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SilverCrest declares commercial production at Las Chispas

A crew at the Las Chispas gold mine where commercial production has just been declared. Credit: SilverCrest Metals

Vancouver’s SilverCrest Metals (TSX: SIL) has declared commercial production at a mine in Las Chispas, Sonora, Mexico, effective November 1.

According to the company, the declaration comes after the processing plant showed results of two months of operating at 80% of its nameplate capacty of 1,250 t/d (or 1,000 t/d) and showed a combined gold and silver recovery rate of greater than 85%.

The commissioning period was from September 1 through October 31, when the plant processed 62,146 tonnes of ore for an average of 1,019 t/d. For the same period, the metallurgical recovery averaged 96.7% silver-equivalent.

Construction of the processing plant at Las Chispas was initiated in February 2021 and was completed on time and on budget in May 2022 with a target of declaring commercial production in by the end of this year.  The underground mine is also progressing its ramp-up with a target to exit 2022 at a rate of 600 to 700 t/d.

“Moving Las Chispas from discovery to production in less than seven years is a monumental achievement. We are extremely proud of the dedication and execution from all involved,” CEO Eric Fier said in the statement. “We now look forward to finishing our ramp-up to designed levels, generating revenue with subsequent free cash flow, and releasing an updated technical report in H1 2023.”