VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Silvercorp Metals in its technical report entitled “NI 43-101 Technical Report Update on the Gaocheng Ag-Zn-Pb Project in Guangdong Province, People’s Republic of China” says that based on only proven and probable reserves, the GC Mine has a projected life of mine (LOM) of 13 years through to 2034, at an average annual production rate of approximately 310,000 tonnes, and with average silver equivalent (“AgEq”)1 grades of approximately 309 g/t. The GC Mine has the potential to extend the LOM beyond 2034, via the conversion of existing Mineral Resources to Mineral Reserves, and further exploration and development.
From the start of operations at the GC Mine in 2014 through to December 31, 2020, 1,853,662 tonnes have been mined at average head grades of 94 grams per tonne silver, 1.6% lead, and 2.9% zinc.
Compared to the Mineral Resources estimate in the 2019 Technical Report, the Measured tonnes have increased by 57% due to the discovery of new veins, new vein interpretations and the conversion of Indicated tonnes (which decreased by 17%) to the Measured Resource classification. Inferred tonnes have also increased by 17%.
The results of the underground drilling program at the GC Mine show that vein structures are still open at depth.
2021 MINERAL RESERVE AND MINERAL RESOURCE UPDATE
All Silvercorp drilling has been completed with NQ-sized core. Drillhole collars were surveyed using a total station and downhole surveys were completed every 50 m downhole. Core recoveries varied between 35.66% and 100%, averaging 99.36%.
The GC NI 43-101 Technical Report defines Mineral Reserves of 4.131 million tonnes in the combined Proven and Probable categories, grading 94 g/t Ag, 1.5% Pb, and 3.2% Zn, containing approximately 12.5 million ounces of silver, 135 million pounds of lead, and 293 million pounds of zinc.
Mineral Reserve tonnes are noted to be approximately 41% of Mineral Resource (Measured plus Indicated) tonnes. Silver, lead, and zinc Mineral Reserve grades are 115%, 124%, and 115%, respectively, of the corresponding Measured plus Indicated Mineral Resource grades. Metal content conversions for silver, lead, and zinc from Measured plus Indicated Mineral Resources to Proven plus Probable Mineral Reserves are 47%, 51%, and 47%, respectively.
Silvercorp acquired the Gaocheng (“GC”) silver-lead-zinc exploration permit in April 2008. Located about 200 kilometres west of Guangzhou City, Guangdong Province, southern China, the permit covers an area of 5.5 km2. Since 2001, the GC permit has been explored for gold, silver, lead, zinc, and sulphur. In December 2010, Silvercorp received a mining permit on the GC project and construction of a 1,600 tpd mine and mill commenced shortly thereafter. In the fall of 2014, the Company commenced commercial production from the mine. Since then, the GC property has contributed 3.1M ounces of silver and 108.1M pounds of lead and zinc to June 30, 2019.