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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Mining Stock Alert: SilverCrest (TSX: SVL) (NYSE MKT: SVLC) Reports Q1 2014 Financial Results

Vancouver, British Columbia - May 15, 2014 (Investorideas.com Mining Stocks Newswire) SilverCrest Mines Inc. (TSX:SVL) ( NYSE MKT: SVLC) is pleased to announce its financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2014. All financial information is prepared in accordance with IFRS and all dollar amounts are expressed in U.S. dollars unless otherwise specified. The information in this news release should be read in conjunction with the Company's unaudited condensed consolidated interim financial statements for the three months ended March 31, 2014 and associated management discussion and analysis ("MD&A") which are available from the Company's website at www.silvercrestmines.com and under the Company's profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.

N. Eric Fier, President and COO stated, "We are pleased with the steady start to 2014, for which operating costs and production were consistent with budget, although our financial performance compared to the first quarter of 2013 was impacted by lower metal prices. Our all-in sustaining cash costs per silver equivalent ounce sold (2) at $9.71 continues to makes us one of the lowest cost precious metal producers. With the commissioning of our new 3,000 tpd mill, SilverCrest is well positioned to continue to generate strong operating cash flows in H2 2014, with continued strengthening of its cash position of $54.5 million at March 31, 2014."
FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS OF Q1, 2014, Compared to Q1, 2013:
  • Cash flow from operations (1) decreased 25% to $6.6 million ($0.06 per share).
  • Cash operating cost per silver equivalent ounce sold (2) decreased 7% to $7.14.
  • All-in sustaining cash cost per silver equivalent ounce sold (2) decreased 40% to $9.71.
  • Revenues reported decreased 15% to $13.0 million.
  • Metal sales of 198,800 ounces of silver and 7,650 ounces of gold increased 27% and 4% respectively.
  • Realized spot metal prices declined from $30 to $21 (30%) for silver and from $1,626 to $1,319 (19%) for gold.
  • Net earnings were $2.5 million ($0.02 per share), compared to $6.0 million ($0.06 per share).
  • Cash and cash equivalents were $54.5 million (at March 31, 2014), compared to $41.1 million (at March 31, 2013).
  • Working capital was $63.7 million (at March 31, 2014), compared to $48.9 million (at March 31, 2013).
  • Bullion inventory at March 31, 2014, included 59,114 ounces of silver and 2,084 ounces of gold.
Comparison of the three months ended March 31, 2014 to March 31, 2013
Net earnings were $2,467,989 ($0.02 per share basic) for the first quarter compared with $6,002,276 ($0.06 per share basic) in 2013. The decrease in net earnings during the first quarter was primarily attributed by lower revenues resulting from significantly lower realized prices.
Silver and gold revenue totalled $13,005,527 (2013 - $15,329,642) in the first quarter. Silver sales totalled 198,800 ounces (2013 - 157,088), 27% higher than the same period in 2013. The foregoing, combined with a 30% lower average realized price at $21 (2013 - $30) per ounce, resulted in 12% less silver revenue. Total gold revenue reported in the first quarter decreased 16% compared to the same period in 2013. Total gold sales were 7,650 ounces (2013 - 7,370) or 4% above 2013. The Company sold 6,120 (2013 - 5,896) ounces of gold at an average realized price of $1,319 (2013 - $1,626) per ounce, a 19% decline and delivered 1,530 gold ounces (2013 - 1,474) under the Sandstorm Purchase Agreement at $350 per ounce.
Cost of sales amounted to $4,686,523 (2013 - $4,368,519). Operating cash cost per silver equivalent ounce sold amounted to $7.14, Ag:Au 60.0:1 (2013 - $7.69, Ag:Au 55.8:1). The decrease in operating cash cost per silver equivalent ounce sold is driven generally by the difference in silver equivalence ratios. The 40% decrease in all-in sustaining cash costs from Q1 2013, is primarily due to lower exploration costs incurred by the Company during Q1 2014.
General and administrative expenses increased by 10% to $1,477,002 (2013 - $1,340,926) primarily due to an increase in regulatory expenses resulting from the onetime TSX listing fee.
Investorideas.com Newswire (1) Cash flow from operations before changes in working capital items.
(2) These are Non-IFRS performance measures. Refer to "CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING NON-IFRS PERFORMANCE MEASURES". Silver equivalent ("AgEq") ounces consist of the number of ounces of silver production/sold plus the number of ounces of gold production/sold multiplied by a 60:1 gold price to silver price ratio. Prior to Q1 2014, the AgEq ratio was based on the spot gold price to the spot silver price at the quarter end dates for financial reporting. All numbers are rounded.
OUTLOOK
SilverCrest's immediate focus is to (i) continue its efficient operation of its flagship Santa Elena low cost silver and gold mine, (ii) complete commissioning of the new 3,000 tonne per day CCD-MC processing plant, (iii) complete accelerated development of the underground mine for initial underground production, (iv) expand resources and subsequent reserves at Santa Elena by systematic exploration of the deposit, (v) evaluate and acquire exploration properties in proximity to Santa Elena, (vi) complete evaluation of certain aspects at the La Joya Project to a Pre-Feasibility Study level in 2014.
CONFERENCE CALL
A conference call to discuss the results will be held on Thursday, May 15th. The call will be held at 10am PDT (1pm EDT). To participate in the conference call, please dial the following:
Participant Dial In Number(s)
Local / International: 416-849-5572
North American Toll-Free: 1-866-809-6768
A replay of the conference call will be archived for later playback on the Company's website at www.silvercrestmines.com.
SilverCrest Mines Inc. (NYSE MKT: SVLC; TSX: SVL) is a Canadian precious metals producer headquartered in Vancouver, BC. SilverCrest’s flagship property is the 100%-owned Santa Elena Mine, located 150 km northeast of Hermosillo, near Banamichi in the State of Sonora, México. The mine is a high-grade, epithermal silver and gold producer, with an estimated life of mine of 8 years and operating cash costs of $11 per ounce of silver equivalent (55:1 Ag:Au) for the open pit heap leach and underground mine. SilverCrest anticipates that the new 3,000 tonnes per day conventional mill facility at the Santa Elena Mine should recover an average annual rate of 1.5 million ounces of silver and 32,800 ounces of gold over the current reserve. Major expansion and construction of the 3,000 tonnes per day conventional mill facility is nearing completion and is expected to significantly increase metals production at the Santa Elena Mine (open pit and underground) in 2014 and beyond. Exploration programs continue to make new discoveries at Santa Elena and also have rapidly advanced the definition of a large polymetallic deposit at the La Joya property in Durango State, Mexico.
CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
This news release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Canadian securities legislation and the United States Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements concern the Company's anticipated results and developments in the Company's operations in future periods, planned exploration and development of its properties, plans related to its business and other matters that may occur in the future. These statements relate to analyses and other information that are based on expectations of future performance, including silver and gold production and planned work programs. Statements concerning reserves and mineral resource estimates may also constitute forward-looking statements to the extent that they involve estimates of the mineralization that will be encountered if the property is developed and, in the case of mineral reserves, such statements reflect the conclusion based on certain assumptions that the mineral deposit can be economically exploited.
Forward-looking statements are subject to a variety of known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which could cause actual events or results to differ from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements, including, without limitation: risks related to precious and base metal price fluctuations; risks related to fluctuations in the currency markets (particularly the Mexican peso, Canadian dollar and United States dollar); risks related to the inherently dangerous activity of mining, including conditions or events beyond our control, and operating or technical difficulties in mineral exploration, development and mining activities; uncertainty in the Company's ability to raise financing and fund the exploration and development of its mineral properties; uncertainty as to actual capital costs, operating costs, production and economic returns, and uncertainty that development activities will result in profitable mining operations; risks related to reserves and mineral resource figures being estimates based on interpretations and assumptions which may result in less mineral production under actual conditions than is currently estimated and to diminishing quantities or grades of mineral reserves as properties are mined; risks related to governmental regulations and obtaining necessary licenses and permits; risks related to the business being subject to environmental laws and regulations which may increase costs of doing business and restrict our operations; risks related to mineral properties being subject to prior unregistered agreements, transfers, or claims and other defects in title; risks relating to inadequate insurance or inability to obtain insurance; risks related to potential litigation; risks related to the global economy; risks related to the Company's status as a foreign private issuer in the United States; risks related to all of the Company's properties being located in Mexico and El Salvador, including political, economic, social and regulatory instability; and risks related to officers and directors becoming associated with other natural resource companies which may give rise to conflicts of interests. Should one or more of these risks and uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described in the forward-looking statements. The Company's forward-looking statements are based on beliefs, expectations and opinions of management on the date the statements are made. For the reasons set forth above, investors should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.
N. Eric Fier, President & COO
SILVERCREST MINES INC.
Neither TSX Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as defined in the policies of the TSX Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
Contact:
Fred Cooper
Telephone: (604) 694-1730 ext. 108
Toll Free: 1-866-691-1730
Email: info@silvercrestmines.com
Website: www.silvercrestmines.com
Address: Suite 501 - 570 Granville Street
Vancouver, BC Canada V6C 3P1
Published at Investorideas.com Newswire
Disclaimer / Disclosure : The Investorideas.com is a third party publisher of news and research Our sites do not make recommendations, but offer information portals to research news, articles, stock lists and recent research. Nothing on our sites should be construed as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell products or securities. This site is currently compensated by featured companies, news submissions and online advertising. Disclosure: SilverCrest Mines has compensated Investorideas.com for the distribution and publishing of this news release (annual news publication 9700) http://www.investorideas.com/About/Disclaimer.asp
BC Residents and Investor Disclaimer : Effective September 15 2008 - all BC investors should review all OTC and Pink sheet listed companies for adherence in new disclosure filings and filing appropriate documents with Sedar. Read for more info: http://www.bcsc.bc.ca/release.aspx?id=6894

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

TSX News Alert: Garibaldi (TSXV: GGI) drills bonanza grade silver near-surface at Silver Eagle target, Rodadero

VANCOUVER - May 14, 2014 (Investorideas.com Mining stocks newswire) Garibaldi Resources Corp. (GGI.V) (the "Company" or "Garibaldi") is pleased to report that it has intersected exceptionally high silver grades within 30 meters of surface in first-ever drilling at the Company's 45 sq. km Rodadero North Project in central Sonora State, Mexico . A second drill hole has started.

Highlights:
  • First hole at Silver Eagle target (SE-14-01) returned 2,010 g/t Ag (65 oz/ton) over 7 meters (23.1 feet) including 3 meters (9.9 feet) grading 4,565 g/t Ag (147 oz/ton);
  • A 50-meter step-out hole to the south of SE-14-01 has commenced;
  • Garibaldi's exploration team has identified 7 high-priority targets in addition to Silver Eagle at Rodadero North - data compilation and regional work continues.
Steve Regoci , Garibaldi President and CEO, commented: "We're excited with these initial drill results at Rodadero where we have made very effective use of hyperspectral remote sensing technology to outline a broad area of prospective targets. Given these numbers from Rodadero, and our recent solid drill results at La Patilla, we are moving at an accelerated pace in Mexico . In northwest British Columbia , we are extremely encouraged by the near-term discovery potential of our flagship Grizzly Project that covers more than half of the Sheslay Cu-Au porphyry district mineralized corridor. Garibaldi is uniquely positioned in two friendly jurisdictions to build shareholder value."
Silver Eagle Target, Rodadero North
The first hole at Silver Eagle, drilled with Garibaldi's company-owned rig, was designed to follow up on surface sampling along a silicified zone. DDH SE-14-01 intersected a strongly mineralized 7-meter zone.
Significant assay results, DDH SE-14-01:
Investorideas.com Newswire At the present time, the geometry of the mineralized system is not known and true width for the drill intercepts remains to be determined. The widths given are downhole core lengths. The cut-off for the 7-meter intercept is 20 g/t Ag. The hole was drilled to a length of 100 meters.
The Silver Eagle target is an apparently flat lying silicified body that alters the upper parts of a conglomerate unit that overlies andesitic volcanic rocks. The silicified body is cut by several silver-bearing fractured zones that may reflect feeders to the silicified 'cap'.
"We eagerly anticipate results from this next hole at Silver Eagle," added Regoci. "In Mexico we're also preparing for follow-up drilling at La Patilla and initial drilling at Iris. We have low exploration and drilling costs in Mexico , and these are also partly offset by continued royalty income from our pilot coal program at the Tonichi Project."
Rodadero North & Rodadero South Target Areas
The Rodadero region hosts multiple precious metal occurrences over several tens of kilometers. Garibaldi has identified seven other targets at Rodadero North - Rambo, La Guata, Batuc , La Fortuna , La Colorada , Tarichi and Igualama - through mapping, sampling and the use of the Company's proprietary hyperspectral database. To date, two targets have also been outlined at Rodadero South, where less exploration has been carried out, approximately five kilometers southeast of Rodadero North. A map showing the two project areas and targets is attached with this release and will be posted at www.GaribaldiResources.com in the Mexico "Projects" section under "Rodadero". Alamos Gold's Mulatos mine and Agnico Eagle's La India mine are approximately 90 kilometers to the southeast.
Live Webinar and Corporate Video
Garibaldi will be conducting a live investor Webinar Wednesday, May 21 , beginning at 1:15 p.m. Pacific (4:15 pm Eastern) through MarketSmart Communications Inc., official investor relations for Garibaldi. Log-in instructions for this presentation can be found on the Garibaldi homepage (www.GaribaldiResources.com).
Garibaldi is also pleased to announce the release of an updated short corporate presentation (video). You can view the video by going to the following web site URL: http://www.garibaldiresources.com/s/Media.asp#video
Quality Assurance & Control
Garibaldi maintains strict QA-QC protocols for all aspects of its exploration programs that include the systematic insertion of blanks and standards into each sample batch. Acme Labs (now part of the Bureau Veritis group that includes BSI Inspectorate) performed assay analyses on core reported in this release, and ALS Global (formerly ALS Chemex) performed analyses on rock samples. All samples were assayed using certified and industry standard assay techniques for gold and multi-element packages and for over-limits. Au was analyzed by 30 or 50 gram fire assay with an atomic absorption finish, and other elements were analyzed by multi-element ICP. Samples in excess of 1,500 g/t Ag were analyzed by gravimetric methods.
Qualified Person
Dr. Craig Gibson , Certified Professional Geologist and a director of Garibaldi, is a non-arms length Qualified Person for the Company's Mexico projects and the direct manager of the technical programs operated under contract by Prospeccion Y Desorrollo Minera del Norte (ProDeMin). Dr. Gibson has reviewed this news release and approved the content thereof.
About Garibaldi
Garibaldi Resources Corp. is an active Canadian-based junior exploration company focused on creating shareholder value through discoveries and strategic development of its assets in some of the most prolific mining regions in Mexico and British Columbia.
We seek safe harbor.
GARIBALDI RESOURCES CORP.
Per: "Steve Regoci"
Steve Regoci , President
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider accepts responsibility for the adequacy or the accuracy of this release.
SOURCE Garibaldi Resources Corp.
Image with caption: "Garibaldi drills bonanza grade silver near-surface at Silver Eagle target, Rodadero (CNW Group/Garibaldi Resources Corp.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140514_C8286_PHOTO_EN_40292.jpg
Contact:
GARIBALDI RESOURCES CORP.
1150 - 409 Granville Street
Vancouver, BC V6C 1T2
Telephone: (604) 488-8851
Website: www.GaribaldiResources.com
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BC Residents and Investor Disclaimer : Effective September 15 2008 - all BC investors should review all OTC and Pink sheet listed companies for adherence in new disclosure filings and filing appropriate documents with Sedar. Read for more info: http://www.bcsc.bc.ca/release.aspx?id=6894. Global investors must adhere to regulations of each country.

Monday, May 05, 2014

Mining Stock Alert: SilverCrest (TSX: SVL) (NYSE MKT: SVLC) Announces Commencement of Mill Commissioning At Santa Elena

Vancouver, British Columbia - May 5, 2014 (Investorideas.com Mining Stocks Newswire) SilverCrest Mines Inc. (TSX:SVL) ( NYSE MKT: SVLC) is pleased to announce a major milestone for the Company with the commissioning of the new 3,000 tpd CCD-MC processing plant now underway at its 100% owned Santa Elena Mine in Sonora, Mexico. The scheduled three year Expansion Plan to transition from an open pit heap leach operation to a conventional mill and underground mine is nearing completion. The US$99 million program including drilling, Pre-Feasibility Study, detailed engineering, new processing plant, and underground development is on budget (+/-5%) and has experienced only modest delays from the original schedule. Construction involved approximately 450 workers at its peak with a total of more than 1.5 million man-hours worked. Please click here www.silvercrestmines.tv/ to view the new ball mill in operation. For additional information and to view photos and videos of the mill, the processing plant and the mine site, please visit the Company’s website at www.silvercrestmines.com.

N. Eric Fier, President and COO stated, “The mill start-up is a significant milestone in the successful development of Santa Elena and the responsible growth created by the "phased approach" business plan of the Company. This major achievement is a testament to the hard-working teams at Santa Elena and SilverCrest as we continue to make the transition from a junior to a mid-tier precious metal producer. The new processing facility and underground mine will significantly increase our silver and gold production in 2014 and beyond.”
Commissioning Phase
The commissioning phase for the processing facility, which is expected to span approximately three months, will gradually increase throughput parameters from approximately 500 tpd until the design capacity of 3,000 tpd is reached. The commissioning phase is planned to test all aspects of the facility and remediate any issues that may arise. Mill feed during the commissioning period will initially come from the leach pad reserve with blending of higher grade underground ore to start in late Q2 2014. Underground development ore is being progressively stockpiled (currently 4.7k tonnes grading 1.3 gpt Au and 81 gpt Ag) in anticipation of processing during the commissioning period.
During the three month commissioning phase, metal production from the heap leach operation will continue at a reduced rate.
Underground Update
Underground development continues on an accelerated schedule to access underground ore for mill feed. Development work is progressing at an average rate of 10 metres per day with more than 2,800 metres completed. The decline ramp has reached the 570 metre level (surface at 780m) and five lateral levels have accessed underground reserves in preparation of stope production. Underground production equipment (Company-owned and operated) is expected to arrive on site later this quarter with immediate accelerated production from already developed stopes. 
The Qualified Person under National Instrument (NI 43-101) Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects for this News Release is N. Eric Fier, CPG, P.Eng, President and Chief Operating Officer for SilverCrest Mines Inc., who has reviewed and approved its contents.
SilverCrest Mines Inc. (NYSE MKT: SVLC; TSX: SVL) is a Canadian precious metals producer headquartered in Vancouver, BC. SilverCrest’s flagship property is the 100%-owned Santa Elena Mine, located 150 km northeast of Hermosillo, near Banamichi in the State of Sonora, México. The mine is a high-grade, epithermal silver and gold producer, with an estimated life of mine of 8 years and operating cash costs of $11 per ounce of silver equivalent (55:1 Ag:Au) for the open pit heap leach and underground mine. SilverCrest anticipates that the new 3,000 tonnes per day conventional mill facility at the Santa Elena Mine should recover an average annual rate of 1.5 million ounces of silver and 32,800 ounces of gold over the current reserve. Major expansion and construction of the 3,000 tonnes per day conventional mill facility is nearing completion and is expected to significantly increase metals production at the Santa Elena Mine (open pit and underground) in 2014 and beyond. Exploration programs continue to make new discoveries at Santa Elena and also have rapidly advanced the definition of a large polymetallic deposit at the La Joya property in Durango State, Mexico.
CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
This news release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Canadian securities legislation and the United States Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements concern the Company's anticipated results and developments in the Company's operations in future periods, planned exploration and development of its properties, plans related to its business and other matters that may occur in the future. These statements relate to analyses and other information that are based on expectations of future performance, including silver and gold production and planned work programs. Statements concerning reserves and mineral resource estimates may also constitute forward-looking statements to the extent that they involve estimates of the mineralization that will be encountered if the property is developed and, in the case of mineral reserves, such statements reflect the conclusion based on certain assumptions that the mineral deposit can be economically exploited.
Forward-looking statements are subject to a variety of known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which could cause actual events or results to differ from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements, including, without limitation: risks related to precious and base metal price fluctuations; risks related to fluctuations in the currency markets (particularly the Mexican peso, Canadian dollar and United States dollar); risks related to the inherently dangerous activity of mining, including conditions or events beyond our control, and operating or technical difficulties in mineral exploration, development and mining activities; uncertainty in the Company's ability to raise financing and fund the exploration and development of its mineral properties; uncertainty as to actual capital costs, operating costs, production and economic returns, and uncertainty that development activities will result in profitable mining operations; risks related to reserves and mineral resource figures being estimates based on interpretations and assumptions which may result in less mineral production under actual conditions than is currently estimated and to diminishing quantities or grades of mineral reserves as properties are mined; risks related to governmental regulations and obtaining necessary licenses and permits; risks related to the business being subject to environmental laws and regulations which may increase costs of doing business and restrict our operations; risks related to mineral properties being subject to prior unregistered agreements, transfers, or claims and other defects in title; risks relating to inadequate insurance or inability to obtain insurance; risks related to potential litigation; risks related to the global economy; risks related to the Company's status as a foreign private issuer in the United States; risks related to all of the Company's properties being located in Mexico and El Salvador, including political, economic, social and regulatory instability; and risks related to officers and directors becoming associated with other natural resource companies which may give rise to conflicts of interests. Should one or more of these risks and uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described in the forward-looking statements. The Company's forward-looking statements are based on beliefs, expectations and opinions of management on the date the statements are made. For the reasons set forth above, investors should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.
N. Eric Fier, President & COO
SILVERCREST MINES INC.
Neither TSX Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as defined in the policies of the TSX Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
Contact:
Fred Cooper
Telephone: (604) 694-1730 ext. 108
Toll Free: 1-866-691-1730
Email: info@silvercrestmines.com
Website: www.silvercrestmines.com
Address: Suite 501 - 570 Granville Street
Vancouver, BC Canada V6C 3P1
Published at Investorideas.com Newswire
Disclaimer / Disclosure : The Investorideas.com is a third party publisher of news and research Our sites do not make recommendations, but offer information portals to research news, articles, stock lists and recent research. Nothing on our sites should be construed as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell products or securities. This site is currently compensated by featured companies, news submissions and online advertising. Disclosure: SilverCrest Mines has compensated Investorideas.com for the distribution and publishing of this news release (annual news publication 9700) http://www.investorideas.com/About/Disclaimer.asp
BC Residents and Investor Disclaimer : Effective September 15 2008 - all BC investors should review all OTC and Pink sheet listed companies for adherence in new disclosure filings and filing appropriate documents with Sedar. Read for more info: http://www.bcsc.bc.ca/release.aspx?id=6894

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Switzerland's Role in the Gold Market

May 1, 2014 (Investorideas.com Mining stocks newswire) When one thinks of Switzerland, banking comes to mind easily but gold doesn't as much. After all, the relationship between Switzerland and gold is more ancient than the one with paper bank deposits. Certain bankers from Geneva, such as Lombard Odier and Pictet, started in 1800 and have more than 200 years of history. Back then, paper money didn't exist yet and deposits consisted mainly of gold and silver. Today, still, a full two-thirds of the world's gold goes through Switzerland and, in an average year, it refines grossly 70% of the world's gold. Six of the gold refiners on the LBMA Good Delivery list make for 90% of global volume, and four of those are in Switzerland. Up until 1992, the Swiss franc's 40% backing by gold was written in the country's Constitution. When Switzerland became a member of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) it had to abandon this backing by gold. Today, Swiss citizens have asked for a referendum to be called in order to get back to that backing.
Investorides.com Newswire Gold is, along with silver, the oldest money in the world, hence its unbreakable relation with the banking system. Gold is also the most liquid and transportable wealth protection in time and space. In case of war or revolution, it is hard to flea with one's property or other valuable assets as can be done with gold. In 1685, when the Nantes Edict was revoked by Louis XIV, Protestants were definitely denied their religious rights. This led most of the Huguenots to flea to the European Protestant countries, such as Switzerland.
We all know about Switzerland's banking secrecy, but a little less about its origins. One might think that it originates in a text of law, like in other banking centers. But banking secrecy is profoundly buried in the Swiss mentality. One can always revoke a law, but it is very hard to change one's state of mind or tradition. When you ask a question of a Swiss, you have to follow up with ten more questions in order to get a complete response. He will answer bit by bit. If you ask the same question of an Italian, he will tell you about his whole life. Having lived in Switzerland, this is how I can best describe Switzerland's banking secrecy. Swiss people are discreet by nature. They don't need laws... laws only reinforce what is de facto.
« It is not the federal banking laws' article 47 that defines the notion of banking secrecy in Switzerland, but common law; banking secrecy thus falls under the general dispositions of the code of contractual obligations, as well as under articles 27 and 28 of the civil code, which put into law the principle of identity protection. » (1) « Penalties for breaking this principle are covered by the federal banking laws' article 47, constituting a disposition of administrative penal law. »(2) The civil code protects every personal right worth protecting and, notably, private life secrecy. The Swiss federal Court estimates that, « the inviolability of private life does not only constitute a moral principle, but is also a civil right, a « judicial asset »; it is an attribute of personality, and the law protects it. »(3) And privacy in the economic sphere is also protected.
« What sane man would not put away some money in swiss banks? Switzerland is the vault of the world », Félix Houphouët-Boigny, former President of the Ivory Coast.
For a long time Switzerland has been building infrastructures to safeguard financial assets such as gold. Its political stability, its neutrality, its defense system based on a militia army, and the Alps, that serve as a natural fortress, make Switzerland the ideal safe vault for gold. In addition, we can add to that ultra-qualified personnel, more dedicated to excellence than to volume.
During the crisis of the London Gold Pool in the ‘70s, Zurich has even come close to becoming the main gold trading hub, at the expense of London. The Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the central banks' banker, is still based in Basel. Almost all of central banks' gold trades are effected by the BIS in the utmost discretion. The headquarters of the World Gold Council was in Zurich, before moving to London recently. Geneva, where the most important jewelry auctions take place, has also been the global center for jewelry and watchmaking for many years.

The sound management of public finances has the effect of the Swiss franc mimicking the price of gold closely. Recently, in order to protect its exporting businesses, Switzerland decided to peg the Swiss franc to the euro, thus diminishing its attraction as an anti-inflation currency (in favor of gold). Even though Swiss banking secrecy is no longer backed as much by the authorities and the large banks, it still remains strong in the mentality of the Swiss people. True, the Americanization of the Swiss banking system since the ‘80s has weakened banking secrecy and the role of gold in fortune management. However, having talked with Swiss wealth managers, I see that this is starting to change and that, without admitting it publicly, they include more and more gold in their clients' portfolios. In the last ten years, several companies specialising in gold storage for businesses and individuals, outside the banking system, have appeared.
The Swiss have a reputation for excellence in gold refining. That has let Switzerland become the hub of gold refining, with nearly 70% of the world's gold transiting through the country. Mining companies and gold recyclers export to Switzerland, where the gold is purified to the highest levels (.9999 or even .99999). It is then exported in the whole world to jewellers, investors or central banks.
The best precious metals storage and safekeeping companies are also based in Switzerland.
Other countries are trying to compete with Switzerland, but they still have a long way to go, especially since Switzerland is not sleeping on its laurels. Two of those countries are City-States like Dubai and Singapore. Singapore is a stable haven in Asia, as is Dubai in the Middle East, but they haven't reached Switzerland's level yet. Dubai is trying to develop an expertise in refining and trading gold, whereas Singapore, already with an excellent infrastructure for wealth management, is developing its capacity for gold storage and, also, a gold trading market for Asia.
We live in uncertain times, and no one is safe from unforeseen events. In the actual context, it seems to me that Switzerland is the best place to store gold. However good the infrastructures may be, one must never lose sight of the financial health of the country in which one wants to store gold. A fiscal or financial paradise that has gone into debt loses its independence and will not hesitate to use legal means to confiscate assets and, thus, gold, that are on its territory, as we've seen with Cyprus recently. The United States and the European Union have already adjusted their legislation for possible confiscation. Even Switzerland was taking the wrong road with its public finances in the ‘90s but, thanks to direct democracy, a positive radical change has taken place. This is a positive element for Switzerland, even though I remain vigilant. The only caveat I have is that the large Swiss banks, because of high exposure to derivatives and being very present in the United States, have lost a little of their financial stability and, consequently, a little of their independence.
« It is said that the Swiss only love money... this is not true. They also love gold. » Anonymous
Gold Price vs Swiss franc
Investorides.com Newswire Largest Gold Refineries by Capacity (tonnes per year)
Investorides.com Newswire Switzerland's Gold Trading (2013)
Investorides.com Newswire Gold Trading between Hong Kong and Switzerland
Investorides.com Newswire Notes :
(1) (2) (3) Maurice Aubert, Jean-Philippe Kernen, Herbert Schonle, Le secret bancaire suisse
Dan Popescu Gold & Silver Analyst / Member of the Goldbroker.com Editorial Team
Mr. Popescu is an independent investment analyst and studies the gold and silver market and their future role in the international monetary system. He has followed regularly since 1970 the gold, silver and foreign exchange markets. He has a bachelor degree in physics (1993) from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada and has completed the Canadian investment management certificate (1999) of the CSI. He is a member and was the president in 2004 of the CSTA and also was president in 2005 of the Montreal CFA Society. He is a member of the CFA Institute, the MTA, NYSSA, UKSIP, the CSTA and the Gold Standard Institute International.
Sources: https://www.goldbroker.com/en/news/switzerland-role-gold-market-483
Switzerland: the world's gold hub http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/business/Switzerland:_the_world_s_gold_hub.html?cid=33706126
Edouard Chambost, Guide de la banque suisse et de ses secrets
Maurice Aubert, Jean-Philippe Kernen, Herbert Schonle, Le secret bancaire suisse
Nick Laird, www.sharelynx.com
Koos Jansen, www.ingoldwetrust.ch
Jan Skoyles, Where are the world's largest gold refineries?, http://therealasset.co.uk/gold-refinery-list/

Investorideas.com mining stocks newswire