The AIM hit a high today of 714.15 points.

Silver stocks were up across the board on Monday after the metal rebounded from a five-year low brought about by Switzerland's Sunday gold referendum. However, two companies were boosted for another reason as well.

Coeur Mining (NYSE:CDE) closed up 10.95 percent, at $4.56, while Paramout Gold and Silver (TSX:PZG,NYSEMKT:PZG) ended the day up 19.74 percent on the TSX and 22.73 percent on the NYSEMKT. Its share price on the former was $0.91, while on the latter it was $0.81. The main catalyst behind those gains appears to have been the rumor that Coeur is in "advanced negotiations" to acquire Paramount.

The news began circulating Sunday, when Reuters published an article stating that it has spoken about the deal to "people familiar with the matter." The news outlet states that Coeur wants to "expand its mining footprint in Mexico," and is interested specifically in Paramount's San Miguel project. San Miguel is right next to Coeur's silver-gold Palmarejo mine, and if combined with it, would allow Palmarejo to remain "one of the largest and highest grade silver and gold mines for at least another seven years."

Indeed, a September 2012 NI 43-101 resource estimate for San Miguel makes it look like a promising asset. The report states that it contains 639,000 ounces of gold and 53.6 million ounces of silver in the indicated category, along with 830,000 ounces of gold and 42.6 million ounces of silver in the inferred category. Paramount has also completed a preliminary economic assessment for the project, and exploration work is ongoing.

In terms of what the arrangement would mean for shareholders, Reuters states that Paramount shareholders would be paid in Coeur shares, also noting that Paramount would spin off its non-Mexican assets — which include the Sleeper, Mill Creek and Spring Valley projects — into a new company. Coeur would take a 4.9-percent stake in the spin off.

Deal or no deal?

At this point, neither Coeur nor Paramount has commented on the veracity of the Reuters article. However, a cursory look at the rumored transaction makes it look like a fair possibility — the benefits for Coeur are certainly obvious, and as Reuters points out, the acquisition sounds like a likely prospect simply due to the fact that today's low metals prices are pushing companies into consolidation.

For now, investors will have to wait and see. No word on when a public announcement may be made — if at all.


Securities Disclosure: I, Charlotte McLeod, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Related reading:

Silver Price, Stocks Rebound Following Swiss Vote

Gold Hits Three-week Low as Swiss Reject Gold Proposal, Rebounds Monday Morning

Coeur, Paramount Gold and Silver Boosted by Takeover Rumor from Silver Investing News