SilverCrest Mines Completes Preliminary Economic Assessment for La Joya Silver Copper Gold Project in Durango, Mexico - Video News Alert on InvestmentPitch.com
Vancouver, British Columbia--(Newsfile Corp. - October 22, 2013) - SilverCrest Mines (TSXV: SVL) (NYSEMKT: SVLC) has announced the completion of the Preliminary Economic Assessment for its La Joya Silver Copper Gold Project, located in Durango, Mexico.
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The report focuses on the first stage of La Joya development as a low strip, open pit with an initial 9 year life of mine plan, with further opportunities for expansion. This approach provides attractive economic returns using conservative metal price estimates and lower initial capital costs, which are more attractive in the current market.
The conceptual open pit operation would be in conjunction with a 5,000 tonnes per day conventional mill and floatation/leaching plant to produce a high grade silver-copper concentrate with gold credits. The concentrate will be shipped overseas by trucking from site to a port in Mexico, which is the common route for operations near La Joya.
The Starter Pit will have a conceptual average annual production of 3.9 million silver equivalent ounces per year. The report anticipates strong revenues in the initial 4 years of operation, from annual production of approximately 5 million silver equivalent ounces, and a decrease in revenues in subsequent years due to a decrease in the grades.
Pre-production capital costs are estimated to total US$141 million including contingencies of US$17 million, with a payback period of approximately 2 years on initial capital. Using Base Case metal prices of US$22 an ounce for silver,US$3 a pound for copper, and US$1,200 an ounce for gold, results in a pre-tax NPV at 5%, of US$133 million and an Internal Rate of Return of 30.5% .
The Starter Pit economics are more sensitive to silver and copper price, as they represent 55% and 36% of the total revenues respectively under the base case scenario. Each 10% increment in metal prices from the base case increases the pre-tax NPV by approximately $60 million and the Internal Rate of Return by approximately 8%.
N. Eric Fier, President & COO stated, "The positive results of this PEA will enable us to plan the next steps, establish achievable milestones and identify additional studies and analyses to optimize the project economics. We have engaged extensively with local communities at this early stage of the La Joya project development, emphasizing the importance of building collaborative, long term and sustainable relationships with all stakeholders".
The current Inferred Resources at La Joya provide opportunity for significant project expansion, as the mineralization is open in most directions. Furthermore, the PEA does not address the potential for recovery of other potential products including tungsten, moly, lead, zinc and tin, which may have significant value.
The company recently announced record 3rd quarter silver production of 202,736 ounces from its main project, the Santa Elena Mine in Sonora, Mexico.
SilverCrest currently trades at $2.00, and with 108.9 million shares outstanding, the company is capitalized at $218 million.
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Barry Morgan, CFO