Castrovirreyna Compañia Minera S.A. is a small silver producer in Peru, one of the family-run type of companies that’s been going for generations (in this case, 72 years). It’s quoted on the Peru stock exchange (ticker CASTROC1), has 40.567m shares out and at its current price of S/1.34 has a market cap of just over S/54m (call it U$19m, give or take), though it’s not a stock that gets much volume and can go many days without a trade on the exchange.
Its main asset is its only producing mine, San Genaro in Huancavelica, one of the high country Andean regions. A quick thumbnail on the operation is 600tpd max throughput and rock from six on-site veins that averages 120 g/t silver and some minor gold and lead credits (90% of revenues come from silver, this is very much a one-metal miner by Peru standards) and a typical annual output of a tad under 1m oz silver.
Last week the company closed the mine due to the ongoing low price of silver, or officially because the operations “do not create positive cash flow“. It lost 5.1m Soles in 2012 and was already down by 4.2m Soles (~U$1.5m) in the first three quarters of 2013 (we don’t have the 4q13 numbers yet) so it’s hardly a surprise, but the decision also comes on the back of the company hiring an investment bank late last year (which means it was up for sale).
Something to think about before you decide to buy shares in any mining company currently making a loss due to metals prices, methinks. And there’s a whole bunch of those out there, let there be no doubt about it.