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 12 kilometres to the north of the property. The property consists of 28 concessions totalling 1400.96 hectares. In early 2018, the Company announced an initial resource estimate for the Las Chispas property, and filed an independent NI 43-101 technical report disclosing the Las Chispas property resource estimate ( refer to Technical Report). Inferred Mineral Resources are estimated at 3.4 million tonnes grading 3.63 grams per tonne (“gpt”) gold (or “Au”) and 296 gpt silver (or “Ag”), or 568 gpt silver equivalent (“AgEq”; based on 75 (Ag):1 (Au) and 100% metallurgical recovery). The Inferred Resource Estimate contains 401,600 ounces gold and 32,675,600 ounces silver, or 62,826,100 ounces of AgEq, using a 150 gpt AgEq cut-off grade and minimum true vein width of 1.5 metres for in situ vein resources and a 100 gpt AgEq cut-off for surface stockpile resources ( refer to Mineral Resource). The results of the Company’s Phase I and II exploration programs make up the components of the data used in the initial resource estimate. The resource estimate is focused on an estimated 3.5 kilometres of approximately 12 known kilometres of cumulative vein strike length in the district.


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
Click to enlarge

Babicanora area
Click to enlarge

Exploration Programs

For 2018, the Company is focused on the following targeted work programs:

The Babicanora Vein high‐grade footprint measures approximately 1,500 metres long by 180 metres high by 3.1 metres in average true width. Further drilling is ongoing with six surface drills and one underground drill. Area 511 now measures approximately 500 metres long by 200 metres high by 3.0 metres in average true width. To date, a total of 20 holes have now intersected the high‐grade footprint of Area 511 with an average estimated grade of 10.37 gpt gold and 943.7 gpt silver, or 1,721 gpt AgEq (uncut, undiluted).

The most significant result for the recent drilling was returned from Hole BA1881, which intersected 4.0 metres (true width) grading 22.83 grams per tonne (“gpt”) gold and 1,718.8 gpt silver or 3,341 gpt silver equivalent (“AgEq”, based on 75 (Ag):1 (Au) and 100% metallurgical recovery). Also noteworthy is Hole BA1877 at 4.5 metres grading 7.96 gpt gold and 912.0 gpt silver, or 1,509 gpt AgEq.


  1. Area 51: the high-grade mineralized area of the Babicanora Vein defined by the Company as having average resource grades greater than 1,000 gpt AgEq
  2. Bonanza grade or zone: the term Bonanza grade is used by the Company to describe mineral concentration of grades greater than 1,000 gpt AgEq

For more details, please refer to the table under "Assays"

Click to enlarge

New High-Grade Vein at Las Chispas; Multiple High-Grades Intercepted

SilverCrest discovered the Luigi Vein in the footwall of the Las Chispas Vein in mid-2017 but it remained un-named until the Company completed enough drilling to delineate an actual mineral vein.

The Luigi Vein high-grade footprint currently measures approximately 300 metres long by a minimum of 75 metres high by 1.7 metres in average true width, with a weighted average grade of 2.84 gpt gold and 416.6 gpt silver, or 629 gpt AgEq. The Company plans to continue drilling on this vein for potential expansion as part of its Phase III drill program.

The most significant result for the new Luigi Vein occurred in Hole LC17-65, which intersected 1.4 metres (true width) grading 13.22 grams per tonne (“gpt”) gold and 2,006.7 gpt silver, or 2,999 gpt silver equivalent (“AgEq”, based on 75 (Ag):1 (Au) and 100% metallurgical recovery). Also noteworthy is Hole LC17-45 which intersected 4.1 metres grading 1.71 gpt gold and 231.8 gpt silver, or 360 gpt AgEq. The following table summarizes the most significant drill intercepts (uncut, undiluted) for the Luigi Vein:

For more details, please refer to the table under "Assays"


Metallurgical testwork, including geochemical analysis, was completed by SGS Mineral Services in Durango, Mexico. Criteria for testing included standard bottle rolls using the following common processing parameters;

The following table summarizes initial metallurgical test results for Las Chispas:

Sample ID Assay Head
Au g/t
Assay Head
Ag g/t
Head Calculated
Au g/t
Head Calculated
Ag g/t
% Recovery
% Recovery
Composite 1 3.61 180.0 3.66 203.4 99.2 77.8
Composite 2 6.19 500.0 5.63 552.7 98.6 85.9
Composite 3 2.95 274.0 2.15 295.0 99.1 96.2
Average 4.25 318.0 3.81 350.3 98.9 86.6
Note: all numbers are rounded.

For further information refer to News Release of October 30, 2017

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

N. Eric Fier, CPG, P.Eng., Chief Executive Officer & Director 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.

Email Sign Up