How to spot the next Ashanti


10p EST Sunday, November 7, 1999

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

Here are a few interesting articles.

The first two were published Sunday in The Telegraph in
Britain, written by the newspaper's financial editor,
Bill Jamieson. One of the articles makes reference to
the campaign GATA has begun to get answers from the
U.S. Federal Reserve Board and Treasury Department
about their policy and actions in regard to gold.

The more clamor gold's friends can direct at the Fed
and the Treasury Department, preferably through members
of Congress, the more likely we are to get honest

The article about government policy toward gold says
that the member of Parliament who first questioned the
Bank of England's gold sales program, Sir Peter
Tapsell, will be asking more inconvenient questions in
Parliament this week. Let's wish him the best.

The third article is an essay by Milhouse at that has a reprimand for gold mining
companies that have hedged too much. Here is the
Internet link so you can read the whole essay at Gold-

Please post this as seems useful.

Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.

* * *


By Bill Jamieson
The Telegraph, United Kingdom

Sunday, November 7, 1999

Pressure is growing from the Ghanaian government for
top management changes at Ashanti Goldfields in the
wake of the liquidity crisis caused by losses suffered
on its trading book last month.

The government, which holds a 20 percent stake in the
company, is keen to ensure there is no repetition of
the circumstances that brought the company to the brink
of an enforced merger with major shareholder Lonmin,
the South African platinum producer. It would also like
a diminution in the influence of Lonmin, a 32 percent
shareholder, on the Ashanti board.

Speculation is growing over the position of Mark
Keatley, Ashanti's finance director, while there are
also suggestions that there may be a change in the
chairmanship, currently occupied by Richard Peprah, who
is also Ghana's finance minister. A shakeup may form
part of a government reshuffle that is in the offing.
Sam Jonah, the company's chief executive, may also be
in the firing line.

Suggestions that Terry Wilkinson, who quit the Lonmin
board last week after disagreements with Nick Morrell,
chief executive, may be recruited to the Ashanti board
were dismissed by Lonmin sources yesterday as

Although the immediate crisis has passed with a
standstill agreement reached with counterparties to the
group's hedge book, the Ghanaian government was
particularly concerned that the hedge book contracts
were so complex that few outside Goldman Sachs and CSFB
could unpick them.

Ashanti still has a severe shortage of working capital.
Last week it said it was unable to accept a revised
offer from Lonmin, while Lonmin in turn has said it
would not support any move to sell all or part of
Ashanti's valuable Gheita mine in Tanzania.

* * *


By Bill Jamieson
The Telegraph, United Kingdom

Sunday, November 7, 1999

Is the world gold market, of which London is the
center, free or fixed?

Searching questions are being asked of the U.S. Federal
Reserve Board and the operational support it may have
given to relieve pressure on those with massive short
positions such as Goldman Sachs.

Comparisons are being drawn with the Long-Term Capital
Management affair, and a full inquiry is surely due.
Over here, Gordon Brown faces more questioning this
week from Sir Peter Tapsell, member of Parliament, on
the United Kingdom's gold sales.

As the Bank of England was a signatory to the
Washington statement of European central banks freezing
gold sales and lending, when exactly did the bank act
as a depositary for the Central Bank of Kuwait to lend
part or all of its official gold reserves to the market?