Saturday, March 31, 2012

Cheap Gold Miners & Bassari Resources (BSR)

Get ready for a bit of a long post here as I start with some of my thoughts and those of others on Gold mining stocks in general and then get specific on an ASX listed Gold exploration company that I think is worth a look.

It's been a while since I've talked about Gold/Silver stocks. I wrote a few posts late last year suggesting we could be looking at a  move to new highs for the Gold stocks (e.g. Gold stocks cheapest since early 2009). We did see new highs in the HUI for the briefest of periods... however it ended up being a poor call and after increasing my exposure (to 50%) in Gold stocks in the lead up to the rally/breakout I ended up in damage control the rest of the year and liquidating several positions for a loss. I'm now back to around 15-20% Gold stocks as a percentage of my invested capital/savings (not including the blue chip Gold stocks held in my super).

One of the ratios I was watching was the HUI:GOLD ratio where the lower the ratio the cheaper the stocks are relative to the price of the metal. I thought .31 was low, but it has deteriorated further since: 

CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE
This image from a recent Zeal article showing the panic lows of today compared with late 2008 when the miners crashed along with the metals:


Some of the capital from the sell off went into physical Silver in the late 2011/early 2012 sell off (as mentioned in this post). I was a buyer several times in the correction all the way down to $26, including a purchase at the bottom, with a bit of luck I managed to time the purchase within half an hour of the near $26 low (got to love the recent introduction of online Australian dealers who provide live pricing 24/7). 

I've also been a buyer more recently with the correction driving Silver from AUD$34.50 to AUD$30. In my personal opinion Silver represents good buying at current prices and as long as you 'buy the dips' the bull market (assuming it continues) will iron out any mistakes or if you miss the bottom. In the grand scheme of things I don't think purchasing a dollar or two out from the bottom of the correction will make that much difference when taking into consideration where I think the price of Silver is heading in the next few years (triple digits).

Back to stocks. So the sentiment in the precious metals sector is extremely negative at the moment, in the physical metals and in particular the miners. A few well written (and argued) articles (from notable commentators and blogs) have popped up in the past week. 

This one from The Short Side of Long (recommend reading the full article, but here is the summary):

Summary: As you can see, there are a lot of indicators pointing to a Gold Miners bottom either around these levels or in coming days or weeks. Be it oversold price, oversold breadth, an already large cyclical bear market (Silver down 48%, Juniors down 44% from 2011 peaks), relative strength and bearish sentiment, which contrarian love to see - all of these point to buying into the PMs sector.

Having said all that, refer back to the beginning of the post. If the Euro breaks up, it will confirm what I have written here; but if the Euro breaks down (Dollar breaks up), than we could see some more selling first for a few more days or weeks, until the final bottom is reached. It is critical to keep your view on the Euro Dollar exchange rate in coming sessions to gauge weather this is the right time to invest into the PMs sector or not.
This one from Zeal (once again a good read in it's entirety, but brief snippet below):

Gold stocks had been doing great since their panic lows in 2008.  Measured by the venerable GDX Gold Miners ETF, gold stocks were up nearly 300% to their late-2010 highs.  This well outpaced the gains of both the general markets (+86% as measured by the S&P 500) and gold (+100%) over this time.  But once 2011 rolled around, gold stocks’ powerful upleg started stalling out.  Even though gold prices stayed strong, the gold stocks succumbed to weakening global equity markets and a weakening commodities patch.

15 months later, now entering Q2 2012, gold has held steady and the S&P 500 has enjoyed an excellent two-quarter run that has brought it to new cyclical-bull highs.  These conditions should have boded well for gold stocks.  But as you can see in the chart below, they continue to languish in their slump.  And the juniors in particular have been getting crushed!

CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE

Gold stocks are actually as cheap now as they were near 2008’s panic nadir!  And if the sentiment cycle that has been so consistent across this entire bull swings back in favor of these stocks, thus drawing investors back in, then I submit to you that this sector, especially the juniors, is poised to explode.  And I’m not talking a violent explosion that will lay waste to gold stocks like so many believe, I’m talking an explosion akin to a rocket ship blasting off into space.
This from Bob Moriarty who called the April 2011 Silver top to the day (mind you with a couple of misses in the months leading to the top):

When investors love gold, they buy the XAU. When they hate gold, they sell the XAU. You literally could draw lines on the chart and when either one or the other was violated it gave a clear signal to buy gold and gold shares or to sell. That worked right up until August of 2008 at the beginning of what came to be called the GFC or Global Financial Crisis. During August, September and October of 2008, investors around the world were unloading every share they could sell just to raise cash to make margin calls.

As a result, there were hundreds of gold stocks selling for less than the cash they had on hand. The last time that happened was in 2001 at the bottom for gold shares. So with gold at $695 in late October of 2008, gold shares as measured by the XAU were actually cheaper than they were relative to gold at $255 gold in mid-2001. That’s nuts. Gold shares got hammered in November and December of 2008 with tax loss selling and investors dumping every loser they owned but between October of 2008 and six months later gold and gold shares rocketed higher.

If you want to invest and make money, you have to be a contrarian. If it makes you feel better to whine about how the nasty guys at the Fed and Treasury and every bank in the world are making gold go down every time gold drops a nickel, it may make you feel better but it won’t make you feel richer.

If you want to invest to make money, buy when everyone wants to sell and sell when everyone wants to buy. Right now, at $1662.80 gold, investors are more negative on gold shares than they have ever been in history and that marks bottoms. For both shares and gold.
And finally this from Jeanne d'Arc at Screwtape Files:
Gold and its miners look ready for a big move

It's times like this that PM bloggers stare deep into what is left of their soul, throw their pens at the cat in frustration, and swear blind that they'll switch from writing about PMs to penning poems about lovely butterflies or creating daguerreotypes of renaissance sculpture. At least the butterflies won't change their spots seconds after a photo of them is published, and sculpture is harmless (and often armless) enough.

But I soon realised what utter nonsense this attitude was. Because the charts' indications haven't changed. And I still very much believe that we're about to have a big move higher in both gold and its mining stocks. Let me try to convince you again...

Let's start with the mining stocks. Earlier in the week I set out to show how the HUI was near its traditional lows of 480 - 500, which I argued was the perfect 'buy zone'. From recent history, this seems entirely reasonable, as the HUI has been moving in a range from 480 to 620 since November 2010.

However, there was one vital missing ingredient - the price of gold! I'd wrongly assumed that the gold price would be static at worst, and this was clearly not the case. Bad JdA. The miners were neatly in their buy zone, at the customary lows, ready for their move higher, but once gold took its big hit there was no way on earth that they were going to do anything other than fall further. The HUI hit lows during the latter part of the week of around 475, and currently stands not much above that. This low is lower than those seen during the last 18 months.
The physical metal has been a better performer than the stocks for the past 12 months, but it's likely that situation will change at some point in the future and when the precious metal stocks play catchup it's likely to be an incredible rally.

Rather than try to pick a bottom I will be instead looking for signs that interest is returning to Gold/Silver stocks. With many juniors bouncing around today at what I consider to be bargain basement prices it takes a lot of self control to stop jumping back in.

Personally I think the biggest risk short term is that the miners get caught up in a final down drought as the overbought stock market goes into a deep correction following the runaway move we've seen over the past few months. There's no guarantee they don't hold up though (despite a general market correction), many of the Gold miners performed extremely well in early 2009 (having bottomed in October/November 2008 alongside the drop in physical prices) as the rest of the market was crashing to the GFC lows.

While I'm not heavily invested in junior miners at the moment I am holding a couple. One of them, Bassari Resources (ASX: BSR), is a West African Gold explorer (I hold BSROA options, rather than BSR, more details further down) which I bought initially in August 2011 and have averaged down as the price dropped lower.

Here is a short profile which I wrote for the February/March edition of AHA Investor Magazine:
Bassari Resources – A West African Story

Gold and Silver mining stocks have had a rough time over the past 12 months as the debt crisis in Europe has deteriorated. The ASX Gold Miners Index (XGD) fell from its April 2011 peak of 8500 to an October low of 6000 (a 30% fall), an index price not seen since July 2010 when Gold was trading several hundred dollars lower at AUD$1300.

If nothing else this crisis has shown that although miners can benefit from a higher Gold price, they don’t always rise when the price of Gold rises and often fall harder than the metal when the spot price corrects. Gold stocks are far from the safe haven that physical metals are, although with the right timing and company a lot of money can be still be made trading or holding them (with the wrong timing and company a lot of money can be lost as well!).

The XGD is made up primarily of larger companies; some of the junior mining and exploration companies have seen an even larger fall than the XGD as Gold corrected from US$1920 in early September to the late December low of just over $1500.

Bassari Resources (BSR) is one of the junior mining companies which have seen their share price decimated as fear gripped the markets in 2011. In early 2011 BSR traded briefly above 20c per share, later that year in September BSR traded for a short time around 8c per share, today the share price is trading below 5c (up to 75% lower than early 2011, 40% lower than September and not far from the lows seen in the middle of the GFC).

In this case the decay in share price can’t only be attributed to the Gold correction and western debt woes, BSR have also had some company related issues. For example their Douta alluvial gold project was put on care and maintenance in the second quarter after operational issues arose and due to a lack of plant/equipment availability.

However, 2011 also bought many successes for the company. In May 2011 BSR released their maiden resource for the Makabingui Project of 240,000oz Gold; this was increased by 126% in December to 543,000oz Gold. The resource includes a higher grade zone of 189,000oz Gold at 4.5g/t. The resource announcements have come following an aggressive drilling program which is continuing into the New Year (2012).

Some of the most impressive results from Makabingui (location of their JORC resource) included 7m @ 54.3g/t Au from 165.3m, 2m @ 37.3g/t Au and 3m @ 14g/t Au (some intercepts which had visible Gold in the mineralised lodes/drill core).

The Konkouto Prospect (35km North East of Makabingui) also returning notable grades with intercepts of 20m @ 1.7g/t Au (including 4m @ 3.8g/t Au) and 5m @ 1.5g/t Au and more recently results announced in January, 50m @ 2.5 g/t gold and 20m @ 3.0 g/t gold. Drilling confirms an east-west trending mineralised zone over a strike length in excess of 600 metres, open in both directions and at depth, which has prompted BSR to commit to another 12 holes (1000m) drilling at this prospect in the first quarter of 2012. There are also still assay results pending from both Makabingui and Konkouto, unfortunately the company has been at the mercy of long lab wait times which seems to be quite typical of African based Gold exploration companies at the moment.

BSR has an interest in 3 contiguous permits (located in Birimian Gold Belt, Senegal, West Africa) with an area of around 1000 square km, within this lies 80km of strike with 13 prospects identified. The region BSR’s tenements lie in are host to 50 million ounces of Gold already.

The risk from Europe and other indebted western nations continues to form a dark cloud over the prospects for junior mining companies like BSR who still at these early stages need to regularly seek funding from the market in order to progress their development. However if they can continue to source adequate funding the exciting grades being delivered and impressive speed at which they’ve started to prove a mineable resource should continue and see BSR flourish in 2012.
At the time of writing the above article the share price was still languishing as uncertainty over their cash position kept investors wary (cash position suggested they would need a capital injection by end of March), however the last two weeks has seen a huge turnaround.

On March 21st they went into a trading halt and March 22nd saw them announce an $11m capital raising at 5c with the share price having closed the previous day at 5.2c.

In the recent Gold miner doldrums many junior Gold stocks (and even the blue chips, KCN's recent placement coming to mind) have traded back to or below the placement level at least for the short term. This wasn't the case for BSR and the share price has taken off in the past week having reached a high of 6.8c, a 36% premium to the placement price and settled to close on Friday at 6.3c.

The share price seems to find support/resistance consistently around the .8c levels as is evident in this short term chart:

CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE
So the 6.8c level might put up some short term resistance and a retrace back to test 5.8c seems like a viable possibility (but in my opinion would be a buying opportunity if support at this level holds).

On a longer term chart the 200 Moving Day Average has both acted as resistance and once passed acted as support and the share price is one again at this level now:

CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE
While it's possible that BSR could head back (over the medium/long term) to the highs above 35c seen in early 2010 it's worth keeping in mind the number of shares on issue at the time was significantly lower (so to get back there would command a significantly higher market capitalisation). 

By the end of the year I think a share price target in the vicinity of 15-25c is not out of the question if they can prove up over 1m ounces of Gold (a target the company has suggested will be met this year) at their Makabingui Project (at which they already have over a 500k oz resource) and another 250koz at their Konkouto Prospect. The existing resource is relatively high grade when compared with their peers and on a market cap/resource ounce valuation basis they are somewhat undervalued compared with some of their nearby peers (GMR and PIR being two examples).

Another way that BSR may be able to add value for shareholders is through a JV for their alluvial project (mentioned in the above article I wrote), it's currently on care and maintenance but management have indicated that they are seeking interest from other parties to progress this project.

Above I mentioned that I am holding BSROA rather than BSR. Options are a lot more speculative than holding direct shares and would implore that you don't purchase them without understanding the security. They do however provide significant leverage (explained in detail below) if the share price of BSR heads over 11c before 30th November 2012.

Options as as the name suggests is an 'option to buy', the strike price being 11c and expiry is 30th November 2012 (8 months away). Essentially this means that you can convert them to BSR shares by paying 11c each. Obviously with the BSR share price today at 6.3c there is no incentive to convert, but if the share price was to reach 12c for example then the options are considered 'in the money' and the owner would generally pay the amount required to convert them before the expiry date. If the options are not converted before the expiry date then they expire worthless.

Hopefully the above provides a basic explanation on how the options work. So we know if they aren't converted before 30th November 2012 they expire worthless, what is the inventive to buy? They offer significant leverage if the share price heads over 11c (or potentially even if it doesn't, but there is confident speculation that it will), consider the following purchases and future share price:

$10k worth of BSROA purchased at .013 = 770,000 options
$10k worth of BSR purchased at .063 = 159,000 shares

At 12c the intrinsic value of BSROA is 1c (although potential to be trading higher):

BSR: 12c x 159,000 = $19,080
BSROA: 1c x 770,000 = $7,700

At 14c the intrinsic value of BSROA is 3c:

BSR: 14c x 159,000 = $22,260
BSROA: 3c x 770,000 = $23,100

At 18c the intrinsic value of BSROA is 7c:

BSR: 18c x 159,000 = $28,620
BSROA: 7c x 770,000 = $53,900

At 25c the intrinsic value of BSROA is 14c:

BSR: 25c x 159,000 = $39,750
BSROA: 14c x 770,000 = $107,800
 
You can see how the leverage really starts to kick in if BSR gets to 14c or higher before expiry and of course there is the potential that BSROA is trading higher than it's intrinsic worth as the BSR share price moves up due to the leverage it provides. However you would want to be careful that you trade out of BSROA prior to expiry unless you have the cash and interest to convert them (for example in the example used above you would need a further $84,700 to convert the 770,000 options).

Not a risk that all are prepared to take, but my BSROA is a speculative holding, so prepared to hold on and may take an opportunity to trade into BSR as time goes on. A member on Hot Copper provided some interesting charts on the risk/comparison of holding BSR/BSROA (link to post here). Another thing worth noting is that there are other options BSRO expiring earlier and with a higher exercise price which I personally expect will expire worthless, so be careful you don't accidentally purchase these.

All in all I think it will be an interesting (and potentially company making) year for Bassari Resources and if the junior Gold sector does turn around as suggested in the articles I linked near the top of this post then there is the potential for this companys share price to soar.

BB.

Disclosure: Position held in BSROA. Not investment advice. Do your own research and come to your own conclusions/decisions to buy or sell any security or investment asset.

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Monday, March 26, 2012

Screwtape Files Trips Over Gold/Tungsten Story

Update (29/3): Since posting this article a few days ago there has been quite a lot of coverage on blogs and even mainstream news sites as well. I thought it would be prudent to notify readers that there have been a couple of updates to the original Screwtape Files post and it reads that there are inconsistencies with the Tungsten filled Gold bar story (see their updated post here to judge for yourself and read the comments that follow the post).


************************

Most readers would probably be familiar with the story that hit the blogosphere over the weekend, ABC Bullion posted photos of a Gold kilo bar which had the insides drilled and 5 tungsten rods inserted.

Here are the pictures (click images to enlarge):


A description of the story was provided as per below:
19/03/2012:
Attached are photographs of a legitimate Metalor 1000gm Au bar that has been drilled out and filled with Tungsten (W).
This bar was purchased by staff of a scrap dealer in xxxxx, UK yesterday. The bar appeared to be perfect other than the fact that it was 2gms underweight. It was checked by hand-held xrf and showed 99.98% Au. Being Tungsten, it would not be ferro-magnetic. The bar was supplied with the original certificate. 
The owner of the business that purchased the bar only became suspicious when he realized the weight discrepancy and had the bar cropped. He estimates between 30-40% of the weight of the bar to be Tungsten. 
This is very worrying and reinforces the lengths that people are willing to go to profit from the current high metal prices. Please be careful.
Stories have circulated the net for years about tungsten filled Gold bars, including allegations (usually in jest) that Gold stored by the Fed is tungsten filled. Of course most of these allegations are just that, but the evidence provided above by ABC Bullion is one of the few legitimate looking occurrences I've seen.

Jeanne d'Arc of Screwtape Files decided to cover the story from a skeptical point of view (I'm actually a fan of the site, so although IMO they've slipped up on this occasion it's worth subscribing to their posts). Here is some of the analysis posted:
As can be clearly seen, a section is 'missing' from the 'salted' bar, left. This missing section is shown on our comparative bar, between the two red lines. The only logical explanation would be if the bar had been horizontally cut in half twice, with the missing section not appearing in the photograph. This section amounts to around 7% (I estimate it to be 6.8%) of the bar, or a hefty $3,600 dollars worth.
A reader "Prize Fighter" on the Screwtape Files blog posted:
I don't see a missing section in the cut bar. It may appear missing if you're looking for a clean cut but it wasn't cut or sawed, it was sheared with snips. That is obvious.
Gold being the soft metal it is, using shears to cut it in half would deform and stretch the material into rounded camber edges. So some of your "missing" material has actually been stretched down into the cut. It seems as obvious to me as your assertion is to you.
I agree. It is obvious from the photos that it's not a clean cut and the soft Gold has been stretched and angled down into the cut. Jeanne d'Arc responds to this commenter "tungsten, being the hard metal it is, cannot be deformed and stretched into rounded camber edges in such a manner" but it's very clear to me that while the Gold has stretched, the tungsten rods appear to have "snapped" in the cutting process and have not rounded like the Gold.

The article continues:
Further, if one looks at the pictures on the websites (it's easier to see there than here), then it appears that in one of the photographs there are five tungsten rods, equally separated, whereas in another photograph only the right three are clearly visible: the left two seem to be either 'blurred out' or just not there.
It's true the tungsten rods are not as visible in the top half of the bar that is presented, but rather than "blurred" as has been suggested by Jeanne d'Arc it appears to me that the gold has just stretched over the other two rods in the cutting process.

The article then goes on to attack ABC Bullion's blog (in an almost comical fashion they try and suggest there is a conspiracy and the blog was created especially for Silver Doctors):
The source for the story, according to Silver Doctors, is the ABC Bullion Blog, which appears to be the legitimate blog of the ABC Bullion Company. Now this blog seems to have two sites: the first is on the company's main website (here) and the second is on a Google Blogspot site. The 'articles' are identical on each, and are the same rather poor set of clipped videos and bullion pump propaganda that one finds everywhere on the net.
Two things stand out. First, neither blog has an article dated older than 22 March (coincidentally, the date of the salted gold story). Second - and this is really odd - you can't get direct access to this big story about the salted gold from either blog version. Honestly! You have to click the Silver Doctor link to get access to the page in question, or click on a tiny, almost hidden, link in their introduction to a paste of a Brother JohnF silver update. So, what we seem to have here is a blog that is launched for an Australian bullion dealer, which has stuck a few random videos and links up, and has 'coincidentally' passed this big scoop of a story to Silver Doctors to get a massive amount of hits. Or, it has passed the story to Silver Doctors and then retrospectively constructed a blogsite to give the impression of a legitimate blog. Either way, they've done a piss-poor job of it...
Jeanne d'Arc is right about their main site, it doesn't have blog articles dated back very far (but this looks by design rather than a conspiracy). It looks to me like they just feed the most recent articles from the blogger hosted blog to their main bullion selling site. It's claimed above that neither site has articles dating earlier than 22nd March, but a quick search in Google "site:ausbullion.blogspot.com" shows posts on the blogger site dating back to mid 2010. 

For a blogger who sees himself as a skeptic he's sure doing a good job finding a conspiracy where there is none. It was not "passed on to Silver Doctors" or any other site, it was simply posted in the same fashion as they've been doing for the past 2 years. Granted the blogger site could do with some navigation improvements such as a calendar of posts, however ironically the Screwtape Files blogger site suffers from the same lack of functionality.

Jeanne d'Arc finishes his "exposé" with the following:
Finally, the story itself does not make sense. Apparently a British scrap dealer came across this bar, and then he sent the photographic evidence to his 'client', ABC Bullion. What is a scrap metal dealer doing buying 1 kg gold bars? Did someone chuck it out with their rusty garden tools and their 30-year old Morris Minor? And, more to the point, what is ABC Bullion - a supposedly respectable Australian bullion dealer - doing sourcing its gold bars from British scrap metal dealers?
The photos, the blogsite, and the story, are all so fishy that I'm afraid I have to award this 'story' a big "F". It's not the gold that has a rotten core, it's this shameless bit of nonsense.
It is not explicitly stated that the original source of the email and the supplier are one and the same (and this is further clarified by ABC below). Furthermore a scrap precious metals dealer will buy whatever comes across his counter, I'm sure he wouldn't turn down a kilo bar if presented with the opportunity to purchase. I award this Screwtape Files analysis a big "F". It's one of the most bizarre, misleading and factually incorrect posts I've seen on their site. Usually their articles are very good so it was a shame to see this story posted.

Greg Hudson (aka Tears of the Moon who updates the ABC Bullion blog) provided some further details on Silver Stackers where the story was also linked by a member:
Hi all, thanks for your discussion on my recent post. The warning email and pics were sent to ABC Bullion from MKS (PAMP refinery www.mks.ch). Not sure if the email was sent to other Australian dealers as ABC Bullion is the sole licensed importer of PAMP for Au, NZ. 
As per the comments above 2g is a huge difference. As a demonstration to myself I weight two 1kg ABC Bullion brand gold bars that had just arrived from the refinery last Friday and 1 weighed 1000.01g the other 1000.02g. 
Whilst we all would like to draw links (myself included) to grand schemes of high finance I suspect the bar in question was the product of a criminal gang. 
They most likely bought a real bar with certificate, clamped it in a drill press, drilled out 5 holes and pushed in tungsten rods. The hardest part would have been convincingly resealing the drilled end with melted gold from the drill holes. 
Whilst I suspect this was not a once off it would certainly be rare. As most gold bought back by dealers (and all bought by scrap dealers) ends up getting re-refined or sold to manufacturing jewelers, if there was a large number of such bars we would be hearing about it on a regular basis as the bars were melted down.
Greg Hudson - ABC Bullion - www.abcbullion.com.au
The story and pictures make this story look genuine, although as pointed out by Greg above it's likely a rare occurrence.

A kilo of Gold is more than most of us have to spend in a single purchase. So in some ways purchasing smaller bars is probably safer even though we pay a higher premium for the privilege.

My advice would be to purchase your Gold in the following forms:

CertiCard Packaged Bars: While I'm sure they are not infallible the packaging on CertiCard bars provides an extra layer of complexity for those attempting to counterfeit or tamper with Gold bars. Perth Mint and PAMP both sell products in this packaging. Furthermore their smaller size (sold in 1g to 100g sizes) makes them small enough that inserting Tungsten rods would be almost impossible.

Gold Coins with milled edge: As Gold Pelican points out on Silver Stackers this form of Gold even in a kilo size would be extremely difficult to cover as the holes created in the milled edge would be a dead giveaway.

Also make sure you are purchasing your Gold and Silver from a reputable dealer/distributor. Look for those who are sourcing their product direct from official suppliers. Here's hoping this tungsten filled bar was just a rare find.


BB.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Buying 2012 Chinese Silver/Gold Panda Coins

I recently wrote about the release of the 2012 Chinese Panda Coin designs:


These coins in the past have been relatively difficult to buy bulk of in Australia, but that is changing with Bullion Money now offering these coins via their online bullion store.

Click either of the below photos to be taken to the respective product page (or here for Silver Pandas, here for Gold Pandas):


Some regular readers would be aware that I have been fairly critical of the Pandas in the past. They are certainly not my first choice for purchase as a bullion coin, however recent actions from the Perth Mint, which I detailed in this post 'Are Perth Mint damaging their reputation?' are closing the gap between the Australian and Chinese mints. Having seen Panda coins in the flesh I can tell you they are a great looking coin. You do need to make sure you purchase them from a reputable dealer though (avoid eBay unless you know what you're doing).

The mintages for the above two coins are currently:

1 oz Gold, 500 Yuan, mintage 600,000
1 oz Silver, 10 Yuan, mintage 8,000,000

Although the PBoC has been known to increase the mintage part way through the year if demand has warranted it.

The Panda coins are trading on Bullion Money like their other bullion coins (tied to movements in the spot price) so for the first time I've seen (in Australia) Panda collectors and stackers will be able to buy the dip a lot more easily.

BB.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Precious Metal Stocks For Your Super Account

A few months ago I posted about exposure to the precious metals bull market through superannuation accounts (Self Managed Super Fund not required if you have an account with a provider who allows direct investment into ASX300 companies or PMGOLD as Spectrum does):


A rebalance of the ASX300 occurring after close on March 16th will see several more Gold/Silver exposed resource companies added to the mix:

Abm Resources NL (ABU)
Azimuth Resources Limited (AZH)
Gold Road Resources Limited (GOR)
Noble Mineral Resources Limited (NMG)
Northern Star Resources Ltd (NST)
Papillon Resources Limited (PIR)
Red 5 Limited (RED)
Tanami Gold NL (TAM)

One of the previously listed companies that will be removed is:

Platinum Australia Limited (PLA)

And those companies which are still included (may not be every one):

Adamus Resources Ltd (ADU)
Alacer Gold Corp. (AQG)
Ampella Mining Ltd (AMX)
Gryphon Minerals Ltd (GRY)
Independence Group NL (IGO)
Indophil Resources NL (IRN)
Integra Mining Limited (IGR)
Intrepid Mines Limited (IAU)
Kingsgate Consolidated Ltd (KCN)
Kingsrose Mining Limited (KRM)
Medusa Mining Limited (MML)
Newcrest Mining Ltd (NCM)
OceanaGold Corporation - CDI (OGC)
PanAust Ltd (PNA)
Perseus Mining Limited (PRU)
Ramelius Resources Ltd (RMS)
Regis Resources Ltd (RRL)
Resolute Mining Ltd (RSG)
Rex Minerals Ltd (RXM)
Silver Lake Resources Ltd (SLR)
St Barbara Limited (SBM)
Teranga Gold Corporation (TGZ)
Troy Resources NL (TRY)

The above list results in over 10% of companies in the ASX300 having heavy precious metals exposure. Not surprising given Australia's resource rich land and I expect the number of Gold/Silver related companies in the ASX300 to increase as the price of the metals continues to climb.

I'm currently holding IGR, KCN, PRU, SLR and TRY in my Super, but will be researching and considering the new companies available in the ASX300 in the near future.


BB.

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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Posts on new blog SilverLunar.com [Summary]

I have been posting quite regularly on Silver Lunar for those who haven't been following the new blog. It's almost solely about Gold and Silver Lunar coins, so may not be of interest to all readers here, but this is a brief summary of some of the recently covered content:

Blog posts about the forthcoming (and now released) Perth Mint 2012 Year of the Dragon 1oz Silver Proof High Relief Coin:


A post about the forthcoming Perth Mint 2013 Lunar Snake Series Coins (will be released later this year, likely in September):


This post may be of interest which was on the difference between speculating on and collecting coins:


And here are a few more recent posts:





Make sure you've registered your email address separately for the Silver Lunar site (if that's your preferred method of notification) as it's a different mailing list:

 


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1/2oz, 2oz, 5oz Silver Lunar Dragons: Bullion Money

I previously posted about the suspension of these coins in this post and then followed up on my new Lunar blog (Silver Lunar) in this post.

It is very unusual for the Perth Mint to set limited allocations for distributors on an unlimited mintage coin so it still remains unknown whether these will be minted ongoing following this limited re-release.

In my opinion if you want Silver Lunar Dragons in these sizes then it would be safest to act now as there is no guarantee these will be available after this allocation has sold out and indications are the allocations aren't very big.

Bullion Money has them available on their site, but not sure how long that will last (I've placed an order first thing this morning once I saw they were listed):

[UPDATE] BELOW COINS NOW SOLD OUT (for now)


Perth Mint 2012 Silver Lunar Dragon 5oz Coin [CLICK FOR PRODUCT PAGE]

The drop overnight in Silver was also a nice bonus for those buying today.

Like other Bullion Money links on this blog the above are affiliate links so purchases through them pay a small commission to me for the referral (no extra cost to you). Thanks for your support!


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