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Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi has asked the government to review tough import restrictions on gold, which include a record 10 percent import duty. Her intervention is likely to create pressure for an easing of rules that have hammered imports and brought a surge in smuggling, but the finance minister said the curbs would not be rolled back anytime soon. (read more...)
Gold sales by Japan’s biggest bullion retailer surged 63% to a 5yr high as prices slumped and investors sought refuge from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s campaign to stoke inflation by weakening the yen. Bar sales to local investors by Tanaka Kikinzoku Kogyo soared to 37.3 metric tons in 2013, from 22.9 tons a year earlier. (read more...)
The British Financial Conduct Authority began a review last Nov. of how 6 major bullion banks, including Barclays Plc and Deutsche Bank AG, set the London AM and PM price fix. “Traders involved in this price-determining process have knowledge which is superior to other people’s knowledge. That is the fixings great flaw.” (read more...)
In the aftermath of the LIBOR scandle and in the midst of growing suspiscion and intensifying investigation into the possibility of similar price riggin in gold and silver, Deutsche Bank has announced it will withdraw and sell its seat at the London price fixing table. Who, after the Libor scandal, will want it? (read more...)
Timmins, which owns the San Francisco gold mine in Mexico, said on Wednesday it will sell C$25 million in equity to a syndicate of banks, making it the latest in a slew of recent share offerings from Canadian miners. "The floodgates aren't opened, but they are beginning to get unfrozen. So it is still going to be selective..." (read more...)
“Who owns the gold makes the rules” seems to be what the Chinese and Russians are thinking. This is why, since the financial crisis of 2008, both countries are in a stampede to fill their coffers with gold. We are aware of the currency wars, but we are a lot less familiar with the gold wars raging between the East and West. (read more...)
This is a must read article by former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Paul Craig Roberts and fund manager Dave Kranzler. Together they explain, in fine detail, the inner workings of the Fed's methods of manipulating the gold price. It's one of the better commentaries on this charged topic we have read, and that's saying something. (read more...)
GLD, the largest gold ETF, reported a significant rise in its gold holdings last week, from 790 tonnes early in the week to 797 tonnes on Friday. “The last time holdings increased by that much was in November 2012 when gold prices were trading over USD1,700/oz." This is encouraging for the bullion markets. (read more...)
Hedge funds raised bullish gold wagers to the highest in eight weeks as signs of stronger Chinese demand drove prices to the longest rally since August. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. says the gains will be short-lived. The net-long position in gold climbed 7.6 percent to 43,277 futures and options last week. (read more...)
Gold miner Osisko Mining Corp rejected an unsolicited C$2.6 billion (US$2.37 billion) takeover bid from rival Goldcorp, saying the offer was financially inadequate and not in the best interests of its shareholders. The rejection came as no surprise and sets the stage for a bruising takeover battle between the two Canadian miners. (read more...)
Billionaire resource fund manager Eric Sprott spoke in an interview with King World News on the new revelations of gold price manipulation, and the groundbreaking discovery that a large financial regulator in Germany has publicly announced there is evidence of central bank coercion in the futures markets. (read more...)
China may soon announce an increase in its official gold reserve from 1,054 tons to 2,710 tons, Jeffrey Nichols, managing director of American Precious Metals Advisors, said. China's central bank, known as the People’s Bank of China, has not reported an increase in official gold holdings since April 2009. (read more...)
This month's slideshow presents the world's Top 10 producing Gold Mines. Compiling them was not easy because there are a few ways we can rank them. They can be ranked by annual production, or by the size of proven and probable reserves, or more generally by their measured, indicated & inferred resources (which include reserves). We ultimately decided to rank them based on the overall size of gold resources to give the viewer a truer sense of the deposits size and potential. Please enjoy our Top 10 List as we begin with the smallest and work our way to Number #1.
In the #10 spot is Obuasi, owned by major gold producer AngloGold Ashanti. It is primarily a high-grade underground mine with periodic open-pit operations during its long history. It is located in the Ashanti region of southwest Ghana in western Africa; a prolific gold producing region for centuries. The underground operation extends to a depth of 1,500 meters or 4,900 feet (almost a mile). Mining began at Obuasi more than 110 years ago, in 1897 when it was originally known as the Ashanti Mine.
In the #9 spot is Cadia East, owned by Australian major Newcrest. The large underground mining operation is part of a trio of gold mines, in close proximity to one another, known collectively as Newcrest's Cadia Valley Operations, roughly 250 kilometers west of Sydney. The other two mines are Cadia Hill and Ridgeway. Cadia Hill is a large open-pit mine nearing the end of its useful life just as the newly developed Cadia East recently began its expected 30 year mine life. Gold was first discovered in the gold and copper bearing Cadia region in 1851 and Cadia East was discovered in 1994.
In the #8 spot is Mponeng, owned by South African major AngloGold Ashanti. It is located just 65km west of Johannesburg in one of the world's most prolific mining regions known as the Witwatersrand. In addition to being one of the largest, Mponeng is also one of the world's deepest underground mines. It extends over 2 miles below the surface and it takes over an hour to reach the bottom. The rocks at this depth reach a temperature of 150 degrees farenheit requiring slurry ice be pumped underground to cool the environment down to a bearable 85 degrees.
Coming in at #7 is Pueblo Viejo, owned jointly by majors Barrick (60%) and Goldcorp (40%). This large deposit is located in the Dominican Republic, roughly 100km northwest of the capital of Santo Domingo. It might surprise some that this small island nation is rich in mineral reserves. The open pit mine is very new and began production in January 2013. It also has large silver and copper reserves to compliment its gold deposit. As it ramps up to full production, it will also be one of the largest producers in the world, but we'll save production figures for a separate Top 10 List.
At #6 on our list is Oyu Tolgoi, owned jointly by Rio Tinto (34%), Turquoise Hill (32%) and Mongolia (34%). This is another newly developed mammoth deposit located in the remote southern reaches of Mongolia. The mine cost the princely sum of US$6.6B to develop and went into production in January 2013. In addition to its 46Moz+ of gold, it also contains over 40 billion pounds of copper worth US$140B. It's really a copper mine masquerading as a gold mine. It will also be one of the largest gold and copper producers on earth as it ramps up to full production.
In the #5 spot is Olympiada, owned solely by Russian major Polylus. This large open-pit mine is located in the country's most prolific gold bearing region; the Krasnoyarsk krai in central Siberia. In fact this area is at the heart Russian natural resource production in general. Olimpiada was discovered in 1970 and finally went into production in 1996 and despite its age it has plenty of resource life left. Russia is the 4th largest gold producer in the world, and as Russia's biggest producer, Olympiada was responsible for 9% of the total in 2012.
At #4, Muruntau is phsyically the largest open pit gold mine on earth, measuring 3.5km x 2.5km across(2.2mi x 1.6mi) at the surface. This megalith of a mine is owned by the Uzbeki government after expropriating Newmont's ownership in 2006. Like its cousins, Oyu Tolgoi and Olympiada, this mine is located on the remote fringes of the Asian steppe. Production began in the late 60's, as modern larger scale production ramped up in the 1990's with Newmont's involvement. Although large, the deposits true size is hard to ascertain due to a less than transparent owner.
Now we're entering rarified air. In the #3 spot is Lihir at a whopping 64Moz+. This large tropical open pit mine began prdouction in 1997 and is currently owned by Australian major Newcrest who acquired it in 2010 for a cool US$22B. It's another remote mine, located on the small island of Lihir, over 900km (560mi) east of Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. The pit is actually in the caldera of an extinct volcano that is geothermically active. Retrofitting is currently underway to dramatically increase production, which will likely make it one of the largest gold producers as well.
#2 South Deep is also located in the Witwatersrand Basin, very near to 8th place Mponeng. Similarly, it is a high-grade deep underground mine, just southwest of Johannesburg. The mine is in the early stages of ramping up to full production. Mining began at the site in 1961 and Gold Fields bought the operation in 2006. The mine produced 273,000 ounces in 2012 and is expected to produce 770,000 ounces annually by 2015. Amazingly, it is estimated that the mine will maintain this high rate of production until 2057 with mine life lasting until 2080.
At #1, Grasberg is the grandaddy of them all containing a whopping 100Moz+ of gold. The massive mine is owned by Freeport McMoRan but includes a sizeable sharing agreement with miner Rio Tinto. The site is located in the mountains at an altitude of 4,300 meters or 14,000 feet. In truth, Grasberg produces far more copper, by value, than gold and thus represents one of the worlds largest copper and gold mines. The operations consists of both open pit and underground mines and has been in operation since the 1980's and the pit forms an enormous mile wide crater.
#2 Barrick Gold Corp