Can Colombia's New President Revive the Country's Mining Industry?

Thom Calandra  |

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 mining jurisdictions that also prove up 1. lovely, honest people; 2. postcard-perfect settings; and 3. mouth-gaping equity losses.

Entonces (Therefore), being I am on a mini-roll, after banking Tonalist in the thoroughbred-racing Belmont Stakes this past weekend, I shall try for a parlay payday.

In Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos seems bound to lose the presidential run-off election this coming Sunday. We only can pray this is so.

The run-off comes one day after Colombia faces Greece in World Cup soccer,Group C, in Brazil.

When Óscar Iván Zuluaga sweeps into office. Mr. Zuluaga will 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 -- absurd FARC negotiations not whithstanding.

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 pace. He will clear up the morass of bureaucracy and failed computer systems that stall and kill worthy gold, copper, coal, gypsum and oil-gas projects across his resource-rich land.

The new president, one expects, will work with subsistence miners -- otherwise known as illegals or the ridiculously undeserved term artisans -- so that the heathens no longer use explosives, black markets, mercury, extortion, murder and child labor to reap their daily grams of mineral. Maybe even, Mr. Z. publicly will shine his light on truly great GOLD AND SILVER mining projects -- such as Continental Gold ($CNL:CA) at Buritica. See: Continental Gold (CNL) marks 97 grams per ton of gold @ Buritica.  

In so doing, the new president will be inviting the country's inflow of foreign direct investment to regain the thrust it had under heroic former president and newly elected SENATOR Alvaro Uribe.

In CNL Continental, Mr. Z., President Zuluaga, has one of the best run, pleasing to the eye and highest-grade vein deposits of underground gold and silver not just in Antioquia and not just in Colombia, but in all of the central and south Americas. That is at Buritica, close by the city of 5 million, Medellin. If CNL shares in Canada trading go any lower, as in below $3, I am a buyer for the first time.

I've been to CNL's Buritica twice officially and one more time nearby. Beautiful country, a titanically profitable mine in the making (it already produces a token amount each month) ... and yet surrounded by a most evil and destructive stream of illegal miners who also deserve a new president's attention.

Mr. Z. shall do all this so that the landscape-loving people of Colombia -- all 51 million of them (don't believe the official count) -- can get beyond the flash-trash headlines of their tabloids and instead learn that good miners, like good coffee growers, are as important to his gorgeous nation and its economic and social well being 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 FIFA WORLD CUP.  

We'll see. First, Mr. Z. must beat his even-odds chance at winning the runoff Sunday. When that happens, I will be pledging to visit the nation another 21 times over the span of six years, renewing my equity affairs with (to date) Colombian Mines, out-performing Atico Mining, struggling Solvista Gold, evaporating Waymar Resources and one or two others.

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That's right, I still own all of those, and a couple of others in what was 75 years ago South America's largest gold producing nation.

Until this Sunday, then, I'll have to settle for my other gold mining paradise: Cambodia

More Parlay

1. I know insiders (execs) and related parties who are purchasing shares of New Gold  (NGD) . 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. At $5.37 USD, the biggest risk is the shares return pronto to $5 a share. Keep an eye on the stock, which I do not own and have no interest in buying.

2. Platinum equities suck these days, whichever way the wind is blowing. I always have been a plat-fan and in possession of the coins, and yes, the plat-prospector stocks. South Africa labor troubles could send the price to $1,700-plus ounce soon, several agencies are reporting. But when, pray parlay platinum?

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 ($IVN:CA) and Platinum Group Metals ($PTM:CA) – are in the dumper. Actually, PTM is hanging in there. Ivanhoe Mines is in the dumper of all rubbish heaps, having demolished many hundreds of millions of dollars of equity value since going public on the main Toronto board 21 months ago.

I have owned these two for so long, they will need to quintuple from current levels to justify any kind of decent multi-year return; in the case of IVN, the hold period is stretching to 11 years now (first as a private), so make that a sex-tuple (6X).

Always good to own some platinum -- in my case 2009 Canada Maple Leafs and commemorative Nelson Mandela sets from several years ago. Looking for platinum mines outside of RSA South Africa -- sans the labor risk? Wellgreen Platinum's ($WG:CA) 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 Resouces (BTT:CA) 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. 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  (SYRX) , if it increases its market worth by another 15 percent or so to above $100 million. Also: BioCryst Pharma  (BCRX) , which was $1.50 or so a year ago at this time and is now at almost $11.50 for a market worth of $800 million. That one -- with several drugs in clinical trials -- has some mo-mo going on the share price.

We'll see some BioCryst peramivir news for influenza before June 30, hopefully a positive endorsement from U.S. Health & Human Services. BioCryst just soldabout $120 million or so worth of shares to the public at $10 each. I own a metric ton of BCRX. It is mo-mo-moving higher. I have been purchasing SYRX and know the principals.

-- Thom​



$110 yearly: Does Not Recur


$110: Will Recur Yearly

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