Endeavour to buy Mexican exploration properties from Silver Standard
Canadian Endeavour Silver, a mid-tier precious company with long-standing operations in Mexico, has entered into a definitive agreement with fellow Canadian Silver Standard Resources to acquire a 100% interest in the latter’s Parral properties.
The properties, which total 3,432 hectares subject to 1% NST production royalties, are located in the southern Chihuahua state, specifically in the silver mining district of Hidalgo de Parral. According to the Mexican Geological Survey, historic production in this area is of approximately 250 million ounces of silver.
The Vancouver-based firm said it will pay US$6 million in common shares, being 1,198,083 common shares at US$5.008 per share, representing the 10-day average closing price of Endeavour's shares on the New York Stock Exchange prior to the date of the Agreement.
The company has also committed to spending US$2 million on exploration on the San Patricio and La Palmilla properties over the two-year period following the closing of the transaction. Palmilla was famous for supplying silver to the federal mint of Mexico in the late 1800's.
Veta Colorada, the third property being acquired, includes a higher-grade footwall vein 1-10 metres thick and a lower grade hanging wall breccia with stock-work up to 30 metres thick. The Industrial Minera Mexico estimated that there are also resources of 32.1 million ounces silver contained in 4.0 million tonnes grading 248.5 grammes per tonne.
Upon completing this exploration expenditure, Endeavour will have one year to deliver a National Instrument 43-101 technical report, including a resource estimate, and issue an additional US$200,000 in common shares to Silver Standard for each one million ounces of silver delineated in measured and indicated resources on the San Patricio and La Palmilla properties.
Silver Standard will also retain a 1% net smelter returns royalty on production from the San Patricio and La Palmilla properties.
"Through this transaction, we retain exposure to the success of the properties and, importantly, we are enabled to redirect capital elsewhere in our portfolio to continue generating value for our shareholders,” Silver Standard’s President and CEO Paul Benson said.
On the other hand, Endeavour's Vice President Corporate Development Dale Mah said that his team is looking forward to unfolding the full potential of the Parral properties. "Our exploration team will focus initially on verifying the historic resources, then turn its attention to the many exploration targets on the properties. At the same time, our operations group will evaluate opportunities for near-term production,” he wrote in a statement.
The Canadian miner latest move comes after having announced, in January of 2016, that it was cutting back its yearly production by more than 25% and putting its El Cubo mine, located in the central Mexican state of León, in care and maintenance due to low silver prices.
But ever since silver and gold have enjoyed a powerful rally, with the grey precious metal even outpacing bullion gains.