Monday, May 20, 2013

Summer Doldrum hits early - Fund managers loses shirt (and faith) in gold bet in 2013

The investment community continues to be shocked by the record breaking Dow Jones index and S&P 500, as if the magic economic engine that is US of A keeps on trucking towards what seems like a full recovery.
Have all the gold bugs been deadly wrong? 
Legendary fund managers such as Vinik (of Magellan Fidelity) fame recently closed what was a wildly successful fund after years of successful records. He's down 5% so far since . Link here
“While we are very proud of our excellent long-term record of 17 percent annualized returns since we started VAM in 1996, the last 10 months have been more difficult following our restructuring,” Vinik said in the letter, adding that his fund is down 4.8 percent since last July. “It is time for us to take a break.” 
 Considering gold last July 2012 was at  $1,600 per troy ounce and today sits at under $1,390, I'm thinking Mr. Vinik, the gold bugs need you alot more than The Boston Red Sox, the team he's leaving fund management to run. 

Compared to most funds such as US Global's Commodity centric funds lead by the charismatic Mr. Frank Holmes, unfortunately down a staggering Year To Date (YTD) amount of nearly 50%. Mr. Eric Sprott, of gold and silver investment fame, is down similarly on his physical trust holdings and various funds.

PHYS and PSLV are his gold and silver trusts, respectively. Silver (as poor mans' gold) despite its industrial uses has again acted more volatile than gold, dropping over 30% YTD.

With investors gun shy about performances so far, what continues to make the sector appealing?
 If China and India continues to need the supply of raw materials, where is the return for the investors that take the risk to fund these projects?

If its any consolation, Paul Singer, despite recent setbacks on short term gold prices, is convinced the US as a country is going down once QE runs out of bullets, and it will.
 He's sent client notes that he's not at all worried about gold.

When a smart guy like that who's made a killing on timing the US Subprime along with Paulson and Co, we think it's wise to listen.

We remain bullish on sustainable short to midterm deals with cashflow and revenue - or ability to continue to generate joint venture and so-called "miracles" by financing or receiving operating capital from senior partners in this scenario.

Cash rich juniors tend to do well in this environment when there's a tremendous and unreasonable flight to yield and safety.

LONGS: TNR.v, ILC.v,, EGD.v, PTW.v
Elliott Management Corp., the $21.8 billion hedge-fund firm founded by Paul Singer, said gold, a money-losing position for the firm this year, remains the best store of value in an uncertain global economy.
“Although our gold position lost money in the quarter and afterward, we remain unconvinced that anything resembling a genuine normalization of global economic and financial conditions has been achieved,” Elliott wrote in an addendum accompanying a first-quarter letter to investors. “There is only one store of value and medium of exchange that has stood the test of time as ‘real money’: gold. We expect this dynamic to assert itself in a large way at some point.”
Enlarge image Elliott Management President Paul Singer

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

TNR Gold engages banker PI Financial to sell Los Azules (TNR.v, #Argentina #mining #ibanking

The turn of events for little known junior miner continues. With capital markets so challenged left and right, banks are desperate for deals.

It would appear Mr. McEwan's namesake mining co is hurting, falling to $2/share on recent risk withdrawal. The sale would likely be favourable to both TNR and - challenge on horizon will be the Argentina discount and the substantial capital expenditures (CAPEX) of over $3 billion.

TNR hires PI to advise on Los Azules back-in right sale

2013-05-08 11:47 ET - News Release
Mr. Gary Schellenberg reports
TNR Gold Corp. has retained the services of PI Financial Corp. to provide financial advice regarding the sale of its back-in right to the northern portion of the Los Azules copper project in Argentina. TNR has a back-in right (TNR press release dated Feb. 5, 2013) allowing it to acquire a 25-per-cent interest in certain mineral concessions at Los Azules that include the northern portion of the deposit.
Los Azules is an advanced-stage copper porphyry project owned and operated by McEwen Mining Inc., which describes the project in news releases as "one the world's largest, highest-copper-grade, undeveloped porphyry deposits not controlled by a major base metal mining company." The company advises that McEwen has published news releases and reports, which are filed on SEDAR, that describe a resource both on and adjacent to the area subject to TNR's back-in right. The total published resource, for which TNR's back-in right includes an undetermined portion, consists of an indicated resource of 310 million tonnes grading 0.65 per cent Cu and an inferred resource of 1,302 million tones grading 0.49 per cent Cu (using a 0.35-per-cent Cu cut-off grade).
"I welcome the opportunity to monetize our back-in right. We have an asset portfolio that will greatly benefit from the sale of the Los Azules asset, for example, the development of our Shotgun project, which our team is ready to further develop and explore the gold resources upon," states Kirill Klip, non-executive chairman of TNR. "It was for the potential of the Los Azules project and TNR's ability to identify top-quality projects at an early-stage of development that I became involved in the company."
TNR has no ownership of the Los Azules project prior to exercise of the back-in right and as such presents information about the project as that of independently published information regarding the entire property. TNR encourages its shareholders to read news releases and reports issued by McEwen Mining to gain a better understanding of the Los Azules project. McEwen Mining's news releases and reports appear to have been prepared by qualified persons, and the procedures, methodology and key assumptions disclosed therein are those adopted and consistently applied in the mining industry, but no qualified person engaged by TNR Gold has done sufficient work to analyze, interpret, classify or verify McEwen Mining's information to determine the current mineral reserve or resource, or other information referred to in the news releases and reports. Accordingly, the reader is cautioned in placing any reliance on the disclosure herein.
The company is also pleased to announce that as part of the settlement terms with McEwen Mining (TNR press release dated Feb. 5, 2013), the transfer of the Escorpio IV mineral rights to McEwen Mining is now complete, and TNR has received the certificates representing one million shares of McEwen Mining (information about McEwen Mining can be found at its website and on SEDAR). The shares are subject to the minimum statutory hold period.
About Los Azules
The company has a 25-per-cent back-in right in the northern portion of the Los Azules property, which is exercisable following the completion of a feasibility study. If the company elects to back in for 5 per cent or less, or has its interest diluted to 5 per cent or less, TNR will receive a net smelter royalty of 0.6 per cent from the northern portion.
The Los Azules copper deposit is located in the San Juan province of Argentina. McEwen Mining is the current operator on the Los Azules copper deposit, and the company advises that on March 13 and March 28, 2013, McEwen Mining issued press releases in relation to the deposit, which are accessible on SEDAR and on McEwen Mining's website.
The press release issued by McEwen Mining dated March 28, 2013, includes preliminary results from drilling operations on the Los Azules copper deposit for the current exploration season. McEwen Mining's press release appears to be prepared by qualified persons, but no independent qualified person engaged by TNR Gold has done sufficient work to analyze, interpret, classify or verify McEwen Mining's information to determine the accuracy of the current mineral reserve or resource, or other information referred to in the press release. Accordingly, the reader is cautioned in placing any reliance on the subject results and estimates.
McEwen Mining is completing a drilling program to further expand the resource to the west and to depth. McEwen Mining has also stated that an updated preliminary economic assessment will be completed later this year that will utilize the expanded resource (expected by the end May, 2013) and will incorporate results of recent metallurgical work focused on floatation optimization and copper leaching (see McEwen Mining press release of March 13, 2013).
About PI Financial
Established in 1982, PI Financial is a leading, full-service, independent investment dealer, providing a full range of investment products and services to corporate and institutional investors. PI has been advising and servicing the capital needs of the global mining industry for over 30 years with its very specialized and focused group of professionals.
John Harrop, PGeo, FGS, is a qualified person as defined under National Instrument 43-101, and has reviewed and approved the technical content of this news release.