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2/28/15

The great PDAC theme tune debate

On a couple of completely separate mail exchanges with trusted pals, a gentle debate as to what would be a good theme tune for PDAC has developed during the week. As I'm the only one among them with the totally unfair advantage of running a public blog, today IKN steals a march on them all and promotes its choice via this 41 second video:


If you've never seen this before it's fun to watch it the first time with the sound off, then turn it up and watch a second time. But do make sure it's not in range of sensitive ears when the sound's up (kids, your boss, etc).

It's now four months and seven days since the Doug Casey "Market To Crash NOW" call

On October 21st 2014 Casey Research published its emergency alert report, in which we were told (and we quote)...

"Now is the time to take action. Not in the next few months or even in the next few weeks—Right now."
The integral parts of the plan were the following:

1) Expect the broad markets to crash
2) Own gold as insurance
3) Go short the regional banks ETF (KRE)
4) Go short on the Dow Trannies ETF (IYT)

And here's how those four are doing in the time elapsed:


1) The broad market hasn't collapsed. In fact it's reached new all-time highs.
2) Gold is three percent lower.
3) Shorting the regional banks? They're up 7%, bad idea.
4) Shorting the Dow Trannies? Ditto.

Remember this when you bump into Doug and his band of rip-off merchants at PDAC, wontcha?

UPDATE: Gary over at Biiwii adds a comment:
"[W]hat IKN doesn’t fail to understand is that these headline calls make some people emotional and get them in search of a remedy for that emotion, which the headline maker just happens to have handy"
Agreed. As IKN put it in this post dated September 2014, one month before his latest "Crash Now!" stupidity, "...the sideshow owners, snake oil salesmen and dream peddlers such as Doug Casey exist as a barrier to wealth. He's just another parasite getting rich off your fears by telling you what you want to hear and charging you money for the privilege".

2/27/15

The Friday OT: Todd Snider; Statistician's Blues

Dedicated to the brokerage analyst community:

It's just possible that Corvus Gold (KOR.v) has some news coming out soon

It's International Tower Hill deja vu all over again.



It's what happens when people's expert DD consists of, "But the company said it in the corporate presentation so it must be true". How they fall for the same BS time after time is beyond me.

UPDATE one hour before the close: Oh what weird and coincidental timing.

Another copper market rip-off, but this time with a historical difference

I've been sent this picture by a couple of my fave mailpals this week and one of them sent over the translation, too. I don't know where they got it from, but it's definitely cool enough to share with the esteemed IKN audience so here we go.


Looks like the mining industry hasn’t changed in, oh 3765 years. Apparently, the translated cuneiform says:

Tell Ea-nasir: Nanni sends the following message:
When you came, you said to me as follows : "I will give Gimil-Sin (when he comes) fine quality copper ingots." You left then but you did not do what you promised me. You put ingots which were not good before my messenger (Sit-Sin) and said: "If you want to take them, take them; if you do not want to take them, go away!"
What do you take me for, that you treat somebody like me with such contempt? I have sent as messengers gentlemen like ourselves to collect the bag with my money (deposited with you) but you have treated me with contempt by sending them back to me empty-handed several times, and that through enemy territory. Is there anyone among the merchants who trade with Telmun who has treated me in this way? You alone treat my messenger with contempt! On account of that one (trifling) mina of silver which I owe(?) you, you feel free to speak in such a way, while I have given to the palace on your behalf 1,080 pounds of copper, and umi-abum has likewise given 1,080 pounds of copper, apart from what we both have had written on a sealed tablet to be kept in the temple of Samas.
How have you treated me for that copper? You have withheld my money bag from me in enemy territory; it is now up to you to restore (my money) to me in full.
Take cognizance that (from now on) I will not accept here any copper from you that is not of fine quality. I shall (from now on) select and take the ingots individually in my own yard, and I shall exercise against you my right of rejection because you have treated me with contempt.

Chart of the day is...

...zinc, 12 months:




Trends and all that.

2/26/15

Nisman's prosecution case against President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner is thrown out

The news from Argentina today is that the case prepared by now dead prosecutor Alberto Nisman against President CFK and members of her government has been thrown out by a judge, who stated there wasn't a shred of solid evidence worthy of bringing the case to court.

In light of today's development, this humble corner of cyberspace, which has been respectfully quiet while all sorts of conspiracy theories have been bandied about the intewebs, repeats its "logical and cogent suicide thesis for Alberto Nisman" that dates from one month ago, Jan 25th:

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • There was some sort of emergency that got him to cut short his vacation with his daughter in Europe, hand over her charge to his ex-wife and bring him quickly back to Argentina in the days before his death.
  • He was due to give evidence to support his accusations against the CFK government the day after his death, but his dossier had already been deposed and opened to authorities and judiciary (its contents are now being revealed, striptease-style, to the general public). As soon as it was available (three or four days before his death) there was immediate pushback from both pro-government and (relatively) neutral bodies who spotted false information and obvious contradictions in his version of events. One that's been widely reported is how Nisman claimed he had been given key evidence about supposed intelligence officers, but in fact (and in proven fact now) those people are not and have never been members of the intelligence services.
  • So, let us imagine you have a less than perfect personal life. Let's also imagine you've been working under great pressure, in terms of workload and of psychological pressure from government enemies, for two years on a case you think shows major corruption in your current government (up to and including the President of your country). Let's imagine that things come to a head, you complete your work, you're satisfied with your job done, you hand in this national-level important case file...and then suddenly the whole thing blows up in your face because one of the most basic elements on which you based your argument is shown, with very little room for error, to be false. That, ladies and gentlemen, is years of work down the drain.
  • And on top of that, in one day's time you have to go to the nation's Congress, stand up and defend your case and reiterate your accusations when you already know that the ground has been taken from under your feet and when the opponents ask you about the contradictions, you're going to flounder and fail in front of them. And your personal life is a mess.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx



I'm still not saying the above Is. What. Happened. But it still fits, which is a lot more than you can say about the vast majority of the evidence-free conspiracy theories around Nisman's death.

Banksy, Gaza, Kitten

On this link are pictures of four new pieces of work done by Banksy in Gaza. And this...



...ranks up with his best ever. Jeff Koons eat your heart out.

Gary T getting a little more bullish on gold, it seems

Gary over at Biiwii isn't your average chartist, that's because he has a brain and knows how to use it. He's not your permabull rah-rah goldbug and will give a bearish message straight up and undiluted if he sees it that way. He's not afraid of calling gold higher either, so put those together and he's a fine example of the type of attitude that fanboys and cheerleader gurus, both bear and bull, cannot handle. In short he's smart and honest, so when he starts getting warmer about gold's chances on the charts I pay close attention.

Check out his post today, "Okay gold bugs, the time is now". Well worth your eyeballs this morning.

Great Panther (GPL) (GPR.to) to buy Cangold (CLD.v): Err, call me stupid but...

...I'm sure there are laws against this kind of thing.

1) Great Panther is a CAD$0.75 stock.
2) Cangold (CLD.v) is a 5c stock. Not only that but it's currently at its lowest price ever.
3) That makes 1 GPR share worth 15 CLD shares, if my pocket calculator is working correctly today.
4) According to the terms of this deal, GPR issues one new share for every 20 CLD shares.
5) And here's the rub: These companies have three directors in common (yup, three; count 'em up girls and boys) 

It's tough to pick out the highlight of this NR, but I'm going to go for this phrase...
"The Letter Agreement and the Loan were reviewed and approved by special committees consisting of independent directors of both Great Panther and Cangold."
....due to the sheer brass neck of it. Independent? Fucking liars. One of the central tenets of public companies is the fiduciary duty that a board of directors must have towards its shareholders. But Kaare Foy, Robert Archer and their cronies are too busy trying to stuff their own pockets to give a rat's ass about the minor details of things like morals or rules.

UPDATE: All the above was pre-open today, now it's post close and here's how Cangold (CLD.v) traded today:


  • CLD.v is down 20% today on 1m+ volume.
  • It's also down 33% from midday yesterday (ohhh, you mean somebody knew about the deal yesterday morning and deci...nah! Surely not!)
  • And all while Great Panther (GPR.to) remained unchanged today.

Let that sink in: Big company makes a buyout offer for small company and as a result, small company drops 20%. If ever shareholders in Vancouver needed help from the BCSC for once, instead of just watching those toothless Canadian regulatory lackeys do nothing yet again while the retail investment community gets intercourse love up the anal tract from the crooks running juniors, it's today.

Copper: Happy New Year

It's the first real day of trading in China after the New Year festivities and...


...our oriental cousins are buyers.



Nevada Copper (NCU.to) drills 96 feet of tunnel at 5.9 feet per day

That's what this morning's NR...
Nevada Copper (NCU.to) drills 96 feet of tunnel at 5.9 feet per dayVANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Feb 26, 2015) - Nevada Copper Corp. (NCU.TO) ("Nevada Copper" or the "Company") is pleased to announce that it achieved a major milestone at its Pumpkin Hollow project by way of reaching the 1,900 foot main haulage level at its 24-foot diameter concrete-lined production sized shaft. continues here
...coupled with the last update on February 10th, implies. At this rate they could get this tunnel finished by March end after all. And with copper at $2.70/lb this morning, they might be able to break even on operations too. Winning.

2/25/15

Guerrero political risk update: Nyrstar news on February 18th and February 25th

On Feb 18th IKN brought you this:
Mining Company Faces Blackmail in Guerrero 
Since November 13th last year a syndicate of transport workers has been blockading the entrances to the Campo Morado mine in Guerrero, property of the Belgian mining  company Nyrstar.

And today Feb 25th, one week later, Nyrstar brings you this:
25 February 2015  Nyrstar NV ("Nyrstar" or the "Company") today announced that mining and milling activities at its Campo Morado mine located in the Mexican state of Guerrero have been temporarily suspended as a precaution due to deteriorating security in the state.

And all that to heap on top of Torex Gold (TXG.to) and its fun and games in Guerrero this year. But hey! Why not be contrarian? Why not be like Timmins Gold (TGD (TMM.to) and its bossman Bruce B? Why not buy into the Guerrero region instead of avoiding it?


Oh yeah, that why not.

I have a question about True Gold (TGM.v) at Karma

As of February 18th, True Gold (TGM.v) laid off 450 workers for a period of three months. Here's the press release that was published in French in Burkina Faso on the development on Sunday Feb 22nd. However, if you check over at the company website you'll see that the last news from TGM.v was on January 29th, at which point they were "in discussions", they were looking to resume construction and, in the words of TGM had honcho Mark O'Dea, "As soon as we can provide a definitive update on the timeline, we will".

So the question: Why did TGM.v tell the stakeholders in Burkina Faso about this, but decided not to tell the stakeholders who have invested in the company via the Canadian capital markets? I mean, isn't laying off your workers for three months kind of material? Seems to me there's more than a little mushroom politics about this.


PS: The other thing about the Burkina Faso only press release last Sunday. At the end it says...
Nous demandons respectueusement aux autorités et à toutes les parties prenantes de bien vouloir nous rencontrer dès que possible pour avancer le dialogue.
...which sure looks to me like there's been a big stoppage in the discussions recently. That's not the impression TGM.v has been giving to people outside of Burkina Faso.




Two days of First Majestic (AG) (FR.to)

On Monday morning we wrote:

Bottom line: I keep coming back to that initial reaction on seeing the news release numbers and before opening the Reg Fs: "could have been worse". It looks like the quarter when FR.to stops turning the corner and actually turned the corner instead of promising to without fully achieving it. The main concerns are 1) working cap position needs to improve as there's nothing big on the current liabilities side that can be booted forward and 2) production guidance for 2015 is a little less than I'd imagined (not mountains less, just a little), which means it'll need to mine what it mines efficiently. 
Notwithstanding gold's move under $1.2k this morning and what that does to the sector in general, the market shouldn't punish FR.to for these numbers, they're ok. If you're in, hold.

Two days later, it's 13% higher and back to where it was this time last week when those who didn't want to hold the name through earnings started their selling:

News demographics and buggy whips

During the morning trawl, I come across this report that tells us how since the (semi-disgraced?) news person Brian Williams of NBC took some sort of semi-retirement because he semi-lied, viewer figures had improved for the NBC news show under his substitute: 

NBC's viewers aren't missing Brian Williams.
Its Nightly News, with substitute anchor Lester Holt, averaged a first-place 10.1 million viewers last week, a 416,000-viewer advantage over ABC's World News with David Muir that widened slightly from the previous week, the first full week after Williams' six-month suspension, when NBC claimed a 398,000-viewer advantage. ABC averaged 9.7 million last week, while the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley, a perennial third-place finisher, netted 8.5 million.
Among the core audience of adults ages 25 to 54 that network newscasts sell to advertisers, ABC had a tiny edge last week, with 2.57 million viewers to NBC's 2.55 million, reversing the previous week's pecking order. (CBS had 2.03 million.)

Whole thing here, but read that excerpt again and take a good sniff at those numbers.

The USA has a population of 319m people.
There were a total 28.3m of viewers of the three nightly news shows.
About a quarter of those, 7.15m people, are the 25-54 range.

Bottom line: Stop caring about the Brian Williamses and whether they're liars or not right now. It's all over.

Chart of the day is...

...GLD vs GDX vs GDXJ vs SLV, 2015 year to date:



What grabs me about this chart, aside from the way the January bounce has faded and gold (GLD) is almost back to level zero on the year, is the way the majors are out-doing the juniors. You'd normally expect that the other way around, but the strong YTD performances in things such as NEM, AEm and even (whisper it softly) ABX are turning things upside down.

And that has to be about cost reductions in operations.

"Buy Allied Nevada (ANV)!!!", from the man who brought you "Buy Metanor (MTO.v)!!!"

Seriously, how much is Jay Taylor paid to promote these death spiral companies? From Stockwatch today:

Taylor says buy Allied Nevada

2015-02-24 21:04 ET - In the News

Jay Taylor, in the Feb. 13, 2015, edition of Gold, Energy & Tech Stocks, says buy Allied Nevada Gold Corp., recently $1.21. Mr. Taylor said buy four times from Feb. 17, 2009, to June 21, 2011, at prices ranging from $6.16 to $31.61. He said sell on Sept. 20, 2011, at $44.85. Assuming a $1,000 investment for each buy, selling at $44.85 yielded a profit of $11,288. He said buy again on April 17, 2013, at $10.75 and on Jan. 16, 2014, at $4.60. A $1,000 investment for each of the two buys is now worth $375. Mr. Taylor recently talked to a major Allied Nevada shareholder who is "very well connected" with its goings-on. The shareholder claimed bafflement at the company's poor share performance given its ownership of one of the largest and most economic gold mines in Nevada, Hycroft. Mr. Taylor reckons that the malaise stems from the myth that Allied Nevada took on over $500-million in debt and got nothing in return. The company is undoubtedly indebted, says Mr. Taylor, but it used the money on projects that either have provided or will provide a substantial increase in production. "There is no way the household-name majors working in Nevada are not licking their chops over Allied Nevada," Mr. Taylor concludes. He has been buying.

x

2/24/15

Barcelona is the greatest footballing team in the world and Manuel Pellegrini needs to be fired from his job immediately

I've just watched the greatest footballing team in the world beat Manchester City, current champions of arguably the most competitive league in the world, by 2-1 in Man City's own stadium due to the stupidity of the home team manager, Manuel Pellegrini.

The word 'footballing' is specifically chosen.

Football (soccer, Association Football, footy, whatever you prefer) is not chess. In chess if you put Garry Kasparov or Magnus Carlsen up against good, seasoned, club-level chess players they will beat them every time, 1,000 times in 1,000 games, without even breaking sweat. But in football as in other team games, the weaker can beat the stronger. It won't happen very often, over time the cream rises to the top, but in individual games the "shock" can happen. Bradford City can beat Chelsea, Greece can win the European Championship, The Faroe Islands can beat Greece. The list of shock results is long and some of the upset games are legendary in their own rights. A good thing too.

The anatomy of a shock result is part of this equation. Sometimes the weaker team will rise to the occasion while the supposed stronger team takes its opponents for granted. Sometimes plain luck is involved. But in most cases the way a weaker team will beat a stronger one is by avoiding a straight fight, by setting its game to play around the better team, or to draw them in and try to beat them using swift counter-attack. The strategic methods are tried and tested and you don't have to look far in the past for a very good example, as the modest Malaga beat Barcelona 1-0 in Barcelona just last weekend by defending well and making the most of their only chance of the game (that came from a defensive mistake by Barcelona). 

Which brings us to why Manchester City's manager, Manuel Pellegrini, deserves the sack at the end of this season. In the first 45 minutes of the game today Pellegrini set his team to play toe-to-toe straight football against Barcelona. Why he did so is up for debate but the strategy was clear from the first couple of minutes and for me his position had all the look of misplaced arrogance: "We're the home team, we're the English Premier League champions, we're going to run this football match, we'll meet you on equal terms and may the best footballing side win", was the proposal of Manchester City in the first 45 minutes of today's Champion's League game. For his own sweet reasons he decided that his Man City was at the same footballing level as Barcelona and should play them on a equal footing, rather than trying the various methods or tactics that exist to play around a superior team. 

The result of this strategic decision was that Barcelona wiped the floor with Manchester City in the first half. It took Barcelona a couple of minutes to work out what was going on, but once they'd clicked that City had decided to play a straight, head-to-head footballing quality competition with them it was like watching kids on Christmas morning faced with a tower of gift-wrapped presents. The most talented team in the world were given free rein and City was played off their own very expensive park by Barsa; it wasn't even close.

The second 45 minutes were better for City. They came out with different tactics, scored a goal, rode their luck, Lionel Messi inexplicably missed a penalty (apart from that last minute event he was sensationally good) and it finished 2-1. Those are the parts of football that can be lumped under the general 'luck' category, but ultimately Man City and Manuel Pellegrini got away with a mere one goal defeat because during the break they swallowed their collective pride, recognized their collective footballing inferiority and changed strategy to play around Barcelona.

Barcelona is led by Lionel Messi but it's much more than just Messi, when on form there are no weak links. But rare are the moments when their opposition will let them play the way they can play this team game, when FC Barcelona can show its maximum footballing expression. Manchester City's manager, for 45 minutes this evening, was stupid enough to let them do just that. If he hadn't realized how stupid that was at the break it would have finished 5-0 or 6-0 so at least he's capable of seeing the error of his ways, but when you're paid X millions of dollars to be the cream of the world's football managerial crop you don't make the basic dumbass error Pellegrini made before the start of tonight's match.

This is why it's such a pleasure watching the current Barcelona, the Messi Barsa. Teams that elevate sport to levels that can touch art come once every semi-never, enjoy them while they last.

How technical analysis on the price of gold works

Gold TA works, it really does. It's just that it doesn't quite work the way most people think it does:
  • First you get "Gold has to hold the important U$1,200/oz level" from the technical analysts.
  • Then gold goes under U$1,200/oz, worrying the chartists.
  • Then gold goes under $1,198/oz. Ditto.
  • Then it spikes down a few dollars and that does it, they're shaken out of the metal by their chart readings and general neuroses.
  • And once that's all done gold moves back up and over U$1,200/oz so that we normal people who buy when herds sell benefit from the TA dumbasses.


Keep them charts coming, guys. Keep 'em coming.

PS: Jabba the Hutt? You bet.


Gimme Shelter

My earworm this morning. Not a bad one at all.


And once you've done with that, check this out because it'll blow your socks off. The three minute clip of Merry Clayton from the documentary '20 Feet From Stardom', about backing singers for famous singers and bands. The best bit of the documentary by far, it features Merry (and Mick) giving a little background on how the track was laid down and then, oh wow, the spine-chilling Merry Clayton part on its own. 


If you haven't seen this, see this today.

Regarding Starcore International (SAM.to)

Let us be clear as a church steeple bell ringing out over a village green on a crisp winter's morning about this disclosure: I'm long Starcore Intl (SAM.to), I went long after reco'ing the stock on January 10th 2015, then added some more a couple of weeks later. I'm long SAM.to because it was my idea of a good value high-risk-high-reward tinycap play, one that would do very well if gold decides to move modestly higher (it doesn't need the stupidhigh targets, $1.3k would do nicely to begin with), though I'm 100% clear about the risks in buying tinyprice juniors and you should be too. I was long before it bought the Creston assets in the disposal sale. My cost average is 12c so I sit today on the right side of the trade, I'm a happy holder and would like the stock to go higher. End of disclosure.

What with some guy called Eric Sprott buying nearly 15% of shares in a block trade last week (the news out yesterday on that) it's suddenly caught a few people's attention. Last Sunday in IKN302 we reviewed the SAM.to 2q15 production results just published and noodled on what they might mean, as well as considering the impact of the Creston purchase. We did the pretty coloured charts, chewed over this'n'that and came to a conclusion. Just before the conclusion came this, a list of positives and negatives as I see them around SAM.to today:


The negatives
  • The quarter just gone wasn’t great. It wasn’t bad, but production was on the light side and they’re not going to wow the market when the financials get printed on this one.
  • Financially speaking, at current gold prices it’s basically a breakeven company. One quarter might be a small net loss, another a small net profit, but without a significant rise in the gold price it’s going to tread water.
  • It’s small and ignored by the world.
  • If gold drops substantially, it will start returning net losses that can eat into its cash position and threaten corporate stability.

The positives

  • It’s cheap. At around $20m market cap you get a small producing gold miner that runs its operations with positive free cash flow.
  • Its balance sheet position is strong and there’s no liquidity problems as long as the gold price doesn’t fall to bits on us.
  • The recent purchase of the Creston Moly assets could become a latent winner. Come the time of a sector revival, assets such as these get revalued and SAM.to’s bargain basement purchase would look very smart indeed
  • The fact that it can tread water at current gold prices means that it’s one you can bide your time with. The risk is gold going lower, but if gold moves higher (and hey, I say it will) it will move SAM.to into significant profits, no matter if a quarter comes in light. For example, $1,300/oz gold adds at least $0.5m to revenues.
  • With this type of small producer, it only takes one quarter when mined mineralization grades go higher in a certain spot for a big production difference to happen. When that shows up so do profits and SAM.to has already shown it’s willing to share in net profits.
  • Last year’s dividend payment could be repeated, for example at July 2015 year-end. SAM.to popped higher on the news in 2014 (from ~15.5c to ~22c, a 42% upmove). With just over 151m shares out, a 1c dividend would take a managable $1.5m from treasury and in the event of better gold prices, a 2c dividend would cost $3m.

The only one of those that I might change is the "small and ignored" now that Sprott has shone his media-attention-making light on the company. But only maybe, because that effect isn't going to last for so very long. 

Bottom line: I've been dubious about Sprott's investment theories many times, particularly his bad reading of silver and what it is (and isn't) over the years. But he's got this one right and has zeroed in on a small producing gold miner that's run well, financially solid and capable of good gains. 

2/23/15

Your humble scribe finds himself in agreement with Eric Sprott...

...for a change. We're both long this tinycap now. Not only that but we're in at the same price, 12c.



He's got more than me, though

Kind of a slow day...

...for a change. Markets quiet, newsflow is Monday-ish, the juniors aren't going to give many news releases this week to laugh at (they're saving them all for "PDAC Monday" next week) and there's not even any decent hatemail arriving for my personal entertainment. I must be slipping. It all points to the only smart solution: Get out the office, take the day off, find a coffee house, read a book in the corner. Hasta mañana, damas y caballeros.

First Majestic (FR.to) (AG) 4q14 results (updated)

Right here. The bullets are...


Q4 Highlights
  • Silver equivalent production of 4.2 million ounces, representing a 24% increase compared Q4 2013.
  • Silver production of 3.1 million ounces, representing a 12% increase compared to Q4 2013.
  • All-in Sustaining costs of $14.43 per payable silver ounce, representing a significant 27% reduction compared to the prior quarter.
  • Revenues after smelting and refining costs amounted to $72.5 million, representing a 23% increase compared to Q4 2013.
  • Adjusted net earnings (non-GAAP) normalized for non-cash items was $4.2 million or $0.04 per share.
  • Cash flow from operations of $21.1 million or $0.18 per share (non-GAAP).
  • Non-cash impairment charge of $102.0 million related to certain non-current assets at specific mines resulting in a net loss of $64.6 million in Q4 2014.

$102m impairment...frankly it could have been worse.

More thoughts:
  • Working cap is tighter than I expected. They say they're addressing this, which is good because they darned well need to.
  • The more I look at the $102m write down, the less it worries me. Overall book value is now more reasonable compared to operations.
  • For the Q4 quarter's operations, revenues at $72.5m were slightly lighter than expected, cash flow was fine, but mine operating earnings was thinner than expected. The deprec/deplet/amort line item came in higher than my model (which means my model was stupid, not that FR was bad). Overall I'm ok with the Q4 operations because cash costs are obviously dropping (at last) and cash flow was strong enough. 
  • Costs guidance for 2015 is good, with AISC forecast between $13.96 and $15.48 per ounce. Then again, FR.to couldn't keep to its costs guidance in 2014. They said it'd be $15.87 to $16.69, it turned out to be $17.71.
Bottom line: I keep coming back to that initial reaction on seeing the news release numbers and before opening the Reg Fs: "could have been worse". It looks like the quarter when FR.to stops turning the corner and actually turned the corner instead of promising to without fully achieving it. The main concerns are 1) working cap position needs to improve as there's nothing big on the current liabilities side that can be booted forward and 2) production guidance for 2015 is a little less than I'd imagined (not mountains less, just a little), which means it'll need to mine what it mines efficiently. 

Notwithstanding gold's move under $1.2k this morning and what that does to the sector in general, the market shouldn't punish FR.to for these numbers, they're ok. If you're in, hold.

UPDATE 2, half an hour after the opening bell: Your humble scribe notices that the US listed stock AG was sold down at the open to U$5.27 before immediately bouncing back (currently trading at U$5.47 and 48). Without putting too fine a point on it, that's exactly why we run these pre-open snap looks at company financial reports. Opportunity knocks.








Barrick (ABX) at Lumwana

Last week as part of its year-end results announcement, Barrick (ABX) told us it was putting its Lumwana mine on care and maintenance. Today we have this from Reuters:
Feb 23 (Reuters) - Over 2,000 unionised workers at the Lumwana copper mine owned by Barrick Gold Corp. downed tools on Monday demanding an explanation of their fate when the company closes the operation, a senior government official said.

In other words, no need for the company to shut things, the workers are doing it all by themselves. 

Weird thing, this capitalism.

2/22/15

The IKN Weekly, out now



IKN302 has just been sent to subscribers. A robust blend of a pre-PDAC edition that mainly takes a look at the results of a couple of covered companies, but covers all the various bits and pieces as usual. Za vashe zdorovie.

Sunday verse: There are birds here, by Jamaal May

The reason I have The Poetry Foundation's 'Poem of the Day' feature on my RSS is that I get to read a whole range of things, some known and revisited, some that I wouldn't come across otherwise. Jamaal May (short biog here) wrote this in 2014 and it falls into the latter category. 

Yes it's poetry but don't be afraid of the word baggage there, it's a short, easily digested and thought-provoking read. A good place to put your brain on this pleasant and sunny Sunday morning.

There Are Birds Here 
There are birds here,
so many birds here
is what I was trying to say
when they said those birds were metaphors
for what is trapped
between buildings
and buildings. No.
The birds are here
to root around for bread
the girl's hands tear
and toss like confetti. No,
I don't mean the bread is torn like cotton,
I said confetti, and no
not the confetti
a tank can make of a building.
I mean the confetti
a boy can't stop smiling about
and no his smile isn't much
like a skeleton at all. And no
his neighborhood is not like a war zone.
I am trying to say
his neighborhood
is as tattered and feathered
as anything else,
as shadow pierced by sun
and light parted
by shadow-dance as anything else,
but they won't stop saying
how lovely the ruins,
how ruined the lovely
children must be in that birdless city.