Thursday it was reported that Chinese silver imports dropped almost 12 percent in February compared to the previous month. The euro was down and the dollar was up. Equities were weaker, and copper, which silver had traded with earlier in the week, was also down. In overseas markets, silver prices had also weakened. Silver in India was down about $2.67 per kilogram. Yet, despite all of these factors, silver prices held above $29 during US trading.The close May silver on the COMEX ended Thursday floor trading near session highs, up $0.41 at $29.23. At the close of the New York spot market, silver was at $29.18, having made a gain of $0.36. Company news In its 2012 results, Fortuna Silver Mines (TSX:FVI,NYSE:FSM) reported record sales of $161 million, a 46-percent increase. That brought the company's net income up to $31.5 million for the year. These financial results were complemented by record silver production of over 3.9 million ounces, a 60-percent increase. Fortuna has forecast a further 10-percent increase in production in 2013, to 4.4 million ounces. Last year, the company also produced more than 20,699 ounces of gold, a 199-percent increase over 2011. This year, the company expects to produce 23,300 ounces of gold, a 13-percent year-over-year increase. Silver Standard Resources (TSX:SSO,NASDAQ:SSRI) and Prospero Silver (TSXV:PSL) signed a definitive agreement for the option to joint venture Prospero's San Luis del Cordero property in Durango, Mexico. The terms include Silver Standard having the option to earn a 51-percent interest within three years by incurring total property expenditures of $3.5 million, a minimum of 4,000 meters of drilling in year one and total cash payments of $1.5 million. IMPACT Silver (TSXV:IPT,OTC Pink:ISVLF) commissioned the Capire production center in Guerrero, Mexico. The site includes an open-pit mine and a newly constructed 200 metric-ton-per-day pilot plant. The company said the purpose of the pilot processing operation is to determine future production costs and cut-off grades for a potentially larger plant as well as to provide near-term operating cash flow. The first concentrate shipments are expected in Q2.
Capire is IMPACT's second production center in Mexico. The other, Guadalupe, is a 40-minute drive from Capire.Silver Bull Resources (TSX:SVB,NYSE:SVBL) increased the size and grade of the resource at its Sierra Mojada property in Coahuila, Mexico. An updated NI 43-101 technical report is in the works. Highlights include: an indicated silver resource of 71.9 million metric tons (MT) at an average grade of 72.5 g/t silver totaling 167.5 million troy ounces of silver at a 25 g/t silver cut-off grade. an indicated silver resource of 40.75 million MT at an average grade of 102.2 g/t silver totaling 134 million troy ounces of silver at a 45 g/t silver cut-off grade. an indicated silver resource of 20 million MT at an average grade of 147.8 g/t silver totaling 94 million troy ounces of silver at a 80 g/t silver cut-off grade. Tim Barry, president, CEO and director of Silver Bull, said that at over 167 million ounces, Sierra Mojada is now one of the largest undeveloped silver resources in Mexico. He added that the company is well financed for the next step, the preliminary economic assessment. Dolly Varden Silver (TSXV:DV,OTC Pink:DOLLF) closed the first tranche of a non-brokered private placement for $1.86 million. The company issued 10,310,000 common shares and 25,000 flow-through common shares. Dolly Varden reiterated that Hecla Mining (NYSE:HL) has agreed to purchase the additional shares needed to maintain its 19.9-percent ownership position. Dolly Varden paid a finder's fee, advisor's fee and arranging fees and issued warrants to those parties. The proceeds from the deal will be used for working capital and to advance the Dolly Varden silver property in BC, Canada. Securities Disclosure: I, Michelle Smith, own shares of JP Morgan. Related reading: Where the JPMorgan Silver Manipulation Case Stands Silver Manipulation Case Against JPMorgan Dismissed Silver Manipulation: Closure Ahead?