What a surprise: FT says CFTC to drop silver investigation

Section:

But such an outcome would be completely consistent with a finding that the really big player in the silver market is not JPMorgan at all but the U.S. government acting through intermediary brokerage houses. After all, as he signed the legislation demonetizing silver in 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson pledged that the U.S. government would rig the silver market if necessary to prevent the price from rising:

http://www.gata.org/node/11601

And the Gold Reserve Act of 1934, which created the U.S. Exchange Stabilization Fund, explicitly authorizes the U.S. treasury secretary to trade secretly in all markets on behalf of the U.S. government:

http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/international/ESF/Pages/esf-inde...

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Four-Year Silver Probe Set to Be Dropped

By Jack Farchy and Gregory Meyer
Financial Times, London
Sunday, August 5, 2012

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/45329d42-dd97-11e1-8be2-00144feab49a.html

A four-year investigation into the possible manipulation of the the silver market looks increasingly likely to be dropped after US regulators failed to find enough evidence to support a legal case, according to three people familiar with the situation.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission announced that it was investigating "complaints of misconduct in the silver market" in September 2008, following a barrage of allegations of manipulation from a group of precious metals investors.

In 2010, Bart Chilton, a CFTC commissioner, said that he believed there had been "fraudulent efforts" to "deviously control" the silver price.

... Dispatch continues below ...


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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...



But after taking advice from two external consultancies, the first of which found irregularities on certain trading dates that it believed deserved more analysis, CFTC staff do not have sufficient evidence to bring a case, according to the people familiar with the situation.

The agency's five commissioners have not yet formally determined the outcome of the investigation, leaving the possibility that staff could be instructed to dig deeper. A CFTC spokesman said: "The investigation has not reached its conclusion." He declined further comment.

Ending the probe would infuriate some US silver investors, who claim that a group of large investment banks -- in particular, JPMorgan -- has conspired to drive the price of silver lower.

"I'm sure it will be met with some concern from a certain group of aggressive silver speculators," said one person familiar with the investigation.

In a recent blog post, Ted Butler, a newsletter publisher and unofficial champion for the silver investors, accused the CFTC of being "negligent in failing to terminate the obvious manipulation ongoing in silver."

The CFTC has analysed over 100,000 documents and interviewed dozens of witnesses since it began investigating the market in 2008, it said last year. The people familiar with the situation said the evidence included records from JPMorgan.

The conclusion of the investigation will come as a relief to JPMorgan. Although no company or individual was named in the CFTC investigation, the Wall Street bank has suffered a torrent of allegations from silver investors on the blogosphere.

One campaign exhorted sympathetic readers to "crash JPMorgan" by buying silver -- based on the assumption, which JPMorgan has repeatedly denied, that the US bank has a large bet on lower silver prices.

In addition, a class-action lawsuit has been filed against JPMorgan. Lawyers for the bank have asked a judge to dismiss it, arguing that plaintiffs "fail to identify a single trade" showing manipulation.

Blythe Masters, head of commodities at JPMorgan, in an April interview with CNBC conceded that there had been "a tremendous amount of speculation, particularly in the blogosphere, about this topic," but maintained that the bank had no large bets on silver prices.

"We have no stake in whether prices rise or decline," she said. JPMorgan declined to comment on the CFTC investigation.

Previous CFTC silver inquiries in 2004 and 2008 found no evidence of wrongdoing.

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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