The Wall Street Journal reported December 26 that the surge in the price of silver—up 74% in 2010—is explained by an unexpected increase in investor demand. “This is a story almost entirely about investment,” commented senior metals strategist Stephen Briggs of BNP Paribas. Investors have turned to silver and other commodities in large part due to concern over the threat of inflation. Silver enjoys privileged standing with investors for its being both a precious metal and an industrial commodity.
United Mining Group UMG:CA—which holds an 80% interest in Idaho’s Crescent Silver Mine—has benefitted considerably from the surge. The mine was closed twelve years ago when the price of silver was in the $5 range. Now pushing $30, the Crescent is more than viable. President Greg Stewart observed, “The whole industry is like feast or famine.” The mine is expected to begin production in 2012, with an output of approximately 1 million ounces.