Near-site and regional exploration programs
Pan American Silver engages in both near-site mine and regional exploration programs.
Our near-site mine exploration programs have a history of successfully replacing silver ounces mined. Over the last 14 years, we have replaced 100% or more of our proven and probable reserves at an average cost of $0.45 per ounce. In 2017, we added about 33 million ounces of new silver mineral reserves, more than replacing ounces depleted through mining, investing US$15 million to drill approximately 150 kilometres. Regional exploration expenditures totaled $3 million in 2017, with 8 kilometres drilled.
Pan American Silver has exploration potential across its diversified portfolio, with exploration concessions covering approximately 580,000 hectares.
Mine and near site
Pan American Silver owns interests in the following exploration projects.
Pan American Silver owns an approximately 10% undiluted interest in Kootenay Silver Inc., a silver exploration company listed on the TSX Venture Exchange. We also own an option agreement to earn a 75% interest in their Promontorio mineral belt property, including the La Negra and Promontorio deposits.
New Pacific Metals Corp.
Pan American Silver holds an approximately 12% interest (approximately 16% fully diluted) in New Pacific Metals Corp. (“New Pacific”), an exploration and development company listed on the TSX Venture Exchange. Our interest in New Pacific provides exposure to the Silver Sand property, located in the Potosi department of Bolivia, where New Pacific is progressing through a 50,000 metre drilling program.
Pan American Silver has a joint venture agreement with Radius Gold to fund drilling and exploration at Radius’s high-grade Amalia Project located in the State of Chihuahua, Mexico. Pan American Silver can earn an initial 65% of the project by paying US$1.5 million in cash payments and spending US$2 million on exploration within 4 years. Pan American Silver may earn an additional 10% by advancing the project to pre-feasibility.