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Published on Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee (http://www.gata.org)

China's biggest bank wants to get into gold leasing

By cpowell
Created 2012-05-28 17:51

Which means that China's government wants a hand in gold price rigging too.

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China's ICBC Has Big Dreams for Bullion Business

By Fayen Wong
Reuters
Monday, May 28, 2012

http://af.reuters.com/article/metalsNews/idAFL4E8GS2OW20120528 [1]

SHANGHAI -- Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd is seeking membership of overseas exchanges and aims to become a major global bullion market maker, a senior executive said on Monday.

The world's biggest bank by market value, ICBC is the top player by volume on China's gold and futures exchanges, but its participation in foreign markets is limited to over-the-counter trading, which reached a total $90 billion last year.

Emboldened by Beijing's ambitions to have a bigger say in global commodity prices, ICBC now has an eye on bourses such as COMEX and on joining the 11 market makers of the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA).

These quote continuous two-way bid and offer prices for gold, silver, platinum, and palladium throughout the London day, providing a liquid market in which to trade.

"We hope to play a bigger role in the global precious metals market and become a major market maker, like Barclays," Shen Shisheng, ICBC vice-general manager of financial markets, told Reuters on the sidelines of a conference in Shanghai.

Barclays Capital is among the gold fixing members on the LBMA.

... Dispatch continues below ...


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Prophecy Platinum (TSXV:NKL) Announces Encouraging Rhodium, Ruthenium, Osmium,
Iridium Assays from WS11-188 of Wellgreen Project in Yukon Territory, Canada

Company Press Release
May 25, 2012

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Canada -- Prophecy Platinum Corp. (TSX-V: NKL; OTC-QX: PNIKF; Frankfurt: P94P) is pleased to provide results of full spectrum 6E (Platinum, Palladian, Rhodium, Ruthenium, Osmium, and Iridium) analysis of platinum group elements on the first batch of samples from the company's wholly-owned Wellgreen PGM-Ni-Cu project in the Yukon Territory, Canada.

The company enlisted Activation Laboratories (Actlabs) of Ancaster, Ontario, to conduct a full-spectrum 6E analysis of samples taken from the 2011 drill hole WS11-188. Adding Rh, Ru, Os, and Ir to Pt and Pd increased the total PGE content (6E) by an average of 28 percent, based on a population of 90 samples, most of which are from disseminated sulphide-type mineralization.

Assay results with 6E exceeding 0.50 ppm (0.5 g/t) (excluding copper and gold assays) are tabulated at Prophecy's Internet site and are available with assay results from the entire batch of 90 samples here:

http://prophecyplat.com/news_2012_may25_prophecy_platinum_announces_rare... [2]



The newest LBMA market maker, Merrill Lynch, was appointed in January last year. ICBC became an ordinary member of the LBMA late last year, the first commercial bank in China to join the association.

Given the bank's large trading volume, Shen said that ICBC has recently started price quotation for gold transactions on the Shanghai Gold Exchange and has begun acting as an agent for non-member clients.

It has also opened offices in London and New York and plans to start price quotation in both cities soon, he said.

ICBC also wants to grow its financial products to service the full supply chain of the bullion market, including loans to miners and smelters, physical gold leasing, hedging and brokering.

"We now have banking operations in 34 countries and we need to expand our gold services and products to other major markets," Shen said.

China's gold markets have boomed in recent years as high inflation and poor performance in equities markets have seen investors turn to bullion as a safe-haven asset.

According to the U.S. Futures Industry Association, China was fourth in terms of volume of gold futures contracts traded in 2011.

Total trade for China's gold futures hit 722.18 million lots in 2011, a 113 percent jump from a year ago, while turnover jumped nearly 180 percent to 2.55 trillion yuan ($401.9 billion), according to data from the Shanghai Futures Exchange.

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Sona Discovers Potential High-Grade Gold Mineralization
at Blackdome in British Columbia -- 13.6g over 1.5 Meters

From a Company Press Release
November 22, 2011

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- With its latest surface diamond drilling program at its 100-percent-owned, formerly producing Blackdome gold mine in southern British Columbia, Sona Resources Corp. has discovered a potentially high-grade gold-mineralized area, with one hole intersecting 13.6 grams of gold in 1.5 meters of core drilling.

"We intersected a promising new mineralized zone, and we feel optimistic about the assay results," says Sona's president and CEO, John P. Thompson. "We have undertaken an aggressive exploration program that has tested a number of target zones. Our discovery of this new gold-bearing structure is significant, and it represents a positive development for the company."

Sona aims to bring its permitted Blackdome mill back into production over the next year and a half, at a rate of 200 tonnes per day, with feed from the formerly producing Blackdome mine and the nearby Elizabeth gold deposit property. A positive preliminary economic assessment by Micon International Ltd., based on a gold price of $950 per ounce over eight years, has estimated a cash cost of $208 per tonne milled, or $686 per gold ounce recovered.

For the company's complete press release, please visit:

http://www.sonaresources.com/_resources/news/SONA_NR18_2011-opt.pdf [13]