The Perth Mint, producer of about 6 percent of the world's gold bullion, introduced a web-based service last year enabling Australian customers to buy gold and silver. A new silver-coin press was commissioned in April and the operations are running at full capacity to keep up with demand, Currie said.
Silver sales have also surged in the world's largest economy. Sales of American Eagle silver coins climbed 30 percent to 3.65 million in May, taking the total for the year so far to 18.9 million ounces, the mint's website shows.
Demand for gold from the Perth Mint, which is controlled by the Western Australian government, has risen in the past 12 months, Currie said. Sales of 1-ounce gold coins in the year to June 30 will be close to matching the record of 415,115 ounces set two years ago. The mint processes all the gold mined in Australia as well as imports of scrap from overseas.
"The gold price is high but it's not moving a great deal, so it's not bringing new people into the market," Currie said.
"The institutional buyers and the big banks have slowed, but the mums and dads are still buying," he said.
Eoin Treacy's view Silver prices accelerated towards the
psychological $50 in April and subsequently fell to the region of $33 in 5 sessions.
Prices have stabilized since and a process of support building appears to be
underway. Most silver shares pulled back sharply in sympathy with the silver
price. The threat of nationalization in Bolivia and more recently in Peru has
also offered a headwind for the sector. (Also see Comment of the Day on April
First Majestic Silver Corp, Fortuna Silver Mines and Endeavour Silver pulled back sharply but held their respective progressions of higher reaction lows and found at least short-term support in the region of their 200-day MAs this week. They will need to break the short-term progressions of lower rally highs to confirm a return to medium-term demand dominance but the potential for an additional technical rally has increased. Silver Standard Resources has underperformed these shares but has, so far, held its progression of higher reaction lows and also found at least short term support yesterday.
Fresnillo hit a medium-term peak in December and has found support near 1270p on successive occasions since January. It rallied from that area again yesterday and a sustained move below it would be required to question the consistency of the medium-term uptrend.
Silver Wheaton fell to test the January low near $30 and remains within the region of the 200-day MA. Yesterday's upward dynamic suggests that at least short-term support has been found and a sustained move below $30 would be required to question this hypothesis. Coeur d'Alene Mines Corp has a similar pattern.
Silvercorp Metals has pulled back by almost 50% since early April and broke its medium-term progression of higher reaction lows in the process. Yesterday's upward dynamic raises the potential for at least a relief rally. A clear downward dynamic would be required to check potential for some additional upside in the short term. Prices will have to find support above the $8 area on a subsequent pullback to indicate a return to medium-term demand dominance. Pan American Silver and Hecla Mining have similar patterns.