At least if the hedge funds were or have been on a sustained attack, a more obvious reason for the magnitude of the sell off would be apparent. S.I. is invisible! That means no short covering pop to fuel a sustained reversal. It has to be driven exclusively by institutional buyers and when they show up is anybody's guess especially IF the averages start correcting.
Just pure unadulterated fear generating sellers based on the realization that no near term inflationary boost to the PMs are going to materialize. Ironically, deflation looks more problematic in the here and now.
I'm looking at them (miners), but I prefer not to be right just "after" I go broke. Fear is contagious!