New York Times figures out that conspiracies really ARE rigging markets

Section:

It's probably only another few decades now before the newspaper gets around to the gold and silver markets.

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Rigged Rates, Rigged Markets

From The New York Times
Tuesday, July 3, 2012

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/03/opinion/rigged-rates-rigged-markets.ht...

Marcus Agius, the chairman of Barclays, resigned on Monday, saying "the buck stops with me." His was the first departure since the British bank agreed last week to pay $450 million to settle findings that, from 2005 to 2009, it had tried to rig benchmark interest rates to benefit its own bottom line.

Mr. Agius was right to go and the bank's chief executive, Robert Diamond Jr., should follow him out the door. But the investigations cannot stop there.

The rates in question -- the London interbank offered rate, or Libor, and the Euro interbank offered rate, or Euribor -- are used to determine the borrowing rates for consumers and companies, including some $10 trillion in mortgages, student loans, and credit cards. The rates are also linked to an estimated $700 trillion market in derivatives, which banks buy and sell on a daily basis. If these rates are rigged, markets are rigged -- against bank customers, like everyday borrowers, and against parties on the other side of a bank's derivatives deals, like pension funds.

... Dispatch continues below ...



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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



Barclays is only one of more than a dozen big banks that provide information used to set the daily rate for Libor and Euribor. The settlement, struck with regulators in Washington and London and with the Department of Justice, indicates that the bank did not act alone. It shows that unnamed managers and traders of Barclays in London, New York, and Tokyo colluded with or prevailed upon bank employees who provide the benchmark data to make false reports. The aim was to bolster Barclays' trading positions and to aid or counteract other banks' attempts at manipulation.

The evidence, cited by the Justice Department -- which Barclays agreed is "true and accurate" -- is damning. "Always happy to help," one employee wrote in an e-mail after being asked to submit false information. "If you know how to keep a secret, I'll bring you in on it," wrote a Barclays trader to a trader at another bank, referring to an attempt to align their strategies for mutual gain.

If that's not conspiracy and price-fixing, what is?

The Justice Department has left open the possibility of prosecuting officers or employees of Barclays. But it has agreed not to prosecute the bank itself, in part because Barclays was the first to cooperate in the investigation and has agreed to keep cooperating. Such an agreement makes sense only if that cooperation will allow prosecutors to nail other banks that have been involved in setting the rates, including potential cases against Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, and HSBC, and people who work there.

To date, the Justice Department has not distinguished itself in prosecuting major banks or their executives for conduct leading up to and during the financial crisis. But with Barclays now cooperating, the "Libor scandal" is another chance for government prosecutors to unmask and punish financial wrongdoing.

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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:

http://prophecyplat.com/news_2012_june18_prophecy_platinum_announces_res...