SilverCrest Mines Inc. (TSX:SVL) (NYSE MKT:SVLC) is pleased to announce it has received notice of exercise of the Underground Mine Option from Sandstorm Gold Ltd. for the Santa Elena Mine, Sonora, Mexico. This Option allows Sandstorm to purchase 20% of the gold produced from underground operations at the Santa Elena. In consideration of exercise of the option, Sandstorm will make an additional upfront deposit of US$10 million to the Company on or before March 17, 2014 and will continue to make ongoing per ounce payments of US$350 until 50,000 ounces of gold have been delivered to Sandstorm, inclusive of 18,593 ounces already received from open-pit production, at which time the payments will increase to US$450 per ounce of gold.
N. Eric Fier, President and COO commented; “The upfront deposit of US$10 million will improve our cash balance and further enhance the Company’s financial position to achieve its 2014 goals for the mine expansion at Santa Elena. We are pleased with Sandstorm’s expression of confidence in Santa Elena Mine, and our continued mutually beneficial relationship.”
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 operating 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 of almost 200 million ounces of Ag equivalent.
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