Silver lining: Jim Williams of Arian Silver talks to Stockopedia

Wednesday, Dec 15 2010 by
Silver lining Jim Williams of Arian Silver talks to Stockopedia

Jim Williams could hardly have timed it better. After spending the last six years developing silver projects in Mexico, production from his company’s flagship San Jose mine finally got underway in September. Just weeks later a near-two year rally in the price of silver saw the precious metal reach a 30-year high of $30.75 an ounce on New York’s Comex exchange. For Williams and Arian Silver Corp (LON:AGQ) , the potential for 200m ounces in the ground is something to get excited about.

From modest beginnings, Williams’ eye for a project and no shortage of luck, has created a company with a handful of exploration projects and the all-important production base in Mexico’s Zacatecas State. At San Jose, the company’s contract mining and milling operations are scheduled to process 500 tones of ore per day to produce a silver-rich powdery concentrate worth $6,500 per ton based on a silver price of $18. So far Williams and his team have concentrated their efforts on the resources of just 10% of their San Jose Vein. That has landed them with a JORC-compliant resource of around 43 million ounces of silver, 120 million lbs of lead and 250 million lbs of zinc. Unsurprisingly, Williams is keen to forge ahead with further drilling elsewhere on the vein – indeed that work is underway.

But while Williams commitment to getting the project into production has finally reaped rewards, the company has not had an easy time during the recession. Between the autumn of 2008 and late winter 2010 its share price failed to break 5p. Anticipation over work at San Jose got things moving over the summer but it wasn’t until production began in September before the shares enjoyed a substantial re-rating – they are currently trading just off a high of 40.75p. The surge in interest in recent months matches the charts of other, larger Mexico-based silver specialists, Fresnillo (LON:FRES) , which is the world’s largest primary silver producer, and Hochschild Mining Plc (LON:HOC) . Among its smaller cap peers, Irish miner Minco (LON:MIO) is also active in Mexico, while silver projects also form part of the portfolios…

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Fresnillo plc is a holding company. Through its subsidiaries, the Company is engaged in the mining and beneficiation of non-ferrous minerals, and the sale of related production. The primary contents of this production include silver, gold, lead and zinc. The Company has six operating mines: Fresnillo, located in the State of Zacatecas, which is primary silver mine; Saucito, located in the State of Zacatecas, an underground silver mine; Cienega, located in the State of Durango, an underground gold mine, including the San Ramon satellite mine; Herradura, located in the State of Sonora, a surface gold mine; Soledad-Dipolos mine, located in the State of Sonora, a surface gold mine, and Noche Buena, located in State of Sonora, a surface gold mine. The Company has two development projects, which include Saucito II and San Julian. The Company's subsidiaries include Minera Fresnillo, S.A. de C.V., Minera Penmont, S. de R.L. de C.V., Minera Saucito, S.A. de C.V. and Fresbal Investments, Ltd. more »

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Hochschild Mining plc is engaged in mining, processing and sale of silver and gold. It has approximately three operating mines (Arcata, Pallancata and Inmaculada) located in southern Peru and approximately one operating mine (San Jose) located in Argentina. Its segments include Arcata, Pallancata, San Jose, Inmaculada, Exploration and Other. Arcata and San Jose business units are engaged in the sale of gold, silver, dore and concentrate. Pallancata business unit is engaged in the sale of concentrate. Inmaculada business unit is engaged in the sale of gold, silver and dore. The Exploration segment explores and evaluates areas of interest in brownfield and greenfield sites to extend the life-of-mine of existing operations and to assess the feasibility of new mines. The Other segment includes Empresa de Transmision Callalli S.A.C., a power transmission company; HMX, S.A. de C.V., a service company in Mexico, and Empresa de Transmision Aymaraes S.A.C., a power transmission company. more »

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Minco plc is a United Kingdom-based mineral exploration and development company focused on exploration in Canada, Ireland and the United Kingdom, and indirectly on base metal and silver projects in Mexico. The Company's segments include Ireland, Canada, U.K. and Mexico. The Company holds an interest in Prospecting License 1440R in Tatestown, Ireland. The Company, through its subsidiary, Minco Ireland Limited, holds approximately three Prospecting Licenses, 1228, 1229 and 3981, in County Westmeath, Ireland. It also holds approximately 2% net smelter royalty on the Curraghinalt gold deposit in Northern Ireland. The Company, through its subsidiary, Canadian Manganese Corp., holds the Woodstock project located northwest of the town of Woodstock, New Brunswick. Its Tulks North project is located in the Victoria Lake Mining district of west-central Newfoundland and includes the Daniels Pond deposit and the adjacent Bobbys Pond deposit. The Company has no revenue from operations. more »

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  Is LON:FRES fundamentally strong or weak? Find out More »

1 Comment on this Article show/hide all

Isaac 16th Feb '11 1 of 1

Very good Interview. Thank you.

I have been buying these recently, it is a play on silver. I love companies like Arian which uses production to fund exploration. They have only proved up about 10% of their resource and estimates are for loads more silver.

I think these will get taken over eventually once Jim and Co has proved up most of the resource.....

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About Ben Hobson

Ben Hobson

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