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11/30/13

Santacruz Silver (SCZ.v)

Another late Friday filer, Santacruz Silver (SCZ.v) waited until everyone was suitably away from the screen before telling the wolrd that it still wasn't doing much at Rosario. However, you can't get that kind of thing past eagle-eyed VancVenture that easily, as today's post over there shows.

We had a look at SCZ back in IKN232 and we're going to update on the stock tomorrow in IKN239. And yeah, of course there's a reason to follow a failing management team with its pisspoor record of execution in 2013. Do think I sit in this office all weekend, every weekend for kicks'n'giggles?

11/29/13

Round Eight! The "Friday-Night-Bury-That-News-While-Market-Players-Are-At-Happy-Hour" NR stakes

Aurcana (AUN.v), über-dog silver "producer" (word used very loosely), coughs up a Friday night classic which goes a little like this:
  • Here are our 3q13 results!
  • We produced more metal!
  • Cash costs are down!
  • And we kinda made a profit if you just look at that one thing up there, but...
  • ...net loss was $15.5m.
Oh, and we've closed down the Shafter mine in 4q13. Due to the ball mill breaking down. Oh, and the underground turbo blow-up. And the lack of ventilation. Y'know, minor things.



Seems legit

Happy weekend


How teen and underage prostitution works with mining companies in Peru

1) Teenage girls, often as young as 14 years old and just left school, are offered jobs in restaurants and bars as "kitchen assistant" or "waitress" at a salary perhaps triple than the ones found in their local towns (typically the southern sierra region cities, such as Cusco, Puno, Juliaca etc.

2) They're taken to a remote location, close to mining works.

3) Once at their place of work, they're held captive, not allowed to leave the premises, and required to become "hostesses" for clients in the bar or nightclub, a job which quickly leads to prostitution (or a severe beating).

Occasionally, these establishments are raided by police and a clean-up effected (perhaps they didn't pay off the local police chief enough), such as this one in the Chala/Acari region of South Peru yesterday. Strangely, this is the exact spot in South Peru where several Canadian mining companies, Dynacor (DNG.to) and Inca One (IO.v) to name but two, have decided to start their operations recently. Wonder why that might be? Probably because Canada is so very keen on stimulating free-market economic growth in the regions where it operates, resulting higher incomes and the improved lifestyle that its mining operations always bring to an area and its citizenry. Right?

Chart of the day is...

...a Black Friday Special:


Deep discount offered on these products! 

With a massive discounts to the prices of this time last year! 

Yes sir, that says 28% off gold! 

Yes ma'am, that says 42% off silver!

Hurry hurry! Because...



...stocks will last.


11/28/13

Two more things about criminal scumbag Bobby Genovese and Liberty Silver (LSL.to)

The man should be jailed, not just banned for life, but as he has the Canadian market heads in his pocket his impunity knows no bounds. Anyway, those two things for you:

1) He's buying stock again.


2) People are watching.

Bear Creek (BCM.v) wants to start an official, State-level, Canada vs Peru dispute

On September 25th, while announcing its enviromental permit approval for its Corani project, Bear Creek Mining (BCM.v) said this:
Mr. Swarthout continues "We are also encouraged by recent conversations with the Peruvian government towards the resolution of issues regarding the Santa Ana silver project, which remains under the conditions of the Supreme Decree issued in June 2011.   The successful resolution of these issues and returning Bear Creek's right to operate Santa Ana is critical to the Company's ability to raise financing for the construction of Corani.  Based upon the successful acquisition of the social license through long-term community investment agreements at Corani, we strongly believe that the model has been demonstrated that will establish social license at Santa Ana.  We look forward to working with the government and local communities in reaching a resolution thereby avoiding ongoing and future litigation while providing the opportunity for advancing Santa Ana and providing much needed employment, investment, and revenues in those local communities."
Now, via  a report in Peruvian press this morning and using Canada as its shield-and-sword, it says this:
"Canada is considering taking the case of Bear Creek Mining to the ICSID World Bank tribunal court, after learning that on November 1st the country gave the backing to the use of international arbitrage, the Expreso has learned from sources close to the bilateral negotiation.

This first ever case involving Canada in ICSID, and probably the most important one to involve Peru, concerns to the legal action that exists between the Canadian company Bear Creek Mining and the State of Peru, over the Santa Ana project in the South of Peru."

And here's how the share price has been doing since this policy was announced:


Yeah, you had a few people fooled on this for a while, Swarthout. Not no more.

So anyway, let's go over this great idea. The plan is to start an international incident between Canada and Peru over a mining project, right at the time that anti-mining sentiment is on the rise in Peru, when Canada is desperate for new markets to develop and when China, South Korea, Australia, Brazil and others are making aggressive inroads into the country's sectors and giving lie to Canada's previous supposition that it was the only game in town. And BCM, by tying the fate of Santa Ana to its Corani project directly, has decided to add risk to its de-risked project.

Let's be clear: BCM's September 25 decision to link, and in a very clear and public manner, the fate of the very interesting, approved and de-risked Corani project to the never-gonna-happen* Santa Ana project, stating de-facto to Peru that "without the one, you don't get the other" and then threatening Peru with a full-on country-versus-country dispute (ferfuksek) to take the people you need to for Corani's ultimate success to the world tribunal courts over Corani, at a time like this for the metals markets, is the type of tactic used by a company that has No. Fucking. Idea. about the country in which it operates (after all these years, too) and is a prime candidate for the 2013 Dumbest Corporate Strategy of the Year Award.


*told you enough times on this.

Chart of the day is...

...Augusta Resources (AZC) (AZC.to), 10 days:


Last week the market couldn't decide which side was full of shit. Yesterday they decided the anti-miners were far, far fuller than the company. I'm still gong to avoid this one, however. Mainly diue to the chart below, rather than the chart above:


Neutral call on this.

11/27/13

Whatever happened to Liberty Silver (LSL.to)?

Iwnattos asks the question, shows the trainwreck price chart to give part of the answer, but then asks the real question later in his piece:
On the one hand, you could find a hundred other, less shifty junior miners with charts just like that.  

On the other hand, the OSC and TMX Group haven't done anything about those other hundred companies' lies, deceit, misrepresentation, back-room deals, front-running, insider dealing or embezzlement either - that is, beyond the customary slap on the wrist and "could you perhaps issue a clarification press release?" Continues here

True, true, true. Seriously, who did Bobby G bung in order to get a straight Dot-Tee-Oh listing for his scam?

Moral: Want to stop the corruption? Jail the rich and corrupt motherfuckers who run the shops.

UPDATE: VancVenture adds a worthy dos centavitos on the subject, right here.

Graham Farquharson's retail therapy

It can't be easy having your name dragged through the mud by the PretiVm (PVG) (PVG.to) guys and their assorted look-at-all-that-shiny-gold mouthbreather rah-rah fanboys. So what does the modern human being do when faced with a tough and potentially depressing moment? Why, they go shopping!



 
That purchase has doubled SAS.to independent Chairman Farquharson's position in the company to 200k.




Colombia's Energy Minister: Colombian oil reserves "extremely precarious"

Colombia Reports has the story, here's how it starts:

Colombia’s oil reserves will be exhausted in seven years at the current rate of extraction said Energy Minister on Tuesday.  This is particularly alarming because according to government figures, about half of Colombia’s export dollars come from oil.  Minister Amylkar Acosta told El Espectador newspaper that no new major discoveries of oil had been made recently and that Colombia’s reserves were “extremely precarious.”

Chart of the day is...

...gold since Monday 18th:



The current $1,250/oz or so looks like a line in the sand.

Meanwhile, another shout-out for Mineweb's Kip Keen, who puts together a really nice little early morning note that covers need-to-know mining news, tells you what went on yesterday and what happened overnight while you were in the land of nod. Find today's edition here (tells you why gold went up last nght, for example), but get it every day by following Keen at this link. 


11/26/13

(no)Ryan (no)Gold (RYG.v) bounces

Don't say you weren't warned.

The Pretium (PVG) (PVG.to) soap opera: Strathcona speaks

In Northern Miner, right here. Here's an extract to get you in the mood:

We’re not saying there's no gold there – this is not Bre-X or anything like that. There is gold there but the project needs a much different geological model now, based on the work that's been done and the bulk sample program being different than what they anticipated before they went underground.
 
And they've been very slow to accept that, because it does make a big change from what they've been telling the markets. But we're absolutely convinced that if this is what the results indicate, then you should tell the world.

Tuesday tunes: Faith No More; Angel Dust (full album)

Hit play and go about your working day with this on in the background.



IKN guarantees that if you decide to do so, it will be a decision that brings no regrets.

Unfairly picking on IMPACT Silver (IPT.v) in order to make the point about the problem in the small silver producer space

IMPACT Silver (IPT.v) reported its quarter yesterday and apart from that annoying all-caps corporate name, I really don't have a beef with the company. It's small, mines its deposit reasonably well, has a decent reputation with the local community and treats its workforce correctly. It's also survived over the medium-term without diluting its share count much (January 2007 was 40.3m, today it's 68.2m, the difference was raising for capex purposes and was non-dilutive at the time) so it shows the right signs of trying to take care of its stakeholders, wherever they may be.

But the slump in silver means that its financials are starting to get a little sticky. Here are three charts (of many we could show) that outline the issue and surprise surprise, it's all about the money. It starts here.


You'll note that when silver zoomed, so did the margins operated by IPT but tellingly, even with the higher average silver prices (2009/2010 period,versus 2012/2013 period) IPT isn't grossing much more per tonne of rock moved (it's a grade thing). Meanwhile, cost creep has been slow but sure and it's going to be very difficult to cut the price of tonne moved in a meaningful manner. In short, margins are getting squeezed.

Which means the mine's revenues are dropping and as costs are stubborn the company's ops, once cash flow positive, (before the corporate and financial expenses are added on top) are now losing money.


And this means that its cash treasury, once rock solid, is looking a bit on the thin side these days and unless the price of silver picks up, that trend (which is no friend) is unlikely to turn around. As working cap at IPT shows the underlying cash position well, here's that chart:


From here IPT can either 1) bite the bullet and raise, thus diluting and putting the stock price under more pressure or 2) go into preservation mode, start high grading its deposits and cut back on site (and corp) expenses in order to get to breakeven*. Even then I doubt they'll be able to report any meaningful profits until silver moves; with the best will in the world we're looking at a company that will tread water as an optimum situation (and may keep leaking cash, no matter what they do).

As stated at the top, it's a bit unfair to pick on IPT alone for all this because there are a lot of small PM players in the same boat. The bottom line is that until silver moves higher, there seems little reason to own any of this type of company. Small, unprofitable, running to stand still. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the real problem. These companies are unattractive as investment options, period.


*IPT indicated they'd do this in the MD&A yesterday. We'll see.

The moves in the silver price and broad market reaction thereof

Here are the latest shocking and sweeping moves in silver:


Here's what the wider market thinks of silver:


IKN understands that it might come as a shock to silverbugs to realize that the object of their incessant fapping attention isn't, in fact, the centre of the known universe. Dirty job, somebody gotta do it.

International problem solving techniques

Special delivery for all Argentine connection readers. Sent to your humble scribe by that fine type up in Mexico, RG of The Mex Files:


Thanks man

The scoping and the pre-feas study: Two good posts from The Economic Geologist

Here at IKN Nerve Centre we like this new blog and this week we like it even more, thanks to these two posts from yesterday and today:




Both very good background reading for anyone interested in rockbanging; informative, accessible and even the industry experts among IKN readership are likely to pick up a smippet or two. If TEG gives us more, such as one on feas studies, we'll stick the links here by way of update.

11/25/13

(no)Ryan(no)Gold (RYG.v) files its quarter...and for once it's an interesting filing

The noRyan noGold (RYG.v) 3q13 financials and MD&A are on SEDAR already and main points are covered by the accompanying NR. Here's a thought or three on the company:

  • Cash held is $20m. Working capital almost exactly the same, due to lack of liabilities.
  • RYG was set up to explore the Yukon (all that Ryan fame thingy, remember?). 
  • It's worked out that the Yukon is a bust and it's done so before going through all its cash. That takes a bit of pride-swallowing by a company (and it helps that the original team are long gone) but all the same, it should be applauded as the smart move
  • Therefore we can expect it to sip at its cash pile until an opportunity comes along.
  • RYG.v currently has 117.14m shares out. All options and warrants are miles out the money, so they don't count.
  • At its close tonight of 11c, that gives RYG.v a market cap of $12.54m

In other words, you have $20m in cash that's now on sale for $12.5m. You also get a free option on bunch of written-down exploration properties that might one day (choose your own decade) be worth something, though that isn't the reason to like RYG here. It's the cash, people. Cold. Hard. Cash. That thing all those juniors out there are desperate to get hands on. 

Two conclusions to this little post:

1) noRyan noGold's admission of failure in the Yukon will likely see the stock rally tomorrow morning, nature abhorring a vacuum and all that.
2) This is exactly the sort of thing that happens at market bottoms.



Disclosure: No position in RYG. Yet.

With friends like these

Congrats to Pershimco Resources (PRO.v), a company that's very pleased with itself due to it getting ranked at number 30 in PwC's junior resource list. Here's the NR:
Pershimco Ranks 30th Among PwC's 2013 Top 100 Junior Mining Companies on TSX-V  ROUYN-NORANDA, QUEBEC--(Marketwired - Nov. 25, 2013) - Pershimco Resources Inc. (the "Company" or "Pershimco") (TSX VENTURE:PRO)(FRANKFURT:BIZ) is proud to announce that the internationally recognized auditing, assurance, tax, consulting and deals services firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP/s.r.l./s.e.n.c.r.l. ("PwC"), has ranked the Company 30th amongst over 1,290 listed junior resource companies on the TSX Venture Exchange ("TSX-V"), placing Pershimco in the top three percent of the junior mining exploration companies listed on the exchange. As part of the annual Junior Mining Review by PwC, Pershimco was named one of the Top 100 Junior Mining Companies on TSX-V by market capitalization (as at June 30, 2013), qualifying the Company for the honor of bearing the 2013 PwC logo. The PwC report can be found on the Company's website at www.pershimco.ca.  
"This ranking can only be achieved through hard work, discipline and most importantly, support from our Shareholders " commented Alain Bureau, Pershimco President and CEO.

So a hearty hoorah to PRO.v for the gong award and we're sure glad they're happy about their 2013. Meanwhile for the rest of us, here's PRO.v 2013 year-to-date compared to the S&P500 index:


Think about this carefully, people: The 30th best (not worst) junior on the TSXV in 2013, according to the world recognized accountancy firm that runs the list, has returned a negative forty percent share price performance this year. Out of one thousand, two hundred and ninety competitors.

Mining PRs and the Ottotrans™, part 79



Today's edition of our occasion series picks on one company (because they drew attention by waffling on so much) but can be applied to many NRs your humble scribe has been fielding recently. It's not a new phenomenon either, but it's one that been seen far more frequently in the past few weeks so it's time to turn the spotlight on the genre. We do so via the 1,189 words contained in Expedition Mining's (EXU.v) NR this morning and then, in time-honoured style, crunch them down to just nine.

This is what they wrote

Expedition Mining Announces Drill Program Planned for Long Canyon Gold Project

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Nov. 25, 2013) - Expedition Mining Inc. (TSX VENTURE:EXU) (the "Company") is pleased to provide this update on the 2013 exploration programs within the Walker Lane Mineral Belt. 
2013 TRENCHING PROGRAM COMPLETED
The trenching program utilized a rubber tired backhoe to clear the surface float and excavate into the bedrock. Generally the undisturbed bedrock is less than 1 m below surface. Trenches were excavated in areas of visible alteration and veining along with zones associated with regional structures. The best results were derived from trenches 2, 2A, 7 and 8, located in the vicinity of IP target #2. Gold values were similar to previous sample results with the highest value being 1.27 g/t over 3 m in trench 2. This sample was part of a wider zone of 6.5 m grading 0.93 g/t gold. A sample of vein material from trench 2A contained 61.9 g/t silver along with 0.3 g/t gold. This work confirmed that the anomalous values are predominantly associated with the northeasterly trending structural zones, the intersections of which are co-incident with an IP target generated by the historical survey. Overall the company is very pleased with the results from the trenching program, and is evaluating the results to plan the 2014 exploration program.
2014 DRILL PROGRAM
Permitting for a drill program to test these surface anomalies is underway and bids are being solicited for this work. Reverse circulation and core drilling are being considered for this program which will consist of 10 to 15 holes.
To view the South Claim Compilation maps and IP #2 Target on our website, please click here. 
LONG CANYON PROPERTY
This property consists of 37 unpatented lode claims located 200 kms southeast of Reno and 16 kms southeast of the community of Mina, Nevada. Previous exploration programs have identified an extensive geochemically anomalous area associated with the intersection of several structural trends. These multi-element soil and rock anomalies are also co-incident with chargeability and resistivity IP anomalies. The central portion of the property exposes a silicified zone consisting of widespread chalcedony and intensely silicified country rocks.
Structurally the Long Canyon project area is dominated by strands of the northwest trending Walker Lane Fault Zone. Arcuate splays from the main faults trend east-west across the property and are exposed in many of the drainages. Regional scale northerly trending structures are also present which extend through the Pilot Mountains to the north, and are covered by pediment fans to the south. The intersections of these two structural zones are believed to be important localizing features for the mineralization encountered at the Bellville Mine and the deposits in the Douglas Camp to the west.
The majority of the Long Canyon property is underlain by rocks of the Permian Mina Formation. These consist of quartz rich sediments including sandstones and mudstones along with tuffaceous units derived from volcanic sequences. The northern portion of the property has been intruded by an unnamed coarse grained gabbroic unit that forms a distinct magnetic high on the property magnetic survey. Tertiary volcanic rocks are widespread to the north of the property.
The structural zones trend dominantly north-northeast and northwest, and intersect beneath the extensive siliceous zone which occupies the central portion of the property. The north-northeast trend is characterized by swarms of narrow quartz veins with a general northerly orientation and subvertical dip. These veins range from <1 -45="" 1="" a="" and="" are="" attitude="" belt.="" cm="" dip="" eins="" font="" from="" generally="" greater="" in="" lane="" m="" nbsp="" northwest="" nw="" oriented="" show="" sub-parallel="" than="" the="" thickness.="" to="" trending="" variation="" vertical="" walker="" within="" zone="">
The Long Canyon project is situated in southeastern Mineral County and is flanked by several well known historical mining districts. The Pilot Mountains to the north have a long history of mercury production, followed by tungsten mining along the eastern edge of the range. The former producing Belleville Mine 8 kms north of Long Canyon reportedly produced around 100,000 ozs to 1939 from two quartz veins. 
To the west the Douglas Camp area was dominantly a gold and silver camp which also contained abundant scheelite and produced over $1,000,000 of tungsten during and after WW1.
To the southwest the Candelaria District was known for high grade silver deposits which averaged 60 oz/ton in the early days of mining. By 1999 over 68 million ounces of silver had been extracted from the mines in this district.
Expedition's disclosure of a technical or scientific nature in this press release has been reviewed and approved by James Chapman, P.Geo, who serves as a qualified person under the definition of National Instrument 43-101.
Expedition Mining Inc. (TSX VENTURE:EXU) is a publicly held Canadian exploration company focused on acquiring, exploring and developing gold properties located in favourable geo-political climates. The company is led by a highly skilled, experienced board and management team with significant successes in managing early stage mineral exploration companies. For additional information concerning Expedition Mining Inc. or its various exploration projects please visit Expedition's website at www.expeditionmining.com.

And this is what it means

We don't have enough money to drill the property




.

PRD Energy (PRD.v): Back on November 4th...

...in the post "PRD Energy (PRD.v): A friendly warning", your humble scribe wrote:

For those of you who bought into this Katusa/Maudlin pump job, you're advised to make like a shepherd and get the flock outta there now, rather than wait for the results of the drilling. That's what's called fair warning.
That day PRD.v was at $1.40. Today it's not as high as that, which is probably connected to the publication of its drill results on Friday. The funniest bit, however, was the gushing stupidity sent out by scammer in chief Marin Katusa to his unsuspecting flock yesterday morning, as he spun the news to within an inch of its life, make up shit with his slide rule and then tried to make out that a drop in price was good news, not bad. You get to buy more cheap stock, y'see.

What's that Amarillo Slim line about sitting down at the poker table and not being able to spot the patsy again?


Chile Presidential election run-off: Matthei plays the religion card

You're in a run-off for Prez?
You're a nautical mile behind in the polls?
You have nothing to lose?

Then play the religion card, dummy.

Tiptop Chile political analyst and Twitterpal Robert Funk alerted your humble scribe to this report today (and check his twitterfeed, he's been having plenty fun with the news) that Evelyn Matthei has decided to invoke faith as a means to become the next President of Chile. Along with using the platform to speak against homosexuality, abortion and assisted suicide her catch phrase in yesterday's stump speech was "I will do nothing against that which the Bible indicates".

Which is nice. And (of course) immediately reminded a whole lot of people of Timothy 2, vv 11-12 which has this snappy refrain:
Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. 
 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

Or put another way, Michelle Bachelet is the next President of Chile.

Chart of the day is...

...Detour Gold (DGC.to), 12 months:



The company President and CEO, Gerald Panneton, resigned today. I can guess why.

11/24/13

The IKN Weekly, out now



IKN238 has just been sent to subscribers. We go extended on Colombia, take in the latest political changes in Argentina and explain why your author has taken a position in Pretium (PVG) without the freakin' annoying V.

I now plan to kick back and read Gary Tanashian's NFTRH266, which has been patiently waiting in my inbox all day. But before going, while looking for a nice graphic of uranium 238 I came across this, which is a must-share (big and detailed photo of same here, wonderful stuff):

Global Gold Mine and Deposit Rankings 2013 special report and infographic

The guys at Visual Capitalist have teamed up with Roy Sebag of Natural Resources Holdings for the latter's 3rd annual review. You the reader get a nice 40 page PDF on the subject, covering all (according to them at least) the 1m+ ounce gold deposits around the world and at a total of 580, even if it's not 100% complete it's going to be darned close. Go get your copy here.

PS: World Complex did some really interesting math on this subject earlier this year and, as a result, says that somewhere out there in the yonder there should be around 500 more 1m+ oz Au deposits left to discover. Read about that here.

Honduras votes: The need to know stuff

A post for those who don't care much but would like to know a bite-sized, pop-culture chunk that gives them enough to hold up their end of an unexpected conversation later today:

1) It's tight. Polling between the two frontrunners show this one as too close to call, a rarity these days in LatAm presidentials.

2) The lefty candidate is Xiomara Castro of the Libre party (newly formed), who's also the wife of deposed Pres Mel Zelaya. If she wins she'd be the country's first ever female President*.

3) The righty candidate is Juan Orlando Hernández of the National party (the current ruling party). He's a smart politico and is running on an anti-crime manifesto that would beef up police and army and give them powers to go after the street gangs. Current President Porfirio Lobo (same party) is ineligible to run. 

4) The others aren't in it. The winner could get around 30% of the popular vote (or maybe less), but as it's a fractured election and Honduras has a straight system of "most votes wins", that'll be enough. 

5) Expect accusations of voter fraud and election rigging from the losing side, especially if Xiomara loses in a tight one. Natch, though it should be added that some international election observers were refused credentials by the Honduras government because they were lefties. Not a good sign.

6) It'll probably take a day or so to get something akin to an official or reliable result.

7) After it's all over, it will continue to be a seriously fucked up country. Natch2.

And in LetMeGoogleThatForYou news, here's a Wiki page in English on the vote if you'd like some more. 




*Editor's note: No matter the flavour of politics, IKN wholly approves of this and if it were possible, would permanently require all countries to have woman presidents by law. For one thing, you'd suddenly get a whole lot less of countries bombing the crap out of each other.