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SilverCrest Exceeds 2012 Production Market Guidance, Announces Q4 Results and 2013 Guidance

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SilverCrest Exceeds 2012 Production Market Guidance, Announces Q4 Results and 2013 Guidance


SilverCrest Mines Inc. (TSX VENTURE:SVL)(NYSE MKT:SVLC)(NYSE Amex:SVLC) announce full year and Q4 production figures for 2012 from its 100% owned Santa Elena Mine located in Sonora, Mexico and provide production and cost guidance for 2013.

 

 

2012 Operating Highlights for Santa Elena

 

 

--  Produced 579,609 ounces of silver in 2012, exceeding market guidance by
    33% of original estimation of 435,000 ounces of silver. 
--  Produced 33,004 ounces of gold in 2012, just below market guidance of
    33,500 ounces. 
--  Produced 2.37 million ounces of silver equivalent using a Ag:Au average
    ratio of 54.3:1. 
--  In Q4 surpassed "One Million Ounces of Silver" produced project to date
    plus a quarterly record of 153,863 ounces silver. 
--  Crusher throughput averaged 3,162 tonnes per day, 26% above the daily
    designed capacity of 2,500 tonnes per day. 
--  Completed Phase II leach pad construction on schedule and on budget
    adding 2 years of capacity. 
--  Installed new conveyor and stacker system for ore transport to the leach
    pad reducing operating costs. 
--  Secured major long lead time items for construction of a new
    conventional 3,000 tpd CCD processing facility during 2013. 
--  Underground decline development progressed to approximately 1,050 metres
    in length. 
--  Completion of approximately 30,000 metres of drilling which; 
    --  1) confirmed and detailed underground resources to be converted to
        reserves, 
    --  2) discovered the new high grade "El Cholugo" gold and silver zone
        adjacent to the Main Mineralized Zone currently being mined and 
    --  3) extended the Main Mineralized Zone more than 200 metres along
        strike and down plunge.

 

 

 

J. Scott Drever, President stated; “2012 was a very successful year for SilverCrest that marked our first full year in commercial production. Management congratulates our operating team for delivering on its commitments and meeting or exceeding our production targets. Santa Elena exceeded silver initial production guidance by 33% and produced 2.37 million silver equivalent ounces in 2012. We look forward to another exciting year at Santa Elena, remaining focused on continuing steady production, optimizing operations, and ensuring the expansion plan to double metal production in 2014 is kept on schedule and within budget.”

 

 

During the fourth quarter of 2012, Santa Elena operations produced a record 153,863 silver ounces or 17% more than the same quarter in 2011. Silver production continues to set quarterly records due to improvement in recoveries and higher grade ore being loaded on the Phase II leach pad. Gold production of 7,831 ounces was consistent with budget but 18% below the same quarter in 2011. Open pit tonnes and grades continue to reconcile closely with the geological block model and mine plan. All aspects of operations continue to function well. The crushing circuit had an excellent fourth quarter with average throughput of 3,355 tonnes per day, 3% below the same quarter in 2011 and 34% above the daily design capacity of 2,500 tonnes per day.

 

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Santa Elena Mine Operating                                                  
 Highlights                           2012        2011    Q4 2012    Q4 2011
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Silver ounces produced             579,609     377,071    153,863    131,045
Gold ounces produced                33,004      26,969      7,831      9,536
Silver equivalent ounces                                                    
 produced (1)                    2,371,755   1,737,458    588,948    667,805

Silver ounces sold                 588,312     344,724    171,714    120,199
Gold ounces sold                    34,834      23,962      8,444      9,702
Silver equivalent ounces sold                                               
 (1)                             2,477,623   1,570,106    640,856    666,303

Tonnes ore mined                 1,092,305     979,464    301,295    326,496
Tonnes waste mined               4,640,700   3,579,045    924,927  1,310,764
Waste / ore ratio                     4.25        3.65       3.07       4.01
Ore tonnes crushed               1,157,226   1,007,716    308,693    318,928
Average ore tonnes crushed per                                              
 day                                 3,162       2,761      3,355      3,467
Average silver ore grade (gpt)                                              
 loaded on pad                       47.95       44.81      59.59      49.55
Average gold ore grade (gpt)                                                
 loaded on pad                        1.43        1.82       1.42       1.90
Silver ounces delivered to pad   1,784,118   1,511,807    591,441    524,375
Gold ounces delivered to pad        53,296      61,279     14,089     20,094

Ag : Au Ratio (1)                   54.3:1      50.4:1     55.6:1     56.3:1
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
(1) Silver equivalence is based on market spot prices per ounce of silver   
 and gold at the quarter and year end dates. All numbers are rounded.

 

 

 

In 2012, virtually all operating parameters exceeded those of 2011 with the exception of the gold grade and gold ounces delivered to the pad. During the year the cut off grade was reduced from 0.38 gpt Au eq. to 0.20 gpt Au eq. (applies a 55:1 Ag:Au ratio, metallurgical recoveries, operating costs and current metal prices) which provided more reserve tonnes but with a lesser reported gold grade. In addition, much of the planned mining in 2012 was scheduled in a portion of the open pit which was of a lower grade when compared to those gold grades mined in 2011. Gold, along with silver grades are anticipated to increase in 2013.

 

 

2013 Operating Targets and Capital Expenditure Guidance

 

 

-  Produce 625,000 ounces of silver and 33,000 ounces of gold (2.4 million  
    ounces of silver equivalent, Ag:Au 55:1) with consistent production     
    levels expected each quarter.                                           
-  Estimated cash cost of $8.50 per silver equivalent ounce (Ag:Au 55:1).   
-  Major Capital Expenditures Estimates for Santa Elena Mine;               
     o Expansion Capital - Mill facility:                     $53.2 million 
     o Expansion Capital - U/G Mine Development:              $ 7.8 million 
     o Expansion Drilling and PFS                             $ 3.5 million 
     o Sustaining Capital:                                    $ 1.0 million 
-  Estimated Exploration Expenditures;                                      
     o La Joya - drilling and PEA:                            $ 6.5 million 
     o La Joya - Property Acquisition Payment:                $ 4.0 million

 

 

 

The Company is targeting 2013 year end for the completion of the new mill facility with commercial production expected in the first quarter of 2014. Exploration expenditures may be adjusted throughout the year depending on success.

 

 

The Qualified Person under National Instrument (NI 43-101) Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects 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 Inc. (TSX VENTURE:SVL)(NYSE MKT:SVLC)(NYSE Amex:SVLC) 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 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 facility should recover approximately 4,805,000 ounces of silver and 179,000 ounces of gold over the life of the current open pit at the Santa Elena Mine. A three year expansion plan is underway to double metals production at the Santa Elena Mine (open pit and underground) and exploration programs are rapidly advancing the definition of a large polymetallic deposit at the La Joya property in Durango State.

Posted January 20, 2013

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