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12 Mar, 2008 04:00

Silver rush prompts Russia’s Prognoz sell-off

As silver prices continue to soar, Mining major High River Gold has revealed plans to spin off its Prognoz field in Russia, one of the biggest silver-rich deposits in the world.

The price of silver is outperforming gold this year with growth of up to 36%, topping $US 20 dollars an ounce. The dollar’s record tumble is pushing investors to the haven of commodities.

High River Gold has diversified in Russia from its core activity gold into silver, whose price has soared 260% in 6 years, and nickel, up 900%. 

The Prognoz mine near the Mongolian border is one of the world’s last high-grade silver deposits. Its operator will tap this precious metals rush by selling shares in Prognoz.

“Our plan is to spin that out and put both halves into a single vehicle which will be a very attractive project for investors in the next number of months. Prognoz contains 500 million ounces of silver or even higher,” commented Executive Chairman of High River Gold, Don Whalen.

The company knows there are so few accessible mines on stream companies will pay over the odds.

“On Tuesday Nafta Metall admitted it paid ten times the starting price to beat Polyus to the Fedotovskoye goldfield in Siberia. Abramovich buying into Highland Gold confirms a heightened investor interest in Russian precious metals,” said  Evgeny Smirnov, portfolio manager at the Aton investment company.

Analysts admit they would have laughed at $20 an ounce when it was $12 six months ago, but the target talk is now $100, and nobody’s laughing.