SilverCrest Mines Inc. (TSX:SVL; NYSE MKT:SVLC) is a Canadian precious metals producer headquartered in Vancouver, BC. SilverCrest’s flagship property is the 100%‐owned Santa Elena Mine, located 150 km northeast of Hermosillo, near Banamichi in the State of Sonora, México. The mine is a high‐grade, epithermal silver and gold producer, with an estimated life of mine of 8 years and operating cash costs of $11 per ounce of silver equivalent (55:1 Ag:Au) for the open pit heap leach and underground mine. SilverCrest anticipates that the new 3,000 tonnes per day conventional mill facility at the Santa Elena Mine should recover an average annual rate of 1.5 million ounces of silver and 32,800 ounces of gold over the current reserve. Major expansion and construction of the 3,000 tonnes per day conventional mill facility is nearing completion and is expected to significantly increase metals production at the Santa Elena Mine (open pit and underground) in 2014 and beyond. Exploration programs continue to make new discoveries at Santa Elena and also have rapidly advanced the definition of a large polymetallic deposit at the La Joya property in Durango State with stated resources of almost 200 million ounces of Ag equivalent.
SilverCrest Mines extends main trend at La Joya beyond current resource area
SilverCrest Mines (CVE:SVL) (AMEX:SVLC)(NYSE MKT:SVLC) unveiled Tuesday more results from the phase II drilling at its La Joya property in Durango, Mexico, which the company says have extended the main mineralized trend beyond the current resource area.
Five of the 15 holes reported today continued to test the southern extension of the Main Trend with the remaining 10 holes focused on the delineation of the Contact zone and the Santo Nino target.
Silver values in this series of core holes along the Main Trend and Contact zone ranged from 3.3 grams per tonne (g/t) to 189.0 g/t. Silver equivalent based values range from 19.7 to 324.1 g/t, with mineralized intervals ranging from 15.2 to 288.7 metres.
Notable holes at the Main Trend included 5.0 metres of 135.5 g/t silver, 0.11 g/t gold, and 1.14% copper, or 240 g/t silver equivalent.
At the Contact zone, the company said that drilling has shown wide-spread tungsten, gold and copper mineralization from near surface, to depths of up to around 300 metres vertically. The area is considered a "potential large bulk tonnage tungsten target", and will be segregated as part of the next resource estimate due in the fourth quarter this year.
Meanwhile, drilling to test the Santo Nino target, which is located around 1km east of the Trend's eastern boundary, yielded 18.4 meters of semi-massive sulphides grading 20.1 g/t silver, 0.04 g/t gold and 0.43% copper.
SilverCrest said the mineralization is believed to be associated with "a substantial east-west structure" that cross cuts the width of the Trend mineralization to the west.
The phase II drill program is essentially complete, the silver explorer and producer said, and was designed to test around 2.5 kilometres of the Trend.
Based on company surface mapping, sampling and historic drill hole results, the southern area is still believed to be potentially the highest grade area along the Trend.
SilverCrest is currently looking at the potential for a near-surface, higher grade, low strip open pit as a conceptual "starter pit" that will be evaluated in a preliminary economic assessment next year.
Metallurgical test work is also underway, with results to be included in the NI 43-101 technical report in early 2013.
Currently, La Joya is estimated to have an inferred resource of 101.9 million ounces silver equivalent. But the company said the target size, based on the current geological model, drilling and sampling from the phase II program, suggests the possibility of resources that may be 50 to 100 per cent greater than the current estimate.
The Vancouver-based comapny said earlier this month that profit and revenues increased in its third quarter, with record silver production allowing it to raise its annual forecast for the year.