Billionaire Thomas Kaplan: Silver prices can 'absolutely' hit triple digits - Kitco News Exclusive

December 10, 2020

New York (Dec 10)  More than 20 years ago famed investor Thomas Kaplan made his first fortune in silver, buying options and turning that investment into one of the biggest zinc-silver mines in the world.

In an exclusive interview with Kitco News, the CEO of The Electrum Group says that he is now back in silver after going public with a new silver mine in Mexico. Last month Kaplan’s commodity investment fund went public with Gatos Silver (NYSE: GATO, TSX: GATO) with its producing Cerro Los Gatos Mine in Northern Mexico.

"I never really left silver. I just left the public domain. Coming back to silver just essentially means that we are, as it were, coming forward with assets that we have been nurturing for years," he said.

Kaplan said that Gatos Silver raised $170 million in its IPO and was one of the first precious metals companies to be listed directly on the New York Stock Exchange.

Kaplan has a second venture, a company that is developing the historic Sunshine Mine in Idaho, which produced in 100 years more than 360 million ounces of silver. Since buying it in bankruptcy a decade ago, the Electrum Group has managed to increase the mines resource from around 30 million to about 200 million inferred resources, Kaplan said.

"When we acquired it out of bankruptcy over a decade ago, the general zeitgeists was that it was burnt out," he said. "We think we have just scratched the surface. I have no doubt that this mine will produce silver again."

Kaplan said that his long term plan is to take the Sunshine Mine public; however, he added that he is not in any hurry.

"When you have a great project time is always on your side and we have a great project," he said.

Looking at silver prices he remains bullish on the precious metal.

"I always say that silver is gold on steroids and I'm wildly bullish on gold," he said.

Not only does he see silver prices pushing back to its record highs above $50 an ounce, but Kaplan said that there is no reason why the metal can’t get to $100 an ounce, especially as gold prices continue to rally.

"Once silver stabilizes and gold is going up as some monetary metals, silver then starts to follow gold and then it gets octane and it surpasses gold," he said. "That's what happened during the financial crisis and we are starting to see that again."

Not only is silver benefiting as a monetary metal as central banks around the world continue to pump liquidity into financial markets, but Kaplan said that the metal will also benefit as the global economy recovers from the COVID-10 pandemic.

Looking at gold prices Kaplan noted that the precious metal was in a bull market before the world was hit by the coronavirus and he added that it will remain in a bull market after the virus is dealt with.

"All the pandemic has served to do is to make people now understand that the question of money and what is money when clearly it can be printed at will, he said. "The debasement of currencies is obviously very, very bullish for gold."


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