SilverCrest secures operating permit for Las Chispas project in Mexico

SilverCrest Metals has received approval from the Secretaria de Medio Ambiente y Recuros Naturales (SEMARNAT)for the Environmental Impact Statement for the development of its Las Chispas Project in the State of Sonora,  Mexico.

The receipt of the MIA provides the Company with conditional approval to construct a 3,000 (maximum capacity) tonne per day underground (“U/G”) mine and a conventional processing facility with subsequent dry stack tailings and U/G backfill for Las Chispas. The MIA is based on several conditions and standard requirements as discussed below.

N.Eric Fier, CPG, P.Eng, and CEO, remarked, “The approval of the MIA is a key milestone for Las Chispas. The MIA should enable SilverCrest to have all major operating permits in hand ahead of our scheduled construction timeline. With the anticipated completion of a successful Feasibility Study in H1, 2020, the Company is well positioned to project finance and begin construction activities in H2, 2020. We are extremely pleased with the progress that our team has made in the 3.5 years that we’ve been exploring at Las Chispas. We continue to work hard to simultaneously de-risk and add value to the Project in a cost-efficient manner. Congratulations to the team and the communities that support us in securing this key permit for development of Las Chispas.”

MIA Details and Requirements:

  • The MIA remains in good standing for 14 years until July 17, 2033, subject to the appropriate environmental management activities. An application to renew the MIA is required at least 30 days before expiry.
  • The 96 hectares approved for use (subject to successful inspection by, and invoice paid to SEMARNAT) in the MIA covers the required areas of operation (for example mining, processing, tailings).
  • The MIA permits up to 2 dry stack tailings areas within the permitted area as well as using tailing for mine backfill.
  • The Operating Permit is for underground mining only with complementary facilities.
  • The Operating Permit is conditional on several standard requirements by SEMARNAT that are designed to protect and monitor the environment, and must be completed by the Company before construction begins.
  • SEMARNAT have advised that they plan to visit Las Chispas in H2, 2019 to conduct an inspection, following which SilverCrest expects to be issued an invoice by SEMARNAT.  Upon payment of the invoice, the Company expects to receive the required standard Change of Use of Soil (“CUS”) approvals for operations.

Work related to conditional requirements of the Operating Permit have been budgeted for and are included in the Company’s work schedule for H2, 2019 and early 2020.

SilverCrest has 14 active drill rigs on site, which continue to test, expand and upgrade the high-grade resource delineated to date at Las Chispas. The Company is also conducting further U/G grade reconciliation on the Babicanora Vein with additional drilling and underground work to better understand the positive grade difference between recent U/G vein sample results and resource model. Further results will be reported in due course.

Source: Company Press Release