Investors ride SilverCrest wave
SilverCrest Mines (TSX VENTURE:SVL) jumped as much as 9% on Thursday on higher than usual trading volumes, after announcing silver production doubled and gold output tripled at its Santa Elena mine in Mexico.
By early afternoon the miner was trading up 5.3% at $2.36 on the Toronto venture board, down from a high of $2.42 in morning trade. The mining sector was generally flat on the day with the TSX S&P Global Mining index up 0.18%
The counter is showing robust gains for 2012 – it is up 22% year to date. SilverCrest stock has also added 41% over the past 12 months, affording the Vancouver-based company a $210 million market valuation.
SilverCrest says thanks to the stellar first quarter it is on target to achieve its 2012 production guidance of 435,000 ounces of silver and 33,000 ounces of gold. Cash costs at the Mexico operations are sitting at a more than comfortable $8 per silver equivalent ounce.
A closely watched report out today showed silver investment in 2011 paved the way to a record annual average silver price of $35.12, but the authors of the study warn that the strong investor interest seen last year is waning.
The World Silver Survey predicts silver may rise above $40 an ounce this year, but that last year's 30-year high near the $50 an ounce level is unlikely to be reached.
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA–(Marketwire – April 19, 2012) – SilverCrest Mines Inc. (TSX VENTURE:SVL)(OTCQX:STVZF)(PINKSHEETS:STVZF)(FRANKFURT:CW5) (the "Company") is pleased to announce significant production increases of silver and gold in the First Quarter, 2012 as compared to First Quarter, 2011 from the Santa Elena Mine located in Sonora, Mexico.
Production Highlights of First Quarter, 2012 as Compared to First Quarter, 2011
- Silver production increased 108% to 134,528 ounces
- Gold production increased 198% to 9,405 ounces
- Ore Tonnes crushed increased 26% to 264,977
- Silver ounces to pad up 48% to 354,850
- Gold ounces to pad up 67% to 13,342
J. Scott Drever, President stated; "Operations at the Santa Elena mine enjoyed a robust start to 2012 with silver and gold production in line with our 2012 guidance. This is the second quarter that we have run at full, planned production rates while the comparative Q1 2011, was still in the commissioning phase. The crusher throughput averaged approximately 2,900 tonnes per day for Q1 2012, compared to a plan of 2,500 tonnes per day and the open pit tonnes and grades tracked closely with our model grades. Cash cost is anticipated to be consistent with our guidance of approximately $8 per silver equivalent ounce. As a result of this stellar quarter, the Company is on target to achieve its 2012 production guidance of 435,000 ounces of silver and 33,000 ounces of gold."
Santa Elena Mine Operating Highlights: Commercial
% Change Silver ounces produced 134,528 64,712 +108% Gold ounces produced 9,405 3,152 +198% Silver equivalent ounces produced (1) 616,682 184,483 +234% Silver ounces sold 139,771 57,390 +144% Gold ounces sold 9,788 2,333 +320% Silver equivalent ounces sold (1) 641,532 146,219 +339% Tonnes Ore 263,424 155,559 +69% Tonnes waste 1,439,330 501,819 +187% Waste / ore ratio (2) 5.46 3.23 +69% Ore tonnes crushed 264,977 207,951 +27% Average ore tonnes crushed per day 2,912 2,311 +26% Average silver ore grade (gpt) loaded on pad 41.67 34.07 +22% Average gold ore grade (gpt) loaded on pad 1.57 1.14 +38% Silver ounces delivered to pad 354,850 239,369 +48% Gold ounces delivered to pad 13,342 8,006 +67% Ag : Au Ratio (1) 51.2:1 38:1 +35%
(1) Silver equivalence is a weighted volume average based on market spot prices per ounce of silver and gold at the quarter end dates. (2) Average strip ratio for 2012, is projected at 3.9:1. Q1, 2012 strip ratio of 5.46:1 was higher than projected due to accelerating waste removal to assure access to higher grade ore to balance the strip ratio in subsequent quarters.
N. Eric Fier, CPG, P.Eng. and Chief Operating Officer for SilverCrest Mines Inc. and Qualified Person for this news release has reviewed and approved its contents.
SilverCrest Mines Inc. (TSX VENTURE:SVL)(OTCQX:STVZF)(PINKSHEETS:STVZF)(FRANKFURT:CW5) is a Mexican precious metals producer with headquarters based in Vancouver, BC. SilverCrest's flagship property is the 100%-owned Santa Elena Mine, which is located 150 km northeast of Hermosillo, near Banamichi in the State of Sonora, México. The mine is a high-grade, epithermal gold and silver producer, with an estimated life of mine cash cost of US$8 per ounce of silver equivalent (55:1 Ag:Au). SilverCrest anticipates that the 2,500 tonnes per day facility should recover approximately 4,805,000 ounces of silver and 179,000 ounces of gold over the 6.5 year life of the open pit phase of the Santa Elena Mine. A three year expansion plan is underway to double metals production at the Santa Elena Mine and exploration programs are rapidly advancing the definition of a large polymetallic deposit at the La Joya property in Durango, Mexico.
This news release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Canadian securities legislation and the United States Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements concern the Company's anticipated results and developments in the Company's operations in future periods, planned exploration and development of its properties, plans related to its business and other matters that may occur in the future. These statements relate to analyses and other information that are based on expectations of future performance, including silver and gold production and planned work programs. Statements concerning reserves and mineral resource estimates may also constitute forward-looking statements to the extent that they involve estimates of the mineralization that will be encountered if the property is developed and, in the case of mineral reserves, such statements reflect the conclusion based on certain assumptions that the mineral deposit can be economically exploited.
Forward-looking statements are subject to a variety of known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which could cause actual events or results to differ from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements, including, without limitation: risks related to precious and base metal price fluctuations; risks related to fluctuations in the currency markets (particularly the Mexican peso, Canadian dollar and United States dollar); risks related to the inherently dangerous activity of mining, including conditions or events beyond our control, and operating or technical difficulties in mineral exploration, development and mining activities; uncertainty in the Company's ability to raise financing and fund the exploration and development of its mineral properties; uncertainty as to actual capital costs, operating costs, production and economic returns, and uncertainty that development activities will result in profitable mining operations; risks related to reserves and mineral resource figures being estimates based on interpretations and assumptions which may result in less mineral production under actual conditions than is currently estimated and to diminishing quantities or grades of mineral reserves as properties are mined; risks related to governmental regulations and obtaining necessary licenses and permits; risks related to the business being subject to environmental laws and regulations which may increase costs of doing business and restrict our operations; risks related to mineral properties being subject to prior unregistered agreements, transfers, or claims and other defects in title; risks relating to inadequate insurance or inability to obtain insurance; risks related to potential litigation; risks related to the global economy; risks related to the Company's status as a foreign private issuer in the United States; risks related to all of the Company's properties being located in Mexico and El Salvador, including political, economic, social and regulatory instability; and risks related to officers and directors becoming associated with other natural resource companies which may give rise to conflicts of interests. Should one or more of these risks and uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described in the forward-looking statements. The Company's forward-looking statements are based on beliefs, expectations and opinions of management on the date the statements are made. For the reasons set forth above, investors should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.
The information provided in this news release is not intended to be a comprehensive review of all matters and developments concerning the Company. It should be read in conjunction with all other disclosure documents of the Company. The information contained herein is not a substitute for detailed investigation or analysis. No securities commission or regulatory authority has reviewed the accuracy or adequacy of the information presented.
J. Scott Drever, President
SILVERCREST MINES INC.
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.