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iShares Silver Trust Message Board

  • livestrong1003 livestrong1003 Nov 1, 2013 11:59 PM Flag

    The inflection point for silver may be near

    According to the silver institute, annual mined silver is .8 billion ounces per year.
    According to the debt clock 17.9 billion ounces are left in the ground.
    The total amount of silver ever mined is 45 billion ounces.

    Since we are past peak of silver production around the world and much closer to the end point of feasible to mine silver, it seems reasonable that the inflection point of demand vs. price may be closer than most realize.

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    • By my calculations the amount of silver left in the ground you quoted is off by a factor of 365547200000X based on a silver content of 0.08 ppm in the earths crust, so your peak silver theory is completely wrong, just as peak oil was just around the corner in the 1970's.

    • I would take the numbers from that website with a grain of salt. While I was able to find independent verification of some of the numbers, there were others that seemed questionable. For example, the number of .8 billion ounces for production for silver from the Silver Institute is consistent with the debt clock site's estimate. Similarly, the estimate for lithium reserves was close to numbers that I found from other sources.

      However, the estimated reserves for iron (for example) were off by a significant percentage as compared to numbers that I found from other reliable sources, such as the U.S. Geological Survey. Despite the difference, it was still well within an order of magnitude.

      Let's assume for the sake of argument that they are accurate to within an order of magnitude. That makes you argument regarding peak production viable.

      That leaves at least one other question open, though.

      And that question is: what exactly is meant by reserves? Do it mean economically recoverable reserves? Because economically recoverable reserves can change as the price of a commodity goes up or down.

      Estimated oil reserves were a lot less before the higher price of oil justified the use of techniques, such as fracking, that made previously uneconomical sources of oil viable, and eligible to be included in reserves.

      The same may be true of other commodities. You used the phrase "feasible to mine silver" in your own post. As the inflection point for silver (or any commodity) is approached, the economically available reserves will very likely increase, as sources that were not previously considered economically viable are added to reserves.

      This still implies a higher price for the commodity, but it also implies that the rate of increase in price will moderate somewhat when the price of the commodity reaches a level at which more sophisticated extraction technologies become economically feasible.

      • 1 Reply to just_me_over_here_again
      • I believe the reserve for silver is meant to be feasible to mine and the non-feasible, with the feasible reserve to be about 7 years remaining according to a few articles. This is why silver is said to be the first element that will go extinct in feasible to mine terms. Since we are well past peak production the decline in silver reserve becomes more apparent each year. When that realization becomes reality, then the demand will send prices much higher.
        The calls for silver in the teens or single digits is absurd. We can dream for better prices, but don't count on it. It will be continued to be hoarded as by investors and manufacturers. The next 2 years should be exciting for silver.

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