Pan American Silver President and CEO Geoff Burns Wednesday said he prefers an Orko Silver-type deal to the silver stream models now used by other companies, such as Silver Wheaton.
In a response to an analyst's question during a conference call to discuss Pan American's financial results, Burns responded he would love to do another deal similar to the company's joint development deal with Orko Silver to advance the La Preciosa silver project in the State of Durango, Mexico.
Pan American has agreed to provide 100% of the funds necessary to develop and construct an operating mine for a 55% interest in the joint venture, while Orko Silver will contribute its exploration expertise and the La Preciosa project and related concessions for a 45% interest.
However, Burns told analysts that only a limited number of those opportunities exist within the industry.
During the first quarter of this year, Pan American Silver improved overall from a fourth-quarter that required the elimination of 500 employee and contract positions, a 10% pay cut for senior executives, and the cancellation of discretionary capital expenditures. Mine ore grades were also increased across all operations last year.
The company reported its second highest quarterly silver production during the first-quarter of this year, 4.9 million ounces for an 8% increase over the first-quarter 2008. Pan American Silver also reduced cash costs by 28%, achieved commercial production at Pueblo Viejo, and began commissioning its San Vicente silver, zinc and copper mine in Bolivia.
Pan American reported a net income of $6.6 million or 8-cents per share for the first quarter of this year, down from the $30.16 million (38-cents/sh) reported during the same quarter of 2008.
The largest buyer of Pan American copper concentrate production and pyrite stockpile material is Doe Run Peru, which has experienced severe financial problems during the first quarter. Pan American said it has been able to sell copper concentrates to other buyer. However, the company cautions that while Doe Run Peru's financial situation did not have a material impact on Pan American's financial results in the first quarter, it may have an impact on future Pan Am financial results.