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Silver: It’s All About Inventories

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While I have long since given up the “hunt” for intelligent analysis from the mainstream media on the silver sector, I have also become somewhat frustrated with much of the commentary I’ve seen from the more reliable/better informed commentators within the silver sector. Two “camps” seem to have emerged, separated by what I can only describe as a logical disconnect.

On the one hand, we have a group of very vigilant and bullish commentators who are squarely focused on the melodrama of ‘evaporating’ inventories now taking place in the Comex exchange (and any/every other warehouse where significant amounts of silver can still be found). Their reporting, while insightful, is almost surreal.

They are essentially engaged in a “countdown” until some “default” event occurs in the silver market, something these commentators look forward to with extreme anticipation, as to them this would signify “the end” of the silver-manipulation game the bullion-banks have been playing for the last 30 years (and actually much longer). Conversely, since such a default event directly implies the financial disintegration of the ‘monster’ silver-short, JP Morgan, I have much more “mixed feelings” about what such an event portends.

Living in the age of “too big to fail” banking Oligarchs, it is obviously naïve in the extreme to expect either JP Morgan or its servants who run the U.S. government to simply allow this bankster to be vaporized by the implosion of the silver market. Such an event would require settlement of its $100’s of billions ($trillions?) in losses on its gigantic, silver “short” position and its much larger losses on its silver derivatives – which it used to ratchet-up its suicidal leverage still further.

A much more realistic scenario is that when there is a default at the corrupt Comex exchange that the crooked operators of that market will simply suspend all trading in the silver market until the “disruptions” in the silver market have been resolved. Translation: the Comex will simply cease to honour/enforce any of its legally-binding contracts until after JP Morgan has found some way to weasel-out of its own annihilation.

Having spent countless hours studying this “equation”, I have concluded that there is no plausible way for JP Morgan to extricate itself from its self-created financial suicide other than through the U.S. government once again confiscating the silver held by its own citizens (as it did in the 1930’s). Given the magnitude of the silver-losses being hidden by the criminal-shorts, it is very unlikely that U.S. silver-confiscation alone would be sufficient to rescue all of the banking Oligarchs who have taken part in this manipulative shorting. Thus, we could easily see concurrent “confiscation” schemes in many/most/all Western nations.

Let me qualify that comment by noting that at this point “confiscation” would start (and likely end?) with all of the “bullion” held in bullion-ETF’s or bullion “accounts” – which were based in jurisdictions taking part in confiscation. The vast majority of personal bullion holdings are contained in this form and can be seized (literally) through nothing more than the click of a mouse.

It is highly unlikely that our governments have any appetite for smashing down doors and directly seizing bullion by force. First of all this would require a massive expenditure of resources (and extremely bad “optics” for our fascist governments), for a limited yield of bullion. Secondly, especially in the U.S., many of the same people stashing significant quantities of physical silver are also stashing significant amounts of guns and ammunition. They would not get much of this silver without (literally) a fight. Most likely, our governments would not go beyond the mouse-click – which also explains why the propaganda-machine has done its best to “herd” bullion investors into the large bullion-ETF’s.

Meanwhile, at the same time as all of this is occurring, we see an equally surreal discussion taking place in the silver sector regarding price. We have earnest, and in many cases very astute writers talking about “rising demand” and somewhat stagnant mine-supply, and then rather timidly assert that it was their opinion that silver prices “should” move higher. Even the highly esteemed Eric Sprott fell into this mental trap of understating the dynamics of the silver market.

In a very detailed and well-reasoned analysis – which even covered some of the inventory parameters – Sprott concluded:

In our view whatever froth and excess was present in the paper markets [the Comex] has likely been shaken out in the recent sell-off.”

His conclusions were pock-marked with qualifiers that something “seemed” a certain way in the silver market, and it was “their view” that fundamentals remained bullish. This is unnecessarily timid. Commentators in this sector can be unequivocal because the parameters are unequivocal: silver inventories are depleted; silver stockpiles all-but-gone. As the title to this piece exclaims, “it’s all about inventories”.

In the supply/demand equation, it is inventories which always “trump” all other factors in analysis – any and every time they move toward one extreme or the other. If inventories are large-and-rising, prices will fall irrespective of whatever data is presented exhibiting “bullish” factors for either supply or demand.

Those who are actual “producers” or “consumers” in a particular market have a fixed amount of physical space in which to store inventories. As that space fills up, these players will inevitably use the only “corrective” tool at their disposal: pushing prices lower and lower until the build-up ends.

At the same time, “traders” know that you don’t make money holding onto any commodity which is abundant (and becoming more so). You make money by either being one of the first to jump into a market of scarce supply/inventories, or you short the markets where supply has become abundant. Inevitably, the traders will also push prices down until the inventory-glut abates.

Obviously the reverse dynamic must be equally true: if inventories are small-and-falling, prices must rise irrespective of any other supply/demand data. Those who are actual producers/consumers in the market will become alarmed as their inventories plunge to “dangerous” levels, and they will inevitably push up prices until the inventory-erosion stops.

Similarly, traders will not only gravitate into sectors with scarce supply, they will increase their bets, knowing that the only possible way to reverse a dynamic of small-and-falling inventories is with much higher prices.

Let me digress for a moment to point out how the propaganda-machine (i.e. the mainstream media) refers to such behavior as “speculation” and/or “hoarding” – and demonizes all such investors. I have addressed this absurd propaganda before. First, buying into a market of small-and-falling inventories is (by definition) not “speculation” – since as I have already asserted, it is a certainty that prices must rise.

Secondly, a much better word to use instead of “hoarding” is “conserving”. Those people who stock-up on a particular commodity in times of small-and-falling inventories are healing the market. Not only are they conserving scarce inventories in order to prevent 100% depletion (the worst form of systemic shock for a market), but they are causing the higher prices which are necessary to reverse the dynamics from inventory-depletion to inventory build-up.

Higher prices simultaneously discourage demand, while stimulating supply – inevitably leading toward equilibrium. I have illustrated this obvious dynamic before using chocolate bars as an example, but let me expand on the implications still further.

As I have pointed out, if we were to suddenly price chocolate bars at 10 cents apiece (the price I paid as a child), store shelves would be cleaned-out of chocolate bars within days (hours?). Of equal importance, as long as the price of chocolate bars remained at 10 cents, inventories would remain permanently depleted.

The moment that more “supply” hit store shelves it would be instantly consumed by those lining up to buy. Effectively there would be “infinite” demand for chocolate bars at 10 cents apiece. However, I didn’t mention the chocolate bar producers in my previous example.

To begin with, it’s unlikely that they could “break even” selling chocolate bars at 10 cents apiece.  They would be forced to cease production, making the supply-crisis even worse. Meanwhile, those producers who could manufacture chocolate bars for 10 cents apiece and remain in business would look at the empty store shelves and tell themselves that chocolate bars must be worth more than their current price.

They would simply refuse to sell at a price which obviously does not represent any sort of market “equilibrium”. Thus, as long as chocolate bars remained at 10 cents we would have a permanently dysfunctional market of near-infinite demand, restricted supply – and no inventories.

Naturally this hypothetical example applies to the real-life silver market perfectly. In the 1990’s, bankster-manipulation pushed the price of silver to a 600-year low (in real dollars)  - every bit as absurd as buying chocolate bars at 10 cents apiece today.


We see those nations with Mints, that still produce silver money for their citizens permanently struggling to keep up with demand, and their inventories are frequently near-zero. And this is occurring despite these Mints raising their premiums – essentially a “tax” being imposed only upon the buyers of this form of real silver. Even with that tax, at the current, totally absurd price for silver they are unable to keep any inventory on their own “shelves”.

Just as in the hypothetical example with the chocolate bars, the current situation of small-but-falling inventories and empty “store shelves” must result in much higher prices for silver. Period. However, while higher prices are a certainty, “time” continues to remain a variable.

As an investor, I am more than willing to accept the uncertainty of time, when I already have the certainty of outcome (i.e. higher prices). I am especially eager to do so because I understand the dynamics of supply and demand. The longer the price of silver is suppressed to some level ridiculously out-of-sync with supply and demand (as proven by our depleted inventories), the higher the long-term equilibrium price.

Had silver been allowed to rise to $50/oz ten years ago, it is highly likely (if not certain) that this could have represented a long-term equilibrium for the market. However, thanks to another decade of illegal bankster-shorting ravaging silver stockpiles, it is now a certainty that any “long-term equilibrium” for silver would involve a price well into three-digits. Naturally, these supply/demand fundamentals are being multiplied by the currency-dilution (i.e. inflation) caused by the out-of-control money-printing by that same cabal of bankers.

The absolute “laws” involving inventories in markets are just as immutable as the Law of Gravity in physics. In physics, we know with certainty that “what goes up must come down”. In markets we know with certainty that when inventories go down, prices go up.

It is very rare to have an investment-insurance opportunity which offers such 100% certainty. Given the unfolding economic catastrophe created by the Western banker Oligarchs (and the politicians whom serve them), ordinary people have never needed such “insurance” so badly. Don’t miss your opportunity.

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Comments (20)Add Comment
Jeff Nielson
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written by Jeff Nielson, July 27, 2011
BobB, we don't shy away from peoples' questions around here. So when people have concerns or simply don't entirely understand a scenario, we're happy to try to clarify things.

I also personally believe that if I'm making statements which can/do have a DIRECT impact on peoples' investment decisions that I have a certain amount of "obligation" in taking the time to clarify issues. Glad I was able to help here.
bobbybarr
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written by bobbybarr, July 27, 2011
Jeff,

OK, I went out and dug a little further and found some info reflecting your portrayal of "The Scam". I had only seen what I pasted into my last comment and that didn't seem too terribly "evil". If a Tax Credit scam is what is really going on then there is GREAT reason to be concerned and I will definitely take immediate action to remove my $ from Kitco's clutches.

Thanks, BobB
Jeff Nielson
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written by Jeff Nielson, July 27, 2011
BobB, if my comments seemed overly flippant I apologize. The one problem with having a discussion in a "comments" section is that it's not as easy to deal with detailed subject matter. I'll certainly be more methodical this time.

First of all, regarding any/all bullion-ETF's and any/all bullion "accounts", those would undoubtedly be the FIRST bullion seized in any confiscation - "point-and-click" and it's gone. And that's why IF the propaganda-machine ever says anything NICE about gold or silver they IMMEDIATELY point at the bullion-ETF's.

Regarding Kitco, being a law school graduate, I consider myself reasonably adept at spotting "clues" with respect to legal matters. There are TWO clues which have caused me to suspect that Kitco's position is dire:

1) The "strong language" used by the government in announcing its enforcement operation.

2) The ENORMOUS sums of money being discussed in this prosecution. Note that this is a TAX-CREDIT scam which netted $millions upon $millions in proceeds.

Understand what that implies: $BILLIONS in (phony) underlying transactions which would then GENERATE claims for these bogus tax-credits. As I understand it, this ALL took place WITHIN the province of Quebec.

Thus, here is how the scam appears to me. "Someone" decided that two branch's of Quebec's tax authority NEVER "communicated" to each other - and thus they could produce (relatively) INFINITE quantities of these phony transactions and never get caught.

However the scam got so large that the PHONY transactions eventually DWARFED the legitimate ones, to the point that the government saw an EXPLOSION in what it was paying-out on these tax credits. In other words, the sheer SIZE of the scam is what gave it away - and the government (at this point) is 100% adamant that this "paper trail" leads to Kitco.

If you don't find this disturbing enough to seek alternate arrangements for your bullion holdings, then obviously that is only your decision to make. However, I certainly never (needlessly) "scare" people here. When I "warn" someone about a particular risk/danger, I would like to think I do so only after careful consideration.
bobbybarr
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written by bobbybarr, July 27, 2011
Jeff,

I was somewhat surprised by the strong reaction to my earlier comment/questions. I decided to do some checking on my own. It seems that an article in the Vancouver Sun is what got the ball rolling. The language in the article is a bit inflammatory in my opinion -- written to propagandize more than inform. There are also dozens of sites/forums where the article has been posted or linked. What was interesting/concerning is that some of the commentors have managed to morph Revenu Québec into Revenue Canada -- a much bigger fish!

I went to the company's website so see what they were saying and found their initial press release in response to the RQ actions. I have pasted an excerpt from that document below.

"Kitco buys precious metals scrap and pays the suppliers' sales taxes on these purchases for which Kitco receives a tax credit. It is the responsibility of these suppliers to pay back the sales taxes to Revenu Québec. Revenu Québec alleges that some of these suppliers have not
remitted the taxes paid to them. Revenu Québec is unjustly holding Kitco responsible for the unremitted taxes, which led to the issuance of the tax assessments."

This is their statement of the facts. I have operated businesses in the past and am aware of how this situation can occur. I'm sorry, but by default I am on what ever side is NOT the side of the Taxing Authority! What is happening to Kitco could be done to any of the metal/coin dealers out there. If the Taxing Authority so decides, they can create regulations on a whim that make the dealer fiscally responsible for any taxes that they, The Authorities, feel that the "anonymous" buyers owe but do not pay to the Authority. Eg. Capital gains, Income, etc.

I am interested in knowing the facts, and, like you, I like to share what I know. I AM a customer at Kitco, but I am NOT a shareholder so please don't set me on fire!

BTW, I notice that you didn't say anything about my other question: "Do you think "pool accounts" will be targeted for confiscation?" Perhaps it is a moot question in light of your previous answer?
BobB
Jeff Nielson
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written by Jeff Nielson, July 25, 2011
BobB, the phrase "unallocated account" is a synonym for "scam". You give someone money. They make a BOOKKEEPING ENTRY that you have "gold" (or "silver").

They SOMETIMES even charge people a "storage fee" for this bookkeeping entry. However, the companies offering such accounts are NOT required to actually hold the metal on your behalf - and so they DON'T. If (at some point) you want to pay the ADDITIONAL fees to "take delivery" of metal, or to create an "allocated account", then the company "holding" your gold will actually try to find some metal for you.

As for Kitco, hopefully you are aware they were forced into "creditor protection" as they are facing $MILLIONS in potential liability - as part of the accusations of CRIMINAL FRAUD which have been made against them.

This is NOT a company with which ANYONE would want to hold an "unallocated account", and I would NOT dare to even have an "allocated account" with them, as that would NOT necessarily be enough to protect YOUR gold if they are forced into formal bankruptcy.
bobbybarr
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written by bobbybarr, July 25, 2011
Jeff, can you comment on the pros/cons of bullion investments such as 'Unallocated Pool Accounts' like those offered by Kitco? a) Are they safe and b) Do you think they would be targets for confiscation?
BobB
Jeff Nielson
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written by Jeff Nielson, July 22, 2011
Scobes9999, the FIRST thing that we Canadians would be worrying about if (when) U.S. silver confiscation takes place is whether our eager-to-please-the-U.S. Prime Minister would do the SAME thing to Canadians.

If we are spared from that fate, then "confiscation" can only be viewed as a "bullish" move for the sector - especially when much of what was confiscated would be IMMEDIATELY used to cover the "short" obligations of JP Morgan, HSBC, and other banksters.

The only way there would be a different "Canadian" price would be if a "blackmarket" for silver arose, where silver-starved Americans would come across the border (or maybe "smugglers" would bring the silver to the U.S.) and then Americans could surreptiously buy silver (at a "blackmarket" premium) and then hold it with relative safety - since AFTER U.S. confiscation had been completed, there would be no reason for any further "seizure" machinery to be employed.

I'm still hopeful that BECAUSE most of the "official" private holdings of silver (and gold) are in "ETF" or "account" form that there would be no door-to-door seizures of bullion - since they would be deemed "not worth it" for the SMALL amount of bullion and LARGE amount of hostility such actions would produce.
scobes9999
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written by scobes9999, July 22, 2011
Hey Jeff,

In the event of a US silver confiscation, what affects would that have on the silver price for Canadians?
Jeff Nielson
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written by Jeff Nielson, July 07, 2011
Zoooey, it's never a bad bet to quote Ted Butler when it comes to silver. However, I have to admit that I have some problem understanding these dynamics.

On the one hand, when the shorts have pulled-back like this, you could argue there is an "expectation" on their part of a massive rise coming - and so they don't want to be sitting "fully invested" on the short side when that happens.

On the other hand, you could argue that when the short position is at its MAXIMUM that this is when the shorts are MOST over-extended - thus creating a large possibility of forcing some short-covering in a RISING market, leading to even HIGHER prices.

However, I'm quite happy to defer to Ted in this instance, since I'm certainly expecting a big "fall rally" myself - which could start as soon as two or three weeks from now.
zooey
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written by zooey, July 07, 2011
To quote Ted Butler:

""If there is one word to describe the changes in this week’s COT for gold and silver, it is spectacular. Make that two words, spectacularly bullish. Rarely do we see the reductions in speculative long/commercial short positions witnessed this week. The total commercial net short position was reduced by 6,400 contracts in silver and by 42,500 in gold. Even for someone who believes (me) that the commercials control and manipulate the price of both silver and gold, I stand somewhat in awe of how brazenly and collusively the commercials pulled off this recent sell-off rig job. I don’t use the word collusively loosely. In both gold and silver, all the commercial categories, the big 4, the big 5 thru 8, and the raptors, seemed to divide evenly the speculative selling they were able to induce. I don’t know how that could be accomplished so efficiently without collusion."

"In silver, the total commercial short position dropped to 29,200 contracts, the lowest level since April 2009, when silver traded at $12. The big 4 shorts (JPMorgan) bought back more than 2,200 short contracts, reducing that concentrated short position to the lowest level since October 2006, when silver traded at $11. The raptors (the smaller commercials apart from the big smilies/cool.gif bought 3,400 of the 6,400 commercial contracts bought during the reporting week, increasing their net long position to 12,400, their largest since last November. The 5 thru 8 largest commercial shorts bought the balance, reducing their net short position to among the lowest in years. The obvious takeaway here (aside from all the commercials behaving collusively) is that the commercials are all buying because they expect the price of silver to be higher in time. That’s what you should expect as well."

"As painful as these deliberate sell-offs may be, they are also setting the stage for a rally of monumental proportions in silver. That’s the essence of the COT. I make a point of telling you what the price of silver was the last time the short position was as low as it is now because I believe you should look at silver as if it is $11 or $12. The beauty of the COT is that it does not consider price; all it is concerned with is structure. If the structure indicates a large speculative long/commercial short position, then the danger of a significant sell-off looms large. If there is a small historical speculative long/commercial short position, a large price rally would seem to be in the cards. Currently, there is a small historical speculative long/commercial short silver position."

If the writing is on the wall then it is a play for time. Another price run-up; this time maybe higher; then crash the market again.

I have wondered for a few years about the "rescue" of Novagold in 2008? when payments were due and the bankers avoided the miners. In comes Paulson and provides long term financing. Now Nova shares the 30+million oz. resource with Barrick in Alaska. My thought is that to own the gold in the ground; to own as much as possible above ground. To corner as much as can be cornered. Anywhere in the supply chain. This is obvious.

Crash the markets one more time (at least); buy shares for nothing; buy physical from weak hands and day traders. Short the juniors. Cover what you can at Comex. Comex can always suspend trading; force cash settlements; SLV will be gone.

These folks have no reason to fear any real legal consequences. They already know that from the last bailout.

The end game has always been to have as much of the gold and silver as they possibly can.

I read today speculation on the Rothschild gold holdings here:

http://www.dgcmagazine.com/blog/index.php/2008/08/25/gold-and-the-house-of-rothschild/.

The unlimited downside to a default at Comex can be looked after through politics. No harm done; as the blogs say "nothing to see here, move along".

What matters is who has the most when the music stops. Just a thought.
Jeff Nielson
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written by Jeff Nielson, July 06, 2011
Thanks Earl.

I'm concerned that many people still seem to view the "confiscation" warning as more rhetoric than "threat". I would be happy to pull-back from such a prediction IF someone can provide me with ANOTHER plausible explanation for what SEEMS to be totally suicidal behavior by JP Morgan and the other silver-shorts.

I believe the banksters capable of many sorts of mistakes and folly, but destroying THEMSELVES in such an OBVIOUS manner does not seem consistent with their behavior pattern.
Earl
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written by Earl, July 06, 2011
Jeff,

You explain (and a recent post bye "SilverCaper") the "paper manipulation" very well. The statistic reality of more paper silver than real/actual silver and how it's traded at volumes that are not real.

Thus, I'd suggest to any and everyone to think about the real threat of "confiscation".

You've stated in reality, how easy "confiscation" could happen. I've found
the BBC video archives a real help in understanding, the reality.


Here's to a brighter tomorrow and planning for a rainey day.

Thank You
Earl
Jeff Nielson
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written by Jeff Nielson, July 06, 2011
I hope you're right!
zooey
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written by zooey, July 06, 2011
What you say is true of course. Harper is dangerous. Why the Canadian people cannot see this is beyond me. However I still cannot see the government, majority or not, getting any confiscation of PM's by the public or parliament. I hold out a bit of hope that the mining "lobby" in Canada; that Mr. Sprott; that CEF; that bullion holding mutuals have clout. That we still have a few less dishonest political creatures.

It is a hard and long read to get through the "Silver Stealers". I am still working on wading my way through this. Seems everyhere I dig for information the "plots" and theft just become more mind-numbing.

My hope is that the Chinese and Indian nations retain an awareness of what occured in the past. I am slightly optimistic about the future of China-Russia-India-Asian economic agreements. I am optimistic that the Pan Asian Exchange will force some transperency and real price discovery into these markets.

While I think it best to have physical bullion in hand; and I think it is common knowledge that both SLV and GLD are fraudulent; I still see it as far less likely that any confiscation would extend to the Canadian PM funds; to the allocated bullion stored at Canada Mint etc. to goldmoney and other Off-shore holding set-ups. Outrageous taxation maybe; direct theft from Canadian people I doubt.

While Harper is plainly, IMO, without integrity; I still think Canada would not follow the US/Britain into outright "confiscation".

Or so I hope. I would be tempted to become violent if theft of my future was the case.
Jeff Nielson
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written by Jeff Nielson, July 06, 2011
Zooey, I will certainly agree with you that the probability of confiscation is LOWER in Canada than in the U.S. However, as for the "political will" to do such a thing, now that Harper has his precious "majority" I think you will be SURPRISED at the things he now has "the political will" to carry out.

Keep in mind that if (when) the U.S. confiscates silver that this will be VERY unpopular to anyone/everyone connected to this sector. Thus the U.S. NEEDS other nations to JOIN IT in silver confiscation - in order to provide some "political cover" for the U.S. government.

In other words, it will be easier for the U.S. propaganda-machine to "justify" silver confiscation if ALL (or at least MOST) Western governments participate.
zooey
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written by zooey, July 06, 2011
I cannot see large scale confiscation in Canada. The CEF fund has a long history. It was formed long before precious metals became fashionable to even a small group of investors. The Sprott funds, even though recent, I think are safe vehicles. I do not see the political will in Canada to even go down this road.

The US is a different story.
Jeff Nielson
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written by Jeff Nielson, July 05, 2011
No, DGierl, BOTH gold and silver were confiscated by the U.S. government in the 1930's, in fact I included a link inside the article which leads directly to that piece of U.S. legislation.

The only reason that hardly ANYONE knows about "silver confiscation" is because the banksters had it ERASED from our history books. It is SILVER even more than gold that the banksters fear - and thus they were VERY interested in re-writing "history" concerning silver.

They ERASED all mention of silver confiscation. They ERASED all mention of the REAL cause of The Great Depression: when the banksters DESTROYED the economies of China and India by LOOTING all of India's silver and DUMPING it onto the global market.

Then AFTER that, they "invented" a new "gold/silver ratio": 50:1 instead of the REAL ratio of 15:1, and they simply had their media parrots keep repeating the phony, "new" ratio until it was treated as fact.
Jeff Nielson
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written by Jeff Nielson, July 05, 2011
Abperusdisvet, first this is a VERY long-term parameter. Second, you're assuming that silver recycling will NOT increase significantly, and thirdly it is pushing prices in the SAME direction as inventories.

We will never "run out" of silver (completely, forever) anymore than we could "run out" of gold. At some point at or above $100/oz silver recycling will become much more ECONOMICAL and thus much more intense. So increased, recycling and MUCH higher prices will eventually bring "equilibrium" back to this market - and such equilibrium will be DEFINED by a return to somewhat normal INVENTORIES.
dgierl
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written by dgierl, July 05, 2011
Silver was not confiscated in the US in 1933, only gold. Silver has been in our circulating coinage until 1965.
apberusdisvet
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written by apberusdisvet, July 05, 2011
Jeff: in the most recent reports of both the USGS and the Silver Institute, it is estimated that the mineable/recoverable worldwide silver resource is approximately 500,000 Mt, with annual demand for both industry and investment at 25,000 Mt. This would indicate that within 20 years all the mineable/recoverable silver will be gone, unless of course there is technology existent to profitably mine the oceans (or some other planet).

Does not this scarcity and "endangered" nature of silver automatically trump all other analysis?

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