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Thursday, 30 May 2013
SilverCrest doubles silver reserves at Santa Elena mine to extend mine life for 8 more years
SilverCrest Mines (CVE:SVL) (NYSE:SVLC) announced Wednesday an updated reserve and resource estimate for its Santa Elena Mine that in some cases doubles the estimates previously available for the project, extending the mine life for up to 8 years.
In the update at the project in Sonora, Mexico, probable reserves of gold increased by a factor of 50 per cent while probable reserves of silver increased by more than 100 per cent; gold indicated resources increased by 99 per cent while silver indicated resources increased by 127 per cent.
The updated probable reserves, a measure that covers underground, open pit and leach pad operations, are estimated at 8.2 million tonnes grading 74.9 grams of silver per tonne (gpt Ag) and 1.24 grams of gold per tonne (gpt Au) for 19.7 million ounces of silver and 327,430 ounces of gold.
The figures represent a doubling of the 9.7 million ounces of contained silver reported in the previous estimates from January 2012 -- that is, an increase of 103 per cent – and for contained gold a bump of half as much over the 217,800 ounces recorded in the same estimate.
The updated reserves are expected to lengthen the life of the mine for an additional 8 years at the proposed milling rate of 3,000 tonnes per day that the company is working to get up to with the construction of a new processing facility, expected to be wrapped up by the first quarter of next year. The plans form part of the company's target to double output at Santa Elena.
The updated figures for indicated resources, excluding probable reserves, estimate 2.1 million tonnes grading 114.9 gpt Ag and 1.69 gpt Au for 7.9 million ounces of silver and 116,000 ounces of gold.
These figures also represent a major increase on the estimates previously available – the amount of contained silver of 7.9 million ounces in the most recent figures compares to the 3.5 million ounces dating from early 2012, while gold almost doubled, with the new results of 116,000 ounces representing a 99 per cent increase in contained gold over previous indicated resources of 58,330 ounces.
According to a company statement released with the figures, the mine “has good potential for additional resources with the deposit open in most directions." Indeed, further infill and expansion drilling is recommended to potentially increase resources and convert to reserves, the company said.
"We are extremely pleased with the results of our updated reserve and resource estimates for the underground, open pit and heap leach pad definition and resource expansion drill program,” said company president J. Scott Drever in the release.
“The significant increase in reserves has clearly defined processing feed for our planned 3,000 tonne per day processing facility for an additional 8 years. What is even more exciting is that we have yet to define the limits of the Main Mineralized Zone and have only begun to explore the newly discovered high grade El Cholugo and El Cholugo Dos zones.
"We look forward to a banner year in 2014 with the commissioning of the new processing facility in Q1 2014 and the expansion of our annual metals production to an estimated 3.5 to 4.0 million ounces of silver equivalent."
Details of the updated reserves and resources will be included in the Santa Elena expansion pre-feasibility study, with results of this study expected to be announced within 45 days.