Coeur CEO sees $1,500/oz gold, mid-$40s/oz silver

NEW YORK Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:17pm EDT

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The head of U.S. silver miner Coeur d'Alene Mines Corp (CDE.N) CDM.TO said on Thursday that he "would not be surprised" if silver prices reached the mid-$40s per ounce and gold prices rose to $1,500 to $1,600 an ounce this year.

In an exclusive interview at the Reuters Mining and Steel Summit, Coeur Chief Executive Dennis Wheeler said heightened uncertainty in the world due to geopolitical turmoil and natural disasters, has increased demand for gold and silver as investment vehicles, and will continue to push prices higher.

On Thursday, gold set a record high at $1,447.40 an ounce and silver soared to $38.13 an ounce, its highest price since January 1980, as investors sought a haven from Middle East violence and growing chances of emergency funding for Portugal's government.

(Reporting by Carole Vaporean; editing by Rob Wilson)

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