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1/4/14

The Fonz on outsized headphones

You probably think you look cool wearing your outsized Beats By type headphones in the street, but The Fonz has some bad news for you. He thinks you look like a...



You've been told.

By The Fonz.

Great photos

I've been a sucker for the lens and eye of Tom Bartel for quite a while and when he puts up photos on the blog he writes with his wife, Travel Past 50, I invariably go over and take a look. This week he gave a "50 best shots of 2013" post and it's a must see, as it's difficult to find a single weak shot amongst them all (and some are quite superlative). Go see for yourself and spend five minutes admiring them.

1/3/14

Checking in on Eric Sprott and his silver predictions

David Bond of 24hGold/Wallace Street Journal, made to look a complete idiot

Which is all he deserves, in fact.

Iwnattos is on a roll today and shows David Bond to be the pathetic apologist for corrupt mining companies that he undoubtedly is. No fevered swearing, no ranterations, merely a whole stack of damning evidence on a man whose biased opinions on mining companies should be taken as clear contrary indicators. Read it here.

Guatemala in 2013

Central America expert Mike Allison's very good review of the state of play in Guatemala that appeared in Al Jazeera today is best read by first reading the short intro piece on Allison's blog and then clicking through from there.

What have the Romans ever done for us?

 I love the surprised reaction out of The USA when they hear that the rest of the world believes it to be the single greatest threat to world peace (and by a long way). "What? Us? Faulty survey, must be...or run by commies or something" they go. On the other hand The USA is the country in which the rest of the world most wants to live, so go figure. Anyway, the whole Win/Gallup 2013 year end survey is here, which also sees Colombia as the world's happiest nation again, though you kinda get the feeling the pollsters might not have trudged through too many of the FARC-controlled regions of the country to do their asking.

ps: alternative link here

Junior relief rally looking short-lived

When you have 1) gold slightly up but 2) the junior rally being led by the cruddy end of the sector and 3) in general, the quality end of the junior mining sector not following through, it points at best to traders happy to lock in swift profits and then see what happens next or at worst, to the premature end of any rally. 

Gold price is the key, of course. At $1,234/oz it's in better shape than at $1,200/oz  (duh) but it's still inside its recent trading range and not breaking to new levels. Best guess is that in the face of this, the smarter end of the trading world is happy to take the cash offered and wiat for the next round.

UPDATE: Iwnattos picks up the baton, runs with it and adds a few charts and thoughts thereof (he likes charts) and manages to call me whiny along the way. Worth reading his views on this and I particularly agree with his last paragraph. Read it all here

A work of fiction

A sure-fire indication of a market charlatan at work is when the person (it's really difficult to call them 'analyst') picks 60 stocks, watches 55 die a death and then only talks about the 5 or so that do well. And so it is with the hilarious end year review edition of Louis Lobito Little Wolf James of Casey Research and his laughably stupid take on a year, published yesterday, in which, apparently, he missed out on reco'ing any losers and just nailed winning trades for his flock, that despite the mountain of clear evidence to the bullshit that comes from Lobito and his extremely selective memory (oh yeah, not forgetting this long list of "ten baggers for 2013" written in March'13, in which every single one is showing a big loss). All that aside form the way in which he writes up companies that immediately run financings (incl mysterious finders fees, likely picked up by Lobito or Casey) that subsequently sink without trace (amazingly, the chutzpah-ridden Lobito completely forgot about Gold Port (GPO.v) when writing up his year-end review this week...wonder why that might be?).

I thoroughly encourage you to read* this tome of stupidity, aimd directly at the most naive section of the investment community, as it offers a concentrate of just about every psychological trick and two-faced technique used by the worst of the market parasites in order to con people into handing over money. An impressive job Lobito. 

Louis James is a liar and a scumbag of the worst type. 

*Don't buy it and read it, just read it

1/2/14

Any similarity between Colossus Minerals (CSI.to) and Jaguar Mining (JAG.to) is...errrr....coincidental

Colossus (CSI.to) NR out a few moments ago, here's an excerpt:
On December 31, 2013 the Company received a proposal from these noteholders and Sandstorm Gold Limited ("Sandstorm") which, if implemented would offer the Company the ability to carry on business activities past December 31, 2013 with a view to its potential sale or future recapitalization. However, existing holders of common shares would experience massive dilution to the point where they would, in aggregate, hold approximately 1.7% of the outstanding common shares after giving effect to the terms of the proposal.
Jaguar Mining (JAG.to) NR out in November 2013, here's an excerpt
"...to effect a recapitalization and financing transaction (the "Recapitalization"). The Company expects further support of the Recapitalization from additional holders of Convertible Notes. 
Jaguar's Board of Directors has determined that the Recapitalization offers substantial benefits to the Company and is in the best interests of the Company and its stakeholders. Among other things, the Recapitalization results in a significant reduction of the Company's debt, increased liquidity for Jaguar's operations and allows the Company to make certain necessary capital investments and accelerate operational improvements. 
An extensive review process has shown that the Recapitalization is the best available alternative for the Company."
  • Both in Brazil
  • Both gold mining companies
  • Both FUBAR
  • Both wildly underestimated costs
  • Both with wildly overestimated management teams that eventually showed true colours
  • Both in the process of anally violating anyone stupid enough to be still in possession of its equity.

But hey...coincidences...

By the way, on January 24th JAG votes on its restructuring plan and my ballpark guess is that it'll finish with around 5.5Bn (witha B) shares out before any rollbacks are done. Welcome to Brazil.

PS: And yes you're right, the IKN post from Tuesday December 31st on CSI.to is looking pretty smart now. Thanks for mentioning it.

Argentina's International currency reserves go up

Sorry, did you say "up?"

Yup, that's right. All quiet and without a single word from the English language bizmedia mediocrity that cover LatAm, Argentina's international currency reserves put on U$437m between December 5th and end 2013. Not for sure it's small compared to the drop over the rest of the year and I'd also agree that end-year factors can make a difference in what currencies are required by businesses. This isn't a definitive change in trend yet, but it does come at a time when a new government economics team has been installed who've said they want to improve the reserve position. As possibly the crux of the weak points in Argentina's economy recently, it's a set of figures worth watching tin the weeks ahead because if early December marked a low in reserves (repeat: jury out) there could be something going on here.

And it's also worth noting that you'll need to watch the numbers carefully rather than reports of the numbers, because if thing start going in the right direction you can bet large sums that the newsire coverage will suddenly go very quiet...can't be saying good things about Argentina now, can we guys?

Peru was the world's worst performing stock market in 2013

According to the people who makes lists, like this dude and like Bloomberg, Peru's stock market was the worst performing bourse in the world last year. So let's check the IGBVL next to a couple of other lines, namely the S&P 500 and the Gold ETF (GLD):


Take a wild guess as to which had more influence over Peru last year?

Chart of the day is...

...gold, which is up this morning:



The world has noted that it's on thin volumes (just like the last five days, but that wasn't mentioned when it dumped a couple of times last week) which is a fair comment, but it's also held the ~$1,220/oz level through the NYMEX opening. 

Probably the most interesting metal to watch today.

1/1/14

Silver averages U$23.79/oz in 2013

After that copper price post, a request arrives for the silver average numbers and can do that too, so here's the last ten years in chart form:


So now you now that silver averaged a price of 2013 in the calendar year of 2013, which trended from higher to lower of course. And here's 1950 to 2013, while we're playing at charts:


Sources again Cochilco, plus London Fix for 2013

Copper averages U$3.31/lb in 2013

So says Cochilco, who also call 2014 to run an average price of U$3.15/lb. Here's a chart with the average annual prices of the last ten years, for necessary context:



Date from here and here.

12/31/13

I got as far as "Sulliden's project is in a geopolitically secure location"...

...and after the laughter had calmed somewhat, struck the name Chris Thompson of Raymond James off my list of people to listen to about mining companies. Forever. Ah but hell, go read the dumbassery yourself if you like. Is it possible to be this much of a whore and keep your clothes on, Chris?

It's mere coincidence that RayJames took a chunk of the last bought deal, too. 


Tough market for junior explorecos?

Yup, tough market. This from Anconia Resources (ANA.v) on December 20th:

Anconia Resources Corp. (TSX VENTURE:ARA) ("Anconia" or the "Company") announces that it proposes to complete a non-brokered private placement offering (the "Offering") of units ("Units") and flow-through units ("Flow-Through Units"), at a subscription price of $0.10 per Unit and $0.12 per Flow-Through Unit, for aggregate gross proceeds of up to $2,100,000. continues here
And this from Anconia Resources (ANA.v) post-close Dec 31st:
Anconia Resources Corp. (TSX VENTURE:ARA) ("Anconia" or the "Company") is pleased to announce the closing of the first tranche of its previously announced non-brokered private placement offering (the "Offering") (see the Company's news release dated December 20, 2013) issuing 416,665 flow-through units ("Flow-Through Units") at $0.12 per Flow-Through Unit, for aggregate gross proceeds of $50,000. continues here
Nuff said

UPDATE: Or if you prefer, here's Cadillac Ventures (CDC.v) from November 25th
TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Nov 25, 2013) - Cadillac Ventures Inc. (TSX VENTURE:CDC) (CADIF) ("Cadillac" or the "Company") announces that it intends to complete a non-brokered private placement offering of units ("Units") at Cdn$0.05 per Unit and flow-through units ("FT Units") at Cdn$0.06 per FT Unit for aggregate gross proceeds of up to Cdn$1.5 million (the "Offering"). continues here
And here's Cadillac Ventures (CDC.v) six weeks later today, post-close Dec 31st:
TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Dec 31, 2013) - Cadillac Ventures Inc. (TSX VENTURE:CDC) (CADIF) ("Cadillac" or the "Company") is pleased to announce the closing of the first tranche of its previously announced non-brokered private placement offering of units ("Units") at Cdn$0.05 per Unit and flow-through units ("FT Units") at Cdn$0.06 per FT Unit, issuing 200,000 Units and 2,090,666 FT Units for aggregate gross proceeds of $135,440 (the "Offering"). continues here
Nuff nuff said.

Colossus (CSI.to)

In some ways I find it frightening to see that the market still thinks Colossus Minerals (CSI.to) has an equity value of $15m. Even after a raft of news releases, up to and including the one last night, that are the publicity equivalent of picking up a large piece of wood and whacking the investment community very hard indeed in the forehead several times while chanting "this company is bankrupt" in mantra style.

In other ways it's understandable I suppose. Humanity's way of clinging onto the final dregs of life, even after all logical and reasonable hope has gone, plus the microcosm aspect of the capital markets. But still, valuing this at $15m? Seems very rich, even for a Hail Mary.

PS: The above was written when CSI.to was trading at 9c this morning. It closed at 7c.

Gold price moves: Seems legit

This was of course predicted by technical analysis.

OT: Dieting tips: The six major reasons why you can't lose weight (and what to do about it)

IKN loves its readers as if they were its own children and to that end, is concerned that a section of readership is about to embark on a weight loss program that will eventually fail and leave the person in question feeling depressed. Therefore, we'd like to present a succinct list of reasons why diets tend to fail and then offer some sound, heartfelt advice on how to reach your desired goal.

Reasons Why You Can't Lose Weight

1) You have no fucking willpower
2) You eat too much fucking food
3) Drinking Coca-Cola is not as healthy as drinking a glass of fucking water.
4) Seriously, a stack of pancakes that resembles the Empire fucking State Building with maple syrup oozing down both sides is not the way to start the day. 
5) Beer isn't just fattening, it's fucking fattening. Stop it.
6) Get some exercise, lardass. Get out of that fucking chair and put a sweat on. 

What To Do About It

Shut The Fuck Up, stop eating so much, burn more calories than you ingest, quit the whining. 

Kim Jong Un versus Barack Obama official State photos

Found on Twitter this morning, this is something to behold.

click image to enlarge

Presented with no further commentary.

12/30/13

My New Year's Resolution

It's a simple one, it involves no dieting, it's one that I hope might catch on:

I refuse to read any article with a headline that ends with a "?"

When you see a title that ends in "?" it invariably means one of three things:
1) The hack hasn't thought through the piece to the extent where true conclusions can be drawn
2) The hack doesn't have the guts to make a statement and invite pushback from their target
3) The hack is making shit up in the guise of real news and is using the device as a way of avoiding a libel case.
This pisspoor reporting habit is sadly on the rise, particularly among the journalistic mediocrity of business media. It's not big, it's not clever, stop it now. If you don't have the guts to write without milquetoast get-out clauses, find another job to do and stop pretending that you're the next in line for a Pulitzer.

Strawberry daquiris served, the end.

Ever notice how it's the short NRs from juniors that make you go "ouch" the most?*

It's when they just run out of BS. Here's Colossus (CSI.to) this afternoon:

December 30, 2013
Colossus Minerals Announces Director Resignations
TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Dec. 30, 2013) - Colossus Minerals Inc. (TSX:CSI) (OTCQX:COLUF) (the "Company") announced today that Messrs. Douglas Reeson and Greg Hall have resigned from the board of directors. At this time, no replacement candidates have been identified.

Messrs. John Frostiak and Alberto Arias remain directors of the Company.

So, about that bidding up thing that's been going on in CSI the last 3 or 4 days. I recommend the casino next time.


*you think i read this shit?

A Flash update...

...has just been sent to subscribers, a touch before midday New York time on a very hot and sunny Monday. A bit of interesting mining gossip from down South.

Dead reporters in LatAm

The Reporters Without Borders 2013 press freedom annual roundup was published today last week*, with the headline number as usual being the number of jouranlists killed while doing their jobs around the world. In total 71 pro journalists and 4 assistants were killed for being who they are, with Syria and Iraq the blackest spots on the globe (10 dead in each country).

We turn our attention to Latin America and here's a chart that outlines the last three years of figures for the region:


Many people overlook that Brazil is the most dangerous country for reporters, but the consistent figures tell their own story. Honduras and Mexico are also very dangerous places to be a reporter (particularly Honduras if we consider its relatively small size and population). The rest as seen and, although one is obviously too many, there does seem to be a drop in the overall casualty rates and that can't be a bad thing.

As a small sidebar please note that Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and Argentina, most often the target of press freedom allegations, hardly figure on the dead journalists  lists over the last three years. Just sayin'.


*oops, too much eggnog

Chart of the day is...

...the gold/silver ratio, 12 months:


Back to 61.3X this morning, as gold recovers more quickly than silver once NY opens. It's been the recent trend. Poor man's gold doesn't appeal so much to the rich men, I'd guess.

12/29/13

The IKN Weekly, out now



IKN243 has just been sent to subscribers. A Shark Sandwich of an edition that goes to eleven.

The eruption of the Chapparastique/San Miguel volcano, El Salvador

One of the more active volcanoes in the region (26 eruptions in 500 years, not shabby), Chapparastique (aka San Miguel) went up this morning. A good page of images at El Salvador's La Prensa Grafica here (plenty of words too, but still more than useful even if your Spanish isn't that strong) with geographic location, on-ground photos and a satellite photo that shows how the cloud is affecting the area too. Also check out this Twitter page of a local Guatemala reporter stationed just across the border, nice photos on offer

A quick geography question

Why is this called "the West"?