Vancouver-based Silvercorp Metals (TSE:SVM)(NYSE:SVM) says it has discovered several new mineralized veins from infill and step out drilling at its GC silver-lead-zinc project in Guangdong Province, China.
The company late Wednesday said the aim of the surface and underground drilling program was to upgrade the classification of the known resource blocks, and further define and extend known vein structures in preparation for mining this year.
The silver miner is due to begin trial production at the project shortly. To achieve formal commercial production, Silvercorpsaid it is required to pass a series of regulatory inspections to ensure it has complied with safety and environmental protection requirements.
The company expects to have these requirements in order by the second quarter of fiscal 2014.
Notable intercepts from the drilling program at the project include 49.65 metres, 33.29m true width of the V2 vein grading 151 grams per tonne (g/t) silver, 0.68% lead, 1.51% zinc and 0.30% tin, including an interval of 4.81m, 3.42m true width grading 525 g/t silver, 2.06% lead, 1.99% zinc and 0.87% tin.
The company said that it expects to have an additional access point to the V2 vein in March, when the exploration ramp reaches the -50 metre elevation. According to Silvercorp, the latest results suggest that the vein is a "thick, continuous zone" that would be amenable to bulk tonnage mining.
The presence of tin in the vein is expected to boost the project's economics, the company addded.
The miner also returned 3.88 metres, 3.76m true width in a different vein, grading 609 g/t silver, 0.41% lead, 0.56% zinc and 0.03% tin including an interval of 1.16 metres, 1.13m true width grading 698 g/t silver, 0.63% lead, 0.79% zinc and 0.03% tin.
Aside from these highlights, the company said it also discovered new veins V25, V26 and V28, as well as "several others" that have not yet been named.
So far, results for 97 holes have been received, for a total of more than 7,000 metres of drilling, with results for 12 more holes pending.
This year, Silvercorp said it plans to continue with the infill and step out drilling program at the project, with five underground rigs and two surface rigs now on site.
The silver‐producing Canadian mining company has multiple mines in China.
Looking ahead to its fiscal 2014, or the year ending in March 2014, the company has said it expects to increase ore production to 1.5 million tonnes, producing 6.7 million ounces of silver, 20,800 ounces of gold, 104.7 million pounds of lead and zinc, 300,000 pounds of tin and 20.5 million pounds of sulphur.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.