New Pacific Metals advances a project near 'one of the largest silver deposits in the world'
(Kitco News) - New Pacific Metals appreciates Bolivia's rich mining history, noted Silvercorp Metals' vice-president Lon Shaver.
Last week Shaver spoke to Kitco at the Gold Forum Americas. Silvercorp Metals has just under a one-third stake in New Pacific Metals (TSX: NUAG).
New Pacific's goal is to discover and develop "world-class silver and gold deposits in Bolivia." It has three projects with the main focus being its Silver Sand asset, a large, pure-silver deposit that is amenable to an open pit and heap leach operation. A 2020 mineral resource estimate showed measured and indicated at 155.86 million ounces at 137 g/t silver. The inferred resource is 35.55 million oz at 112 g/t silver.
As of May the company has drilled 20,000 meters. An updated mineral resource estimate is due this fall and a preliminary economic assessment is expected by the end of the year.
Bolivia is embracing the resource sector and business investment after years of left-leaning governments. Mining was responsible for 47% of the country's exports in 2020, notes the company in its investor presentation, adding that Bolivia has been under-explored over the last 20 years. The country has realized the importance of foreign investment and is seeking the technical expertise to grow its mining industry.
"It's significant because of the long mining history," said Shaver, noting that the Cerro Rico mine is not far from New Pacific's Silver Sand project. Cerro Rico is one of the largest silver deposits in the world, adds Shaver. "It's estimated to have produced over 2 billion ounces of silver."
"Mining remains a deeply ingrained in the in the country's culture, and the government is familiar with mining and supportive of mining projects".