Silver Mines (ASX:SVL) - silver & gold explorer


by Anna Napoli

Silver Mines Limited (ASX:SVL) Managing Director, Anthony McClure provides an update on the company's Bowdens Silver & Barabolar Projects in the Central West of NSW.

Anna Napoli: Welcome to the Finance News Network. I'm Anna Napoli and joining me now from Silver Mines (ASX:SVL) is Managing Director Anthony McClure. Anthony, welcome back to FNN.

Anthony McClure: Thanks Anna, good to be here.

Anna Napoli: Silver Mines is developing the Bowdens project and also has an extensive exploration program in the Central West of New South Wales. Can you tell us more?

Anthony McClure: Yeah. Well Bowden Silver's been. The project's been around for a few years now. A lot of work has been done on it. About $70 million been spent on it to date. It's the largest undeveloped silver project in Australia and one of the largest globally. We're very excited about it. We have done a lot of work on the project and the fruits of that work are coming to closure in terms of submitting for development approval.

Anna Napoli: The drilling results sound very positive. Can you give us a sense of the size of the resource?

Anthony McClure: We're now sitting at a bit over 270 million ounces of silver and that includes zinc and lead credits in there. But as I say, this is one of the world's largest undeveloped sliver projects and certainly the largest in Australia so that drilling has been hugely successful for us. During our ownership we've added 100 million ounces to the resource, so it’s been a particularly successful program over the last two years.

Anna Napoli: And what can you tell me in terms of development approvals?

Anthony McClure: We shortly submit. So in the next few months we submit for development approvals. So that's the completion of Environmental Impact Statement and we lodged development approvals for the asset and then it's up to government to make that determination. It's a simplistic project as far as development goes. We don't have complicated aspects of the project, including water and so forth. So it should be a reasonably simple approval process so we look forward to that.

Anna Napoli: And can you tell us more about the drilling at your Barabolar project?

Anthony McClure: During the course of work at Bowdens Silver we stretched a little bit further on the property. So we own about 2,000 square kilometres of tenure in the Mudgee district of Central New South Wales. Further to the north of Bowdens Silver the discovery of Barabolar Project has been very significant for us. We're drilling up there at the moment. So what we see up there is very, very different to the silver asset. We see a lot of copper, a lot of gold in the system up there. A lot of the surface work rock chip sampling and so forth has now determined the aerial extent. So the area that we're interested in is about 10 kilometres by two kilometres long, which is very significant in size.

We view it as very significant and a look alike of the Cadia Ridgeway system, which is the big Newcrest operations. We haven't made the big discovery yet. We're doing initial drilling right now. We're drilling a particular area called Cringle which is a high grade gold prospect. This is an area that was never discovered by the old timers, because it is a historical mining district, but we've discovered high grade gold on surface and we are currently drilling that.

We should have results on that in the next few weeks so it's an exciting period for that project. Moving forward we will be doing a lot more exploration out there, that's for sure.

Anna Napoli: That's fantastic Anthony. It sounds like there's a lot going on. How are you funding it?

Anthony McClure: We have got a great shareholder base which has continued to fund us so that's good. When we move forward into mine development obviously, we are exposed to the debt and equity markets. Being silver it's more of a North American/European product, so we will be typically financing that development out of North America and Europe.

Anna Napoli: Last question Anthony, what's happening over the next 12 months for Silver Mines?

Anthony McClure: Yeah, so the submission of the Environment Impact Statement is a key milestone for us. So that sets us off for development approval for the silver asset. Perhaps more importantly, is what we're doing on the exploration side. So as I mentioned what we're doing over Barabolar is the copper-gold exploration up there. The targets are outstanding and we're looking forward to a very positive news flow over the next 6 to 12 months, that's for sure.

Anna Napoli: Anthony McClure, it sounds like it's a very exciting time for Silver Mines. Thanks for the update.

Anthony McClure: Thanks Anna.