Mint hits ‘pause’ on accepting scrap silver

Decision creates stress for dealers, says CAND president

By Mike Walsh

The Royal Canadian Mint (RCM)’s decision to “pause” accepting scrap silver for refining has the Canadian Association of Numismatic Dealers (CAND) concerned about the potential financial hardship on dealers and collectors.

“It’s going to pose some waves through the industry because the Mint was very quick in processing scrap silver shipments and coming up with a silver assay, by which they would know how many fine ounces of silver they would pay out against, and they would do it in three to five days, which is fairly quick, especially for a large shipment,” explains CAND president Michael Findlay.

With the pause starting July 1, dealers may have to wait weeks for payment and possibly receive fewer funds due to exchange rates, customs and shipping if they are forced to use refineries in the United States.

Alex Reeves, the RCM’s senior manager of public affairs, explains the reason behind the decision.

“We have recently faced a doubling in the volume of scrap silver deposits that our current capacity cannot fully absorb,” he says. “We have therefore taken the decision to pause our scrap silver clients while we process our silver backlogs.”

Scrap silver, he adds, “is reclaimed silver in various forms: it can be coins, silverware, jewelry, industrial scrap, et cetera.”

However, gold or silver mining companies will not be affected by the pause.

“There is no interruption to refining services for any of our gold or silver mining clients, or any gold recycling clients,” says Reeves. “Their deposits continue to be accepted and processed as usual.”

The pause is expected to last up to six months.

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