Archive for May, 2011


Friday, May 27th, 2011


Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha



Friday, May 20th, 2011

Small Loans Australia

The mining boom’s frontline:

That’s where the high wages are

May 20, 2011 – 10:53AM

There’s a backlash brewing on multiple levels against aspects of Australia’s resources boom, from complaints about “rich bogans” on disruptive big wages to ivory tower economists who’d like higher taxation to curtail the boom, with much of Australian business in the middle cursing the strength of the Australian dollar that flows from it.

There might have been a tinge of jealousy in the reading of yesterday’s labor costs statistics, showing the average wage in the mining industry is now six figures and therefore drawing away or starting to make more expensive skills in the cities.

Coins Auctioned

And Treasury Secretary Martin Parkinson this week warned that our dollar, stronger for longer, might be the biggest external shock to our economy yet. Parkinson was not being judgmental in that observation, merely stating the fact, but there has been a suspicion (denied) that some in Treasury would have been happy to see policy that limited the boom.

Having spent the week on the boom’s frontline in the north-west, flying into Broome and driving down to Port Hedland and Karratha, there’s a simple message: get over it. Rediscover Australia’s ability to rejoice in momentous achievements, in the capacity of Australians to work hard and change our world.

It’s a regular whinge that Australia hasn’t done anything big since the Snowy Mountains Scheme and it’s all the guvment’s fault. That’s a complaint made in ignorance. What’s happening in the Pilbara dwarfs the mighty Snowy vision and is having a bigger impact on the nation.

Financial Services Online Leads

You can read about it all you like and watch the pictures on TV, but the scale of projects present, promised and possible are only fully appreciated when they’re in front of you. I was hired to chair the inaugural Pilbara Pulse economic conference for the Karratha and Districts Chamber of Commerce and Industry – business people at the nation’s frontier facing enormous challenges and problems.

The biggest problems are those of too much success: a shortage of housing and commercial real estate that has pushed prices through the roof and, mainly because of that, a scarcity of labor, any labor, but especially skilled labor.

Just for starters, an average house in Karratha costs a million dollars to buy – or $2,000 a week to rent. And even at those prices, rentals right now simply aren’t available.

Providing housing therefore is part of the deal in hiring labor – but that doesn’t work if you are a small business person who has to do the providing for yourself and any employee.
The Rich Pom

Commercial real estate is equally scarce, with the shire and state government running hard to try to catch up with demand that is running faster. That’s why Karratha has no independent butcher, no dry cleaner, no bootmaker and probably no candle maker either.

So yesterday’s average mining industry wage has to be put in some perspective. The wages are high, but so are the costs on the frontier.

And for those doing the fly-in-fly-out routine, well, the money would have to be good. Karratha has supermarkets, pubs, restaurants, the beautiful Dampier archipelago. (The town claims the nation’s highest level of boat ownership per head of population.) On isolated mine and construction sites throughout the region, conditions are as comfortable.
Champion Picks

Perhaps at the extreme end of FIFO contracts, there presently is a workforce of 3000 people on Barrow Island building the Chevron-operated Gorgon LNG plant. They work 26 days on, then have 9 days off. And they’re not eight hour days. Normally you’d have to commit some sort of crime to cop a sentence like that.

The Gorgon construction force will peak at 5000, and then only a couple of hundred will be required to run the thing when completed. Those 5000 will move on to the next mega project – and there are many more – or return to their cities and towns having saved a stake, if they’re smart, to buy a home or start a business.

In the process, those people are building amazing wealth for the nation. Don’t begrudge them big incomes, they are earning it. Don’t just curse the source of our strong currency, realise we are collectively wealthier because of it, that our nation as a whole faces the problems of success. The challenge for the rest of us softies is to adjust and adapt our economy to handle it, to become smarter, more productive, more innovative as we are forced up the value chain by our currency.

And if you’re jealous of the big money earned by people on the frontline – and if you’re mentally strong enough to handle it – you can always join them. The people building the Pilbara, building the nation’s wealth, have much to be proud of. And we should be proud of them.

Quality Hospitality International

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

All That Glitters is Not Silver

Investing is not easy during the best of times. If you’ve read my writings or are a member of my trading service “The Trojan Secrets”, you know that I am a strong believer that the markets are rigged…and not in your favor. Two weeks ago I recommended my readers sell out of a precious metals stock that we owned for a quick trade. The metals markets looked frothy and Silver looked especially vulnerable.

That being said, the bigger point is how these markets trade and how bubbles are going to be a part of our lives for a long time to come. In the past two weeks silver has fallen by more than 20%. That’s a huge drop for any commodity in that period of time. There may be more to come. If you think that the rise in gold has been meteoric, the rise in silver prices has been stratospheric!  Over the past decade, from low to high, silver had risen by a factor of 15 times, compared to a rise in gold by a factor of just five times. There was no justifying factor for this rise other than the fact that silver is viewed as the “poor man’s gold”. But, that’s really all the justification the market needs to create a bubble. In other words, there is NO justification for the rise, just as there was no justification for the Internet bubble, the housing bubble or tulip mania, which occurred in Holland in the 1600s.

Manias and bubbles are created by investor optimism and professional hype. Who on earth in their right mind would pay 1,000 time earnings or book value for an investment? Well, many people did in 1999. Who would pay $1,000 per square foot for a second tier condo overlooking nothing in Miami? Well, people were falling all over themselves to do it in 2006. But these actions could not have occurred without a source to finance or hype them to those levels. That’s where the professionals step in. They’re good at spotting trends, but just as bad at knowing when they have peaked. Still, they serve the purpose of fueling rallies on the way up and then they overreact on the way down, exacerbating the declines. The top tier guys, like Goldman Sachs, figure out how to make money from everyone…on the way up and on the way down.

Let’s take silver for example. On the way up analysts and investors alike were pumping up projections. Stories about short supplies, market manipulation by banks like JP Morgan, buying by fund managers like Soros, Tilson, newsletters hyping and even talk radio served the purpose to rally the troops to buy the metals. Market exchanges did nothing to quell the hype, allowing access to cheap money via low margin requirements for any who wanted to speculate on the metal itself. For commodities it doesn’t take much buying…or selling to cause volatile spikes or crashes. For silver there was an over abundance of buying and froth to send the price to $100 per ounce, not just $50.

So, what exactly happened just before silver reached that magical $50 level. Well, let me digress for a minute. The holy grail for silver was and still is $50 per ounce. Why is that number so important…and so bogus? It’s important because that was the high watermark for the metal set in 1979 when the Hunt brothers tried to corner the market sending the price from $6 per ounce to a high of $48.70. It was no “fundamental” rally, but one that was the result of market manipulation. That in itself is reason enough not to trust the “silver” technicians. What is interesting though is what followed. As silver set highs in 1979, the commodities exchanges increased margin requirements. This means that speculators like the Hunt brothers who were heavily margined, had to come up with a ton of cash to support their holdings. They couldn’t. Silver prices cratered and the Hunts lost hundreds of millions, along with many other investors. The parallel today is that the exchanges raised margin requirements twice in the past
two weeks…and silver crashed as speculators had to come up with more cash or liquidate their holdings. The lesson here is not so much that you shouldn’t invest in margin, but that rallies that are built on leverage and not fundamentals are destined to crash. And, that the government or the exchanges are the wild cards when it comes to investing. Read your brokerage agreement and you’ll realize that the deck is stacked against you.

Is silver’s rally over? Yes, for now. But there is a lot of merit to the argument for buying and holding commodities like silver and gold. The argument is the fundamental crisis faced by the US Dollar. That crisis was not as serious in 1979 as the US was not in the same debt hole as it is today. The question is not whether one should own silver or gold with part of their holdings, but at what price points. Recent action in the markets are telling us that the level is closer to $20-$30 for silver. Gold on the other hand has not reacted like silver which bodes well for its future.

Sourced from the league of power


Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

Oil and Gas Firm Enters

the U.S. Recycling Market

Oil and Gas Firm Matrixx Enters the U.S. Recycling Market18 April 2011

Matrixx Resource Holdings Inc., a specialist in oil and gas exploration and acquisition, has entered into an agreement in principle to form a Joint Venture (JV) partnership to trade and process plastic and metal resources.

To run concurrently with its oil and natural gas program, Matrixx has says that it has agreed to form a subsidiary in which the partnership will engage in the purchase, sale, and processing of plastic and metal commodities.

The Company plans to trade and recycle post-consumer polyethylene (PET) plastic bottles and HDPE bottle caps for sale to companies in the United States.

The partnership is working on developing a proprietary equipment design and process that it claims will eliminate the human element in the sorting process – thus creating a more cost effective system.

The company says that its long term objective is to build a state of the art recycling facility in the New York Metropolitan Area that will incorporate renewable energy sources and serve as an education centre. This plant would be FDA certified and able to further process the post-consumer plastics into high quality grades of resin for potential use in food and beverage containers as well as medical supplies.

Furthermore, the partnership says that it has identified and initiated discussions for the acquisition of certain processing facilities, as well as for purchase and sales contracts within and around Central and South America.

Included in this formula, the partnership plan provides for specific collection and sales contracts of specified tradable commodities, including plastic, brass, copper, aluminium, and other valuable tradable resources.

Under the terms of the agreement, Matrixx will retain a minority percentage between 25% and 50% of the newly formed subsidiary. Additionally, the agreement calls for Matrixx to have managerial control of the newly formed subsidiary thus allowing the company to maintain consolidated financials.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

EC Decision Unlocks

Scrap Metal Value

A Warm Welcome to End of Waste Criteria for Scrap MetalsEC Decision Unlocks Scrap Metal Value

The European Commission’s recent decision that scrap iron, steel and aluminium should be classified as a product and not as waste will release the industry from waste-related red tape, says Eric Johnson from EUROMETREC.

As representatives of the European scrap metals industry, the Federation of European non-ferrous metal collectors, processors and recyclers (EUROMETREC), and the Federation of European ferrous metal collectors, processors and recyclers (EFR) welcomes the recent publication of the definitive legal text determining end of waste criteria for aluminium as well as iron and steel scrap.

We especially welcome the legal recognition of the value added by scrap recycling facilities in processing aluminium, iron and steel scrap to the quality set by the end of waste criteria. This is a legal recognition we have wanted for 20 years.

These criteria will give scrap recyclers the importance they deserve in supplying raw materials to industry, and will make Article 6 of the European Parliament and Council Directive 2008/98/EC on waste operational.

It will now be possible for aluminium, iron and steel scrap meeting the criteria to be regarded as a product rather than a waste, improving the common perception of scrap operators while relieving the scrap industry from waste related red-tape – such as the Annex VII required by the Waste Shipments Regulation (EC) No 1013/2006.

Product status for aluminium, iron and steel scrap will indeed be achieved once the criteria set out in Council Regulation No 333/2011 have been met. In practice this will mean that in order to be classified as a product, waste (post-consumer) aluminium, iron and steel will be required to undergo a recovery operation, and meet the purity level set out in the regulation.

Each consignment will need to be linked to a statement of conformity and the seller will be required to have a quality management system in place. Furthermore, the scrap operator will need to provide safety information upon request for the scrap metal which has ceased to be waste.

End of waste for aluminium, iron and steel scrap comes at a crucial point for the creation of the European recycling society as it will undoubtedly promote a resource efficient Europe under the framework of the Europe 2020 Strategy.

We are now expecting the end of waste criteria for scrap copper, waste paper and waste glass currently being reviewed by the EU Commission.

– Eric Johnson is the European affairs officer at EUROMETREC [European Non-Ferrous Collectors, Processors and Recyclers].

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Monday, May 2nd, 2011

Commissioners Gold Limited

Commissioners Gold Limited is an exploration company in a hurry. Five years of solid groundwork and drilling on the Company’s tenements has already been completed, and it is now seeking to delineate a robust gold resource. To deliver on this there can be no substitute for drilling holes.

To fund further drilling, the Company seeks to raise $4,500,000 by the offer of 22,500,000 shares at an issue price of 20 cents per share.

In addition, the Company intends at a later date as a loyalty gesture to offer non-renounceable entitlement Options (and seek listing for those Options) to shareholders who are on the share register at a time to be set by the Board approximately three to five months after the Company’s shares have been listed on the ASX. The non-renounceable entitlements issue of Options will be on the basis of 1 Option for each 3 shares held.

Company Background

Offer Overview
Offer     Commissioners Gold Limited
Issue Price     $0.20 per share
Minimum Investment     $2,000
Amount Sought     $4,500,000
Open Date     7th April 2011
Close Date     25th May 2011
List Date     10th June 2011
Market Capitalisation     $8,966,000
Proposed ASX Code     CGU
InvestSMART will receive a 4% placement fee on all applications bearing the InvestSMART stamp.
Documents & Links…

Download  Prospectus

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Download Document  AFR Article 29/04/2011
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Contact InvestSMART on 1300 880 160 for more information

The Company name, “Commissioners Gold Limited”, is a tribute to the Gold Commissioners of colonial central west New South Wales. In that geological province (the Eastern Lachlan Fold Belt) there have been exciting recent discoveries like McPhillamys, together with the proving up of projects like Tomingley, Marsden and Dargues Reef. There are presently three major producing gold mines in the Eastern Lachlan: Cadia, Cowal and Northparkes.

Since the 1980s most exploration in the area has concentrated on copper-gold porphyry targets. For a number of reasons the Company’s tenements were largely overlooked during this 1980s “gold rush”. The Directors believe this ground includes a number of obvious exploration targets that can be tested rapidly and cheaply.

The Directors believe the Company’s present portfolio of tenements represent the best potential to enhance shareholder wealth.

Investment Highlights

* Commissioners Gold is a gold exploration company focused on proving up economically viable deposits of gold in the world class Lachlan Fold Belt mineral province of New South Wales
* The Company has rigorously acquired a portfolio of six projects over six tenements, a ground area of over 500 square kilometres
* The Company owns 100% of each project, with the exception of EL 5939 where the Company is earning an initial 50% interest and EL 7702 where the Company is earning an initial 70% interest
* A series of pre-defined drill targets are prepared, with drilling on-going at Oberon (“Black Bullock”) and at Cowarra near Cooma
* Behind this strategy and focus the Company has a well qualified, experienced Board of Directors and a sound project management team
* All Commissioners Gold projects are extremely well located in NSW with electricity, sealed roads and towns nearby.

Exploration Strategy

* build on the JORC-compliant Inferred gold resource at Cowarra
* focus on a limited number of quality projects – funds not dissipated by being spread too thinly
* exploration based on science not industry fashion – in target areas neglected by other explorers
* prospective projects – providing the option to farm out on favourable terms as a project is advanced
* explore sequentially – to maintain a pipeline of projects
* acquire additional projects mainly by application – spend funds on exploration rather than paying speculative vendors/prospectors, and
* lean overheads – focus both geologically and geographically, streamline administration and put the money into drilling holes in well thought out targets

This strategy is designed to build long term wealth for shareholders by advancing projects to a commercial development stage through well funded exploration.

This focused approach will develop specific company expertise that will produce a competitive advantage over other similar sized explorers.

The Rise and Rise of Gold

Over the last few years, Gold has been a standout performer throughout the turmoil in global markets. Gold is a precious metal with numerous uses, including coinage, jewellery, luxury goods, electronics and medicine. Gold is also highly sought after for its investment value, particularly in times of market crises such as inflation, war, currency failures and stock market declines.

As can be seen in the below chart, the price of gold has increased substantially over the last decade, providing substantial returns for the shareholders of gold explorers that uncover sizable resources on their tenements.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Sunday, May 1st, 2011


OLI GIExxon earned nearly $US11 billion ($A10.15 billion) in the first quarter, a performance likely to land it in the centre of the national debate over high gasoline prices.

The world’s largest publicly traded company on Thursday reported net income of $US10.65 billion ($A9.83 billion), or $US2.14 per share, in the first three months of the year. That compares with $US6.3 billion ($A5.81 billion), or $US1.33 per share a year ago. Revenue increased 26 per cent to $US114 billion ($A105.2 billion).

The results surpassed Wall Street estimates of $US2.04 per share on sales of $US112.6 billion ($A103.91 billion), according to FactSet.

The quarter was Exxon’s best since it earned a record $US14.83 billion ($A13.69 billion) in 2008’s third quarter. It comes at a time when some drivers are paying $US4 or more for gas and President Obama is threatening the oil industry’s multibillion-dollar tax subsidies.

Earnings grew across the company’s business segments. Income from its exploration and production business gained 49 per cent to $US8.7 billion ($A8.03 billion) while the company’s downstream business, which includes refineries, posted a huge 30-fold jump to more than $US1.1 billion ($A1.02 billion).

Anticipating a strong reaction to the results from drivers and politicians, Exxon said on a company blog on Wednesday that it has little control over the price of oil, which has risen to near $US113 per barrel. The company also noted that less than 3 cents of every dollar it earns comes from the sale of gasoline and diesel fuel.

That may not appease many motorists, however. The national average for a gallon of gas is $US3.89, about $US1.02 more than a year ago. It’s above $US4 in 8 states and the District of Columbia. And on Thursday, the Commerce Department said economic growth slowed sharply in the first quarter, partly because of high gas prices.

On the blog, Ken Cohen, Exxon’s vice president of public and government affairs, said the company was anticipating “the inevitable headlines and sound bites about high gasoline prices and what to do about them” after the earnings were reported.

Exxon’s huge profit followed similar results by other oil companies.

Europe’s largest oil company, Royal Dutch Shell PLC, reported $US8.78 billion ($A8.1 billion) in first-quarter profits, up 60 per cent from a year ago. BP PLC’s quarterly earnings rose 16 per cent to $US7.2 billion ($A6.64 billion). ConocoPhillips said net income grew 43 per cent to $US3 billion ($A2.77 billion) and Occidental Petroleum Corp said earnings climbed 46 per cent to $US1.55 billion ($A1.43 billion).

Exxon Mobil Corp increased earnings even though it produced less oil and natural gas liquids. Benchmark crude prices rose 20 per cent from a year ago.

The company has increasingly focused on producing natural gas. Exxon expects natural gas to displace coal as the second most important fuel source within the next decade, and last year it acquired XTO Energy to become the largest US natural gas producer.

Natural gas production increased 24 per cent in the quarter for Exxon, but prices declined as other companies followed Exxon’s lead and rushed to develop underground shale gas deposits in North America. Natural gas prices fell nearly 16 per cent from a year ago.

AP   Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha