Southern Silver Exploration (TSXV:SSV) began the week on a high note with the release of a resource estimate for its Mexico-based Cerro Las Minitas project.

The estimate covers project’s Blind, El Sol and Santo Nino zones, which the company has been exploring since 2011. The base-case scenario, which uses a cut off of 150 g/t silver equivalent, points to an indicated resource of 3.7 kilotonnes containing 36.5 million silver equivalent ounces; meanwhile, the inferred resource stands at 6.6 kilotonnes containing 77.2 million silver equivalent ounces.

According to the company’s release, the indicated resource looks at only the Blind and El Sol zones, while the inferred resource takes those zones as well as the Santo Nino zone into account. Mina La Bocona, a zone recently discovered at Cerro Las Minitas, is not included in either of the estimates.


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Speaking to the Investing News Network, Robert MacDonald, general manager, exploration at Southern Silver, emphasized that “the new mineral resource is quoted at what are effectively today’s prices” — specifically, the cut off of 150 g/t silver equivalent uses average long-term prices of $15 silver, $1,100 gold, $2.75 copper, $0.90 lead and $0.90 zinc.

As he explained, that’s because the company “perceive

[s] a long-term rising commodity market,” particularly for silver, lead and zinc, which are all on upward trajectories. “We believe that Cerro Las Minitas will only benefit from this,” he said.

Of course, while prices for those and other commodities have indeed been on the rise this year, the last few years have been tough, particularly for silver. For Southern Silver President Lawrence Page, the resource estimate for Cerro Las Minitas becomes even more significant in that light.

He said in Monday’s press release, “[w]e have succeeded, during one of the most severe bear markets in recent history, in purchasing the property for a cost of $US 3.6 million, conducted extensive geophysical evaluation and 32,719 metres of diamond drilling, at a cost of $7.5 million resulting in the resource announced today. Significantly, the property is not burdened with royalties thus enhancing the economics of mining and processing.”

Southern Silver’s partner Electrum Global Holdings is part of the reason work has been able to proceed at Cerro Las Minitas these past few years. The company is has an option to earn a 60-percent interest in the project by spending US$5 million over the course of four years — last year, it spent US$2 million on exploration the project, and this year is set to spend US$1.5 million.

In terms of where that US$1.5 million will be directed, Southern Silver’s corporate presentation shows that it will be put toward a Phase II drill program focused on “aggressive expansion of known mineralization to depth and along strike.” Explaining further, Southern Silver’s Jay Oness told the Investing News Network that the program “will focus on the on-strike and depth extensions of the Blond and El Sol deposits, and further delineation of the silver-gold-lead-zinc discovery at Mina La Bocona.”

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All in all, management at Southern Silver believe that they’ve spent the downturn in the commodities space wisely, and now, with the tide seemingly turning, will be able to benefit. As Oness said, “this is not one of those markets where it’s a matter of who has the biggest copper, gold or silver resource; it’s about who has a resource that makes sense or has the discovery potential for one. We believe that [the resource estimate for Cerro Las Minitas] demonstrates that we are strongly positioned to be one of those.”

At close of day Monday, Southern Silver’s share price was sitting at $0.06, up 20 percent. Year-to-date the company’s share price is also up 20 percent. It will certainly be interesting to keep an eye out as the company moves forward with drilling this year.


Securities Disclosure: I, Charlotte McLeod, hold no direct investment interest in any of the companies mentioned in this article.

Editorial Disclosure: Southern Silver Exploration is a client of the Investing News Network. This article is not paid-for content. 

The Investing News Network does not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the information reported in the interviews it conducts. The opinions expressed in these interviews do not reflect the opinions of the Investing News Network and do not constitute investment advice. All readers are encouraged to perform their own due diligence.

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