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Lower metal prices trim Silvercorp's profit margin

China-focused silver miner Silvercorp Metals (TSX: SVM) has continued to report negative cash costs and has increased sales, but its gross profit margin was trimmed slightly by lower metal prices.
Lower metal prices trim Silvercorp's profit margin Lower metal prices trim Silvercorp's profit margin Lower metal prices trim Silvercorp's profit margin Lower metal prices trim Silvercorp's profit margin Lower metal prices trim Silvercorp's profit margin

Part of Silvercorp’s six-mine Ying complex in China

Staff reporter

The company has reported a cash cost, net of by-product credits, of negative US$4.29 an ounce for the 12 months to March 31, compared with -$4.73 the previous year.

All-in sustaining costs were put at $3.52/oz silver, net of by-product credits, up from $3.27 a year earlier.

Silvercorp said the decrease in its gross profit margin, from 52% to 49%, was mainly due to lower realised metal prices.

The company's silver, gold, lead and zinc sales increased 6%, 13%, 5% and 16% respectively, to 6.4 million ounces of silver, 3,500oz of gold, 64.8 million pounds of lead and 22.7Mlb zinc for the year.

It put net income attributable to shareholders at $39.7 million or 23c per share, compared with 27c a year earlier.

Silvercorp's cash flow increased from $2.9 million the previous quarter to $6 million for the March period.

Its cash, equivalents and short-term investments increased 9% from a year earlier to $115.3 million at the end of March.

Silvercorp produces from the Ying Mining District in Henan province and the GC Mine in Guangdong.

It is also looking to bring its mothballed BYP project, in Hunan, back into production targeting about 30,000oz of gold a year.

It released an updated resource for BYP earlier this month, which comprised a measured and indicated at 4.3Mt at 3.1g/t for 418,000oz and an inferred 1.3Mt at 2.5g/t for 109,000oz for the gold area.

The company has forecast production increases for fiscal 2020 of 10% in zinc and 2% in both silver and lead.

It expects to process about 900,000t of ore, yielding 6.1Moz of silver, 65.1Mlb of lead and 21.8Mlb of zinc.

Silvercorp has also invested in Bolivia explorer New Pacific Metals and Namibian copper explorer Trigon Metals.

The company's share price has softened in recent months in line with the silver price, which has fallen from $17.17/oz last June to $13.99 in November and is currently worth $14.61/oz on the spot market.

Silvercorp shares last traded at C$2.85, towards the lower end of its 52-week range of $2.43-$3.88.

At that price it is capitalised about $484 million.