October 15th, 2021 | 11:25 CEST
First Majestic, Silver Viper, Barrick Gold - Best prospects for precious metals
Table of contents:
First Majestic Silver - Record production in the third quarter
With the production figures for the third quarter, the Canadian gold and silver producer First Majestic reported a record production of 7.3 million ounces of silver equivalents. This consisted of 3.3 million ounces of silver and 54,525 ounces of gold. The main contributor was a 17% increase in production from the Jerritt Canyon Mine gold project in Nevada, which was in production for the full quarter for the first time. In addition, a 14-day maintenance shutdown of the blast furnaces at the site meant that around 30,000 tons of ore had to be stockpiled. Processing will then take place in Q4.
At the same time, the Company announced that due to the current weak silver price, silver sales have been completely suspended for the third time in the Company's history. 1.4 million ounces of silver are thus currently withheld from the market. The Company expects prices to pick up again and assumes that sales can be resumed in the fourth quarter. These assumptions are supported by a recent study of the Silver Institute in Washington, DC. After the corona-induced sharp drop in demand in 2020, the experts expect demand to increase by 15% in 2021, while supply will increase by only 8% due to new mine projects and increased recycling volumes.
First Majestic will also continue to expand its production in the future. Currently, the Company operates 27 drill rigs, completing exploration drilling totaling 50,472 meters in the past quarter. Also, the Santa Elena project is about to significantly increase output by processing ore from the Ermitaño region. Analysts are currently divided on the Canadian Company's stock. Although the consensus estimate sees the price target at around CAD 18.50, more than 20% above the current price level and thus as a buy, the majority of experts advise holding securities already in the portfolio.
Silver Viper Minerals Corp. - Promising exploration update
It has been quiet around the exciting Canadian junior explorer Silver Viper. After the successful private placement of a total of CAD 6 million in July and the NI43-101 compliant resource estimate of 154,300 ounces of gold and 6,929,000 ounces of silver (derived 246,300 ounces of gold and 12,489,800 ounces of silver), the Company has not been heard from for a long time. The share price came under pressure. But on October 1, there was a promising update. The Company provided information on the exploration progress along the "El Rubi" structure and in the adjacent exploration zones "La Colmena" and "Paredones".
Current drilling has provided a better understanding of the ground structure and has identified potential drill targets for further exploration. The next step will be a TITAN-160 deep drill hole directly over the El Rubi area. For this purpose, the experienced Company Quantec Geoscience was contracted. With the help of special investigation methods such as the DC resistance measurement with induced polarization ("DCIP") and the collection of magnetotelluric data ("MT"), an investigation of the structures down to a depth of 1,500m can be achieved. Silver Viper's initial findings suggest that the deeper mineralization is mainly hosted in rhyolitic rocks.
According to the Company, the survey is scheduled to start at the end of October. With this, Silver Viper continues to move closer to its goal of attracting interest from a larger mining company that could take over the project, as expressed by CEO Steve Cope in an earlier interview. Investors seem to think so, too: since the news was published, the share price has risen by around 20%. Currently, the Company is valued at CAD 45 million.
Barrick Gold - Share price at inexplicable low
The Canadian gold producer Barrick Gold was also able to come up with an increase in production in the third quarter. Thus, gold production increased by about 5%, from 1.05 to 1.09 million ounces. Most of this was due to the improved performance of the Argentine Veladero mine. The rest of the newsflow from the world's second-largest gold producer also reads positively across the board. Likewise, Barrick's fundamentals give no cause for concern: the breakeven point is a gold price of around USD 1,040 per ounce, but the current price is around USD 1,798.
The Company is thus making a healthy profit and could pay off all its corporate debt in one fell swoop with its current cash position. Nevertheless, the share price has been falling for months. And this is even though the circumstances surrounding it are favorable for precious metals, such as low-interest rates and rising inflation. There is no plausible explanation for this development. Analysts see the matter in the same way and recommend putting the share in the depot. The average price potential of the consensus estimate is over 50%.
Precious metals have long been classic forms of investment to defy crises. Those who do not want to invest directly in precious metals are well served by commodity stocks. The current economic situation, as well as the demands of politics ("climate change", "electromobility"), will additionally fuel the demand for gold and silver in the future. A price rally is likely to be imminent. Those who want to play it safe should now cover themselves with shares of established producers such as First Majestic or Barrick Gold. Those who wish to take more risks and look for potential doublers should look at smaller junior explorers. Here, Silver Viper is certainly one of the most exciting companies.
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