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5/24/14

Gun control in the USA

@tomtomorrow published this cartoon in 2011 after the Tucson massacre. It's as correct as ever

Civilized countries: An unscientific thought experiment

Here's the thought experiment I've been playing with this morning: Take your political* Head of State and place her or him in the centre of the region of their own country that shows the most opposition to their government or administration, with no security detail or special physical protection. The question is, would said HoS then be murdered? Here are my subjective thoughts on a few places I know something about and/or watch closely, add your own if you like.

The UK: No. Cameron would have a very rough time and plenty of verbal haranguing, but physical violence would be unlikely.

Canada: Ditto. Many people hate Harper, but they're unlikely to get medieval on the guy.

France: No. More likely they'd end up inviting Hollande to dinner and launching into deep debate in order to convince him of the error of his ways, with consensus over at least a couple of items reached over the calvados and cheese.

Argentina: No and for three reasons: Argentines talk more aggressively than they act re. politics, there are too many people who ID themselves as Peronists that will hate CFK's style but agree on baseline substance, plus as a country they're culturally very respectful towards women.

Peru: No. Ollanta hasn't screwed up people's lives (so far). He may have ignored people who he said he'd help since coming to power and there is plenty of resentment over certain issues, but people's justice wouldn't carry to murder.

Colombia: Tough call frankly, it's the one I've been debating over more than any other. Santos may be in mortal danger in the unfettered company of far-lefties or far-righties there, but I'd guess the potential of his murder would first be used as some sort of bargaining chip in a wider deal (or non-deal). There's an element of cold and calculated in this one, unlikely to be an instant, hot-blooded killing.

The USA: Yes. A stereotyped collective negro lynch mob death probably wouldn't happen, but the chances that one nutbar or a group of them consider it their patriotic duty to remove a powerful black democrat from the face of the planet are very high. The free availability of nasty weapons, the window of opportunity and the archetype individualistic, fractured society of self-importance all point in the same direction.

Mexico: Yes. Plonk Peña Nieto in front of the narco groups that he's been trying to dismantle and the only debate would be the way in which he's to die, including the amount of pre-death pain his executioner would inflict just for fun.

Venezuela: Yes. Maduro would be dead in less than a minute.

*Mrs Queen of Windsor doesn't count

A photoshow from La Puya, Guatemala, yesterday


Women with bibles versus men with batons, as Kappes Cassiday and Associates use hired police thugs to break through the peaceful protest lines and deliver a digger to the El Tambor gold project.

5/23/14

Happening right now at the El Tambor gold project, Guatemala

In order to dislodge the long-standing but totally non-violent and peaceful protest, police are firing on the 'La Puya' protesters at the El Tambor gold project in Guatemala, owned by US company Kappes, Cassiday & Associates.

Bullets for peace, or progress, or something. I forget which excuse is used for which mine protest suppression in Guatemala. Anyway, blood.

This banner from Guatemala this evening explains today's violent moves that have evicted the Puya protesters:


Translation: Poor people with uniforms hitting poor people with hunger for the benefit of rich people without uniforms or hunger.

What happened this afternoon in Guatemala is a disgrace for the whole mining industry.

UPDATE: And here's a photo from La Puya / El Tambor today, specially dedicated to Kappes Cassiday Associates (KCA), concession holders of El Tambor and their non-violent eviction methods.


Tell me guys, did she slip and fall over or something? And here's another one KCA can frame and proudly display on its reception wall or in the corporate presentation. Y'know, the space mining companies always give to the happy smiling kids snap.



Oh, aren't those local kids happy to see you there...so cute.

UPDATE 2: A Guat press report including video footage of today's pleasant little gathering, right here. 

This is the vid







Chile's Cochilco copper beancounter people now do their weekly copper market report in English

Get this week's right here. Those of you who follow the copper market closely would be smart to read this report on a weekly basis. I've done so for a few years in Spanish and consideration of its datasets helps a lot in understanding the ebbs and flows. Now it's in English, more people can diretcly benefit. Recommended link and if you sign up for the e-mail alert service while you're over there (all gratis) you'll get a nudge each week as the new edition comes out.

I spy with my little eye, something beginning with "O"

-Is it an orange?
-No
-Is it an orang utan?
-No
-Is it an orebody?
-No
-Is it an ocelot?
-YES!

Here's the news from Augusta Resource Corp (AZC) (AZC.to) last night:

TORONTO, May 22, 2014 /CNW/ - Augusta Resource Corporation (TSX and NYSE MKT: AZC) ("Augusta" or the "Company") provides a permitting update on its Rosemont Copper project located in Arizona, USA. 
The Company has become aware of a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (US FWS) letter that was submitted to the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) summarizing their rationale for re-initiation of consultation, which includes the recent sighting of an ocelot in the general study area.  The animal was photographed by a remote camera some distance south of the project site.  The USFS is currently evaluating the issues raised in the letter and, as the action agency, will decide whether further consultation is necessary. 
.... 
Commented Gil Clausen, Augusta's president and CEO, "While we are disappointed with any delay, our expectation is that these final issues will be handled in a timely, expeditious manner."
And in other news, Red Kite harvests another $175k from its sponsorship of this one. Throw it on the pile, guys...

Now, if HBM let its bid drop next Tuesday, that would be funny. Though on reflection it's extremely unlikely, Garofalo has too much reputation and personal ego riding on this call.

Hochschild (HOC.L) offers 4.1m shares of Gold Resource Corp (GORO) to the market

Here's the SEC filing, the S-3 filed this morning.

Once HOC has dumped this chunk it'll be left with a sliver under 2.18m shares of the thing, which is 4.0% of shares out and will therefore not have to tell the world when it dumps the rest. 


5/22/14

The Friday OT on Thursday: Green Day; Chump + Longview

You can keep the hits from Dookie and all other albums, these two have always been my favourite Green Day tracks track and always will. Great lyrics, great musicianship, fizzing energy.



And I can't wait until Friday to share them. Volume at eleven for this one, ladies and gentlemen.

bite my lip and close my eyes, take me away to paradise

Updating the Bitcoin / Gold ratio

Bitcoin's putting in a bit of a move against gold (proxy used GLD) in the last couple of days.

Your goldbug guru might not be an idiot if...

...a geopolitical event occurs and your guru says that it's a negative for gold bullion.

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In other words, they're idiots.

A flash update...

...has been sent to subscribers, pre-bell Thursday morning. Belt'n'braces post complete.

5/21/14

Acquainted with the Night, by Robert Frost (1928)


I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain -- and back in rain.
I have outwalked the furthest city light.

I have looked down the saddest city lane.
I have passed by the watchman on his beat
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.

I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
When far away an interrupted cry
Came over houses from another street,

But not to call me back or say good-bye;
And further still at an unearthly height,
A luminary clock against the sky

Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.
I have been one acquainted with the night.


Focus Ventures (FCV.v) gets cash the easy way

Kind reader, do you too remember back in the good ol' days when juniors used to run placements, then have news that the market liked, then were able to exercise the warrants from the placement because the stock price had gone up sufficiently, thereby raising more cash without shedding a tear? My oh Lordy Lord and my, it seems like a long time ago but it still happens from time to time in this modern era of junior love, too. Here's the Focus Ventures (FCV.v) NR today and here's the business end of the message:
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - May 21, 2014) - Focus Ventures Ltd. (TSX VENTURE:FCV) announces the acceleration of the expiry date of warrants (the "Warrants") previously issued by the Company in connection with its private placement financing completed on November 28, 2013.  
Effective as of the market close on May 20, 2014, the closing price of the Company's common shares on the TSX Venture Exchange has been greater than $0.25 for at least 10 consecutive trading days. In accordance with the terms thereof, 12,670,800 Warrants exercisable at $0.20 per share and 284,579 Warrants exercisable at $0.16 per share will now expire on June 23, 2014, being 30 days after two trading days following the date of this release and the concurrent notification of the acceleration sent by the Company to the Warrant holders. 

A Flash update...

...has just been sent to subscribers, just after 7am local time (that's 8am Toronto, btw) on this sunny and crisp autumnal Wednesday morning. It contains thoughts about a couple of companies that want to get together and become one company. Do you cry at weddings too?

5/20/14

Oscar Zuluaga, pants on fire

The big problem that Colombian presidential candidate Oscar Zuluaga has in the run up to election day Sunday isn't that he's been caught using illegal wiretapping to gain advantage. That's the small problem, the big problem is that he's been caught flat out lying about it all because he denied all knowledge and repeated his "no no no" message right up to the point when the video of him doing exactly what he denied doing was released in Colombia. Hilarity ensued.

Here's the latest on the fallout from it all at Colombia Reports, with the person who filmed Zuluaga now coming forward to tell his story and explain why he decided to record the whole thing. And here's how it starts:
An ex-campaign worker for presidential candidate Oscar Ivan Zuluaga who filmed his former boss being briefed on allegedly illegally gained information claimed on Monday that he had been hired as part of a “cyber attack” team against President Juan Manuel Santos.

China: Miner Found Alive After 17 Years Underground UPDATE: Sadly a hoax

Yes, you read that right. If this is true it's mindblowing, you're going to have to read it.

The link to the story is here, don't hang around IKN a second longer.

UPDATE: Oh well, looks like a hoax. Please ignore. In fact I've decided to remove the link, because there's no point in reading it and I freely admit to being taken in. However I'll leave this post up as proof of my occasional gullibility.  Errare humanum est, perseverare diabolicum.

Message for Canada: It is your civic duty and moral obligation to fund Ivanhoe Mines (IVN.to) to the tune of 150m loonies, because if not...

...you know what will happen, don't you?

Friedland will complain and moan. 

And you have no reason to complain or moan.


Do you?

The 11th Peru Gold Symposium

Today marks the start of Peru's "International Gold and Silver Symposium" event, now in its 11th incarnation, which is basically a three day (read 'two night') bunfest for the gold industry. Local and international mining bigwigs talk, round tables are rounded, politicians are listened to with respect, pisco sours are quaffed.

However, this humble scribe wonders whether anyone at the bash will tackle the real elephant in the room rather than go for the "oh aren't we wonderful" platitudes of always. As noted yesterday, Peru's gold mining industry is in sharp decline and at least part of the blame must be taken by the people who haven't managed to add new mines, letting production figures decay as a result. 

Sinchao: A play in infinite acts

Act One
Junior Mining Company: We have this great new project to work. It's called Sinchao
Market: What about the community relations there?
Junior Mining Company: Well we know they're a bit difficult, but there's plenty of support too and we're sure there's a win-win deal possible. And the rocks are great!
Market: Great! And yes, those rocks are great! Good luck!

Act Two
Junior Mining Company: Hi, we'd love to make Sinchao work for everybody.
Community: We don't want you here. Go away.
Junior Mining Company: Well, we understand that you've not had the best of relationships with previous companies, but...
Community: We don't want you here. Go away.
Junior Mining Company: Ok fine but if you'd just...
Community: We don't want you here. Go away.
Junior Mining Company: But...
Community: We don't want you here. Go away.
Junior Mining Company: But...
Community: We don't want you here. Go away.
Junior Mining Company: But...
Community: We don't want you here. Go away.
Junior Mining Company: But...
Community: We don't want you here. Go away.

Act Three
Market: So how's it going with Sinchao, guys?
Junior Mining Company: Well the rocks are great!
Market: Yeah, the rocks are great!
Junior Mining Company: But the community, they won't listen to reason! We want to help them, but they don't want our help! It's bizarre.
Market: What seems to be the problem?
Junior Mining Company: It's all a bit complicated but it's not our fault you know! It's all about (mentions left wing politicians, backwards community leaders, corruption, a few hints about drug money)
Market: Hmmm, well do you think it can be fixed?
Junior Mining Company: Oh yes, we have this great community relations team working there. A matter of time, I'd say. And the rocks are great!
Market: Yes, the rocks are great.

Act Four
Junior Mining Company: Hi!
Other Mining Company: Hi!
Junior Mining Company: We have this really cool project, but we're running out of cash. Would you like to join us and help?
Other Mining Company: Well that's great, because we have cash but we don't have any cool projects. 
Junior Mining Company: Cool! What shall we call ourselves?
Other Mining Company: Let's call ourselves "New Junior Mining Company".

Act Five
New Junior Mining Company: We have this great new project to work. It used to be called Sinchao but we've decided that it's a great idea to change its name! So it's now called Antakori!
Market: Great name!
New Junior Mining Company: Thanks!
Market: What about the community relations there?
Junior Mining Company: Well, we know they're a bit difficult, but there's plenty of support too and we're sure there's a win-win deal possible. And the rocks are great!
Market: Great! And yes, those rocks are great! Good luck!

Act Six
New Junior Mining Company: Hi, we'd love to make Antakori work for everybody.
Community: We don't want you here. Go away.
New Junior Mining Company: Well, we understand that you've not had the best of relationships with previous companies, but...
Community: We don't want you here. Go away.
New Junior Mining Company: Ok fine but if you'd just...
Community: We don't want you here. Go away.
New Junior Mining Company: But...
Community: We don't want you here. Go away.
New Junior Mining Company: But...
Community: We don't want you here. Go away.
New Junior Mining Company: But...
Community: We don't want you here. Go away.
New Junior Mining Company: But...
Community: We don't want you here. Go away.

Act Seven
Market: So how's it going with Antakori, guys?
New Junior Mining Company: Well the rocks are great!
Market: Yeah, the rocks are great!
New Junior Mining Company: But the community, they won't listen to reason! We want to help them, but they don't want our help! It's bizarre.
Market: What seems to be the problem?
New Junior Mining Company: It's all a bit complicated but it's not our fault you know! It's all about (mentions left wing politicians, backwards community leaders, corruption, a few hints about drug money)
Market: Hmmm, well do you think it can be fixed?
New Junior Mining Company: Oh yes, we have this great community relations team working there. A matter of time, I'd say. and the rocks are great!
Market: Yup, the rocks are great

Act Eight
New Junior Mining Company: Hi!
Yet Another Mining Company: Hi!
New Junior Mining Company: We have this really cool project, but we're running out of cash. Would you like to join us and help?
Yet Another Mining Company: Well that's great, because we have cash but we don't have any cool projects. 
New Junior Mining Company: Cool! What shall we call ourselves?
Yet Another Mining Company: Let's call ourselves "The New New Junior Mining Company".

Act Nine
(etc)

Chart of the day is...

...Focus Ventures (FCV.v), year to date*:



It's been quite positive so far compared with most other junior exploration companies, hasn't it? There may be a reason for that.


*pre-opening bell Tuesday May 20th

5/19/14

Peru's gold mining industry is in steep decline

It's not merely a decline any longer, as Peru's second biggest export (after copper) is going downhill fast and here are the charts to prove the point.

First up, this shows monthly production since 2005:


Second, you take those production figures, factor in the average monthly London Fix price (available on kitco) and you get the dollar export value for gold each month:


This last chart shows how the year-over-year percentage change for Peru's monthly gold revenues (i.e. that chart we just saw above) has been doing in the key period since 2010:


And that's a big drop. By looking at the three charts, the problem becomes clear enough. Chart one shows the gradual decline in production, which means not nearly enough new mines coming on line to replace those that are now depleting fast (Yanacocha, Pierina, Lagunas Norte etc). As chart two shows, this wasn't noticed by the world in the 2009-2012 period thanks to the rise in gold prices, the cracks were duly papered over and all was hunkydory. But now that gold prices have dropped, the lack of development in production ounce terms is hitting home. 

Or to sum all that up in a neat and simple manner:
1) Peru got lucky
2) Peru rode its luck
3) Its luck ran out.
So much for the economic miracle.

And here comes another cryptic message post

No good deed goes unpunished.

Just checking on how McEwen Mining (MUX) (MUX.to) is doing....

...since Ian Ball "was resigned" by Robbie Mac on May 13th:



That well?

News from Chile: Don't drink and revenge-burn your man's clothing

Hot news coming in via Setty. Original link here, translation your humble scribe:

Woman Burns Down Her House in Osorno After Setting 

Fire to Husband's Clothes in Fit of Jealousy 
  • The house where the blaze started was completely destroyed
  • Two adults and two children have been left homeless after the blaze. 
A 29 year old woman confessed to having caused the blaze in her house, located in Villa Lololhue de Osorno, after burning her husband's clothes on a bed after drinking alcohol and motivated by jealousy. 
The woman could not control the flames that broke out around 10pm on Sunday evening and they spread throughout the house, destroying it completely and also damaging the neighbouring house, reports SoyChile. 
Two adults and two children have been left homeless due to the blaze. 
Meanwhile, the woman was arrested after her confession and this Monday will be remanded at the local courtroom.




John Kerry breaks U.S. neutrality and endorses Juan Manuel Santos for this weekend's Colombia Presidential election

Via WOLA, here's the link to the U.S State Dept announcement and here's the full text:

The United States welcomes the announcement of further progress in efforts to achieve the peace the Colombian people deserve through negotiations. 
Resolving the question of narcotics production and trafficking is central to achieving that peace. We congratulate president Santos and the Colombian government for this advance. 
The FARC has long been deeply involved in, and profited from, cocaine production and transshipment. Reducing cocaine trafficking, including through eradication and interdiction, helped establish the conditions for the peace process now underway. 
In making this announcement, Colombian government officials underlined the importance of maintaining both manual and aerial eradication capabilities. 
As this process moves forward, we will engage with our Colombian partners on this important topic.
OK, so it doesn't say outright "We want Juanma and not Uribe's lapdog", but the timing and the message is plain enough. 

Dear Israel: If you truly want to strengthen ties with Latin America...

...try spelling the names of the countries correctly:

Israel to strengthen ties with Latin America 
      By TOVAH LAZAROFF                                                                   05/18/2014 20:34 
In move to decrease Israeli dependency on Europe, government approves 3-year, NIS 50 million plan to strengthen economic ties with Costa Rica, Columbia, Mexico, Chile and Peru. 
The government on Sunday approved a three-year NIS 50 million plan to strengthen its economic ties with at least five Latin American countries, meant to help Israel decrease its dependency on Europe as the primary trading partner. 
The plan focuses on Costa Rica and the four countries that make up the Pacific Alliance – Columbia, Mexico, Chile and Peru. 
These five countries have a combined GDP of over $3 trillion and constitute 40 percent of Latin America’s GDP, according to the Prime Minister’s Office. 
“We are making a continues here

Dumbasses

Chart of the day is...

...gold, dailies:



Bet one for bad two for good, Charlie Babbitt.

The IKN Weekly, out now



IKN262 has just been sent to subscribers. Learn all about the driver of car 262 right here, guy named Clint McHugh.

5/18/14

Campeón

Colombia's Presidential elections, now one week away

It's been a very dirty campaign and there's now just a week to go before the first round vote. For those of you who want to follow the lead-up to the big day and get wise on the very negative campaigns of the main candidates, but want it in English, you'll do well to tune into Colombia Reports this week.

CR's editor has also just put up this op-ed that rounds up events to date; well written and covering all the bases, it's worth your time.

Honey Badger (TUF.v) pump and dump

Here's a warning for greenhorn investors. If you've had this pile of stupidity put in front of you re. Honey Badger Exploration (TUF.v) (honey badger don't care, he don't give a shit) in the last couple of days be aware that:

1) Mining Marketwatch (the website in question) is one of those that is paid by companies for promotion. Very simply, junior mining company writes a cheque, the people behind the website write a puff piece, you get fed bullshit.

2) It's used by the total crud end of the junior market, the ones that can't get a good word said about them after promoting worthless stories and moose pastures for years on end and crushing shareholder's equity value to pieces in the process. All the companies, every single one of them, that pay Mining Marketwatch to write pump stories are a complete waste of time and money. I mean these are the guys that pump Metanor (MTO.v) to you non-stop, fercryinoutloud.

3) If you want to know some basic truths about Honey Badger Don't Care (TUF.v), things that somehow slipped the mind of the person who wrote up that bullshit linked above, check this March 2014 post out.

Avoid this stock like the plague, along with anything else promo'd by the scam merchants at Mining Marketwatch. Message ends.



Peru Presidential Polling: Ollanta's new low, 22%

Peru's benchmark pollster Ipsos is out with its May 2014 monthly approval snapshot today and the news isn't good for the country's President:


At 22% it's a new low for his administration and as that chart shows, bar February 2014 when Peru got a whole chunk of the Pacific Ocean handed to it it's been downhill for quite some time.

Nobody loves him. Shed a tear. Not.