Reg Howe saves Canada with a little instruction in gold


10:41p ET Wednesday, October 1, 2003

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

Our hero John Embry, president of Sprott Asset
Management in Toronto, spent a lot of time again
Tuesday on ROB-TV, the Canadian business news
network, and, amazingly, GATA member Mark Webber
again was there to take it all down, so a
slightly edited transcript is appended here with
heartfelt thanks to Mark.

Read it and see why a special NORAD detachment
in Lockport, N.Y., is assigned to jam ROB-TV
signals and Embry is able to enter the United
States only when disguised with a turban and
fake beard and carrying a Saudi Arabian passport.

CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.

* * *

"Nightcap with Howard Green,"
featuring John Embry of Sprott Asset Management
ROB-TV, Canada
Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Green: Well, another soggy day for the U.S. dollar --
nothing gold bugs love more -- sending gold futures up
almost three bucks by day's end. Not quite where it was
last week but still hanging in there. Joining me this evening
on "Nightcap": gold afficianado John Embry, president of
Sprott Asset Management. Good to have you with us,

Embry: Always nice to be here, Howard.

Green: I just had Russell Sheldon on, from Bank of Montreal,
and he's saying the U.S. dollar is going to keep going down.
You must love hearing that.

Embry: Well, the U.S. dollar is fundamentally very weak. You
just look at the trade deficit, the current account deficit, the
budget deficit. It's just deficits everywhere. And it's going down.
There's no question. The only thing that will stop it from going
down dramatically is that nobody else wants their currencies
to go up!

Green: (Laughs.)

Embry: So they will be battling. They will be printing money.
I think I heard Sheldon allude to something about the Canadian
dollar? They don't want it over 75 cents! We're not competitive
over 75 cents. So guess what. We'll be printing money and
dropping rates. This is the perfect environment for gold -- when
ALL the paper currencies are under pressure. And I think we
are just at the cusp of that. It's just starting to unfold.

Green: Because we will be awash in liquidity? Is that the

Embry: We'll be awash in liquidity. We'll be in a state of
classic monetary debasement. All the paper money will be
printed far more than is required just to keep everything
well-greased. Then people will start looking more aggressively
at tangibles. And the king of tangibles is gold.

Green: And so how much will gold rise as a result of this?

Embry: I think it's going to rise a lot. I'm on record as saying
that before this decade is out it's going to rise up multiples of
the current price. People forget what happened in the 1970s.
The rhetoric I've heard lately sounds awfully like when gold
was $35 dollars in 1971. People couldn't imagine it going to
$100, let alone $800. Similarly now they can't imagine it going
to $500, let alone $1,000. I think the fundamentals are better
this time for gold.

Green: I had Doug Pollitt on Friday night and he was at the
Denver conference, as I gather you were.

Embry: Yes, I was.

Green: And he said he was surprised that there was a lot
less back-slapping there than he expected -- that if the metal
doesn't go higher, the stocks are going to pull back.

Embry: Oh, I don't think there's any question. In my fund I
actually have been selling stocks and buying a little bit more
metal just for a little protection for the simple reason that the
stocks are already discounting gold well into the four-hundreds.
But having said that, I think gold IS going into the four-hundreds,
so I'm not all that worked up about the stocks being overpriced
significantly. I thought the conference was relatively subdued
-- like most people don't believe the gold price, and I think
they're wrong. I think it's going a lot higher. The companies
don't believe it and a lot of attendees don't believe it.

Green: (Laughs.) All right. We will talk more about gold on
"Market Call Tonight." We'll look forward to that, John. That is
the business news for this evening. For those of you watching
us live, stay tuned for "Market Call Tonight." My guest will be
John Embry of Sprott Asset Management. He'll be answering
your calls and e-mails on gold and precious metals.

* * *

"Market Call Tonight with Howard Green,"
featuring John Embry of Sprott Asset Management
ROB-TV, Canada
Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Green: Welcome back to "Market Call Tonight," John.

Embry: Thank you.

Green: You were telling me in the break that you were
surprised that gold actually went up today, because it
was the last day of the quarter. Explain that.

Embry: Well, basically gold was breaking out sharply last
Thursday. And the forces that do not want gold higher came
thundering onto the floor of the COMEX and really beat it up.
And they broke it. They got it from $393 down to about the
mid-380s on Thursday. Took it down to $380 on Friday. A lot
of negative commentary over the weekend. You know, "The
long specs were gonna get broken. They were gonna panic,
sell. ... It was going to go cascading down." Which is exactly
what these guys want. Because at the end of a quarter they've
got to mark a lot of this stuff to market. And what they don't
want is a higher gold price, because they're on the wrong side
of the market. Lo and behold, there is a big buyer in the market.
And the big buyer appears to have won this fray. Because it
started up yesterday and then it was stronger even today. It
got a little bit of help from a lot of developments. The Bank of
Japan intervened to try to weaken the yen this morning in
middle of the night our time -- and FAILED. Suddenly you
see the yen weaken and then all of a sudden it shot back up
again. Clearly the people who trade in the currency markets
know this intervention. When you're intervening against a
primary trend, you're going to lose. And the primary trend for
the yen is now UP.

Green: Who is the big buyer of gold?

Embry: I think the big buyer is coming out of China.

Green: Really?

Embry: Yes. I think the Chinese have a very passionate
interest in gold. The rumor in the pits anyway is the big
buyer may have been from China.

Green: All right, with that as a backdrop let's go to the
phones. Richard in Winnipeg. Hi, Richard.

Richard: Hello, Mr. Green. Mr. Embry. I value your opinion.

Embry: Thank you.

Richard: On Bema Gold: Is it stepped up too high or is it
now contemplating a $400 gold price? Would you buy now
or would you wait until a pullback?

Embry: I was a big buyer of Bema earlier this year around a
buck-and-a-half Canadian. Subsequently it has run a long way.
But they have one of the great exploration properties. One of
the leading explorationists for one of the large companies
called it "the finest exploration prospect on the planet." And
Kupol, which is in Russia -- they've got about 75 percent of it.
This looks like they have somewhere between 5 to 10 million
ounces. Probably over an ounce grade. Clive Johnson, who is
the proprietor of this outfit, is one of the great promoters. He
has done well with very little. He's got something big this time.
I would definitely be a buyer of the stock on any weakness. In
fact, I might buy it here.

Green: Even at $3.42 (Canadian)?

Embry: Yes.

Green: It's pretty actively traded. It was the fourth most actively
traded today.

Embry: It's very actively traded because it has a huge fan base
in the United States. That's important. I mean these people are
not too valuation-conscious. If you've got something that looks
like its got a good story to it, and gold is in favor, they'll buy
So Bema's good.

Green: Let's go to the next caller. We've got Les in Calgary. Hi,

Les: Hi, John. I would like to know your outlook on Arizona
Star and its Cerro Casale project in Chile.

Embry: That's really interesting because Bema owns 25
percent of this. Arizona Star owns 25 percent of Cerro Casale.
Placer has 50 percent. Now Cerro Casale is a huge ore
body of not-so-hot grade. But at higher copper and gold prices
this thing is economic. And Placer has to come forward. If this
thing can be financed, Placer has to start taking this forward.
Arizona Star is a terrific proxy, in my opinion, on higher gold
and copper prices. I would definitely be a holder of the stock.

Green: $2.75, down a dime today. OK, let's move on to your
top picks of today. Top Pick No. 1, Thistle Mining. South Africa,
Kazakhstan, and the Phillipines. Not a household name. Tell
us about it.

Embry: Thistle's been beat up a bit because of the stronger
rand in South Africa. So the operating costs in their operating
mine, the President Steyn down there, moved up. I like the
strategy of the CEO, Willie McLucas. He has a strategy. I
think he'd love to sell some of his South African assets to
Harmony. His assets in South Africa are surrounded by
Harmony down in the Free State. And he wants to develop
his Phillipine asset, which is actually quite promising. So
it's a stock that trades well and it's been beaten down to the
mid-50s. I think it's a good leveraged play on gold here and
I've been buying it in this range.

Green: Let's keep an eye on that one. Let's go to Jerry in
St. Johns.

Jerry: John, my primary question is on Gold Reserve.
I've asked you on a couple of occasions about it. I
understand that you've become a fan of Gold Reserve.

Embry: This is a large, very low-grade ore body in
Venezuela that is attached to the Las Christinas property,
which is under great speculation with Crystallex. This
thing won't go forward without the Crystallex/Christinas
issue being straightened out. If you're a patient investor,
it's a good investment. You may have to wait a while for
this because this Christinas mess is going to take longer
than everybody thinks.

Green: What is a long time?

Embry: I would think you're probably talking many years
before this is in production.

Green: Like 10?

Embry: No, it wouldn't be that long. I think that you could get
it in this decade. It's just that Venezuela is also an issue. But
it is a very cheap stock and I would certainly hold it in a rising
gold market.

Green: All right, Rob in Cornwall, Ontario.

Rob: Great show as always. I'd really appreciate John's views
on Merdian as a value play. I've got a couple of gold stocks
already. And it seems like everybody is passing this one over.
Your opinion, please.

Embry: That's a good question because I think they ARE
passing it over. And I really think they're wrong in the sense
that the Esquel property in Argentina, which has run into
serious permitting problems, will, I believe, ultimately be
permitted. And that's the key aspect.

Green: Is that why people have been passing it over?

Embry: Absolutely. And in my view on gold, and how this is
going to unfold in the next five or 10 years, an asset in the
ground is only going to become more valuable. So if the
Esquel property is delayed --and it IS going to be delayed
probably a couple of years anyway because of these
permitting issues -- the asset's still there. And if they
eventually get it permitted, it is going to be worth a fortune
when gold is trading at a thousand dollars. So I like Meridian
a lot. In fact, I was a buyer of the stock very recently. I think
the investing public is wrong on this one. Meridian has fabulous
management, a great cash cow in El Pino, a very active
exploration program, and an asset that's being severely
undervalued because of the permitting issue. I'd be a buyer.

Green: All right. Kevin in Vancouver.

Kevin: A quick question on Ivanhoe Resources and mainly
their Mongolian play.

Embry: If you believe Robert Friedland, this is one of the
monster ore bodies in the history of the world.

Green: Do you believe him?

Embry: I would downplay it a bit. I think that it IS a major
ore body. They've got some very good results lately. The
issue was grade. They've got some very high-grade results
recently. So that is a big positive development. My issue
would be how long it's going to take to exploit. This is a
total greenfield. There is no infrastructure. There is not a
great deal of water. And I think this thing won't be in
production probably until the next decade.

Green: Do you own this one?

Embry: I do not own Ivanhoe. I do own QGX, which I've
talked about many times on the various shows, which is
my play in Mongolia. It's much much cheaper and I take
the proprietor at his word.

Green: And so if you owned Ivanhoe, what would you do
with it?

Embry: I would hold it because Robert Friedland is the
greatest promoter on Earth. He's got a great asset but the
stock is extraordinarily expensive. He's got a $2 billion
market cap on something that I don't see being in production
for a long time.

Green: Let's get your second pick of the evening. Top Pick
No. 2: Defiance Mining. It's 61 cents.

Embry: I think Defiance Mining is a stock that has got a lot
of potential because they have a terrific ore body that has
actually been drilled out in Mauritania, which is not one of the
world's garden spots.

Green: I'm not sure I could find it on a map.

Embry: Mauritania is over there with Mali and Ghana. It's
actually in a legitimate mining area. And it's beautiful topography
because it's flat and dry and uninhabited. So I believe they will
get this into production reasonably quickly. It's got a million
ounces already and they've got a million ounces in resource. If
they could drill a million ounces and prove up -- convert the
resource into reserve -- we've got a serious asset here for a
50-cent stock.

Green: They have enough money to develop it?

Embry: Yes. They're well on the way. We helped save this
company: myself, Fred Sturm over at Mackenzie, and John
Hick, who's the CEO now. This thing was on its last legs when
it was Geomaque. And we got really lucky in a series of
transactions. We ended up with this prospect in Mauritania,
which is the Tasiast property. And I think the stock is
undervalued still. The assumption is that this thing does get
into production and there's a couple of million ounces for a
pretty good price.

Green: And so what is the potential hiccup here?

Embry: The hiccup is always in these things -- getting the full
financial package. It is in Mauritania but they are pretty
comfortable with the idea that they can get it done. The
government is very onside. They don't have a lot of industry
there. They have a very large iron ore complex. It's a moderate
Islamic nation, it's not heavily inhabited, they need enterprise,
and they seem to be mining-supportive. So that's a big positive
in these countries. If the government's onside, you can usually
get it done.

Green: All right, an e-mail. This is from Trevor. "Gold and
inflation: If gold goes to 800 bucks, what would you expect
corresponding inflation and interest rates to do? Can you
recall historically what happened last time gold had a major
run?" I think you can. You've talked about it.

Embry: Clearly I'm in the environment in which gold would
take out the old high at $800. It would come, I suspect, at
a period of considerable monetary debasement, which means
that the values of anything you're buying would be rising. Now
the rate of inflation that that would entail -- I don't know. It
would be materially higher than it is now. And I suspect that
long rates would be higher. Short rates, because of the debt
that's all through the system, would probably be maintained at
fairly low levels. We'd have a steepening yield curve in this

Green: Why is there so little inflation though given that we've got
so much liquidity?

Embry: Itt's the way inflation's measured. Very simply: Housing
is going through the roof in North America. Some of the statistics
in the States recently on house price increases and volumes and
everything are staggering. The stock market's recovered. Money
is sort of seeking outlets. The reason you don't get high-stated
inflation, like high CPI, is all these goods flooding in from China.
There is this inflation/deflation battle. There are a lot of
deflationary forces in the world. China, the Internet, too much debt
-- and they're trying to offset this with massive injections of
liquidity. It's a battle. I don't know who's going to win. Gold wins
in either deflation or inflation. It doesn't win in disinflation,
which we've had for 20 years.

Green: Let's go to Sergio in North York. Hi.

Sergio: John I was wondering if you could give me your long-
and short-term views on Axmin, and if you could comment on
the Newsweek article on Newmont's involvement in the Mali

Embry: As you probably know, because I've commented on
Axmin many times before, I love this company. I think the
management, headed up by Jon Forster with the backing of a
Swiss group, Addax, is one of the best management groups
in the junior gold field. And they have a proven track record.
They found Geita when they were previously Samax and sold
it to Ashanti. So this is the same guys basically. And Michael
Martineau is another one that's associated with us.I back
people who are winners. These guys are most assuredly
winners. And they've got three interesting operations. They've
got this fantastic unexplored greenstone belt, which they're
just drilling in the Central Africa Republic. Very promising.
The first holes have been very good. They have this property
in Mali, which, I'm told by certain people, is viewed very
constructively. That Newmont is prepared to do business with
them on that property speaks to the quality of it. And they
are looking to develop a prospect in Burkina Faso. They are
trying to put a mine into production with High River. So for
a junior, for my money, this is one of the best ones on the

Green: Perry in Mississauga, Ontario.

Perry: A question for you, John, on Tanrange. I know
you're a big admirer of Tan Range and I purchased it two
years ago at 45 cents. I'm seeing it climb. So where do you
think it's going and how about their properties?

Embry: This is a tough one for me because I was a major
shareholder in my previous incarnation. And when I got over to
Sprott the stock had moved up sufficiently that I was a little
uncomfortable with buying it. It's continued to move up.
This is a play on the proprietor, James Sinclair, known in the
trade as Mr. Gold, one of the finest gold traders in history.
And this guy is a remarkable guy. Having said that, I'm not
crazy about his assets. So people are buying the jockey here,
not the horse.

Green: What's wrong with the assets?

Embry: Tthey're in Tanzania and they don't have a great deal.
But they're working away and people buy people and this guy is
fantastic. So....

Green: That's why the stock ran up?

Embry: Absolutely. I would have kept it if I were at the bank.
I just can't chin myself to the current price to buy it.

Green: Why is such a brilliant gold guy running a company with
assets that you're not crazy about?

Embry: Well, he may develop them. He was the guy behind Sutton
Resources, which sold Bulyanhulu and eventually to Barrick. So
he's got a track record and he's workin' away in the same part of
the world. He just may come up with it. It's just at this point I'm
crazy about what he's got so far. But this is the beauty of this
business. One day it could be worth nothing; the next day it could
be worth a billion dollars. Good guys tend to find the billion-dollar

Green: Let's have your third pick: Aurora Platinum. You were telling
me before: This is not platinum?

Embry: No longer. These are my great friends from Southwestern
Resources. They have about a 16 percent interest in this company
and they actually have the same people who are involved in the
management. What they have accumulated is a really interesting
series of nickel prospects in the Sudbury area. I would call this a
mini-Fort Knox. And we had great success with FNX Mining
when Terry McGibbon took a bunch of ex-Inco assets. This thing
to me is a really misunderstood and not well-followed company.
On top of that they control Lakeshore Gold, which I think is one of
the really exciting small gold companies.. They're doing some
wonderful things up in the Timmins area.

Green: So is it a nickel play or a gold play?

Embry: It's both. The company directly is focused on nickel
but it also has a nice play on gold because it owns 60 percent
of this subsidiary that I think is very promising. Soyou get two
shots at this one and it's cheap.

Green: And the principal risk with this one?

Embry: The principal risk is that the whole metal complex doesn't
work. I love stocks that aren't in favor. I don't believe the public
or the institutions are really at this one. I've been a big buyer of
this. I've been accumulating it ever since I got to Sprott. I like it
very much.

Green: And you own the other two as well: Thistle and Defiance?

Embry: Oh, yeah. All of those are well represented in my fund.

Green: Let's go to Dean in Burlington.

Dean: John, I took your recommendation a number of months
ago on Wheaton River and it's grown nicely to about $2.69. But
about a week ago it was up to almost $2.90. And as the price
of the gold has gone up in the past week, the stock has dropped.
Do you think it has reached its peak? And should I be possibly
be dumping it to pick up one of your other selections?

Embry: I don't know that it's reached its peak. This thing was
constructed for a bull market in gold. And they issue shares and
they buy gold assets, which I think is a fabulous strategy. Their
first two acquisitions -- the Luismin mine down in Mexico and
then the one in Argentina -- were brilliant strokes. Their latest
acquisition hasn't impressed me as much. They tell me I'm wrong,
and other people don't agree with me. It gets into a debate about
whether this was a great acquisition. But what really put the cap
in the stock recently was, at the Denver gold show, they gave a
very aggressive presentation and then the very next morning laid
a hundred-million-dollar issue in the market with no use of the
proceeds. So I'm sure they've got something up their sleeve.
But there's just too much stock in the market short term. So
there's a little pressure on the stock. I would definitely hold it
here. I think that there's further to go. But I would prefer to see
them acquiring producing assets rather than things they're going
to have to develop. And this last acquisition in Mexico is going
to require some development. I'm not as keen on the stock. I was
very keen on the stock back when it was back around $1.20 to
$1.25. In the high 2s I'm not as keen but it will definitely rise
with the gold market.

Green: Another one that is very active in the top 10 on the TSX.

Embry: Yes. Initially they created a lot of paper, so there's a
lot of shares on the market. I think one of the shortcomings with
this thing is that you are getting too many shares on the market.
Eventually, when you blow your market cap up too big, it just
becomes unwieldy, and it doesn't have the same lift as other
stocks. I really like companies with smaller market caps where,
if news hits, or a development, you get real leverage in the stock
and it moves more rapidly.

Green: Another e-mail from Andrew in Toronto on Rubicon
Minerals. "What are your thoughts on Rubicon for the long- and
short-term? Would you be a buyer at these levels?"

Embry: Rubicon is a company that is very active in one of the most
prolific belts in the world. It's up in Red Lake and it's got a
really nice land package. To date they haven't really found anything
that I think is going to turn into a mine. But they've got such a
good land package, and if they keep drilling, they stand a very good
chance. I would keep the stock. I do not own it in my fund at this
point. I have owned it. And with anything up in Red Lake you're
relatively safe with, because it's a great address and there's a lot
of gold up there.

Green: One last quick call. Peter in Montreal..

Peter: A while back you mentioned you had a large stake in
Queenstake Mining. Do you still maintain that holding? Would
you recommend the stock?

Embry: Good question. Queenstake: I got very interested in it
when it was around 22 cents. And it ran to 98 cents, at which
point I was extremely uncomfortable because my stock is restricted.
Now it has pulled back to 68 cents. I think this guy has done a great
job of acquiring these assets at Jerritt Canyon. I believe that he is
going to turn resources into reserves. I think it is a great play on
gold. I think the check back from the mid-90s to the mid-60s has
created a wonderful buying opportunity. I would definitely be a buyer
in the 60s.

Green: John, we've got to go. Thanks for joining us.

Embry: Howard, always nice to be here.

Green: John Embry of Sprott Asset Management.


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