Efforts to revive the JPMorgan Chase & Company (NYSE:JPM) silver manipulation case have failed — and much faster than lead counsel Christopher Lovell expected. The case was dismissed in December after Judge Robert Patterson deemed the complaint against JPMorgan too weak. The plaintiffs submitted a proposed amended complaint last month in an effort to keep the matter alive. Lovell expected the court’s decision to take six months.
“None of the allegations added by plaintiffs in the proposed amended complaint cure the pleading deficiencies that led to the dismissal of the plaintiffs’ first complaint for failure to state a claim,” Patterson wrote in his decision, according to Bloomberg. And with that, Patterson shut down the plaintiffs’ attempt to pursue their case.
Two firms released silver forecasts that essentially call for silver to move in opposite directions. Societe Generale (EPA:GLE) predicts that silver will decline from $30 in the first quarter to $24 in Q4. Commerzbank (ETR:CBK), on the other hand, downgraded its forecast, but still projects that the silver price will increase from the current level. The firm expects silver to average $32 in the second quarter, $35 in Q3 and $36 in Q4.
What silver prices have done for most of the past week is close within a 20-cent range, just below the $29 mark. Tuesday, the metal ended the day a cent closer, at $28.91. Silver prices were left susceptible to the market’s reaction to a highly anticipated statement that was scheduled to follow the Federal Open Market Committee’s two-day meeting.
Ultimately, the press conference held by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and the decision to maintain current policies had little impact on silver. Some pressure crept into the market Wednesday afternoon and weighed on prices. But, before the close, silver recovered most of what it had lost. Wednesday, however, was the first day this week that the metal ended in the red. With losses of $0.90, its closing New York spot price was $28.82.
Thursday it was reported that Chinese silver imports dropped almost 12 percent in February compared to the previous month. The euro was down and the dollar was up. Equities were weaker, and copper, which silver had traded with earlier in the week, was also down. In overseas markets, silver prices had also weakened. Silver in India was down about $2.67 per kilogram. Yet, despite all of these factors, silver prices held above $29 during US trading.
May silver on the COMEX ended Thursday floor trading near session highs, up $0.41 at $29.23. At the close of the New York spot market, silver was at $29.18, having made a gain of $0.36.
These financial results were complemented by record silver production of over 3.9 million ounces, a 60-percent increase. Fortuna has forecast a further 10-percent increase in production in 2013, to 4.4 million ounces.
Last year, the company also produced more than 20,699 ounces of gold, a 199-percent increase over 2011. This year, the company expects to produce 23,300 ounces of gold, a 13-percent year-over-year increase.
Silver Standard Resources (TSX:SSO,NASDAQ:SSRI) and Prospero Silver (TSXV:PSL) signed a definitive agreement for the option to joint venture Prospero’s San Luis del Cordero property in Durango, Mexico.
The terms include Silver Standard having the option to earn a 51-percent interest within three years by incurring total property expenditures of $3.5 million, a minimum of 4,000 meters of drilling in year one and total cash payments of $1.5 million.
IMPACT Silver (TSXV:IPT,OTC Pink:ISVLF) commissioned the Capire production center in Guerrero, Mexico. The site includes an open-pit mine and a newly constructed 200 metric-ton-per-day pilot plant. The company said the purpose of the pilot processing operation is to determine future production costs and cut-off grades for a potentially larger plant as well as to provide near-term operating cash flow. The first concentrate shipments are expected in Q2.
Capire is IMPACT’s second production center in Mexico. The other, Guadalupe, is a 40-minute drive from Capire.
Silver Bull Resources (TSX:SVB,NYSE:SVBL) increased the size and grade of the resource at its Sierra Mojada property in Coahuila, Mexico. An updated NI 43-101 technical report is in the works. Highlights include:
- an indicated silver resource of 71.9 million metric tons (MT) at an average grade of 72.5 g/t silver totaling 167.5 million troy ounces of silver at a 25 g/t silver cut-off grade.
- an indicated silver resource of 40.75 million MT at an average grade of 102.2 g/t silver totaling 134 million troy ounces of silver at a 45 g/t silver cut-off grade.
- an indicated silver resource of 20 million MT at an average grade of 147.8 g/t silver totaling 94 million troy ounces of silver at a 80 g/t silver cut-off grade.
Tim Barry, president, CEO and director of Silver Bull, said that at over 167 million ounces, Sierra Mojada is now one of the largest undeveloped silver resources in Mexico. He added that the company is well financed for the next step, the preliminary economic assessment.
Dolly Varden Silver (TSXV:DV,OTC Pink:DOLLF) closed the first tranche of a non-brokered private placement for $1.86 million. The company issued 10,310,000 common shares and 25,000 flow-through common shares. Dolly Varden reiterated that Hecla Mining (NYSE:HL) has agreed to purchase the additional shares needed to maintain its 19.9-percent ownership position.
Dolly Varden paid a finder’s fee, advisor’s fee and arranging fees and issued warrants to those parties. The proceeds from the deal will be used for working capital and to advance the Dolly Varden silver property in BC, Canada.
Securities Disclosure: I, Michelle Smith, own shares of JP Morgan.