Silver Standard Inc.
As some of the world's economies have already made their first halting steps on the road to recovery from the global economic meltdown, the call for silver from industrial users has increased. Recent economic analyses show that silver will outperform gold this year, as investors are gradually regaining their confidence on the world's precious metals markets.
With projects spreading on three continents - Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Mexico, Peru, the United States - Silver Standard Inc.
has really set a standard to follow on the global silver market. Founded in 1946, the Vancouver-seated company is following a policy of aggressive development.
"Our consistent growth strategy and high-quality projects have attracted a team of outstanding professionals, who are engineering our transition to a primary silver producer
," Mr. Robert A. Quartermain, President and CEO of Silver Standard Inc, says in a statement. Indeed since 1993 when Silver Standard focused wholly on silver, this business strategy has helped them control the largest in-ground silver resources of any company listed on the stock exchange. They have ambition to transform their assets from in-ground value to real-term revenues in 2009.
The company is listed on NASDAQ under the symbol SSRI and on TSX Venture under the symbol SSO. The miner is a tier I producer, currently pouring some $220 million in its100 percent-owned and fully-permitted Pirquitas mine in northern Argentina. The mine's life-span is estimated at 14.5 years. With an expected annual output of about 11 million silver ounces, 2,500 tonnes of tin, and 6,500 tonnes of zinc, Pirquitas will rightfully claim its place among the largest open-pit primary silver mines in the world.
Silver Standard Inc is also holding a 55 percent stake in the San Luis project in central Peru through a joint venture, established together with Esperanza Silver Corporation. They are now planning to increase their stake to over 80 percent.
In 2005, the probing teams of Silver Standard and Esperanza discovered the quartz vein at San Luis and applied to the governments in the region regarding work permits for exploration. The joint venture is now holding over 25,000 hectares of land under different concession agreements. In the period September 2006-August 2007, the joint venture started a drill program, completing 27,000 m of drilling in 160 diamond exploration drill holes. Since 2008, Silver Standard and Esperanza have been engaged in testing the economic feasibility of developing a mining site
on the westernmost vein of San Luis, known as the Ayelen Vein.
On August 20, 2009, Marketwire reported that diamond drilling at Silver Standard's Snowfield Project is continuing to deliver a significant output of gold and copper, which has encouraged the company's management to start its seventh diamond drill in the project. The site is located forty kilometers north of Stewart town and fifteen kilometers southeast of Barrick's gold-silver mine. Recent research has shown that the Snowfield Zone has resources of 4.4 million ounces of gold and inferred resources of 14.3 million ounces of gold, based on a cut-off grade of 0.5 grams of gold-equivalent/tonne.
Market analysts say that Silver Standard's aggressive exploration and development activities on their projects Snowfield, Pitarrilla, and San Luis, accompanied with a steady production from Pirquitas, will secure the company's steady growth over the years to come.
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