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Name that view

Answers on a postcard to the usual address.


Argentina: Chubut considers a referendum (from IKN389)

Here's one small section of this week's edition of The IKN Weekly, IKN389, out last Sunday:

Argentina: Chubut considers a referendum

It started with the head of the Chubut provincial cabinet of regional ministers, one Victor Cisterna, saying that the Chubut government was considering holding a referendum on mining activity in the province. It only took a day before English language headlines were confidently proclaiming “Chubut To Vote On Open Pit Mining” (15) and the whole message of “hey look, even Chubut is going to allow mining soon” was in the air, promoted by “Them What Know Stuff” wearing suits in Toronto and Vancouver.

These people are very stupid (about Argentina). Things to consider:

1)      Whether the referendum will happen at all. After all, Chubut’s government promised one for September 2015, that got neatly forgotten.

2)      When any referendum would happen. If they decide to call such a vote, the obvious date would be at the same time as the regional mid-term elections of late 2017 (in fact that date was mentioned by Señor Cisterna as the possible frame).

3)      Whether it would be a binding vote. It’s one thing to have a referendum, quite another to act on its results. And for me, even if the vote goes ahead and Yes wins this is a classic looking “bicycle” situation (as they say in Argentina), where the slang verb bicicletear is used to denote indefinite delaying tactics, kicking can down the road etc.

4)      What the result would be. As the Chubut constitution clearly states that there can only be one law for the whole province on any given matter, the people most interested in the Yes result, those in the Central Meseta region close to Pan American Silver’s ( (PAAS) Navidad project, will have to convince those in the very anti-mining West Cordillera region and the ambivalent and higher populated East Atlantic coastal region that mining’s a good thing. And the central population is very sparse.

5)      Why governor Mario Das Neves would call such a vote. He’s known as anti-mining, he’s also under pressure from the national government to show willing for the national cause. This could be a situation in which he won’t call a referendum unless he feels confident the result will be a No.

People on the outside looking in seem to be convinced that news of a referendum, even a possible referendum, in Chubut is a positive development for the mining industry of Argentina and for the Navidad project (even Yamana’s Suyai at a pinch). They’re wrong. This is just another layer of bullshit being added to the pile. Forget Chubut as a mining destination, just like PAAS should have done before buying their white elephant.


On The Road

Posting will be somewhere between light and non-existent on this humble corner of cyberspace until Friday. For secret reasons.


Simon Ridgway is not a twat

Because if you call him a twat he gets all sensitive and defensive. Which makes him a double twat, the delicate flower.

Scumbag Frank Giustra just played Daniel Ameduri for the greenhorn patsy he is

Everybody's laughing at you, Dannyboy.

Management at Copper Mountain and K92, please take note

MarketWatch this morning runs "LUV your stock: Why ticker symbols matter", here's an excerpt:
"...researchers asked undergraduate business students at the University of Central Florida to rate three-letter ticker symbols from 1,959 publicly traded companies based on how much they liked them and how easy they were to pronounce. The paper found that valuations of shares with symbols the students liked.... were about 1.3 percentage points higher than valuations of those with handles rated less favorably..." continues here

The people behind the ticker symbol decisions for Copper Mountain (CUM) and "Derek and Clive" K92 Mining (KNT) need their heads examining. Mind you, I still rue the day now defunct junior Polar Star got in new management and changed its ticker to PSR. Previously it had been POS, which was simply perfect.

Chart of the day is...

...the Kitco live gold chart, which you can follow here if you want:

Somebody in New York decided they wanted to own some gold.

The Guardian picks up the story of the death of Brazil environment officer Luiz Alberto Araújo

This is the assassination, most a hit job ordered by illegal loggers, that IKN picked up on at the time of the killing back on October 13th (here and here). It's good to see it getting some wider coverage and here's an extract from the Graun note:

More than 150 environmental activists have been killed in Brazil since 2012, with studies showing the country accounts for half the global toll of such murders.
Many of those killed, including the high-profile cases of Chico Mendes, Dorothy Stang, and Zé Claudio Ribeiro da Silva, were campaigners. But Araújo was a government official, and advocates say his murder is a rare and worrying development.

“The killing of Luiz Alberto Araújo marks a new low in the war waged against environmentalists in the Brazilian Amazon,” said Billy Kyte, campaign leader at the NGO Global Witness. “It sends a message that no one is untouchable.


The IKN Weekly, out now

IKN389 has just been sent to subscribers. It has words, numbers and charts with both words and numbers. And Wilfred Owen. And Douglas Adams.

Global Mining Observer interviews David Garofalo of Goldcorp (GG)

Even by GMO's high standards this is one humdinger of an interview. The intrepid AW makes it to Vancouver and sits down with Garofalo, head cheese of Goldcorp (GG) and gets a whole stack of inside track on how the company's new boss sees his company's direction.

Go read Breakfast in Vancouver with David Garofalo. As for all you other mining bosses out there, you too would look a whole lot better in the eyes of the investment public if you did this kind of Q&A, instead of the normal fawning BS ego-massage stuff you all seem to prefer. Applause due to Garofalo.


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

Third Place: "The junior mining shakedown, as explained in the year 1377". I'm glad this one just managed to squeeze into the frame as it's by far my favourite thing of the week. What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.

Second Place: "Avino (ASM.v) (ASM) 3q16 production". A short post with just a single chart, but clearly on a company around which people are sniffing. There's more details on ASM's quarter of production and other things in the Weekly out tomorrow, subbers.

First Place: "Gary Tanashian...". I think this one became the most viewed post of the week because Gary linked back to it from his place (and he gets a lot of hits, quite right too). But for whatever reason it's a fitting top spot, he's been calling the market very well recently as this shout-out post documented. You really should subscribe to his weekly missive, I read it every week without fail because it's excellent (though for full disclosure I don't pay, we do barter on each others' work...and I get the better end of that deal).


Hey, I wonder why Metanor (MTO.v) left it until late on a Friday to file its annuals?

Is it the 75m shares added in the year?
Is it the $0.78m negative working cap?

Or is it this, the accountancy violin concerto?

During the quarter ended June 30, 2016, the operating income totaled $6,162,768 compared to a loss of $1,503,017 in 2015. The revenue, cost of sales and gross loss totaled $15,492,036, $15,636,711 and $144,675 respectively compared to $13,989,447, $14,424,851 and $435,404 in 2015. This increase of $7,665,785 is mainly explained by the reversal of an impairment charge on exploration and evaluation assets of $10,586,490 and the impairment of property, plant and equipment of $3,050,000.

The paid pumpers who'll shove this in your face on Monday, example Jay Taylor and Thibault Laputain*, will skip over the bullshit asset re-rating and point to a non-existent paper profit. The single worst gold mining company in Canada, anyone owning this needs specialist psychiatric help. Eric Sprott and Nolan Watson, step forward.

*i think that's how you spell it :-)