Canada-based SSR has declared commercial production at the Chinchillas mine, which forms part of its Puna Operations joint venture in Argentina.
Chincillas is 42 km from the Pirquitas plant, which is currently processing Chincillas ore at a rate of 3 000 t/d and is expected to ramp up to 4 000 t/d this month.
The openpit mine is expected to supply ore to the Pirquitas facility over eight years, with an estimated 8.4-million ounces expected to be produced during this time.
The Pirquitas processing facility is producing a silver/lead concentrate and a zinc concentrate. The two concentrates will be shipped internationally to smelters for processing.
The feasibility study estimated a capital cost of $81-million for the Chincillas project and SSR confirmed on Monday that the entire project scope should be completed on budget.
The remaining aspects of the project include the completion of various infrastructure at the Chinchillas and Pirquitas sites, which is expected to be concluded through the first quarter of 2019.
The San Miguel openpit at the Pirquitas operation concluded mining activity in January last year.
SSR owns 75% of Puna Operations and Golden Arrow Resources 25%.