Interview to Favio Casarin, from Silver Standard.

Even though the title phrase seems to be occasional, it is a strong conviction of Favio Casarin, Institutional Relations Manager at Silver Standards Resources in Argentina. The company develops the Pirquitas Project in Jujuy and Diablillos in Salta. In this interview, Casarin tells us how he glimpses the mining reality in general, and he speaks especially about the company in these difficult times for the activity in the country.

- How is the exploitation of Pirquitas in Jujuy advancing? - Regarding production, we are very well. The first quarter of the year was a record, since the company started operating the mine. 2.2 million Silver ounces were produced. This represents an increase of 24% respect from the same period last year. Zinc production was also increased to 3,324,000 lb, 295% higher than the last quarter from last year. The production increase is one of our goals to reduce the direct exploitation costs per ounce in Pirquitas, and the first quarter is an example of this. The aim is to finish the year with a production higher than 8 million Silver ounces. - How is the Diablillos exploration project in Salta evolving? -We have many expectations as regards Diablillos. The company has made huge investments in exploration with highly satisfactory results, and an economic feasibility study of the project is being held at the moment. Unfortunately, there is a neighboring conflict between Catamarca and Salta provinces because of Diablillos, and this is alien to Silver Standard. This conflict reached the National Supreme Court of Justice and it is experiencing delays as regards its concretion. It would be ideal that provinces reach an agreement among themselves instead of waiting for a resolution that may take several years. - What is the reality of Silver Standard in Argentina? - The company hopes to continue in Argentina, and this is not an occasional phrase. We show it with facts: Apart from our operation in Pirquitas, and Diablillos exploration projects, we count with administrative bases in Jujuy, Salta and Buenos Aires. We have expanded our professional staff and we are evaluating new deals and probable alliances, even in projects that belong to other provinces. - Which has been the social and economic impact of Silver Standard projects in Argentina? - We must consider that Pirquitas mine is in the department of Rinconada, 335 km away from the capital of Jujuy, and 4200 m.a.s.l. This is practically an inhospitable zone and without other possibilities for development. We are investing to start this USD 500 million Project. The staff number of Pirquitas Mine (MPI) is around 700 employees, and 521 of them are from Jujuy, which represent 75% of the total number. At the same time, MPI indirectly employs more than 300 people in the mine, in the province of Jujuy and neighboring communities that hired by our contractors. There are some other interesting data: We have 1,382 active providers in MPI. 1,290 of them (94%) are national providers. Recently, the Mining Secretariat has stated some resolutions with the aim to strengthen the national providers’ market, and has created the Bureau of Mining Approval. In this sense, –and we can consider ourselves pioneers in this issue in the Argentine Mining Industry- MPI has doubled investments in the purchase of materials for imports substitutions, it has also reduced imports from 11% to 6%, almost half in 2011. Our goal for 2012 is to maintain our imports percentage or reduce it to 5.5%, achieving an excellent participation of the national market in our purchase universe. - What are the projections of the company for the next years in the country at global level? - Our projections in Argentina are the ones I have already mentioned. However, at global level, we bet for the development of significant projects that we have in Peru and Mexico mainly. Our explorations of the last years have positioned us as the mining companies with the highest Silver reserves in the world. - What are your expectations regarding the Argentina Mining 2012 convention that will take place in Salta? - It is widely known that Argentina Mining is one of the most important events in the country. By looking from the inside, I would say it is the main one, since it reflects the interest of foreign investors. I have been honored with an invitation to participate in the Consulting Committee of Argentina Mining 2012, sharing it with the most important and prestigious referents of the Mining Industry. Taking into consideration the issues raised by the Committee, I have no doubt that the next edition taking place in Salta, in September, will be a real Argentine mining summit. Being there will be an imperative date.

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