New Pacific Metals (NUAG) is a TSX-listed silver company, which is developing the potentially world-class Silver Sand project, and earlier-stage Silverstrike project, in Bolivia. The Whitehorse gold-silver assets in the Yukon will be spun off to existing shareholders, leaving NUAG focused on its core assets. With skilful guidance, the company has the potential to join the relatively small number of high-quality primary silver producers. Furthermore, mining has been designated a strategic sector for attracting foreign investment by the Bolivian government, and other mining companies, e.g. Glencore and Pan American Silver, are operating there.
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- Silver Sand: NUAG’s flagship project is located 35km from Cerro Rico, the largest silver mine (1.6bn oz Ag) in history. Silver Sand’s total resources currently stand at 191.39m oz of silver, of which 70% are Measured & Indicated and 70% are within 200m of the surface, making it suitable for lower-cost open-pit mining.
- Strong balance sheet: Following a further successful C$25.0m financing in June 2020, NUAG has net cash/short-term investments of more than C$61.0m. This leaves it well placed to finance the next phase of exploration, including the publication of a PEA (Preliminary Economic Assessment) for Silver Sand.
- Strategic shareholder: NUAG’s largest shareholder, with 28.8%, is TSX/NYSE-listed Silvercorp Metals Inc., China’s largest primary silver producer. Silvercorp’s founder, Dr Rui Feng, is also the founder of NUAG. Pan American Silver, another major silver miner, is the second-largest shareholder, with 9.7%.
- Risks: NUAG faces the normal risks for a junior miner. These include exploration risks (adding additional resources, for example), political risks, permitting and environmental risks, volatility in the silver price and operational risks in successfully executing the mining plan.
- Investment summary: The approach of the publication date for the PEA –expected in 1H’21 – should be a significant catalyst for the share price. NUAG’s valuation in terms of EV/total silver resources of $3.5/oz compares with $12.8/oz for MAG Silver, which recently commissioned its 44%-owned (with Fresnillo) Juanicipio project in Mexico.