Friday, January 11, 2008

UBS: "Outlaw Gold Mining"

It was said sarcastically (I think*).
From Reuters:

Poking a little fun at the Green Gold movement
January 11th, 2008, filed by Alden Bentley

A modest proposal from UBS, exquisitely timed for gold’s first foray over $900 an ounce: outlaw gold mining altogether … That was the investment bank’s shrug to a Reuters’ article about a movement to make gold more ethical. One aim is to get gold the Fairtrade Foundation stamp of approval. This means no exploitation of miners, no more earth rape or toxic chemicals and of course more recycling. As the satirists at UBS point out, nearly all the gold ever produced is still around somewhere, in vaults, jewelry boxes, museums and under mattresses. Fairtrade labelling has been a marketing boon for coffee, cocoa and other goods that have gotten on the green bandwagon. So why not gold? In fact, why stop at Fairtrade?

“Why not go further?” UBS asked “There is plenty of gold in the world as it rarely gets destroyed and can be very efficiently re-cycled. Why not outlaw gold mining as an unnecessary waste of the planet’s resources. Of course this would push the price of gold up, but with 20 years newly mined supply sitting in vaults around the world, there can be no argument for any need to mine gold.”

Like they say about successful Quaker business owners: “they came to do good and they did very well.”

*If you've followed the story of the Rosia Montana gold mine and George Soros you might believe there is a
"I've got mine now you, git" mentality.

Here's the Wall Street Journal:

...In April, Mr. Soros, the chairman of the Open Society Institute and a large funder of groups opposing Rosia Montana, wrote to Wayne Murdy, then CEO of Newmont Mining, the Denver company that owns 19% of Gabriel Resources. He urged him not to invest in "a dubious project such as Rosia Montana," citing "the social costs involved in involuntarily resettling hundreds of people" and "the potential for disastrous environmental impact." Mr. Soros did not respond to an interview request....MORE
Here are some of Mr. Soros' holdings via MineWeb:

...Billionaire political activist, human rights advocate, and philanthropist George Soros apparently is just as fond of mining investment as any financial speculator or institutional investor.

In a 13F filing with the SEC for the second quarter, the New York-based Soros Fund Management disclosed a vast array of holdings including a number of mining companies.

Among the fund's larger holdings are the Aluminum Corp of China with 15 million shares valued at $25.29 million, and CVRD with 8.7 million shares of a sponsored ADR valued at $388 million.

The Soros Fund portfolio also contains a suite of gold miners, albeit at much lower levels of shareholdings, some copper, a few aluminum manufacturers, and a dearth of coal company shares.

Gold shareholdings were led by Freeport-McMoRan Copper& Gold with 407,474 shares with a value of $33.7 million. Other major gold mining company equities holdings include AngloGold Ashanti, 36,292 shares valued at $1.37 million; 148,058 shares of Barrick Gold with a total value of $4.3 million; and 60, 900 shares of Newmont Mining valued at $2.38 million.

Other gold holdings include Gammon Gold, Goldcorp, Iamgold, Kinross, Northern Orion Resources, and NovaGold. Soros also has holdings in aluminum manufacturers Alcan and Alcoa, base metals miner Lundin Mining, silver miners Apex Silver and Silver Wheaton, copper miner Southern Copper, and PGM producer Stillwater.