Turkey sharply increases its gold reserves


By Rhiannon Hoyle
The Wall Street Journal
Friday, December 23, 2011


LONDON -- Turkey lifted its gold reserves by a hefty 1.328 million troy ounces, or 30 percent, last month as central banks around the world maintained their positions as net buyers of the precious metal.

According to data from the International Monetary Fund, the Turkish central bank increased its gold reserves to 5.758 million ounces in November, from 4.429 million ounces the month prior. This followed a rise of 697,000 ounces in October, the latest IMF figures show.

While the Turkish central bank wasn't available for immediate comment Friday regarding its recent reserve increases, it announced in November that it had begun to accept gold in its reserve requirements from commercial banks. Under the policy change, banks are allowed to hold a maximum 10 percent of their Turkish lira reserve requirements in gold, which it said would free up around 5.5 billion lira ($2.91 billion) in liquidity to the market.

Prior to the purchases, Turkey had the 30th-largest official holding of gold in the world, at around 7 percent of its foreign reserves, according to the World Gold Council, an industry body. It is now likely to have the 22nd-largest official holdings following the additions.

... Dispatch continues below ...


Sonora Aims to Follow First Majestic's Success
With Silver Mining Exploration in Mexico

Sonora Resources (OTCBB: SURE) is a silver mining exploration company focused on the development of prospective opportunities in Mexico. The company president and CEO is Juan Miguel Rios Gutierrez, who helped build First Majestic Silver Corp., which began trading for pennies and today is at more than $16 per share. Gutierrez was the fourth person to join First Majestic Silver, originally as general manager, then manager for new business initiatives and strategic planning. He left First Majestic Silver to work with Sonora Resources and yet maintains strong contacts with First Majestic. In fact, First Majestic is a large shareholder in Sonora and has a joint venture with the company.

For more information about Sonora Resources, please visit:


Meanwhile, Russia also continued its program of gold accumulation in November, lifting its holdings a further 81,000 ounces to 28.086 million ounces. Russia's reserves, having been added to every month so far in 2011, are now up 11 percent on the start of the year.

In January the Central Bank of Russia's press service said the bank planned to buy 100 metric tons, or around 3.2 million ounces, of gold per year from domestic banks in order to bolster reserves. Russia is the world's eighth-largest official holder of the precious metal, which accounts for around 9 percent of its foreign reserves.

Emerging market central banks have been buying gold in reaction to the sovereign-debt crises affecting the U.S. dollar and the euro, analysts say. Demand has also risen strongly in recent quarters as some seek to diversify foreign-exchange reserves that have grown along with emerging market export industries.

Tajikistan last month added 10,000 ounces of gold to its reserves, counterbalancing a reduction of 12,000 ounces reported the prior month. Its reserves now stand at 150,000 ounces, according to IMF data.

Macedonia, Belarus, Mauritius, and Greece also reported small additions to their reserves for November, while Mexico and Slovenia recorded minor reductions.

Metals consultancy GFMS recently forecast that central banks could buy nearly 500 metric tons, or around 16 million ounces, of gold this year.

Total central bank gold purchases in the third quarter were more than double the level in the second quarter and almost seven times higher than the same period of last year, at 148.4 metric tons, or 4.8 million ounces, according to a report last month from the WGC. The body said it expects central banks to continue to be net buyers of gold in the fourth quarter, as well as next year.

Purchases by the official sector have helped to drive the price of gold higher this year, not only by absorbing supply but through the positive boost they have given to market sentiment.

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Golden Phoenix Signs Definitive Agreement
to Acquire and Reopen Santa Rosa Gold Mine in Panama

Company Press Release
Monday, September 19, 2011

SPARKS, Nevada -- Golden Phoenix Minerals Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: GPXM) has signed a definitive agreement to acquire a 60 percent interest, with an option to buy an additional 20 percent interest, in the Santa Rosa gold mine in Panama, now owned by Silver Global S.A., a Panamanian corporation.

Santa Rosa produced more than 100,000 ounces of gold from 1996 to 1998 before being closed in part to low gold prices, which are now more than five times higher.

Golden Phoenix intends to acquire its initial 60 percent interest in Santa Rosa by acquiring 60 percent of the share capital of a recently created company under the name Golden Phoenix Panama S.A., formed to hold and operate the mine.

Tom Klein, CEO of Golden Phoenix says: "The agreement establishes a solid framework from which we can advance Mina Santa Rosa to production-ready status."

For Golden Phoenix's complete statement, please visit: