Just like in oil, a well has a flow and to buy the well means you get the flow rate and the juice too. So whoever takes a mine private gets the metal flows going to whichever banks they like, it doesn't have to ever come out into the spot market. So you can have the spot market getting thinner and thinner without ever really knowing how or where because it's all these little mines getting their metal redirected to another buyer right at the refinery. Or "we send you the dore but we want the metals refined sent back not the cash". There are going to be new metalflow dynamics coming into play at a new psyche level like $2K gold. The russians wanted the flows from Bema Gold.........you had Battle Mountain bought up by the swiss. Every few years a whole mine gets cobbled up and it's production redirected away off the spot market. It's the end of capitalism if that continues.........because in all pre-negotiated deals what's "free" about it ? Then it can go into international barter with "so many oz for so many quantities of goods shipped, and no reference to price. That's scary as Jonestown in the 1900's. Nice little town you built down there below a dam made of clay.