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SilverCrest Provides Fourth Quarter and Annual Operational Results

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SilverCrest Provides Fourth Quarter and Annual Operational Results

 

 

 

 

 

2023 Sales Guidance Exceeded, Treasury Assets Increased by 29% in Q4, 2023

 

SilverCrest Metals Inc. (TSX: SIL) (NYSE American: SILV) is pleased to provide operational results for the fourth quarter of 2023 and full year of 2023 from the Company’s Las Chispas Operation located in Sonora, Mexico. Full disclosure of FY 2023 financial results will be included in the Company’s audited consolidated financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2023 which will be released on March 6, 2024. All amounts are expressed in U.S. dollars, unless otherwise noted. Certain amounts shown in this news release may not total to exact amounts due to rounding differences.

 

Q4, 2023 Operating Results and Sales

  • Recovered 14,100 ounces of gold and 1.34 million ounces of silver, or 2.47 million silver equivalent1 ounces.
  • Sold 16,100 ounces of gold and 1.27 million ounces of silver, or 2.56 million AgEq ounces.
  • Average realized price of $1,977/oz gold and $23.09/oz silver generating $61.3 million of revenue.

 

2023 Operating Results and Sales

  • Recovered 59,700 ounces of gold and 5.65  million ounces of silver, or 10.40 million AgEq ounces.
  • Sold 58,200 ounces of gold and 5.62 million ounces of silver, or 10.25 million AgEq ounces, ahead of 2023 sales guidance of 9.8 to 10.2 million ounces AgEq.
  • Average realized price of $1,945/oz gold and $23.48/oz silver generating $245.1 million of revenue.

 

  1. Eric Fier, CEO, commented, “In our first full year of commercial production at Las Chispas, we exceeded the top end of our 2023 silver equivalent sales guidance. We thank our teams in Mexico and Canada for their outstanding efforts towards this achievement. In Q4, 2023 our underground mine continued the scheduled ramp-up, and slightly exceeded the planned rate for the quarter. While we experienced some unplanned downtime at the processing plant in Q4, 2023, our operational flexibility allowed us to still deliver above our guidance. Early in the new year we finalized the negotiations for our underground mining contract and look forward to implementing this work in Q1, 2024.

 

We remain well funded to execute our Las Chispas growth initiatives with several exploration drill rigs targeting infill conversion and mine exploration. At the end of the quarter our treasury holdings totaled $105 million ($86 million cash and $19 million bullion), a 29% increase from the end of Q3, 2023. While our H1, 2024 cash flow will be impacted by taxes related to the 2023 fiscal tax year, annual payment of extraordinary and special mining duties, and payments related to underground mine contract negotiations, our financial strength and flexibility will continue to be a differentiating factor. We look forward to providing our 2024 sales and cost guidance, and more details regarding the new underground mine contract later in Q1, 2024.”

 

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1 Silver equivalent (“AgEq”) ratio used in this news release of 79.51:1 based on the updated technical report for Las Chispas titled “Las Chispas Operation Technical Report” dated September 5, 2023 with an effective date of July 19, 2023.

 

Q4 and FY 2023 Operational Highlights

 

Unit Q4, 2023    FY, 2023  
Ore mined tonnes 78,600 300,900
Ore milled (a) tonnes 104,500 431,400
Average daily mill throughput tpd 1,136 1,182
Gold (Au)
Average processed grade gpt 4.28 4.39
Process Recovery % 98.3 % 98.1 %
Recovered oz 14,100 59,700
Sold oz 16,100 58,200
Average realized price $/oz 1,977 1,945
Silver (Ag)
Average processed grade gpt 410 423
Process Recovery % 97.7 % 96.5 %
Recovered million oz 1.34 5.65
Sold million oz 1.27 5.62
Average realized price $/oz 23.09 23.48
Silver equivalent (AgEq)
Recovered million oz 2.47 10.40
Sold million oz 2.56 10.25
(a) Ore milled includes material from stockpiles and ore mined.

 

Underground Mine Contract Negotiations 

 

During 2023, SilverCrest proactively began a selection process to review its underground mining contract. The Company began discussions with several potential underground mine contractors to compete for this contract with the focus on safety, predictability, and cost. Early in Q1, 2024 the selection process and negotiations were finalized and beginning in February 2024, a subsidiary of Dumas Contracting Ltd (“Dumas”) will begin mobilizing to Las Chispas under a five year service contract covering all underground development and production activities.

 

Dumas, part of STRACON Group, is a leading Canadian-based mining services provider that specializes in underground mine construction, lateral and vertical mine development, shaft sinking, production mining, and engineering. With significant international experience, including in Mexico, Dumas is well regarded with a demonstrated track record on safety, risk management, and operational excellence.

 

SilverCrest thanks the current mining contractor for their efforts and accomplishments to date. The current contractor will remain active until Dumas is fully mobilized in Q2, 2024. Both contractors are committed to a smooth transition and hand-off of underground operations. The Company will make payments in the first nine months of 2024 related to the change of contractors. Details regarding these payments will be provided with 2024 guidance.  In addition, SilverCrest will make a $7.5 million advance payment in Q1, 2024 to Dumas which will be credited towards future contract mining services.

 

Management Update

 

With Las Chispas built, the plant successfully ramped up, and the mine progressing as per plan, Mr. Pierre Beaudoin, Chief Operating Officer, will be retiring effective January 31, 2024. Mr. Beaudoin will rejoin the board of directors effective February 1, 2024, where he previously held a Director role from June 2018 to November 2018, when he subsequently took the executive role to support the advancement of Las Chispas to production.

 

John Wright, Board Chair, commented, “We thank Mr. Beaudoin for his outstanding contributions. Mr. Beaudoin was brought on to steward Las Chispas through construction and ramp-up and he did that with flying colours. With his primary role completed with success, we are pleased to welcome Pierre back to the board of directors and look forward to continuing to benefit from his expertise.”

 

Mr. Cliff Lafleur, who joined SilverCrest in July 2021 as the Company’s Vice President, Technical Services, has been appointed Vice President, Operations. Mr. Lafleur has more than 20 years experience with a particular focus on underground mining, including more than 10 years ramping-up and improving underground mines in Mexico, including; Torex’s ELG Underground mine and Primero’s (now First Majestic’s) San Dimas mine.  He has been instrumental in completing the Company’s updated Technical Report, safely ramping up underground operations, and completing underground contract negotiations.

 

Mr. Beaudoin commented, “I would like to thank the board of directors for the opportunity to lead the design, construction and ramp-up efforts at Las Chispas. I have been impressed with the accomplishments of our team and their ability to successfully navigate some of the unique challenges that we were presented with during construction, commissioning, and ramp-up. I look back at 2023 with pride as we have completed our first full year of production and exceeded the top end of our sales guidance. I am confident that this success will continue given the strong foundation of a high-quality operating team and asset.”

 

Qualified Persons Statement 

 

The Qualified Person under National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects for this news release is N. Eric Fier, CPG, P.Eng, CEO for SilverCrest, who has reviewed and approved its contents.

 

ABOUT SILVERCREST METALS INC.

 

SilverCrest is a Canadian precious metals producer headquartered in Vancouver, BC, with an ongoing initiative to increase its asset base by expanding current resources and reserves, acquiring, discovering, and developing high value precious metals projects and ultimately operating multiple silver-gold mines in the Americas. The Company’s principal focus is its Las Chispas Operation in Sonora, Mexico. The Company is led by a proven management team in all aspects of the precious metal mining sector, including taking projects through discovery, finance, on time and on budget construction, and production.

 

Posted January 24, 2024

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