Canada is selling off most of its remaining gold reserves, mainly by selling gold coins, figures from the Bank of Canada and Finance Department show.
The country held just $19 million US worth of gold as of last Monday. Through most of 2015, the country’s gold reserves stood at more than $100 million US.
Finance Department figures show that Canada sold 41,106 ounces of gold coins in December and another 32,860 ounces of gold coins in January.
That left Canada holding 21,929 ounces of gold in its reserves as of the end of January — a “negligible” amount, the Bank of Canada acknowledges — worth $24 million US.
“The decision to sell the gold was not tied to a specific gold price, and sales are being conducted over a long period and in a controlled manner,” Finance Department spokesman David Barnabe wrote in an email to CBC News.
With our gold holdings worth $19 million US as of three days ago, that suggests further sales this month, as the price of gold has been rising — up to $1,245 US per ounce today.
The figures don’t say which coins Ottawa has been selling. The Royal Canadian Mint has produced pure Maple Leaf gold coins in a variety of denominations for more than 40 years. They’ve proven to be popular around the world, with more than 25 million troy ounces of coins sold since 1979. It also produces gold coins for collectors, along with gold bars and wafers.
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