The company said contractor Ausenco Engineering Canada had completed construction at the Sonora state silver-gold asset ahead of schedule and below budget, although final capital costs have yet to be confirmed.
Vancouver-based SilverCrest has begun processing plant commissioning, with the plant expected to reach commercial operations in Q4.
“Completing construction marks a significant de-risking step as we move towards becoming a high-grade precious metals producer,” CEO Eric Fier said in a release.
Operations are being powered by diesel generators and a partially completed power line. The company plans to fully transition away from diesel generators in H2 as state power utility CFE finalizes its portion of the power line.
Las Chispas is expected to produce about 5.2Moz/y silver and 56,000oz/y gold.
Mexico has a pipeline of around US$9bn of mining projects, for which estimated start-up dates have been given.
This year, Orla Mining has started commercial production at its US$134mn Camino Rojo mine in Zacatecas state, while Altaley Mining’s US$27.5mn Tahuehueto gold asset is currently in pre-production commissioning.
Alamos Gold is on track to complete its US$137mn La Yaqui Grande project at its Mulatos gold mine this year, with Southern Copper also expecting first production at the US$159mn Pilares copper project in 2022.
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