Silvercorp Metals (TSX: SVM) has published an updated technical report that outlines the mineral resources and reserves contained within the Ying property in Henan province of east-central China, and extends the mine life to 15 years.
The report was prepared by AMC Mining Consultants (Canada) and covers all the mines in the Ying Property (also referenced as the Ying mining district), namely the SGX, HZG, HPG, TLP, LME, LMW and DCG underground mines.
Resources in the measured and indicated categories are estimated at 18.7 million tonnes (inclusive of mineral reserves) at average grades of 242 grams silver per tonne silver, 0.27 gram gold per tonne, 3.51% lead and 1.03% zinc, containing 146 million oz. of silver, 161,000 oz. of gold, 657,000 tonnes of lead and 193,000 tonnes of zinc. Compared with the 2020 technical report, the measured and indicated tonnages have decreased by 7%, and contained metal has increased by 64% for gold and decreased by 3% for silver, 10% for lead and 16% for zinc.
Inferred resources saw a much larger decline, down 30% to 13.1 million tonnes grading 201 grams silver per tonne, 0.41 gram gold per tonne, 3.15% lead and 0.77% zinc, resulting in decreases in contained metal of 20% for gold, 23% for silver, 27% for lead and 20% for zinc.
These resource estimates were made for a total of 356 mineralized vein structures for the seven active mines within the Ying mining district, where Silvercorp has completed 629,000 metres of drilling during 2020-2021. The previous resource estimates only included gold values for the HPG mine. Since then, the company has identified and targeted gold-rich veins at SGX, LME, LMW and DCG.
Meanwhile, mineral reserves have risen by 3% to 12.3 million tonnes in the proven and probable categories grading 241 grams silver per tonne, 0.26 gram gold per tonne, 3.36% lead and 1.03% zinc, containing 96 million oz. of silver, 105,000 oz. of gold, 414,000 tonnes of lead and 127,000 tonnes of zinc. This was the first time that the DCG mine has been included in the reserve base, and that gold reserves have exceeded 100,000 oz. within the Ying mining district.
These reserve totals are on top of approximately 11 million oz. of silver produced from the Ying operations over the past two calendar years. Based on the total mineral reserves, annual silver production is now projected to average approximately 7 million oz. between fiscal 2023 and 2025, 8 million oz. between 2026 and 2029, 7.1 million oz. between 2030 and 2032, and 4 million oz. between 2033 and 2037, for a mine life of 15 years.
There is also the potential to extend the mine life beyond 2037 through further exploration and development, particularly in areas with identified inferred resources, Silvercorp said.
Silvercorp shares were trading at $3.13 as of Wednesday afternoon in Toronto, in a 52-week window of $2.81 and $5.94. It has a market cap of $554 million.