Venezuela welcomes home final shipment of repatriated gold

Section:

By Ezequiel Minaya
Dow Jones Newswires
via The Wall Street Journal
Monday, January 30,2012

http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20120130-718210.html

CARACAS -- Venezuelan officials completed a two-month process of repatriating 160 tons of the country's gold holdings Monday, by welcoming home the final shipment of the precious metal from Europe.

Declaring the process a "mission accomplished," government officials and state news crews met the 14-ton load at a Caracas area airport and heralded the televised event as a boost to national sovereignty.

Beginning late November, the government of President Hugo Chavez called back to the central bank's vaults in Caracas about three-quarters of the roughly 211 tons of the country's gold reserves that were stored in U.S., European, and Canadian banks.

... Dispatch continues below ...



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The move was aimed at protecting the assets from turbulent financial markets overseas, officials said. About 50 tons of Venezuela's holdings have been left abroad to facilitate any future transactions, said Central Bank President Nelson Merentes, who was among the dignitaries at the airport.

"Venezuela's gold is now in the hands of Venezuelans, secured by Venezuelans and at the service of all Venezuelans," Merentes said, according to a central-bank press release.

There are various estimates of Venezuela's total gold reserves, but on Monday Merentes said the figure stood at more than 360 tons.

The World Gold Council ranks Venezuela's gold holdings as the 15th largest in the world, far and away the heftiest amount in Latin America.

In August, Chavez announced plans to repatriate foreign reserves as part of a broader effort to nationalize the country's gold sector.

The move puzzled economists, who said it would further reduce transparency and raise more questions over the central bank's declining reserves.

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Golden Phoenix Receives Inferred Gold Resource Estimate
For Santa Rosa Mine in Panama: 669,000 Oz. Gold, 2.1 Million Oz. Silver

Company Press Release
January 3, 2012

Golden Phoenix Minerals Inc. (OTC: GPXM) reports that on behalf of Golden Phoenix Panama S.A., the joint venture entity that owns and operates the Santa Rosa gold mine in Panama, it has received from SRK Consulting (U.S.) an initial resource estimate for Mina Santa Rosa.

The Santa Rosa project is a volcanic-hosted epithermal gold-silver deposit previously operated as an open pit-heap leach operation. Production ceased in 1999 in part because of low gold prices.

SRK Consulting reports an in-situ inferred resource at the former Santa Rosa and ADLM pits totaling 23.1 million metric tonnes at 0.90 grams/tonne gold, for a contained 669,000 ounces of gold at a 0.30 g/t gold cutoff. The resource also contains an average grade of 2.87 g/t silver for a contained 2.1 million ounces of silver.

John Bolanos, Golden Phoenix's vice president of exploration, remarks: "In addition to SRK's inferred resource estimate of 669,000 contained ounces of
gold, the Santa Rosa project has an additional unspecified volume of mineralized material on former heap leach pads throughout the property. We expect to begin assessing this additional material in the near future."

For the company's full statement, including a table detailing the resources at Santa Rose, please visit:

http://goldenphoenix.us/press-release/golden-phoenix-receives-initial-ni...