VANCOUVER, Dec. 27, 2017 /CNW/ - SSR Mining Inc. (NASDAQ: SSRM) (TSX: SSRM) ("SSR Mining") announces today that it has received approval of the Environmental Impact Assessment ("EIA") from the Argentine regulatory authorities for Puna Operations Inc.'s Chinchillas project in Jujuy Province, Argentina. Development activities will commence, with first ore feed to the Pirquitas mill expected in the second half of 2018. Priority development activities include initiating the earthworks projects at Chinchillas, releasing construction contracts and commencing construction activities at Pirquitas, as well as pioneering works for pre-stripping at the Chinchillas deposit.
Puna Operations Inc. is a joint venture comprised of the Pirquitas property and the Chinchillas property, owned 75% and operated by SSR Mining. Chinchillas is a silver-lead-zinc deposit located approximately 42 kilometers by road from the Pirquitas property. The pre-feasibility study on the Chinchillas project, filed under our profile on SEDAR on May 31, 2017, evaluates the development and construction of an open-pit mine and supporting infrastructure to supply ore to the Pirquitas processing facilities over an eight-year active mining period. The operation is expected to produce a silver-lead concentrate and a zinc concentrate with an average annual production of 6.1 million ounces of silver, 35.0 million pounds of lead and 12.3 million pounds of zinc at cash costs of $7.40 per payable ounce of silver sold. The Chinchillas project has low capital intensity with an estimated $81 million capital costs, based on initial capital expenditures and utilizing certain property, plant and equipment from the Pirquitas property. The project has an attractive post-tax net present value of $178 million, based on a 5% discount rate, and post-tax internal rate of return of 29%. For additional information, refer to our news release dated May 31, 2017.
Paul Benson, President and CEO said, "Receipt of the EIA approval is another positive step forward for our growth strategy. Our team can now accelerate development and construction activities to begin processing ore in 2018. Brownfields development of Chinchillas is a low capital, short payback opportunity to create value and growth for our shareholders in the near term."
The scientific and technical information contained in this news release has been reviewed and approved by Bruce Butcher, P.Eng., a Qualified Person under National Instrument 43-101 - Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects and our Director, Mine Planning.
About SSR Mining
SSR Mining Inc. is a Canadian-based precious metals producer with three operations, including the Marigold gold mine in Nevada, U.S., the Seabee Gold Operation in Saskatchewan, Canada and the 75%-owned and operated Puna Operations joint venture in Jujuy, Argentina. We also have two feasibility stage projects and a portfolio of exploration properties in North and South America. We are committed to delivering safe production through relentless emphasis on Operational Excellence. We are also focused on growing production and Mineral Reserves through the exploration and acquisition of assets for accretive growth, while maintaining financial strength.