Precious metals producer SilverCrest Mines (SVL-V, SVLC-X) has expanded its bought financing to $30 million from $26 million, and will use the proceeds to eliminate the remainder of its gold hedge book and beef up its working capital.
The shares will be priced at $2.55 apiece by a syndicate of underwriters, including Dundee Securities and Canaccord Genuity.
SilverCrest is tackling a three-year expansion that could double metal production at its flagship Santa Elena silver-gold mine in Mexico’s Sonora state.
SilverCrest expects that Santa Elena’s 2,500-tonne-per-day, heap-leach facility will recover 4.81 million oz. silver and 179,000 oz. gold over the six-and-a-half-year open-pit phase of its mine life, but it plans to boost capacity to 3,000 to 3,500 tonnes per day, with a conventional counter-current decantation processing plant to process mill feed from the open pit, as well as from future underground production. It has already started building a decline ramp.
The high-grade, epithermal silver-gold mine, 150 km northeast of Hermosillo, began commercial production in July 2011 and produced 377,000 oz. silver and 27,000 oz. gold last year. In this year’s first half, the mine churned out 274,378 oz. silver and 17,989 oz. gold for a total of 1.26 million equivalent oz. silver.
SilverCrest’s wholly owned Santa Elena is described as a high-calcium, low-sulphidation deposit with replacements, stockworks and hydrothermal breccias similar to other high-level, low-sulphidation deposits in Mexico, Chile, Nevada and Arizona.
In addition to Santa Elena, SilverCrest is defining a large polymetallic deposit at its La Joya property in Durango, where inferred resources within the phase-one area are estimated at 57.9 million tonnes grading 28 grams silver per tonne for 51.3 million contained oz. silver, 0.18 gram gold per tonne for 333,400 oz. gold and 0.21% copper for 270.3 million lb. copper.
It is also advancing its Cruz de Mayo project, which is 20 km from Santa Elena and 170 km northeast of Hermosillo. Cruz de Mayo has indicated resources of 1.1 million tonnes grading 64.2 grams silver for 2.4 million contained oz. silver, and 0.06 gram gold for 2,300 oz. gold. Inferred resources stand at 6.2 million tonnes at 66.5 grams silver for 12.97 million contained oz. silver, and 0.07 gram gold for 13,300 oz. gold.
At press time the Vancouver-based junior traded at $2.55, within a 52-week range of $1.25 to $3.17, for a $229-million market cap.
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