Pan American Silver's Proven and Probable Silver Mineral Reserves Increase to 317 Million Ounces
Gold Proven and Probable Mineral Reserves Rise to 2.4 Million Ounces
(All amounts in US dollars unless otherwise stated and all production figures are approximate)
VANCOUVER, Feb. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ - Pan American Silver Corp. (PAAS: NASDAQ; PAA: TSX) ("Pan American" or the "Company") more than replaced the proven and probable silver and gold mineral reserves mined during the past year as a result of another very successful mine-site exploration campaign. As well, the mineral reserves increased further with the addition of the Dolores mine and the La Bolsa project, following the acquisition of Minefinders Ltd. ("Minefinders").
Commenting on last year's exploration results, Michael Steinmann, Executive Vice President Corporate Development and Geology said, "Mine-site exploration has always been an important value driver for Pan American, allowing for organic production growth. Since 2004, the Company has added 229.4 million ounces of silver to its mineral reserves solely through exploration activities, excluding acquisitions, and more than replaced the 196.3 million ounces of silver mined during the same period. This impressive track record has extended the mine life of our operations and continues to ensure our long-term profitability. The average cost of the new silver reserves added since 2004 from exploration was approximately $0.38 per ounce; without question an excellent return on our investment in exploration".
In 2012, Pan American spent $18.2 million in exploration, completing over 155,970 meters of diamond drilling at its seven operating mines. Through exploration activities, the Company discovered 31.2 million ounces of new proven and probable silver mineral reserves to more than replace the 26 million contained ounces of silver that were mined at its operations during the year (excluding those ounces mined by the Company at the Dolores mine during 2012). The Company's proven and probable silver mineral reserves at December 31, 2012 were 316.9 million contained ounces, an increase of 35% from 2011.
In 2012, the La Colorada mine returned outstanding exploration results with a net addition of 20.7 million contained silver ounces to finish the year with 64.8 million ounces of proven and probable silver mineral reserves, a 47% increase year-on-year. In the past four years, Pan American has discovered over 64 million ounces of new proven and probable silver mineral reserves at La Colorada, mainly in sulphide mineralization of the NC2 and Amolillo veins. The Amolillo vein, a structure parallel to the main NC2 vein currently being exploited, is key to a possible mine expansion.
Successful exploration results were also achieved at the Huaron mine, where proven and probable silver mineral reserves increased to 61.6 million ounces and at San Vicente, where proven and probable silver mineral reserves rose to 35.6 million ounces.
At the Morococha mine, in spite of the discovery of 4.3 million ounces of silver, proven and probable silver mineral reserves decreased 8% to 37.1 million ounces at year-end 2012. The decrease was due to mine depletion and to an increase in the cut-off grade to reflect higher production costs and reduced returns from copper concentrate sales.
Similarly, at the Manantial Espejo mine, proven and probable silver mineral reserves declined 27% year-on year to 21.2 million ounces at year end 2012. The reduction is attributed to a combination of mine depletion, increased mine operating costs and to a temporary suspension of surface exploration activities.
At the newly acquired Dolores mine, the Company's first mineral reserve and resource estimate yielded a proven and probable mineral reserve of 87.8 million tonnes, containing 76 million ounces of silver and 1.6 million ounces of gold at December 31, 2012. This represents a reduction from Minefinders' last mineral reserve estimate, which was done in 2010. In addition to over two years of mining depletion, Pan American also applied higher mining and processing cost parameters to reflect the current mining method and cost environment. The net effect of these changes was to increase the cut-off grade for the mineral reserve in order to maintain the operation's profitability.
The following table illustrates the changes in Pan American's estimated
proven and probable
silver mineral reserves, year-over-year:
|Proven & probable silver mineral reserves as of December 31, 2011(1)||235.3 million ounces|
|Less: Contained ounces mined during 2012||(26.0) million ounces|
|Plus: Contained ounces discovered by exploration during 2012||31.2 million ounces|
|Subtotal||240.5 million ounces|
|Plus: Contained ounces acquired (Dolores and La Bolsa)||80.6 million ounces|
|Less: Contained ounces sold with Quiruvilca||(4.2) million ounces|
|Proven & probable silver mineral reserves as of December 31, 2012(1)||316.9 million ounces|
|(1)||Prices used to estimate Mineral Reserves for 2011 and 2012 were Ag $25.00 per ounce, Au $1,350 per ounce, Pb $1,850 per tonne, Zn $1,750 per tonne and Cu $6,500|
In 2013 Pan American expects to invest $16.3 million to complete approximately 124,000 meters of diamond drilling at its seven operating mines. In addition, the Company also plans to spend $14.7 million on greenfield exploration activities.
Complete mineral reserve and resource information for all metals, including tonnage and grades is available at www.panamericansilver.com.
Complete silver and gold mineral reserve and resource information at December 31, 2012 is as follows:
MINERAL RESERVES - PROVEN AND PROBABLE
Au (000's oz)
MINERAL RESOURCES - MEASURED AND INDICATED
Au (000's oz)
|San Vicente (95%)||Bolivia||Measured||0.5||131||2.2||N/A||N/A|
MINERAL RESOURCES - INFERRED
Au (000's oz)
|Hog Heaven (ii)||USA||Historical (ii)(iii)||2.7||167||14.6||0.62||53.9|
|Hog Heaven (ii)||USA||Historical (ii)(iv)||7.6||133||32.7||0.70||171.9|
Mineral reserves and resources are as defined by the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum.
Mineral resources do not have demonstrated economic viability.
Pan American does not expect these mineral reserve estimates to be materially affected by metallurgical, environmental, permitting, legal, taxation, socio-economic, political, marketing or other relevant issues.
|This table illustrates Pan American Silver Corp's share of mineral reserves and resources. Properties in which Pan American Silver has less than 100% interest are noted next to the property name.|
Metal prices used for all Mines: Ag: $25/oz, Au: $1,350/oz, Pb:
$1,850/tonne, Cu: $6,500/tonne, Zn $1,750/tonne.
Metal prices used for Navidad were Ag: $12.52/oz and Pb: $1,100/tonne.
Metal prices used for Calcatreu were Ag: $12.50/oz and Au: $650/oz.
Metal prices used for La Bolsa were Ag: $14.00/oz and Au: $825/oz
|(i)||Totals may not add-up due to rounding.|
The historical estimate for Hog Heaven was prepared by Gregory Hahn,
Chief Geological Engineer for CoCa Mines Inc., a previous owner of the
property, in a report titled "Hog Heaven Project Optimization Study"
dated May 1989, prior to implementation of NI 43-101. The historical
estimate was based on extensive diamond drilling, and was estimated
using a silver price of $6.50 per ounce and a gold price of $400 per
ounce (these were relevant prices at the time of the estimate).
Michael Steinmann, P.Geo, has reviewed the available data, including
drill sections, surface maps, and additional supporting information
sources, and believes that the historic estimate was conducted in a
professional and competent manner and is relevant for the purposes of
the Company's decision to maintain its interest in this property. In
the study, the historic estimate was sub-categorized as follows:
|Category||Tons||oz/ton Ag||oz/ton Au|
|Probable & Possible Reserves||904,200||10.40||0.020|
|Heap leach ore||316,100||1.56||0.014|
|However, the Company has not completed the work necessary to verify the historical estimate. Accordingly, the Company is not treating the historical estimate as NI 43-101-compliant categories of mineral resources based on information prepared by or under the supervision of a QP. These historical estimates should not be relied upon.|
|The Company believes that the historical estimate category of "proven reserves" for Hog Heaven most closely corresponds to 2,705,000 tonnes in the CIM definition category of "indicated mineral resources".|
|The Company believes that the historical estimate categories of "proven & possible reserves", "heap leach ore stockpile", "possible resources" and "inferred resources" most closely correspond to 7,639,000 tonnes in the CIM definition category of "inferred mineral resources".|
|(iii)||The historical estimate for Waterloo was initially prepared by Asarco Inc. in 1968. In September 1994 Robert J. Rodger, P.Eng., reviewed the Asarco reports and prepared a Technical Evaluation Report on the Waterloo property, prior to the implementation of NI 43-101. The Technical Evaluation Report confirmed that the historical estimate was based on reverse circulation drilling and underground sampling, and concluded the estimate was based on sound methodology. The historical estimate at Waterloo was prepared using a silver price of $5.00 per ounce (the relevant price at the time of the estimate). Michael Steinmann, P.Geo., has reviewed the Technical Evaluation Report and believes the historic estimate was conducted in a professional and competent manner and is relevant for purposes of the Company's decision to maintain its interest in the property. The Company believes that the historical estimate category of 37,235,000 tons (at 2.71 ounces per ton silver) of "measured and indicated reserves" most closely corresponds to 33,758,000 tonnes in the CIM definition category of "indicated mineral resource." However, the Company has not completed the work necessary to verify the historical estimate. Accordingly, the Company is not treating the historical estimate as NI 43-101 compliant categories of mineral resources based on information prepared by or under the supervision of a QP. These historical estimates should not be relied upon.|
|(iv)||The Company believes that the historical estimate categories of "proven & possible reserves", "heap leach ore stockpile", "possible resources" and "inferred resources" most closely correspond to 7,639,000 tonnes in the NI 43-101 category of "inferred resources"|
|(v)||The historical estimate for Waterloo was initially prepared by Asarco Inc. in 1968. In September 1994 Robert J. Rodger, P.Eng., reviewed the Asarco reports and prepared a Technical Evaluation Report on the Waterloo property, prior to the implementation of NI 43-101. The Technical Evaluation Report confirmed that the historical estimate was based on reverse circulation drilling and underground sampling, and concluded the estimate was based on sound methodology. The historical estimate at Waterloo was prepared using a silver price of $5.00 per ounce (the relevant price at the time of the estimate). Michael Steinmann, P.Geo., QP for the Company, has reviewed the Technical Evaluation Report and believes the historic estimate was conducted in a professional and competent manner and is relevant for purposes of the Company's decision to maintain its interest in the property. The Company believes that the historical estimate category of 37,235,000 tons (at 2.71 ounces per ton silver) of "measured and indicated reserves" most closely corresponds to 33,758,000 tonnes in the NI 43-101 category of "indicated resource". However; the Company has not completed the work necessary to verify the historical estimate. Accordingly, the Company is not treating the historical estimate as NI 43-101 compliant categories of mineral resources based on information prepared by or under the supervision of a QP. These historical estimates should not be relied upon.|
Mineral resource and reserve estimates for Huaron, Dolores, San Vicente, La Colorada, Manantial Espejo, Alamo Dorado, Morococha, Pico Machay and Calcatreu were prepared under the supervision, or were reviewed by Michael Steinmann, P. Geo., Executive Vice-President Corporate Development and Geology and Martin G. Wafforn, P. Eng., Vice-President Technical Services as Qualified Persons as that term is defined in National Instrument 43-101 ("NI 43-101"). Navidad mineral resource estimates were prepared by Pamela De Mark, P. Geo., Director, Resources, formerly Sr. Consultant of Snowden Mining Industry Consultants, also a Qualified Person as that term is defined in NI 43-101. Mineral resource estimates for Hog Heaven and Waterloo are based on historical third party estimates.
Michael Steinmann and Martin Wafforn, each of whom are Qualified Persons, as the term is defined in NI 43-101, have reviewed and approved the contents of this press release.
About Pan American Silver
Pan American Silver's mission is to be the world's pre-eminent silver producer, with a reputation for excellence in discovery, engineering, innovation and sustainable development. The Company has seven operating mines in Mexico, Peru, Argentina and Bolivia, including the recently acquired Dolores gold/silver mine in Chihuahua, Mexico. Pan American also owns the La Virginia and La Bolsa development projects in Sonora, Mexico, the Waterloo silver project in California, USA, the Pico Machay gold project in Peru, as well as both the Navidad silver project and Calcatreu gold project in Argentina.
THIS NEWS RELEASE CONTAINS "FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE UNITED STATES PRIVATE SECURITIES LITIGATION REFORM ACT OF 1995 AND "FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION" WITHIN THE MEANING OF APPLICABLE CANADIAN SECURITIES LEGISLATION. WHEN USED IN THIS NEWS RELEASE, THE WORDS "BELIEVES", "EXPECTS", "INTENDS", "PLANS", "TARGETS", "POTENTIAL", AND OTHER SIMILAR WORDS AND EXPRESSIONS IDENTIFY FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS OR INFORMATION. FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS AND INFORMATION EXPRESS, AS AT THE DATE OF THIS NEWS RELEASE, THE COMPANY'S PLANS, ESTIMATES, FORECASTS, PROJECTIONS, EXPECTATIONS, OR BELIEFS AS TO FUTURE EVENTS OR RESULTS AND THE COMPANY DOES NOT INTEND, AND DOES NOT ASSUME ANY OBLIGATION TO, UPDATE SUCH FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS OR INFORMATION, OTHER THAN AS REQUIRED BY APPLICABLE LAW. SUCH FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS AND INFORMATION INCLUDE, BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO STATEMENTS AS TO: THE ACCURACY OF ESTIMATED MINERAL RESERVES AND RESOURCES, ANTICIPATED RESULTS OF FUTURE EXPLORATION, AND FORECAST FUTURE PRECIOUS METAL PRICES. AND EXPECTATIONS THAT METALLURGICAL, ENVIRONMENTAL, PERMITTING, LEGAL, TITLE, TAXATION, SOCIO-ECONOMIC, POLITICAL, MARKETING OR OTHER ISSUES WILL NOT MATERIALLY AFFECT ESTIMATES OF MINERAL RESERVES.
THESE STATEMENTS REFLECT THE COMPANY'S CURRENT VIEWS WITH RESPECT TO FUTURE EVENTS AND ARE NECESSARILY BASED UPON A NUMBER OF ASSUMPTIONS AND ESTIMATES THAT, WHILE CONSIDERED REASONABLE BY THE COMPANY, ARE INHERENTLY SUBJECT TO SIGNIFICANT BUSINESS, ECONOMIC, COMPETITIVE, POLITICAL AND SOCIAL UNCERTAINTIES AND CONTINGENCIES. MANY FACTORS, BOTH KNOWN AND UNKNOWN, COULD CAUSE ACTUAL RESULTS, PERFORMANCE OR ACHIEVEMENTS TO BE MATERIALLY DIFFERENT FROM THE RESULTS, PERFORMANCE OR ACHIEVEMENTS THAT ARE OR MAY BE EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED BY SUCH FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS CONTAINED IN THIS NEWS RELEASE AND THE COMPANY HAS MADE ASSUMPTIONS AND ESTIMATES BASED ON OR RELATED TO MANY OF THESE FACTORS. SUCH FACTORS INCLUDE, WITHOUT LIMITATION: FLUCTUATIONS IN SPOT AND FORWARD MARKETS FOR SILVER, GOLD, BASE METALS AND CERTAIN OTHER COMMODITIES (SUCH AS NATURAL GAS, FUEL OIL AND ELECTRICITY); FLUCTUATIONS IN CURRENCY MARKETS (SUCH AS THE PERUVIAN SOL, MEXICAN PESO, ARGENTINE PESO AND BOLIVIAN BOLIVIANO VERSUS THE U.S. DOLLAR); RISKS RELATED TO THE TECHNOLOGICAL AND OPERATIONAL NATURE OF THE COMPANY'S BUSINESS; CHANGES IN NATIONAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT, LEGISLATION, TAXATION, CONTROLS OR REGULATIONS AND POLITICAL OR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTS IN CANADA, THE UNITED STATES, MEXICO, PERU, ARGENTINA, BOLIVIA OR OTHER COUNTRIES WHERE THE COMPANY MAY CARRY ON BUSINESS IN THE FUTURE; RISKS AND HAZARDS ASSOCIATED WITH THE BUSINESS OF MINERAL EXPLORATION, DEVELOPMENT AND MINING (INCLUDING ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS, INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENTS, UNUSUAL OR UNEXPECTED GEOLOGICAL OR STRUCTURAL FORMATIONS, PRESSURES, CAVE-INS AND FLOODING); EMPLOYEE RELATIONS; RELATIONSHIPS WITH AND CLAIMS BY LOCAL COMMUNITIES AND INDIGENOUS POPULATIONS; AVAILABILITY AND INCREASING COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH MINING INPUTS AND LABOUR; THE SPECULATIVE NATURE OF MINERAL EXPLORATION AND DEVELOPMENT, INCLUDING THE RISKS OF OBTAINING NECESSARY LICENSES AND PERMITS AND THE PRESENCE OF LAWS AND REGULATIONS THAT MAY IMPOSE RESTRICTIONS ON MINING, INCLUDING THOSE CURRENTLY IN THE PROVINCE OF CHUBUT, ARGENTINA; DIMINISHING QUANTITIES OR GRADES OF MINERAL RESERVES AS PROPERTIES ARE MINED; GLOBAL FINANCIAL CONDITIONS; CHALLENGES TO, OR DIFFICULTY IN MAINTAINING, THE COMPANY'S TITLE TO PROPERTIES AND CONTINUED OWNERSHIP THEREOF; THE ACTUAL RESULTS OF CURRENT EXPLORATION ACTIVITIES, CONCLUSIONS OF ECONOMIC EVALUATIONS, AND CHANGES IN PROJECT PARAMETERS TO DEAL WITH UNANTICIPATED ECONOMIC OR OTHER FACTORS; INCREASED COMPETITION IN THE MINING INDUSTRY FOR PROPERTIES, EQUIPMENT, QUALIFIED PERSONNEL, AND THEIR COSTS; AND THOSE FACTORS IDENTIFIED UNDER THE CAPTION "RISKS RELATED TO PAN AMERICAN'S BUSINESS" IN THE COMPANY'S MOST RECENT FORM 40F AND ANNUAL INFORMATION FORM FILED WITH THE UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION AND CANADIAN PROVINCIAL SECURITIES REGULATORY AUTHORITIES. INVESTORS ARE CAUTIONED AGAINST ATTRIBUTING UNDUE CERTAINTY OR RELIANCE ON FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS. ALTHOUGH THE COMPANY HAS ATTEMPTED TO IDENTIFY IMPORTANT FACTORS THAT COULD CAUSE ACTUAL RESULTS TO DIFFER MATERIALLY, THERE MAY BE OTHER FACTORS THAT CAUSE RESULTS NOT TO BE AS ANTICIPATED, ESTIMATED, DESCRIBED OR INTENDED. THE COMPANY DOES NOT INTEND, AND DOES NOT ASSUME ANY OBLIGATION, TO UPDATE THESE FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS OR INFORMATION TO REFLECT CHANGES IN ASSUMPTIONS OR CHANGES IN CIRCUMSTANCES OR ANY OTHER EVENTS AFFECTING SUCH STATEMENTS OR INFORMATION, OTHER THAN AS REQUIRED BY APPLICABLE LAW.
CAUTIONARY NOTE TO US INVESTORS CONCERNING ESTIMATES OF MEASURED AND INDICATED RESOURCES
THIS NEWS RELEASE HAS BEEN PREPARED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF CANADIAN PROVINCIAL SECURITIES LAWS, WHICH DIFFER FROM THE REQUIREMENTS OF U.S. SECURITIES LAWS. UNLESS OTHERWISE INDICATED, ALL MINERAL RESERVE AND RESOURCE ESTIMATES INCLUDED IN THIS NEWS RELEASE HAVE BEEN PREPARED IN ACCORDANCE WITH CANADIAN NATIONAL INSTRUMENT 43-101 - STANDARDS OF DISCLOSURE FOR MINERAL PROJECTS (''NI 43-101'') AND THE CANADIAN INSTITUTE OF MINING, METALLURGY AND PETROLEUM CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM. NI 43-101 IS A RULE DEVELOPED BY THE CANADIAN SECURITIES ADMINISTRATORS THAT ESTABLISHES STANDARDS FOR ALL PUBLIC DISCLOSURE AN ISSUER MAKES OF SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL INFORMATION CONCERNING MINERAL PROJECTS.
CANADIAN STANDARDS, INCLUDING NI 43-101, DIFFER SIGNIFICANTLY FROM THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION (THE "SEC"), AND INFORMATION CONCERNING MINERALIZATION, DEPOSITS, MINERAL RESERVE AND RESOURCE INFORMATION CONTAINED OR REFERRED TO HEREIN MAY NOT BE COMPARABLE TO SIMILAR INFORMATION DISCLOSED BY U.S. COMPANIES. IN PARTICULAR, AND WITHOUT LIMITING THE GENERALITY OF THE FOREGOING, THIS PRESS RELEASE USES THE TERMS ''MEASURED RESOURCES'', ''INDICATED RESOURCES'' AND ''INFERRED RESOURCES''. U.S. INVESTORS ARE ADVISED THAT, WHILE SUCH TERMS ARE RECOGNIZED AND REQUIRED BY CANADIAN SECURITIES LAWS, THE SEC DOES NOT RECOGNIZE THEM. UNDER U.S. STANDARDS, MINERALIZATION MAY NOT BE CLASSIFIED AS A ''RESERVE'' UNLESS THE DETERMINATION HAS BEEN MADE THAT THE MINERALIZATION COULD BE ECONOMICALLY AND LEGALLY PRODUCED OR EXTRACTED AT THE TIME THE RESERVE DETERMINATION IS MADE. U.S. INVESTORS ARE CAUTIONED NOT TO ASSUME THAT ANY PART OF A "MEASURED RESOURCE" OR "INDICATED RESOURCE" WILL EVER BE CONVERTED INTO A "RESERVE". U.S. INVESTORS SHOULD ALSO UNDERSTAND THAT "INFERRED RESOURCES" HAVE A GREAT AMOUNT OF UNCERTAINTY AS TO THEIR EXISTENCE AND GREAT UNCERTAINTY AS TO THEIR ECONOMIC AND LEGAL FEASIBILITY. IT CANNOT BE ASSUMED THAT ALL OR ANY PART OF "INFERRED RESOURCES" EXIST, ARE ECONOMICALLY OR LEGALLY MINEABLE OR WILL EVER BE UPGRADED TO A HIGHER CATEGORY. UNDER CANADIAN SECURITIES LAWS, ESTIMATED "INFERRED RESOURCES" MAY NOT FORM THE BASIS OF FEASIBILITY OR PRE-FEASIBILITY STUDIES EXCEPT IN RARE CASES. DISCLOSURE OF "CONTAINED OUNCES" IN A MINERAL RESOURCE IS PERMITTED DISCLOSURE UNDER CANADIAN SECURITIES LAWS. HOWEVER, THE SEC NORMALLY ONLY PERMITS ISSUERS TO REPORT MINERALIZATION THAT DOES NOT CONSTITUTE "RESERVES" BY SEC STANDARDS AS IN PLACE TONNAGE AND GRADE, WITHOUT REFERENCE TO UNIT MEASURES. THE REQUIREMENTS OF NI 43-101 FOR IDENTIFICATION OF "RESERVES" ARE ALSO NOT THE SAME AS THOSE OF THE SEC, AND RESERVES REPORTED BY THE COMPANY IN COMPLIANCE WITH NI 43-101 MAY NOT QUALIFY AS "RESERVES" UNDER SEC STANDARDS. ACCORDINGLY, INFORMATION CONCERNING MINERAL DEPOSITS SET FORTH HEREIN MAY NOT BE COMPARABLE WITH INFORMATION MADE PUBLIC BY COMPANIES THAT REPORT IN ACCORDANCE WITH U.S. STANDARDS.
SOURCE Pan American Silver Corp.