As West's gold paper price falls, metal gets scarce in Asia

Section:

Gold Prices Buoyed by China Demand

By Jack Farchy
Financial Times, London
Friday, January 14, 2011

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/ecd524fe-200e-11e0-a6fb-00144feab49a.html#axzz...

A spike in gold buying by Asian investors has created a scarcity of investment-grade gold bars in the region, supporting prices even as Western investors trim their holdings.

Traders said that gold sales to China had jumped 30 to 50 per cent since Christmas, driving the cost of kilo bars in Hong Kong more than $3 per ounce above the market price of gold, the highest level since 2008 and an indication of the tightness in the physical market.

"Physical demand has rocketed in China at the start of the year," said Walter de Wet, head of commodities research at Standard Bank.

The wave of Asian buying has propped up gold prices at about $1,360 a troy ounce, traders and analysts said.

... Dispatch continues below ...



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Sona Drills 85.4g Gold/Ton Over 4 Metres at Elizabeth Gold Deposit, Extending the Mineralization of the Southwest Vein on the Property

Company Press Release, October 27, 2010

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Sona Resources Corp. reports on five drillling holes in the third round of assay results from the recently completed drill program at its 100 percent-owned Elizabeth Gold Deposit Property in the Lillooet Mining District of southern British Columbia. Highlights from the diamond drilling include:

-- Hole E10-66 intersected 17.4g gold/ton over 1.54 metres.

-- Hole E10-67 intersected 96.4g gold/ton over 2.5 metres, including one assay interval of 383g of gold/ton over 0.5 metres.

-- Hole E10-69 intersected 85.4g gold/ton over 4.03 metres, including one assay interval of 230g gold/ton over 1 metre.

Four drill holes, E10-66 to E10-69, targeted the southwestern end of the Southwest Vein, and three of the holes have expanded the mineralized zone in that direction. The Southwest Vein gold mineralization has now been intersected over a strike length of 325 metres, with the deepest hole drilled less than 200 metres from surface.

"The assay results from the Southwest Zone quartz vein continue to be extremely positive," says John P. Thompson, Sona's president and CEO. "We are expanding the Southwest Vein, and this high-grade gold mineralization remains wide open down dip and along strike to the southwest."

For the company's full press release, please visit:

http://sonaresources.com/_resources/news/SONA_NR19_2010.pdf



The metal's price has dropped 4.6 per cent from its December record price of $1,430.95, trading at $1,364.10 on Friday, as optimism about prospects for U.S. growth has led Western investors to turn their attention away from gold to other commodities and equities. "We have a balanced situation where one part of the world is buying and the other part is selling," said a senior trader in Hong Kong. Chinese and Indian investors are increasingly turning to gold to protect savings against sharply rising food prices.

Investor buying of gold bars jumped 80 per cent to a record 144 tonnes last year in India, according to GFMS, the precious metals consultancy, while across east Asia bar hoarding was up 125 per cent at a 15-year high.

In another sign of the booming investment demand for gold in the region, China's first exchange-traded fund to offer exposure to physical gold, launched last month by Lion Fund Management, announced this week that it had already achieved its target of raising $500 million.

The tightness in the Asian market is likely to persist until the end of the month, traders said, as some refiners have booked out production until February and Chinese demand remains robust ahead of the new year holiday.

However, some warned that the gold market could lose its main support when China shuts down in the first week of February.

Edel Tully, precious metals strategist at UBS, said that next month, "if investors are intent on selling, gold will not have the buffer it had in January."

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Prophecy Drills 71.17 Metres of 0.52% NiEq
(0.310 % Nickel 0.466 g/t PGMs +Au and 0.223% Copper)
from surface at Wellgreen Project in the Yukon

Prophecy Resource Corp. (TSX-V: PCY) reports that it has received additional assays results from its 100-percent-owned Wellgreen PGM Ni-Cu property in the Yukon, Canada. Diamond drill holes WS10-179 to WS10-182 were drilled during the summer of 2010 by Northern Platinum (which merged with Prophecy on September 23, 2010). WS10-183 was drilled by Prophecy in October 2010. Highlights from the newly received assays include 71.17 metres from surface of 0.52 percent NiEq (0.310 percent nickel, 0.466 g/t PGMs + Au, and 0.233 percent copper) and ended in mineralization. For more drill highlights, please visit:

http://prophecyresource.com/news_2010_nov29.php