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New Pacific Metals well funded to develop flagship Silver Sand project in 2018

After raising upwards of US$72mln, New Pacific has plenty of cash to develop the silver-polymetallic project in Bolivia

drilling equipment
The exploration company paid C$57mln to buy Minera Alcira

The second half of 2017 was a transformational period for Canadian explorer New Pacific Metals Corp. (TSX:NUAG).

In July, the company acquired Bolivian mining group Minera Alcira for C$57mln, which gave it access to the Silver Sand project as well as six other early-stage, silver-polymetallic projects in the South American country.

Silver Sand is New Pacific’s flagship property, and historical data suggest it could be host to some high-grade silver mineralisation, with five “significant mineralisation zones” in particular standing out.

That exploration was fairly limited though, so New Pacific, after getting the necessary exploration permits, immediately kicked off a 30,000-metre drilling programme to try to get a better understanding of what is underfoot at Silver Sand.

That’s a lot of expensive drilling to be done, but money doesn’t look like an issue for the company for a while yet.

Having raised upwards of C$72mln from investors over the past six months - a significant chunk of which was used to finance the acquisition - New Pacific finished 2017 with C$37.5mln in the bank.

That puts it on a sound financial footing as it looks to further develop Silver Sand in 2018.

Reflecting the increased activity towards the end of the year, operating expenses jumped to C$1.74mln in the six months ended December 31 (H2 2016: C$652,000). Almost all of those - C$1.35mln - were pumped into the exploration work at Silver Sand.

Net losses actually narrowed in the second half to C$1.1mln (H2 2016: loss of C$2.36mln) thanks to a small gain from investments.

Quick facts: New Pacific Metals

Price: 7.8 CAD

Market: TSX
Market Cap: $1.19 billion

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