The impact of COVID-19 has, to no one’s surprise, had a devastating effect on the global economy, and the mining sector is no exception. From mine closures to depressed demand, the impact of the coronavirus has been far reaching. But with 2020 having now been officially put to bed, there appears to be at least one silver lining. Literally.
A little-known fact (to those who are not in the mining industry) is that above ground silver is actually rarer than gold. And it appears the metal has just become that much more precious.
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Silver prices have hit an 8-year high after calls to buy the metal on the social media platform, Reddit, sparked a dramatic rise in stock purchases. From Thursday 28 January 2021 to Monday 1 February, the price of silver rose by almost 11% to US$30/oz, the highest price since 2013.1 Mining companies focused in the silver mining sector have clearly benefitted from this spike in silver prices, with shares in some mining firms increasing by up to 60%. This trading frenzy has come on the back of the GameStop phenomenon, whereby amateur investors forced up the games retailer’s stock price by 700%.2
It is yet to be seen how long the price of silver will rise for, with many analysts and traders expecting that the rally will soon run out of steam. Seeing as though the GameStop trading scandal occurred only a week before the sudden rocketing silver prices, I suspect it won’t be long before another trading frenzy is dominating our newsfeeds. It will also be interesting to see how this battle of stocks will impact the silver market in the long-term.
Another silver lining of the coronavirus pandemic is the rapid adoption of technology within the mining industry. Although most companies were implementing digital technologies before the advent of COVID-19, the need for remote working, and a reduction of onsite workers has certainly sped up the process. If you are interested in reading a range of articles focusing on the latest digital innovations being implemented throughout the mining process, from communication to tailings, you are in luck. This issue of Global Mining Review contains a whole host of articles exploring the new digital world, starting with this month’s cover story from Rajant Corp. on p. 15.
The Global Mining Review team has also had to adapt to the current climate, utilising new digital technologies to ensure that workflow is unaffected, despite the current government-enforced lockdown in force in the UK. Come rain, shine, dark clouds, or the silver lined variety, we would like to assure our readers that we will continue to offer a range of innovative opportunities to keep the industry up-to-date with the latest developments in the mining sector. Be sure to follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, and keep your eyes peeled for some exciting announcements coming throughout 2021.
- ‘Analysis: Reddit is coming for silver. A short squeeze? Unlikely,’ Reuters (1 February 2021), www.reuters.com/article/us-retail-trading-silver/analysis-reddit-is-coming-for-silver-a-short-squeeze-unlikely-idUSKBN2A12VG
- ‘GameStop investor battle moves on to silver as prices surge,’ BBC News (1 February 2021), www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-55882758