Americas Silver Corp. declared commercial production at the San Rafael mine, part of its polymetallic La Verde operation and the only source of mill feed for its Cosalá operations in Mexico.
The company said Dec. 21 that production at San Rafael is averaging approximately 1,200 tonnes per day and is increasing as additional ore headings continue to be established.
The Los Braceros mill at Cosalá began processing San Rafael ore on Nov. 19 with throughput and recoveries steadily increasing, averaging about 1,400 tonnes per day through the preproduction period.
The company said that silver, zinc and lead recoveries are within 5% of expectations and continuing to improve, while a stockpile of approximately 23,000 tonnes is available for supplemental mill feed.
San Rafael is initially targeting a throughput rate of 1,500 t/d in the first quarter of 2018 and will test limits of existing design capacity of the mill in the second half of 2018.
Americas Silver also noted that the San Rafael mine was developed on time and on budget for approximately US$17 million.
"This mine will be the cornerstone of our Mexican operations and provide cash flow for further drilling and development of our Zone 120 resource, as well as future exploration on our greater land position in the Cosalá district without equity dilution," Daren Dell, the company's COO, commented.
Zone 120 also forms part of the company's Cosalá property.