SilverCrest Metals Inc. (TSX: SIL) is pleased to announce that Las Chispas Mine in Sonora, Mexico, has achieved commercial production as of November 1, 2022. The processing plant must operate at a capacity of at least 80% of its 1,250-tonne-per-day or 1,000-tonne-per-day design for two continuous months, recovering at least 85% gold and silver combined or silver equivalent, in order to generate a declaration of commercial production. Metals were processed at 1,019 tonnes per day between September 1, 2022, and October 31, 2022. During this period, 62,146 tonnes of ore were processed. Recoveries averaged 96.7% gold and 96.8% silver, or 96.7% AgEq.
Las Chispas’ processing facility was built and commissioned in May 2022, on time and within budget, to reach commercial production in Q4 2022. The processing plant worked in accordance with or ahead of all Feasibility Study criteria while processing ore from stockpiles, including recently mined underground ore. As previously reported, the underground mine is also expanding at a rate of 600 to 700 tpd in 2022. In October 2022, the Company surpassed the lower end of this mining tonnage target.
Pierre Beaudoin, COO, commented, “Las Chispas processing plant has operated ahead of schedule, and we are grateful to our team and contractors for their contribution. We are pleased with the early performance of the Las Chispas processing plant and are continuing to fine-tune and finish it. We are also working to ramp up our underground mining operation, in which we are striving to refine mining methods and implement grade control procedures.
N. Eric Fier, the CEO, stated, “We are impressed by the commitment and execution behind moving Las Chispas from discovery to production in seven years. We look forward to producing on our design levels, generating profit in subsequent free cash flow, and publishing an updated Technical Report in H1, 2023.”