As Vancouver-based Silver Standard Tuesday reported a net loss of Cdn$10.5 million or negative 17-cents per share for 2008, the company announced that capex for its Pirquitas project has increased 5% from US$220 million to US$230 million.

The Pirquitas project in Jujuy, Argentina, is expected to be commissioned during the current quarter. The silver circuit is being optimized first, followed by the tin circuit. A decision to complete the zinc circuit is depending on the results of metallurgical testwork to be received on increasing silver recoveries.

The company estimates that mining, milling and administration costs will now average US$26/tonne over the life of the mine. Pirquitas is expected to yield in excess of six million ounces of silver this year and achieve full production of more than 10 million ounces of silver annually by 2010.

Meanwhile, Silver Standard's San Luis Joint Venture reported a 31% increase in measured and indicated gold resources with a measured resource of 61,000 ounces of gold and 1,345,100 ounces of silver, and indicated resources of 287,000 ounces of gold and 7,658,200 ounces of silver. Silver Standard holds a 55% interest in the project, which increases to 70% upon completion of a feasibility study anticipated in the second quarter of this year.

Silver Standard also reported a five-fold increase in gold resources at its wholly-owned Snowfield Project in northern British Columbia, 20 kilometers southeast of Barrick's Eskay Creek gold and silver mine. Measured and indicated gold resources at Snowfield totaled 4,362,000 ounces.

The company reported a net loss of Cdn$10.5 million or negative 17-cents per share for 2008, compared to a loss of Cdn$35.2 million or negative 57-cents per share in 2007. Part of the loss last year is a Cdn$6 million write-down as a result of a mark-to-market of share investments.

For the fourth-quarter 2008, Silver Standard reported a net loss of Cdn$17.4 million or negative 28-cents per share, compared to a net loss of Cdn$14.2 million or negative 23-cents per share for the same quarter of 2007.