Lear: Ay, every inch a king!
Shakespeare, King Lear, Act 4, scene 6
- The interview in question was conducted by a certain Andrew Mickey of Q1 publishing (and you’re not alone, as I’ve never heard of the dude or his company, either).
- Mr. Mickey interviews Villarzú, the chairman of Apoquindo Minerals (AQM.v) and ex-head of Codelco.
- AQM.v is a junior copper miner in Chile, so has everything to gain from a higher copper price. Mr. Mickey discloses that he is long AQM.v.
- However, Mr. Mickey also writes that SQM is a “leading copper producer” and waxes lyrical about how it has benefitted from the recent Cu rebound. This is strange, as SQM is the well-known and very large Chilean potash/iodine/lithium company. Not copper. Not even close to copper.
- Meanwhile, in the interview itself Villarzú informs us of his call for copper. JV says, “I think copper will be at $2 by the end of the year, and will be above $2 next year.“ Villarzu then goes on at length about China demand for copper as the reasons behind his bullishness. Of course, all this is immediately turned into some type of gospel, because Villarzú is “The King Of Copper” and (in the words of Andrew Mickey) “…has an impressive track record many mining executives would envy.”
- Today, this press release hits the wires from Kin Communications that repeats in big bold letters that; “I think copper will be at $2 by the end of the year, and will be above $2 next year.” says Juan Villarzu, Former President and CEO of CODELCO Chile, world’s largest copper producer. Kin Communications is the investor relations people for Apoquindo Minerals, by the way, but don’t let that worry you.
- For example, in October 2005 he said that copper prices would drop to U$1.25/lb in 2006. It zoomed to way over $3/lb.
- In February 2006 with copper over $2.30/lb, he called for it to drop to $1.50 to $1.70/lb in 2006, citing Chinese demand reasons. Copper finished the year averaging $3.06/lb. Oops, not the right call when you’re the CEO of the biggest copper company in the world, is it?
- Then the call for $1.00/lb copper in 2007? Nah, that didn’t work out very well either, really.
- It was at the same time as these calls that Villarzú “was allowed to step down” at Codelco, being replaced by José Pablo Arellano. Strange coincidence that, isn’t it?
All I’m saying is that it sucks being named “King of Copper” by a paid hack who owns stock in Villarzú’s junior copper company but clearly doesn’t know Jack about the copper industry.
Then getting this obviously biased and uninformed puff-piece stuffed in my face from the same company’s IR dep’t and a bunch of people who should turn their own bullshit alarms on sometimes really sucks.
And Juan Villarzú’s track record in calling spot copper really, really sucks.