If the prospects of Fortuna Silver Mines Inc., a silver mining company operating two Latin American mines, continue to meet management projections, the Canada-based company will find the current year to have been one of its most sterling.
Minutes after ringing the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday, the company's top brass told the International Business Times it expects the current year to be one of substantial growth in mining capacity, revenues, company visibility and scope.
We're looking for our third mine, said Carlos Baca, the company's manager of investor relations. Other company executives highlighted developments in central Peru, where the company optioned the right to purchase a 3,850-hectare property in May.
While Jorge A. Ganoza, Fortuna Silver's president and CEO, said the firm's two currently operational mines have 70,000 hectares of mostly unexploited area that he sees as driving much of the short-term growth, other executives also emphasized further mining ventures as part of the company plan. Simon Ridgway, chairman of the board, said the company's growth portfolio would be split fifty-fifty between organic growth and further acquisitions.
Regardless of how growth is achieved, Fortuna Silver executives have set lofty aims for expansion this year. Aiming to still remain a low-cost producer, the miner expects to extract some four million ounces of silver equivalent in 2012, nearly double the 2.4 million ounces mined in 2011, and six million ounces by 2014.
Luis D. Ganoza, the company's chief financial officer and the CEO's brother, said the next 18 to 24 months will see most of the company's projected growth.
We're going to use that time well, Ridgway explained.
On Sept. 1, 2011, Fortuna Silver declared commercial development of its newest mine, the San Jose silver-gold mine near Oaxaca, Mexico. That was a mere 45 days after it first commissioned the project's ore processing plant on July 15. And while the company last said extraction at that mine was within 80 percent of design parameters in late October, the CEO notes there has been substantial progress since then.
We are basically there, CEO Ganoza said.
Share our story
Getting beyond there seems to be the next focus for company executives.
A year ago, Fortuna Silver was unprofitable. Last quarter, it reported record earnings of $10.31 million. Shares of the miner began trading in New York last September. Then in December, the company was added S&P/TSX index, the benchmark composite of the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Last week Fortuna Silver's management team presented at an Emerging Miners CEO, a New York City conference organized by investment bank Dahlman Rose.
The Dahlman Rose conference was a good opportunity to come and share our story, CEO Ganoza said. Noting the company is already being covered by analysts from large financial institutions that specialize in the resource extraction market, Ganoze said his firm was now aiming for a broader profile outside the natural resource focus institutions ... even to retail investors.
At the bell-ringing ceremony of the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday morning, executives were all smiles. Coming down from the podium where the opening bell is rung, the Ganoza brothers -- who note their family has been involved in mining for four generations -- took a moment to visit the exchange station where a market-maker was trading shares of the company.
They shared that moment not only with the other top executives at the company but, fittingly, with their parents.
Asked about the turnaround the company has experienced in the past year, Fortuna's executives unfailingly called it a team effort.
Our team at Fortuna has been tasked not only with building and operating a mine, but with building up an organization, CEO Ganoza said.