Last week, silver traded tantalizingly close to — but didn't manage to reach — $22 per ounce, a level it hasn't attained since October 2013. This week, however, the white metal managed to achieve and pass the $22 mark, hitting a four-month high in the process. That high came early on Monday, when silver rose to $22.16, boosted by weak US manufacturing data released Friday as well as by news that in January, home prices slowed in China for the first time in 14 months. Unfortunately for fans of the white metal, the rest of the week has seen silver trade in a lower range. It spent Tuesday moving between $21.71 and $21.98; according to Reuters, that decline was caused by investors acting cautiously ahead of the release of further US data. Ultimately, the data didn't have much of an effect on the white metal, which early on Wednesday climbed to $21.96; however, midway through that day, silver took a rather precipitous fall, hitting $20.99 at its lowest point. Interestingly, that decline came on a day that "lacked any major data releases," as per iNVEZZ.com's Victor Kerezov. "[M]arket buzz," he said, "is that the move was triggered by the Bank of America Merrill Lynch's technical call to sell gold." Today, silver has recovered a little from that fall, but not much. Its high point for the day was $21.44, but it managed a close of just $21.26. Junior company news Silver Bull Resources (TSX:SVB,NYSEMKT:SVBL) said Tuesday that the National Water Commission of Mexico has granted its subsidiary six permits that will allow it to take 3,500,000 cubic meters per year from the regional aquifer. The water will be used at the company's Sierra Mojada silver-zinc project.
Also moving forward with permitting that day was Mines Management (TSX:MGT,NYSEMKT:MGN), which announced that the US Fish and Wildlife Service has issued Final Draft Biological Opinions for the company's Montanore silver-copper project. That's a critical step in the overall permitting process, the company's press release notes.On a different note, Paramount Gold and Silver (TSX:PZG,NYSEMKT:PZG) reported results from the final two core holes at the Don Ese deposit, located at its Northern Mexico-based San Miguel project. Infill drill hole DS-044 intersected 18 meters of 4.46 grams per tonne (g/t) gold and 424.88 g/t silver, including a central portion of 3.4 meters grading 19.18 g/t gold with 1,873.6 g/t silver. Wednesday, Mirasol Resources (TSXV:MRZ) provided silver and gold assay results from a chip-sampling program at its Chile-based Atlas high-sulfidation, epithermal precious metals project, commenting that assays of up to 2.91 g/t gold and 2,470 g/t silver were returned from float and outcrop. As a result, a number of new gold and silver targets have been highlighted, while the project's surface area has been "significantly" expanded. The same day, Levon Resources (TSX:LVN) completed Phase 4 drilling at its Cordero project, located in Mexico, commenting that 24 holes were drilled on a 100-meter grid in order to test the company's newly acquired Aida claim. Thus far, Levon has received assays for 14 of the holes; they reveal that strong, bulk-tonnage silver, gold, zinc and lead mineralization "extends from the surface, over broad intervals, within and near the Aida claims." In addition, three of the holes "intersected wide, higher grade mineralization across mineralized volcanic feeder zones at depth within the volcanic Cordero Felsic Dome Complex." The next day, Southern Silver Exploration (TSXV:SSV) said that Freeport-McMoRan Exploration has provided it with $475,000. Of that amount, $250,000 will go towards "the February 2014 option payment to the optionor of the Cerro Las Minitas mineral concessions," while the remaining $225,000 will be put toward that property's exploration expenses.
The company also said it has finished a second phase of exploration at Cerro Las Minitas.Also that day, Silver Bear Resources (TSX:SBR) updated the preliminary economic assessment for its Russia-based Mangazeisky silver project. Commenting positively on the report, Mark Trevisiol, the company's president and CEO, said the numbers show that Mangazeisky has the potential to generate quick returns for investors Securities Disclosure: I, Charlotte McLeod, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article. Related reading: Silver Spends Week Above $21, Nearly Hits $22 Silver Breaches $22, Later Takes a Fall from Silver Investing News