This level of government participation and tax burden is unprecedented relative to any of the other jurisdictions where Pan American operates, including the province of Santa Cruz in Argentina, where the Company's Manantial Espejo mine is located. The Company's initial review of the effects of the proposed legislation, when coupled with the current inflationary environment in Argentina, indicates that the increased provincial participation will render the Navidad project uneconomic at any reasonable estimate of long-term silver prices.
While the proposed law remains subject to revision within the legislative sub-committee and during the debate process in the provincial legislature, in the event that the law is approved as proposed without any meaningful modifications, Pan American will have no other reasonable option but to suspend further investment in Navidad. Without clear potential for positive economic returns, further investment and project expenditures cannot be justified.
Geoff Burns, President & CEO of Pan American commented on the proposed legislation, "This is an incredibly unfortunate development for the mining industry in the province of Chubut and in Argentina. Having made significant investments over the last two and a half years in work to prepare the world-class Navidad silver project for development, it is extremely disappointing that the government of Chubut would introduce this legislation without meaningful consultation with the mining industry. Since acquiring Navidad, we established a policy of open and honest communication with all levels of government as to our progress and plans and were surprised that we were not consulted on the economic effects that the proposed legislation would have on Navidad's development. I am convinced that it was the provincial government's intent with the new draft legislation, to define a path for the development of Navidad, not to render the project uneconomic. However, if the draft law is passed as submitted there can be no other choice currently than to stop investing further in the project".
About Pan American SilverPan American Silver's mission is to be the world's largest and lowest cost primary silver mining company by increasing its low cost silver production and silver Mineral Reserves. The Company has seven operating mines in Mexico, Peru, Argentina and Bolivia, including the recently-acquired Dolores gold/silver mine in Chihuahua, Mexico. Pan American also owns the Navidad silver development project in Chubut, Argentina, the Calcatreu gold project in Rio Negro and the La Virginia development project in Sonora, Mexico. CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS