Americas Silver Corporation ("Americas Silver" or the "Company") is pleased to provide an update on its 100% owned San Rafael Development Project, part of the Cosalá Operations in Sinaloa, Mexico.
Based on the April 2016 San Rafael Technical Report (the" Report"), the Company targeted initial production to be sourced from the southern lobe of the Main Zone while development of the primary ramp continued toward the larger and more massive part of the deposit further to the north. Development towards this southern lobe began in January 2017 and ore is now being mined from two development headings in this area with two levels being prepared for production. Ore from three additional headings will be added to the existing surface stockpile within the next week.
The primary ramp which will provide long term access to the bulk of the deposit is progressing well. Approximately 480 meters of additional development is required before the main drive reaches the bottom level of the Main Zone. The schedule calls for this work to be completed over the next seven to nine months.
The Report also called for process plant modifications to provide additional flotation and concentrate regrind capacity. All mill equipment is now on-site and installed. The new flotation tank cells have been tested and existing equipment has been reconfigured as required. The concentrate regrind mills will be tested under load in approximately one week. Initial concentrate production from San Rafael will take place before the end of September 2017.
The Company expects San Rafael to be the sole source for mill feed by mid-November 2017. The mill is currently processing the remainder of the El Cajón stockpiles through approximately the end of September, followed by San Rafael pre-production material and Nuestra Señora stockpiles until the new mine ramps up to its commercial production rate. Additional material from Nuestra Señora is available to supplement mill feed, if required.
"I am very pleased that we have dealt with the challenges of delivering a new mine on schedule and on budget," said Darren Blasutti, President & CEO. "San Rafael material will be processed at our newly modified mill before the end of the third quarter with commercial production expected to be achieved before year end."