The Calandra Report: Waving the flag for Colombia

Thom Calandra
0 Comments|June 10, 2014

BOGOTA -- Why does the wind in Panama blow from north to south? Because Colombia apparently sucks. 
 
For gold prospectors anyway. Let's hope the Latin America paradise sucks for leftist rebels in coming months as well.
 
Colombia is one of my two favorite places in the world among mning jurisdictions that also have beautiful people and postcard settings.
 
Entonces -- Being I am on a mini-roll, after banking on Tonalist in the thoroughbred-racing Belmont Stakes this past weekend, I shall try for a parlay.
 
In Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, I pray to parlay, will lose the presidential run-off election this coming Sunday. That's a day after Colombia faces Greece in World Cup soccer, Group C, in Brazil.
 
Then, Óscar Iván Zuluaga will sweep into office, AND PROCEED TO WIPE the rebels off the face of Colombia's picture-perfect hills, dales, valleys and mountains. Just as importantly for most Colombians, the new president then will imprison or otherwise penalize and punish whoever is left standing. FARC peace talks notwithstanding.
 
Following which, Mr. Zuluaga will turn to the mining, energy and agricultural segments of his country's economy, which is expanding at a 4 percent clip yet should be doing twice that. He will clear up the morass of bureaucracy and failed computer systems that stall and kill worthy projects across his resource-rich land.
 
He will work with subsistence miners -- otherwise known as illegals or the ridiculous term artisans -- so that they no longer use explosives, black markets, mercury, extortion and child labor to reap their daily grams of mineral. Maybe even, he publicly will shine his light on truly great mining projects -- such as Continental Gold (TSX:T.CNL, Stock Forum) at Buritica.
 
See: Continental Gold (T.CNL) hits 97.8 g/t Au over 6.9 metres at Buritica.
 
He shall do this so that the landscape loving people of Colombia ​-- all 55 million of them -- ​will get beyond the flash-trash headlines ​of their tabloids and instead learn that good miners, like good coffee growers, are has important to his gorgeous nation as good football teams are.
 
​Of course, the odds of that happening in his first year of office are probably as far-fetched as Tonalist was at 10 to 1 before the big race. ​But not, one hopes, as long odds as Colombia at 45-to-1 is in the FIFA WORLD CUP. 
 
We'll see. First, Mr. Z. must beat his even-odds chance at winning the runoff Sunday. Run, Z, run.
 
Other decent bets:
 
​1. I know insiders and related parties who are purchasing shares of New Gold (TSX:T.NGD, Stock Forum). The miner's all-in costs for producing an ounce of gold (USA, Mexico and Australia jurisdictions) are below $875, supposedly. I say supposedly only because -- like box office for film -- you never know what is behind the numbers unless you are at the mine and at the mill and in the front office. Still, NGD shares are rising on decent trade in a June-swoon market.​ I would not touch them at $5.50 USD​. But I would keep an eye on the shares, which I do not own and have no interest in buying.
 
2. Platinum equities such these days, whichever way the wind is blowing. I always have been a plat-​fan and in possession of the coins, and the prospector stocks​.
 
South Africa labor troubles could send the price to $1,700-plus ounce soon, several agencies are reporting. But when, pray, parlay? ​
 
A yearly deficit in terms of supply looks the worst since 1975. ​Why are our platinum prospectors and mine developers there doing so poorly?
 
​Our South Africa longtime holdings here at home and in our The Calandra Report research -- Ivanhoe Mines and Platinum Group Metals (TSX:T.PTM, Stock Forum) -- are in the dumper. Actually, PTM is hanging in there.

Ivanhoe Mines (TSX:T.IVN, Stock Forum) is in the dumper, having demolished many hundreds of millions of dollars of equity value since going public 21 months ago. ​
 
I have owned these two for so long, they will need to quintuple from current levels to justify any multi-year return -- and in the case of IVN, the hold period is stretching to 11 years now (as a private).
 
​Always good to own some platinum -- in my case 2009 Maple Leafs and commemorative Nelson Mandela sets from several years ago.
 
Looking for platinum mines outside of RSA South Africa? Wellgreen Platinum's (TSX:V.WG, Stock Forum) ultramafic results from the far western end of its Yukon property are showing the kinds of thicknesses, widths and strike lengths, as much as 2.5 km, that will get the attention of New York and Boston hedge funds.

​Longshot: Bitterroot Resources (TSX:V.BTT, Stock Forum) in Michigan -- we shall know more on its last-gasp attempt at platinum, nickel, hey, whatever, we'll take it, assays in the mining-friendly state come July or so.​ I own BTT and I do NOT own WG.
 
3. Hey, this is the month when Russell indexes re-set based on market cap requirements. This might benefit several companies we follow, including Sysorex Global Holdings (OTO:SYRX, Stock Forum), if it increases its market worth by another 20 percent or so to above $100 million.
 
Also: BioCryst Pharma (NASDAQ:BCRX, Stock Forum), which was $1.50 or so a year ago at this time and is now at almost $12 for a market worth of $800 million.
 
That one -- with several drugs in clinical trials -- has some mo-mo going on the share price. ​I have been purchasing SYRX and know the principals.
 
We'll see some Peramivir news for influenza before June 30, hopefully a positive endorsement from U.S. Health & Human Services. BioCryst just sold about $120 million or so worth of shares to the public at $10 each. I own a metric ton of BCRX.​
 
4. Back in the suck-wind landscape of resource equities, ​I will present my thesis on Gold Standard Ventures (TSX:V.GSV, Stock Forum) and its anticipated exploratory drilling and resource report on the recent ​Pinon purchase in Nevada -- ​for our paying TCR subscribers.
 
Please subscribe for $110 yearly at www.thomcalandra.com [right now, our TCR sign-up page is forwarded to CEO.ca, where you will find subscription links].
 
5. One more event driven resource equity that could see sharp gains this month: American Sands Energy (OBB:AMSE, Stock Forum) is pilot-testing its extraction plant for Utah heavy sands oil. The test takes place later this week in Arizona and will bring bankers and other money-clips to the fold. I own that one and know the principals extremely well, so I believe I have an understanding of the value dynamic..
 
-- Thom​ Calandra​

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