Silver Bull Provides 2014 End of Year Update for the Sierra Mojada Project, Coahulia, Northern Mexico.
Vancouver, British Columbia -- Silver Bull Resources, Inc. (TSX: SVB, NYSE MKT: SVBL) ("Silver Bull") is pleased to provide a 2014 year-end update and outlook to its shareholders. The company is focused on advancing the company's flagship Sierra Mojada silver-zinc project, located in the historic Sierra Mojada mining district in the state of Coahuila, northern Mexico.
Silver Bull's Pivot to Zinc
As announced in Silver Bull's press release dated 26 September 2014, due to the strong rise in the zinc price over the last 12 months coupled with the strong long term outlook for the metal the company has begun assessing the potential of the high grade zinc oxide mineralization which sits underneath and adjacent to the silver mineralization seen at Sierra Mojada.
To this purpose the company has begun an internal remodeling of the zinc resource, much of which was not included in the resource outlined in Silver Bull's Preliminary Economic Assessment ("PEA") on the silver mineralization released in December 2013. Discussions are also underway with various firms for metallurgical work to further test the fuming potential of the zinc and management recently visited a number of zinc kilning facilities in Yunnan Province, China to assess their capability of processing ore from Sierra Mojada. Work on this will continue in 2015.
The extent and grade of the zinc oxide mineralization seen at Sierra Mojada, coupled with already existing infrastructure which includes a functioning railway 300 meters from the project, suggests the zinc could potentially be modeled as a stand-alone mine. In addition to providing tremendous optionality to the silver at Sierra Mojada, the company receives very little valuation for the zinc, and this work will go a long way to better defining its value to the market.
Silver Resource at Sierra Mojada
Despite the drop in the price of Silver during 2014 we remain extremely positive on the silver ore body defined at Sierra Mojada. Using a $16 per oz silver and $0.95 per lb zinc price, the PEA we released late last year still shows a positive after-tax NPV5% of $135 million with an after tax IRR of 10.4% and shows how robust the project is even in a volatile price environment. The indicated resource of 163 million ounces of silver (71.1 million tonnes at an average grade of 71.5 g/t silver using a 25 g/t silver cut-off) defined thus far is one of the largest undeveloped silver resources in Mexico and sampling by the company immediately adjacent to the defined ore body shows this resource remains open in north, east and western directions.
During 2015 the company also intends to do an internal examination on the potential for a smaller silver open pit than the one proposed in the PEA. The focus will be to target the "at-surface" silver mineralization with a smaller project. Although a smaller project would produce fewer ounces than proposed in the PEA, the low strip and smaller plant would be expected to significantly reduce the overall capital costs needed to put the project into production.
Permitting at the Sierra Mojada Project
One of the main focusses for 2014 has been obtaining a number of permits necessary for any mine development at Sierra Mojada. The main permits we have targeted include; water rights, the issuance of surface title (presently much of the project sits on Federal land), and continued work on environmental permitting. Although the full environmental permit cannot be issued until the project has a full feasibility study and is ready for construction, many of the individual studies needed for the permit can begin at the project's current stage. This work will allow the Company to reduce the time required to potentially complete a feasibility study when market conditions improve.
Treasury and Sale of the Ndjole Asset in Gabon and Market conditions
We are also pleased to report the company remains in a strong financial position. Presently we have approximately $1.5 Million USD (unaudited) of cash and cash equivalents, and expect to close the sale of our Ndjole asset in Gabon in January which will bring a further $1.5 million USD of non-dilutive cash into the treasury.
With the very challenging market conditions seen in 2014, we have remained very cognizant about the need to remain as prudent as possible with the existing treasury and putting our capital to work only where it adds the most value to the project. It has been almost 2 years since Silver Bull's last capital raise in February 2013 which brought in a net proceeds of $8.1 million USD. Subject to the work program carried out by Silver Bull, the cash in the treasury after the completion of the Ndjole sale can carry the company into 2016 without the need to raise additional capital.
At Silver Bull, we remain bullish on the fundamentals for both silver and zinc. The challenge of unwinding the loose monetary policy seen globally in recent times is immense. Any threat of inflation or unforeseeable black swan event will see silver (and gold) continue to be a haven for wealth preservation.
Furthermore, with the closing of a number of major zinc mines now actually happening, coupled with both a lack of new zinc mines coming on line to replace this lost production and an expected increase in zinc demand, we anticipate continued tightening in the zinc supply for the foreseeable future. This squeeze on the supply of zinc is now a reality and has been recognized by the market, with zinc outperforming almost all metals over the last 12 months. We remain very excited about the zinc potential at Sierra Mojada.
Sierra Mojada is one of the largest undeveloped silver and zinc deposits in Mexico. It has excellent infrastructure; it lies 3 hours from an international airport with a paved road right to site, it has a functioning railway right to site, runs on grid power, and it has a skilled mining work force to draw upon in the local area. The resource provides exposure to both the precious and base metals markets and has the potential to be scaled in size depending on metal prices. In short, we believe there are not many projects like this in the world. It is also very significant that many countries around the world are becoming less and less viable for mining and exploration activities due to increasing political risk. Mexico, however, remains one of the top mining jurisdictions in the world.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your ongoing support of Silver Bull and we look forward to the continued advancement of Sierra Mojada during 2015. As always, we invite you to stay informed about Silver Bull by contacting us by email at email@example.com or by calling 1-604-687-5800.
The technical information of this news release has been reviewed and approved by Tim Barry, MAusIMM Chartered Professional, a qualified person for the purposes of National Instrument 43-101.
On behalf of the Board of Directors
Tim Barry, CPAusIMM
Chief Executive Officer, President and Director
Cautionary Note to U.S. Investors concerning estimates of Indicated and Inferred Resources: This press release uses the terms "indicated resources" and "inferred resources" which are defined in, and required to be disclosed by, NI 43-101. We advise U.S. investors that these terms are not recognized by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"). The estimation of indicated resources involves greater uncertainty as to their existence and economic feasibility than the estimation of proven and probable reserves. U.S. investors are cautioned not to assume that indicated mineral resources will be converted into reserves. The estimation of inferred resources involves far greater uncertainty as to their existence and economic viability than the estimation of other categories of resources. U.S. investors are cautioned not to assume that estimates of inferred mineral resources exist, are economically minable, or will be upgraded into measured or indicated mineral resources. Under Canadian securities laws, estimates of inferred mineral resources may not form the basis of feasibility or other economic studies.
Disclosure of "contained ounces" in a resource is permitted disclosure under Canadian regulations, however the SEC normally only permits issuers to report mineralization that does not constitute "reserves" by SEC standards as in place tonnage and grade without reference to unit measures. Accordingly, the information contained in this press release may not be comparable to similar information made public by U.S. companies that are not subject NI 43-101.
Cautionary note regarding forward looking statements: This news release contains forward-looking statements regarding future events and Silver Bull's future results that are subject to the safe harbors created under the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the "Securities Act"), and the Securities Exchange Act of
1934, as amended (the "Exchange Act"), and applicable Canadian securities laws. Forward-looking statements include, among others, statements regarding our anticipated activities at the Sierra Mojada project during 2015, completion and timing of the sale of the Ndjole asset in Gabon, potential of a stand-alone zinc mine, potential of smaller silver open pit, the acquisition of necessary permits and surface rights, metallurgical work, and future commodity prices. These statements are based on current expectations, estimates, forecasts, and projections about Silver Bull's exploration projects, the industry in which Silver Bull operates and the beliefs and assumptions of Silver Bull's management. Words such as "expects," "anticipates," "targets," "goals," "projects," "intends," "plans," "believes," "seeks," "estimates," "continues," "may," variations of such words, and similar expressions and references to future periods, are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are subject to a number of assumptions, risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control, including such factors as the results of exploration activities and whether the results continue to support continued exploration activities, unexpected variations in ore grade, types and metallurgy, volatility and level of commodity prices, the availability of sufficient future financing, potential changes to royalties and taxes imposed by the Mexico government and other matters discussed under the caption "Risk Factors" in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended October 31, 2013, as amended, and our other periodic and current reports filed with the SEC and available at www.sec.gov and with the Canadian securities commissions available at www.sedar.com. Readers are cautioned that forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and that actual results or developments may differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. Any forward-looking statement made by us in this release is based only on information currently available to us and speaks only as of the date on which it is made. We undertake no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether written or oral, that may be made from time to time, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise.