Jun 01, 2022 (Financial News Media via COMTEX) -- �??�??FN Media Group Presents Microsmallcap.com Market Commentary
New York, NY - June 1, 2022 – Global demand surged 19% to 1.05 billion ounces in 2021, hitting a 6-year high, and is expected to continue its upward trajectory. According to the Silver Institute's World Silver Survey 2022, demand for silver could reach a record high of 1.112 billion ounces in 2022. Despite recent drops, both silver demand and silver price are expected to remain well-supported through 2022, as inflation concerns are at the top of mind for many investors. Silver mining companies, particularly such as Pan American Silver Corp /zigman2/quotes/203902529/composite PAAS -0.34% /zigman2/quotes/207971706/delayed CA:PAAS -0.21% , First Majestic Silver Corp /zigman2/quotes/202373250/composite AG +0.32% /zigman2/quotes/208397453/delayed CA:FR +0.71% , Hecla Mining Company /zigman2/quotes/201669377/composite HL +2.69% , Even the big gold miners, like Barrick Gold and Newmont Corp. /zigman2/quotes/205356474/composite NEM +0.21% /zigman2/quotes/211552405/delayed CA:NGT +0.43% and exploration companies going into development, like New Pacific Metals Corp /zigman2/quotes/200639686/delayed CA:NUAG +3.05% (nyseamerican:NEWP) will benefit from the increased demand for silver.
New Pacific Metals Corp /zigman2/quotes/200639686/delayed CA:NUAG +3.05% /zigman2/quotes/207006835/composite NEWP +2.27% is a Canadian exploration and development company with three precious metal projects in Bolivia. The company is focused on progressing the development of its flagship Silver Sand Project is waiting for a new Mineral Resource Estimate Update and a PEA by the end of this year. Recently discovered Carangas silver-gold project is undergoing a 40,000 m drill program. The third project, the Silverstrike silver-gold project , will commence an initial test drilling in June 2022.
On May 31, New Pacific Metals announced the assay results of additional 20 holes from the 2022 drill programs at the Silver Sand Project as part of its 15,000 metres (m) resource infill and step-out drilling for a mineral resource estimate update. So far in 2022, an expanded program of total 21,309m in 94 holes have been completed, with assay results for the remaining 59 drill holes pending.
Highlights from the most recent assays include an interval of 60.48 m grading 236 grams per tonne (g/t) silver (Ag) from 82.10m to 142.58m, including 6.45m grading 1,423 g/t Ag from 103.25m to 109.7m and n interval of 133.63m grading 91 g/t Ag from 23.0m to 156.63m, including 8.83m grading 296 g/t Ag from 56.92m to 65.75m, and 22.56m grading 246 g/t Ag from 90.0m to 112.56m.
Earlier this year, New Pacific Metals announced assay results from the 2021-2022 drilling programs at Silver Sand. Drilling programs for 2021 include structural orientation drilling, step-out and infill drilling as well as exploration drilling. Assay results from all drill holes completed in 2021 have been received, as well as 13 of 48 holes in 10,520m completed to date in 2022. Highlights from the assay results include drill hole DSS529001 intersecting an 86.03m interval grading 229 gram g/t Ag from 37.90m to 123.93m, including 15.35m grading 734 g/t Ag from 37.90m to 53.25m and drill hole DSS507513 intersecting an interval of 39.60m grading 225 g/t Ag from 56.70 m to 96.30m, including 11.84m grading 434 g/t Ag from 84.46m to 96.30m.
The 2022 drill programs in 2022, which started in late January, have progressed well and on schedule. To date, 21,309m have been completed in 94 holes, expanding the budgeted 15,000m announced by New Pacific Metals early this year. Most of the drilling completed to date in 2022 is in the core area of Silver Sand, totaling 19,424m in 87 holes, including resource infill drilling to improve the confidence in the continuity of mineralization and step-out drilling to test the extension of the major mineralized zones up and down dip as well as on strike.
New Pacific Metals will be including the results of the infill and step-out drilling in the mineral resource update of Silver Sand, which is expected to be completed in the second half of the year and will be incorporated into the Preliminary Economic Assessment, which is due by the end of 2022.
New Pacific Metals has also continued to see positive results from its Carangas Silver-Gold Project. On May 17, the company and its local Bolivian partner announced the assay results of the last ten drill holes from the 2021 discovery drill program at Carangas. Assay results of all 35 holes drilled in 2021 have now been received and released. Highlights from the last ten holes include Hole DCAr0031 intersecting 595.7 m (from 161.55m to 757.25m) grading 1.25 grams per tonne (g/t) gold (Au) and 7 g/t silver (Ag), including 98.9 m (from 457.3m to 556.2m) grading 2.58 g/t Au, 6 g/t Ag and 42.11m grading 3.51 g/t Au, 2 g/t Ag and 0.1% copper (Cu) (from 711.0m to 753.11m). This broad gold zone occurs beneath a silver horizon of 41.63 m grading 41 g/t Ag, 1% lead (Pb) and 1.72% zinc (Zn) from 62.37m to 104m.
Drilling is underway on the 2022 drilling program of up to an additional 40,000m, with four drill rigs turning at Carangas. So far, approximately 10,000 m have been completed in 15 holes. Assay results of 15 drill holes completed in 2022 are pending.
Mining Companies Provide Updates on Exploration Programs
Pan American Silver Corp /zigman2/quotes/203902529/composite PAAS -0.34% /zigman2/quotes/207971706/delayed CA:PAAS -0.21% recently provided exploration drilling results for 43 new infill and exploration holes at the La Colorada Skarn. The holes, which contain multiple skarn and breccia intercepts, are totalling 38,460 meters. Christopher Emerson, Pan American‘s Vice President Business Development and Geology, said that over 100,000 meters have been drilled on the skarn since the last resource estimate dated August 4, 2020, and the program continues with 14 rigs. The results of this program will be included in an updated resource estimate that the company plans to release in the third quarter of 2022. On May 11, Pan American released unaudited financial results for Q1 2022. Revenue was $439.9 million in the quarter, while net income amounted to $76.8 million. The miner produced 4.6 million ounces of silver and 131 thousand ounces of gold.
First Majestic Silver Corp /zigman2/quotes/202373250/composite AG +0.32% /zigman2/quotes/208397453/delayed CA:FR +0.71% announced on April 18 that total production in the first quarter of 2022 from the company’s four producing operations, the San Dimas silver/gold mine, the Jerritt Canyon gold mine, the Santa silver/gold mine Elena and the La Encantada silver mine, reached 7.2 million silver equivalent ounces consisting of 2.6 million ounces of silver and 58,892 ounces of gold. In 2021, First Majestic completed a record exploration program totaling 227,845 meters of drilling on its operating mineral properties, representing a 46% increase in meters drilled from the prior year.
Hecla Mining Company /zigman2/quotes/201669377/composite HL +2.69% announced on May 10 its financial and operating results for the first quarter of 2022. Silver production came in at 3.3 million ounces, an increase of 3% compared to Q4 2021. Gold production declined 13% to 41,642 ounces. The company’s silver mines reported total cost of sales of $78.9 million and cash cost and CAIS per silver ounce (each after by-product credits) of $1.09 and $7.64 respectively. Sales were $186.5 million, a slight increase from the fourth quarter of 2021. Income applicable to common shareholders was $4 million ($0.01 per share). Over the past eight quarters, Hecla Mining generated $434 million of operating cash flow and this quarter marked its eighth consecutive quarter of free cash flow, with $232 million generated during this period.
In February, Newmont Corp. /zigman2/quotes/205356474/composite NEM +0.21% /zigman2/quotes/211552405/delayed CA:NGT +0.43% reported gold mineral reserves of 92.8 million attributable ounces for 2021, compared to 94.2 million ounces at the end of 2020. The company also reported a decrease in silver reserves from 613 million ounces to 568 million ounces in the prior year, mainly due to depletion at Penasquito. Silver resources also decreased to from 482 million ounces to 422 million ounces of Measured & Indicated and from 204 million ounces down to 163 million ounces of Inferred, due to design updates at Penasquito.