SilverCrest Mines (CVE:SVL)(NYSE MKT:SVLC) unveiled Monday further drill results from its Santa Elena mine in Mexico, where the company is aiming to double production, saying it found more bonanza grades of precious metals.
Since the middle of last year, the company has drilled 132 holes to further expand underground resources and reserves. So far, resources at the mine have been identified along a strike length of more than 1,200 metres, and to a depth of 600 metres.
The results from the drill campaign will be part of the ongoing resource expansion and reclassification, the silver miner said Monday, to be incorporated in the pre-feasibility study for the expansion project at the mine.
In this reported series, core hole SE-13-126 intercepted further grades of greater than 34 grams per tonne (g/t) gold or greater than 1,000 g/t silver, with 0.60 metres grading 5.2 g/t gold and 1,840 g/t silver.
These high grades were included in a broader interval of 21.6 metres grading 1.46 g/t gold and 169.1 g/t silver.
Grades in the latest series of holes ranged from 0.1 g/t to 22.0 g/t gold and 34.8 g/t to 1,840.0 g/t silver, while mineralized intervals ranged from 0.6 metres to 22.7 metres.
"This delineation drill program has been immensely successful. We have drilled the known portion of the deposit at 35 to 40 metre centres, the Main Mineralized Zone has been extended by approximately 300 metres beyond our current resource boundary and we have identified two new sub-parallel zones, El Cholugo and El Cholugo Dos," said the company in its statement Monday, citing president J. Scott Drever.
"The results of the revised underground resource and reserve estimations is expected to demonstrate an extended mine life with a conventional mill facility well beyond the original 5.5 years estimated for the open pit heap leach operation."
The company said its new El Cholugo zone continues to expand to the west and to depth, with six new drill hole intercepts reported today. The dimensions of this newly discovered zone are now roughly 400 metres long by 150 metres high, with widths ranging from 1.7 to 17.1 metres.
Meanwhile, in the Main Zone, SilverCrest said several holes extended mineralization to the east and to depth, with intercepts up to 300 metres to the west of the current operating pit.
Three drills are still onsite to continue the drilling program, with around 48,000 metres having been drilled so far in the 2012-2013 campaign.
Full results for the revised resources and reserves at the mine are expected in late April, or early May, the company said in its release, with an NI 43-101 technical report of the expansion plan to be filed within 45 days of the announcement.
Late last month, the silver miner filed an NI 43-101 compliant technical report for the resource update for its La Joya property in Mexico, which included results from preliminary metallurgical work. In January, the company announced that at a global case cut off grade of 15 grams per tonne of silver equivalent, inferred resources at La Joya stand at 198.6 million ounces, almost 95% higher than the 101.9 million ounces at the same cut off grade previously.
La Joya is one of SilverCrest's Mexican properties, the others being the Cruz de Mayo, and its flagship Santa Elena Mine, which is located 150 kilometres northeast of Hermosillo, in the State of Sonora, Mexico.
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