SilverCrest Mines Inc. is pleased to announce initial results of its accelerated underground exploration of the El Cholugo Zone ("El Cholugo" or the "Zone") located immediately adjacent to the Main Mineralized Zone ("MMZ") currently in production at the Santa Elena Mine, Sonora, Mexico. SilverCrest's recently released technical report titled, "Update to Santa Elena Pre-Feasibility Study, Sonora, Mexico" ("PFS"), contemplated the exploration and development of El Cholugo in 2016. However, the high gold and silver grades over significant widths and lateral dimensions encountered underground has led the Company to accelerate exploration and development of the Zone with the view to its inclusion in this year's (2015) mine plan.
The El Cholugo Zone is a drill-identified epithermal vein system that intersects the MMZ at an oblique angle (see attached figures). Previous drilling has shown at least two mineralized veins in the Zone, Alejandra and El Cholugo Dos, to range from 1 to 15 metres wide over a strike length of approximately 200 metres and a height of an estimated 150 metres. From previous drilling, the average width of the Alejandra vein is estimated to be 3.2 metres and for El Cholugo Dos vein, 1 to 5 metres. The Company is currently drifting on three levels (625m, 600m, and 575m elevations) from underground at Alejandra. Geometry of the mineralization is favorable for mining by long hole stoping method. Underground drifting on the Alejandra vein to date totals approximately 100 metres on three levels. The Company will also be exploring underground on the 655m level in Q2, 2015. Once the Alejandra vein is sufficiently defined, it may be partially incorporated into the 2015 mine plan. For reference, current PFS estimates for El Cholugo Reserves (cut and diluted) are 251,800 tonnes grading 2.58 gpt Au and 147.1 gpt Ag.
N. Eric Fier, CPG, P.Eng., and COO stated; "The accelerated exploration of El Cholugo is showing very encouraging results to date. The high grade silver and gold values that we are currently seeing from underground drift exploration are exceeding our expectations with respect to currently stated PFS Reserves. This makes El Cholugo a priority target which could potentially add to future underground production when practical. Additional drifting and underground drilling at El Cholugo will be completed over the next several months to confirm and potentially expand current reserves and resources."
A total of 132 composited assay results from mine face channel sampling of Alejandra underground drifting show an average vein width of 3.3 metres grading 8.80 gpt Au and 419.4 gpt Ag.
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