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Endeavour to produce up to 5.7 million ounces of silver in 2017

Endeavour Silver Corp. on Jan. 25 said it expects to produce between 5.2 million ounces and 5.7 million ounces of silver and between 50,000 ounces and 53,000 ounces of gold at its three Mexican mines in 2017.

The company is planning production at slightly lower throughput and higher silver grades relative to 2016, leading to similar silver output and slightly lower gold output than last year.

All-in sustaining costs, net of gold byproduct credits, are anticipated at between US$14 per ounce and US$15 per ounce of silver produced in 2017, higher than the first three quarters of 2016 due to increased investments in exploration and development programs.

Endeavour Silver earmarked US$43.3 million for capital projects at its Guanacevi, Bolañitos and El Cubo operations in 2017.

Management approved 2.5 kilometers of development at Guanacevi to access two new ore bodies, with 9.2 kilometers of mine development planned for the North Porvenir and Santa Cruz mines on the property.

The company is also planning 5 kilometers of development at Bolañitos to access reserves and resources at LL-Asunción, Plateros and mineralized fill from historical stopes not included in resources.

In addition, 7.8 kilometers of mine development is budgeted at El Cubo.

Overall, the company plans to drill 64,000 meters and spend US$15.2 million on brownfields and greenfields exploration, development engineering and land payments in 2017. Drilling will include 20,000 meters at the three mines.

Endeavour Silver and other companies operating in Mexico's Zacatecas state plan to file constitutional challenges in Mexican courts against the state's recently amended Revenue Law.

Changes to the law entail a new environmental tax on extraction, pollution and waste disposal. The company claimed the law, which took effect at the start of 2017, could make its El Compas property and every other mine in the state uneconomic, as mining companies already pay a federal environmental tax.