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.