Precious Metals

This Thanksgiving Holiday, all of us here at MetalMiner would like to share what we’re thankful for this year.

(Mostly) Transparent Markets for the Metals You Buy

While it’s been a great year for buyers, with low commodity prices across the board, we are constantly reminded that prices are only as correct as the information behind them.

Free Sample Report: Our Annual Metal Buying Outlook

This is the first full year for the new LBMA gold and silver prices. More open and transparent processes for precious metal prices can only help purchasers in the long run by giving them more information about what goes into the prices they are quoted. We are thankful for market transparency in all its forms.

Happy Thanksgiving from MetalMiner!

Happy Thanksgiving from everyone here at MetalMiner!

That’s why our own MetalMiner IndX is updated daily with over 600 price points from domestic and multiple international markets. We’re always happy to add more open and transparent price points. Read more

Switzerland will investigate precious metals price collusion and Horizonte Metals is the first buyer in Glencore‘s mining assets sell-off.

WEKO Wants Precious Probe

Switzerland’s WEKO, a government watchdog group, said on Monday it had opened an investigation into possible manipulation of the precious metals market by several major banks. Its investigation, the result of a preliminary probe, was looking at possible collusion of bid/ask spreads in precious metals markets by UBS, Julius Baer, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Barclays, Morgan Stanley and Mitsui.

Free Sample Report: Our Monthly Metal Buying Outlook

The move comes a month after press reports that the European Union’s competition regulator was investigating anti-competitive behavior in precious metals spot trading, and follows news of a US probe by the Department of Justice and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission earlier this year.

Horizonte Buys Glencore Nickel Mine

Horizonte Minerals said on Monday it has bought Glencore’s Araguaia nickel project in Brazil for $8 million.

Free Download: Latest Metal Price Trends in the September MMI Report

“This is a game-changing transaction for Horizonte. We have been able to negotiate a unique transaction leveraging the current depressed commodity markets,” Horizonte CEO Jeremy Martin said in a statement.

Gold and silver are heading into a risky zone. Both precious metals have fallen for the past four years but it looks like more declines might be around the corner.

Gold since 2014

LBMA gold since 2014. Graph: MetalMiner.

Gold tried to rally this year but the rally wasn’t sustainable. Gold is now back to $1,150 an ounce and seems ready to hit another multi-year low. Despite all the global economic uncertainty, “gold’s safe heaven thesis” is not really playing out.

Free Download: July Metal Price Forecast

A strong dollar and bearishness across commodities are what’s really driving gold prices down.

Silver since 2014

Silver since 2014. Graph: MetalMiner.

Not surprisingly, silver is following the same pattern as the same price drivers are applying. Indeed, silver is already hitting a multi-year low. Interestingly, the same thing happened last year when silver fell and then gold followed.

What This Means For Metal Buyers

The outlook remains bearish not only for base metals but also for precious metals. Gold and silver are approaching key support levels and if they are not able to hold, we could see prices sinking. The buying strategy to take on gold and silver is pretty clear: don’t buy on weakness.

Free Download: Latest Metal Price Trends in the July MMI Report

Precious metals keep falling. We pointed out in October that the outlook for the precious basket of metals was bearish and that palladium was the only one holding its value. Today, the picture looks even more bearish.

Free Download: Cut Your Palladium Shipping Costs

Gold and silver are near their lowest levels, platinum recently made a 5-year low and palladium, the only metal that was showing some hope is now falling and marking a 1-year low.

Palladium price since 2012

CME Group palladium price since 2012. Source: MetalMiner

Although last year we were bullish on Palladium, the picture is starting to look like a downward trend. The precious metal is now breaking a key support level after hitting deeper lows. This indicates that selling pressure is increasing as the metal declines, and its lower high points are a sign that there is diminishing buying pressure during those upward bounces. Read more

I would like to report the culprits in India’s biggest gold smuggling case were carried off the plane with a hernia after trying to get their carry-on bag into the overhead locker, or that the wheels dropped off the carry-on as they left the arrivals hall but the reality is the single biggest seizure of smuggled gold in India was a simple tip off.

FREE Download: The Monthly MMI® Report – covering the Precious markets.

But what a tip off, according to the India Business Standard the Special Operation Group of the Ahmedabad City Police seized 60 kilograms of the yellow metal worth an estimated $2.35 million at the Sardar Patel International Airport. Six individuals were arrested including three who had flown in from Dubai on an Emirates Airlines flight and three that met them on arrival and helped load the heavy cases into a car.

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Gold closed last week at $1,280/oz. That’s a 4-month high.

CME Gold price since 2013

CME Gold price since 2013. Source: MetalMiner.

The yellow metal is bouncing off November’s lows and it’s doing so in good trading volume. Increasing trading volume indicates a stronger appetite for the metal, giving more credibility to the move.

FREE Download: The Monthly MMI® Report – covering the Precious markets.

Gold is rising while weakness is developing in foreign markets. The move coincided with the enormous swiss franc spike. While gold’s move seems encouraging, we need to remember that commodities are getting hit and that the dollar keeps making new highs. Both of these developments are negatives for gold.

Gold remains in its downtrend, and the rise could be nothing but bargain hunting. To determine that, we’ll have to wait and see if gold is capable of reaching more significant levels. $1,400/oz will be a level to watch. Meanwhile, the best choice is to stay with the trend.

On Wednesday we broke down commodities in different sectors and saw how precious is within the weak sectors, falling over 8% in a year.

FREE Download: The Monthly MMI® Report – covering the Precious markets.

As commodities keep falling and the US Dollar keeps rising, the recent lack of investor appetite for precious metals doesn’t come as a surprise. Here is a quick visual breakdown of the significant weakness happening in the precious metals group, starting with the weakest of them: Silver.

Silver since 2012

Silver since 2012, chart courtesy of

Silver recently fell to its lowest level since 2010. The metal continues making new lows without showing any sign of strength. In October, the metal was trying to rally in low volume, which makes us wonder how long this rally will last (probably not too long). Silver is down 14% this year. Read more

Both gold and silver are staying in bearish territory and diving to their lowest levels in years due to the recent upturn of the US Dollar.

FREE Download: The Monthly MMI® Report – covering the Precious markets.

Even before the dollar turned around, we already warned readers about silver and gold in April:

“The direction that the US dollar takes through the rest of the year might determine where these two precious metals head in 2014. The dollar breaking down to lower levels will help gold and silver turn upward. However, we see the dollar more likely to go higher, having a depressing effect on gold and silver prices.”

Finally, on the first week of August, enough signals were given by the dollar to expect these two precious metal to get hit.

CME Silver Price Since 2012

CME Silver Price Since 2012

Today, silver is very close to a four-year low. Silver was trading sideways earlier this year, building support as the dollar weakened. Now that the dollar is strong again, silver is diving into its support level, and unless the dollar weakens, the arrow is pointing down for silver.

CME Gold Price Since 2012

CME Gold Price Since 2012

The picture looks similar for gold. The metal is near a key support level that, if broken, could signal a significant move downward. Read more

Coeur Mining is the largest US-based primary silver producer and a growing producer of gold, with mines from Alaska to Bolivia. When it came time to replace the 100+year-old London silver fix over the last year, Coeur Mining was actively involved in the industry conversation. The London Bullion Market Association took the lead on the consultation process that would eventually replace the silver fix.

FREE Download: The Monthly MMI® Report – covering the Precious markets.

“Since the LBMA mainly includes banks and some refiners, we felt strongly that we needed to be as vocal as possible, as a producer and miner, to make sure our needs were met,” said Courtney Lynn, treasurer of Coeur, who personally participated in the discussions that led the LBMA to pick CME Group’s online trading platform and governance from Thomson-Reuters to make up the new LBMA Silver Price.

“I would say that the LBMA really welcomed our feedback and dialogue,” Lynn said in a recent interview with MetalMiner. “We participated in a seminar back in June where different potential administrators presented proposals for their replacements and I regularly spoke with the LBMA and had calls with the LME, CME and other companies that made proposals. We were vocal in what we wanted and they were receptive and interested in our feedback.”


How is Coeur using the benchmark now?

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We lost a friend here at MetalMiner recently. After making it to an amazing 117-years-old, the London silver fix spat out its last daily price yesterday. His last words were “USD 1,309.25, EUR 980.42 and GBP 780.71 per ounce.”

FREE Download: The Monthly MMI® Report – covering the Precious markets.

He is mourned by his equally aged and not-long-for-this-world friends, the London gold fix and the platinum and palladium fixes. The London Platinum & Palladium Fixing Company Ltd. recently said it will “shortly” start a request-for-proposals exercise for firms interested in assuming responsibility for their daily price fixes. The poorly named “fix” is a process by which the day’s starting price for precious metals are derived. The gold fix was started at the same time, and much the same way, as our pal, the Silver Fix, with origins in the coffee shops of London where a relatively small number of traders got together to agree on the starting daily market prices.

The loss of our fixies is a sign of the times, in that US investors and traders have become as litigious as a woman with hot coffee at a McDonald’s drive-thru, filing almost 20 antitrust lawsuits against the five banks involved in the London gold fix, and accusing them of colluding to manipulate the bullion price like some sort of modern day Jim Fisk. As a result, one of them, Deutsche Bank, resigned from the gold and silver fix tables back in May, setting up their eventual demise.

Traders in London

These hands are now tiny electronic hands in the new, auction-style London silver fix.

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