Argentine authorities approved the environmental impact assessment for SSR Mining Inc.'s Chinchillas silver-lead-zinc project in the country's Jujuy province.
Project development activities will now begin, with the first ore feed to the Pirquitas mill expected in the second half of 2018, the company said Dec. 27.
Priority development activities include initiating the earthworks projects and pioneering works for pre-stripping at Chinchillas, and releasing construction contracts and commencing construction activities at Pirquitas.
SSR Mining owns a 75% interest and Golden Arrow Resources Corp. holds a 25% stake in the Puna Operations Inc. joint venture, comprising the Pirquitas and Chinchillas properties.
According to a prefeasibility study released in May, the project is expected to produce on average 6.1 million ounces of silver, 35.0 million pounds of lead and 12.3 million pounds of zinc each year.