Americas Silver Corp. announced that first processing of ore from its San Rafael Project occurred in the last week of September from development stockpiles. The first lead and zinc concentrates produced from the company’s newly modified Los Braceros Mill have been shipped to the Port of Manzanillo from the Cosalá Operations in Sinaloa, Mexico.

The reconfigured flotation circuit at the Los Braceros Mill has been successfully commissioned. Initial milling rates, metal recoveries and concentrate grades are meeting expectations, according to the company. It expects San Rafael to be the sole source of mill feed by the end of November, with commercial production expected before the end of the fourth quarter. Five development headings are currently accessing ore in the southern lobe of the Main Zone at San Rafael and will be stockpiled while the existing Nuestra Señora ore is processed. The Nuestra Señora mine is expected to be put on care and maintenance by the end of the first quarter of 2018, although additional material is available to supplement mill feed, if required.

“Initial concentrate deliveries were on time, met internal targets and third party specifications,” said Darren Blasutti, president and CEO, Americas Silver. “Despite a transitional third quarter, the startup of the San Rafael mine and continued strengthening of zinc and lead prices sets up our fourth quarter and next year for significantly reduced all-in-sustaining costs and free cash flow. We expect to use this cash flow to further explore, develop and organically grow our large and prospective silver reserves and resources without equity dilution.”

In addition to its Cosalá Operations in Sinaloa, Mexico, Americas Silver owns and operates the Galena Complex in Idaho. The company has also acquired an option on the San Felipe development project in Sonora, Mexico.