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SilverCrest Announces Record Annual and 4th Quarter Production in 2013

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SilverCrest Announces Record Annual and 4th Quarter Production in 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

SilverCrest Mines Inc. (TSX-V:SVL)(NYSE MKT:SVLC)(NYSE Amex:SVLC) is pleased to announce record production of 2.66 million ounces AgEq(1) for 2013 and record production of 796,751 ounces AgEq(1) for Q4 2013 from its 100% owned Santa Elena Mine located in Sonora, Mexico. All dollar amounts are expressed in U.S. dollars unless otherwise specified.

 

2013 Operating Highlights (Compared to 2012)

 



--  Produced 779,026 ounces of silver, up 34%
--  Produced 31,099 ounces of gold, down 6%.
--  Produced 2.66million AgEq(1) ounces in 2013, up 12%
--  Silver and gold ore grade (gpt) loaded on pad up 52% and 13%
    respectively
--  Average strip ratio (waste to ore) reduced from 4.25:1 to 2.56:1, a 40%
    decrease
 

 

 

N. Eric Fier, President and COO stated; “2013 was another successful year and marked SilverCrest’s second full year in commercial production. Management congratulates our operating team for their valuable contributions and for delivering on their commitments. Santa Elena surpassed production guidance which was revised upwards during the year and produced 2.66 million AgEq(1) ounces in 2013. Moving forward in 2014, SilverCrest will continue to focus on delivering strong operating results and optimizing our operating cash flow as we complete the Santa Elena Expansion and increase production to approximately 3.3 million to 3.6 million AgEq(1) ounces. Management will continue to focus on improving cash flows by reducing costs and increasing productivity where possible to offset the current precious metals prices. Operating cash costs are expected to range from $8.50 to $9.25 AgEq(1) ounce in 2014. Further details on market guidance will be presented in the upcoming annual financial report.”

 

During the fourth quarter of 2013, the Santa Elena mine produced a record 228,787 silver ounces almost 50% more than the same quarter in 2012. Silver production continues to set quarterly records due to improvement in recoveries and higher grade ore loaded on the leach pad. Gold production of 9,218 ounces was 18% above the same quarter in 2012. Open pit tonnes and grades have continued to reconcile closely with the resource model and mine plan and all aspects of operations continue to function well.

 



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Santa Elena Mine                                 %       Q4       Q4       %
 Operating Highlights       2013      2012  Change     2013     2012  Change
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Silver ounces produced   779,026   579,609     34%  228,787  153,863     49%
Gold ounces produced      31,099    33,004     -6%    9,218    7,831     18%
AgEq ounces produced
 (1)                   2,661,979 2,371,755     12%  796,751  588,948     35%

Silver ounces sold       751,633   588,312     28%  208,200  171,714     21%
Gold ounces sold          30,487    34,834    -12%    8,220    8,444     -3%
AgEq ounces sold (1)   2,595,716 2,477,623      5%  714,678  640,856     12%

Tonnes ore mined       1,076,421 1,092,305     -1%  248,725  301,295    -17%
Tonnes waste mined     2,753,025 4,640,700    -41%  405,616  924,927    -56%
Waste / ore ratio           2.56      4.25    -40%     1.63     3.07    -47%
Ore tonnes crushed     1,081,159 1,157,226     -7%  263,097  308,693    -15%
Average ore tonnes
 crushed per day           2,962     3,162     -6%    2,860    3,355    -15%
Average silver ore
 grade (gpt) loaded on
 pad                       72.90     47.95     52%    81.58    59.59     37%
Average gold ore grade
 (gpt) loaded on pad        1.61      1.43     13%     1.82     1.42     28%
Silver ounces
 delivered to pad      2,533,883 1,784,118     42%  690,104  591,441     17%
Gold ounces delivered
 to pad                   56,093    53,296      5%   15,363   14,089      9%

Ag : Au Ratio (1)         60.5:1    54.3:1     12%   61.6:1   55.6:1     11%
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  (1) Silver equivalent ("AgEq") ounces consist of the number of ounces of
silver production/sold plus the number of ounces of gold production/sold
multiplied by the ratio of the spot gold price to the spot silver price at
the quarter end dates for financial reporting. All numbers are rounded.
 

 

2013 Construction and Expansion Plan Progress

 



--  The 3,000 tpd mill and Counter Current Decantation / Merrill Crowe
    ("CCD/MC processing") plant is approximately 90% physically complete.
    The current construction activities are focused on piping and electrical
    work for all mill components. Please refer to www.silvercrestmines.com
    for detailed construction photos
--  The mill is now scheduled to start up late Q1 2014, due to a one month
    delay in receiving the ball mill
--  Total underground development progressed to 2,265 metres: lateral
    development of 805 metres and main decline ramp to 1,460 metres in
    length as of December 31, 2013
--  A 1,500 metre underground drill program was completed to assist with
    detailed design of initial production stopes. Mining of these stopes is
    anticipated in the second half of 2014
--  The Company is targeting commissioning of the plant in the second
    quarter of 2014. The Initial mill feed will be from the open pit,
    transitioning to an underground and heap leach pad ore mix in the third
    quarter of 2014
 

 

2014 Capital Expenditure Budget

 

The following represents the estimated 2014 Capital Expenditure Budget:

 



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Santa Elena Expansion Capital                2014 estimated expenditures
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mill Facility (1)                            $14 million
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Underground Mine Development                 $ 5 million
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Underground Mine Equipment                   $ 7 million
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                                       Total $26 million
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 (1) $10 million is carried over from 2013 approved budget.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Exploration                                  2014 estimated expenditures
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Santa Elena - Surface and Underground
 Resource Expansion Drilling                 $1.5 million
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sonora - Exploration Projects 30/60 Km
 Existing Operations - Initial Drilling      $1.5 million
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
La Joya Project - Infill Drilling            $1.0 million
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
La Joya Project - Acquisition Payments       $1.8 million
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                       Total $5.8 million
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
 


Exploration expenditures may be adjusted throughout the year depending on
success.
 

 

 

2014 Exploration Program

 

In 2014, the Company will continue to focus its exploration efforts through organic growth on; 1) surface and underground drilling at Santa Elena for potential resource expansion and further reserve definition, 2) the 30/60 kilometre program surrounding the Santa Elena Mine to identify additional resources including the recently optioned Ermitano Property and, 3) in-fill drilling with subsequent metallurgical studies at La Joya to upgrade current resources to a Pre-Feasibility level.

 

SilverCrest Mines Inc. is 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, Mexico. The mine is a high-grade, epithermal silver and gold producer, with an estimated life of mine of 8 years and cash costs of $11 per ounce of silver equivalent (55:1 Ag:Au) for the open pit heap leach and underground mine. SilverCrest anticipates that the new 3,000 tonnes per day conventional mill facility at the Santa Elena Mine should recover an average annual rate of 1.5 million ounces of silver and 32,800 ounces of gold over the current reserve. Major expansion and construction of the 3,000 tonnes per day conventional mill facility is nearing completion and is expected to significantly increase metals production at the Santa Elena Mine (open pit and underground) in 2014 and beyond. Exploration programs continue to make new discoveries at Santa Elena and also 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 January 16, 2014

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