SilverCrest starts commissioning Las Chispas gold-silver project in Mexico

TSX-listed SilverCrest Metals has begun commissioning the processing plant at its Las Chispas gold-silver project in Mexico, which is expected to reach commercial production by the fourth quarter of this year.

The precious metals explorer and project developer said that the build of the plant was completed ahead of the schedule outlined in the feasibility study. Las Chispas, located in the state of Sonora, is expected to produce 12.4 million silver-equivalent ounces (AgEq) a year between 2023-2029 from a 1,250 tonnes per day operation.

“I would like to thank the combined team of Ausenco and SilverCrest for their continued efforts over the past 17 months,” said SilverCrest COO Pierre Beaudoin.

“Completing construction during the COVID-19 pandemic has tested everyone’s resilience and it is with great satisfaction that I congratulate them for accomplishing an incredible trio of successes: No major accidents, below budget and ahead of schedule,” he added.

SilverCrest also said it expects the capital cost of Las Chispas to be lower than the US$137.7 million budgeted in the feasibility study, although final costs are yet to be settled.

Proven and probable reserves at Las Chispas are estimated at 3.4 million tonnes grading 461 g/t silver and 4.81 g/t gold (879 g/t AgEq) for 94.7 million AgEq ounces.

The company also has three drill rigs working at the high-grade, near-surface El Picacho deposit, located 85 km from Las Chispas.