I found it very interesting that $500,000 in gold was found in this insured silver. I remember discussions of possible gold recovered from the unrefined silver. I was under the impression that the unrefined silver was likely to be the uninsured silver, if any is found. I am looking forward to what this summer brings
Although I have read suggestions of using some of the silver to make some themed coins, that has not been the subject of this thread. It is an interesting concept, and may make some sense on a small scale, but I have not suggested that they should. In fact, I have not suggested that they should keep any of the silver. The subject of this thread was the notion that OME would wait until the price of silver rises before recovering it. Guardian's position is that it is not possible for OME to keep it based on the agreement, however the use of the word "retain" in the agreement suggest that OME will be responsible for not only contracting with the refiner, but also the sale of the silver. The electronic transfer that will complete the agreement seems to be a deposit to the account of the British government. Although I believe it is possible to keep some of the silver for sale at better prices, I think they should sell the vast majority of it to repay debt and establish a working balance for future expenses.
I am not sure that OME will ever want to keep any of it, the point I was making is that if they wanted to they could. As you say the silver is sovereign property of GB, but their agreement with OME requires them to compensate OME 80% of the net salvaged value. I suppose it is possible that the government may choose to keep the silver and borrow money to pay OME for it's share. However OME did not just hand the silver to British officials, OME contracted with a company to refine it. The use of the word "retain" in the agreement seems to indicate that OME is responsible for the disposition of the silver. This disposition must pass the scrutiny of government auditors, but there is no reason to believe that the British would object to OME retaining silver if they chose to do so. BTW, how would the British government remit the required 80%? The option would be British Pounds, U.S. dollars, gold, or SILVER. There is history of governments transferring silver for monetary transactions, that's how it ended up on the ocean floor.
1.Continue to have (something); keep possession of: "the house retains many original features".
2.Not abolish, discard, or alter.
As you say, they retain 80%, no mention is made of how they must retain it. GB does not pay them for their services. If OME chooses they could sell enough to cover the cost of salvage and refinement then split the silver and turn over the 20% due to GB in the manner requested by the government. (hard silver or the funds received for selling that 20%)
How they choose to liquidate their 80% is of no concern to GB.
I believe the contracts with England are time limited. Booking the Sea Bed Worker is not just a matter of picking up the phone when the prices are right. Salvage will proceed, If they choose to wait for better prices, they will wait with the silver on land.