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Canadian precious metals producer Silver Standard Resources Inc. (NASDAQ:SSRI) is on its way to becoming a strong player in the silver mining industry, the latest Blackmont report suggests.

Richard Gray, mining analyst with Blackmont, said in a note Wednesday that the company is shifting from explorer to producer as its Pirquitas mine in Argentina starts production.

"While the start-up has its share of teething issues that are typical for a new operation, the mine will become one of the world's largest primary silver mines," he said.

Mr. Gray is even more excited for the Pitarrilla mine in Mexico, which he calls one of the largest silver finds in the past decade. He expects scoping and feasibility studies over the next 18 months will go a long way towards coming up with concrete information on the true value of the project.

Silver Standard also has projects on the go in Chile, Australia, Peru, and Canada and the United States.

"With production ramping up at Pirquitas, Silver Standard is now a legitimate silver producer and on its way to becoming a significant silver producer when Pitarrilla starts up," he said.

However, due to rising costs and some delays at Pirquitas Blackmont has reduced its net asset value estimate for the company to $33 from $39.50, while also dropping the 12-month price target to $29 from $31.

"We believe the current price provides an attractive entry level into a name that is poised to rapidly become one of the highest quality silver
equities available," he said.

Mr. Gray rates the company a Sector Outperform.

Source: Silver Standard Shifting from Explorer to Producer