VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA -- (Marketwired) -- 05/10/13 -- South American Silver Corp. (TSX: SAC)(OTCQX: SOHAF) reports the release of its unaudited condensed interim consolidated financial statements for the three months ended March 31, 2013 and the related management's discussion and analysis of financial position and results of operations ("MD&A").
As at March 31, 2013, the Company had cash and cash equivalents of US $20.2 million. The Company also owns a 19.9% equity interest in High Desert Gold Corporation (TSX VENTURE: HDG)(OTCQX: HDGCF) which had a quoted value as at March 31, 2013 of Cdn. $2.2 million.
In Chile, drilling for the season ended on May 2, 2013 at the Escalones copper-gold project. A total of 9,070 metres of drilling were completed this season. The drilling program is intended to fill gaps in the resource model in order to expand inferred resources in the porphyry and skarn environments. An updated NI 43-101 resource estimate is scheduled for completion by mid-year.
In Bolivia, the Company's wholly-owned subsidiary, South American Silver Limited, commenced international arbitration against the Government of Bolivia on April 30, 2013, after the cooling-off period ended on April 23, 2013. SAC is seeking compensation based on fair market value of the Malku Khota project, under the Arbitration Rules of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) pursuant to the Agreement between the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Government of the Republic of Bolivia for the Promotion and Protection of Investments (UK-Bolivia Treaty).
Now that the arbitration has commenced, the Bolivian Government has until May 30, 2013 to respond and an arbitration tribunal will be empanelled in the coming months. Thereafter, the tribunal will set a provisional timetable for the arbitration itself. This will include a schedule for submission of a Statement of Claim, Statement of Defense and oral hearings at a court of arbitration to be designated. Unless there is a negotiated settlement of the dispute, it is expected that the arbitration can take up to 2-3 years from commencement of proceedings until rendering of a final award.
The immediate priorities of the Company for 2013 remain to (i) diligently manage and preserve the Company's cash resources; (ii) announce an updated NI 43-101 technical report with a view of expanding inferred resources at Escalones by mid-year; (iii) evaluate the potential of joint venturing future stages of Escalones; (iv) recover fair market value for the Malku Khota project by pursuing international arbitration proceedings against Bolivia at the same time remaining open to a negotiated settlement; (v) evaluate proposals for at-risk, non-recourse third-party funding of the Bolivian arbitration costs; (vi) evaluate the potential for acquiring new attractive exploration targets through strategic mergers and acquisitions; and (vii) rebrand the Company to reflect its new strategic direction.
Further details including copies of the unaudited financial statements and related MD&A can be found on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and on the Company's website at www.soamsilver.com.
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