June 18, 2018 

Another U.S. precious metals miner goes foreign


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 By auriferous

12/04/2004  6:14PM

Although I haven't written much for quite some time, I thought I'd throw in a couple of cents (sense?) about this topic and a few others that are loosely related.

First off, now that I am living in Montana, I can read the California government news with a new sense of disgust. Growing up and living my entire life in California, I really didn't realize how disconnected the government is from reality. It happens here, too -- but not to the same extent. Within this train of thought is my main point about the discussion of global events, conspiracies to fix the price of gold, currency valuation, etc. I think it's very important that we all pay close attention to the events ocurring around the world. They surely will have an effect on our daily lives sooner or later, if they haven't already. But as regards the connection between the rest of the world and our beloved 16-to-1, I think the discussion is misguided. Because the product from the mine generates revenue that is only loosely connected to the spot price of gold, there is little that happens around the world that will greatly affect the balance sheet. The gold will be mined, or it won't. It really doesn't have much to do with the price of tea in China (unlike the price of gold). The revenue generated is based on a marked-up price because it happens to be a unique commodity. That commodity just happens to be made up of a significant percentage of gold.

So where should we, as advocates of mining and the mine, direct our efforts? As citizens of the great state of California, you should do all you can to encourage the education of the public about not only the mine's heritage, but also mining as a viable and environmentally responsible industry. It is your state government that should be closely watched and your state laws that should be reflective of your beliefs.

It ultimately will not matter whether gold is $150 or $800. The price of the 16-to-1's product is based on a market all its own. In more ways than one, the 16-to-1 is a world unto itself. While attempting to be an island of mining success, however, beware of the sharks.

Have a nice day.

Jason Burke
 By lynwood

12/02/2004  9:57AM

On October 18, 2004, a major gold refiner, buyer and seller issued a news release to its customers across the world titled GOLD BULLION-MARKET DEVELOPMENTS, TRENDS and CHALLENGES. It reminded its customers that recent events and market trends affirms the volatility of the precious metal markets and how seemingly unrelated changes impact our markets.

“On October 11, 2004, the U.S. Senate approved the “American Jobs Creation Act of 2004.” Among the provisions of the Act are the elimination of export subsidies that were ruled illegal by the World Trade Organization and resulted in punitive tariffs being levied on exports to the European Union. Gold bullion is one of the items currently subject to these tariffs.

The tariffs were instituted by the European Union in March 2004. Initially, the tariff rate was 5%, increasing by 1% each month. Currently the rate stands at 12%. The effect of this tariff on the world gold bullion market has been to eliminate virtually all direct shipments of gold bullion from the USA to European Union nations - most importantly - physical shipments of gold from New York to London.

With London eliminated as an end market for gold bullion, we have utilized less conventional metal trading options, such as “Zurich swaps” to sell some of our gold output and to service customers with London delivery commitments. These options incur additional costs, and as a result, Zurich-London swaps or Tokyo-London swaps now carry a premium in the market. Customers desiring out-turn of gold in London should expect to pay a modest premium reflecting the cost and transportation differentials of Zurich or Tokyo swaps.

Another consequence of the elimination of gold shipments from New York to London has been an increase in the supply of gold bullion in New York and elsewhere in the USA. Premiums for gold bullion in the market are at an all-time low and there are substantial surplus inventories in New York, Los Angeles and other US markets. Although the expectation is that the European Union will lift the punitive tariff, until it is actually eliminated, surplus inventories of gold bullion, particularly from off-brand suppliers, will suppress bullion premiums.”

In the 1960’s and early 70’s until America’s restrictions on gold ownership were lifted by Congress and signed into law by President Nixon, gold passed around the world in many disguises. Some people called it smuggling. A disparity in price occurred especially between the US fixed price and the floating price in Mexico. Transporting gold out of the United States was an easy gig. Is this what the last sentence of the circulated letter to its customers is trying to say without actually saying “smuggle” or “black market”? Has anyone else read about the tariffs or suppressed premiums on gold bullion?
 By lynwood

10/28/2004  11:15PM


At first all matter was organized, and at last none will be.

The Economist, October 23rd 2004, recognized gold as a topic, an unusual event. This magazine shies away from recognizing gold as “storage of wealth” and rarely mentions gold in any article. That makes sense if you assume that few of its readers have any position, understanding or appreciation of gold. While Gold heads the column, written first and in red ink, Disharmony (written in black) is the eye catcher with the biggest letters on the page. Disharmony sets a tone, which is how one will be prejudiced upon reading the article. Even before the body of the topic is started, another bold but smaller sentence leaps off the page. It frames the meaning the writer intends to projects. It reads, “A curious bid to create the world’s biggest gold producer.” Well, since that is happening in its own unique way in California, I was excited to learn from this bi-weekly publication. So I have read the story more than a few times.

Gold Fields of South Africa received an all-share offer from Harmony of Australia. Norilsk Nickel of Russia already owns about 20% of Gold Fields. This is the same company that moved into the USA’s biggest platinum mine of Montana.(Check a few entries back to 11/22/02, by Bluejay.) The Russian tycoon, Vladimir Potanin, was discussed along with a broad brush of isolated facts. But then the writer says: Here politics has helped. The old fantasy of gold as a “store of value” has flourished since the September 11th terrorist attacks on America. Bull! What an uneducated thought! Other natural resource producers, bankers, businesses of all ilks have stored gold, and people like you and me. Disruptions, actualized or perceived, bring forth changes that are easier to navigate with diversity. Storing stuff of value begins with water and air. After food and other life sustaining necessities, the fortunate ones store value in some other way. Gold has been one of those ways since recorded history. Gold actually cannot be tied directly to any date. That is a solid reason why gold is the world’s most valued currency and storage of value.

IAMGOLD of Canada is discussing plans to merge also. The result would be a new company 70% held by Gold Fields. It is reported that Mr. Potanin bought his stake in Gold Fields both to acquire non-Russian assets and to diversity. How rich is Mr. Potanin? For people looking for more clues that the world is in a significant dollar/gold reevaluation, the Economist article can count.
 By bluejay

10/25/2004  8:23PM

The Chinese metals company, Minmet, has proposed to takeover the $8 billion Canadian natural resource company Noranda which controls Falconbridge also a Canadian company.

Reports David Duval on the jsmineset.com website tonight, "China is running huge cash surpluses because of its lopsided trade account with the United States and other Western countries, it's certainly not short of cash to acquire whatever it needs."

Interesting, as Duval reports, "Chinese officals have also floated the possibility of investing in Canada's vast oil sands which in terms of contained reserves are second only to Saudi Arabia's. (With the cost of production of large oil sands operations near $12 per barrel, they are certainly economically viable at current oil prices)."

Is there any wonder why China is focusing on Canada? It is politically safe.

The entire article is a must read. The title on jsmineset.com is, "Would The Real Economy Please Stand Up?"

The Canadian currency has been making new recent highs against the U.S. Dollar and looks higher in the many months ahead although some minor corrections are to be expected along the way.

Mr. Duval's article concludes by his saying, " Higher oil prices aren't going away soon and political expediency - rather than good economic policy - will continue to set the trend for the US Dollar and spur inflationary pressures that are coming down the pipe."

"What you are seeing today in the gold market could well be the tip of the iceberg. Ever so steadily, investors are beginning to look hard again at tangibles - especially gold - which is everyone's to own."
 By lynwood

02/23/2004  6:02PM

SIXTEEN TO ONE management has clearly stated its plans to remain a domestic gold mining company. It seems smart to me. Headlines written by Scott Wilson in the WASHINGTON POST: “Gold mine’s riches do little for Peru’s many poor”. The story basically slams Newmont Mining Corp that holds controlling interest inYanacocha, one of Peru’s most impoverished areas. Last year, mining companies paid $290 million in income taxes to the Peruvian government, 10 percent of the total income tax collected.

Tax proceeds have contributed to many social programs outside the mining regions. “But the mining companies took more than 10 times what they paid in taxes out of the country as revenue. In the face of broad public opposition, the government withdrew permission in December from a Canadian company to excavate a major gold seam beneath the town of Tambogrande, which would have required one-third of the town to be leveled and relocated.”

Last year, the mine yielded 2.8 million ounces of gold, more than $1.1 billion. The company expects to pay $140 million in Peurivan taxes this year based on that record revenue, half of which will come back to Cajamarca’s government. On its own, the mine has built 75 miles of road and dozens of irrigation systems, and funded small-loan programs and art exhibits. Local amateur soccer teams are funded by the mine, as are many of the fields they play on.

“But the new money has lifted only a few of Cajamarca’s 100,000 people, especially those who work directly for the mine. Yanacocha employs 2,000 people, 60 percent of them Cajamarca natives.” Lucida Torres is photographed in the article. She says, “the river that irrigates her farm has become a trickle since mining began in the area. There are millionaires up there, and we’re as poor as ever.”

What can we learn from this article? Foreign corporations go to third world countries, pay a lot of taxes, rip the environment and United States newspaper reporters can bi-line a story in a major newspaper. Associated press offered the Post story to its subscribers, so who knows how many people read the story. Does Mr. Wilson have an agenda? If so, it could be the following: “The riches have brought resentment, particularly among those who have not won a coveted place on the mine’s relatively small payroll. Many of those who do not work for the mine say it has brought minimal development, a higher cost of living and pollution to the rivers that for generations have provided irrigation for a patchwork of potato and corn crops. The debate over mining here mirrors a broader one taking place across Peru. There are mounting questions about an economic policy that has produced impressive growth figures but few jobs, especially for the majority of Peruvians who live in poverty. Rising populist sentiment from Venezuela to Bolivia has stirred deep social unrest over how to harness the Andes’ natural wealth, much of it in foreign hands, on behalf of the poor.”
 By bluejay

11/23/2003  1:26PM

For a comprehensive analysis to this historic event read the article entitled "A Review of Last Week's Gold Market" that was made available today, November 23, 2003, at http://www.jsmineset.com"

The author is James Sinclair who is the most knowledgeable person on the planet concerning gold.
 By lynwood

10/23/2003  2:31PM

Japanese expansion in American gold mines

Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. commits $333 million to develop the Pogo gold mine in Alaska. It is the largest gold mine development project ever undertaken by a Japanese company. Sumitomo Metal Mining holds a 51% interest in the Alaska claims. Teck Cominco Ltd owns 40%, while Japanese trading company Sumitomo Corp. holds the remaining 9%.

Sumitomo began developing gold mines in the 1970’s. Its Hishikari, Kagoshima Prefecture has produced gold since 1985. Production ranges between 7-8 tons of gold a year. The mine is expected to run out of reserves in about 20 years, which lead the company to look for prospects in Alaska in 1991. The firm is expected to produce 12.5 tons of gold at the mine in 2005. Hmm.
 By lynwood

07/31/2003  2:06PM

China’s First Gold Producer IPO

Zhongjin Gold Co Ltd., China’s flagship gold miner, will soon become the first listed company in the nation’s gold industry after it launched an initial public offering (IPO) yesterday in Shanghai. The company yesterday issued 100 million shares at a price of 4.05 yuan (US $0.49) per share on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

China’s first initial public offering by a gold producer was 82.4 times subscribed, the lead manager of the IPO said in an announcement published in the Shanghai Securities News investors subscribed to 82.40 billion shares in the one-day IPO subscription.

The move represents the first substantial step towards the market-driven reform of China’s State-controlled fragmented gold industry. “The move is part of our efforts to build Zhongjin into a top brand in China’s gold industry,” said Song Xin, company chairman. Zhongjin will produce more than 20 tons of gold this year, accounting for 10 percent of China’s total gold output, Song said. (China Daily)

China is a major gold player. It is the world’s third largest gold buyer and fourth largest gold producer. It has more than 1,000 gold mines and about 30 gold refiners.

Let me get this straight. One hundred million shares offered. Buyers wanted. 824 billion (1,000,000 for sale—82,400,000,000 buyers).

Any comments?
 By bluejay

07/22/2003  12:19AM

The State of California is micromanaging the gold industry towards extinction. According to the Geological Survey, "(California's) gold production declined 19 percent between 2000 and 2001, and is expected to drop by about 70 percent over the next two to three years."

Almost all of the little hard rock gold mines have already been forced to close as a direct result of increasing regulations in the State and now California is after the open pit gold miners.

Governor Davis signed a new law into effect on April 7th of this year that requires open pit mining operations to completely backfill their pits when they are finished. This law came about directly following Glamis Gold's application to extract gold from a proposed open pit site in Imperial County that would have been sized at 800 feet deep and a mile wide. The Company pulled its permit request following the Governor's signature. I am not in favor of upsetting Mother Nature's plan for us but the world needs gold and we have to start addressing compromises and stop pointing fingers at our ranchers, our farmers and our miners.

Richard De Vito, president of Canyon Resources, which mines gold in the Paramint Valley said, "We will not dig another hole."

So here we are discussing citations and how "disgusting" the Sweet Sixteen is. So now, the pendulum of social justice swings back towards the last remnants of what used to be a proud and prosperous gold industry and tries to decapitate the last standing few with the sharpness of the guillotine? I think not.

The Sixteen as a result of all the excessive citations is on the point questioning and challenging its reduced rights to earn an honest living from its properties as it is guaranteed in the Constitution. Our society's obsession for perfection is a recipe for self destruction in the end. Our government has to do a much better job in balancing compromise. If we put the backbone industries out of business who will supply our economy, the Chinese? If that happens, then you can kiss your international buying power goodbye and we'll all be reduced to slaves in the end.

What will California be like in its new envisioned world of perfection concerning the working environment when many companies will have been regulated out of business and China continues to beat the hell out of us with their extremely low wage scale?

Has anyone ever considered doing some constructive reasoning at where all these increasing amounts of regulations and policing of them with excessive citations will eventually lead us? Is this just the beginning?
 By Michael Miller

01/28/2003  9:14PM

The Fraser Institute, an independent Canadian economic and social research and educational organization, asked 972 senior and junior mining companies around the world to participate in a survey. Its purpose is to assess how mineral endowments and public policy factors such as taxation and regulation affect investment. The investment attractiveness of 47 jurisdictions in North and South America, Australia, Asia, Africa, India, Russia and Indonesia were included.

The 158 companies participating in the survey include 27 senior mining companies and 131 junior mining companies including the Original Sixteen to One Mine, Inc. of California. The effects of increasingly onerous, seemingly capricious regulations, uncertainty about land use, higher levels of taxation, and other policies that interfere with market conditions are rarely felt immediately, as they are more likely to deter companies looking for new projects than they are to shut down existing operations. The industry is reluctant to be publicly critical of politicians and civil servants.

"In recognition of the fact that jurisdictions are no longer competing only with the policy climates of their immediate neighbours, but in fact with jurisdictions around the world, we think it is important to continue publishing and publicizing the results of the survey annually, and to make the results available and accessible to an increasingly global audience," says Liv Fredricksen, Coordinator. Email: livf@fraserinstitute.ca

Attractive geology does not guarantee mining investment if a region's policies are bad, say mining executives.

Chile claims the highest rank on the overall Investment Attractiveness Index with a score of 94 points out of a possible 100. Quebec was the top-rated North American jurisdiction with an overall investment score of 90. Australia is the next most attractive jurisdiction with an overall score of 89, and Nevada is the highest rated jurisdiction in the US with a score of 86.

Topics included were:
1. Policy Potential Index
2. Mineral Potential Index
3. Investment Attractiveness Index.

Mining executives offered the following comments.
"The greatest difficulties in this business come from another direction—the ridiculous amount of filings and forms (and outrageous fees) demanded by the multiple securities commissions and stock exchanges. These seem to expand and change monthly."
—President, junior mining company.

"USA [has] eco-terrorism-environmental strangulation policies." The country needs a dose of "environmental realism based on good scientific/engineering policies."
— Evaluations Manager, senior mining company.

"U.S [has] toooo many idiots! Who work with junk science and who are out for control at any cost…." It needs to "Get back to the reality that the U. S. is dependent on metals to make the economy grow and prosper same with energy."
—President, junior mining company.

The jurisdiction with the most favourable policies is "Australia. Gold mining [is] tax free. Mining industry [is] highly supported by government at all levels."
—Exploration Manager, junior mining company.

"The entire mineral industry in Indonesia for the last 4 years is a horror story. At the current rate extractive industry here will be dead in 5-8 years (exploration already is!)"
—Executive VP Exploration, senior mining company.

"China, India, Indonesia, Philippines, Zimbabwe, [and] Congo" have the worst policies. "Their cultures either do not value mining highly or they favour locals versus foreigners." Unfortunately, "corruption is not really subject to policy."
—President, junior mining company.

Russia has unfavorable policies, including “political, regulatory and legal harassment [freezing accounts] because of refusal to cooperate with continuing and increasing ‘payoffs.’”
—Evaluations Manager, senior mining company.

In South Africa the leaking of a draft Mining Charter for the new Minerals and Petroleum Bill that hinted at compulsory majority ownership of new mining projects had a significant effect on foreign investment and confidence.
—Director, senior mining company.

Since all of our mining properties are located in California, much of this survey has limited value; however I conclude my summary with the following observations. The respondents consider regulatory duplication and inconsistencies as a strong deterrent to exploration investment greatest in Russia. California is the third worst location only above Russia and Wisconsin. California ranks third from the bottom regarding environmental regulations, slightly ahead of Washington and Wisconsin.

A statistic worth intellectual pondering was a mathematical table of respondents who indicate factors that encourage exploration investment. A comparison of the percentages found in the column for “Mineral Potential Assuming Current Regulations” and Mineral Potential Assuming No Land Use Restrictions” places California as the geographical political entity surveyed with the highest percent difference between the two columns at 68%. Go figure.

It will prove helpful for individuals considering an investment in remote or exotic lands to have at least a base understanding of political stability, infrastructure, labor relations, regulations and restrictions. For me, it is only a tangential interest. One undeniable truth about a mining company is it cannot move its mineral deposit to a more favorable location. I like California, especially now that most mining companies view the state near the bottom of desirability. Mister Pocket, we’re breaking rock to find you.
 By bluejay

01/11/2003  5:57PM

It's nice to hear your ideas which I totally agree with. Sadly, I missed your articles that you did for the paper. Is there any chance they could be put on the Forum? It would be great if you did some current stuff. I have heard your name around as being a very knowledgeable mining person
 By Jack Hawkins

01/10/2003  11:40PM

Full Disclosure: I have owned shares in Original Sixteen To One since 1987, when I wrote a series of articles on Gold Mining for the Mountain Messenger newspaper in Downieville. I am also a retired stockbroker.

The 16 to 1 is the oldest gold mine in the United States since Homestake was sold to Barrick. The stock reached a high of around 7 1/2 in the nineties; the last sale on the Pacific Exchange was 75 cents before it was delisted when the exchange went Archipelago.

I am writing you now because the mine is still operating in Alleghany, California, with about ten employees. It desperately needs capital to beef up operations for the gold bull market. If you or anyone you know has an interest, I think a call to Mike Miller, Predident, at [530] 287-3223 would be worthwhile. I think a few million dollars is all they need, and a substantial interest could be purchased.

If you want more details, please telephone me at home:[650] 948-4388. Jack Hawkins
 By Michael Miller

12/31/2002  12:16AM


A principle explanation of our political leaders moving within the legal system to bring about a strong nation by a rigid enforcement of the law follows. Political necessity exists as nationalization for social order through identifiable approaches based on personal cultivation. Political order has its basis for reaching harmony in a moral order. What has been lost for decades, probably dating back to the industrial age, which brought about a new social order must be identified before society can address the problem. Fix the cause, not the symptom. [The expression of a new social order cannot actually create or manifest into a new social order. All verbal attempts have fallen short. A new social order becomes identifiable as an after shock of political science and economics.]
We have become a political group. No longer will I ask my fellow employees to assume and act like the professionals we are. The Original Sixteen to One mine Inc. (OAU) our employer is one of the most respected gold mining companies of the 20th Century. Only Homestake Mining comes to mind as better known. Its founder, George Hearst, began his mining education among the rocks of the Northern mines of California before he developed Homestake Mine in South Dakota. Newmont Mining, a close contender of the Sixteen to One mine and Homestake, only takes a back seat because of its length of origin. Its founder, Fred Searls, shaped his underground pie in Alleghany searching for the Red Star mine ran by OAU.
 By R-Bob

12/28/2002  7:33PM

Intuition: of course you do it.
 By gfxgold

12/28/2002  1:13AM

Mike, what you are proposing does not surprise me in the least! You've known for a long time that the northern property has not been worked to the extent that it has on the southern end of the Sixteen. That's why you've always had a keen interest in the Red Star. It had never been worked to it's full potential. There were some nice sized pockets found just south of the Red Star. It would be interesting to see if there were any nuggets left in the gravel, too.(Mmmm, I wonder how much water is in that old channel). It would be quite an undertaking but, it would be a more direct and efficient route than trying to use any existing tunnels. Another benifit that I could see is a new area for waste rock and it's a long way from the creek! I say, "Go for it."
 By Michael Miller

12/27/2002  11:34PM

Buried in our[shareholders] and our [America] foundation are some of the earth's great natural specimens.....which formed before man arrived, as well as all plants and animals. On the other hand, rapid, explosive, violent, wonderful processes may have formed the earth's noble metals in concentrated veins. All rules are off when it comes to mining high-grade gold in this area only...."take your chances and chances will be taken."
Straight mining talk follows. I propose sinking the nORTH sIXTEEN sHAFT portal at SW corner of the Red Star. With proven production from the Sixteen to One Shaft and Tightner Shaft, the reward potential far exceeds in value the risks of undertaking the venture. The central location of our deposit between the Rainbow and Bald Mountain is the proposed portal. The first 170 feet is lava before it penetrates the tertiary gravels. [The Sixteen to One vein is reported to jut into the rich bed-rock of the old river.] Assuming: a 35 degree dip in the vein; 600 lineal feet of shaft quartz exposure; 368 feet of vertical drop from bed-rock to the 250 level of the Tightner workings; Red Star 350 level is 185 vertical feet below Tightner 250 level.

Why should this major investment be undertaken ? auriferous or gonzo or gfxgold or someone with a geological or historical or economical who has waited to participate in this forum lets talk about gold mining on this existing "Topic".
 By auriferous

11/24/2002  3:55PM

After leaving the 16-to-1 as Mine Engineer, I worked as a civil engineer in Roseville for four years. I am now also a licensed Mining Engineer in the State of Nevada. I am also now Lead Underground Surveyor (and part engineer/geologist) for Stillwater Mining's East Boulder project. I did not leap blindly into this endeavor. If anyone has any questions about Stillwater or the 16-to-1, please let me know. I'll try my best to answer.

Jason Burke
 By lynwood

11/22/2002  9:51PM

I knew tHis FORUM COULD BE A REAL AREANA FOR TRUTH ABOUT THE EXPANDED WORLD OF MINING. When Miller went after Homestake Mining he knew what he was doing. HM was a casualty of war.
bluejay, you told me a bunch about Stillwater and global mining.
One day during a 5 day MSHA quarterly inspection, Stillwater was issued 135 citations on just the third day!
One regular quarterly inspection.
When the LA Times reports that the Sixteen To One got 180 citations in 17 years, what would readers think about its safety program?
bluejay, thanks for your research. More anytime.
 By bluejay

11/22/2002  2:09AM

It was announced today that Stillwater Mining has proposed selling a majority 51% equity interest to Russian company, Norilsk Nickel. This anticipated transaction follows behind the foreign sale of Homestake Mining to the Canadian miner Barrick Gold. The Homestake shareholders are to blame for allowing this American tragedy.

Clearly, Norilsk Nickel had the financial strength to carve out a better deal for themselves than the ailing Stillwater. Stillwater is still smarting from a battering of filed class action suits that originated following a SEC review of its filed shelf offering. The SEC advised Stillwater that in "their interpretation" of the industry standards the company was overstating their probable reserves.

Stillwater's alleged foul was they were vertically projecting their probable ore reserves in certain ore blocks for distances of up to 1,900 feet beyond sample points. Stillwater Mining stated,"These projections were based on demonstrated ore continuity within the J-M Reef, the Company's knowledge of geologic features affecting ore continuity and reconciliation of prior ore reserve estimates with actual mining results." Stillwater resolved the SEC's concern by lowering the distance of projections to 1,000 feet.

Francis R. McAllister, Chairman and Chief Executuve Officer said, " While the Company's ore reserve methodology has stood the test of 16 years years mining experience, the scrutiny of independent experts and now this review by the SEC, it is important to put this matter behind us with a manner which we believe fair to our shareholders."

The "their interpretation" has significantly cost the shareholders, not the company. In addition, you can always count on the attorney's when they smell blood or have been politically pointed in a specific direction to satisfy someone's greed or necessity against the shareholders.

As a shareholder of Stillwater, there is the smell of a big rat with this deal. Norilsk is giving the company $100 million cash and approximately 876 thousand ounces of palladium in a declining market.

In December of 2000 palladium almost hit $1100 an ounce and today it's on a low of $274 after breaking some support at just above $300 an ounce level recently.

The Russians are shrewd metal traders. In 1996 Boris yeltsin said, We'll sell the world all the palladium that they want." That's when palladium was selling for $125 an ounce. Four years later it hit about $1100. Yeltsin proved to be no less than a market thug, manipulating traders to sell the metal short and in the later process of higher prices squeezing the life out of them when his country withheld palladium from the world market for an extended period and blamed it on labor problems. The labor problems were the result of the government not paying the miners. Trust the Russians, I don't think so.

For the first nine months of 2002 Stllwater reported total cash costs per ounce of $279, not total costs, cash costs. With the last sale per ounce of $274, what do you think will happen if palladium goes further into the tank? Big daddy Norilsk puts his money into the company and takes more stock and the original shareholders take home a smaller piece of the pie. Eventually, maybe, the Russian company owns the whole pie and America has lost another great mining company with the largest single deposit in the world of palladium. That would be nice for Norilsk Nickel, they could be another Debeers(head of the world diamond cartel) and tell you and I and industry what we'll have to pay for their precious palladium.

This deal may have started with someone, guess who, looking for gold. Norilsk Nickel recently acquired a Russian gold producer and now accounts for over 15% of Russia's gold production. Maybe, Norilsk said, if I direct my gold to you, what can you do for me?

If anyone still has any questions about the integrity of dealing with these people give Bill Gates a call and ask him about the experience that one of his companies by the name of Pan American Silver had with them.

This deal if it originated with someone trying to locate a gold source may indicate that some part of the 994,832,857 ounces of gold that is short in the marketplace is starting to wriggle. There currently is a fierce battle being fought between the people who want to hold gold as security against a financial meltdown and the commercial banks who have been selling gold that they do not own. The commerical banks, through derivatives, represent 89% of the total short position. The legitimate hedging gold producers account for the remaining 11%.

It will be another national shame if this is the start of another scheme to steal one more of our important mining companies. It is bad enough when the little gold producing companies are taken to the mat without moral cause but to witness the loss of another big mining company would be a blow to our national dignity

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