Global Precious Metals MMI®: Palladium Down As South African Strike Eases

Platinum and palladium prices posted the steepest losses in months on Monday after companies that mine the metals took a step toward ending a worker strike in South Africa, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Platinum for July delivery, the most active contract, fell 2%, the biggest one-day percentage loss since Jan. 24, a day after the strike began. The contract ended down $28 at $1,400.70 a troy ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest price in nearly a month.

The week’s biggest mover on the weekly Global Precious Metals MMI® was the price of US platinum bar, which saw a 3.9 percent decline over the week to $1,408 per ounce. This comes on the heels of a 1.5 percent increase the week before. Following a 1.3 percent increase in the week prior, the price of Chinese platinum bar fell 3.2 percent last week to CNY 301.00 ($48.32) per gram. The price of Japanese platinum bar fell 3.0 percent to JPY 4,635 ($45.19) per gram after rising 0.4 percent the week before.

* Get the complete prices every day on the MetalMiner IndX℠

Following a 3.9 percent increase in the week prior, the price of Chinese palladium bar fell 2.7 percent last week to CNY 181.00 ($29.05) per gram. The price of US palladium bar fell 2.0 percent to $794.00 per ounce after rising 3.1 percent the week before. Following a 0.2 percent increase, Japanese palladium bar finished the week at JPY 2,640 ($25.74) per gram.

Following a 0.5 percent increase in the week prior, the price of Indian gold bullion fell 3.1 percent last week to INR 27,878 ($462.21) per 10 grams. The price of Chinese gold bullion fell 2.8 percent to CNY 257.50 ($41.33) per gram after rising 3.3 percent the week before. Following a 2.0 percent increase in the week prior, the price of US gold bullion fell 2.0 percent last week to $1,302 per ounce. The price of Japanese gold bullion fell 1.8 percent to JPY 4,253 ($41.46) per gram after rising 0.4 percent the week before.

Following a 1.2 percent increase in the week prior, the price of Chinese silver fell 3.1 percent last week to CNY 4,025 ($646.10) per kilogram. The price of US silver fell 1.8 percent to $19.65 per ounce after rising 0.2 percent the week before. The price of Japanese silver fell 1.7 percent over the past week to JPY 641.00 ($6.25) per 10 grams. This was the third week in a row of declining prices. Indian silver prices held steady from the previous week at INR 43,504 ($721.28) per kilogram.

The Global Precious Metals MMI® collects and weights 14 global precious metal price points to provide a unique view into precious metal price trends. For more information on the Global Precious Metals MMI®, how it’s calculated or how your company can use the index, please drop us a note at:

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Is This the Best Contrarian Strategy for Precious Metals Investors?

Often, the word “contrarian” equates to investors attempting to catch a falling knife. You don’t need to look like a used butcher’s block for contrarian strategies to pay off in the long run, however. 

Recently, the precious metals markets have been consolidating following a severe decline from all-time highs. If you believe that they will someday regain popularity following another economic decline, political debacle, above average inflation, or other crisis, however, then join the club.

Numerous catalysts for a spike in precious metals exist, and Silver Wheaton  (NYSE: SLW  )  looks well positioned to capitalize in both the gold and silver markets. Its business model provides for known costs with limited downside while allowing for upside potential based on precious metal prices increases.

This is done by upfront payments to mine operators, guaranteeing Silver Wheaton a percentage of mine output to be purchased at a predesignated price (typically around $4/oz for silver and $400/oz for gold). About 25% of the company’s revenue comes from gold and 75% comes from silver.

Known costs with leveraged upside based on silver and gold price increases makes this a top contrarian selection in this sector. The business model insulates it from the operational cost troubles that have plagued miners such as IAMGOLD (NYSE: IAG  ) , where harder rock and decreasing yields have taken their toll on profit margins.

While other producers such as Barrick Gold (NYSE: ABX  ) have been able to keep costs under control, it has often been at the expense of foregoing expansions and liquidating interests in less productive yet often profitable mines. That strategy has a limited life span.

The biggest disadvantage that producers like IAMGOLD and Barrick Gold face, compared to SIlver Wheaton’s business model, is having to comply with constantly changing regulations on a global scale. These range from labor disputes, environmental compliance issues, health and safety regulations, taxation, permits and licensing, and civil/political disturbances. That’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the challenges of operating a large-scale mine that needs access to power, water, and infrastructure as well.

The beauty of Silver Wheaton is letting the producers figure out these issues. When complications arise, as they did recently when Barrick decided to temporarily suspend construction activities at its Pascua-Lama project following a challenge from a group of local farmers and indigenous communities, there is often a fallback plan. In this case, the amended plan entitles Silver Wheaton to 100% of the silver production from Barrick’s Lagunas Norte, Pierina, and Veladero mines until the end of 2016 – an extension of one year. This is projected to make up the difference in the meantime, unfortunately at Barrick’s expense.

If Silver Wheaton’s own projections come to fruition, the next four years could see some solid growth. The company generates its revenue from the sales volume of silver and gold, and this revenue is projected to increase as more projects come online. According to the company’s 2013 report, its current agreements forecast 2014 production of 36 million silver equivalent ounces, including 155,000 ounces of gold. By 2018, production is anticipated to increase significantly to approximately 48 million silver equivalent ounces, including 250,000 ounces of gold. That’s a 33% increase in silver and 61% in gold.

Final thoughts
When an industry is already facing challenging times, it is best to lessen the unknown. While no contrarian play is without risk, Silver Wheaton helps to curtail that risk though its business model. Its fixed cost structure minimizes potential downside while still allowing investors to participate in leveraged upside based on precious metal price increases. This structure makes Silver Wheaton a superior contrarian play in the gold and silver sector.

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GTSO Recovers Gold, Silver, Other Precious Metals

SAN JOSE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A European smelter found gold, silver and other precious metals in an
initial sample shipment of electronic-waste sent by Green
Technology Solutions Inc. (OTCBB: GTSO) and its partners, GTSO announced

GTSO and partner Chilerecicla are pleased with the smelter’s findings.
Sent as a trial that could potentially lead to more shipments, final
valuation revealed the sample contained 1.3 tons of copper, 5.5
kilograms of silver and 0.5 kilograms of gold.

GTSO and Chilerecicla
are confident the shipment provides proof of concept and is the prelude
to future e-waste transactions with this and other European smelters.

“It is exciting to literally strike gold in our first business
transaction with this smelter,” GTSO CEO Paul Watson said. “We expect
this transaction to be a springboard to future business dealings with
this and other overseas smelters.”

Urban mining is pivotal to GTSO’s vision to compete alongside major
international corporations striving for sustainable waste solutions,
such as Covanta Holding Corporation (NYSE: CVA), Industrial Services of
America (NASDAQ: IDSA) and Sims Metal Management Ltd. (NYSE: SMS). In
2012, GTSO acquired the company Global Cell Buyers and soon after
rebranded the company as Green
Urban Mining
to handle its domestic recycling and resale operations.

About Green Technology Solutions, Inc.

Green Technology Solutions, Inc. is a growth-oriented company exploring
rare earth minerals and precious metals production around the world. To
learn more, please visit

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