Barclays admits manipulating LIBOR rate; other banks still being investigated


Barclays Pays $450 Million to End Libor Probe

By Brooke Masters and Kara Scannell
Financial Times, London
Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Barclays has agreed to pay a total of $450 million to US and UK regulators to settle a probe into allegations that its employees sought to manipulate the London interbank lending rate that is the basis of more than $350 trillion of contracts worldwide.

The settlement covers the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission and Department of Justice, as well as the UK Financial Services Authority. The CFTC imposed a $200 million penalty, the Justice Department $160 million, and the FSA a record L59.5 million fine.

Unlike many US-only deals, the settlement will include a detailed final notice from the FSA in which Barclays will admit failings.

... Dispatch continues below ...


Prophecy Platinum Announces Wellgreen Preliminary Economic Assessment:
38% Pre-Tax IRR, $3.0 Billion NPV, and a 37-Year Mine Life

Company Press Release

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Canada -- Prophecy Platinum Corp. (TSX-V: NKL, OTC-QX: PNIKF, Frankfurt: P94P) reports the results of an independent NI 43-101-compliant preliminary economic assessment for its fully owned Wellgreen nickel-copper-platinum group metals project in the Yukon Territory.

The independent assessment, prepared by Tetra Tech, evaluated a base case of an open-pit mine (with a mining rate of 111,500 tonnes per day), an on-site concentrator (with a milling rate of 32,000 tonnes per day), and an initial capital cost of $863 million. The project is expected to produce (in concentrate) 1.959 billion pounds of nickel, 2.058 billion pounds of copper, and 7.119 million ounces of platinum, palladium, and gold during a mine life of 37 years with an average strip ratio of 2.57.

The financial highlights of the preliminary economic assessment, shown in U.S. dollars, are as follows:

Payback period: 3.55 years
Initial capital investment: $863 million
IRR pre-tax (100% equity): 38 percent
NPV pre-tax (8% discount): $3 billion
Mine life: 37 years
Total mill feed: 405.3 million tonnes
Mill throughput: 32,000 tonnes per day

Prophecy Chairman John Lee says: "We are pleased with the preliminary economic assessment results. The numbers indicate that Wellgreen is one of most exciting mineral projects in the Yukon. The company is drilling to upgrade and expand the resource base. The infrastructure is excellent as the project is only 1,400 meters in altitude and 14 kilometers from the paved Alaska Highway, which leads to the Haines deep seaport. Discussions are under way with support from local stakeholders regarding permitting and logistics."

For the complete press release, please visit:

In response, Barclays said Bob Diamond, chief executive, and three other senior executives had agreed to forgo their annual bonus this year.

"The events which gave rise to today's resolutions relate to past actions which fell well short of the standards to which Barclays aspires in the conduct of its business," Mr Diamond said in a statement. "I am sorry that some people acted in a manner not consistent with our culture and values."

Nearly a dozen regulators worldwide are investigating allegations of Libor manipulation and two similar rates set daily by panels of banks in London, Tokyo, and Brussels.

The investigations have had two strands: whether panel banks deliberately lied about the rate at which they could borrow in order to make themselves appear stronger; and whether traders at the banks and hedge funds sought to shift around the rates for profit purposes.

While virtually every bank on the rate-setting panels has received subpoenas or requests for information, the Financial Times reported last year that Barclays was a top target because of e-mails suggesting that confidentiality barriers, known as "Chinese walls," between its traders and the Libor rate-setters may have been breached.

The bank said in March in its 2011 annual report that it had been informed by regulators that it was facing potential enforcement proceedings and was "engaged in discussions with those authorities about potential resolution." The bank and the FSA declined to comment on Wednesday.

The pending deal would not affect a European Commission probe into whether Barclays and other banks acted as a cartel to influence Euribor, the Brussels-based rate at which banks lend euros to one another.

People familiar with the EU investigation said its competition enforcers usually try to tackle the entire alleged cartel rather than picking off particular institutions for settlement.

Barclays helped spark that probe and sought whistleblower status after discovering that one of its former traders was involved in efforts to influence the setting of Euribor.

Libor measures the short-term interbank lending rates and is set daily in 15 currencies and 10 time periods by panels of banks under the auspices of the British Bankers' Association. Every day, each bank submits the rates at which it believes it could borrow. The top and bottom quartile are thrown out and the rest are averaged.

Libor serves as the benchmark for everything from interest rate swaps to corporate loans and individual mortgages.

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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: