67 WALL STREET, New York - December 19, 2011 - The Wall Street Transcript has just published its Gold and Precious Metals Report offering a timely review of the sector to serious investors and industry executives. This special feature contains expert industry commentary through in-depth interviews with public company CEOs, Equity Analysts and Money Managers. The full issue is available by calling (212) 952-7433 or via The Wall Street Transcript Online.
Topics covered: Investment and Central Bank Demand - Dividends Dependent on Gold Prices - Gold Producers vs. Gold ETF - Midcap and Small-Cap Consolidation Activity
Companies include: Endeavour Silver (EXK); Alacer (ASR.TO); Apogee Silver (APE.V); Barrick (ABX); Eldorado (EGO); and many more.
In the following brief excerpt from the Gold And Precious Metals Report, expert analysts discuss the outlook for the sector and for investors.
Christopher E. Herald is Chief Executive Officer, President and Director at Solitario Exploration & Royalty Corp. He has more than 30 years of experience in the mining industry. Mr. Herald was responsible for the formation of Solitario in 1992 and has directed the company since then. He was instrumental in discovering the 1.5-million-ounce, high-grade Buckhorn Mountain gold deposit and its subsequent sale to Kinross Gold for about $240 million in 2006. He has held various exploration geology positions in Anaconda Minerals, Echo Bay Mines and management positions in Crown Resources during his career. Mr. Herald serves as Chairman of the Denver Gold Group, a not-for-profit industry association recognized for organizing the North American and European gold conferences for institutional investors. He also has served as a Director of Atna Resources Ltd. and Underworld Resources Inc. Mr. Herald received an M.S. in geological engineering from the Colorado School of Mines and a B.S. in geology from the University of Notre Dame.
TWST: Please begin with a brief overview of Solitario, including a short historical sketch.
Mr. Herald: Solitario (XPL)has been around for the better part of 17 years now. We have been a company that's been very active in exploration, primarily in Latin America, Mexico, Peru, Brazil and more recently in Nevada. It's a company that's focused on exploration, and then we also have a segment of our business where we reach out and find world-class mining partners to help us develop properties that we discover, and that way we utilize other people's or other companies' money to advance the very capital-intensive parts of exploration and development projects. We've been very successful in that segment in attracting major mining companies. We have four of them that we partnered up with to date.
And more recently, we branched out into developing our own gold asset in Nevada. It's called the Mount Hamilton gold project. We are very close to completing the feasibility study on that project, which is expected in January 2012. It's really a showcase property in terms of an established gold reserve with robust economics, and very importantly, very good exploration potential to grow this resource in future years. So right now, our two primary projects are Mount Hamilton gold project in Nevada, and then we have a zinc asset in Peru called Bongara zinc project, where we have a partner, Votorantim Metais, that's aggressively advancing that project through prefeasibility, and then by the end of 2013, we expect to complete a feasibility study, and then onward to production. So our focus in the company right now is on Mount Hamilton and Bongara.
TWST: Would you comment on the recoverable reserves you estimate out of the Mount Hamilton property?
Mr. Herald: Right now, in order to talk about reserves, we have to complete the feasibility study, which is a little over a month away. But in terms of resources that were calculated in the past, we are looking at about half a million ounces of contained gold plus silver, and that would be a gold equivalent. We see in the vicinity of a 7.5-year mine life as a minimum. In terms of operational costs, we think we will able to produce an ounce of gold for about $600 an ounce. And in terms of capital, the capital would be in the neighborhood of $70 million to $80 million with our current estimates. The exact estimates will be presented in our feasibility study, which we hope to see very shortly.
TWST: What is your outlook for gold, zinc and copper? And, from your perspective, what is driving the gold price right now and these other metals?
Mr. Herald: I think certainly in terms of gold, our view is quite positive. Certainly, it's been volatile, we'll see up and down moves in gold. But with the sovereign debt crises we see across the world right now, we think that that presents a very supportive environment for gold. We definitely do not have a view that gold is in a bubble right now. It's an attractive asset class for most investors, and with currency debasements, we see that continuing well into the future. In terms of zinc, most research reports that I have seen on zinc are quite positive moving into 2012, 2013, 2014. And the main reason for this is that we see a number of the larger zinc mines depleting their reserves and coming offline and not very many new projects coming online. And we still have the emerging economies spending a lot on infrastructure, and zinc is definitely an infrastructure type of metal. So positive outlook for the two main commodities that we are in, and we will just see what the future holds.
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