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Press release from Marketwire

Pan American Silver Comments on Changes to Mining Legislation in Rio Negro, Argentina

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Pan American Silver Comments on Changes to Mining Legislation in Rio Negro, Argentina14:01 EST Thursday, January 19, 2012VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Jan. 19, 2012) -Pan American Silver Corp. (TSX:PAA)(NASDAQ:PAAS) ("Pan American" or the "Company") owns 100% of the Calcatreu gold development project ("Calcatreu" or the "Project"), located in the Province of Rio Negro, in Argentina. Since acquiring the Project in early 2010 as part of the purchase of Aquiline Resources, the Company has performed only a modest amount of new work due to the fact that Rio Negro had banned the use of sodium cyanide, which is critical to the recovery of gold from Calcatreu's mineral resource.On December 29, 2011, Rio Negro's provincial legislature passed law Nr. 4738, which among other things, allows for the use of chemical substances, including sodium cyanide, in mineral processing. The new law replaced law 3981 that limited mining activity. The new legislation was signed, published and enacted into law on January 9, 2012 and it also established the evaluation process for the filing and approval of an Environmental Impact Assessment ("EIA"), which is necessary to mine and process minerals in the province. Pan American's President & CEO, Geoff Burns, commented, "This is a very positive development for Rio Negro and for Argentina. While the previous legislation allowed open pit mining, it banned the use of cyanide in mineral processing, effectively rendering our Calcatreu gold project uneconomic. By reversing this ban, the provincial and municipal governments have clearly reaffirmed their commitment to responsible, environmentally sensitive mining development, which will bring significant investment and the associated benefits for all stakeholders, particularly the local communities."In 2011, Pan American Silver invested $1.7 million at Calcatreu, completing 2,932 meters of diamond drilling, mostly as confirmation holes and to collect fresh metallurgical sample materials. Results on testing performed on these materials are still pending and the Company has not yet had an opportunity to confirm and update the resource estimates, which were prepared in April 2008 by Micon for Aquiline Resources Inc. According to those estimates, the Project hosts an indicated resource of 8 million tonnes grading 2.63 gpt gold and 25.7 gpt silver, with additional inferred resources of 3.4 million tonnes grading 2.06 gpt gold and 16.6 gpt silver, representing a potentially significant undeveloped gold resource within the Company's portfolio.In 2012, the Company intends to accelerate development activities at the Project, which will include further diamond drilling, metallurgical testing, environmental baseline studies and preliminary engineering, as it works towards producing a Preliminary Assessment and an EIA for Calcatreu. Calcatreu is less than 140 kilometres due north of Pan American's most important silver development project, Navidad, which is also located in the central Meseta region of Patagonia, just across the border, in the neighboring province of Chubut. There has clearly been a positive shift in attitude towards mining and mining investment in Argentina since the recent re-election of President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, and it is gratifying to see Rio Negro take a leading role in responding to this change.About Pan American Pan American Silver's mission is to be the world's largest and low cost primary silver mining company by increasing its low-cost silver production and silver reserves. The Company has seven operating mines in Mexico, Peru, Argentina and Bolivia. Pan American also owns the Navidad project in Chubut, Argentina and is the operator of the La Preciosa project in Durango, Mexico.Technical information contained in this news release has been reviewed by Michael Steinmann, P.Geo., Executive Vice President Geology & Exploration, and Martin Wafforn, P.Eng., Vice President Technical Services, who are the Company's Qualified Personsfor the purposes of NI 43-101. CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTSCERTAIN OF THE STATEMENTS AND INFORMATION IN THIS NEWS RELEASE CONSTITUTE "FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE UNITED STATES PRIVATE SECURITIES LITIGATION REFORM ACT OF 1995 AND "FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION" WITHIN THE MEANING OF APPLICABLE CANADIAN PROVINCIAL SECURITIES LAWS RELATING TO THE COMPANY AND ITS OPERATIONS. ALL STATEMENTS, OTHER THAN STATEMENTS OF HISTORICAL FACT, ARE FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS. WHEN USED IN THIS NEWS RELEASE, THE WORDS, "BELIEVES", "EXPECTS", "INTENDS", "PLANS", "FORECAST", "OBJECTIVE", "OUTLOOK", "POSITIONING", "POTENTIAL", "ANTICIPATED", "BUDGET", AND OTHER SIMILAR WORDS AND EXPRESSIONS, IDENTIFY FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS OR INFORMATION. THESE FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS OR INFORMATION RELATE TO, AMONG OTHER THINGS: THE EFFECTS OF LAWS, REGULATIONS AND GOVERNMENT POLICIES AFFECTING PAN AMERICAN'S OPERATIONS OR POTENTIAL FUTURE OPERATIONS, INCLUDINGTHOSE IN THE ARGENTINA, THE ABILITY OF THE COMPANY TO CONDUCT SUFFICIENT EXPLORATION ORTO DEVELOP THE CALCATREU PROJECT; THE TIMING AND THE ABILITY OF THE COMPANY TO COMPLETE AN EIA OR PRELIMINARY ASSESSMENT; THE TIMING FOR ANY CONFIRMATION OR UPDATE OF PAST RESOURCE ESTIMATES; AND THE COMPANY'S PLANS AND EXPECTATIONS FOR ITS PROPERTIES AND OPERATIONS. THESE STATEMENTS REFLECT THE COMPANY'S CURRENT VIEWS WITH RESPECT TO FUTURE EVENTS AND ARE NECESSARILY BASED UPON A NUMBER OF ASSUMPTIONS AND ESTIMATES THAT, WHILE CONSIDERED REASONABLE BY THE COMPANY, ARE INHERENTLY SUBJECT TO SIGNIFICANT BUSINESS, ECONOMIC, COMPETITIVE, POLITICAL AND SOCIAL UNCERTAINTIES AND CONTINGENCIES. MANY FACTORS, BOTH KNOWN AND UNKNOWN, COULD CAUSE ACTUAL RESULTS, PERFORMANCE OR ACHIEVEMENTS TO BE MATERIALLY DIFFERENT FROM THE RESULTS, PERFORMANCE OR ACHIEVEMENTS THAT ARE OR MAY BE EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED BY SUCH FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS CONTAINED IN THIS NEWS RELEASE AND THE COMPANY HAS MADE ASSUMPTIONS AND ESTIMATES BASED ON OR RELATED TO MANY OF THESE FACTORS. SUCH FACTORS INCLUDE, WITHOUT LIMITATION: FLUCTUATIONS IN SPOT AND FORWARD MARKETS FOR SILVER, GOLD, BASE METALS AND CERTAIN OTHER COMMODITIES (SUCH AS NATURAL GAS, FUEL OIL AND ELECTRICITY); FLUCTUATIONS IN CURRENCY MARKETS (SUCH AS THE PERUVIAN SOL, MEXICAN PESO, ARGENTINE PESO AND BOLIVIAN BOLIVIANO VERSUS THE U.S. DOLLAR); RISKS RELATED TO THE TECHNOLOGICAL AND OPERATIONAL NATURE OF THE COMPANY'S BUSINESS; CHANGES IN NATIONAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT, LEGISLATION, TAXATION, CONTROLS OR REGULATIONS INCLUDING, AMONG; POLITICAL OR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTS IN CANADA, THE UNITED STATES, MEXICO, PERU, ARGENTINA, BOLIVIA OR OTHER COUNTRIES WHERE THE COMPANY MAY CARRY ON BUSINESS IN THE FUTURE; RISKS AND HAZARDS ASSOCIATED WITH THE BUSINESS OF MINERAL EXPLORATION, DEVELOPMENT AND MINING (INCLUDING ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS, INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENTS, UNUSUAL OR UNEXPECTED GEOLOGICAL OR STRUCTURAL FORMATIONS, PRESSURES, CAVEINS AND FLOODING); INADEQUATE INSURANCE, OR INABILITY TO OBTAIN INSURANCE, TO COVER THESE RISKS AND HAZARDS; EMPLOYEE RELATIONS; RELATIONSHIPS WITH AND CLAIMS BY LOCAL COMMUNITIES AND INDIGENOUS POPULATIONS; AVAILABILITY AND INCREASING COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH MINING INPUTS AND LABOUR; THE SPECULATIVE NATURE OF MINERAL EXPLORATION AND DEVELOPMENT, INCLUDING THE RISKS OF OBTAINING NECESSARY LICENSES AND PERMITS AND THE PRESENCE OF LAWS AND REGULATIONS THAT MAY IMPOSE RESTRICTIONS ON MINING; CHALLENGES TO, OR DIFFICULTY IN MAINTAINING, THE COMPANY'S TITLE TO PROPERTIES AND CONTINUED OWNERSHIP THEREOF; THE ACTUAL RESULTS OF CURRENT EXPLORATION ACTIVITIES, AND THOSE FACTORS IDENTIFIED UNDER THE CAPTION "RISKS RELATED TO PAN AMERICAN'S BUSINESS" IN THE COMPANY'S MOST RECENT FORM 40-F AND ANNUAL INFORMATION FORM FILED WITH THE UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION AND CANADIAN PROVINCIAL SECURITIES REGULATORY AUTHORITIES. INVESTORS ARE CAUTIONED AGAINST ATTRIBUTING UNDUE CERTAINTY OR RELIANCE ON FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS. ALTHOUGH THE COMPANY HAS ATTEMPTED TO IDENTIFY IMPORTANT FACTORS THAT COULD CAUSE ACTUAL RESULTS TO DIFFER MATERIALLY, THERE MAY BE OTHER FACTORS THAT CAUSE RESULTS NOT TO BE AS ANTICIPATED, ESTIMATED, DESCRIBED OR INTENDED. THE COMPANY DOES NOT INTEND, AND DOES NOT ASSUME ANY OBLIGATION, TO UPDATE THESE FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS OR INFORMATION TO REFLECT CHANGES IN ASSUMPTIONS OR CHANGES IN CIRCUMSTANCES OR ANY OTHER EVENTS AFFECTING SUCH STATEMENTS OR INFORMATION, OTHER THAN AS REQUIRED BY APPLICABLE LAW.NOTE FOR US INVESTORSTHIS NEWS RELEASE HAS BEEN PREPARED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF CANADIAN PROVINCIAL SECURITIES LAWS, WHICH DIFFER FROM THE REQUIREMENTS OF U.S. SECURITIES LAWS. UNLESS OTHERWISE INDICATED, ALL ESTIMATES INCLUDED IN THIS NEWS RELEASE HAVE BEEN BASED UPON MINERAL RESOURCE ESTIMATES PREPARED IN ACCORDANCE WITH CANADIAN NATIONAL INSTRUMENT 43-101 - STANDARDS OF DISCLOSURE FOR MINERAL PROJECTS ("NI 43-101") AND THE CANADIAN INSTITUTE OF MINING, METALLURGY AND PETROLEUM CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM. NI 43-101 IS A RULE DEVELOPED BY THE CANADIAN SECURITIES ADMINISTRATORS THAT ESTABLISHES STANDARDS FOR ALL PUBLIC DISCLOSURE AN ISSUER MAKES OF SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL INFORMATION CONCERNING MINERAL PROJECTS.CANADIAN STANDARDS, INCLUDING NI 43-101, DIFFER SIGNIFICANTLY FROM THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION (THE "SEC"), AND INFORMATION CONCERNING MINERALIZATION, DEPOSITS, AND MINERAL RESOURCE INFORMATION CONTAINED OR REFERRED TO HEREIN MAY NOT BE COMPARABLE TO SIMILAR INFORMATION DISCLOSED BY U.S. COMPANIES. IN PARTICULAR, AND WITHOUT LIMITING THE GENERALITY OF THE FOREGOING, ESTIMATES INCLUDED IN THIS NEWS RELEASE HAVE BEEN BASED UPON "INDICATED RESOURCES" AND "INFERRED RESOURCES". U.S. INVESTORS ARE ADVISED THAT, WHILE SUCH TERMS ARE RECOGNIZED AND REQUIRED BY CANADIAN SECURITIES LAWS, THE SEC DOES NOT RECOGNIZE THEM. UNDER U.S. STANDARDS, MINERALIZATION MAY NOT BE CLASSIFIED AS A "RESERVE" UNLESS THE DETERMINATION HAS BEEN MADE THAT THE MINERALIZATION COULD BE ECONOMICALLY AND LEGALLY PRODUCED OR EXTRACTED AT THE TIME THE RESERVE DETERMINATION IS MADE. U.S. INVESTORS ARE CAUTIONED NOT TO ASSUME THAT ANY PART OF AN "INDICATED RESOURCE" WILL EVER BE CONVERTED INTO A "RESERVE". U.S. INVESTORS SHOULD ALSO UNDERSTAND THAT "INFERRED RESOURCES" HAVE A GREAT AMOUNT OF UNCERTAINTY AS TO THEIR EXISTENCE AND GREAT UNCERTAINTY AS TO THEIR ECONOMIC AND LEGAL FEASIBILITY. IT CANNOT BE ASSUMED THAT ALL OR ANY PART OF "INFERRED RESOURCES" EXIST, ARE ECONOMICALLY OR LEGALLY MINEABLE OR WILL EVER BE UPGRADED TO A HIGHER CATEGORY. UNDER CANADIAN SECURITIES LAWS, ESTIMATED "INFERRED RESOURCES" MAY NOT FORM THE BASIS OF FEASIBILITY OR PRE-FEASIBILITY STUDIES EXCEPT IN RARE CASES. DISCLOSURE OF "CONTAINED OUNCES" IN A MINERAL RESOURCE IS PERMITTED DISCLOSURE UNDER CANADIAN SECURITIES LAWS. HOWEVER, THE SEC NORMALLY ONLY PERMITS ISSUERS TO REPORT MINERALIZATION THAT DOES NOT CONSTITUTE "RESERVES" BY SEC STANDARDS AS IN PLACE TONNAGE AND GRADE, WITHOUT REFERENCE TO UNIT MEASURES. ACCORDINGLY, INFORMATION CONCERNING MINERAL DEPOSITS SET FORTH HEREIN MAY NOT BE COMPARABLE WITH INFORMATION MADE PUBLIC BY COMPANIES THAT REPORT IN ACCORDANCE WITH U.S. STANDARDS.FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: Kettina CorderoPan American Silver Corp.Coordinator, Investor Relations(604) 684-1175(604) 684-0147 (FAX)info@panamericansilver.comwww.panamericansilver.com