If only gold Fairtraders put a few questions to central banks


Gold: You Can Now Buy Fairtrade Bullion and Jewellery

By Kara Gammell
The Telegraph, London
Monday, February 14, 2011


It used to be just Fairtrade coffee, tea, and bananas that were available for ethical shoppers, but now consumers can buy gold with a clear conscience.

The world's first Fairtrade and Fairmined gold has been launched in the UK in an effort to tackle poverty and dangerous conditions faced by small-scale miners.

Royal jeweller Garrard is among 20 companies to launch the first of the gold, which has been used in collections and one-off pieces. Each piece will carry a Fairtrade and Fairmined hallmark.

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Prophecy Resource Spins Off Platinum/Palladium Venture:
World-Class PGM Deposit in Yukon

Company Press Release, January 18, 2011

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Prophecy Resource Corp. (TSX-V:PCY)and Pacific Coast Nickel Corp. announce that they have agreed that PCNC will acquire Prophecy's Nickel PGM projects by issuing common shares to Prophecy.

PCNC will acquire the Wellgreen PGM Ni-Cu and Lynn Lake nickel projects in the Yukon Territory and Manitoba respectively by issuing up to 550 million common shares of PCNC to Prophecy. PCNC has 55.7 million shares outstanding.

Following the transaction:

-- Prophecy will own approximately 90 percent of PCNC.

-- PCNC will consolidate its share capital on a 10 old for one new basis.

-- Prophecy will change its name to Prophecy Coal Corp. and PCNC will be renamed Prophecy Platinum Corp.

-- Prophecy intends to distribute half of its PCNC shares to shareholders pro-rata in accordance with their holdings.

Based on the closing price of the common shares of PCNC on January 17, $0.195 per share, the gross value of the transaction is $107,250,000.

For the complete announcement, please visit:


The Fairtrade Foundation said hundreds of thousands more workers had been lured to the industry by the surging price for precious metal on world markets. However, it remained one of the world's most dangerous industries, with many of the estimated 15 million people working in the artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) sector risking disease, serious injury and death or facing exploitation from middlemen paying below-market prices.

The Fairtrade Foundation estimates that some miners earn less than 70 pence a day, though the price of gold has risen from L200 per ounce in 1999 to more than L875 last year. More than $137 billion was spent globally on gold jewellery in 2010 and the UK is the second largest gold jewellery market in Europe.

The Fairtrade minimum price for pure gold is set at 95 percent of the London Bullion Market Association's fix -- the international agreed price. But the foundation said that typically ASM producers in the main received anything from just 30 to 85 percent of the fix.

The International Labour Organisation reported that there are more than six times the number of accidents in ASM compared with large-scale mining, mainly due to the larger labour force and poorer working conditions. It also warned of severe risks to the health of miners caused by daily contact with toxic chemicals used to process gold such as nitric acid, mercury and cyanide which can lead to damage to the brain, kidney, and nervous system.

Under the Fairtrade and Fairmined system miners are required to adhere to a set of standards, guaranteeing that gold is produced in a way that is safe for people and the environment. In return, miners will receive a set minimum Fairtrade price for their gold in addition to a Fairtrade premium to invest in community and business development projects.

The businesses are also required to establish long-term business relationships with their commercial partners, with plans including improving the technology and working conditions in mines and setting up community projects in education, health, and environmental restoration.

The Cotapata Mining Co-operative in Bolivia is the first certified Fairtrade and Fairmined mining organisation with more groups expected to join the system in the forthcoming months.

Harriet Lamb, executive director at The Fairtrade Foundation, said: "The reality of gold production is at complete odds with what consumers imagine. Consumers care about the conditions faced by miners. This is why Fairtrade and Fairmined gold has the potential to tackle unfair supply chains, improve working and environmental conditions and deliver tangible and sustainable economic benefits to impoverished communities."

The global market for gold jewellery was worth L86 billion last year, with India and the Middle East the biggest consumers. The UK is the second largest gold jewellery market in Europe. The foundation said it hoped to capture 5pc of the gold jewellery market over the next 15 years.

Gold joins more than 3,000 certified Fairtrade products available from UK retailers. Latest figures show that Fairtrade sales in the UK rose by 12 percent to L799 million in 2009, despite the difficult economic climate. It makes Britain the most successful Fairtrade country, with about one third of worldwide sales. Around 20 percent of roast and ground coffee and 20 percent of bananas sold in the UK are now Fairtrade.

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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: