Gold & Silver Daily
"Nothing to see here, folks---please move along"
 

¤ Yesterday In Gold & Silver

Well, it was more or less the same price story on Tuesday as it was on Monday, as the rally that began 10 minutes after the Comex open ran into the usual seller of last resort---but this time the gold price didn't get a change to either break $1,300 or the 200-day moving average, as the price was stopped cold before either event could occur.  It was also another day where the low and high ticks aren't worth looking up.

Gold closed in New York on Tuesday at $1,294.70 spot, down $1.00 from Monday's close.  Net volume was pretty light at only 89,000 contracts with more than a third of that occurring by about 9 a.m. BST in London.

I shan't repeat myself by discussing the silver price chart from yesterday---as it, too, looks almost identical to its counterpart on Monday.  It barely broke above its 20-day moving average on Tuesday.  The high and low aren't worth looking up, either---as silver traded in a two bit price range for the entire day.

Silver closed yesterday at $19.53 spot, up the magnificent sum of 3 cents---courtesy of JPMorgan et al.  Volume, net of May and June, was only 29,500 contracts---which was considerably less than the 45,000 contract volume on Monday.

Platinum and palladium did better, but some of their nice gains got shaved off starting the moment that Zurich closed for day, which was noon in New York.  Here are the charts.

The dollar index closed late Monday afternoon in New York at 79.88---and from there it didn't do much of anything until shortly after 9:30 a.m. BST in London.  By the time the subsequent rally was done for the day, the dollar index was up to 80.17 by 1:30 p.m. EDT---which just happened to be the Comex close in New York.  After that it drifted down a handful of basis points, finishing the Tuesday trading session at 80.12---up 24 basis points from Monday's close.

The gold stocks struggled to stay in positive territory, but finally gave up the ghost about 10:15 a.m. in New York---and slid into the red for the rest of the day.  The HUI finished down 0.68%.

The silver stocks posted some decent gains by 11 a.m. EDT but, like gold, couldn't hold onto them.  But they managed to finish in the black, as Nick Laird's Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed up 0.49%.

The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that 7 gold and 85 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the Comex-approved depositories on Thursday.  JPMorgan stopped all 7 gold contracts offered by Canada's Scotiabank.  In silver it was Newedge USA and ABN Amro as the two short/issuers of note with 60 and 18 contracts respectively.  There were nine different long/stoppers, most of whom were "the usual suspects."  The link to yesterday's Issuers and Stoppers Report is here.

There were no reported changes in GLD yesterday---and as of 9:47 p.m. EDT yesterday evening, there were no reported changed in SLV, either.

The good folks over at Switzerland's Zürcher Kantonalbank updated their website for both their gold and silver ETFs as of the end of business on Friday, May 9.  They reported that their gold ETF declined by another 23,633 troy ounces---and their silver ETF declined by a further 34,314 troy ounces.

Well, the U.S. Mint made up for its lack of a sales report on Monday, with a big one on Tuesday.  They sold 5,500 troy ounces of gold eagles---3,500 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes---100 platinum eagles---and an absolutely stunning 1,939,500 silver eagles.  Once again I [along with Ted Butler] ask the question:  "Who the #%$& is buying all these things, especially the silver eagles?"---because it sure as hell isn't the general public, as retail bullion sales are the pits.

Over at the Comex-approved depositories on Monday, there was very little action in gold, as only 3 kilobars were shipped out---all from HSBC USA.  The link to that activity, if you wish to dignify it with that description, is here.

There was more activity in silver, as 300,106 troy ounces were reported received---and a smallish 5,123 troy ounces were shipped out.  The link to that action is here.

I have a decent number of stories again today---and I hope you find something of interest in here.

 

¤ Critical Reads

Federal Budget Surplus Falls Short of Estimates

The U.S. posted a smaller budget surplus in April than economists projected, as spending increased at more than twice the pace of tax receipts.

Revenue exceeded spending by $106.9 billion last month, compared with a $112.9 billion surplus a year before, the Treasury Department said Monday in Washington. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of 24 economists was for a $114 billion surplus.

So far this fiscal year, which began Oct. 1, the country is running a budget shortfall that’s about 37 percent smaller than it was a year earlier. Still, the economy nearly stalled in the first quarter, while spending rose last month on defense and entitlement programs.

“We’ve kind of seen the best numbers we are going to see,” Stephen Stanley, chief economist at Pierpont Securities LLC in Stamford, Connecticut, said before the report. The degree of improvement in the federal budget over the past year or so may not continue unless economic growth accelerates, he said.

Today's first story was posted on the moneynews.com Internet site on Monday afternoon EDT---and I thank West Virginia reader Elliot Simon for bringing it to our attention.

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Traders may have gained early word on Fed policy, study finds

Some investors between 1997 and 2013 may have gotten early word of changes to Federal Reserve policy and profited by trading before the Fed announced the policy shifts, according to Singapore-based researchers.

Trading records show abnormally large price movements and imbalances in buy and sell orders that are "statistically significant and in the direction of the subsequent policy surprise," according to a paper by Gennaro Bernile, Jianfeng Hu, and Yuehua Tang at Singapore Management University.

The moves occurred before and during the time that reporters were given the Federal Open Market Committee statement in so-called media lockups.

This Bloomberg article showed up on their Internet later in the afternoon Denver time yesterday---and I found it embedded in a GATA release.

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The New York Sun: The dwindling Fed

The Federal Reserve Board has many vacancies, The New York Sun observed yesterday, but Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is threatening to delay appointments to the board unless the Senate permits a vote of his proposed Federal Reserve Transparency Act, the legislation championed by his father, former Rep. Ron Paul.

The Sun writes: "The Federal Reserve fears this audit. It fears the private businesses. It fears the Congress that is its creator. It claims that an audit of the kind the House wants would interfere with its 'independence.' What independence? The staff of the Sun dissolved the entire text of the United States Constitution in a chemical solvent and then put the solution through a Hamilton-brand high-speed, rotary separator. Yet we were unable to detect even a particle of a requirement that monetary policy be independent of the Congress of the United States.

"There is no need to rush to fill the board of the Fed. Better for Congress to look to the substance and see what share of the blame the Fed itself deserves for the Great Recession that destroyed the presidency of Barack Obama, stranded millions without work, and forced us into retreat overseas."

This editorial was posted on their website yesterday morning---and it's another news item I found on the gata.org Internet site.

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Scotiabank: The Murder and the Money Trail

Her name was Maru Oropesa. She was the 41-year-old branch manager of a Scotiabank located in an upscale Mexico City neighbourhood. The divorced mother of two, she lived with her young sons and her mother.

The nightmare began with a phone call for her oldest son Lauro Gonzalez Oropesa, just 13 at the time. The phone rang at 2:00 am on September 28, 2001. A man’s voice on the other end demanded 300,000 pesos (almost 30,000 dollars) - or else his mother would die. The caller said he would call back. Lauro, his brother, and their grandmother waited by the phone all night. The second call never came.

Questions about a link between her death and her job would soon reach the executive suites of Scotiabank’s head office in Toronto. Investigators focused on one of Oropesa’s large investment accounts, and discovered that she had signed off on the illegal transfer on nearly $5 million to an account in Switzerland - all without her client’s knowledge.

The man behind the plan was Jaime Ross, branch manager at Oropesa’s Scotiabank before her. By the summer of 2001, he had left to become a vice-president at another foreign bank in Mexico City, France’s BNP.

This edition of "the fifth estate" was aired on CBC Television last October, but I just found about it on Sunday---and I thank John Di Tomasso for sharing it with us.   This story involves the second largest short holder in silver in the Comex future market---Scotiabank---but it's not about silver.  Hopefully the CBC will get around to doing a program about that as well someday.  The video itself runs for 45:12 minutes---and is definitely worth watching if you can fit it into your schedule.

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Portugal 'land grab' laws: meet the families who could lose homes

Edwina Luz, 26, and her family have owned their Portuguese property in Praia da Luz in the western Algarve since the Sixties.

Miss Luz, who is half Portuguese and half British, has a strong attachment to the place, which was originally bought by her grandparents because her grandfather suffered from tuberculosis and benefited from a warmer climate.

They bought a three-bedroom seaside cottage in 1963 from a local couple for around €1,200, lived there for many years and raised a family. In 2008 the property was passed down to Miss Luz's mother, aunt and uncle.

These family ties mean nothing, though, under draconian laws passing through parliament in Portugal.

British expats who own waterfront property in Portugal have been left in limbo as the country's government decides whether to water down plans that could see thousands lose their homes.

This item appeared on the telegraph.co.uk Internet site yesterday morning BST---and it's courtesy of U.K. reader Tariq Khan.

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German Investor Confidence Drops for Fifth Straight Month

German investor confidence fell for a fifth month in May in a sign of growing concern that threats from low inflation to a strong euro may undermine the recovery.

The ZEW Center for European Economic Research in Mannheim said its index of investor and analyst expectations, which aims to predict economic developments six months in advance, slid to 33.1 from 43.2 in April. The gauge is at the lowest level since January 2013. Economists forecast a decline to 40, according to the median of 33 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. The index has dropped every month since reaching a seven-year high of 62 in December.

Investor caution in Europe’s largest economy reflects concern that the slow recovery in the 18-nation euro area leaves it vulnerable to shocks. European Central Bank President Mario Draghi has signaled he may add monetary stimulus in early June because policy makers are “dissatisfied” with the inflation outlook, in part due to an increase in the exchange rate.

This Bloomberg news item, filed from Frankfurt, showed up on their Internet site in the wee hours of yesterday morning MDT---and my thanks go out to South African reader B.V.

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Pepe Escobar: Ukraine---The Waiting Game

Everything one needs to know about mediocre political elites allegedly representing the "values" of Western civilization has been laid bare by their reaction to the referendums in Donetsk and Lugansk.

The referendums may have been a last-minute affair; organized in a rush; in the middle of a de facto civil war; and on top of it at gunpoint - supplied by the Kiev NATO neo-liberal neo-fascist junta, which even managed to kill some voters in Mariupol. An imperfect process? Yes. But absolutely perfect in terms of graphically depicting a mass movement in favor of self-rule and political independence from Kiev.

This was direct democracy in action; no wonder the U.S. State Department hated it with a vengeance.

Turnout was huge. The landslide victory for independence was out of the question. Same for transparency; a public vote, in glass ballot boxes, with monitoring provided by Western journalists - mostly from major German media but also from the Kyodo News Agency or The Washington Post.

This absolute must read commentary by Pepe was posted on the Asia Times website yesterday---and I thank reader M.A. for being the first person through the door with it.

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Ten King World News Blogs/Audio Interviews

1. Dr. Stephen Leeb: "China, Russia, Germany and Soaring Gold and Silver Prices"  2. Dr. Paul Craig Roberts: "Washington is Driving the World to the Final War"  3. Victor Sperandeo: "Financial Destruction---and the Last Great Systemic Earthquake"  4. Egon von Greyerz: "$1.4 Quadrillion Derivatives Meltdown, Chaos and $11,000 Gold"  5.  Andrew Maguire: "Massive Physical Buy Orders In Gold At This Level"  6. Robert Fitzwilson: "Unprecedented Wealth Confiscation---and the Disastrous Endgame"  7. Michael Pento: "This Will Trigger Massive Crisis and Panic All Over the World"  8. The first audio interview is with Andrew Maguire.  9. The second audio interview is with Eric Sprott---and the third and final audio interview is with Art Cashin

[Please direct any questions or comments about what is said in these interviews by either Eric King or his guests to them, and not to me. Thank you. - Ed]

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Lawrence Williams: Gold's pent-up demand

While the West is wholly opposed to the latest referenda and has declared them totally illegal, it should also recognise that there is a large section of the Ukrainian people vitriolically opposed to what they see as a right wing controlled anti-Russian dangerous coalition in power in Kiev, and whether this is true or not it is hard to see how any kind of consensus can now be possible.  The Ukraine government is wholly committed to uniting the divided country while the eastern separatists might settle for a semi-autonomous position within greater Ukraine if Russia is unwilling to actually absorb Donetsk and Luhansk.  But the key to it all is violence.  If the Ukrainian troops do move in and a shooting war develops than the chances of Russian military intervention are probably high – and the gold price could soar.  But some kind of consensus could prevail before then.

Thus we must remember other - perhaps more lasting - developments that could could drive the price of gold, namely, no real surprise here, India and China. On the other side of the world, exit polls are suggesting that Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led coalition will triumph in the Indian elections – with most predicting an outright parliamentary majority.  Modi is seen as business oriented and is viewed as pro-gold with many suggesting he will, if elected, reverse the draconian import restrictions on gold – or at least mitigate them.  But one doubts this would be any new government’s primary policy and in India, with its massive deep-seated bureaucracy, things can move slowly.  We reported here yesterday that India’s April gold imports showed a massive drop year on year, although last year’s April figures were particularly high so perhaps the perceived drop is less relevant than has been suggested.  However, should the gold import restrictions be dropped or even reduced than this could unleash some massive pent-up demand, perhaps even matching that of China.  However it is far from certain what India’s gold imports even are nowadays with a totally unknown amount coming in through unofficial channels (smuggling) – and this is believed to be substantial.

This commentary by Lawrie was posted on the mineweb.com Internet site yesterday---and it's the first contribution to today's column from Manitoba reader Ulrike Marx.  It's certainly worth reading.

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Chamber condemns ‘brutal’ murder of platinum mineworkers

The Chamber of Mines of South Africa on Tuesday condemned “in the strongest terms” the “brutal” murder of two mineworkers in the Rustenburg area.

This denunciation follows the condemnation of acts of violence against employees intent on returning to work by South Africa’s three major platinum mining companies, which pleaded with the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) to issue a public statement demanding respect for the rights of those wanting to return to work.

At least 20 acts of assault have been reported in last three days, when a number of “serious” incidents of intimidation against employees and bus operators have been reported.

The chamber reiterated that the security and safety of all workers was imperative and extended the industry’s sincere condolences to the families of the murdered miners.

This news item, filed from Johannesburg, was posted on the miningweekly.com Internet site yesterday---and it's the second offering in a row from Ulrike Marx.

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Lonmin to push ahead with reopening mines amid violence

Lonmin Plc said it will push ahead with plans to break a 15-week strike tomorrow by reopening mines even after at least four people were killed in South Africa’s platinum belt over the last four days.

“Reconsidering the opening is not an option,” Happy Nkhoma, a spokesman for the world’s third-largest platinum producer, said today by phone. “What we need to make sure is that the employees are safe.”

No violence near mines belonging to Anglo American Platinum Ltd., Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. and Lonmin was reported last night or this morning, Thulani Ngubane, a provincial spokesman for the South African Police Service, said by phone. Four people were killed and another six assaulted during various attacks over the weekend and yesterday, Ngubane said in a statement.

Members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, the biggest labor organization at the world’s three largest producers, have been on strike since Jan. 23. The AMCU wants basic monthly pay, without benefits, to be more than doubled for entry-level underground employees to 12,500 rand ($1,211) by 2017, while producers are including cash allowances in that figure.

This longish Bloomberg news item, filed from Johannesburg, was posted on their Internet site sometime yesterday---and it found a home over at the mineweb.com.  It's the third offering in a row from Ulrike Marx, for which I thank her.

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The story of Indians and gold in Dubai

Vending machines that spew out gold coins, a gold market where you'll find rows of narrow alleys glittering with strands upon strands of gold, gold dust coffee, Gold leaf facials - No wonder then, that the Middle East is seen as Midas's land.

Along with oil wells, opulence, dust storms and the dishdasha, the yellow metal would probably be one the most common stereotypes of the region. The general idea being - there's plenty of gold here. More importantly, gold that is very cheap.

As a matter of fact, the notion isn't too far off the mark. Gold is cheaper here, largely because the import duties are non-existent. Then the proximity to the subcontinent, combined with the fact that a majority of the population is Asian, ensure the metal is always in high demand. Jewelry shops go dime a dozen, and jewelers tend to display jewels as per the area - more traditional and mass produced designs in Indian dominated areas; and more exclusive, and thereby expensive displays in designer malls. A recent survey showed that almost all visitors to the region go back with some amount of gold purchases. And like just about everything here, gold purchase too, varies along regional lines. It is usually a small souvenir trinket for most visitors from Europe and beyond, who ideally come in for the sun and sand. And it is usually expensive purchases for visitors from the subcontinent.

But while buying the gold in the Middle East is an attractive and possibly economically easy option, taking it back home to India is not.

This short, but interesting story, was posted on The Times of India website early Monday evening IST---and the stories from Ulrike just keep on coming.

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Interpol hunts for Chennai gold smuggler

Interpol has issued a lookout notice for a Chennai resident called Mohammed Haneef, one of the most wanted gold smugglers from the region.

"Tall, well-built and charming," is how a Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) officer described Haneef. The hunt led investigators to three women who claimed to be his wives. They provided enough background about the man, but had little information about his whereabouts.

Interpol issued the notice was after officers seized 50kg of gold from his operatives in various consignments in the past six months. Going by the handwritten receipts and some papers recovered from Haneef 's house in Seven Wells in December 2013, investigators believe Haneef and his associates have smuggled at least 1,000kg of gold into the country. "His 'account books' show that he has clients in Myanmar, Singapore, Colombo, Chennai and Thrissur. Many famous jewellers in Chennai and Kerala are on his list," an officer said.

This is another story from The Times of India.  This one was posted on their Internet site late Tuesday afternoon India Standard Time---and it's also a contribution from Ulrike Marx.

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Gold Smuggling in India Spikes 446% in Last 12 Months

While comparing to last year, the gold smuggling has spiked 446% at present in India as the country imposed harsh import duties to curb its over mounted current account deficit last year.

As per the report, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) had filed 40 gold smuggling cases in the last year whereas it has increased to 148 cases in the past 12 months. The aggregate value of the seized illegal gold from 464 people in 2013-14 is estimated at Rs 245 crore.  

Most of the gold smugglers are arrested from the nation’s international airports. The customs officials at the Indira Gandhi International Airport said that they have nabbed 353 kg of gold worth at Rs 90 crore in this current financial year whereas it was 20-25 kg of gold in the last year.

I would suspect that gold smuggling is even more important than this tiny story suggests.  It was posted on the scrapmonster.com Internet site yesterday---and it's the final offering of the day from Ulrike Marx.

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Chinese fund offers 46% premium for Laotian gold/copper miner

China's Guangdong Rising Assets Management has proposed a A$1.1 billion ($1 billion) takeover offer for copper and gold miner PanAust Ltd., the second bid for an Australian resources firm by a Chinese state-owned company in two weeks.

PanAust rejected the unsolicited bid from its biggest shareholder as too low but agreed to allow it to conduct due diligence in the hope of getting a better offer.

The takeover proposal comes amid a slew of interest in Australian mining assets from Chinese firms eager to secure global resources.

This Reuters story, co-filed from Sydney and Melbourne, was posted on their Internet site in the wee hours of Tuesday morning EDT---and it's another article I found on the gata.org Internet site yesterday.

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Bill Rice: Who should GAO believe - Ted Butler or Bart Chilton?

In a recent column, silver analyst Theodore Butler presented information that leaves him somewhat optimistic that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) is looking into the possibility that the silver markets might be rigged or manipulated.

In the column, Butler labels as “phony” a prior “investigation” conducted by The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

According to Butler and the CFTC itself, this “investigation” lasted five years and included “7,000” man hours of work on the part of CFTC employees doing the investigating.

I too believe this alleged exercise in fact-finding was either bogus or clearly not worthy of the label of “investigation.”

This longish commentary by Bill Rice, Jr. showed up on the silverseek.com Internet site yesterday---and it's worth your while.

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Perth Mint Gold and Silver Bullion Sales Slide

The Perth Mint of Australia has released their latest figures on the amount of gold and silver sold as coins and minted products. The monthly sales for each metal declined to their lowest levels in more than a year.

For the month of April 2014, total gold sales measured 23,461 troy ounces. This was down from the prior month when sales had reached 30,177 ounces. The latest monthly total was down significantly from the prior year period when a sudden drop in market prices had caused a surge in demand to 111,505,06 troy ounces.

For the year to date, gold sales have now reached 165,459 ounces. This is down by 39.1% compared to the sales of 271,594 recorded in the comparable year ago period.

This short, but worthwhile read, was posted on the coinupdate.com Internet site on Monday---and I found it on the Sharps Pixley website yesterday.

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U.S. mined gold rises sharply in February

Production of gold by U.S. mines was 18,900 kilograms (607,649 troy ounces) in February, up from 17,300 kg (556,207 oz) in February 2013, said the U.S. Geological Survey.

U.S. gold mine output for January and February combined was 39,400 kg (1,266,739 oz), said the USGS.

In 2013, the U.S. fell from being the World’s third largest gold producer to fourth, having been overtaken by the Russian Federation.

This short gold-related news item was posted on the mineweb.com Internet site in the wee hours of this morning MDT.

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The London Silver Market Daily Fixing to Close

The London Silver Market Fixing Limited (the 'Company') announces that it will cease to administer the London Silver Fixing with effect from close of business on 14 August 2014. Until then, Deutsche Bank AG, HSBC Bank USA N.A. and The Bank of Nova Scotia will remain members of the Company and the Company will administer the London Silver Fixing and continue to liaise with the FCA and other stakeholders.

The period to 14 August 2014 will provide an opportunity for market-led adjustment with consultation between clients and market participants.

The London Bullion Market Association has expressed its willingness to assist with discussions among market participants with a view to exploring whether the market wishes to develop an alternative to the London Silver Fixing.

Well, this is certainly a surprise---and what it means in the grand scheme of things is unknown at the moment.  Maybe the gold fixings will follow the same path. This marketwatch.com story, filed from London, showed up on their website at 2:01 a.m. EDT this morning---and I found it on the Sharps Pixley website.  It's definitely worth reading.

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¤ The Funnies

Photo #2 and #3:  I took these photos of migrating Sandhill Cranes in west-central Saskatchewan, about 50 kilometers north of Kindersley on April 27.  The wing flapping and the jumping about is part of the courtship display by the males.  The sexes are identical in appearance, so it's hard to tell which is which, just by looking at them.









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Drilling Intersects 102 Meters of 1.97 gpt Gold at Columbus Gold’s Paul Isnard Gold Project; Drilling Confirms Depth Extension of Gold Mineralization

Columbus Gold Corporation (CGT: TSX-V) (“Columbus Gold”) is pleased to announce results of the initial five (5) core drill holes at its Paul Isnard gold project in French Guiana. The holes confirm depth extension of gold mineralization below shallow holes drilled on the 43-101 compliant 1.9 million ounce Montagne d’Or inferred gold deposit at Paul Isnard in the 1990’s and support the current program of resource expansion through offsetting open-ended gold mineralization indicated by the earlier holes.

Robert Giustra, CEO of Columbus Gold, commented: “These drill results validate Columbus Gold’s approach to adding ounces with a lower-risk drilling program designed to infill and to extend the mineralized zones to 200 m vertical depth from surface; a depth amenable to open pit mining.” 

Fourteen (14) holes have been completed (assays pending) by Columbus Gold in the current program and drilling is progressing at the rate of about 3,000 meters per month with one drill-rig on a 24 hour basis. Columbus Gold plans to accelerate the current program by engaging a second drill-rig as soon as one can be obtained. 

Please visit our website for more information about the project.


 
 

¤ The Wrap

As for the signs of increased physical demand, the turnover or movement of metal into and out from the COMEX-approved silver warehouses continues to astound me. This [past] week, some 4.6 million oz were physically deposited into or physically removed from the various warehouses, an annualized rate of more than 230 million oz. For the first time in six weeks, total inventories increased by 1.8 million oz, to 174.9 million oz, although total inventories matter little. - Silver analyst Ted Butler: 10 May 2014

It was sort of like Bill Murray's Groundhog Day---as Tuesday was the same as Monday.  Nothing to see here, folks---please move along.

Here are the 6-month gold and silver charts once again---and the 200-day moving average in gold remains unviolated---and the the silver price is pennies above its 20-day moving average.

Since yesterday [at the close of Comex trading] was the cut-off for Friday's Commitment of Traders Report, just eye-balling both charts, it's hard to say what the internal changes might be within the structure of that report, as there weren't big changes in overall prices during the reporting week in either metal.  So nothing will surprise me when I see it.

With 25 minutes to go before the London open, there has been very little price activity in either gold, silver or palladium.  However, platinum is up about eight bucks the ounce at the moment.  Volume is the lightest I can ever remember at this time of day, even lighter than between Christmas and New Years.  Net gold volume is barely over 11,000 contracts---and silver's volume is a hair over 2,500 contracts.  The dollar index is back down to the 80.00 mark---and it looks like it wants to head lower.  Will there be someone there to catch that particular falling knife [again] if it happens?

And as I prepare to send today's column off to Stowe, Vermont at 4:45 a.m. EDT---I note that there was some price activity in all four precious metals starting at, or just after, the London open.  Of course none of these rallies was allowed to get far, as "da boyz" were out in force to go short, or sell longs to all comers for fun, profit---and price management purposes.  Not surprisingly, volumes in both gold and silver have blow way out.  Net gold volume is more than double what it was [23,000 contracts] now that London has been open for 90 minutes---and silver's volume is north of 6,600 contracts.  So JPMorgan et al had throw a lot of Comex paper into these rallies to put them out---and as of 4:32 a.m. EDT, they seem to have succeeded, at least for the moment.  The dollar index is still hanging on to the 80.00 mark by its proverbial fingernails.

That's all for today---and I'll be more than interested in what is happening during the New York trading session when I roll out of bed later this morning.

See you tomorrow.