SilverCrest Mines (CVE:SVL)(NYSE MKT:SVLC)(AMEX:SVLC) announced Monday further drilling results from its Santa Elena Mine in Sonora, Mexico, which the company said include multiple "bonanza grade" intercepts and a new high grade zone.
The miner said it completed 87 of a planned 100 holes designed to upgrade indicated and inferred resources to probable reserves, and to expand current underground resources.
The drill program continues to be "extremely successful", SilverCrest said, with several recent holes showing bonanza grades, and a new high grade gold and silver zone that lies below the Main Mineralized Zone currently being mined.
The results will all be used to help with the resource reclassification to be included in the upcoming prefeasibility study for the Santa Elena expansion project.
The bonanza grade results include grades of gold greater than 34 grams per tonne (g/t) and over 1,000 g/t silver, ranging from 1.1 metres at 9.46 g/t gold and 1,700 g/t silver to 2.3 metres at 157.3 g/t gold and 1,610.5 g/t silver.
Meanwhile, holes SE-12-90, 94, 104 and 106 intercepted two mineralized intervals of 10 to 40 metres apart, with the second interval believed to represent the discovery of a new mineralized zone at Santa Elena.
The new area, named the "El Cholugo Zone", is believed to be related to a sub-parallel cross cutting structure which intersects the Main Mineralized Zone. El Cholugo appears to have minimum dimensions of about 150 metres long, 100 metres high and 5 to 14 metres wide, the company said.
Further drilling is now underway to help explore the new zone, with two other similar structures to be explored soon.
"We have always been confident that the underground portion of the Santa Elena Main Mineralized Zone would prove to be larger and higher grade than was indicated by the initial drilling and our drilling to date has vindicated that confidence," said president J. Scott Drever.
"In an epithermal deposit such as Santa Elena one can always expect narrow widths of high grades but to encounter 15.6 metres grading 23.9 gpt Au (0.69 opt) and 307.9 gpt Ag (9.0 opt) is truly remarkable and the discovery of the new 'El Cholugo Zone" with similar high grades simply adds to the excitement of the increased potential."
Drever added that the company's underground decline has progressed beyond 1,050 metres, which will allow it to get access to the underground portion of the ore deposit in the next several months.
Around 30,000 metres of drilling have been completed so far in the program to convert underground resources to reserves and expand total resources.
Three drills are currently on site to complete the in-fill program this month, with revised resources and reserves expected in the first quarter, followed by the prefeasibility study results for the expansion plan.
A three year expansion plan is underway to double metals production at the mine, while exploration programs are also advancing the definition of the large polymetallic deposit at the company's La Joya property in Mexico.
The Vancouver-based company said in November that profit and revenues increased in its third quarter, with record silver production allowing it to raise its annual forecast for the year.
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