VANCOUVER - SilverCrest Metals Inc. [SIL-TSXV, SVCMF-OTCQX] said Tuesday it has completed the first pour of silver and gold at the company's Las Chispas project in Sonora, Mexico.
The first precious metal pour was completed on June 30, 2022, and consisted of 312 kilograms of dore with approximately 9,200 ounces of silver and 100 ounces of gold, the company said in a press release.
On Tuesday, SilverCrest shares eased 28 cents or 3.4% to $7.82 on volume of 117,910. The shares are trading in a 52-week range of $12.99 and $7.80.
Las Chispas is the third highest grade primary silver deposit in the world.
The property is located approximately 180 kilometres northeast of Hermosillo. It consists of 28 concessions totalling 1,400 hectares.
Between 1880 and 1930, several mines on the property are thought to have yielded approximately 100 million ounces of silver and 200,000 ounces of gold.
SilverCrest is the first company to successfully drill-test the historic Las Chispas Project, a move that resulted in numerous discoveries that are being evaluated for economic viability and potential production in the future.
In early February, 2021, the company released positive results from a feasibility study, including an updated mineral resource estimate and initial mineral reserve estimate. Initial proven and probable reserves stand at 2.35 million tonnes, grading 4.81 g/t gold and 461 g/t silver or 879 g/t AgEq, or a total of 94.7 million ounces of AgEq.
he feasibility study considers a 1,250-tonnes-per-day operation with an initial mine life of 8.5 years. The study is based on a gold price of US$1,946 per ounce and a silver price of US$27.36 an ounce.
The mine plan excludes inferred resources of 1.2 million tonnes, grading 745 g/t AgEq or 29.7 million ounces of AgEq, an estimate that includes the recently discovered Babi Vista Vein Splay (BAVS).
After completing the construction process, SilveCrest is currently focused on commissioning.
The first gold pour marks another significant milestone in progressing towards commercial production in the fourth quarter of 2022, said SilverCrest CEO Eric Fier.
The company said plant commissioning is tracking in line with the company's objective to reach nameplate capacity of 1,250 tonnes per day. The plant started in late May, 2022, and milled an estimated 12,700 tonnes of low-grade ore during June, 2022.
Metallurgical recoveries are expected to reach feasibility study parameters in 2023 and results observed to date are tracking towards those objectives, the company said, adding that it expects to provide further updates on commissioning and ramp-up of operations later in the third quarter of 2022.