start here

start here

The Daily IKN email digest, get all daily posts sent to you next day (& no ads)


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

Third Place: "thinking zinc". IKN is not the only place thinking zinc. We knew that.

Second Place: "Regarding discount rates and junior promo bullshit". I enjoyed reading the feedback on this post, too. Thanks to all who took the time, both before and after the update post.
First Place: "Hey Jordan Roy-Byrne". Hey Jordan! You're popular!


The Friday OT: Aretha Franklin; Think (from The Blues Brothers)

Can you believe this was 37 years ago? I remember listening to my local breakfast show DJ screaming and begging us all to go and see this film. I took his advice. It was good advice.

The guys order their chicken and toast, the song gets set up, then The Voice takes over for one of the most memorable scenes in the movie. And my stars, she makes it all look so easy. Youtube here.

The Alset (ION.v) scam: Ten weeks and no assay results

Only complete idiots could take this total scam of a company and its zero-qualification CEO seriously now. Which is exactly why its CEO Allan Barry spends all his week flapping his gums on Plenty of idiots to choose from over there.

The bet I lost

I bet a pal $10 that Sean Spicer wouldn't last six months as White House Press secretary. He lasted six months and two days. I lost.

Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the fandango?

UPDATE: I knew Felix Salmon would put together something readable on the new appointment today, remembering as I did their long-standing fremeny thing on several stages, including NYC and Davos. Salmon didn't disappoint, here's the link.

More sell side airbrushing bullshit, Cormark edition

After yesterday's post on the way Canaccord bullshits its own clients about its pisspoor calls and stealth downgrades of Asanko Gold (AKG), I received an excellent mail from A. Reader (requires anonymity) who points the finger at Cormark, with (utter surprise) one of the offending socks also Asanko. This exhibition of how sell side lies to its audience comes in three acts:

Act One: This morning, Cormark released its 2q17 review (plus Q3 preview) note, in which one of the charts (below) shows the performance of the producers in its coverage universe:

Act Two: But wait! In the shocking development, it turns out the above chart isn't ALL the names on the Cormark list...somehow they managed to forget three of the stocks. If you do a search and find the full list (then add some red ink) this is what you get:

Act Three: Well riddle me ree, it turns out that Cormark "forgot" to put the three worst performing stocks on that review table. If they had done, it would have looked more like this:

As A. Reader put it to me, "I wonder what their selection criteria is for name exclusions from the graph?

Tough one, eh.....


The Friday OT on a Thursday: Linkin Park; Numb

For obvious reasons. For sad reasons. From sad blogger.

A damned good piece of music, too. Youtube here.

Tahoe Resources (TAHO) ( News on the Xinca people who, according to Kevin MacArthur, do not exist

This link has the story from yesterday outside Guatemala's Constitutional Court. This one has this photo:

In short, hundreds of the Xinca people that Tahoe Resources (TAHO) ( insist do not exist turned up at the Guatemala Constitutional Court yesterday, proved by their mere presence that TAHO is plain wrong (a fact that has also been firmly established by the Guatemala Supreme Court, like it or not Ferrari Kev) and demanded that the mine be closed immediately and permanently.

Asanko Gold (AKG): Canaccord's worldbeating brass neck

Perhaps because I've been watching the scumbaggery that goes on inside the Canadian sell side world for too long, there's really not much those thieves in suits can do to leave me gape-mouthed these days. But the nefarious stunt Canaccord pulled on its own clientele this morning is an exception that proves my cynicism rule. Seriously, this one is so two-faced and deceitful I almost stood up and applauded the computer screen on finding it out. Consider the following:

Yesterday July 19th, Asanko Gold (AKG) announced its 2q17 production results and on receipt of the news, Canaccord's Rahul Paul sent a note to clients reiterating his C$5.00 target price and "Buy" rating. Here's the top box of his note:

Today, just one day later, Canaccord cut its target price price on AKG from C$5.00 to C$2.75. But Canaccord didn't do this in a specific note, it sneaked it in via a macro sector update report. In this report covering a multitude of companies, the only segment on AKG was this one (circled in red):

This is brass neck of the highest level. And when you consider the three "reasons" Canaccord gives for this massive downgrade it gets even better because numbers (2) and (3) were already known to both Canaccord and the whole world beforehand, there was no reason whatsoever to ignore them in the July 19th update (just one day before). And of the third reason, the (1) change of house gold price deck, if we check the new ratings and target changes on the whole deck of Canaccord price targets for smallcap/midcap miners there is only one that stands out:

And sticks out like the proverbial sore thumb. While all other stocks are adjusted between 0% and 17%, Asanko gets a whopping 45% drop to its target price (and wonderfully, it's still a "buy"!).

To cap it all, there are some of you who are bound to remember back in February 2017, when AKG finally came clean with its manifold problems, starting with the Nkran reserve downgrade. At that time Rahul Paul called the issue "A speed-bump, not a roadblock" and UPGRADED (!!!) AKG to buy with a $5.00 price target.

At that time AKG was a $3.90 stock. Today Nahul Paul has decided that AKG is worth $2.75. Nahul Paul will of course keep his job, because he's being a good little boy and doing exactly what corner office is telling him to do. You can expect his "downgrade to hold" on AKG about a day after it goes into bankruptcy protection.

thinking zinc

A quiet, under the radar run on the back of its deal closure.


Dear Mister Becker Boris, I am from Bhartistan...

...and I would be humbled for you to consider a most excellent investment opportunity in the beautiful country of Nigeria and its oil industry, of which I am a great expert. I am happy to await your reply at my import & export business Forbes & Manhattan, but time is limited on this special opportunity only for you.

With love in most happiness, Stan.

You think I'm joking? Think again. This link starts by telling us...

Boris Becker 'invested in Nigerian oil firms that 
plunged in value', before losing £100m fortune

...and later tells us this:
The magazine claims it has seen details of a single investment of “more than $10m” in Nigerian oil prepared for Mr Becker by Forbes & Manhattan, a Canadian investment bank and a former associate of the tennis player. Forbes & Manhattan did not reply to a request for comment.

Boris learns the hard way about the political risk of Bhartistan. My thanks to reader S for the heads up.

Discount rate feedback

Several decent mails by way of feedback on this post yesterday, 5% discount rate stupidity and all that. All mailers kept anonymous and some are just excerpts, to protect IDs of both innocent and guilty:

Some people just grouched along with me:

"Well said - there is no capital available to junior mining for 5% or 10%. My biggest issue is that the purchase price of the project is not included in the financial analysis in the 43-101. It's just a sunk cost, prior to the feasibility study, and so can be neglected in the NPV and  AISC calcs. Its no wonder that the cash flow is marginal compared to what you would expect with an AISC of $700."

Some people still don't get how 43-101s are being used for ulterior motives...

"Hey Otto - I couldn't agree more that if you take the company's stated 5% discount rate or whatever they choose as the correct one, you shouldn't be investing in the mining space at all.

With that being said, I have always had a viewpoint that there was a purpose to the 5% discount rate for golds or let's say 8% for base metal projects. Is it really the 43-101's job to assess the level of geopolitical risk? From an operating / construction / processing etc. side, sure, but that's where I would stop. I would say that the 5% is simply a rule of thumb that let's anyone reading the 43-101 report generally speaking compare the relative quality of one project versus another, without considering geopolitical and other risks. Obviously there are limitations as the price decks are not uniform, which I think is something the industry should be pushing for to change, but it is a starting point.

Everyone's perception or tolerance for risk is different and an investor is solely responsible for applying a discount rate he/she believes addresses risks external to the project. I guess in my mind the 43-101 on the npv side is aimed at providing you with a relative data point rather than a factual one - once you have gotten past that point then other risks can be factored in, which in my mind are more external than internal to a project's quality."

Some people do and defend the system (a bit), but still miss the promo BS angle:
"There is another way at looking at discount rates – granted that a junior in an exploration phase pays say 12% interest, however when they find an economic deposit that promises to make a very good return, interest rates for the junior will go down and approach that paid by producing companies. Accordingly it does not really make sense to use a very high discount rate in an EPA, or Feas. as this could cause a company to discard what otherwise could be a money maker once producing. Therefore using a discount rate equal to a junior’s explorers’ cost of capital while in the exploration stage would be a huge mistake."

Other people really get it, like this one:
"The 5% rate serves only one very important purpose: it allows the entire junior market industry to function (raise and pay $$). If actual cost of capital rates were used (only) 10% of projects would be economic..."
And this one:
"My dearest Mr. Otto,... I once questioned an analyst on whether a 5% discount properly reflected risk for a sketchy project in a difficult mining jurisdiction and his answer was, if everyone uses a 5% discount, it is easy to compare project to project.  I guess I just never spent enough time to understand  the incredible similarities of the risk profiles of a project in BC to a project in the DRC.  Silly me."

But I'll leave the final word to a geologist:
"FWIW I don't quietly masturbate over 43-101 reports. I try to make it as loud as possible (and) put on 'Ace of Spades' for tempo."

Nuff said.

Gran Colombia Gold ( workers on strike as from July 21st

That's what the report says.