Gordon Brown Under Fire Over Gold Sales

Spot gold closed in Sydney at USD$677.90 an ounce on friday, up 5 on the previous close, news.com.au reports. Gold miners lost ground, with Newcrest (ASX:NCM) shedding 44c to AUD$23.51, Lihir Gold (ASX:LHG) down 6c to AUD$3.20 and Newmont (ASX:NEM) giving back 7c to AUD$5.17.

The Guardian reports that UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, is facing new inquiries over his decision to auction 400 tonnes of gold bullion between 1999 and 2002. Claims have been made that Mr Brown failed to take advice from the Bank of England when selling half of England’s gold stocks, with officials reportedly warning the treasury in correspondence that there was a risk of losing money because of the price of gold, which has trebled since the sale.

The Treasury has denied the claims, insisting the decision had been scrutinised carefully and the taxpayer received value for money.

A government spokesman said: “A large number of major countries made similar decisions to sell gold at the time including Belgium, Netherlands, Canada, Austria, Australia, Argentina, Czech Republic, Portugal, Sweden, Luxembourg, Switzerland and Malaysia.”

ASIC, investigating a fraud that saw Australian investors putting AUD$8 million into “gold bullion options” along with “heating oil options” and “gasoline options” on non-existent foreign currency exchanges has frozen the bank accounts of an Australian student and Malaysian businessman after millions of dollars from investors mysteriously wound up in the men’s accounts, the Brisbane Times reports.

The Chicago Tribune reports that with more and more people working in India, the elderly are struggling with no one home to care for them; in a few worst case scenarios, children have reportedly dumped elderly parents at the local cemetery, leaving instructions for workers to call the family when they have died.

The growing plight of the elderly in India has led to calls for the transfer of gold jewellery from mother-in-law to daughter-in-law, dictated by tradition, to stop, which would allow older generations to keep a nest egg, Gitanjali Prasad, author of “The Great Indian Family” has said.

Ten gold coins, part of a seizure settlement, will be liquidated by the sheriff’s office in Jefferson County, Colorado. The coins are all Walking Liberty USD$20 gold coins from the 1920s, with grades ranging from MS64-65, and will be awarded via silent auction to the highest bidder, the hub.com reports.

East Asia Minerals Corporation (TSXv:EAS)has signed the Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) with PT Sangihe Mineral and PT Amsya Lyna to explore and develop the Sangihe gold-copper project in Indonesia, a 42,000 hectare property which encompasses numerous drill-ready gold and copper-gold prospects. Field teams have now been mobilised to the project, which is located on Sangihe Island, in the North Sulawesi Province.

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