SilverCrest Metals has received notification from the Mexican Environmental and Natural Resources Department (SEMARNAT) granting approval of its Environmental Impact Statement, which includes an operating permit (MIA) for the development of its Las Chispas Project in Sonora, Mexico. The MIA provides the company with conditional approval to construct a 3,000-metric-ton-per-day (mt/d) underground mine and a conventional processing facility with subsequent dry stack tailings and backfill operations for Las Chispas.

“The approval of the MIA is a key milestone for Las Chispas,” said CEO Eric Fier. “It should enable SilverCrest to have all major operating permits in hand ahead of our scheduled construction timeline.”

The feasibility study should be completed in the second half of 2020, with construction anticipated for the second half of 2020, Fier said.

The MIA remains in good standing for 14 years until July 17, 2033, subject to environmental management activities. An application to renew the MIA is required at least 30 days before it expires. The MIA permits up to two dry stack tailings areas within the permitted area as well as using tailings for mine backfill. The operating permit is for underground mining only with complementary facilities.

SilverCrest has 14 active drill rigs on site, which continue to test, expand and upgrade the high-grade resource delineated to date at Las Chispas. The company is also conducting further underground grade reconciliation on the Babicanora Vein with additional drilling and underground work to better understand the positive grade difference between recent underground vein sample results and resource model.