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Swiss parliament to discuss gold franc as parallel currency
By Agnese Smith
Friday, July 8, 2011
ZURICH, Switzerland -- The Swiss Parliament is expected later this year to discuss the creation of a gold franc -- a parallel currency to the official Swiss franc, with the fringe initiative likely triggering a broader debate about the role of the precious metal in the Alpine nation.
The initiative is part of "Healthy Currency," a campaign sponsored by politicians from the right-wing Swiss People's Party (SVP) -- the country's biggest -- that is seeking to capitalize on popular fears about global financial turmoil and inflation to reverse the government's current policy on gold.
"I can imagine that this will spark some sort of debate about gold and there may be some pressure to accept the parallel currency," said Dr. Gebhard Kirchgaessner, an economics professor at St. Gallen University. "But it won't have any real effect on the economy. It seems incredible to imagine that there are people out there willing to buy millions of these things."
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Prophecy (TSXV: PCY) Secures Russian Far East Seaport Allocation
and Updates Ulaan Ovoo Mine Production
Company Press Release, June 14, 2011
VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Prophecy Coal Corp. TSX-V: PCY)(OTCQX: PRPCF)(Frankfurt: 1P2) has arranged with the Port of Sovgavan in the State of Khabarovsk, Russia, so the company will have initial access to port allocation of 25,000 tonnes of coal per month starting this month, potentially expandable to 50,000 tonnes per month, representing 300,000 to 600,000 tonnes annually. Prophecy also will be assigned a coal storage area at the port.
This arrangement provides Prophecy's Ulaan Ovoo thermal coal mine with immediate access to the Asian seaborne export coal markets. Sovgavan is strategically located on the seaboard of the Russian Far East. The port is privately owned and can accommodate seagoing vessels of up to 160 meters in length, with the depth of loading site of 9.5 meters. The port has loading capacity of 6,000 tonnes per day and direct connections to Trans-Siberian railroads and uncongested Russian state highways.
Securing the port opens Prophecy to a significant number of coal buyers, and the company is placing top priority to conclude rail transport within Russia and coal offtake contracts.
Prophecy's Ulaan Ovoo mine commenced production in 2011. So far this year the mine has produced 200,000 tonnes of coal, which are being stockpiled. The average quality is 4,200 kcal/kg NAR with 5 percent ash and 0.5 percent sulphur. Those attributes compare favorably to the coal being purchased by local Russian and Mongolian power plants.
For the complete company statement, please visit:
Switzerland, which in 2000 became one of the last countries to decouple its currency from gold, is not the only place to contemplate a change in the precious metal's role amid controversy over government involvement in the economy. In March, Utah became the first state in the U.S. to legalize gold and silver coins as currency, while similar legislation was considered in Montana, Missouri, Colorado, Idaho, and Indiana.
"I want Swiss people to have the freedom to choose a completely different currency," said Thomas Jacob, the man behind the gold franc concept. "Today’s monetary system is all backed by debt -- all backed by nothing -- and I want people to realize this."
A good part of the enthusiasm for gold, which provokes strong emotion among many who invest in it, has to do with its price: The yellow metal has more than quadrupled during the last decade and now stands at more than $1,500 per ounce.
In the United States, legislation to allow a gold currency is largely symbolic -- a protest against what many consider irresponsible spending by central governments to recharge economies. But according to Jacob, the gold franc has a more practical goal: giving small investors the opportunity to safeguard their investments against global uncertainty.
Modest investors face several hurdles to investing in the precious metal, said Jacob, 50, a former pilot and currently a sales coach at Zurich Financial Services Group. Collecting coins, bullion, and gold certificates typically requires professional advice, and even the smallest coin costs around 100 francs. One of the new gold francs, on the other hand, with a gold content of 0.1 grams, could be purchased for just 5 francs (at current prices).
While there is evidence that investing in gold is increasingly popular in Switzerland and other countries, the idea of establishing a gold franc is not foremost on the minds most ordinary Swiss, some of whom still find the subject of gold uncomfortable given the country's association with precious metals looted in World War II.
"I got rid of my coins a while ago," said Esther Heusser, a social worker in Jona, Switzerland. "I just didn't want to think about where they came from."
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Golden Phoenix Shareholder Conference Call To Discuss
Start of Gold Production at Mineral Ridge Gold Project
Company Press Release, June 27, 2011
SPARKS, Nevada -- Golden Phoenix Minerals, Inc. (GPXM) has scheduled its second quarter 2011 shareholder conference call for Tuesday, July 12. Shareholders are invited to participate in the call, will begin at 1 p.m. Pacific and 4 p.m. Eastern time.
Company management will provide updates on accomplishments in the second quarter and explain how the company's royalty mining growth strategy is expected to unfold in the second half of the year.
Topics to be updated include the start of gold production at Mineral Ridge, developments on the Vanderbilt Silver and Coyote Fault Gold projects, the Shining Tree and Peru projects, and drilling plans for 2011. Questions from shareholders will be answered as well.
"Thirteen months after closing the joint venture between Golden Phoenix and Scorpio Gold, the Mineral Ridge property has entered gold production," said Tom Klein, CEO of Golden Phoenix. "Last week both companies completed joint tours of Mineral Ridge. We look forward to providing a complete update on our conference call."
Participation in the shareholder conference call can be arranged by telephone, webcast, or Skype. To participate, dial 952-356-0015 and enter Conference ID 419582#.
For the company's full press release, please visit:
Golden Phoenix (GPXM) is a U.S. mining company with international exposure to gold, silver, and strategic metals. The company's business model combines project generation and royalty mining that offers the potential for exploration upside, coupled with the backing of production and future royalty streams. View company videos here: http://www.GoldenPhoenix.us