SilverCrest Metals plans to spend $60 million on drilling through the end of 2022 at its Las Chispas silver-gold project in Sonora, Mexico.
“Growth from drilling is a huge part of our story and we have only scratched the surface,” president Chris Ritchie said during a webinar.
According to the executive, the company was guiding on publishing an 85-95Moz reserve with the feasibility study with higher grade ounces from recent drilling coming into the mine plan, pushing lower grade ounces further back.
Drilling will include the El Picacho property the company recently acquired with two rigs planned once it receives drilling permits. It hosts 4-8m wide veins compared to 1-2m veins on the main property, and at 85km distance from Las Chispas, it is within trucking distance and could provide additional feed to allow the company to expand the initial 1,250 tonnes per day plant.
The company recently announced that it has completed 97,700 metres of in-fill and expansion drilling at Las Chispas.
SilverCrest re-started exploration and development activities at the project after a temporary suspension from March 30 to May 23 in response to covid-19.
During H1, SilverCrest completed approximately 2.1 kilometres of underground decline and lateral development, and stockpiled an additional estimated 12,000 tonnes of mineralized material for a total stockpile of an estimated 41,000 tonnes at estimated diluted grade of 1,000 gpt silver equivalent (“AgEq” at 75:1, Ag:Au).
According to the company, Las Chispas construction activities continued with the building of the administration and warehouse facilities, the temporary quarantined covid-19 camp, and the production water pumping stations.
A Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) completed in 2019 indicates an average annual production of 5,384,000 oz Ag and 55,700 oz Au, or 9.6 million oz AgEq.
Midday Wednesday, SilverCrest’s stock was up 1.5% on the TSX. The company has a C$1.7 billion market capitalization.