Scrap gold sales peter out in India


By Biman Mukerji
The Wall Street Journal
Monday, August 22, 2011

NEW DELHI -- India's scrap gold sales are likely to drop this year in a reversal of a trend seen during past price rallies, as people are holding on to their family gold in anticipation that the bull run in the yellow metal won't stop, traders said.

Sales of scrap gold in India were around 90 metric tons last year, and its flows during the first half of this year were estimated at about 5% below the level during the first half of 2010, Jeffrey Rhodes, global head of precious metals at advisory firm INTL FCStone, said on the sidelines of a conference in the southern tourist destination of Kovalam over the weekend.

"The same trend is likely to continue well through the year," he said. "Its not what the price is, but the expectation of what the price will be that is driving the trend. The belief in India is that prices are going to go up."

Traders said people expect the prices to rise close to $2,000 a troy ounce. On Monday, they rose to a record $1,882.55.

In the western Indian city of Ahmedabad, where people have often scrambled to sell old family gold when prices have gone up, supply of gold scrap has fallen sharply.

... Dispatch continues below ...


Golden Phoenix Q2 2011 Conference Call Posted at Company Internet Site

The second quarter 2011 conference call of Golden Phoenix Minerals Inc. (GPXM) has been posted at the company Internet site for immediate playback. The call includes updates on the start of gold production at the company's Mineral Ridge gold project in Nevada, the letter of intent to acquire the Santa Rosa gold mine in Panama, and the company's due-diligence efforts to secure a senior stock exchange listing.

The conference call is 18 minutes long and you download an mp3 of it here:

Or play back the call here:

Golden Phoenix 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:

"Scrap sales are down by 50%-60%. People are feeling that gold is the only safe place left for investments," said Pawan Chokshi, an Ahmedabad-based bullion dealer. "There are hardly any scrap sales happening and I think that's a phenomenon cutting across India."

"Even at these prices, people are feeling that it's better to invest in gold rather than sell their old gold," Mr. Chokshi said.

Traders said only those who were desperately short of cash were selling their family gold, and many were instead pledging their gold to borrow money to meet emergencies.

According to Mr. Rhodes, the underlying sentiment is that most people were long on gold.

Meanwhile, traders warned that a short-term correction in gold prices is likely because of heightened expectations.

Paul Walker, chief executive of metals consultancy GFMS, said everybody in India is expecting that gold prices will keep rising, but the underlying sentiment is something to be "nervous" about.

"Indians are buying gold at prices where people never expected to buy. What does this show," he said, adding a price correction could come anytime in the next two weeks.

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Prophecy Platinum Reports 10.97 Million Ounces Inferred
and 1.04 Million Ounces Indicated PGM+Gold in Yukon

An independent resource report on the Wellgreen project in the Yukon Territory in Canada has just confirmed that it as one of the largest platinum group metals projects in Canada and one of the few outside South Africa, Prophecy Platinum Corp. Chairman John Lee says.

The report, compliant with Canadian National Instrument 43-101, was written by geologist Todd McCracken of Wardrop Engineering Inc., a Tetra Tech company. It incorporated drill data from 701 diamond drill holes (182 surface and 519 underground) totaling more than 53,222 metres. Using a 0.4 percent nickel equivalent cutoff grade, the Wellgreen deposit now contains a total inferred resource of 289.2 million tonnes at an average grade of 0.53 g/t platinum, 0.42 g/t palladium, 0.23 g/t gold (1.18 g/t PGM and gold), 0.38 percent nickel, and 0.35 percent copper. Separately, the deposit also contains an indicated resource of 14.3 million tonnes at an average grade of 0.99 g/t platinum, 0.74 g/t palladium, 0.52 g/t gold (2.25 g/t PGM and gold), 0.69 percent nickel, and 0.69 percent copper.

Prophecy Platinum Corp. trades on the Toronto Venture Exchange under the symbol NKL, on the pink sheets in the United States as PNIKD, and in Frankfurt as P94P.

For the complete press release on the Wellgreen report, please visit: