Iranian gold, invest now????

Iranian gold mine plans advance
17:11:35 GMT, 07 June, 2006
Plans for the Zarshuran Gold Mine in Iran are continuing to develop in the East Azarbaijan Province, it has been reported.

The Persian service of ISNA says that new bids are still emerging, with the qualification process now likely to mean a final decision on the mine will not be taken for several months.

Work is expected to begin in March 2007, with project director Mahmud Yeganli detailing the latest developments.

"So far, 28 companies in eight groups have purchased the preliminary forms and seven groups are expected to qualify for the final run," he said.

"They will then be invited to obtain the main documents for the final bid."

The bid process is expected to last for several months, as international tender laws and bid criteria are examined.

Around 300 tonnes of gold are bought and sold in Iran each year according to es
Iranian Gold Rush Highlights Escalating Tensions
Thursday, April 20, 2006

With the war of words over Iran’s nuclear programme escalating and the domestic economy stalling, Iranians are scrambling to buy gold coins, sending their value soaring by 32 per cent in the past two months.

“It’s unbelievable,” blazed a front page story in Etemad-e Meli, a reformist newspaper, earlier this week. “It seems no investment field is as safe.”

“Gold coins are Iranians’ political hedge fund,” says Heydar Pourian, editor of Iqtisad Iran (Iran Economics), a monthly magazine. “We keep them at home and they make us feel secure.”

Commodity prices have risen worldwide over recent years partly in response to Middle East tensions centred on Iraq, but Iranians are now starting to feel they may be at the centre of a growing storm.

Hence the appeal of gold coins given as presents for weddings and new year; gold coins are a liquid and proven investment. And at 460,000 rials (about $41.50) a quarter, gold coin is within reach for all but the poorest Iranian.

By contrast, Iran’s largely state-owned banking sector offers limited services, while investors face inflation put officially at 14 per cent.

While deposits in state banks lost 1 per cent in real terms in the year to February 2006, gold coins gained 21 per cent.

“Buying gold coins reflects a lack of alternatives,” says Mr Pourian. “Big investors may pull out of real estate and move their capital to Dubai. Smaller investors have fewer opportunities.”

Businessmen say the rush to gold reflects both growing tension over Iran’s atomic activities and the destabilising economic policies of fundamentalist president Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad, whose government took office last August.

“The direction reverses the years of [president Mohammad] Khatami and increases the role of the state, especially in allocating resources,” says one. “It’s more like communism than Islam, and makes you think some of them want a siege economy ready for war.” READ MORE

The government buzz-phrase is “directed lending”, through which banks shape lending policies to suit governmental priorities for regional development and agricultural self-sufficiency. State banks, already undercapitalised, face increasing demand after the president has made hundreds of loan promises, especially on high-profile provincial trips.

Lending rates have been cut to 16 per cent, with subsidised exceptions including farm loans at 9 per cent. The banks, already in confusion after the new government replaced seven heads of state banks, are facing calls from ministers and fundamentalist parliamentary deputies for further reductions.

Lower lending rates mean lower returns for small depositors such as pensioners who, already wary of inflation, are among those fuelling rising demand for gold coins.

One of the first acts of the Islamic Republic after the 1979 revolution was to issue Bahar-e Azadi (spring of liberty) gold coins.
Persian Gold plc
Persian Gold plc is an Irish based AIM quoted company established to discover and develop gold deposits in Iran. This country hosts an extensive belt of volcanic rocks that has been the source of significant metal deposits throughout the history of the region. The development of new geologic exploration models for gold in volcanics, applied primarily in South America in the last 10 years, is now being used with positive results by Persian Gold in this region.

Persian Gold plc operates two intriguing gold projects. Chah-e-Zard, located in central Iran, is an advanced stage project with very strong surface gold values over a one square kilometre area of strongly altered volcanic rocks. The Takestan project, located northwest of Tehran, is an earlier stage gold project where extensive silica-alunite alteration of volcanics has returned widespread indications of low grade gold mineralization.

The Company’s strategy is to discover significant volcanic hosted gold deposits similar to those discovered in South America in the past 10 years which have developed into some of the largest and most profitable gold mines in the world.
Tuesday, 5th September 2006 10:58

Persian Gold says drilling programme started at Iranian gold prospect

LONDON (AFX) - Persian Gold PLC said a 10 hole drilling programme has started at the Chah-e-Zard gold prospect near Yazd in Iran.

The drilling is expected to take up to three months to complete and will test the continuity at depth of the strong surface gold values previously reported.

A trenching programme to test the lateral extensions of gold mineralization at the surface is nearing completion.

Persian Gold holds an option to buy 70 pct of the Chah-e-Zard project with the remainder held by a local Iranian company.

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