Following its best performance since 2011 last week, the price of silver has remained buoyed this week by strong investment and industrial demand to hold above the $23 an ounce level breached last Thursday.
After hitting a three-month high early in the trading session at $23.60 an ounce, silver tracked gold slightly lower Monday on profit-taking to close down 0.22 cents at $23.11 an ounce. Mild profit-taking continued Tuesday despite the gains in gold pushing silver down to a close of $23.03 an ounce.
Silver won back its last week gains on Wednesday, trading as high as $23.40 an ounce, following gold’s lead after the release of the Federal Open Market Committee meeting minutes. The takeaway for precious metals market participants is that FOMC members are still riding the fence in regards to when to begin winding down the current round of quantitative easing.
Regardless of the uncertainty, the reality is that the end to the Fed’s bond-buying program will likely occur sooner than later, which had some impact on silver prices Thursday. After reaching a session high of $23.32 an ounce, silver closed at $23.04 an ounce.
Physical demand for silver as an investment continues to experience strong growth in 2013 as evidenced by the U.S. Mint’s belief that this could be a record year for American Eagle silver coin sales. According to a Kitco interview with Dick Peterson, the Mint’s acting director, this year’s sales are up 47 percent compared to the same point in 2012.
American CuMo Mining Corporation (TSXV:MLY) reported that the U.S. Forest Service has released its environmental assessment on the company’s CuMo project in Idaho. The report demonstrates that under the proper procedures, exploration work at CuMo can avoid or mitigate groundwater quality impacts. The next step is a 30-day public comment period beginning August 20, 2013. The CuMo Deposit has the potential to become one of the world’s largest and lowest-cost primary molybdenum mines. The project is ranked as one of the top 25 silver deposits in the world.
Orex Minerals Inc. (TSXV:REX) announced the results from additional trench channel sampling on the Coneto Gold-Silver Project, a joint venture between the company and Fresnillo plc (LSE:FRES). Highlights from the results include:
- Trench Impul-3 yielded an intercept of 1.30 meters (true thickness 1.28 meters) grading Au 22.10 g/t and Ag 592 g/t for a gold-equivalent of 32.86 g/t, or a silver-equivalent of 1,808 g/t.
- Trench Impul-48 yielded an intercept of 2.55 meters (true thickness 2.51 meters) grading Au 2.98 g/t and Ag 287 g/t for a gold-equivalent of 8.19 g/t, or a silver-equivalent of 451 g/t.
The Coneto project is located in the historic Coneto Mining District of Durango, Mexico. To date, Fresnillo has spent US$3.4 million on exploration work at Coneto.
Allied Nevada Gold Corp. (TSX:ANV, NYSE:ANV) provided initial results for ongoing oxidation testing on sulfide concentrate from the company’s past-producing Hycroft Mine in Humboldt County, Nevada. The testing indicates that gold and silver recoveries in the mid-80 percent range may be achieved using the ambient pressure alkaline oxidation process. The focus of the test work is identifying the viability of processing rougher concentrate and producing doré on-site.
Paramount Gold and Silver Corp. (TSX:PZG, NYSE:PZG) has received additional positive results from two core holes on its San Miguel Project in northern Mexico. The recent drilling is designed to test the depth of the Don Ese vein structure, which strikes north-northwest directly toward Coeur Mining’s nearby Palmarejo Mine. According to the news release, the vein “appears to be an extension of the structure which hosts this highly successful gold-silver producer and its satellite Guadalupe mine, which is less than 1,000 meters from Don Ese.”
The results confirm the continuation of high-grade mineralization. The recent drill work includes a total of five drill holes which could increase the size of the resource outlined in the February 2013 Preliminary Economic Assessment.
Gran Colombia Gold Corp. (TSX:GCM) produced a total of 9,441 ounces of gold and 10,794 ounces of silver for the month of July 2013 from its Segovia and Marmato operations in Colombia. Year to date, total production hit 60,942 ounces of gold and 89,201 ounces of silver. Colombia’s largest underground gold and silver producer operates several underground mines at Segovia and Marmato and is currently advancing to development a large-scale gold and silver mine at Marmato.
Securities Disclosure: I, Melissa Pistilli, hold no direct investment interest in any of the companies mentioned in this article.