Solitario Exploration & Royalty Co (USA)(NYSEMKT:XPL) 1.05 USD
Solitario Exploration & Royalty Corp.(TSE:SLR) 1.08 CAD
Solitario Exploration & Royalty (NYSE Amex: XPL; TSX : SLR) is on track to becoming the newest U.S. gold producer with its feasibility stage Mt.Hamilton gold project in Nevada. Mt. Hamilton not only has demonstrated robust economics but also significant upside potential to add new resources. Solitario currently anticipates completing a feasibility study in late January 2012. The feasibility study is being managed by SRK Consulting, a highly qualified full-range mining engineering firm.
Historically, Solitario has established itself as one of the leading Latin American exploration companies by pioneering mineral exploration in emerging new geologic terrains and building major new land positions. From our success in the exploration arena, we have created an outstanding portfolio of Net Profit Interest Royalty structured joint ventures on advanced mineral projects with partners such as Votorantim Metais, Buenaventura, Anglo Platinum and Newmont Mining, all major international mining companies. With this business strategy we greatly reduce financial risk and minimize shareholder dilution, while continuing to build a deep pipeline of exploration projects in Peru, Mexico, Brazil, and Nevada.
• Mt. Hamilton: Gold Project, USA
• Bongará: Zinc-Lead-Silver, Peru
• Pedra Branca: Platinum-Palladium, Brazil
Gold-Silver Exploration Projects
• Pachuca Real: Silver-Gold, Mexico
• Cerro Azul: Gold-Silver, Peru
Base Metal & Polymetallic Exploration Projects
• Chambara: Zinc-Lead-Silver, Peru
• La Promesa: Silver-Zinc-Lead-Indium, Peru
• Yanacocha: Gold-Silver-Copper, Peru
• Mercurio: Gold, Brazil
• Anglo Platinum: world’s largest platinum producer
• Buenaventura: largest Latin American-based precious metal producer
• Newmont: world's 2nd largest gold producer
• Votorantim Metais: world's 3rd largest zinc producer--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Dear Shareholders,
2012 was a landmark year for Solitario. Our Mt. Hamilton gold project in Nevada advanced significantly towards construction. Important objectives that were met included:
- In February we completed the Mt. Hamilton Feasibility Study.
- In June and again in August we secured important financing for the project.
- In September we added new Seligman resources to the project.
- In the second half of 2012, we completed fieldwork necessary to evaluate the economic viability of the Seligman resource.
- In November we filed the Mt. Hamilton Plan of Operations with the U.S. Forest Service.
We accomplished all this on budget and only slightly behind our original schedule. We are now focused on completing all permitting activities necessary to initiate construction at Mt. Hamilton as soon as possible, which we believe could be as early as the second half of 2014.
We are also pleased to report that progress on our Bongará high-grade zinc project in Peru is accelerating through the efforts of our joint venture partner Votorantim Metais. Votorantim completed its most aggressive field program in 2012. Highlights of this program included:
- Completion of 70 underground drill holes in the San Jorge mineralized zone.
- An additional 52 surface core holes mainly in the Karen-Milagros zone.
- Further metallurgical testing on both sulfide and oxide ores.
- Advancement of the access road to the mine site.
- Continued progress on scoping and pre-feasibility level economic evaluation.
In 2013 Votorantim is transitioning from its previous exploration focus to concentrate on development work. The 2013 work program includes completing another 4.5 kilometers of access road to the mine site, 15,000 meters of underground and surface drilling to further define mineralization and to provide geotechnical and hydrologic information in critical areas where infra-structure is planned. Permitting is continuing for future tunneling at both the San Jorge and Karen-Milagros zones. All of this work is necessary to complete a pre-feasibility study on the project by the end of 2013, and to undertake a full feasibility study beginning in 2014.
Mt. Hamilton and Bongará are certainly our two core assets at this time, but there is more in the pipeline. We have a new joint venture partner, Hochschild Mining plc, on our Pachuca Norte silver-gold project in central Mexico. Hochschild is currently planning a 12-month, $1.5 million exploration program on this high potential project. At Pedra Branca, our joint venture partner, Anglo Platinum, will conduct a regional airborne geophysical survey to identify new platinum-palladium targets. If the survey is successful in identifying new targets, drilling will follow either in late 2013 or 2014.
At a time when most junior mining companies are struggling to maintain even modest programs to advance their assets, Solitario is aggressively moving towards development on its Mt. Hamilton gold-silver project. Meanwhile, Votorantim Metais, Hochschild Mining and Anglo Platinum are funding exploration and development activities on three other important Solitario projects. We look forward to updating our shareholders on all four projects during 2013.