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SilverCrest announces updates on Santa Elena and La Joya mines

EBR Staff Writer Published 09 July 2012

SilverCrest Mines has announced new updates at the Santa Elena Mine Expansion Plan and the ongoing Phase II La Joya drill program in Mexico.

According to the company, expansion at the Santa Elena Mine remains on schedule, targeting a 100% increase in metal production commencing in 2014, while resource definition drilling and extensive metallurgical test work continues at La Joya with an anticipated resource update in fourth quarter of 2012.

Brisbane-based GR Engineering Services (GRES) is completing the design and engineering with respect to the proposed 3,000 ton per day CCD processing plant.

Construction work, which will include earthworks, pouring foundations and tank fabrication, is slated to start in Q4 2012.
SilverCrest is expected to begin milling ore from the open pit by January 2014.

The company is currently assessing gold and silver metals inventory remaining on the leach pads as part of the mill feed for the expansion plan.

Results from a shallow 13 hole in pit drill program for define tonnages and grade of the lower part of the planned open pit confirm the high grade nature of mineralization which shows up to 6.2 gpt Au and 102.7 gpt Ag over 16m.

Surface drilling of the Santa Elena Main Zone is underway to further delineate underground resources for conversion to reserves based on completion of the expansion plan PFS anticipated by 2012 end.

Eighteen proposed holes are currently being drilled, with an additional six holes are to be drilled in July to further delineate resources for conversion to reserves.

Phase II core drilling with two drill rigs continues at La Joya Exploration to expand the known mineralized zones, and 40 of the 60 core holes planned for the Phase II program have been completed with an additional 20 reverse circulation holes to be completed upon rig availability.

The company is anticipating a new resource estimate for La Joya in Q4 2012 with a target to increase the current resource of plus 100 million ounce silver equivalent (Ag-Cu-Au) by 50 to 100%.

Significant mineralization containing tungsten, molybdenum, tin, lead and zinc that may be by-products to the dominant silver-copper-gold mineralization have been suggested from the results to date from drilling at La Joya.

SilverCrest has expanded its land package at La Joya to a total of 10,656ha to accommodate the identification of the new targets in the area.

SilverCrest president Scott Drever said the work is being funded largely from operational cash flow of approximately $2.5m per month leaving the company's treasury of $35m intact for the larger capital items associated with the mill facilities.

"This planned strategy insulates the Company from the need to finance during the current market conditions," Drever added.