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7/24/14

Ernst & Young: "Productivity still down in mining and metals sector"

Here's the link to the E&Y NR entitled, "Productivity still down in mining and metals sector". Here's how it starts:
Companies must overhaul business models to get productivity back on track 
VANCOUVER, July 24, 2014 /CNW/ - Miners will need to drastically transform their business models if they want to reverse the decade-long decline in productivity, according to a new EY report.
And here's the direct link ot the eight page PDF report from E&Y today on the subject. Appears to be today's necessary reading material on the mining sector and it fits in with the atmosphere created by the drop on spot gold, too.

LatAm on Twitter in English: Five people to follow

I occasionally get asked for a few recommendations on the question...

Who to read about Latin America in the English language?

...and it's not that easy, because for one thing most of the stuff I read that's useful is in Spanish* and for another there's a helluva lot of dross and nonsense written about LatAm affairs that then tries to pass itself off as smart and insightful (e.g. just about anything written about the region by The Economist, it's painful to watch that supposed serious medium try to impose their false agenda and never, ever admit error down the line). Anyway, to the subject and here's a little list of people who fill the following categories:
  • Active on Twitter
  • Write all or majority of the time in English
  • Know their part of the region really well
  • Smart and insightful on regional and/or business current affairs

The five here aren't everybody I know and admire (so followers, please don't be offended and nudge me if you think you should be on the list too...can always do another y'know), but these five are definitely people worth following on Twitter if you're into LatAm and would like to read about the place in English:
@fbajak AP's Frank Bajak knows his Andean region South America backwards, highly respected reporter, breaks big stories, unafraid of speaking truth to power.  
@CentAmPolMike Mike Allison is an academic who specializes in Central American politics. Sees and reports on things I'd otherwise miss.  
@Vinncent Vincent Bevins is a newswire reporter and a total expert on Brazil. Has that mix of basic intelligence, jaded cynicism and streetwise that many of the best journalists share. 
@elizondogabriel Gabriel Elizondo also does Brazil but has deep knowledge of the wider region, too. Works for Al Jazz and does great reporting, plus often breaks news via Twitter in realtime. 
@guacamayan Setty knows his Venezuela, knows his Chile, knows plenty about Colombia and other corners of South America, too.

Hit the links above to go straight to their respective Twitter pages. And follow them.

PS: Here's another, so make it six. @colincdocherty Colin Docherty, an Aussie who lives in and has a superb knowledge of Argentina.

PPS: Yes reader TF, they're all men. I scratched my head about that too and the best reply I have is that the women I follow (there are plenty) are more often tweeters in Spanish language than English. And I thought about it again and maybe just maybe it's something about males being more willing to work abroad in journalism, but I honestly don't have a good answer. 

*occasionally Portuguese

Whereas me, I've been bullish copper these last few weeks

As subscribers know, as they're almost certainly thoroughly sick of hearing about the metal in edition upon edition of monotonous script in The IKN Weekly, all "Copper this, copper that, copper gonna go up, copper better, copper blahblahblah", and a couple of new recos in copper juniors to boot.


Mind you, it's turning out to be the right call, so maybe being boring's good after all. Go figure.

Here's an excellent lesson about gold sector analysis

It's from Gary over at Biiwii and you can read it by clicking this link. Here's an extract which also gives a window into why I think Gary is head and shoulders above the vast majority of technical analysts when it comes to reading a chart:

I have looked into these entities and come away not knowing whether to laugh or cry at the head spinning array of calls, up down and all around. 
Still, some gold bugs lap this shit up, as if the chart jockeys have some secret sauce to success.  Look folks, a chart is just a chart.  Your brain, b/s detector, fundamental knowledge and experience all play into a well founded investment stance.
Whole thing here

7/23/14

Northern Miner and irony

Reader 'M' kindly sends in this shot of a clipping from a late June edition of The Northern Miner:


Well, I laughed.

How Hochschild (HOC.L) is selling its remainder of Gold Resource Corp (GORO) $GORO

It's doing it everso quietly, little by little, let's not draw attention, let's not upset the market:


Mind you, it still has over 5.7m shares left to dump so you kinda get the feeling that at some point or other somebody's going to notice. 

Or maybe they've noticed just this minute?

Peru re-shuffles its cabinet. Again

For those who care (and I don't, not anymore), Prime Minister Rene Cornejo handed in his resignation due to yet another one of those TV investigation reports that dig up a scandal and as a result, the President of Peru yesterday ordered her husband, the head of state, to put a friend of hers in as the new PM and change a few ministers, too. Read about it in several English language reports, try Goggle and put in "Ana Jara" "Prime Minister" and if that doesn't work, add "Banana Republic" and "Ollanta lame duck" to the mix.

I have a growing theory about the number of resignations due to scandals and suchlike in the halls of the Peruvian government. In rough terms, what we have is old guard politicians being re-cycled by somebody with little clue. Those old guard politicos come from the classically corrupt Peruvian political system and to have got this far up the slippery pole, are near certain to have skeletons of various shapes and sizes in their closets. But with the advent of the internet and availability of information to all, it's getting easier and easier for opponents to dig out these nuggets and much more difficult to keep them covered up. So, as soon as these dirtbag politicos get a high level job out come the revelations of past dirty deeds or deals, or if not (as seems to be in Cornejo's case) all the opposition need do is wait until the oldschool guy uses his (with the corrupt it's almost always male) preferred modus operandi in order to solve a problem "in that special way" and they bag another victim.

Anyway, that's just me and my little pet theory. What we do know for a fact is that Ollanta Humala has now burned through six Prime Ministers in the first three years of his five year tenure, which is worse than stupid. Anyone who takes this administration seriously from now on needs their head examining, the people really running the country are the people printing the newspapers.

Charts of the day are...

...these two, showing Chinese metals import (and and by implication export) figures...



...and are taken from this report by Andy Home of Reuters, who is must-read on the subject as always. So go read him now.

By the way, I remember reading a report out of Goldman Sachs in 2006, which talked in part about China's ImpEx mix for industrial metals had the same type of chart as the top one of these two. The impressive thing is noting just how little the ratio for copper has moved, which says one clear thing: China's never going to have enough copper on its home soil and is always going to have to look abroad for the raw material.