Silver Goes Green

Although gold receives most of the attention in the precious metals space, silver is an amazing metal itself.  In addition to being a store of wealth, silver is used in everything from automobiles to alternative energy needs.  Almost all electronics are configured with silver.  However, the smelting process, which involves extracting silver from ores by burning off unwanted minerals and elements such as lead, can raise pollution concerns.  This is an obstacle that Royal Silver Co.  is tackling at the source.  Now, even the most environmentally conscious investor lacks a reason to not invest in silver.

The Royal Silver Co. is a Panama corporation with a wholly-owned subsidiary in Bolivia.  By using only water, oxygen, air products and a catalyst, the company has invented a new technology that processes any complex sulfide silver ore and concentrate with zero-emissions.  According to Brian McConnell, CEO of Royal Silver Co., the new technology will change the way metals are produced in the 21st Century.  “As far as we know, we operate the world’s only zero-emissions, poly-metallic smelter.  Complex sulfide ores go in, pure metals come out, without a molecule of contamination released to the environment.  Our process can be used in other mining districts around the world, which is why we patented the process in the USA.  We have a large-scale plant waiting in the wings here in Bolivia, ready to go into service once we increase our cryogenic oxygen plant capacity.” The new smelter processes three tons per day of high-grade silver concentrates on a pilot scale.

Quality is not sacrificed by zero-emissions.  Royal Silver Co. offers the world’s purest silver rounds, from the only mint on Earth that extracts silver from raw ores without any contamination.  The silver rounds available include the one ounce Macaw and one ounce Andean Cat.  Both metals are .99999 pure silver and depict endangered animals.  In fact, Royal Silver Company donates to help save the Macaw and Andean Cat from extinction.

The operations of the company are all under one roof, from rock to coin, including the zero-emissions smelter, refinery and mint.  McConnell explains, “What people might find interesting is that the pilot plant is located just a few yards from our conference room, inside our main building.  I doubt any other CEO would put a working smelter next to his office, but my point was to show people that our process is absolutely clean.  When we draw back the curtains on the 2nd-floor conference room, overlooking the plant floor, visitors can sip coffee and watch complex sulfide minerals being processed on a fairly important scale, because the ores are so rich.  We take pride in not having a smokestack, not being connected to a sewer or drain, and not having any solid waste requiring disposal.”

While silver is known for being used in jewelry and as monetary safe-haven, it also has a large industrial demand.  According to data from The Silver Institute, industrial silver demand increased from 350 million ounces in 2001 to almost 500 million ounces in 2010.  In the coming years, over 100 million ounces of silver are projected to be used in solar cells, further adding to silver’s green side.

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To contact the reporter on this story: Eric McWhinnie at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

About the Author
Eric McWhinnie

Eric McWhinnie is the chief commodities analyst at Wall St. Cheat Sheet. He has been an analyst at Wall St. Cheat Sheet since early 2010. He has worked at State Street and Waddell & Reed in financial advisory services and is also the editor of Wall St. Cheat Sheet's Gold & Silver Investment Newsletter and Commodities Investment Newsletters.

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