Every day silver is being incorporated into new uses”
Michael DiRienzo, Executive Director, The Silver Institute
Catch Michael at Mines and Money New York on Day 1 Keynote Address: First look feedback from the World Silver Survey – new uses, industrial demand and supply
Mines and Money: Can you tell us a little bit why the Silver Institute was set up and what’s its goals are?
MR: The Silver Institute was created in 1971 with the same goals essentially that we have today except it focused in the early years on the issuance of technical papers and articles on silver in industry, and academic pieces. Now we work to create programs that create greater silver demand, we issue reports on the market, such as our World Silver Survey and other reports on various aspects of the market. We speak at events, etc., and serve as the voice of the silver industry.
Mines and Money: How does the Silver Institute work with silver mining companies?
MR: Most of the silver mining companies have a representative that sits on our Executive Committee. Usually, it is the CEO.
That Committee serves as the entity that approves proposed budgets, program work, etc. From that Committee we also derive our leadership team, which serves for two years.
Mines and Money: How have industrial uses of silver changed over the last few years?
MR: Literally every day or week silver is being incorporated into new uses, whether it be as an anti-microbial agent in a new product, or in a textile, or in manufacturing. Photography used to be the mainstay of silver industrial demand. No longer. Now we see silver in PV, and it is growing in the automotive sector. As the global economy grows, so does the use of silver.
Mines and Money: What new trends can we expect to see?
MR: Silver’s use in alternative energy sources, including nuclear, will grow. Silver’s use in the automotive industry will also grow. It also appears that silver mine supply is levelling off.
Mines and Money: What are one to three books that have greatly influenced your life?
MR: I remember reading To Kill a Mockingbird as a kid and was mesmerized. I also enjoy political biographies, such as Richard Nixon’s In the Arena: A Memoir of Victory, Defeat, and Renewal.
Mines and Money: What advice would you give to a smart, driven college student about to enter the “real world”? What advice should they ignore?
MR: Always be prepared. If one follows the 5P’s, proper, preparation, prevents, poor, performance, in each task or endeavor you have, you’ll be in a better position for success. Avoid an aggressive social media profile by posting too many political rants. It could come back to haunt you.
Mines and Money: Which person has influenced you the most in your career?
MR: My old boss, Rep. David Dreier (R-CA). He is brilliant and was able to modify his political convictions over time. Never strident, but thoughtful and courteous to his colleagues and those on the other side of the political aisle.