Solitario Exploration & Royalty (NYSE MKT: XPL; TSX: SLR) is on track to become one of the lowest cost U.S. gold producers with its development-stage Mt. Hamilton project in eastern Nevada. Permitting is nearly complete with the approval of the Environmental Assessment by the U. S. Forest Service in September, 2014. The results of an updated Mt. Hamilton Feasibility Study completed in October 2014 revealed significantly higher annual gold production for the first four years, higher reserve grade and increased resources for the project compared to the original Feasibility Study completed in February 2012. Measured and Indicated Resources have nearly doubled since acquisition of the project. The 2014 Feasibility Study estimates 73,000 gold-equivalent ounces a year with total operating cash costs at $558/oz. and initial capital costs at $91 million, making it an attractive project, even at today’s gold price. Potential to increase reserves and extend mine life is considered excellent.
The high-grade Bongará zinc project in Peru is joint ventured with Votorantim Metais, the fifth largest zinc producer in the world. Nearly $60 million has been spent on the property to date where recent drilling results identified some of the highest grade intercepts in the history of the project. The initial NI 43-101 compliant resource estimate for the project reported M&I Resources of 2.8 million tonnes grading 15.5% zinc equivalent and Inferred Resources totaling 9.1 million tonnes grading 12.4% zinc equivalent. Solitario’s 30% interest is fully funded through the start of production by our partner, Votorantim, making it a dilution-free project to Solitario and its shareholders..
Our focus is on gold and silver, but we have advanced projects with platinum-palladium, zinc and lead. Solitario’s success has been fueled by its ability to identify large-potential early stage exploration properties and subsequently leverage these successes into partnerships with senior mining companies including Anglo Platinum (Pedra Branca PGM project, Brazil) and Votorantim Metais. In 2014, our partners will spend over $11 million on our projects. With this business strategy we greatly reduce financial risk and minimize shareholder dilution, while continuing to build a pipeline of exploration projects.
• Mt. Hamilton: Gold Project, USA
• Bongará: Zinc-Lead-Silver, Peru
• Pedra Branca: Platinum-Palladium, Brazil
Gold-Silver Exploration Projects
• Pachuca Norte: Silver-Gold, Mexico
• Yanacocha: Gold-Silver-Copper, Peru
• Mercurio: Gold, Brazil
• Anglo Platinum: world’s largest platinum producer
• Votorantim Metais: world's 5th largest zinc producer