(Repeats story originally published Sept. 20 with no changes)
* Most executives see silver above $50/oz within year
* U.S. debt, euro unrest seen as contributors
By Ernest Scheyder
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Sept 20 All that
glitters is not just gold, with prices for silver also expected
to strongly rise within the year due to a worsening economic
Silver XAG=, the second-most popular precious metal, has
historically traded in tandem with gold prices XAU=, and in
the past 12 months its price has more than doubled to roughly
$40 an ounce.
"What we're seeing in prices of silver now is a completely
natural response to the economic malaise," John Smith, chief
executive of Silver Standard Resources (SSO.TO), said on
Tuesday at the Denver Gold Forum, one of the largest gatherings
in the world of mining investors, analysts and executives.
"This is not a sector to rent. This is a sector to hold,"
Smith said. "What we're seeing in the world is not an issue
that going to be solved quickly."
Economic concerns in the United States and Europe, as well
as political unrest in the Middle East, were all cited as
contributors to silver's rise.
Silver is cheaper than gold, has scores of uses that gold
does not -- it is the best metallic conductor of electricity --
and there's about 15 times more of it in the earth's crust than
"I'm very bullish on silver, and I think we'll see it at
$50 (an ounce) within the next six months," said Silver Wheaton
Corp SLW.TOSLW.N CEO Randy Smallwood said.
"I'm very bearish on the U.S. dollar," he added. "As long
as we continue to value silver in terms of U.S. dollars, I see
continued opportunity for silver to keep growing."
Some silver miners are going so far as to link their
dividend payouts to silver's price, mimicking a move by some
Hecla Mining (HL.N) became the latest silver producer to
take such a step on Tuesday, saying that for every $5 increase
in the price of silver it would increase its quarterly dividend
by a penny.
Silver vs. gold ratio: r.reuters.com/cud83s
Precious metal price moves: r.reuters.com/dud83s
Gold prices, also, are expected to jump, with many
executives expecting them to breach $2,200 an ounce from their
current levels around $1,800. [ID:nS1E78I26J]
"So much of what happens to silver happens to gold, and
with gold being such a safe haven there's a crisis of
confidence," said Coeur d'Alene CEO Mitchell Krebs. "Investment
demand is going to continue on the gold side and translate into
the silver side."
Steve Busby, chief operating officer at Pan American Silver
PAA.TO, said a weak euro and dollar are fueling the silver
"I personally believe that the futures of the world hard
currencies looks bleak, and this will continue to drive silver
prices upward," Busby said.
Busby is not alone, with many silver CEOs seeing their
product as a sure defense against whatever comes down the
"When you look at the critical mass that's trying to solve
these issues, it just really highlights the fact that perhaps
there isn't a solution," Silver Wheaton's Smallwood said.
"Maybe the only way you can solve this is devalue your
currency down to the point where people are just losing faith
in fiat currencies."
(Reporting by Ernest Scheyder; Editing by Richard Chang)