Barrick confirms selling half of Veladero to Shandong Gold for $960 million

By analyst

By Cecilia Jamasmie

Canada’s Barrick Gold’s (TSX, NYSE:ABX), the world’s No.1 producer of the precious metal by value, has confirmed it’s selling a 50% stake in its Veladero mine in Argentina to Shandong Gold Group in a transaction worth $960 million.

As part of the deal, which makes the two firm strategic partners, the Shandong province-based gold miner will help Barrick move forward with the long delayed Pascua-Lama gold, silver and copper project, straddling the border between Chile and Argentina.

Both companies, Barrick said in the statement, will also evaluate additional investment opportunities in the area, known as El Indio Gold Belt.

As part of their new partnership, the two firms will look at developing the stalled Pascua-Lama gold, silver and copper project, straddling the border between Chile and Argentina.

“Shandong is an ideal partner to help us unlock the untapped mineral wealth of the El Indio Belt over the long-term, while working with us to generate more value from the Veladero mine today,” Barrick executive chairman John L. Thornton said while signing the agreement.

“Today is the realization of a China Dream that Peter Munk, Barrick’s iconic founder, and I have shared since he first approached me about succeeding him as Chairman of Barrick,” he added.

Thornton noted the two companies met for the first time in April 2016, adding he could not think of a better way to celebrate their one-year anniversary.

Once the transaction is complete, a Joint Venture board consisting of three nominees appointed by each company will oversee Veladero mine. In order to ensure continuity of operations, both firms intend to maintain the mine’s current management team, they said.

The news comes barely a day after media reports hinted the two miners were about to announce a deal.

In the last few months, the Toronto-based miner has been aggressively looking to strengthen its position in Latin America.

In September, the gold miner appointed a new executive, George Bee, to lead the development of the Argentine side of the mothballed Pascua-Lama project.

A few months later, it hired a new director for the region — Pablo Marcet — with decades of mining experience in the geographic area.

And just last month, Barrick announced a 50-50 partnership with Goldcorp to develop projects in northern Chile, including Cerro Casale, one of the world’s largest gold-copper deposits.

Shandong, with a market value of almost $10 billion, produced 1.2 million ounces of gold last year. Its flagship project is an underground mine called Sanshandao.

The post Barrick confirms selling half of Veladero to Shandong Gold for $960 million appeared first on MINING.com.

…read more

Source:: Infomine

The post Barrick confirms selling half of Veladero to Shandong Gold for $960 million appeared first on Junior Mining Analyst.

‘Conflict minerals’ entering tech supply chains from countries beyond Africa — report

By analyst

‘Conflict minerals' entering tech supply chains from countries beyond Africa — report

By Cecilia Jamasmie

Occupational health and safety violations are a widespread issue in the informal mining sector, which sees artisanal miners and surrounding communities regularly exposed to hazards, including mine cave-ins and the spread of diseases such as malaria. (Image by Fairphone | Flickr Commons)

The risk of human rights tainted tungsten, tin, tantalum and gold (3TG) entering the supply chains of tech firms is extending well beyond countries considered to be the traditional source of the so called “conflict minerals,” used by armed groups to finance their war against established governments.

African countries, particularly the Democratic Republic of Congo and those in the Great Lakes Region, are not longer the only nor the main providers of tainted 3TG, key to the production of high tech devices and batteries for electric cars, global risk consultancy Verisk Maplecroft warns.

The company’s newly released Commodity Risk Service reveals that 3TG minerals are also being produced at sites under the control of armed groups in both Myanmar and Colombia in order to fund violence.

According to their findings, the United Wa State Army is involved in tin production in north-eastern Myanmar, with output traced to Chinese factories producing electronic products. In Colombia, in turn, armed groups such as the ELN are currently in control of gold and tungsten mining operations.

Tungsten, tin, tantalum and gold are also being illegally extracted and traded at sites under the control of armed groups in countries other than Africans, including Myanmar and Colombia.

“US supply chain legislation on mandatory reporting and traceability has focused on 3TG minerals from the Great Lakes,” says Stefan Sabo-Walsh, director of commodities research at Verisk Maplecroft. “This can leave tech firms focused on one region despite the myriad of risks occurring elsewhere in their supply chains.”

Tin mostly mined by children

In its assessment of 20 key human rights and environmental issues related to the extraction of 3TG minerals globally, Verisk Maplecroft identifies tin as the commodity that poses the highest risk for labour rights violations. Outside of the DRC, the use of minors is extremely likely in three of the eight largest tin-producing countries – Bolivia, Myanmar and Indonesia – while five are also identified as “high risk” for forced labour, including China and Peru.

Slavery, unfortunately, is still present is some of the producing nations, Brazil and the DRC, the researches say.

Occupational health and safety violations are also widespread across the largest tin-producing countries. This is a particular issue in the informal mining sector, which sees artisanal miners and surrounding communities regularly exposed to hazards, including mine cave-ins and the spread of diseases such as malaria.

Courtesy of Verisk Maplecroft.

Tantalum, widely used in the production of electronics, is also heavily linked to child labour, with the producing countries of Mozambique, Burundi and Rwanda categorised as ‘extreme risk’ for the issue.

According to Verisk Maplecroft, child labour and other human rights abuses are much less likely to be an issue with responsible international mining majors, due to their application of best practice international standards. The problem for tech companies is they often …read more

Source:: Infomine

The post ‘Conflict minerals’ entering tech supply chains from countries beyond Africa — report appeared first on Junior Mining Analyst.

Chinese buying 50% of Barrick Veladero, Pascua Lama-report

By analyst

By Frik Els

China’s Shandong Gold Mining is said to be “advanced talks” to buy 50% of Barrick Gold’ Veladero gold mine in Argentina after Zijin Mining, another Shanghai-listed mining firm apparently walked away from a deal.

Reuters reports that the mine which last year produced 544,000 ounces of gold and is considered one of Barrick’s five core mines could fetch in excess of $1 billion.

Last week a pipe carrying a cyanide-bearing slurry burst at the mine in the San Juan province in what was the third such event at the operation in less than 18 months. Veladero resumed operations in October after having been suspended for almost a month following the previous incident.

According to the report Shandong would also pick up half of Barrick’s halted Pascua Lama project straddling the border between Argentina and Chile. The controversial project high in the Andes was put on hold in 2013 after a budget blowout and political opposition from the Chilean side and environmental protests.

In May last year the miner agreed to pay $140 million to resolve a US class-action lawsuit that accused the world’s largest gold producer of distorting facts related to the project and its $8.5 billion price tag.

In September, Barrick appointed a new executive, George Bee, to kickstart the development of a less ambitious project focused on the Argentine side of Pascua Lama.

Lat month Barrick announced a 50-50 partnership with Goldcorp to develop projects in northern Chile, including Cerro Casale, one of the world’s largest gold-copper deposits.

The post Chinese buying 50% of Barrick Veladero, Pascua Lama-report appeared first on MINING.com.

…read more

Source:: Infomine

The post Chinese buying 50% of Barrick Veladero, Pascua Lama-report appeared first on Junior Mining Analyst.

Trump Faces Down China

By Brian Maher

This post Trump Faces Down China appeared first on Daily Reckoning.

It’s going to be a “very difficult” meeting.

It isn’t every day that an American president so bracingly expresses his misgivings about meeting with a foreign head of state.

But it’s not every day that a Donald Trump is the American president.

Chinese President Xi Jinping drops in tomorrow for a two-day tête-à-tête with his U.S. opposite. The proceedings take place at Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s Palm Beach bunker.

They promise to be… delicate.

They say styles make fights. If so, this one could be Ali-Frazier…

In the one corner we have Trump — blustery… boorish… diplomatic as a sledgehammer.

In the other we have Xi — measured… inscrutable… master of the subtle arts.

“Xi and Trump are not natural friends,” said one former senior U.S. Asia specialist, by way of understatement.

“The Chinese leader is a very serious man,” adds Zhu Feng, professor of international relations at Nanjing University. “Any tricks that Trump wants to play would be perceived as some sort of humiliation.”

How will the meetings go?

Swimmingly, we hope.

Regardless, there’s one item you can bet will be top priority in Palm Beach tomorrow…

North Korea.

North Korea has its own Manhattan Project going. And many analysts think it’ll be able to strike America’s West Coast with nuclear missiles in a few short years.

Jim Rickards:

The situation has become critical. North Korea has enough highly enriched uranium or plutonium for about 10 warheads. Its miniaturization and weaponization technology is well advanced. Its missile tests have moved from short range to intermediate range and are now on the brink of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). Once a warhead is mounted on an ICBM, Los Angeles is in imminent danger. North Korea is about three–four years away from this goal.

But Jim says Trump will never allow it:

Now the Trump administration has drawn a line in the sand and made it clear North Korea will not be allowed to carry out its plans. Either North Korea will desist or the U.S. will attack pre-emptively.

Note in passing: Military action possibly means full-scale war on the Korean Peninsula.

A decade ago, the Pentagon estimated another Korean War would produce 250,000 American casualties. And maybe a million dead Koreans.

Disconcerting.

Who else doesn’t want war on the Korean Peninsula?

China.

China considers North Korea a buffer state. It keeps the Americans out of China’s backyard. And North Korea’s constantly digging its thumbs in Uncle Sam’s eyes… a Lilliputian tying down the American giant.

War would likely result in a North Korean loss and a reunified Korea under South Korean leadership.

That is, China would be bordered directly by a U.S. client state.

China entered the Korean War in 1950 to prevent that very outcome. Successfully, we should add.

So Trump wants China to use its leverage… to strong-arm the North into ending its nuclear program.

China provides North Korea massive food aid, for example. And it accounts for some 90% of North Korean exports, such as they are. Mostly coal.

In fact, Trump’s come out flatfooted that China …read more

Source:: Daily Reckoning feed

The post Trump Faces Down China appeared first on Junior Mining Analyst.

China Is More Fragile than You Realize

By Kevin Massengill

This post China Is More Fragile than You Realize appeared first on Daily Reckoning.

As the headlines about North Korean missile tests and tensions in the South China Sea break, it is important to remember that countries are often less stable and powerful than they appear.

China is no exception.

It is a mistake to refer to them as unitary actors. International crises are often the result of domestic actors who may view external conflict for their own political positioning against their domestic political rivals.

Because of these contending factions, governments can lose their legitimacy and vanish overnight. That fear of losing domestic legitimacy is a major driver of any government’s decision making.

China is faced with a constant need to demonstrate political legitimacy and a divided political leadership with different agendas. The Chinese leadership is also faced with the tectonic pressures of a potential financial collapse and growing regional and international reaction to their military expansion into the South China Sea.

China’s economy is not just about providing jobs, goods and services. It is about regime survival for a Chinese Communist Party that faces existential risk if they stumble. Given the systemic problems inherent in trying to run an economy in the absence of the accurate price signals only free markets provide (a problem for both Chinese socialism and the West’s corrupt crony markets), their challenges are worsening every day.

Malinvestments the size of ghost cities are not lost on the world’s central bankers who fear a systemic collapse of China’s economy, nor on the brilliant investors who are betting on China’s collapse like they bet against the corrupt banking products in the U.S. housing bubble.

Before the 2008 financial crisis, the Chinese debt-to-GDP ratio was 147%; now, it is at about 250%. Quietly, the Chinese leadership has begun to lower growth expectations but even those numbers should be taken with skepticism.

The methodology used to calculate their GDP figures is not publicly known but uses economic data that can be manipulated for sake of appearances.

Declining growth impacts China’s financial market as well. Local banks are struggling with non-performing debt rapidly increasing. Non-bank financial institutions referred to as the “shadow banking system” are spreading, with little regulation or recognition of the risks.

The government’s attempts to better regulate the system is stymied by local corruption where exaggerated assets and little documentation mask a wave of malinvestments. Like the appearance of no-doc “liar” loans in the U.S. in 2004-2006, the entire shadow banking system is signalling risk of systemic collapse.

Another source of malinvestment is the real estate market. Commercial real estate bubbles are breathtaking and residential real estate values have begun to fall. This seriously threatens social unrest as many Chinese families have put their life savings into real estate believing well intended but nonsensical government assurances of support to an ever increasing housing market.

As is typical with most countries, the Chinese government tries to mask the ravages of inflation by adjusting their public measurement downwards. Doing so conceals the impact it has on households. But …read more

Source:: Daily Reckoning feed

The post China Is More Fragile than You Realize appeared first on Junior Mining Analyst.

Daily Market Wrap – Wed 5 Apr, 2017

By Cory Doc and Chris – A big reversal day for the markets show there is no reason to be buying now!

A big reversal in the markets today! The Dow was up over 200 points and closed the day negative. The safe havens had money flow in but still did not break out. The next two days could drive home the fact that safe havens should draw your attention. The was and ADP number that helped drive the markets higher at the start of the day but Paul Ryan and Fed minutes reversed it all. Doc and Chris helped me break it all down.

Download audio file (05_Apr_2017-Market-Wrap.mp3)

…read more

Source:: The Korelin Economics Report

The post Daily Market Wrap – Wed 5 Apr, 2017 appeared first on Junior Mining Analyst.

Gold Finds Strong Support from Negative Real Rates

Gold Expected to Continue Benefiting from Low to Negative REal Rates
click to enlarge

Again, I expect consumer prices to continue rising, especially if President Donald Trump gets his way regarding immigration and trade. Slowing the stream of cheap labor from Mexico and other Latin American countries, coupled with raising new tariffs at the border, should have the effect of making consumer goods and services more expensive. Although it might sting your pocketbook, faster inflation could be constructive for gold investors.

$1,475 an Ounce Gold this Year?

In its weekly precious metals report, London-based consultancy firm Metals Focus emphasized the importance of negative real rates on the price of gold, writing that “real and even nominal rates across several other key currencies, including the euro, should also remain negative for some time.” The European Central Bank’s deposit rate currently stands at negative 0.4 percent, not including inflation, and Sweden’s Riksbank, the world’s oldest central bank, will continue its negative interest rate policy as it awaits stronger economic growth. Meanwhile, the Bank of Japan left its short-term interest rate unchanged at negative 0.1 percent at its meeting last month.

This is all beneficial for gold. Discouraged by the idea of negative rates eating into their wealth, many savers might be compelled to invest in gold, which enjoys a reputation as an excellent store of capital.

Based on the near-term outlook for real rates, as well as uncertainty over Brexit, rising populism in Europe and Trump’s trade and foreign policies, Metals Focus analysts see gold testing $1,475 an ounce this year. If so, that would put the yellow metal at a four-year high.

Central Banks Still Have an Appetite for Gold

Since 2010, global central banks have been net buyers of gold as they move to diversify their reserves away from the U.S. dollar. Although 2016 purchases fell about 35 percent compared to 2015, they still remained high on a historical basis, thanks mostly to China and Russia.

These purchases are likely to continue this year, according to Metals Focus, though at a slower rate as many banks get closer to meeting their target reserves amount.

Because gold accounts for only 2.3 percent of China’s reserves, as of March, the Asian country might very well keep up with its monthly purchases for some time. (The U.S., by comparison, has nearly 75 percent of its reserves in gold.)

I’ve pointed out before that it’s reasonable for investors to pay attention to what central banks are doing. They’re diversifying their assets and, in a way, hedging against their very own policies. It would be prudent for every household to do the same. As such, I recommend a 10 percent weighting in gold, with 5 percent in bullion (coins and jewelry), the other 5 percent in quality gold stocks.

Lipper Recognizes Our Gold Fund

I believe an exceptional way to get exposure to high-quality gold stocks is through our

In case you haven’t already noticed, inflation has been steadily creeping up since July. In February, the most recent month of available data, consumer prices advanced at their fastest pace in five years, hitting 2.7 percent year-over-year. March data won’t be released until next week, but I expect prices to proceed on this upward trend, buttressed by rising mortgages and costs associated with health care and energy.

One of the consequences of strong inflation is that real rates—what you get when you subtract the current consumer price index (CPI) from the nominal rate—have turned negative. And when this happens, gold has typically been a beneficiary. This is the Fear Trade in action.

Take a look below. Gold shares an inverse relationship with the real 10-year Treasury yield, which is influenced by consumer prices. When inflation is soft and the yield goes up, gold contracts. But when inflation is strong, as it is now, it can push the Treasury yield into subzero territory, prompting many investors to move into other so-called safe haven assets, including gold.

click to enlarge

Again, I expect consumer prices to continue rising, especially if President Donald Trump gets his way regarding immigration and trade. Slowing the stream of cheap labor from Mexico and other Latin American countries, coupled with raising new tariffs at the border, should have the effect of making consumer goods and services more expensive. Although it might sting your pocketbook, faster inflation could be constructive for gold investors.

$1,475 an Ounce Gold this Year?

In its weekly precious metals report, London-based consultancy firm Metals Focus emphasized the importance of negative real rates on the price of gold, writing that “real and even nominal rates across several other key currencies, including the euro, should also remain negative for some time.” The European Central Bank’s deposit rate currently stands at negative 0.4 percent, not including inflation, and Sweden’s Riksbank, the world’s oldest central bank, will continue its negative interest rate policy as it awaits stronger economic growth. Meanwhile, the Bank of Japan left its short-term interest rate unchanged at negative 0.1 percent at its meeting last month.

This is all beneficial for gold. Discouraged by the idea of negative rates eating into their wealth, many savers might be compelled to invest in gold, which enjoys a reputation as an excellent store of capital.

Based on the near-term outlook for real rates, as well as uncertainty over Brexit, rising populism in Europe and Trump’s trade and foreign policies, Metals Focus analysts see gold testing $1,475 an ounce this year. If so, that would put the yellow metal at a four-year high.

Central Banks Still Have an Appetite for Gold

Since 2010, global central banks have been net buyers of gold as they move to diversify their reserves away from the U.S. dollar. Although 2016 purchases fell about 35 percent compared to 2015, they still remained high on a historical basis, thanks mostly to China and Russia.

These purchases are likely to continue this year, according to Metals Focus, though at a slower rate …read more

Source:: Frank Talk

The post Gold Finds Strong Support from Negative Real Rates appeared first on Junior Mining Analyst.

Here’s How Robot Pizza Delivery Will Make You Rich

By Greg Guenthner

This post Here’s How Robot Pizza Delivery Will Make You Rich appeared first on Daily Reckoning.

I thought the idea was completely idiotic when I first saw it…

We have yet to find a cure for cancer. But thanks to the wonders of technology, you can order a ninth-rate pizza from Domino’s by simply tweeting an emoji.

A couple of years ago, Domino’s went off the deep end with a promotion that would allow their customers to have their favorite pizza rushed to their house by tweeting a pizza emoji to the Domino’s twitter handle.

At the time, I said the Domino’s easy order promotion wasn’t the stupidest thing I had ever seen in my life. But it was close.

Frankly, I’m not sure why anyone would want to eat Domino’s at all—whether it’s ordered by emoji or rotary phone.

But for whatever reason, we found ourselves in the center of a bonafide pizza bull market. Thanks to Domino’s, cheap pizza was thriving. So was the stock.

The numbers don’t lie.

Domino’s Pizza stock has doubled since the beginning of 2015. But it gets even better – shares are up more than 1,000% over the past six years. For reference, the S&P 500 has gained about 75% over that same timeframe.

To be fair, we’ve successfully traded Domino’s stock over the past few years here at the Rude. But I was wrong to blast the company’s emoji-based ordering platform. As it turns out, the Domino’s announcement two years ago was much more than a cheesy marketing ploy. It was the culmination of a complete re-imagination of how the company operates.

You see, Domino’s is no longer your standard fast food giant hocking mediocre pizza. As some experts have started to notice, Dominos is transforming into a tech company.

“The company decided that instead of being a pizza company that had technology, it would become a technology company that sold pizza, with a goal of selling 50 percent of its pizzas through digital sales by 2015,” PC Mag reports. “The next step was to change the infrastructure, which began with the creation of a ‘pizza profile,’ essentially letting customers save preferences, payment information, and location, moving from 25 clicks to five clicks.”

Domino’s made ordering pizza dead simple for anyone with a computer, tablet, or smart phone. Anyone with a busy schedule, hungry kids, or no patience could get a pizza sent their way at the push of a button. No one else in the biz could claim this level of convenience. And it worked!

Remember the company’s goal to generate 50% of its sales from digital sources? It only took five years. As of 2016, Domino’s was racking up $2 billion from e-commerce sales. That’s more than half its revenue.

The amazing Domino’s comeback story doesn’t end here. The pizza king is now venturing into the future with robot delivery.

I’m not joking…

“Domino’s has just inked a partnership with Starship Technologies to begin using its ‘personal delivery devices’ this summer in Hamburg, Germany.” Tech Crunch reports. “If all goes well there, Domino’s and Starship intend …read more

Source:: Daily Reckoning feed

The post Here’s How Robot Pizza Delivery Will Make You Rich appeared first on Junior Mining Analyst.

Ride the Coattails of Wall Street’s 100% Success Club

By Alexander Green with Ryan Fitzwater

AG: “There is no ‘I’ in team” – it’s a sport cliché I can get behind. The same is true for The Oxford Club team. You won’t see an “I” here. When you walk in our doors, you see teamwork and collaboration in every corner. We pride ourselves on that.

And I am excited about a recent collaboration we just completed. It’s a project that will hand bigger profits to our Members in the days and weeks to come.

But like all things worth doing, it was a lot of work. I had high expectations for the results. And when I approached the Club’s Director of Research, Ryan Fitzwater, I knew I was giving his team a doozy. It was something – as far as we knew – that had never been attempted before. Similar to the Wright brothers’ experiment, we were going to attempt to be the first.

After months of work and thousands of dollars spent, we achieved this unlikely goal. It’s the biggest achievement seen since I became the Club’s Investment Director almost two decades ago. Today, I am handing the mic over to Ryan. He deserves to tell the story behind this monumental project.

RF: I have nothing but respect for Alex Green. He’s the head honcho around here (not to mention a real nice guy). But I have to admit…

A few months back, Alex had us sweating.

He walked into the research room with a tall task. And he expected results.

What was Alex looking for? We jokingly called it the “holy grail” of investing. To find it, I told him, we’d have to divvy up the work among all six of us… and possibly bring in a computer programmer.

His response was classic Alex. “Sounds good,” he said. He was already halfway out the door.

Looking back now, I have to admit something else…

This grueling project was the most eye-opening experience of my career.

Below, I’m going to show you the power behind the data we uncovered… and how you can start profiting from this research in the coming days.
The Insider Indicator
For years, Alex has tracked and traded insider transactions with great success. This powerful indicator is the backbone of his Insider Alert service that he’s been writing for more than 15 years.

It’s quite simple.

Insiders – company executives, officers, board members or owners of 10% or more of a stock – know all types of nonpublic information; things such as sales and earnings results, patent applications and disputes, new groundbreaking products and – hopefully not – if the company has been committing accounting fraud.

All this is information they can legally trade on. And so can you. You just have to know where to find their trading activity.

Any time an insider buys or sells stock, they have to fill out a Form 4 with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). It publishes these forms to the public here.

As you can see below, on the SEC’s site, you can search by company to see recent transactions.

Caution: This is a government website. Using it …read more

Source:: Investment You

The post Ride the Coattails of Wall Street’s 100% Success Club appeared first on Junior Mining Analyst.

Cyclone damage causes BHP to declare force majeure in Australia

By analyst

By Cecilia Jamasmie

World’s largest miner BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP) said on Wednesday it won’t meet its coal export commitments due to the damage caused by a cyclone that struck Australia’s north-east coast last week.

Damage to rail lines in cyclone-hit Queensland have disrupted the shipment of between 15 million and 20 million tonnes of coking coal destined to Asia.

The company, which is also the world’s biggest shipper of steelmaking coal, said force majeure has been declared for all coal products from its joint ventures with Mitsubishi Corp. and Mitsui & Co.

“BHP Billiton continues to assess haulage options to manage access from mine sites to ports and shipments to customers,” it said in the statement.

Aurizon Holdings, Australia’s top rail freight operator, was forced to close some key routes between inland mines and export terminals to repair the damage caused by cyclone Debbie. Earlier this week, Aurizon said it could take more than a month to get some of those critical lines running again.

Queensland accounts for more than 50%of global seaborne coking coal supplies, so problems in the area have caused prices to climb about 9% on expectations that supply will remain disrupted for weeks. Analysts at Standard & Poor estimated this could mean between 15 million and 20 million tonnes of coking coal supply could be eliminated from global markets.

The post Cyclone damage causes BHP to declare force majeure in Australia appeared first on MINING.com.

…read more

Source:: Infomine

The post Cyclone damage causes BHP to declare force majeure in Australia appeared first on Junior Mining Analyst.