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Silver has attracted renewed attention in 2021, coming into the new year on an upswing and surging to a seven year high of US$28.55 per ounce at the start of February.
This positive performance countered gold’s muted showing, helping reduce the gold/silver ratio. As the white metal reached its year-to-date high, the ratio fell by seven points to reach 65.19.
Silver’s spike was initially linked to the WallStreetBets Reddit forum. The group responsible for driving up GameStop’s (NYSE:GME) share price also targeted silver, drawing attention to the metal. WallStreetBets members have since distanced themselves from silver, but interest from retail investors remains.
By the end of February the excitement had waned, causing silver to slide to a three month low by the end of March, landing at US$25.25. In keeping with the volatile nature of this market, silver rebounded to the US$28 level in mid-May only to slide back to the US$26 level to close out the second quarter. By early August, silver had not only failed to rally, but had slipped even further to the US$24 level.
There is a silver lining to the white metal’s poor performance — according to the Silver Institute, industrial demand for the metal is anticipated to touch a four year high in 2021 of 510 million ounces. The increase would mark a 9 percent year-over-year rise. Total silver demand is also projected to see an upswing, totaling 1.025 billion ounces, a six year high.
Below the Investing News Network has listed the best junior silver stocks on the TSXV by share price performance so far this year. All year-to-date and share price data was obtained on August 9, 2021, from TradingView. All companies listed had market caps above C$10 million at that time.
1. Azarga Metals (TSXV:AZR)
Year-to-date gain: 75 percent; current share price: C$0.11
Exploration and development company Azarga Metals is focused on its wholly owned Unkur copper-silver project in Russia’s Zabaikalsky province. The project sits in a geographically advantageous region that shares a border with China and Mongolia.
A preliminary economic assessment (PEA) or the Unkur project is underway and will incorporate an updated mineral resource estimate. The company is also planning to start an exploration program in the eastern part of the project (Unkur East) in August. The work will help Azarga map drill hole locations in preparation for a potential 2,000 to 3,000 meter drilling program at Unkur East.
2. Guanajuato Silver (TSXV:GSVR)
Year-to-date gain: 60 percent; current share price: C$0.44
Mexico-focused Guanajuato Silver is engaged in reactivating past-producing silver and gold mines near the city of Guanajuato. Its aim is to refurbish and restart production at its El Cubo mine and mill and nearby El Pinguico project; it also wants to delineate additional silver and gold resources.
Formerly known as Vangold Mining, Guanajuato Silver has had a busy year. The company completed a combined PEA for El Cubo and El Pinguico in February, and then the next month signed a definitive purchase agreement for El Cubo. It reported drill results from El Pinguico in May and July, and most recently started stockpiling vein material at El Cubo.
3. Fabled Silver Gold (TSXV:FCO)
Year-to-date gain: 55 percent; current share price: C$0.16
Fabled Silver Gold is interested in acquiring Mexican precious metals properties with blue-sky potential. It has an agreement in place with Golden Minerals Company (TSX:AUMN,NYSEAMERICAN:AUMN) to acquire the high-grade silver-gold Santa Maria project, located in Mexico’s epithermal silver-gold belt.
Fabled has been actively drilling throughout 2021, with its share price peaking for the year at C$0.35 on February 8, several days after it reported results from the second diamond drill hole completed at Santa Maria. The company continues to share drill results from Santa Maria, most recently on August 3, when it said it continues to intercept multiple zones of silver mineralization.
4. Bayhorse Silver (TSXV:BHS)
Year-to-date gain: 38.1 percent; current share price: C$0.15
Bayhorse Silver is building a portfolio of precious and base metals exploration and development projects, including its 100 percent owned Bayhorse silver mine property in Oregon; it also has an option to acquire an 80 percent interest in the Brandywine silver-gold project in British Columbia.
In May, the company reported positive exploration results from preliminary drilling and sampling at the Bayhorse silver mine. Development work has also led to the extension of the main silver zone to the south via a new drift with a drill station located on the south side of the main haulage way.
Shares of Bayshore Silver reached their year-to-date peak on May 3 at C$0.26.
5. Vizsla Silver (TSXV:VZLA)
Year-to-date gain: 27.75 percent; current share price: C$2.20
Vizsla Silver’s flagship asset is its district-scale Panuco silver-gold project in Mexico’s Sinaloa province. The company has the option to acquire 100 percent of this newly consolidated 9,386.5 hectare district, which includes over 75 kilometers of total vein extent, a 500 tonne per day mill, 35 kilometers of underground mines, plus tailings facilities, roads, power and permits.
Vizsla has been active throughout the year, and its share price reached its highest point so far in 2021 on May 18, hitting C$2.84. A day later, the company shared drill results from 10 new holes at Panuco’s Tajitos vein. Most recently, on July 28, Vizsla released results from Panuco’s Cordon del Oro corridor.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Melissa Pistilli, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.
Editorial Disclosure: Azarga Metals, Fabled Silver Gold and Guanajuato Silver are clients of the Investing News Network. This article is not paid-for content.
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