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Central banks pull most gold in a decade from BIS
Do they want to get it back in their own vaults before the fiat currencies hit the fan?
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By Jack Farchy
Financial Times, London
Thursday, July 7, 2011
Central banks have pulled 635 tonnes of gold from the Bank for International Settlements in the past year, the largest withdrawal in more than a decade.
The move, disclosed in the BIS's annual report, marks a sharp reversal from the previous year, when central banks added to deposits of gold at the so-called "bank for central banks" rather than lending it directly to the private sector amid growing concerns over counterparty risk.
Central banks and other official institutions collectively hold about 30,000 tonnes of bullion in their reserves, and many seek to earn an income on their gold by lending it out, just as any other currency.
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Prophecy (TSXV: PCY) Secures Russian Far East Seaport Allocation
and Updates Ulaan Ovoo Mine Production
Company Press Release, June 14, 2011
VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Prophecy Coal Corp. TSX-V: PCY)(OTCQX: PRPCF)(Frankfurt: 1P2) has arranged with the Port of Sovgavan in the State of Khabarovsk, Russia, so the company will have initial access to port allocation of 25,000 tonnes of coal per month starting this month, potentially expandable to 50,000 tonnes per month, representing 300,000 to 600,000 tonnes annually. Prophecy also will be assigned a coal storage area at the port.
This arrangement provides Prophecy's Ulaan Ovoo thermal coal mine with immediate access to the Asian seaborne export coal markets. Sovgavan is strategically located on the seaboard of the Russian Far East. The port is privately owned and can accommodate seagoing vessels of up to 160 meters in length, with the depth of loading site of 9.5 meters. The port has loading capacity of 6,000 tonnes per day and direct connections to Trans-Siberian railroads and uncongested Russian state highways.
Securing the port opens Prophecy to a significant number of coal buyers, and the company is placing top priority to conclude rail transport within Russia and coal offtake contracts.
Prophecy's Ulaan Ovoo mine commenced production in 2011. So far this year the mine has produced 200,000 tonnes of coal, which are being stockpiled. The average quality is 4,200 kcal/kg NAR with 5 percent ash and 0.5 percent sulphur. Those attributes compare favorably to the coal being purchased by local Russian and Mongolian power plants.
For the complete company statement, please visit:
However, demand to borrow gold has fallen sharply in the past decade, driving interest rates on gold lending to record lows.
Hedging by gold miners, which is typically structured to involve borrowing gold, was traditionally the largest source of demand. But since miners have cut back their hedging programmes to almost zero, the gold lending market, which is mediated by large bullion-dealing banks, has dwindled.
Lending gold for six months earned a rate of 0.1 per cent on Thursday, according to benchmark market assessments published by the London Bullion Market Association.
In response to e-mailed questions, the BIS confirmed that the fall in the value of gold deposits disclosed in its annual report represented "a shift in customer gold holdings away from the BIS."
"The Bank's gold deposit liabilities declined by around 635 tonnes between 31 March 2010 and 31 March 2011," it added. Comparison with previous annual reports showed the withdrawal was the largest in at least 10 years.
Traders said the move of gold holdings away from the BIS probably reflected a combination of factors.
Some central banks, unimpressed with the paltry interest rates on offer, may have taken the decision not to lend their gold at all.
"My perception is there's less and less gold being put out by the central banks into the gold market," said one banker.
However, some central banks may have rediscovered an appetite for lending gold to the private sector, which can earn higher rates depending on the credit rating of the counterparty and structure of the transaction.
"As commercial banks' balance sheets have started to look better, there may have been a switch back to lending to the private sector," said Philip Klapwijk, executive chairman of GFMS, a consultancy.
"Yield enhancement can be a powerful inducement to a central banker," an industry executive added.
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Golden Phoenix Shareholder Conference Call To Discuss
Start of Gold Production at Mineral Ridge Gold Project
Company Press Release, June 27, 2011
SPARKS, Nevada -- Golden Phoenix Minerals, Inc. (GPXM) has scheduled its second quarter 2011 shareholder conference call for Tuesday, July 12. Shareholders are invited to participate in the call, will begin at 1 p.m. Pacific and 4 p.m. Eastern time.
Company management will provide updates on accomplishments in the second quarter and explain how the company's royalty mining growth strategy is expected to unfold in the second half of the year.
Topics to be updated include the start of gold production at Mineral Ridge, developments on the Vanderbilt Silver and Coyote Fault Gold projects, the Shining Tree and Peru projects, and drilling plans for 2011. Questions from shareholders will be answered as well.
"Thirteen months after closing the joint venture between Golden Phoenix and Scorpio Gold, the Mineral Ridge property has entered gold production," said Tom Klein, CEO of Golden Phoenix. "Last week both companies completed joint tours of Mineral Ridge. We look forward to providing a complete update on our conference call."
Participation in the shareholder conference call can be arranged by telephone, webcast, or Skype. To participate, dial 952-356-0015 and enter Conference ID 419582#.
For the company's full press release, please visit:
Golden Phoenix (GPXM) is a U.S. mining company with international exposure to gold, silver, and strategic metals. The company's business model combines project generation and royalty mining that offers the potential for exploration upside, coupled with the backing of production and future royalty streams. View company videos here: http://www.GoldenPhoenix.us