Las Chispas

The Las Chispas property is located approximately 180 kilometres northeast of Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. The community of Arizpe (estimated population 2,000) is located approximately 11 kilometres to the north of the property. The property consists of 21 concessions totalling 1377.50 hectares.


In 1640, rich silver veins where discovered near Arizpe by soldiers under the command of Pedro de Perra. The property did not receive any notable exploration or production until the late 1800s. From 1880 to 1930, several mines on the property had intermittent production. From public information, approximately 100 million ounces of silver and 200,000 ounces of gold were cumulatively produced from the property. Since 1930, no significant work has been completed on the property.

Las Chispas

During the early 1980s, a local Mexican company reprocessed old waste and tailings dumps from Las Chispas. Processing was by vat leaching with no production records available.


Geologically, the Las Chispas property consists of a Late Cretaceous – Early Tertiary low sulfidation epithermal system. Host rocks are volcanic tuffs, rhyolites, agglomerates and rhyolite breccias. Andesite dykes are noted in underground workings sub-parallel to mineralized structures.

The Las Chispas Mine is known for its world-class silver mineral specimens including polybasite, stephanite, native silver and pyrargyrite. Specimens are on display in private collections and museums worldwide.

Historical Production

Mineralization occurs in 0.5 to 5 metre wide veins with adjacent stockwork and breccias trending northwest- southeast for 1 to 1.5 kilometres. Depth from surface of known mineralization is estimated at 300 metres. Main veins dip 55 to 85 degrees to the southwest. Fourteen epithermal veins have been previously defined on the property of which 3 have had notable production. The historical producing veins included Las Chispas, William Tell, and Babicanora. From public information, the Las Chispas mill production between 1908 through 1911 was approximately 25,000 tonnes grading 35 gpt gold and 4,500 gpt silver totalling an estimated 25,000 ounces of gold and 3.2 million ounces of silver. Several kilometres of underground workings exist on the property and are partially accessible.

Las Chispas area
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Babicanora area
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Current Work Program

Phase II Exploration Program

SilverCrest´s current underground and surface drill programs are focused on four of the 19 veins identified at Las Chispas; the Las Chispas, William Tell, Babicanora and Varela veins. As part of the Company's ongoing Phase II exploration program, systematic grid drilling continues at the Las Chispas Main Vein ("Main Vein"), comprised of infilling and expanding previous Phase I successful results. Recent drill results indicate a newly discovered unmined high grade vein immediately adjacent to the Las Chispas Main Vein and historic workings. The new vein, named "Giovanni", and the Las Chispas Main Vein are two of 19 epithermal veins that have been defined on the Property to date. Four drills are currently working at the Las Chispas, William Tell, Varela and Babicanora veins.

The most recent and significant drilling result of the Babicanora vein is an intercept in hole UB17-09 of 7.6 metres grading 4.08 grams per tonne (“gpt”) gold and 196.1 gpt silver, or 502 gpt silver equivalent (“AgEq”; based on a ratio of 75 (Ag):1 (Au) and 100% metallurgical recovery) including 2.2 metres grading 10.8 gpt gold and 181 gpt silver, or 991 gpt AgEq. Also noteworthy is 6.6 metres grading 1.03 gpt gold and 328.5 gpt silver, or 406 gpt AgEq in Hole BA17-04. Both intercepts (UB17-09 and BA17-04) are 50 to 60 metres from the surface.

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For more details, please refer to the table under "Assays" and news release, dated June 22, 2017.

The Company is using a cut-off grade greater than 150 gpt AgEq* and a width of 1.5 metres when determining significant drill intercepts at the Babicanora Vein. To date, past and present Company significant intercepts, including BA17-04 to 05, UB17-01, UB17-03 to 05, and UB17-08 to 09, are averaging 4.5 metres in true thickness grading 521 gpt AgEq.

Babicanora holes BA17-01 to 03 intercepted low grade mineralization (halo) including 30 metres near surface of 33 gpt Ag.  Hole UB17-06 and 07 were specifically drilled in the opposite direction of the Babicanora Vein testing footwall mineralization. Hole UB17-07 intersected a high grade footwall vein with a true thickness of 0.7 metres grading 2.21 gpt Au and 401 gpt Ag or 566 gpt AgEq. Since this footwall vein appears to be mineralized in core, underground and on surface for a strike length of at least 400 metres, it has been named the “Babicanora FW Vein”.

Underground access to the Babicanora vein is via a 230-metre long 4 by 4 metre horizontal adit, which was driven by a French company during the 1860s.

Babicanora adit


Mineralized fill

Core review and logging at Las Chispas

Initially, the Company outlined its Phase II exploration program to include an 8,000 to 10,000 metre underground and surface core drill program. Given the positive drill results to date and continued geological knowledge and understanding of the trends in the area, SilverCrest has expanded this program. To date, the Company has drilled 14,205 metres (62 holes) at both the Las Chispas and Babicanora areas. Thirty-seven (37) holes, totalling 10,085 metres, were drilled in the Las Chispas area, including Las Chispas Main, William Tell, Giovanni, Espiritu Santo and Varela veins. Twenty-five (25) holes, totalling 4,120 metres, were drilled from both surface and underground into the Babicanora area, including the Babicanora Main and Babicanora FW veins.

The Company plans to drill an additional 3,500 metres in Phase II by the end of July 2017, at which point the Company will proceed with a break from surface drilling and underground drilling at Babicanora while commencing underground drilling at Las Chispas Main Vein. This will allow SilverCrest to compile all Phase II information for review, announce further results, and plan work for the second half of 2017 (“H2 2017”).

Underground Rehabilitation Update

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The Company's ongoing exploration work at Las Chispas includes; finishing underground rehabilitation in H2 2017 (approximately 10 of 11.5 kilometres have been re-opened to date), underground channel sampling of the Las Chispas Main Vein, possible extension and rehabilitation of the Babicanora adit for another 150 to 250 metres, expanded surface mapping and sampling in the district, initial metallurgical work, and auger drilling to determine accurate volumetrics and grade of historic dumps. All ongoing work will be analyzed during H2 2017 for a possible resource estimation and bulk sample plan.

N. Eric Fier, CPG, P.Eng., President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company, is the Qualified Person under National Instrument 43-101, Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects, responsible for the preparation of the technical information included in this website and for supervision of field activities related to the Company projects.

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