Merrill Lynch Raises Long Term Forecast for Gold Prices

Gold miners were mixed as the spot price of gold dropped 80c to USD$654.80 yesterday. Newcrest Mining (ASX: NCM) was up 14c to AUD$22.64 and Lihir Gold (ASX: LHG) fell 1c to AUD$3.16.

Reuters UK reports that US brokerage Merrill Lynch has raised its long-term forecasts for gold prices, citing positive supply-demand fundamentals, while maintaining its view that bullion could hit USD$700 an ounce by mid-May. Merrill has lifted its view of gold prices to USD$675 from USD$650 an ounce for 2008, up to USD$650 from USD$625 an ounce for 2009, and to USD$625 from USD$600 an ounce for 2010.

The Indian government has ruled out banning forward trading in gold bullion, Zee News reports. Minister of State for Consumer Affairs Mohammad Taslimuddin said that while some bullion merchants associations had made representations to the government in an effort to have the forward trade banned, the nation’s commodity market regulator, Forward Markets Commission, would ensure that futures prices reflect supply and demand conditions, and so “no action was warranted by the government”.

Paramount Gold Mining Corp (OTC: PGDP) has announced plans to drill a total of 50,000 meters in 2007 on the San Miguel project in Mexico. The company aims to extend the known mineralised zones along strike, and to find new zones by drilling the untested portions of the primary mineralised structural zone.

Phoenix Ancient Art’s latest exhibition, “Greek Gold: Masterpieces of Classical Jewellery,” will be on display at its New York gallery from April 19 – May 15, 2007. “It’s becoming increasingly more difficult to find top quality ancient jewellery,” said company president Ali Aboutaam. “The relative accessibility and strong allure of ancient gold to antiquities collectors of all levels have led to a scarcity of truly amazing pieces. This show is the culmination of 30 years of painstaking research and acquisition with an eye for only the best and most beautiful pieces.”

AMI Resources (TSXv: AMU) has commenced the first phase of its 2007 drilling program at the North Ashanti project in Ghana, signing an initial 5,000 metre drill contract with Minerex Drilling Contractors. The rig is currently drilling at the Anuoro North Zone, where significant grades and widths have been encountered.

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