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To prevent gold market manipulation, Vietnam would outlaw the market

Section: Daily Dispatches

This is what happens when the gold market is entirely physical and uncontrolled by derivatives: The price simply explodes and destroys the government currency. Kitco's Jon Nadler and CPM Group's Jeff Christian insist that central banks have no interest in controlling the gold market and little interest even in gold itself. This is hallucination at best, disinformation at worst. Vietnam's central bank doesn't seem to have fallen for it.

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Vietnamese Weigh Impact of Bar on Gold Trade

By Ben Bland
Financial Times, London
Monday, February 28, 2011

The desire among many Vietnamese to keep gold as a store of value is both a cause and a symptom of the fast-growing nation's economic trouble.

Now the government has said it will ban the trading of gold bars in the "free market" as part of a package of measures designed to rein in soaring prices and tackle deep-seated economic imbalances. But it has befuddled investors and ordinary people alike.

Buffeted by persistent inflation and weakness in their currency, many Vietnamese prefer to save in gold and dollars. Their fondness for gold, which is often used to settle property deals and other large transactions, and for dollars puts further downward pressure on their currency, the dong, in a negative feedback loop from which it is hard to escape.

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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:

Vietnam's central bank said on Friday that to prevent speculation and market manipulation, the government would issue a decree in the second quarter of this year banning the free-market gold trade and thereby preventing cross-border smuggling. But, given the government's tendency to issue decrees and circulars by the truckload, gold traders and economists say the real impact of this latest pronouncement will be determined by officials' actions rather than words.

Cao Sy Kiem, a former central bank governor, told the Tuoi Tre newspaper that while the government needed to tackle the proliferation of gold and dollars in order to be able to make sound monetary policy, a "detailed road map" was needed to ensure the problems caused by unofficial gold trading were not made worse.

A gold trader on Ha Trung street in Hanoi, one of the most popular locations for the gold shops that double as black-market dong-dollar exchange houses, questioned how effective this latest move would be.

He said: "The government needs a clear definition of gold bars, or else gold shops will make whatever shape necessary to avoid the law."

One economist said that, as transactions in gold and dollars were circumscribed by law, what was needed was serious enforcement and serious alternatives, not more decrees. Given much of the gold in Vietnam is held in people's home safes, accurate statistics on the amount of the metal in the country are nigh on impossible to collate. Last year the central bank governor denied speculation that there was as much as 1,000 tons of gold in Vietnam, equivalent to 45 per cent of annual gross domestic product.

The onshore gold price, which trades at a premium to international prices, fell initially at the end of last week as news of the proposed trading ban broke. But it stabilised on Monday at 37.6-37.7 million Vietnam dong per tael, equivalent to 37.5 grammes or 1.21 troy ounces, according to Reuters.

Evidence, if it were needed, that it will take a lot more than another decree to coax the gold out of Vietnamese savers.

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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: