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Silver News: A New Administrator for the LBMA Silver Price Auction; Technological Breakthroughs

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The London Bullion Market Association recently chose a new administrator for its silver price auction, and scientists have discovered a variety of rice that accumulates and stores naturally occurring silver in the soil.

The Silver Institute covers these stories, and highlights several other technological innovations involving silver, in its latest issue of Silver News.

ICE Benchmark Administration will begin administering the silver benchmark and operating the auction underlying the London Bullion Market Association Silver Price in late September. IBA replaces a joint effort by CME Group and Thomson Reuters. IBA currently operates the London Gold Price benchmark.

The decision by the LBMA membership reflects our commitment and investment in making the LBMA Gold Price IOSCO [International Organisation of Securities Commissions] compliant over the last two years. Our centrally cleared model has already enabled broader participation and we continue to expand the gold auction. We anticipate this will support expanded participation in silver as well. We are excited to build on our work with the LBMA to ensure strong governance and the evolution of these important benchmarks.”

The benchmark is used by silver producers and consumers globally to price contracts.

The latest issue of Silver News also features some fascinating technological developments related to silver.

  • A strain of rice efficiently accumulates silver naturally occurring in the soil, according to Indian researchers. The rice variety known as Garib-sal, originates in West Bengali. Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) say the rice can collect 17 milligrams of silver per kilogram of the plant’s weight. Even when the soil contained only 0.15 mg per kg, this type of rice was able to accumulate unusually high levels of silver.
  • Scientists at the Max-Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart, Germany, and the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC), in Barcelona, have developed ‘microbots’ using silver nanoparticles. These tiny waterborne robots attack life threatening bacteria as they swim through a contaminated water supply.
  • Producing complex-shaped silver nanostructures for use in sensitive chemical sensors usually requires toxic or corrosive chemicals to help force a particular shape. But recently, scientists have learned how to use a section of banana plant to synthesize these structures, eliminating the need for dangerous compounds.
  • Hoping to stamp out ‘yogaroma’ – the accumulated odor from yoga mats – Blank Yoga has produced what it boasts is “the first antimicrobial silver infused yoga mat that doesn’t stink no matter how intense you practice.”
  • By coating silver-silica nanoparticles with an antibiotic, Brazilian scientists have found a more powerful way to kill drug-resistant bacteria.

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