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SilverCrest Announces Q1 Production 153,481 Ounces Silver & 7,225 Ounces Gold

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SilverCrest Announces Q1 Production 153,481 Ounces Silver & 7,225 Ounces Gold






SilverCrest Mines Inc. (TSX-V: SVL)(NYSE MKT: SVLC) is pleased to announce production figures for the first quarter of 2013 from its 100% owned Santa Elena Mine located in Sonora, Mexico.



Production Highlights of Q1, 2013 vs Q4, 2012;



  • Silver production of 153,481 ounces was consistent with 153,863 ounces in Q4.
  • Gold production decreased by 8% to 7,225 ounces.
  • Ore Tonnes crushed decreased 18% to 252,830 tonnes due to focus on removing more waste tonnes.
  • Waste to ore ratio increased to 4.27 from 3.07 due to planned increased waste stripping.
  • Crusher throughput averaged 2,809 tonnes per day compared to 3,355 tonnes per day in Q4, 2012.
  • Stacking conveyors replaced truck haulage of crushed ore with cost savings in Q1.
  • Grades for ore loaded on the pads increased 4% and 9% for silver and gold respectively.



During Q1, 2013 the Company elected to accelerate waste removal (+19%) in advance of the hotter summer months when equipment availability and efficiencies have historically declined. The accelerated waste removal resulted in less ore processed   (-18%) and silver equivalent ounces produced (-5%) during the first quarter. This sets the stage for a significant reduction in strip ratios and more ore tonnes processed with higher metal production in the second half of 2013. The Company maintains its corporate market guidance of 625,000 ounces of silver and 33,000 ounces of gold for 2013.


J. Scott Drever, President stated; “Our decision to accelerate waste removal is consistent with our overall mine plan for 2013 operations. We are comfortable that as the ultimate strip ratio declines and the ore grades in the pit continue to increase we will meet our production and cost projections for the year. We expect the positive results of improvements in these two metrics to become apparent in the second half of 2013.



Santa Elena Mine Operating Statistics: Q1 2013 Q4 2012 % Change
Silver ounces produced
Gold ounces produced
Silver equivalent ounces produced (1)
Silver ounces sold
Gold ounces sold
Silver equivalent ounces sold (1)
Tonnes Ore
Tonnes waste
Waste / ore ratio (2)
Ore tonnes crushed
Average ore tonnes crushed per day
Average silver ore grade (gpt) loaded on pad
Average gold ore grade (gpt) loaded on pad
Silver ounces delivered to pad
Gold ounces delivered to pad
Ag : Au Ratio (1)



(1) Silver equivalence is based on market spot prices per ounce of silver and gold at the quarter end dates. All numbers are rounded.
(2) Average strip ratio for 2013, is projected at 2.7:1. Q1, 2013 strip ratio of 4.27:1 was higher than projected due to accelerating waste removal.



Q1 2013 Santa Elena Expansion Plan Update:



  • As of March 31, 2013, approximately 40% of the budgeted 2013 capital cost of US$65M has been spent or committed.
  • The Plan is currently on budget with scheduled mill start up in January 2014.
  • On-site construction of the 3,000 tonne per day mill is well underway with earthworks complete, concrete for foundations being poured and CCD tank and thickener construction commenced.
  • All major equipment has been ordered with committed delivery dates and the majority of the construction contracts are in place with contractors working on site.
  • Drilling to better define and expand resources and reserves is completed with revised numbers expected in May 2013.



First Quarter Financial Results Release:



The Company plans to issue its first quarter financial results on Wednesday, May 15, 2013.
The Qualified Person under NI 43-101 for this News Release is N. Eric Fier, CPG, P.Eng, and Chief Operating Officer for SilverCrest Mines Inc., who has reviewed and approved its contents.



SilverCrest Mines 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 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 open pit heap leach facility at the Santa Elena mine should recover approximately 625,000 ounces of silver and 33,000 ounces of gold in 2013. An expansion plan is well underway to nearly double the annual metals production in 2014 at the Santa Elena Mine (open pit and underground). Exploration programs have rapidly advanced the definition of a large polymetallic deposit at the La Joya property in Durango State with stated resources nearing 200 million ounces of Ag equivalent.



Posted April 24, 2013

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