Joesley tells Temer he is paying former House speaker Eduardo Cunha to keep him quiet, to which the president allegedly replies: "You have to keep it going, OK?" The executives carried a recorder in their pocket in conversations with politicians, according to O Globo. It's not clear what Cunha was allegedly being paid to keep silent about.

Full report here, today's must-read on LatAm.

Fell on black days

Chris Cornell

Youtube here

A Flash update...

...has just been sent to subscribers, about 45 minutes before the opening bell on this bright and sunny Thursday morning. A comment on one specific stock.


Regarding the MiningWatch legal action brought against Peru

Today, MiningWatch Canada announced that it had started legal action against Peru (more precisely, several specific State entities of the country) due to the events of the third weekend in April when MiningWatch's Jen Moore, along with a US journalist colleague, were arrested, detained and a day later deported from the country after holding a presentation and showing a documentary against HudBay in the city of Cuzco (the nearest large city to HudBay's Constancia mine). Here's how the MiningWatch NR begins:
(Ottawa) On Tuesday, MiningWatch Canada filed a motion for habeas corpus in a Peruvian court in response to the illegal and arbitrary detention of the organisation’s Latin America Program Coordinator Jen Moore and American journalist John Dougherty on April 21 in Cusco, Peru, following a screening of a film about Hudbay Minerals’ operations in the Americas. The legal action against the Peruvian Interior Ministry, the Security Department in Cusco, and migration authorities in Cusco, seeks to stop the criminalization of the MiningWatch worker and to prevent future police surveillance, harassment, arbitrary detention, and criminalization against her and any other foreign researchers, journalists, public speakers, and human rights defenders. Continues here.

It's complete bullshit and nobody should fall for the hand-wringing nonsense about Human Rights or Free Speech being peddled to justify this smokescreen legal action. What's more, it's easy to explain:
1) Jen Moore and John Dougherty entered Peru on tourist visas. This means they cannot perform gainful employment legally.
2) Not only that, but according to Peruvian law (not opinion, not justice, not custom but the country's well-established law) no foreign citizen* is permitted to involve itself in political activity in the country.
3) Jen Moore and John Dougherty not only broke the terms of the tourist visa, but they also broke the law of the land where they were located.
4) Therefore, the State of Peru and its police and immigration forces were absolutely within their rights to detain the two people and immediately deport them once they had proof they were both working (i.e. presenting the documentary made by Dougherty under the auspices of MiningWatch) and making political opinion without previous permission.

And that's it, the whole story. The fit of pique demonstrated by MiningWatch today has a lot more to do with two details: 1) Jen Moore won't be allowed into Peru again without the type of pending habeas corpus action and 2) it's really easy to start a legal action in Peru and it can be spun out indefinitely, thereby gaming the system. Free speech and human rights my ample buttocks, these people broke the law! Period.

For the record, I'm not against MiningWatch and on many occasions I think they've done good work on meaningful and important cases, Canada needs organizations such as these in order to keep its sometimes sketchy and rule-bending mining industry in check. But Jen Moore has lost plenty of kudos in the eyes of IKN today, this is just sneaky backdoor political maneuvering, exactly of the type she accuses mining companies and their toadies. You broke the law, Jen. They kicked you out and had every right to do so. Suck it up and STFU.

*Without residency. If you have your permanent residency papers in order you can shout your mouth off 24/7.

Trevali (

Back on March 14th, when Trevali ( announced its deal to buy Glencore's zinc producer assets, the sell side world was falling over itself to applaud, cheer, and generally FEL8 the big swinging dicks who'd put the deal together. Why so? Because there was CAD$230m bought deal attached and it was time to drink deep from the trough of legalized corruption. 

Unsurprisingly, your author didn't share their view. Here's the post from March 14th:

So if I have this right, Glencore is exchanging fixed assets for cash by selling two of its zinc mines to a company that is, for all intents and purposes, its unofficial subsidiary while zinc prices spike higher and the market lemmings are all gooey about the metal.

I mean, what does Glencore know about the price of zinc anyway?*

And as the big fish hands off risk to the small one, the people running the small fish does the same by diluting the merry hell out of its long-suffering shareholder base once again. Meanwhile, don't expect any sort of criticism for this outrageous deal from the sell side whores in suits and cubicles, there's commish to be made from selling paper. 

*If you're a mining investor and can't recognize the irony, may the higher deities help you

Aaaaaand here we are, two and a bit months later and not only is down 17% from the deal date, it's now one of the very VERY few zinc stocks that's down 2017 year-to-date.

Which brings up an interesting chain of logic:
  • There was a C$230m bought deal, sold by the sell side whores for juicy commish.
  • According to Canadian rules, they can only sell to "accredited investors".
  • One of the rules to become an "accredited investor" is that you must demonstrate a sophisticated level of market intelligence and experience.
  • If you couldn't see what's in front of your face on this deal, that Glencore made out like bandits and not only does it transfer all risk to TV (including closure costs) but also keeps control of all production from the mines via offtake agreements, you have to be a dumb and naive market dumbass.
  • Dumb and naive market dumbasses are not allowed to be accredited investors.

So who bought the shares?

The 60 minute gold chart right now... interesting.


The Angry Geologist does Tinka Resources (TK.v)

Don't miss this one, it's on the link right here.

A good question

TY reader J:

Original tweet here.

Latin America Daily Briefing on Mexico and Venezuela

It's always a daily read here at IKN Nerve Centre, but the last couple of editions of Jordana Timerman's most excellent "Latin America Daily Briefing" have been outstanding.
Yesterday we had this edition, with a report on the return of high crime rates in Mexico plus an excellent overview of the state of Venezuelan affairs. 

Today's edition concentrates on the hot-topic issue of violence against journalists in Mexico, what with the shooting death of a prominent anti-corruption reporter in Sinaloa State yesterday.
LADB is without peer on rounding up regional news and the fact that it's done in English is a bonus, it makes it even easier to recommend on these pages.

The Alset (ION.v) scam and its classic red flag price action (updated)

Since the scamster Stares brothers bought in their useful idiot Allan Barry (zero qualifications for being a CEO but people who sell their soul don't fret over details) to head up Alset Minerals (ION.v), now re-named to fool another batch of sheep with their plans to sell ferts in Mexico (my stars!), the stock price has exhibited a classic Vancouver pump and dump pattern:
  • BS news release
  • Immediate pop on volume
  • Immediate drop back
  • Lather rinse repeat (though the repeats tend to suffer from the law of diminishing returns)
This three month price chart of ION.v has the lowdown:

Back in early March (oh! PDAC time! Hoodathunkit!?!) they found encouraging rocks. Nice. Early April the stock price moved hard because of the earth-shattering news that they'd been awarded permits (gotta laugh, considering the only other alternative). On April 4th the move was due to the company changing its name. Etc etc and now yesterday, when ION.v informed us they'd drilled (barely, holes lost early) into the brine salar and found brine! Something we already knew was there (the idiot Barry falsely claimed in his NR that the prospect had never been drilled before; it has and brine was found back then too) but notably they want to move the stock before even bothering to assay samples and find out how much/little interesting stuff is contained in the solution.

But there's one other thing that sticks out about this scam stock, that's denoted by those two thin red lines. On March 27th ION.v announced a $520,000 (i.e. small) placement round with the share units priced at 13c (they came with 20c warrants too). Then just a few days ago ION.v closed the placement at $369,000 gross proceeds raised. So these jokers are telling me that ION.v trades notably above 13c for weeks on end since March 27 and does many millions of shares in volume, but they can't fill a measley $520k placement due to lack of outside interest? That's one big red flag right there, the clear signal of an insider manipulated stock price.

UPDATE: The über-thinskinned front behind this rip-off, Allan Barry, sure has a lot of free time on his hands. We note today as is nearly always the case, he's flapping his gums and wasting bandwidth over at Here's what he has to say about your humble scribe this morning:

Silly boy, Allan. For one thing you can't be taken seriously when using phrases like "pro tip" because you are not a pro. You're not a geologist, not an engineer, not a lawyer, not anyone with a reasonable professional background or qualification to run a serious mining company. Being a professional lip-flapper only qualifies you for running scam juniors. For another, you don't even understand what the word "troll" means. For another, "Oh noooo! I'm a CEO and somebody said nasty things about me!" Comes with the territory, little boy. Grow up.

But the real one is at the end, that utter stupidity about drilling, because if you did have half a brain about explorecos you'd know that drilling selectively and then cherrypicking unrealistic results in order to pump a stock is exactly what scams like yours do. All the time.  Run along now, get back to your everso everso busy CEO's desk.

Chart of the day is...

...the gold/platinum ratio:

Very interesting.

Cannabis Wheaton (CBW.v): A total scam

I hear this impressive pumpjob scam is being rammed down the throats of complete idiots in both Canada and Germany. Well folks, I do not claim credit for the words and research that follows but 1) I know where it came from and 2) I've checked it out and it's all true. The Deslauriers brothers are Canadian scum of the highest order and their running their BS on you, right now.

Be in no doubt, CBW.v is a classic Vancouver scam. Be short, avoid entirely, but whatever you do make sure you're not long this worthless sack of excrement on May 26th. Read on, kind reader


Cannabis Wheaton.  CBW.V.  A new “streaming” company with a market cap at $1.50/ share of $225M!  A brand new company that vetted PanCann into the publically traded merchant bank Knightswood Financial (KWF-V) on May 3, 2017 and concurrently, bought 13 streaming deals from PanCann for total proceeds of $1,000,000. 

What do they have? 

·         Cash, maybe $1.8M on balance sheet and no debt that I can find.
·         Agreements with 14 cannabis companies to stream production or obtain royalties… however,, only 2 of which actually have their sales license currently.  The other 12 are in “various stages of approval from Health Canada”.  See below.
·         Over the past five months have issued a monstrous amount of shares all at a cost of $0.05 – 0.055 with an equal amount of warrants at $0.07.  And because those cheap shares weren’t cheap enough, they did a 3 for 1 stock split for every share in the company, tripping their share count, and decreasing the cost of those shares by 2/3.. to approx $0.015 per share.
·         These non-brokered PP’s were four month hold, and as such, will come free trading four months from closing.  20M coming out May 26, 2017 at 0.05 with 20M warrants at 0.07.  And in August 2017, 25.5M shares at $0.055 come free and again 25.5M warrants at cost $0.07.  The stock is at $1.50 today…

Capital structure and raises.

1.       Dec 31,2016 Knightswood Financial (KWF) had 3,011,667 basis shares outstanding.  (Turned to 9,035,001 in the 3 for 1split noted below)
2.       Jan 2017, approved by shareholders, the share capital of company could be increased from 100M shares to unlimited number shares.  Also, approved to allow for issuance of stock options for up to 20% of number shares issued and outstanding.
3.       Jan 26, 2017 –Closed - $1.1 M Non-brokered PP  20,309,182 special warrants at C$0.055.  1 share and 1 warrant at 7 cents.
4.       March, 2017 company closed two Non-brokered PP’s and distributed total 25,510,656 units priced C$0.055 for C$1.4M proceeds.  One share + one warrant at C$0.07.
5.       March 15, 2017 company granted 4,238,695 stock options to consultants of company at price $0.075 per share.  Total options now 12,716,085 with exercise price of $0.025 per share. 
6.       April 7,2017 company completed a forward split of common shares 3 for 1.   Following completion and approval by TSXV, number of outstanding shares will be 150,864,996 plus 133,089,033 warrants outstanding at avg. price $0.0233 per share.

Total basic shares
Total 48,831,505  x 3 = 146,494,515 basic shares outstanding, plus 133,089,033 warrants at avg. price $0.0233!!!   

*These private placement shares will come free trading in four months from closing date.   On May 26, 2017 (4 months from first PP) should see 20,309,182 shares come free trading at cost of $0.05.   In August, we should see 25,510,656 shares free trade at cost to holder of $0.055.  Plus, both parties have mirrored number of warrants to shares they received, both at a cost of $0.07.  20,309,182 at .07 May 26 and 25,510,656 in August 2017.

Balance sheet.
Knightswood Financial (The shell that vetted PanCan into their structure) had $300,000.00 on balance sheet as of Dec 31, 2016.   With the three private placements mentioned above, the company has an additional $2.5M on the books.  Less the $1M they paid for the 14 “streaming” agreements.  So maybe left with $1.8M.

Streaming deals.  This is where the company is garnering all of their value. And the market seems to be paying a massive premium for deals that have not yet closed, companies without cultivation licenses in hand, and Cannabis Wheaton does not yet have the capital to fund any of these agreements or perceived deals.

1)      the company is ridiculously overvalued at current levels and will correct in the next couple weeks, or certainly once the initial wave of $0.05 (or 0.015 in real terms) 20M shares and 20M warrants come free trading on May 26.
2)      Someone is propping the company up so that they can get the financing they desperately need. After all, the company is predicated on obtaining financing so they can in turn finance the companies mentioned below (and they don’t have any real money on the balance sheet currently).  I did notice they filed an AIF on Sedar… which means they would be short form eligible.


Nevada Copper ( reports its quarter (from IKN417)

A little snippet from yesterday's weekly.


Nevada Copper ( And on the subject of pig-awful balance sheets, NCU filed its 1q17 financials after the bell on Friday evening. Here’s the balance sheet, with scribbles:

You don’t need very many this time either, just a circle around that long-term debt pile is enough. If it had a viable project it might be a different story, then again if it were viable it wouldn’t be at project stage today. Instead, NCU is merely a vehicle used to drain cash slowly from Pala to Red Kite.

As for that “Fantasy Island” comment, it’s useful to remember that despite using a copper price of U$3.00/lb for U/G and U$3.15/lb for open pit in its feasibility study (and those only get you yo a mediocre 15.6% IRR) and despite copper not being at those price for many years, NCU hasn’t bothered to write down or impair its fixed asset value by a single red cent. That U$235m asset price may as well be U$235 Billion as neither number bears any relation to reality. At least CMMC has some cash flow. “Optionality on copper” stops being “Optionality on copper” when the project never has a chance of being built.

Eldorado and Integra

And why the hell not?


The IKN Weekly, out now

Pluck it!

IKN417 has just been sent to subscribers. Brought to you by the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, BT, Deadmau5, Beethoven and Paco de Lucia. And two days sat at a keyboard, of course.

El mas grande. Lejos.

3-1 en la Bostanera. Gracias por otra alegria, Muñeco.

Talk to me, silverbugs! Talk to me!

Where are you all? Why so serious? Where have all the flowers gone? Why aren't we at 15:1 yet?

Silverbugs: People so stupid they make goldbugs look like Nobel prize candidates. People so stupid they take Keith Neumeyer at his word.


In The IKN Weekly this Sunday...

...a new Top Pick stock, to join the two other stocks already designated as Top Picks. Those two Top Picks and up by 59% and 200% since inception and I expect this third one to return the same kind of percentage gain in the next 12 months, the right stock in the right metal in the right place at the right time. It also means I'll be a buyer of the third stock on Monday, we eat our own cooking round these parts (but we don't front-run). See you Sunday, subbers.

Peru political risk may be about to go through the roof

To paraphrase The Parrot Sketch, the Odebrecht corruption and bribery scandal isn't dead, it's just restin'. From what your humble scribe has heard this week, the month of June is due to start with real fireworks in Peru. The game's afoot and those of you who have been lulled into believing Peru is some sort of stable, biz-friendly panacea may well be in for a big shock.

An intraday chart of Northern Dynasty (NAK) (

The NYSE flavour:

What a freakin' scamshow this stock is. PT Barnum lives.

The Friday OT: Manu Ginobili, Spurs vs Rockets, game five

Three and a half minutes of sporting wonder. The Spurs were short-handed with injuries coming into the game and went to Ginobili, who played 39 minutes and rolled back the years in amazing style.

Wait for the 20 second advert to run at the start (it won't hurt), then watch Manu play one of the most emotive games of basketball ever. And that block, my stars. Youtube here.

Three ways to spot a bad statistic (a TED talk)

I'm no big fan of TED Talks but when this plopped on my desk last night I watched and was very impressed. Presented by "data Journalist" Mona Chalabi (I've seen her on Neil deGrasse Tyson's cable show Star Talk) it's worthy material for IKN even though not about mining, as this type of questioning of numbers and the people who try to spin them at you is part and parcel of what goes on at this humble corner of cyberspace.

As well as being a fun 11 minute presentation, it's an excellent and accessible introduction into the world of stats crunching which, along the way, points out why government stats are usually better quality databases (at this point, conspiracy theorists among you will start laughing and that's good, assholes aren't very welcome at IKN anyway). What I particularly like are the three questions she offers to frame your thoughts on stats and what they're trying to tell you:

Can you see uncertainty?
Can I see myself in the data?
How was the data collected?

Watch the whole thing to see why those are smart trigger questions for further use. The link to the TED talk page is here. You can also read the full transcript over there, or access versions with different language subtitles.

Chart of the day is... dailies, updating that 'simple gold' thought from earlier in the week:

That looks very promising for gold longs.

Mining PRs and the Ottotrans™, Part 100


Oh my Gawd! Our occasional series that turns mining gobbledygook into normal English has made it to edition ONE HUNDRED and it's an apt and fitting NR to boot. Today we consider the three squillion word nonsense vomited out by Northern Dynasty ( (NAK) and boil the real contents down to just nine words.
VANCOUVER -- May 12, 2017 - Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. (TSX: NDM; NYSE MKT: NAK) ("Northern Dynasty" or the "Company") announces that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Alaska-based Pebble Limited Partnership ("Pebble Partnership" or "PLP"), and the US Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") have reached a settlement agreement with respect to the parties' longstanding legal dispute over the federal agency's pre-emptive regulatory action under Section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act.
Under the terms of the settlement agreement, EPA has agreed the Pebble Project can proceed into normal course permitting under the Clean Water Act and National Environmental Policy Act. In particular, EPA has agreed it will not file a Recommended Determination under CWA 404(c) until a final Environmental Impact Statement ("EIS") for the Pebble Project has been completed by the US Army Corps of Engineers (the "Corps") -- so long as that occurs within a period of four years following the settlement agreement and PLP files permit applications within 30 months of the date of the settlement agreement. EPA has further agreed to initiate a process to propose to withdraw the Proposed Determination it issued under CWA 404(c) in July 2014. In return, the Pebble Partnership has agreed to terminate permanently and with prejudice two lawsuits it brought against EPA: an action under the Federal Advisory Committee Act and an action under the Freedom of Information Act.

"From the outset of this unfortunate saga, we've asked for nothing more than fairness and due process under the law -- the right to propose a development plan for Pebble and have it assessed against the robust environmental regulations and rigorous permitting requirements enforced in Alaska and the United States," said Ron Thiessen, President & CEO. "Today's settlement gives us precisely that, the same treatment every developer and investor in a stable, first world country should expect."

Northern Dynasty and the Pebble Partnership expressed their gratitude to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and President Trump for their commitment to the rule of law, and the fair and equal treatment of those who would invest in job-creating industries in America. The Company also thanked members of US Congress and the Alaska State Legislature who helped in achieving the goal of due process for Pebble -- in particular, members of the House Committee on Science, Space & Technology, House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform and Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works.

"The Pebble Partnership will advance a progressive mine plan, including mitigation, to be assessed by objective, expert regulators at the US Army Corps of Engineers and a raft of other federal and state agencies -- including EPA", Thiessen said.

"Not only are we no longer facing extraordinary development restrictions at Pebble, we will also be assured a fair and predictable permitting review of our proposed development plan. The Corps-led EIS will be prepared by independent, third party experts to ensure that decisions are based on objective science, and that public and stakeholder participation is comprehensive and meaningful."

Thiessen said the Pebble Partnership has been advancing planning for a smaller project design at Pebble than previously considered, and one that incorporates significant environmental safeguards.

"It will be a busy and exciting year for Pebble and Alaska," confirmed Pebble Partnership CEO Tom Collier. "Not only will we be rolling out a project that is smaller, with demonstrable environmental protections, we will also be announcing a number of new initiatives to ensure our project is more responsive to the priorities and concerns of Alaskans.

"We know the Pebble Project must not only protect the world-class fisheries of Bristol Bay, it must also benefit the people of the region and the state in a meaningful way. It is our intent to demonstrate how we will meet those goals in the period ahead."

Collier said a return to an objective, science-based and predictable permitting process at Pebble will bode well for future resource investment in Alaska and the US.

"Resource investors do not have an expectation that we will always receive development permits or always receive them on the terms we would prefer, but we do have an expectation of fair treatment under the law, and that science, not politics, should guide permitting decisions," Collier said.

Investor Conference Call Details
Northern Dynasty will host a conference call today, May 12, 2017, at 11:00 AM Eastern Time to discuss the EPA settlement and the Pebble Project.

Investors can participate in the conference call by:


Telephone: (877) 245-7303 in Canada and the USA or (478) 219-0731 international.

Passcode for the call is 22904301.

A presentation will also be available by going to the Northern Dynasty's corporate website at

Please go to the website at least 15 minutes prior to the call to register, download and install any necessary audio software.

A replay of the webcast will be available on the Investors page of Northern Dynasty's website beginning at 2:00 PM Eastern Time on May 12, 2017, through 11:59 PM Eastern Time on June 12, 2017.

About Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd.

And this is what it means:

It's still years before anything happens.  Or never.


Fave quote repeat

"You can achieve anything you want in this world as long 
as you are willing to let somebody else take the credit."

Your humble scribe at IKN Nerve Centre sincerely hopes that the person to which this post is addressed (i.e. a specific participant of today's mailbox) basks luxuriously in their fame and enjoys its sensations and sophisticated emotions to the full, whilst never realizing how much of an asshole they truly are. Cryptic post ends, nice day happy day pretty flower bouquet.

Gary does the Gold/Silver ratio

Or as he puts it (quite correctly), the silver/gold ratio. Read meistercharter Gary Tanashian on the relationship between the price of gold and silver right here, it'll give you a taste of why the best TS practitioners don't consider their charting as a end of the argument, but merely a beginning. Respect due.

AngloGold Ashanti Colombia changes corporate strategy

Due to having nothing else to do and with an obvious desire for at least some cash flow...

...AngloGold Colombia is going into the ice-cream business.

Two days ago...

...on May 9th, your humble scribe wrote short'n'sweet positives on the price of gold...

 "...if the drop stops around here, it could be a whole 
lot of upside fun and frolics in the near future."

...and on Sandstorm...

"It's amazingly cheap right now."

...Gold ( (SAND).

Two days later, gold did indeed bounce on that red line, is $10/oz higher and suddenly moving like a champ. Meanwhile SAND is up nearly 10% and making Doody look like the tool that he is. And let's be clear, SAND has only just started on its rebound move, there's a ton of upside left to come on this move. It may take a few weeks, the info lockdown at the company while its purchase of the AIM-listed MARL goes through will make sure of that so you're not going to get much market pumperation in the meantime. But the savvier among you should love that, not hate it. Further questions?

A great deal for Continental Gold (

Today's news out of Continental Gold ( that Newmont is taking a 19.9% equity position in the company is a strongly positive event. Reasons:

  • Obviously, the premium of the ticket price to recent market price is eye-catching.
  • Securing the capex needed to get to production day one. Positive.
  • The fact that the technical team is now a JV with NEM people, plus NEM gets a seat on the board, will alleviate the corporate risk seen by many in the sector towards CNL to date (with one major exception, Don Gray was a great appointment). Positive.
  • For a company of its size, it's a cheap way for NEM to get a foothold and become the obvious eventual owner if and when Buriticá works as a mine, once it's all up and running in 2020 or whenever. Nice risk/reward equation for the big boy.
  • And we should also commend CNL for being able to keep this gig quiet, there was no reflection of the advanced nature of this deal in recent share price action. For a company with a previous reputation of being a leaky boat (your author eye-witness), Ari Sussman and his team should be commended.

CNL won't trade up at C$4.00 immediately, but we should get a big pop when it opens (my guess is +30%). Also, I could get catty and mention that I managed to sell my position in CNL earlier in the year for a higher price than NEM's $4 purchase. Meow meow and unfair on all sides. The real message is that CNL should be congratulated by one and all for today's deal. It's now time to build the mine and make it work. IKN applauds you, Ari Sussman.

PS: Red Kite further on board is good too, of course.

UPDATE 11am: CNL just dinged +30% on the day. Good shot.

Yamana's (AUY) ( desperation to get out of BRIO: The fun never stops

It was hardly the first time, for those of you who remember the Titanic-meets-iceberg attempt a couple of years ago, but all we need to remember is back in November and December of 2016 when Yamana (AUY) told us it was selling Brio Gold ( in a secondary? These were the terms in November...

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. 
But when the dust had settled, this is what they managed to achieve:
"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."

So, 17.325m shares of BRIO at C$3.25. Then in March, Marrone managed to hoodwink some fund manager into buying a 6m block at C$3.35.

And now? This:
YAMANA GOLD INC. (TSX:YRI) (NYSE:AUY) ("Yamana" or the "Company") is pleased to announce that it has, along with Brio Gold Inc. ("Brio Gold"), entered into an agreement with a syndicate of underwriters (the "Underwriters") co-led by Canaccord Genuity Corp., CIBC Capital Markets and National Bank Financial Ltd. pursuant to which the Underwriters have agreed to purchase 26,667,000 common shares of Brio Gold currently held by Yamana on a bought deal basis at an offering price of C$3.00 per Brio Gold common share ("the Offering").

On the back of the BRIO 1q17 financials that came in better than expected, AUY goes back to the well once again but this time they've handed over the execution risk in exchange for a haircut. The new C$3 number still makes BRIO crazily expensive, but those sell side desks will now pump it for all they're worth in exchange for the commish. You'll also notice that they still can't get rid of the full amount planned back in November, it's going to be 53% AUY after the dust has settled so you can bet your sweet bippy there's more fun to come later on.

To all this, IKN has simple questions: Do these people think we haven't noticed? Does Marrone believe that his obvious and absolute desperation to dump the doggist end of his asset book hasn't been clocked and registered by the market? Do the brokerages on the other end of this bought deal think there are enough idiots and suckers to soak up these shares?

Of course, the answer to that last one is a resounding YES. Retail, the crop that never fails.