From Silver Spoons to silver linings, and silver medals to silver anniversaries, the insertion of "silver" before any word carries precious connotations. It's no surprise, then, that silver streams offer such a compelling long-term investment.
Given the frequency with which annoying hiccups like mine development delays and cost overruns can wreak havoc upon the unsuspecting precious-metals investor, Silver Wheaton's
Returning to profitability after a $65 million hemorrhage of investment revaluation in the fourth quarter, Silver Wheaton has only grown stronger during this prolonged correction in precious metal prices. The company has paid down debt and is poised for further dealmaking with an untapped $400 revolving credit facility. Despite a 31% reduction in realized sales prices for silver compared to the first quarter of 2008, Silver Wheaton's stable all-in cost of production below $6 per ounce of silver positions the company extremely well for a silver price recovery just as production ramps up further during 2009.
Thanks to anticipated commercial production from Goldcorp's Penasquito mine, Silver Wheaton expects to "produce" (purchase, really) 15 million to 17 million ounces of silver in 2009. That's a hefty stash of bullion, but still short of the expected 2009 volumes from miners like Pan American Silver
As silver finally found support near $9 per ounce late last year, the silver miners carved a convincing reversal that saw battered names like Coeur d'Alene Mines and Hecla Mining
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Fool contributor Christopher Barker carries a silver coin which reads: "Honest value never fails." He can be found blogging actively and acting Foolishly within the CAPS community under the username TMFSinchiruna. He owns shares of Agnico-Eagle Mines, BHP Billiton, Coeur d'Alene Mines, Hecla Mining, Pan American Silver, Silverstone Resources, and Silver Wheaton. The Motley Fool's disclosure policy is 0.999 pure.