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Swiss People's Party proposes ban on central bank's gold sales

Section: Daily Dispatches

By Catherine Bosley
Tuesday, September 20, 2011

ZURICH, Switzerland -- Members of the right-wing Swiss People's Party (SVP) want a law to prevent the country's central bank -- currently struggling to tame a super-strong Swiss franc -- from selling its gold reserves, according to a proposal published on Tuesday.

The proposal, dubbed "Save our Swiss Gold," would be put to a referendum if it won enough initial support.

It would not only ban the Swiss National Bank from selling its gold reserves, but would also force it to hold at least 20 percent of its assets in gold, the text published in an official register said.

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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:

Switzerland has sold no gold since August 2008, according to figures from the International Monetary Fund. At the end of 2010, the SNB's gold holdings were valued at 43.3 billion francs -- about 16 percent of its total assets of 274 billion Swiss francs (currently $310 billion).

Referendums are central to Switzerland's political system of direct democracy, and have been held on topics ranging from health insurance to smoking bans.

Interest in the SNB's balance sheet has intensified with the sharp appreciation of the franc, which has absorbed policymakers on and off since the 2008 financial crisis heightened the currency's attractions as a traditional safe haven.

The SNB's latest move was to announce a cap on the Swiss franc against the euro on Sep. 6, pledging unlimited currency interventions if needed, as the franc's strength threatened the competitiveness of Swiss exports and the tourist industry.

SVP leading light Christoph Blocher had previously called on Chairman Philipp Hildebrand to resign after the SNB ran up its biggest annual loss ever in 2010 because its euro holdings, accumulated during interventions in 2009-10, sank in value in Swiss franc terms.

The initiative states the SNB's gold would have to be stored in Switzerland.

Swiss newspaper Neue Zuercher Zeitung quoted the text of a speech by SVP parliamentarian Ulrich Schluer who said the Swiss public was being robbed of its "wealth", with gold reserves a symbol of "each person's hard work, inventive talent, pioneer spirit, motivation and economic power."

Schluer is backing the measure along with SVP members Luzi Stamm and Oskar Freysinger. In 2009 the party spearheaded a referendum in which voters approved a ban on building new minarets.

The initiators of the gold proposal will now have 18 months to collect the 100,000 signatures required to call a referendum.

Switzerland is a signatory of the third Central Bank Gold Agreement, which runs from Sept 2009 to Sept 2014. Under the agreement gold sales from signatory central banks will not exceed 2,000 tonnes, or 400 tonnes in any one year of the deal.

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Prophecy Platinum Drills 49.5 Meters Grading 1.27 g/t PGM+Au at Yukon Wellgreen Project

Company Press Release
August 22, 2011

Prophecy Platinum Corp. (TSX-V: NKL, OTC-QX: PNIKF, Frankfurt: P94P) announces results from its 2011 drilling program for its first completed hole on the Wellgreen Project in the Yukon Territory, Canada.

Borehole WS11-184 encountered 472.6 meters of mineralization grading 0.43% nickel equivalent from surface to the footwall contact. Within this larger swath of mineralization the hole encountered 49.5 meters of 1.27 grams per ton platinum group metals plus gold, 0.71% nickel, and 0.45% copper (or 1.11% nickel equivalent).

The geology transitioned from blebby disseminated to net-textured to massive sulphide approaching the footwall contact grading 6.3% nickel, 1.7% copper, 2.7 grams per ton platinum, 1.6 grams per ton palladium, 0.17 grams per ton gold, and 3.4 grams per ton silver. The drilling zones and results are tabulated here, with more information: