The Grand Deception In the Precious Metals Industry

Many precious metals investors are being deceived and they don’t even know it.  There is so much fraud, manipulation and deceit taking place in the economic and financial markets, its amazing the system hasn’t collapsed already.

However, there is another big problem taking place in the precious metal industry that has frustrated me to no end.  This is what I call the “Grand Deception.”

Let me explain…

The market sentiment in the precious metals is at an all-time low.  Banks and brokerage houses are now coming out with the typical “Gold’s going to $1,000 or below forecasts.”  Then we had this GEM from the wonderful folks at Natixis, “$10/oz Silver in 2015 Among Natixis Scenarios.”

With the current low price of gold and silver, including all the negative press coming from MSM, many precious metals investors are increasingly frustrated and concerned about their metal investments.

One of the major problems as I see it, is the confusion on the real cost of mining gold and silver.  If investors believe it only costs $7-$10 to produce an ounce of silver, they will have less faith in a $20 silver price holding.  To them, the market price of silver could fall to $10-$15, just as the analysts at Natixis stated in article linked above.

Of course, these Natixis analysts work for a French Global Financial company that makes excellent profits from the highly inflated fiat monetary system.  So, it’s in the best interest for these institutions to keep investors believing that gold & silver are low price garbage assets not worthy of anyone’s time, while the real profits are made in the Grand Financial Ponzi Scheme.

Let’s compare the financial statements from Natixis and my top 12 primary silver miners:

Natixis Global Asset Management

2013 Total Revenues = $7.2 Billion (Euros)

2013 Net Income = $1.1 Billion (Euros)

2013 Net Income profit ratio = 15.2%

Top 12 Primary Silver Miners

2013 Total Revenues = $3.1 Billion (Estimated)

2013 Adjusted Income = -$20 million (Estimated)

2013 Adjusted Income profit ratio = -0.6%

Now, why on earth would anyone in the right mind be investing in physical silver or the mining companies when we can plainly see the GRAND FIAT CASINO makes the real profits?

To make matters even worse, the precious metals industry and analysts confuse investors by focusing on the insane low CASH COST METRIC.  Whenever Thomson Reuters GFMS publishes a Silver Update, they show costs in this absurd CASH COST metric.

GFMS Cash Cost

Here we can see the industry is ADVERTISING a $7.5 CASH COST for silver, which means the miners are supposedly rolling in dough at a $17 an ounce profit margin in 2013.  While sophisticated investors realize this isn’t a true cost, many new or inexperienced members of the precious metal community take these figures at face value.

This is really important to understand… which is why I am writing about it today.  Actually, the inspiration to write this article came from comments made by several readers on my site.

I received many comments from my recent article, “Record Silver Eagle Buying As Industry Analysts Mislead The Pubic.”   A reader disagreed with my opinion on Cash Costs by replying below:

Warren B says:

“Cash Cost accounting is an insane outdated metric that provides no real clue as to the profitability of a company.” That statement is totally incompetent. Cash cost is the only relevant way to view the business.

From the beginning. Before anything happens, there’s a venture study that estimates capital and operating costs. That can be a new operation, expansion of a current one, new product line. If it looks favorable it’s a go but no significant resources are committed until there are enough customers signed up on long term contracts to cover fixed cost and ROI. Assuming that happens and everything moves forward, as soon as the start button is pushed, capital cost is sunk money and cash cost determines the future outcome. Low cost provider always wins over the long term. That’s the way the real world operates.

To say the business is driven by or even slightly affected by “provision for, adjustments to, changes in accounting methods, allocations, depreciation reserve, future tax incentives …” is total nonsense. These aren’t even considered in venture analysis nor analysis of current operations. And, you can’t meet the payroll with any of them.

Non-cash costs (leading to total cost) can be manipulated to any value with the push of a computer button. The clue is in the number of footnotes to the annual financial statements. It doesn’t take 343 footnotes to CYA on an honest, factual report. The rule of thumb is anything over 3, the books are cooked in proportion. How many do these mining companies have?

Another point. In your financial table, notice that the “by-product credit” is 10 times the silver. So actually silver is a small sideline business. Cash cost isn’t stated. Allocation method can make silver cost and profitability anything you want it to be. In practice, costs shuffle across individual product operating statements to maximize the “bonus metrics” set for the management. That’s in the operating set of books that you won’t ever see. For public documents, product lines are grouped in the reports so you can’t separate out what’s going on with any of them and can be manipulated to support whatever BS the management is pushing. That’s the way that works.

Warren regards my analysis on this matter as completely incompetent and that cash costs are ,“The only relevant way to view the business.”  He then goes on to say that the companies have several books and that they can manipulate to support whatever BS the management is pushing.

I totally disagree with Warren, but before I discuss why… here is a comment by another reader who also takes the same side of the debate on this issue:

Melissa P says:

Contrary to one of the main points you raise …. from 1990 to 2005 silver did sell for $5-8/oz !! That means the full cost was below that level. $25/oz cost? No one is going to be operating at that kind of loss for 15 years. Right? Add Inflation from 2005 and you get to a current cost of $7-10/oz. The problem with your analysis is you’re using numbers that are manipulated for a host of reasons. And, apparently, you don’t know what they do or how they do it. I do. Forget about FASB and GAAP. Remember Enron? That bunch of crooks met all of those standards. So did the bankrupt, government bailed out banksters.

I’ll give you another prime example. Every feature movie produced by every studio in the last 50 years has lost $50 million or more. By their financial reporting, none has ever made a profit. Same with TV series. Yet, each studio cranks out 30-35 feature movies each year. How can they keep doing that? And, have an actual ROI over 30%. Have someone explain it to you and that’ll give you at least some insight into correcting your faulty analysis and conclusions.

“THERE ARE NO SILVER PRODUCERS THAT CAN AFFORD TO MINE SILVER ANYWHERE NEAR $10, much less $7″. Not to sound nasty, but you need to learn basic grammar. As written, that statement is nonsensical.

Melissa goes on and on about the same accounting fraud taking place in several different industries implying that the gold and silver miners are doing the same thing.  Which means, they are supposedly EXTORTING huge profits while showing higher costs and less income on their books.

I replied to Melissa with this comment:

Melissa,

Yes, it’s true… I am a butcher when it comes to writing. I have stated that several times. Thanks for pointing out the obvious.

However, I believe my grasp on the mining cost structure is better than my writing ability. Let me explain. The reason the cost of silver remained low in the 1990′s to early 2000′s had everything to do with the price of oil. Oil was $25 a barrel in 2002 and is now $100-$110.

The price of oil fluctuated between $16-$23 a barrel from 1990-1999 which you can plainly see in the graph above. Which is why the cost of silver was in the $4-5 range. Furthermore, Hecla & Coeur suffered losses several years in that 1990-2002 time period.

If we look at the price of gold and silver, both quadrupled since 2002. The rise in the price of energy had EVERYTHING to do with it.

The price of energy thunders through the economy. Some have stated that labor wages are low in Mexico and South America where most of the silver is mined. However, rising energy prices forces companies to pay more for everything. And then we have the problem with the U.S. exporting inflation which kills the value of local currencies.

How do you get $7-10 cost an ounce inflation when the price of oil has quadrupled? Sorry, I have no clue about the movie or film industry. But when it comes to gold and silver mining… costs have quadrupled since 2002. It’s all due to the price of energy.

Warren and Melissa believe cash costs are a more relevant way to view the mining business as we really can’t believe the management from these companies because they are manipulating data by hiding it in several different account books.

Let me tell you, I get this same silly notion from many of my readers.  For example, check out this comment:

Michael says:

You’re making an incorrect assumption that energy = cost of production. The major component of primary production is labor and the major producing countries have wages below what old plantation slaves worked for. What large users pay for energy is not what you see in the “spot market” price, your utility bill or any report that you have access to. Electrolytic operations, like metal refiners, are using energy priced as low as $0.005/kwh. Did you know that? Remember government? And, energy is not just oil.

Like the Mafia, corporations have 3 sets of books. The first is “Operations”. That’s the real deal, top secret, restricted to top management. The second is “Shareholder”. Those are cooked to present the rosiest picture possible without revealing any truth about what’s really going on. That’s what you see. The third is “Tax”. Those are manipulated to avoid paying taxes. Examples. No oil company has ever made a tax basis profit since JDR started the Standard Oil monopoly over a century ago. Companies reporting record earnings declaring total bankruptcy within a month after the report. Remember Enron?

Here again, is another reader telling me that I am completely FOC – Full of Crap.  Also, there is the mention again that the mining industry is like the Mafia who use 3 or more books to hide the truth that they are SKIMMING profits, while the public is bamboozled to believe costs are much higher.

I don’t mind at all readers disagreeing with me and presenting the other side of the debate.  However, when I find out that SOMETHING FISHY THIS WAY BLOWS… then its time to bring out the BIG GUNS.

If you remember Melissa’s comment, she stated that I needed to work on my writing ability (which I do).  Because she was so open and honest about that item, I thought it would be fair to RETURN THE FAVOR.

You see…. Warren, Melissa and Michael are ALL THE SAME INDIVIDUAL.  That’s correct.

I am not going to get into the details why I know… but IT’S THE TRUTH.  I manage my site which enables me to see whats going on behind the scenes.  So, the real question is this.  Why would an individual come in my website under several different screen names to try to persuade me or my readers that CASH COSTS are relevant and the mining companies’ financial reports shouldn’t be trusted?

Either this individual wants to make it seem as if there were several people shooting holes in my analysis, or it could be something a bit more sinister.  We all know that blogs have members who are there to purposely misinform and confuse investors.

Some bloggers make comments this way because they believe it, while others enjoy frustrating investors for the pleasure of it.  Unfortunately, there is a real threat of PAID BASHERS who do it for money.  Now, I am not saying this is the case in this instance, but I find it strange that an individual would go to that length to try to confuse precious metal investors.

I say confuse… because the FACTS & DATA that I have found, paint a picture that costs and break-even in the gold and silver industry are much higher than the silly cash cost metric.  According to my calculations, estimated break-even for my top 12 primary silver miners was $23-24 in 2013.  And… I don’t believe that is a sustainable figure for the group.

My $23-24 figure differs greatly than the $7-$8 Cash Cost figure the industry, the companies and the banking analysts put out.  I actually spoke with silver analyst, David Morgan on the phone yesterday about this very subject.

David believes the cash cost accounting figure was a deliberate way to confuse investors to the real costs of mining gold or silver…. I agree.

If we go to Hecla’s website and click on their INVESTORS PAGE, this is the chart we would see on record margins:

Hecla Cost Costs

Again, the sophisticated precious metal investor would get a good laugh at this chart, however, the inexperienced newcomer in the market would actually believe silver costs are this low.  As I have mentioned many times… I receive a lot of email from readers who actually believe silver production costs are in the $7-$10 range.

And it doesn’t help when you have professional nitwit analysts at Natixis stating the same thing.

Did Hecla really make a $14 an ounce cash margin profit in 2013?  No of course not.  They stated a $12.7 million Adjusted Net Loss for the year… and that was at an average realized price of $21.28 for 2013.  Can you imagine the losses they would incur if the market price of silver was $7 or $10?

If we were to believe Warren, Melissa or Michael (all the same person)… Hecla would have several books hiding the fact that management is extorting $millions while the government, investors and the public are hoodwinked to believe costs are much higher.

PURE BOLLOCKS….

If you look at my chart above, you will notice that the cost to mine silver has increased in same fashion as the rise in the price of oil.  The price of a barrel of oil was $25 in 2002 and in 2013 it quadrupled to $108.

However, the mining industry doesn’t buy barrels of oil, rather they consume diesel.  Let’s look at the price change in diesel:

1998 Diesel price gallon = $1.04 (U.S.)

2002 Diesel price gallon = $1.31 (U.S.)

2013 Diesel price gallon = $3.92 (U.S.)

Here we can see that diesel spot prices have tripled from 2002-2013 and nearly quadrupled from 1998-2013.  As the price of energy increases, it pushes up prices of materials, goods and services substantially on the mining companies’ balance sheets.

And this is only part of the story.  The chart below reveals the DOUBLE-WHAMMY:

Barrich Gold.2000 to 2013 Production & Processed Ore

In 2000, Barrick processed 21.3 million tonnes of ore to produce 3.74 million ounces of gold.  By 2013, they nearly doubled production to 7.16 million oz, however the amount of processed ore increased a staggering 623%.

Not only have overall input costs skyrocketed since 2000, but the amount of materials and goods consumed per ounce of gold produced increased as ore grades declined.  In 2000, Barrick produced gold at 5.47 grams per tonne and by 2013, the average yield declined to a paltry 1.43 grams per tonne.

So, when we add it all up together, a quadrupling of energy costs and increased consumption of materials and goods with higher wages and CAPEX spending… costs in the silver and gold mining industry are at least four times higher than they were in 2000.

The gold miners aren’t the only ones suffering from declining ore grades, it’s happening throughout the entire industry.  The top primary silver mining industry’s average yield declined from 13 ounces per ton in 2005, to 8.1 oz/tonne in 2012.

Top 6 Silver Companies Production & Processed Ore 2005-2012B

The notion that it takes $7-$10 to produce an ounce of silver today is totally ridiculous when we go by common sense logic and broad-based analysis.

Unfortunately, this is the problem with the market today.  Instead of making the system simpler for investors to understand, the industry purposely complicates things to keep the public in the dark.  This same tactic that takes place in many industries.

The person who goes by three different screen names (for some strange reason), wants investors to know that cash costs are a realistic metric for determining the cost in producing silver.  They go on to say that capital costs are SUNK money and cash costs determines the future outcome of the company.

My reply to that is…. IF YOU EXCLUDE ENOUGH COSTS… YOU CAN MAKE ANYTHING LOOK PROFITABLE.

That’s actually a term I stole from energy analyst Art Berman describing the Shale Gas Industry in a recent presentation.

Individuals invested hard-earned fiat currency in the CAPEX to get a mine to commercial production as well as the annual capital spending to maintain the project.  If the business practice in the mining industry is to raise CAPEX by issuing millions of shares to build new mines, but to EXCLUDE this when factoring the cost of mining silver… it’s the SHAREHOLDER who becomes the BAG-HOLDER.

I find that reasoning appalling.  No wonder shareholders are skeptical of the mining industry.

Michael, Melissa and Warren want us to believe the mining industry is pulling the WOOL over the eyes of the investing public.  This is just another tactic to confuse investors.

Precious metal investors need to understand that it is extremely expensive to produce gold and silver.  While the industry, analysts and the companies make it difficult to understand the true cost of mining these metals, I have no respect for CHARLATANS who add to this problem.

In conclusion…. the current prices of gold and silver are near the break-even level for the mining industry.  I believe this level puts a floor in their prices even though paper trading can induce lower spikes.

A base price for gold and silver from a cost perspective is only one part of the story.  The real fun happens when the public finally realizes it is the BAG-HOLDER in the biggest Ponzi scheme in history.

At that point, the prices of gold and silver will rise to levels several times above their cost of production.  This is the event we precious metals investors patiently wait for.

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42 Comments on "The Grand Deception In the Precious Metals Industry"

  1. Once again your logic and presentation of the facts and fundamentals trump all the hacks that try to deceive the small investor. Excellent post! Thanks!

    • Excellent work and forensic analysis exposing your TROLL posing as three separate individuals. You take the most flak when you’re over the target my friend. Keep up the incredibly appreciated work.
      ~SGT

      • lastmanstanding | April 4, 2014 at 6:01 am | Reply

        Time to do an interview with Steve for those of us loyal SGT Report readers brother!

      • SGT,

        Thanks a million for Kudos and stopping by the site.

        steve

        • CPM Group is a consultancy to entities in the precious metals sphere.
          However, it emits noxious fumes favoring shorts and industrial consumers.
          Time for competition; I nominate SRSRocco; which should additionally be a
          Public Relations/Shareholder Relations endeavor. Anyone agreeing may
          contact their IR office at companies they hold shares in. The mining companies
          may consider buying ad space; that is, smaller to midsize companies—to tell the
          public the real story of costs—and price suppression. Larger companies can’t be
          expected to participate because of influence from interests who hold large share blocs. The Colorado Mining Association had the type of ad I speak of, in the New York Times, May 31, 1946. page 10. There’s been so much suppression since then of silver miners, collectively, they’re like a Cape buffalo being gnawed on by lions. It has gone into shock and is being fed on. Maintaining production and employment by high grading ore must stop!

  2. go away troll…. back into your parents basement please.
    Actually kitco forums is a great place for you to ply your trade.

    • d mo,

      Sorry, I moderated 2014 comments. I have a spam filter to keep advertisements or spam off the site. I gave 2014 plenty of opportunities to be apart of the discussion. His comments are not meant to interact, but rather to behave like spam.

      As you correctly stated… he can act like king of the ant hill at Kitco… the site who employed the wonderful work of bullion specialist Jon Nadler — The most bearish precious metal analyst I ever came across.

      steve

  3. Why moderate the post where I say that 75% of silver is mined as a by product?

    • 2014,

      You act like a child. You come in here and post links to an article stating that JP MORGAN was not guilty of manipulating the silver market in one comment and then brag that you sell silver to individuals who have 20K in silver in another comment.

      You keep bringing up this by-product issue over and over… even though I answered it several times. If you can’t read, or think you’re being cute…. then you can be cute all day long over at Kitco.

      I have answered many of your questions, but you continue to ask the same ones. Which means, you’re behaving like spam. I get enough spam. You are not adding to the debate on this site, instead you motivate the other members to waste their time replying to your nonsense.

      Your time is up.

      steve

  4. Bravo on this article. It is so hard to make people understand that a rising cost of a barrel of crude oil is directly related to the cost of mining any commodity. What do they think these hard-to-reach mining sites run on, solar panels and windmills? Of course not! Diesel-powered generators produce the electricity to run the base camp, diesel powers the trucks, the machines, all the transportation to the smelters and back, and then to the company vaults. And I recently heard how natural gas powers the smelters.

    Maybe some of the readers still believe precious metals are only mined from the tops of mountains, and then are put into gravity-fed sluiceways along rivers to separate the metal from the ore. At least, back in the 1880s… Today, it is energy, and our energy comes from a barrel of crude.

  5. Thank you for taking the time to explain all this, it is ashame all the lies and corruption that exist in the world today! If people would think about it and all the big machines and technical work that is involved in mining rare gold and silver, they would be Smart enough to understand it costs way more tan $7 to get an ounce of silver out of the ground! I recommend people watch Big History and the segment on Silver, the processes they have to go thru to get an ounce of silver is mind-boggling!

    Again, thank you for your article, great work, you are providing a great service to a lot of people whether they know it or not!

  6. Falling grades are not just the problem of gold and silver miners. Base metals miners also suffer from the same issue. However, the mine supply of base metals still keeps increasing. And Steve believes that base metals will go down while precious metals go up in the coming economic collapse.
    As for Warren/Melissa, I don’t believe you need to write such a long rebuttal, Steve. It doesn’t make sense for the management to overstate the costs and make mining companies look unprofitable. After all, the management’s bonuses are decided by their performance, that is, the bottom lines of the income statements. They have more incentives to make miners look more profitable than they actually are.

  7. Steve, you should consider requiring email registration. Let people sign using an email account. If they post junk like 2014, you can prevent them from posting.

  8. Christopher J | April 3, 2014 at 6:33 pm | Reply

    Wow that troll sure was working hard to convince us that mining an ounce of silver cost the same as producing a pack of cigarettes or a six pack of beer. Maybe it’s because the people they work for print dollars that cost 6 cents but want us to believe they are worth 100 cents. Thanks for the article I learned something new which is always good.

    • lastmanstanding | April 4, 2014 at 6:09 am | Reply

      Bottom line Christopher J…even producing a pack of cigs or a six-pack of brewski (which is very dear to my heart!) burns/uses a shitload of energy.

      When what Steve is saying shakes out, who are the winners…and who will be the loser?

      Soon, a decision will have to be made on our existing energy allocations. Who will get it and for what necessities.

  9. DaleFromCalgary | April 3, 2014 at 7:05 pm | Reply

    The other annoying thing about the mining industry is when they write about equivalents, as in “x million oz silver and 100 million oz silver equivalent in base metals”. This ignores the fact that physical demand for each type of metal is not equivalent. Gold or silver bugs are not bringing home copper or zinc wire as an equivalent to bullion.

    I only invest in physical bullion, not mining stocks. I’m invested in conventional petroleum. When someone touts an oil well as “x barrels oil plus y barrels of oil equivalent”, I know to be suspicious because crude oil, natural gas, and liquids are sold to different markets that are not equivalent. Oil becomes fuel, which is dependent on different economic factors than natgas, which is used mainly for heating and electricty generation.

    The same applies to mining. None of the metals are equivalent to each other at any ratio, because they have different uses and economics. Yet junior mines will tout 10 units of gold and 100 units of gold equivalent in other metals for which the demand behaviour is different.

  10. OK. In summary-

    1. PM mining is energy dependent and up from 2002-2005. Check.
    2. PM grades are declining. Check.
    3. PM mining true cash costs are significant. Check.
    4. PM supply is in some cases at or soon to be peak supply. Check.
    5. PM demand exceeds supply. Check.
    6. PM prices are set by a manipulated paper market and do not reflect true physical value. Check.
    7. PM demand is rocketing generally everywhere worldwide except for the general USA public. Check.
    8. PM sales of Au and Ag eagles are breaking all time USA records. Check.
    9. PM deniers Larry, Moe and Shirley are one in the same deceitful trolls. Check.
    10. PM analyst Steve Srocco is correct on all points. Check.
    11. PM stacking. It’s whats for dinner. Check mate.

  11. Nice article as usual, I have read a lot of articles, websites, etc, on precious metals on mining, costs, supply, reserves, etc. over the years, and I have to say your analysis is one of my favorites.. Very straight to the point factual researched facts, which is not as easy to find as one might think out here!

    I don’t know if I have missed your articles in the past on it, but one thing I struggle to find good analysis on is silver mined as a by product from non primary miners.. Just a suggestion that would probably be appreciated by many of your readers; you use your knowledge to provide a general cost, supply, ore grade, etc. analysis of the non primary by product silver miners.. I don’t know the actual real percentage yearly supply of silver that comes from non primary silver miners, or really much of any facts about these companies, but this would be a legendary article haha

    Thanks

    • Matt,

      It is virtually impossible to do a COST ANALYSIS on the Base metal by-product silver industry. Yes, they produce 72% of the silver, but there are so many companies that produce different primary metals and have various quantities of by-product silver production that it would be a logistical nightmare to attempt an average cost for the industry.

      However, I made a comment to one of the members here in a previous article. Let me republish it as it can offer a basic guideline:

      Okay… Let’s go over the numbers, shall we?

      2012 Primary silver production = 28%
      2012 Lead & Zinc by-product = 39%
      2012 Copper by-product = 20%
      2012 Gold by-product = 13%

      According to my calculations, break-even from my top 12 primary silver miners as a group, was $24 for 2013. This was approximately 35% of total primary silver mining production.

      If we include by-product silver from Copper (20%) with the primary silver miners (28%), that would be 48% of total mine supply. So in using copper as an example, this puts total silver mine supply from these two sources at roughly half of all production. Copper miners are now struggling to make profits (with the price of copper near $3), then we can assume that every bit of silver revenue is important to fortify their balance sheets.

      Now, let’s discuss the Gold miners by-product silver at 13% of overall production. We all know the gold miners aren’t really making much money at this low price of $1,250-$1,300. Some are making a little, while others are suffering losses. Also, if we look at FREE CASH FLOW, most are negative.

      Which also means, the gold miners need ALL THEIR SILVER REVENUE to fortify their balance sheets. Some companies sell their silver to Silver Wheaton for $4-5 clams an ounce because of CAPEX they received in return to build out their mines.

      Goldcorp was the 4th largest by-product silver producer in 2012 at 30 million oz. Below is Goldcorps FREE CASH FLOW for 2013:

      Q1 = -$239 million
      Q2 = -$502 million
      Q3 = -$267 million
      Q4 = -$30 million

      And this doesn’t even include DIVIDEND payouts which were $486 million. Basically, Goldcorp had to burn through cash to pay for dividends in 2013.

      Goldcorp sells 25% of their silver to Silver Wheaton. However, they also need every bit of that silver revenue to boost their balance sheet. I would imagine the majority of gold producers are in the same boat.

      Which means we can add 13% Gold by-product silver to the 48% to get 61%. Copper & Gold producers are not MINING SILVER FOR FREE… the notion is pure RUBBISH.

      Now… if we look at one of the largest ZINC mines in the world, run by TECK RESOURCES, this came from the Q4 2013 year-end report:

      Red Dog, located in northwest Alaska, is one of the world’s largest zinc mines. Red Dog’s gross profit before depreciation and amortization in 2013 was $418 million, compared with $440 million in 2012 and $547 million in 2011. The lower 2013 gross profit was mainly due to lower byproduct revenue from silver.
      ——————

      Did anyone read that LAST SENTENCE? Lower gross profit was MAINLY DUE TO LOWER BY-PRODUCT SILVER REVENUE.

      Here is TECK RESOURCES 2013 Free Cash Flow:

      Q1 = +$369 million
      Q2 = -$156 million
      Q3 = +$13 million
      Q4 = +$30 million.

      So, for the year, Teck had $256 million in Free Cash Flow out of $9.3 billion in revenue, and that mostly came from their first quarter when silver and base metal prices where higher.

      Now, I am not saying every Zinc and Lead mine in the world is barely making money, but I would assume a good percentage are in the same financial situation as Teck.

      So, if Teck is having trouble making Free Cash Flow at current base metal and silver prices… then the question remains… ARE THE BASE METAL MINERS PRODUCING SILVER FOR NEXT TO NOTHING??

      HELL NO. Thus, it reinforces the understanding that the Base Metal Miners need every bit of by-product silver revenue they can get, to fortify their balance sheets just as the primary silver miners need every bit of gold-zinc-lead and copper to keep them from losing money.

      steve

      • In several days I have a release documenting a paper money economist saying silver can be produced at zero cost. He was a faculty member of Lehigh University in Bethlehem Pennsylvania. Another economist compared silver to an incubus—a male demon who rapes women as they sleep. These types have heavy banker sponsorship.

  12. First of all, Steve, your writing is just fine.

    In fact, it is better than fine.

    Secondly, talk about BUSTED!!!!

    What on earth were these parasites: correction, parasite, thinking?

    For who on earth does this parasite work?

    Let me see: could it be the NSA, the Federal Reserve, the Federal Reserve’s bag-holders, viz the Vampire Squid or JP Morgue??? The end-game of which is to protect, at all ‘costs,’ the dying dollar (now there’s your real costs). Or could it be one or more, or a collection of, avariciously driven hedge-funds intent on decimating real analysis – REAL TRUTH??? Thus, as suggested, raking in further billions (the world is not enough!)

    Nor is this mere speculation, especially not since the Edward Snowden revelations. It is couched in absolute and categorical fact!

    We know the purpose: It is only a question of whom (which you seem to have nailed cold) and for whom.

    The shills will always be shills – nothing more, nothing less.

    Keep up the astonishingly brilliant work.

  13. CFO point of view | April 4, 2014 at 1:31 am | Reply

    I would like to add few things from my CFO point of view.
    However your approach to count all costs and evaluate whole business including CAPEX is very good in LONG TERM, it is inapropriate in short term analysis (0-2 years time). Unfortunately for us this short time frame analysis are basis to most decisions Boards do. Especially taking into consideration agency conflict. It comes from fact that long term is sum of following short term time.
    The most important issue in short term analysis is INCREMENTAL COST (not cash cost, neither full cost). Incremental cost is the cost to pull each new gram of silver from the ground. You exclude from this cost all sunk costs (as investments done in the past), but also costs not related directly to mining (as administration costs) but you should include provision for constant repairs of trucks and other machinery even if in current month/year they are lower than usually.
    So the real decision making cost in short term is far different from full cost and closer to cash cost. This statement is true because if you decrease your mining activities as incremental costs are lower than price, you will find that you’ve decreased your margin to cover fixed costs and your net profit is even lower (the loss is greater).
    Saying all above – this is true in short term, but in the same time it means, that in long term you are making very bad decisions – you exploit only best places, and leave less valuable for the future, and than it occure it is not worth to come back to them, you are not investing in future, as you need to have free cash flow to invest, and so on…
    Thats why it is very bad idea to invest in mining companies and in short term TPTB can control price and see increased mining in the same time. But it also means that in the future quantities dig out from the ground should decrese substantially.
    I am from Poland, so my English is not perfect, but I can also say that there apart from droping price of copper and silver KGHM will now pay special (not so low) tax to Polish government. It is something not taken to account by many PM analysts. Bancrupting governments will put as many taxes as possible to take as much as possible – also from mining industry – also in the future – even if PM prices will rise.
    In the end I would like to point out great analysis of BrotherjohnF concerning base metal prices manipulation to the upside, which unables primary base metal mines to dig out much more PMs while prices of PMs are falling, even as base metals stockpiles are rising/high.
    I hope my post will help 🙂

    • CFO,

      I appreciate your comments. I agree with you that INCREMENTAL COSTS can be lower than total costs. However if two silver mining companies had identical costs and bottom line but had the following in revenue break-down:

      1) MINING COMPANY A = 80% silver / 20% by-product revenue

      2) MINING COMPANY B = 50% silver / 50% by product revenue

      ….Mining Company B would should a much lower CASH COST because they have more by-product revenue to subtract from their overall mining cost. After Mining Company B subtracts the by-product revenue, then they add these INCREMENTAL COSTS.

      So, their COSTING MODEL is flawed because they have more by-product revenue than Company A. You see, it makes no sense to me to subtract ones by-product revenue to get a base cash cost…. IF THAT BY-PRODUCT REVENUE KEEPS YOU OUT OF THE RED.

      Its like a HOT DOG VENDER in New York taking his SOFT DRINK SALES and subtracting if from his HOT DOG COSTS to show a LOW HOT DOG CASH COST… Its simply insane. It has nothing to do with the profitability of the Hot Dog Vender.

      I realize that’s a bit of a stretch, but I find it simply amazing that the CEO of Hecla can go around telling the market that their cash cost is $7.33 when their incremental cost is probably 2 to 2 1/2 times that amount.

      LASTLY… I went back and looked at some break-even costs for mining silver in the 1990’s. Some years the company made money, some years they suffered losses. It is my CONTENTION that the market price of silver over the past 50-75 years paralleled the break-even cost of production from the primary mining industry.

      thanks again,

      steve

      • CFO point of view | April 5, 2014 at 5:05 am | Reply

        Steve,

        I would like to once more present my point of view – this time on subject of the business where you have main product and a by-product – in some cases it can be even your previous waste, that you start to sell as someone needs it.
        Basicaly in such case there can be few approaches to evaluate your results on each product, depending on purpose of such evaluation.
        Basically there is one way – you treat your by-product as some sort of “waste” and multiply its quantity by its price and deduct it from the costs of main product. It’s possible to view your business like this, take for example printing house. They are using big sheets of paper, and they make from these some smaller parts in usefull shapes, but there is always waste. Assuming they cannot do anything with it, they treat this waste as cost of main activity. But sales price of this waste is not high enough to make it another segment of company. Then you treat all costs as costs of main activity and deduct income from sales of waste. This is your new result from your main activity, as it’s unpropriate to evaluate margin on sales of waste – it’s not your business – it’s only reduction of costs even if you sell waste on market and make some revenues on it. This same approach can be addopted to mining if base metals are tiny part of ore, comparing to silver. And for me such approach is very ok.
        On the other hand if it’s possible to make profitable business on both silver and base metals, then you should make such analysis for both (treating other group as “waste”), and also make analysis dividing costs between both groups on some relevant basis (for example Activity Based Costing). Each of these three analysis has other purpose. First two should be used to evaluate critical price levels of your products, that you have to know as management (you can hedge, you can change areas of digging to dig more profitable, you can decrease your investments etc.) and as owner as well – you know the place company is in on current market prices.
        Saying all of that I will make a statement, that knowing this cost is only a tiny part of equation in long term, there are many more important issues. And probably this information is quite missleading in long term, if user of it doesn’t understand it, but for short term purposes it’s valuable.
        Of course other thing is inapropriate use of this information by agents of TPTB to inform us that in short term price of silver can drop to 10$ or so. I would say that if the cost evaluated using method of base metals treated like a “waste” – if such price in average for the whole market is for example 10$, then it’s possible to kick the price of Ag to 12$, and mining companies will barelly decrease output, but their situation will substantially decrease. In short run it’s nothing special – they will decrease investments, decrease admin costs, not pay dividends. But in the longer run it’s very disturbing, as they will not act optimally (invest on time, keep apropriate maintanance, use resources in the ground optimally). In longer run all of this will have double impact on their abbility to provide silver to the market in anticipated quantity.
        Ok. Thats enough. I hope I put some more light on issue for you. Regards.

  14. Hi steve, Thank you for all your hard work.

    In 1998 I started mining at the Big Bell underground mine site, I saw many owners come and go in a short space of time at that mine.
    I started in grade control of the stopes, I found out after I took the job, I was replacing a gentleman that had been run over by a bogger. (underground digger) 🙁
    a good grade then was 3 grams p/t . average 1 .2 – 2.2 g p/t. .. better deeper.
    The mine was over 100 years old, and the nasty bitch sat between two graphite shears in a seismicity zone, one whole side of the pit had collapsed!! (ROCKS the size of houses just hung there). this had a big effect on draw rates and stopes.
    I was charging 50 Meter up holes by hand back then.
    She (the mine) talked A LOT!! by that I mean it popped and cracked .. creaked and groaned, I never liked it much to be honest. but that was nothing to the sound of silence, when she stopped talking it was worse, I tell no lie It was like .. Death! we just new something wasn’t right??
    and then BANG!! where what who?
    I saw whole levels disappear, truck bays lift 30cm, charging in open stopes ..bridged and frozen shots 3 levels up and trying to bog it down… madness!! (nightshift)
    It was a cowboy show and I loved it.

    2007 Telfer Gold Mine

    “WERE IN TROUBLE HEAR”…I heard my inner mind scream, as I dove to the floor of the cherry picker.
    rocks were slamming into the basket, the truck and themselves.. it was so loud.
    I was laying on my side now as the stope filled with rocks .. I looked up .. and i saw it ..(for the smallest of moments I felt like Roy Scheider and how he looked when he fist see’s the shark..WERE GUNNA NEED A BIGGER BOAT!)(on reflection)

    Only to then be cast as Robert Shaw as he tries to save his life trying to fight of the shark.

    It was sliding on rock flour and sand .. it looked almost magic.. “YOUR F$%CKED” said the voice
    I cant recall much around this part .. it all happened so quickly.
    It was so loud.. and then quiet, the odd tink tink tink as rocks settled into there new positions.
    i opened my eyes, dust & rock flour was everywhere.
    I exhaled my lungs and it felt so good , i tried to fill them and i got next to nothing!
    the rock was 211kg (the lads put it on the scales) and it was on top of me and i couldn’t fill my lungs to capacity with it on me.
    I panicked (terrible feeling) I Cried (hard when you cant breath properly,)
    I thought my way out.
    sorry this has upset me more than i thought it might, im sorry.

    keep up the good work
    “condensed labour brother”

    The Warren and Melissa’s i worked with never went underground, they were afraid of the dark and the workers that worked down there.

  15. Ok at the risk of you devoting an article about me (Just a dude underwater in the PMS) My question is how are mining numbers reported and what is keeping the reports honest? To me, I think they are manipulated for the simple reason you have record sales of silver but the price keeps going down without even a hint of shortage. You cant say that it wouldn’t be in a mines best interest to encourage a perceived shortage or even bullion dealers. So Im not attacking your work at all just wondering if you think the Mining output numbers are manipulated? I understand your working with the best figures available but Isn’t it possible there is more supply than what is reported?

    My emotions may have gotten the best of me watching my “Best way to persevere your wealth” destroy a nice chunk of my wealth not to mention others I know. I am the one responsible for introducing them to PMS so as you can imagine I feel horrible . I am just trying to understand the full reality of the PMs. I hope you can understand that without thinking I am just some troll.

    • lastmanstanding | April 4, 2014 at 6:25 am | Reply

      Mike. Only one long haul that is honest and earthly. That is any tangible item that you hold and choose to use to your advantage. The earth does not manipulate tangibles dishonestly and for profit. Only as a need to control shit that is out of whack or separate the weak from the fit.

      That is how it is. You prepare, plan and want to live, or you are eliminated…and you will be eliminated when the time comes. I feel sorry for the man who thinks he can side step the planets will by controlling petty man/banker/corp games.

      Get yourself some real shit and DO NOT give up faith…there are only a few of us left. Lots have already sold out.

      A great man once told me…”food, water, shelter, protection…all you need.” He liked nice coins as well.

      “don’t go down without one helluva fight”

    • Mike,

      The article was not at all focused on you . I know many people, including some in my family who are underwater in their precious metals. I was a bit more fortunate as I got into buying silver back in 2002.

      On the subject of mining companies being honest…. they have to be somewhat realistic. Art Berman stated in his recent presentation on the shale gas industry which he found they report to the government that their BREAK-EVEN for shale gas is on average $7 mmbtu, but they tell the brokerage houses that its $4-$4.5.

      Through Art’s analysis of all the costs, he calculates break-even for the shale gas industry at $7-$7.5 mmbtu. Which is the same method I used in figuring the top 12 primary silver miners total costs.

      The shale gas companies aren’t making any money whatsoever. They have been hemorrhaging debt for five or more years. I believe many of the shale gas companies will go BEAR STEARNS when interest rates rise as their production continues to fall from insanely high decline rates.

      He goes on to say they can report those lower costs to the brokerage houses, but if they did that with the government, they would go to jail. Even though there is corruption in the system, there are still things companies cannot do.

      I get my break-even data by AVERAGING in a dozen companies. It’s hard to skew results when we look at an entire industry. And then when we add the energy cost analysis… it makes perfect sense that costs are at least 4 times higher than they were in 2000.

      On top of that, Hecla & Coeur stated losses several years when silver was selling for $5 in the 1997-2002 time period. So we know, costs were in the $4-5 range in the beginning of 2000’s.

      This is the exact same thing taking place in the Gold Mining Industry. Costs have quadrupled for them as well… and its some cases even higher.

      steve

      • Mike says “you have record sales of silver but the price keeps going down without even a hint of shortage. ”

        He brings up an interesting point. Are we missing some data somewhere? I understand the manipulation story, however I’m stumped about WHY we do not have the foggiest idea for WHEN there might be a shortage situation. This is not a critique on anybody’s work, just saying that for all the data out there, there seems to be a black box regarding supply fundamentals and stockpiles.

      • Thanks for the reply..I know in the long run you cant beat the PMS. I was just in Dubai a few days ago and every time I roll through there I pick up a gold coin. I just cant get it out of my head that something is just missing from the equation. If it is just manipulation on the down side there is no way it can last much longer. The pressure on the market I would think is enormous and trying to keep it under raps would require some big guns and a monster load of unseen cash…Anyway thanks again for replying.

  16. great write up Steve, I appreciate it.

    the next big world financial shock pops the developed nations credit/debt/entitlement Ponzi system……..which has not arisen out of anything but good old human nature………us homo sapiens have been maximizing our environment for 200,000 years………..just ask the Neanderthals.

    I do not think that is changing anytime soon.

    unless Isreal decides to ‘live’ with a nuclear Iran………..that shock may well be right after the US November elections.

    what does 200$ oil do to your charts?

    we all know in our gut its going to happen sooner or later.

  17. Nice article.

    From my perspective, the sad part many Americans fail at today, is understanding the implications or consequences of believing the lies these charlatans spew. There is nothing free, and so when a person works to influence another by a corruption of truth, they are essentially robbing or taking from someone. They aren’t providing anything for the better. Isn’t that what we just learned HF trading is doing?

    Unfortunately, it appears the majority of people don’t seem to have the aptitude to realize they are being robbed because their bank account says the same number every time they check their account.

    The devastating truth that is coming will wipe many people completely out, similar to how a tidal wave has compassion on those in its path.

    When a tidal wave is approaching, there is only one thing to do. Run. There won’t be any time to discuss this or any article or what could have been done to prepare. And no one wants to say I told you so after a tidal wave hits and the utter destruction is prevalent to all.

    Of course, one may believe this too is all talk and BS. What you probably don’t understand is people are like the ocean water. All it takes is a rather large earthquake under the ocean to get the wave started. The question is, what will initiate the earthquake that will shake the people to the core and start the wave.

    Not sure on that one. But I do know, if you don’t have the physical stuff where you can possess it, all you will have is a promise that you thought you had but it went to another, similar to a fellow called Esau. But this is about a much bigger Promise then holding gold or silver.

    And all the intense crying one does at that point will be unable to reap any reward. I’m just saying that is what it will be like. Who has ears to hear?

  18. I, and many of my friends, enjoy these ridiculously low metal prices. We stack, we wait and laugh at people who hold onto their FIAT paper dollars like children holding on to a lolly-pop. I know a guy that just bought 160K dollars worth of Silver bullion last month. I helped another friend deliver it to his house/bunker.

    • lastmanstanding | April 5, 2014 at 10:05 am | Reply

      14 MB’s or so…I am dancing a jig for that dude…I am happy for anyone that scores like that.

      Demand in my neck is quiet right now. Nice to know that some are putting faith into real things.

  19. Hey Steve, very informed article. I like the way you break it down in common sense easy first grade analysis. Thanks for putting 2014 on a leash..LOL! and as for those other website trolls and establishment shills who come to try and deceive people from doing what is right, I am glad you expose them. Let them go to the establishment media and post their Horse manure there. It is already a difficult task to read into all the other information to find truth, and then have to deal with trolls who come and post disinformation.

  20. Steve, I’ve been reading your articles for some time. You’re providing the very best free content out there and it’s time I thanked you for that. So THANK YOU. Keep up the good work and don’t be phased by the trolls. In due time you will be vindicated.

  21. ii. Average cash cost of silver and gold on a per ounce basis is calculated by
    dividing the total cost of sales, less depletion, by the ounces sold. In the
    precious metals mining industry, this is a common performance measure but does
    not have any standardized meaning. In addition to conventional measures prepared
    in accordance with IFRS, management and certain investors use this information to
    evaluate the Company’s performance and ability to generate cash flow.

  22. former financial reporting accountant | April 5, 2014 at 8:37 pm | Reply

    While I can not or will not claim to have been the best accountant in the world (I haven’t been doing accounting for several years), I did work as an accountant for 7 years and 6 of those years were in the “Financial Reporting” department. Two of those six years were spent at a real estate investment trust in Chicago working on 10K’s, 10Q’s, etc and the other four of those years were spent also working on 10k’s, 10Q’s, etc at a technology company in Detroit. Of course, I also produced financial statements, Board reports for management, and many other horribly boring financial spreadsheets.

    Anyway, I just wanted to say that the idea that this Warren, Melissa and Michael person is putting forward that there is a hidden set of “operation” books that is entirely different from the books the shareholders see is absurd on its face and I will tell you why. As a general rule (there are exceptions of course) upper management does not generally enjoy hiring accountants. Accountants are expensive, require benefits, etc, etc and (unlike sales people) they will never grow your top line revenue number. In other words, accountants are perceived to be ONLY A COST to the business. A cost which does not bring in revenue. Does not grow the business. Of course a good accountant adds more than his share of value to the company that exceeds his salary, but management generally likes to keep this cost as low as possible. They are happy to hire sales people because sales people bring in more revenue to the business than they cost or they are out the door. On the other hand, if they hire more accountants, the G&A (general and administrative expense) rises, but not the revenue. Your current team that produces the “shareholder” set of books is already working 50 hours a week, Saturday’s, additional hours during month end and year end close barely able to make deadlines and this Warren/Melissa/Michael wants us to believe that there is an entire extra group of people or the same group of people who can barely make their deadlines on the “shareholder” set of books who are taking the time, energy, and effort to produce an entirely different set of books that nobody sees except for top management? And the auditors who come in never see any of these other documents or figure out that the math is not adding up correctly? The idea is completely absurd. There is so much work that goes into producing financial statements for a corporation, and the idea that all these mining companies (who are already barely surviving) have doubled the size of their accounting staff (their very expensive accounting staff) to produce two sets of books is completely not realistic in anyway. Sure, fraud does occur and will always occur, but as a general rule “two sets of books” is just not very realistic at all. It takes far too much man power and far too many hours to do this. This would really be no different than claiming these mining companies produce two entirely different “sets of silver”. They claimed they mined 15 million ounces of silver in 2013, but in reality the mined 30 million ounces. I mean, think about the work and effort that would go into such a task?

    As far as the tax set of books goes, that part is true that there is a tax book. But this is not any kind of secret at all. All these companies have a tax department and we all have heard the stories of companies like Apple or whoever making billions of dollars and pay little or no taxes. All these companies have tax departments and everything they do is general knowledge. For that matter, individuals have “two sets of books too”. If your employer pays you W2 income of $40,000 a year, you are likely not paying tax on $40,000. You have deductions, exemptions, 401K witholdings, etc that reduce your taxable income giving you “two sets of books”. That’s no secret and not illegal. So yes, they have a shareholder set of books, and tax set of books, but hiding the “operational” set of books that supposedly holds the “true numbers” is just nonsense.

    Anyway, just wanted to add my two sense. Steve, I love your site and really appreciate your work. I always find your analysis to be not only interesting, but also very honest which can be a rare find these days. Keep up the good work.

  23. Thanks for your explanation Steve, your English is just fine, your case clearly put, concise and easily understood. As for Michael and Melissa(?) I can’t understand their argument, it’s pure garbage.
    I’m hanging on to my 1000oz of silver thanks to your superb analysis.

  24. Greetings from Germany,

    Does somebody knows how much silver is at storage? I heared something about 6000 t.
    Is that possible?

  25. Hey Steve,

    Im a worse wordsmith than you. 🙂 Let me give it a try.

    Interesting enough your three identitied troll (i call them troll cause they arent here to learn or contribute, only twist reality) remind me of one certain libtard I know. I dont pick sides and dont wear political jerseys, but this individual refuses to believe that their government and markets are lying to them. They think that regulators would not allow corruption or defrauding through accounting. Defending their position like their parents were insulted and the fact that they have no logic in their argument makes it really irritating. Vancouver is crawling with anti-metals socialists that think capitalism is bad. Why is it the mining capital of the world? Most refuse to acknowledge that Vancouver is where they are getting the metals that they deliver (if they do) through forward sales contracts at rigged market prices. Most dont get that in fascism, its the crony corps and govt vs the people. Many think Canadas government looks out for its people, let me guess the troll comes from Vancouver? Ironically, they are a corp in Canada…look it up. Canadas a damned “crown CORPORATION” (look it up)…right out in the open. Unlike other fascists, that hide behind flags. They can choose what they choose. They get to eat the bread that they bake.

    Im going to make some assertions here. Ill start simple to make my point.

    If you work in the mining industry and dont acknowledge reality of manipulated prices DOWN, due to naked shorting among other things, you should be held fully accountable to the fullest extent of the peoples law. Ignorance and the belief that someone has told you the correct method of calculating actual cash cost, is no excuse. Just like Nazi hierarchy (National SOCIALISTS), these front line defenders of nonsense, will be the bag holders while their bosses and masters run away. Especially the publicly listed primary silver miners, they have a fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders. It would be a far stretch to claim ignorance when it is plain to see that 180 BILLION ounces are sold between the COMEX and LBMA annually. Anyone in the industry knows that that amount of silver doesn’t exist, if they dont know that they shouldn’t be working there.

    If I had a product thats price was being set by naked shorts and I continued to participate in selling on that market, i would be complicit in defrauding investors, go out of business, or both and would be punished accordingly. Miners wouldn’t Self Immolate to manage the fiduciary of the investors, they would do it to be compliant with the central banks (AKA FASCISM). Im not even going to go into the subsidies provided from other base metals to drive precious metals prices lower..See Aluminum and Lead.

    Miners are Self Immolating to supply a market that is not in their best financial interest, or their fiduciary’s interest. Begging the question WHY? That is unless there’s some other incentive for principals of these companies. Thats illegal too. I cant think of any other reason that a producer would sell at a manipulated price. Eric Sprott pleaded with primary silver miners to withhold/sandbag production for just this reason. It would expose true price discovery and reveal the ponzi for what it is. The most commonly used excuse as to why they decline, was that they “couldn’t afford to carry till the market realized true price discovery”. How is this so when they are producing at 5-7$ an ounce and selling for 16$ or so to a smelter? OR, If they are making all that money and reinvesting it into the mine or their principals pockets..they must include that as their true cash cost…right? Either way it is a lie.

    I am of the opinion that the silver stealers (and others) that you Steve refer to, have infiltrated high up levels of mining. Ill assert that they are behind BARRICK. Barrick is like the Borg for the central bankers assimilating the miners in order to maintain some liquidity in the physical markets, so the ponzi can continue. Again this is messing with free markets, illegal and completely unethical to their shareholders. Goldman Sucks is involved in this mischief as well. Goldman locks in forward sales contracts at a manipulated price, again with miner compliance. Probably used to bribe other banks or central banks/ governments. An enabler of crony markets..kind of like debeers.

    I will assert that this fraud, along with the true cash cost to supply silver and gold is why these miners are in the toilet. Anyone who invests in miners is participating in the fraud and just like voting is giving legitimacy to an illegitimate fiction. I would not trust a penny with any miner.

    Im bitter here..but this deserves a closer look. Its always funny when people correct grammar or punctuation vs your content. Its sissy ass ad hominem.

    GUY

    EDIT Koos broke a story about 193M ounces Silver going to India last year, Go India!

  26. I think the Problem is that to much silver is available.The miners should slow down production.
    Or maybe the primär miner should build a silvercartell and reduce the production.

    Greetings from Germany.

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