(Kitco News) – The voters for Kitco News’ Mining CEO of the Year survey have spoken: 2019 belongs to the year of the silver miners. The top two CEOs in 2019 garnered nearly half of the votes; both were also silver producers, with Keith Neumeyer, CEO of First Majestic Silver taking the crown, followed closely by Eric Fier, CEO of SilverCrest Metals.
The race for the top spot was close this year, with Neumeyer narrowly beating the runner-up, Fier. In third place was Randy Smallwood, CEO of Wheaton Precious Metals. In total, 3,177 ballots were cast, with the top three CEOs accumulating 23.1%, 20.9%, and 6.9% of votes, respectively.
This year, Rob McEwen of McEwen Mining was retired to legacy status as he had already won three times in a row in prior years. The tallies came in as 2019 saw silver lag the gold bullion, a rarity in the history of the metals that have historically seen silver outperform its yellow metal counterpart during periods of bull rallies.
However, silver investors have shown more fervor in the wake of a price rally this year, even more than gold investors, said Brent Cook of Exploration Insights, who remains positive on silver prices.
“Silver attracts a very rabid crowd as opposed to gold, and silver bugs are much more passionate. We’ve seen silver start to move. Everything I see says that gold is set to do well,” Cook told Kitco News on the sidelines of the Vancouver Resource Investment Conference.