Monday, January 31, 2011

CISA: Certified Information Systems Auditor

Mind Map and News
Click the figure below to see the mind map.

CISA: Certified Information Systems Auditor, Interactive Mind Map and NewsZoom at: CISA Mind Map.

Computer security organization: ISACA (Information Systems Audit and Control Association)

Click the figure below to see the Index.

 Computer security organization: ISACA (Information Systems Audit and Control Association).

Go to the Index

Until March

This humble corner of cyberspace will not see any updates until March 1st, because the owner/operator of IKN (err, that's me) is taking his wonderful wife and wonderful kids to a wonderful beach for the full  wonderful hot sunny summer month of February, the first vacation taken for over two years.

So this is the last post until then. Hope you have a good February, catch you back here in March and the only thing left to do now is leave you with a large slice of cheesey nostalgia. Here you go (gos):

M.C. Escher: Kaleidoscopes, Index

Click the figure below to see the Index.

 M.C. Escher: Kaleidoscopes.

Go to the Index

M.C. Escher: Videos

Click the figure below to see the Index.

 M.C. Escher: Videos.

Go to the Index

Mining Jobs, Interactive Mind Map

Interactive Mind Map for Mining Jobs based on

Graphic organizers are visual representations of knowledge, concepts or ideas.
Click the figure below to see the Interactive Mind Map.

 Mining Jobs, Interactive Mind Map.

Mind Map Zoom

It became necessary to destroy the town to save it

"One of the most famous quotes of the Vietnam War was a statement attributed to an unnamed U.S. officer by AP correspondent Peter Arnett. Writing about the provincial capital, Bến Tre, on February 7, 1968, Arnett said: "'It became necessary to destroy the town to save it,' a United States major said today. He was talking about the decision by allied commanders to bomb and shell the town regardless of civilian casualties, to rout the Vietcong.""

I can't stop myself from reading and re-reading the news release out of Greystar Resources ( this morning, with the Groundhog Day part being the CEO quote from head man Steve Kesler. He said the following, with IKN moneyline highlights:

"Steve Kesler, President and CEO, stated: "Greystar Resources Ltd. takes very seriously its environmental and social responsibilities in the development of this project. Greystar has always believed that the 15 years spent developing its Angostura Project and Greystar's social responsibilities would demonstrate its commitment to managing the Angostura Project with principles consistent with that high standard. It is the Company's objective to make the Angostura Project a model for sustainable and responsible development of mining projects, not only in Latin America, but the world. Notwithstanding the current lack of clarity on paramo rules and mining, Greystar is committed to protecting and recuperating all ecosystems in which it will operate through a biodiversity offset program that will provide better protection to paramo than if the project did not proceed.""

Yes indeed, Steve. You take an ancient and delicate multi-million year ecosystem that's had human interaction for over 10,000 years, dig a freakin' big hole in the middle of it and you're just bound to make things better than they were before, aren't you? Thing is, I'm quite sure that CEO Kesler actually believes in what he says and is being sincere in his commentary. Sheer, unadulterated, 21st century madness.

The best single paragraph written about Egypt by a US citizen this week

The winner is James Howard Kunstler and this is it:
"Many here in the dreamland of Happy Motoring and Cheez Wiz are asking themselves why President Obama is waffling about the obvious tides of "change" now lapping over the ancient Kingdom on the Nile. How can he not believe in it? Why isn't  Mr. O out there in front with a bloody bandage around his head, cheerleading for the street fighters? If you lay aside the subtleties, the answer is simple: nothing beyond the status quo of recent years is good news for America."

Go read all his piece too, because anyone who recommends that you read the works of Gabriel García Márquez is wholly good by me. Link through here (and continued thanks due to reader 'AS' for making me aware of Kunstler).

Minefinders (MFN) ( As day follows night....

...the Canadian brokerages and their analysts will always return to Minefinders (MFN) and call it a buy again after dropping it, like meth to a junkie. Today's relapse is suffered by Trevor Turnbull of Scotia, with this little write-up from Scotia nerve centre reaching your author's inbox just a few minutes ago:
MFN-US: Still Oversold Despite Progress (NEW 1-SO, US$15/sh target, Trevor Turnbull ): Trevor Turnbull is re-launching coverage on Minefinders(MFL-CN, MFN-US) with a 1-SO rating and a US$15.00/sh target (ROR of 56%).  MFL is very attractively priced trading at a deep 28% discount to his NAV of $13.36/share.  The mill feasibility study expected this year should increase the Dolores valuation by 26% which he uses in his base case NAV (given they raised over US$150M to finance it in December 2010) – but Trevor adds the market is yet to embrace this scenario.  With improved performance from Phase 2 leach pad and the proposed mill option which serves to increase overall recovery (especially for silver) – Trevor believes MFL is good value and not a value trap.  Furthermore, Dolores has the potential to grow from new discoveries peripheral to the pit as well as from deeper higher-grade underground mineralization.

Here's the chart.

Hey you never know, this time might be different, Trev. Good luck on the call dude...and I mean it.

Chart of the day is....

...the US Dollar index (USD), because the financial world has decded that it doesn't give a shit about what's happening in Egypt and all that 'flight to quality' nonsense is unwarranted.

I mean, it's not like it's going to happen in Iran, is it? Or Saudi Arabia?

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The IKN Weekly, out now

IKN91 finally managed to get to subscribers' mailboxes a few minutes ago. So now you know.

The IKN Weekly will be late arriving today

If you're a subber and wondering why it hasn't arrived in your mailbox yet, that's because it's not finished yet. It'll be with you as soon as I'm happy with the (now triple-checked) numbers and accompanying script. I'll even try to remove all the typos this week. Sorry about the delay, guys.

ICBC Corporate Banking, Interactive Mind Map and News

ICBC, one of the world's biggest banks by market value, asked Peru for permission to open a local unit.
Click the figure below to see the interactive mind map.

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) Corporate Banking, Interactive Mind Map and NewsZoom

New Peru Pres Poll: Toledo stretching his lead

Just eleven weeks before the vote and here's the latest opinion poll on Peru's presidential election, run by IMA Estudios de Marketing (decent enough pollster) for national newsparer La Republica on a national urban/rural level  with a goodly sized sample and a margin of error of +/- 2.3%:

The headline is that Toledo is stretching his lead (which probably explains the recent negative attacks on him from all sides) and it seems he has taken up most of the percentage points attributed to Mercedes Araoz before she dropped out of the race recently (APRA implosion). Castañeda and Keiko are still duking it out to see who gets the all important 2nd spot and makes it to the near-inevitable run-off and both their polling numbers have  remained static in recent weeks, while Ollanta Humala has made a little progress up to 12.1% from recent scores of 10% and 11%. PPK is still getting nowhere and the rest, for all practical purposes, don't matter.

IKN prediction: This campaign is about to get very dirty.

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) Global Service

ICBC, one of the world's biggest banks by market value, asked Peru for permission to open a local unit.
Click the figure below to see the interactive mind map.

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) Global Service, Interactive Mind Map and NewsZoom

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Rembrandt: 'Portrait of a Man With Arms Akimbo' (1658) and Golden Rectangles

It will be offered for sale at the TEFAF Maastricht art fair later this year for $47 million.
Click the figure below to see the interactive illustration.

Rembrandt: 'Portrait of a Man With Arms Akimbo' (1658) and Golden RectanglesZoom at: Great Paintings: 'Portrait of a Man With Arms Akimbo' by Rembrandt.

A good source of live Egypt information

For movie buffs
Sharif Kouddous is senior producer at Democracy Now and is right on the scene and tweeting his merry heart out. Follow him by clicking right here. Here's a print out of his last hour....special stuff:

Sharif Kouddous
sun is setting. Crowd's huge in Tahrir. Ppl have climbed all over tanks chanting. Now they stop for a mass prayer. Indescribable.
Sharif Kouddous
My friend sez Mubarak's address sounded like he dusted off speech from 1994. Everyone's sure he'll leave... just waiting for the news.
Sharif Kouddous
People now chanting: "We're not leaving. He's leaving!" Also: "wake up Mubarak, today's your last day."
Sharif Kouddous
Amazing scene: three tanks roll by with a crowd of people riding atop each one. Chanting 'Hosni Mubarak out!'
Sharif Kouddous
Muslim Brotherhood chanting Allah Akbar. Crowd stopped them chanting louder: Muslim, Christian, we're all Egyptian
Sharif Kouddous
The police holed up in interior ministry are firing. Three people bloodied carried out. The army is not shooting.
Sharif Kouddous
People running back again toward Interior Ministry
Sharif Kouddous
Crowd just started running away from interior ministry. Some say they're firing. Lots of confusion,not much fear.
Sharif Kouddous
In the background of Tahrir, smoke rises from the burnt out NDP party headquarters
Sharif Kouddous
"What is Mubarak waiting for?" My friend shouts. "He should get out."
Sharif Kouddous
There was just a moment where people thought Mubarak had left. A massive cheer gripped the crowd. But it stopped when rumor died.
Sharif Kouddous
People asking how I'm tweeting from Egypt, we are using a work-around. Internet is still down and I can't send pics
Sharif Kouddous
People are cleaning up trash on the streets. Amazing. I have never seen anything like this.
Sharif Kouddous
People cursing Mubarak's speech last night, that he didn't understand it was over for him
Sharif Kouddous
It's past curfew time and the crowd is only growing.
Sharif Kouddous
People are praying in Tahrir square.
Sharif Kouddous
I have never seen this way. This is not Mubarak's Egypt anymore. And it never will be again.
Sharif Kouddous
Square filled with all kinds of Egyptians. Young, old, men, women, rich, poor.
Sharif Kouddous
More people keep entering the square. No one is going anywhere.
Sharif Kouddous
It's curfew. People are not leaving. They say the army won't open fire. But there are some sounds of gunfire.
Sharif Kouddous
One soldier carried on shoulders through crowd holding a flower. The people cheer him on.
Sharif Kouddous
There are army tanks & soldiers stationed around the square. People chanting 'the army & the people are one'.
Sharif Kouddous
arrived in Cairo. Met my cousin & drove straight to Tahrir square. Crowds everywhere. Chanting Mubarak get out.
Sharif Kouddous
RT @: Wow, @ putting up a split screen of its images (Cairo burning) with Egyptian TV (calm cityscape). Amazing

Venezuela: O RLY?

Thanks to reader 'UL' for the headsup. Why am I completely unsurprised about seeing US-sponsored ongoing bullshit about Venezuela exposed by facts? The report below mentions OPEC, but being DJNW has decided to leave out the main culprit of the propaganda campaign. The Energy Inormation Administration (EIA), sponsored by the US State Dept, has for close on ten years refused to include Venezuela's bitumen-like heavy crude as oil and skewed its figures for Venezuelan exports as a result, which in turn has allowed the North to come forth with its VenezuelaWeAllGonnaDie tosh and nonsense....that never happens. Anyway, here's the note:

7:22p ET January 27, 2011 (Dow Jones) Few Discrepancies In Venezuela Government Oil Export Data - Barclays


CARACAS (Dow Jones)--Venezuela's actual oil exports, which have long been questioned by industry organizations, are likely to be close to the government's official data, Barclays Capital analysts said in a research note Thursday.
In a new study, the bank compared Venezuela's reported oil exports since 2005 with what other countries reported as imports from the South American nation and found only marginal discrepancies.
"We do not find a major deviation from the official export data published by Venezuelan institutions," the bank said, adding, "therefore, we maintain our view that Venezuela does not have a problem of cash constraints."
With the petroleum sector serving as the lifeblood of the Venezuelan economy, economists and bond investors pay close attention to oil prices as well as the country's production and export levels to gauge its ability to make debt payments.
The bank estimated Venezuela exported 2.4 million barrels a day in 2010, down from an estimated 2.5 million in the previous year. For 2010, Barclays estimated that about 2 million barrels a day were sold at market price while the remainder were sold "under preferential conditions."
That compares to the Venezuelan government figures, which put 2009 exports at nearly 2.7 million barrels per day and 2.44 million barrels per day during the first half of 2010. The country said it produced 3.1 million barrels per day in the first half of CONTINUES HERE

Norsemont Mining: Constancia Copper Mine Project, Cusco, Peru, Map and News

Development capital for Constancia mine anticipated at US$920 million.

Explore the geometry of Constancia Copper Mine Project located approximately 100 km south of Cusco, Peru. Click the figure below to see the interactive satellite map and news.

Norsemont Mining: Constancia Copper Mine Project, Cusco, PeruZoom at: Corihuarmi Gold Mine.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Correction: THIS is the chart of the day

H/T to Jacqueline Fowks at Noticias desde Lenovo:

The Friday OT: Claude Nougaro; Toulouse

Searching through an old box of things in the house earlier this week, I came across a Nougaro album I hadn't listened to for years and blam!, then came the full-on Proustian apricot madeleine moment. So many memories, but the first song I listened to had to be this, the best homage to Toulouse sung by the finest Toulousain voice ever. This live version sees Nougaro living his song, as always.

Thanks for the memories and RIP, Claude. Qu'il est loin mon pays, qu'il est loin.....

Hey, was that scammer Katusa on BNN TV yesterday?

By the looks of his latest pump scam, he might have been.

Maybe I should watch more telly. Still, EW.v is back to its normal trend today.

UPDATE: Reader 'MP' explains all as he writes in with:
He was on Puplava...

mmmmmm..technical analysis on US Silver (USA.v)

Even though it's basically a bunch of guff, when you stick a 12 month chart of a silver junior with RSIs, MACDs and bollybands it sure looks sophisticated and lotsa fun, doesn't it?

So anyhow, above we have U.S. Silver's (USA.v) last 12 months, plenty of squiggly lines added. The question is for you true TA believers: Just by looking at the chart and not trying to factor in things like production results or silver selling prices...WOULD YOU BUY THAT CHART?

I know what I'd do...but that's by actually studying the company, not a chart. DYODD.

Chart of the day is.... Cos it's rallying and we like that.

Apparently the US economy isn't as wonderful as made out over the last couple of weeks. There's a shocker, eh?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Google APIs & Developer Products - January 2011, Interactive Mind Map and News

Mind Map and News
Google has a full periodic table built out showcasing their APIs and developer products as of January 2011.
Click the figure below to see the mind map.

Google APIs & Developer Products - January 2011, Interactive Mind Map and NewsZoom at: Google APIs & Developer Products Mind Map.

Ventana Gold ( Eike winning

Despite Ventana Gold's ( head honcho Stephen Orr jawboning it to Reuters yesterday and talking about the "some different interest" from as yet mysterious third parties and the "value that (the stock) would be able to gain over the next 12 to 18 months" if VEN were left to get on with things, we return to the eternal baseline of MoneyTalksBullshitWalks and the price chart below, which includes the share price action since Eike's Nov 17th offer and the price ($12.63) the Brazilian dude is willing to pay via the red line:

For the first time since then, closed today under the offer price (a penny to be exact, at $12.62). With the Feb 14th offer deadline now looming closer, this war of attrition is starting to sway the way of the Latino team. Tudo bem.

Disclosure: No position, cos The IKN Weekly took the $13.51 profits in November. So there.

Hey there junior mining investor: Having a bad day? DON'T WORRY!

Hey metalshead, have you been suffering through the January correction? Sad and worried about gold at $1315/oz? Hey, cheer up dudette/dude, because there's always someone worse off than you. For example the poor saps who've been suckered in by Metanor Resources (MTO.v) and have stayed long all this time:

Yep, that's a new 52 week low today (2 year low in fact) and just a squidge off the late '08 crisis lows, too. So if you're feeling glum about the market today, cheer yourself up by having a good fat laugh at the MTO idiot longs. Unless you're one yourself of course. If you are, this song is for you:

Peru's annual gold production, 2005 to 2010

With the publication of the December figures for metals production out of Peru today we can wrap up 2010 and compare metals production for the last few years, for example here with this gold chart:

Yep, it's getting pretty obvious that Peru has ridden its luck in the spot market instead of actually doing anything about improving production figures, isn't it? But don't let the blind fools stop telling you all about Peru's economic miracle, will you?

Bought deal fashion: The new trend is...

...for brokers in Canada to treat accredited investors like brainless dickheads. OK, ladies and gentlemen readers of this humble corner of cyberspace, follow the bouncing ball and see if you can spot a trend in the follow NR pairings:

Alange Energy (ALE.v) Jan 19th:
"The Company announced today that it has entered into an agreement with a syndicate of underwriters led by GMP Securities L.P. (the "Underwriters") whereby the Underwriters have agreed to acquire on a bought deal basis 167,000,000 units (the "Units") at a price of C$0.30 per Unit for cash proceeds of C$50,100,000. Each Unit will consist of..."
Alange Energy (ALE.v) Jan 19th:
"TORONTO, Jan. 19 /CNW/ - Alange Energy Corp (TSXV: ALE) ("Alange Energy" or the "Company") is pleased to announce that due to strong investor demand for its recently announced bought deal financing of Units (the "Offering"), the Company and the Underwriters have agreed to increase the size of the Offering by C$10 million. The Offering which is being..."

Talison Lithium ( Jan 13th
"January 13, 2011: TALISON LITHIUM LIMITED (TSX:TLH) (“Talison”) is pleased to announce that it has entered into an agreement with a syndicate of investment dealers led by Cormark Securities Inc. and including Scotia Capital Inc., Haywood Securities Inc. and Byron Capital Markets (the “Underwriters”), which have agreed to purchase, on a bought deal basis, 9,231,000 ordinary shares (the “Shares”) of Talison at a purchase price of $6.50 per Share (the “Offering Price”), for aggregate gross proceeds in the amount of $60,001,500 (the “Offering”)."
Talison Lithium ( Jan 13th:
"Talison Lithium Ltd (TSE:TLH) reports that it has amended the terms of the previously announced bought deal financing to increase the size of the offering from $60,001,500 to $69,569,500. The press release is.."

Arcan Resources (ARN.v) Jan 25th:
"Arcan Resources Ltd. (TSX VENTURE:ARN) ("Arcan" or the "Company") announced today that it has reached an agreement with a syndicate of underwriters (the "Underwriters") led by RBC Capital Markets Inc. as Bookrunner and co-led by Haywood Securities Inc., pursuant to which Arcan has agreed to issue, on a "bought deal" basis, subject to regulatory approval, $50,000,000 aggregate principal..."
Arcan Resources (ARN.v) Jan 26th
"Arcan Resources Ltd. (TSX VENTURE:ARN) ("Arcan" or the "Company") is pleased to announce that it has increased the size of its previously announced public offering, on a "bought deal" basis, to $75,000,000 principal amount of convertible unsecured subordinated debentures with an interest rate of 6.25% per annum (the "Debentures"). The transaction was upsized from the original amount of $50,000,000."

Mega Precious Metals (MGP.v) Jan 19th:
"Mega Precious Metals Inc. (MGP:TSX-V) (the "Company") announces that it has entered into an agreement with a syndicate of underwriters (the "Underwriters), led by Stonecap Securities Inc., whereby the Underwriters have agreed to purchase, on a bought deal basis, 8,750,000 flow-through common shares (the "Flow-Through Common Shares") from treasury of the Company at a price (the "Issue Price") of $0.80 per Flow-Through Common Share for gross proceeds of $7,000,000 (the "Offering"). The Company also grants..."

Mega Precious Metals (MGP.v) Jan 19th:
Mega Precious Metals Inc. (TSX VENTURE:MGP) (the "Company") announces that it has increased its previously announced bought deal financing, led by Stonecap Securities Inc. and including PowerOne Capital Markets Limited and Octagon Capital Corporation, to 12,500,000 flow-through common shares (the "Flow-Through Common Shares") at $0.80 (the "Issue Price") for gross proceeds of $10,000,000 (the "Offering").

Candente Copper ( Jan 26th:
"Vancouver, British Columbia -- January 26, 2011 -- Candente Copper Corp. (TSX:DNT, BVL:DNT) ("Candente" or the "Company") is pleased to announce that it has entered into an agreement with Dundee Securities Corporation and Scotia Capital Inc., as lead underwriters on behalf of a syndicate of underwriters including Raymond James Ltd., Wellington West Capital Markets Inc. and Stonecap Securities Inc. (collectively the "Underwriters"), whereby the Underwriters have agreed to purchase from the Company on a bought deal private placement basis (the "Offering"), an aggregate of 9,800,000 common shares (the "Shares") of the Company at a price of $2.05 per Share for aggregate gross proceeds of $20,090,000. The Company has also granted..."
Candente Copper ( Jan 27th:
"Candente Copper Corp. (TSX:DNT)(BVLAC:DNT) ("Candente" or the "Company") is pleased to announce that it has amended the terms of the previously announced bought deal financing to increase the size of the offering from $20,090,000 to $26,240,000. Candente has entered into an amendment agreement..."

IKN back. Now for sure the brokers and, to a lesser extent the companies, will immediately claim that this is sheer coincidence and the increase in every single bought deal either hours or at a max of one day after the original announcement is proof of success and the general wonderfulness of the offering, to which IKN replies...
...because no brokerage in their right mind will ever (and I mean EVER) go into a bought deal situation without having the buyers already lined up and waiting. I will bet you the sum of money you care to name at 2:1 odds that in every single case above (and these are just a selection of these recent BS news pairings, plenty more where they came from) the brokerages in question had filled their pre-book orders to the "increased offer" level. So what the brightspark dumbasses in these houses are doing is 1) getting two NRs for the price of one and 2) trying to fake out that the deals are getting massive support within minutes to shine a wonderful sparkly light on the companies. 

But, as mentioned above, in the process they're treating accredited investors and instos that take up on these deals like unthinking automatons that don't have an ounce of insight between them. Hey, come to think of it that's probably the right attitude to take. Carry on, houses.

The S.Am dengue lottery hits northern Peru in 2011

Dengue is like that, a lottery. In 2008 it was Brazil's bad lot, 2009 was Bolivia, 2010 saw Paraguay and northern Argentina hard hit. This year there's a major outbreak in the jungle regions of Peru centred around the city of Iquitos, with 7943 cases reported as at January 25th (dengue season tends to run until April) with 68 people seriously ill and 10 fatalities so far. To give an idea of the speed dengue spreads, the case number was at 4,450 on Janaury 20th. Not funny.

If you're travelling there, be careful and use those creams and pills. Meanwhile, Peru's fairly decent emergency health reaction teams are now getting into gear and the fumigation campaigns have started.

A Seeking Alpha management implosion over the $10/1000 views stupidity?

Unofficial word has it (and it's a tweet from zerohedge which is an unofficial as it gets) that Boaz Berkowitz, the guy that just happens to be Seeking Alpha's Director of Contributor Relations, has been "let go" (why does the image of a large black boot making contact with someone's nether regions spring to ming every time i see that oh-so simple phrasal verb?) by the website. Your author mailed Berkowitz to find out whether this was true and got an auto-response by way of reply 3 seconds later (out of office, limited access to mail), for what it's worth.

Strange that such a rumour does the rounds the same time that Seeking Alpha's contributor relations people come up with a cockamamey plan to turn financial bloggers into their ticket to publishing riches and the same moment that its staff send crass and arrogant mails to potential subscribers, innit?

UPDATE: Interesting. When told of the Zerohedge tweet, Boaz wrote back to your author with "Really?  Can you send me the link?  Thanks." I'm doing that right now, so watch this space.

UPDATE 2: So apparently Berkowitz is in fact planning to leave SA soon, but for personal reasons. He has definitely not "been let go", as in the zerohedge tweet.

Chart of the day is....

...the Gold/silver ratio:
click to enlarge

Currently sitting at 48.62X. I know you don't want or need my call on this, but you're getting it anyway. Either 1) gold has to go up more than silver or 2) silver drops more than gold, cos i can't see the GSR staying under 50X for much longer. I prefer the first option though the second wouldn't surprise, sadly.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Peru Textile exports, 2000 to 2010

Especially for long-time reader 'TM'.

That's $1.407Bn in the first 11 months of 2010. In 2000, it was $700m for the whole 12 months.

A Flash update...

...was sent to subscribers a few minutes ago, with about 30 minutes left on the market clock today Thursday.

FOMC today: IKN highlights the likely biggest talking point of this afternoon's Fed decision

"Oh wow look! They've used a comma there in line three! Do you realize that was a semi-colon last time?"

"Oh my, you're right!"

News roundup (we poke with pointed sticks those which others fear to poke)

 you're doing it wrong, gringo

'Chelle Bachelet causes shock horror headlines in Spain's El Pais and Argentine media for having dared tell the truth back when she was Chile's Prez. According to the latest round of wikileaks, she said, "Argentina has credibility problems as a country. Its democracy isn't robust and its institutions are not strong. It tends to live from crisis to crisis instead of persuing stable policies." Outside of the huff'n'puff patriotic brigades you won't hear many arguing with that one.

Argentina says today it will pay off its Paris Club debt to the tune of $9Bn. If you think you've heard something like this before, that's because you have, In 2008, in 2009 and in 2010 in fact. See paragraph above concerning 'Chelle for more details.

You know when a State news agency is talking utter utter utter bullshit when it starts an article with something like, "Peru is the number four Latin American country for investment in technology" and then goes through the whole of the report only quoting percentage increases and no hard numbers. Your humble scribe's time spent in the 1980's reading the USSR's Pravda (English version) still comes in handy after all these years.

Prez Rafa Correa sez this about trade agreements between Ecuador and the big boys: "We will never sign a Free Trade Agreement (FTZ) with The USA or with the European Union" and that's NEVER, because there'd be much more cost then benefit in such agreements. Sez Rafa.

Just about the biggest two week party in Peru kicks off this weekend as the Titicaca town of Puno holds its annual Virgen de la Candelaria festival. To make people don't regret the hard partying too much afterwards, Peru health people are distributing 100,000 free condoms to revellers to combat unwanted pregnancies and the spread of HIV/AIDS. Just goes to show that in some things, Peru is far smarter than the its anally retentive Andean neighbours.

Why should Bolivia junior exploration plays care about this news today?

Pretty simple: According to the Evo government's plans, once Karachipampa is up and running the country will insist that all silver, lead and zinc concentrate production in the country is sent to this smelter for processing, no exceptions. "What? You see a potential issue with smelter fees going forward? Nah, surely not! Here's DJNW today, click through for the rest:
BUENOS AIRES -(Dow Jones)- Bolivia's state-run mining company Corporacion Minera de Bolivia, Comibol, has taken control of the Karachipampa metals smelter after reaching an agreement with its Canadian joint-venture partner Atlas Precious Metals Inc., according to government news agency ABI.
"We have recovered Karachipampa for the State," Vice Mining Minister Hector Cordova was quoted as saying by ABI at a press conference Tuesday.
ABI said that Atlas handed over the keys to the smelter last Friday after reaching what the news agency described as a "friendly agreement" with the Canadian CONTINUES HERE