In the last 12 days, we have witnessed the collapse of four banks, and the troubling trend seems to continue as First Republic Bank suffers, plummeting to a new record low and experiencing a 90% drop over the past month.
This has spurred central banks worldwide into action, as evidenced by the late Sunday evening collaboration between the U.S. Federal Reserve and other global central banks. Together, they are working to ensure that sufficient dollars are available to address any liquidity concerns that may arise in the global financial system.
Considering the recent turbulence in the past two weeks, an increasing number of investors are turning towards gold to safeguard their assets. As a testament to this shift, the price of gold in U.S. dollars exceeded $2,000 for the first time in a year on Monday.
This surge in demand for gold is attributed to investors’ growing preference for safe-haven assets amidst increasing market risk.
Vizsla Silver Corp (TSX-V: VZLA)
Vizsla Silver is focused on advancing its 100%-owned Panuco silver-gold project in Sinaloa, Mexico, in 2023.
This flagship project is considered one of the most exciting primary silver discoveries globally, boasting exceptional silver grades with many catalysts to unlock shareholder value for the remainder of the year.
As the company forges ahead in its exploration efforts, it continues to deliver outstanding drilling outcomes at the Panuco project, thus furthering a district-scale discovery in Mexico.
It is worth noting that Mexico ranks as the largest silver producer globally, accounting for almost a quarter of the global silver output, with a projected production of over 212 million ounces in 2022. In 2021, the country’s output reached a staggering 196.7 million ounces. These statistics underscore the significance of Vizsla Silver’s efforts in this prime location.
Vizsla’s vision is to become one of the world’s largest single asset silver primary producers through exploration and development of the Panuco district in Mexico.
I am thrilled to have the opportunity to speak with Michael A. Konnert, the Chief Executive Officer of the company, as he gives the Gold Telegraph audience an introduction and an update on how things are going at the project.
Hi Michael, thank you very much for introducing the Gold Telegraph readers to the Vizsla Silver story.
Let’s start with the world-class Panuco project. Can you give us an overview of this exciting high-grade project and the story of how you got involved with advancing this deposit?
Absolutely, thanks Alex. Its great to be a part of the GT community.
Vizsla has consolidated at very large, very high-grade silver and gold district in Sinaloa Mexico. Our vision is to build one of the worlds largest single asset silver producers at our 100% owned Panuco silver project.
Our project is largest, undeveloped high-grade silver resource in the world, and its growing. What sets Panuco apart from other assets in the silver space is the nature of our mineralization. It’s near surface and high-grade. The veins that we are drilling are on average up to 5 times the average thickness of typical underground silver mine. The grade and thickness, I believe will translate into a large scale, high-grade mining operation in due time.
Another key takeaway about Vizsla is how this all started. It’s a unique story.
I founded Vizsla in 2017 when I was 29 years old. I had just sold Cobalt One Energy Corp with Craig Parry and I put my all my free cash and savings into the first few rounds of financing at Vizsla. I took the company public in 2018, a few days before my wedding.
I was travelling the world looking for the right asset for Vizsla for us to build a producing company, and I was introduced to a Canadian prospector in Mexico that needed help getting this Panuco project across the line. We stepped in, worked with the local families in Mexico and the prospector to enter into an option agreement acquire 100% of the district. But there was an issue. We had two options agreements that required us to make payments of $43,000,000 USD to own 100% of the project. People thought we were crazy as Vizsla had a tiny market cap. But over the course of about 18 months, we made a huge discovery and we successfully raised the money to make the deal work, thanks to our supportive shareholders. Fast forward 3 years and we’ve drilled over 250,000 metres and are building an enormous resource with fast-track production potential.
This is something that’s unique about Vizsla too. I am the CEO, but I am also the founder and I wrote the very first check to become the first shareholder. We bought the project from private Mexican mining families, not another Canadian company, and Panuco wasn’t a well known area.
All this means we have a special company, and that the management takes dilution very seriously.
Can you highlight the size of this project and where it is located?
The 6800 hectare project is located in Sinaloa Mexico, about 1hr from Mazatlán, which is a beautiful city on the Pacific coast. We’re in the towns of Panuco, Copala and Concordia, which have been great places to work.
The infrastructure advantage we have is huge. There are two highways running through the property and lots of production infrastructure including power. It’s almost Mexico’s answer to Hemlo in a way.
The company plans to drill 90,000 metres with seven drill rigs this year to generate another updated resource.
Should investors expect a healthy dose of news flow throughout the year from drilling efforts? Is there a specific zone Vizsla is focused on this year?
With an inferred vein strike totalling 86km, the company must have numerous prospective drilling targets in mind.
We’re very excited about drilling this year. There will be steady news flow, both growing the resource around the existing veins, and making new discoveries and de-risking the project, moving forward to a PEA next year possibly.
We’re probably most excited about the Copala area including the uplifted block to the east. I think Copala will continue to grow. But there is major discover potential at La Luisa and Quatro de Mayo.
We’ve only explored 10% of the veins that we know about, and we’re finding more all the time. We are very early in the exploration life of the district. We’re going to find lots of metal here.
What is your vision for the company?
Our vision has always been to build a legendary precious metals producer. More specifically, its to do this by using discovery to show Panuco is a world-class, multi-hundred million (if not billion) ounce silver district and then build a very large, high margin mine.
What is your current take on the precious metals space at this time? With commodity inventories at pretty dramatic lows across the board, do you expect a general sentiment swing to happen in our industry in the near future?
Well, I learned some time ago not to make any specific timing call, but I do think that there are signs that the PM space will have price improvements soon. There has never been a time when commodities are so needed, but so undersupplied. Its getting harder and harder to find these metals and then to build the mines, so I expect there to be a sustained bull market for all commodities in the near future. What the sector needs is for the audience of generalist investors to take notice. Well run companies providing good returns can help this.
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