Thursday, 14 March 2013

Silvercorp Metals withdraws appeal of defamation case ruling

Silvercorp Metals (TSE:SVM)(NYSE:SVM) says it has withdrawn its appeal of the dismissal of the defamation case the company lodged in the fall of 2011. 
"While Silvercorp disagrees with the decision of Justice Edmead- that "short and distort" publications are statements of opinion and not statements of purported fact (in other words the defendants simply had the freedom to express their opinions pursuant to their constitutional rights), Silvercorpbelieves it is in the best interest of the company and its shareholders to end this potentially lengthy and expensive litigation," the China-focused precious metals producer said in a statement late Wednesday. 
It added that it will continue to focus its efforts on developing its GC project in China, while improving and upgrading its existing operations to deliver "long-term shareholder value". 
In 2011, an anonymous letter addressed to the Ontario Securities Commission, Silvercorp's auditors and several media outlets accused the commpany of overstating its financial results and resource deposits. 
The company denied any wrongdoing, and a forensic auditor's report later supported the precious metal producer's financial statements. 
In the statement Wednesday, Silvercorp also addressed the current class action lawsuit filed against the company late last year by certain individual shareholders, and said that there is "no merit" to the allegations since they are based on "previously made false accusations and as such represent nothing new".              
The company has retained Latham & Watkins in New York as its defence counsel.
The Vancouver-based silver‐producing mining company has multiple mines in China.
Last month, the company said it had discovered several new mineralized veins from infill and step out drilling at its GC silver-lead-zinc project in Guangdong Province. 
The aim of the surface and underground drilling program was to upgrade the classification of the known resource blocks, and further define and extend known vein structures in preparation for mining this year. 
The silver miner was due to begin trial production at the project shortly in late February, with formal production to start once a series of regulatory inspections are passed. 
Looking ahead to its fiscal 2014, or the year ending in March 2014, the company has said it expects to increase ore production to 1.5 million tonnes, producing 6.7 million ounces of silver, 20,800 ounces of gold, 104.7 million pounds of lead and zinc, 300,000 pounds of tin and 20.5 million pounds of sulphur.

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