The tortoise and the hare. There’s no doubt which is which when you’re talking about gold and silver, but the slow steady rise of silver has accelerated to a jackrabbit’s pace. Silver is up 113% since the end of 2009, while gold’s gain over the same period is just over 30%.
While some believe that silver may be due for a correction, others believe that perceptions of the metal are changing significantly. Forbes Jason Raznick says investors are “clamoring for silver as a hedge against inflation and geopolitical risks, and in the current environment it is working wonderfully.”
Famed investment manager Eric Sprott, CEO of Sprott Asset management thinks silver is actually “the new gold”. He says he thought gold was the investment of the last decade, but that this decade will be dominated by silver. “Quite frankly, in the next three to five years, I will be the least surprised person in the world to see the price of silver go to $100.” he told BNN recently.
Vancouver’s International Northair Mines (TSXV:INM) is, to a large degree, focused on silver. But the company is clearly not chasing trends. Northair is part of the stable of the Northair Group, a consulting firm whose roots in exploration go back to 1966, and boasts decades of experience in Latin America. Northair has been in Mexico for decades with mixed success. On one hand the company is a respected junior, having partnered with majors such as Teck and Mexican giant Peñoles. On the other hand, the lack of a major discovery has meant a sliding share price and weak balance sheet. Northair was over a dollar in early 2004, but has been on a steady decline for nearly five years.
On February 24th, however, International Northair proved that persistence pays, delivering solid results from from the first two holes of the current phase II core drill program at the La Cigarra silver project located in north-central Mexico. The numbers included 80.45 metres of 123.5 grams per tonne silver in hole CC-11-002 at the San Gregorio zone.
The La Cigarra Project located in the same mineral belt that includes Silver Standard’s Pitarilla and Pan American Silver’s La Preciosa project. NorthAir says until these drill holes, there had been no modern exploration or drilling on the site.
The results from La Cigarra have tripled the price of International Northair in weeks, from a low of $.105 cents on February 7th, to a close of $0.335 on March 7th. Importantly, it also allowed the company to shore up a weak balance sheet, as it closed a $4 million private placement last week. International Northair will use its bolstered war chest to further explore La Cigarra, a property that company President and CEO Fred Hewett says “has the potential to host a significant silver deposit.”