General Precious Metals
Dolly Varden Silver (TSX-V: DV)(OTC: DOLLF) CEO Shawn Khunkhun on More High-Grade Silver Hits & Upcoming Resource Upgrade
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is the president & CEO of one of the best silver speculations in the resource space, Dolly Varden Silver (TSX-V: DV)(OTC: DOLLF) — Mr. Shawn Khunkhun.
Shawn, it's great to have you back on. How are you today?
Shawn Khunkhun: I'm doing really well, Gerardo. Thank you for having me on.
Gerardo Del Real: Well, listen, let's get right into it. Silver is stuck between the US$21 and US$22 an ounce level. I am a contrarian. It's how I've managed to do well in this business. It's never been by chasing the trend after everyone gets involved. It's always been by being a little bit early and going with quality plays that get that rerating when the market turns.
There are few pure silver exploration plays like Dolly Varden in the space right now. And look, I think the company is a takeout target. That makes all the sense to me. So I wanted to have you on, and I wanted to chat about the 75-meter step-out back in September and just get an update on how things are coming along.
Shawn Khunkhun: Yes, thank you. And I just want to say before I talk specifically about Dolly, I think it's so important that you get on your board and you're ready to ride that wave before it happens. And nowhere in the commodity space is that as important as silver. Silver is something that, when it goes, it goes quickly and you need to be ready. You need to be positioned. And it's so important. So I just wanted to say that.
And one other thing on the silver side, look, the setup has never been better. What we're finding in some of the other metals out there is, for example, some information just came out on copper that's showing that there actually may be a surplus, not a deficit. And so for the short term, it's caused some price pressure on spot prices. But silver is just the opposite.
We've got a quarter-billion-ounce deficit this year, and it's only getting worse as time goes on. And as the industrial applications pick up, particularly solar, it's just taking up more and more demand. It's gone from 5% of the market and it's projected to go to 50% of all silver produced will get consumed by solar. So the setup for silver has never been better.
And again, only 20% of the companies out there, Gerardo, are pure silver mines. So we've got something that's special and that's unique. It does make us a target for acquisition. And we've got our head down and we're focused on building silver inventory.
So we went to the Wolf Deposit… and it's the gift that keeps on giving in that we keep stepping out and we keep hitting it. And the last round of results that we put out, not only are we seeing continuity and grade increasing at depth, but that vein that was about nine meters at surface is now 29 meters at depth.
So we put out, call it, 30 meters of 380 grams per tonne silver; that is a special intercept. And I think what differentiates Dolly from its peers is I can't find another project, and I've looked at a hundred, globally, where you've got this robustness, this concentration in terms of the width on the intercept, and then the grade is consistent. So we’ve got grade, we’ve got width, and it equates to a lot of ounces.
Gerardo Del Real: A lot of ounces. What is the vision for Dolly as it relates to the resource upgrade because you have massive exploration upside? And again, I hate to be repetitive but this is why I think it makes sense for somebody to roll Dolly into its portfolio because of the exploration upside and the ability to grow this over many, many years.
What's your target and what's your vision for growing the resource base at Dolly?
Shawn Khunkhun: Look, I think that the number one thing we're focused on is quality-of-ounces. Anything under 150 grams per tonne… so, essentially, anything under five ounces per tonne silver — we don't count. It's not there; we are not interested in mining it.
We want to be known as a quality exploration company that's focused on the lowest cost curve in terms of extremely low-cost ounces. And so if this was merely just an inventory exercise, I'd drop the cutoff grade and probably double the resource tomorrow. But that's not what we're interested in. We're interested in what we believe is going to be not only mineable but very, very economic in today's price environment.
So to reiterate where we started, this started as a million ounce silver producer when it first went into production, the Dolly Varden Mine. It then morphed into a 20 million ounce silver producer in the Torbrit Mine. And the remnants that were left behind by the old-time miners were about 44 million ounces of silver. And that's what I inherited when I took over the company in 2020.
Through an acquisition, we've upgraded the resource to now include 63 million ounces of silver and a million ounces of gold. Or if we expressed that on a silver-equivalent basis, it's about 140 million ounces of silver equivalent. So that factors in all of the drilling that was done up until 2019, and it factors in the acquisition.
What it doesn't factor in are the new discoveries we're making. It doesn't factor in taking the Wolf Deposit and what was just a discreet 100-meter strike length at surface is now 10 times the size. It's a kilometer; we've got a kilometer of strike length. And I've got pending holes that are step-outs that are continuing to grow.
And so we are drastically increasing the size of this resource, I think, in the magnitude of tens of millions of ounces of silver. And we're seeing also growth up at Homestake; we had some step-out success at Homestake Silver.
So property-wide, regionally, we've got seven targets. We're seeing growth in multiple deposits. We've seen growth at the big deposit, Torbrit. And so, look, in terms of targets, in terms of where I'd like to see it, I pose it as a question, and the question is, ‘Can this be a 1 billion ounce silver project?’
That's the question that we're setting out to answer.
Gerardo Del Real: It's a heck of a target. I'm excited for the assays that are pending. I'm excited to have you back on. Thank you for coming on on short notice. I know there's a lot going on. Looking forward to having you back on, Shawn.
Shawn Khunkhun: Awesome. Thank you so much, Gerardo.
Gerardo Del Real: Alright, chat soon.
Shawn Khunkhun: Okay, bye.Click here to see more from Dolly Varden Silver