The venture was borne out of a plan to use existing infrastructure at SSR's depleted Pirquitas mine to process Golden Arrow's development-stage Chincillas ore, some 42km down the road. The plant is now ramping up to 3,000 tonnes per day. It is expected to achieve 4,000t/d before year-end.
The openpit mine is expected to supply ore to the Pirquitas facility over eight years, with an estimated 8.4 million ounces of production expected over this time.
The Pirquitas processing facility is producing a silver/lead concentrate and a zinc concentrate, which will be shipped to smelters for processing.
The feasibility study estimated a capital cost of US$81 million for the Chincillas project and SSR confirmed Monday the entire project 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 completed by March 2019.
The San Miguel openpit at the Pirquitas operation was depleted in January last year.
SSR owns 75% of Puna and Golden Arrow 25%.
Both sets of management at SSR and Golden Arrow have strong track records of value creation, and the commercial status at Chinchillas is the latest example of where they have unlocked value others could not.
The news did little to the JV partners' share prices Monday, with C$1.7 billion SSR (TSX:SSRM) gaining 1.21% to $14.27 and $25 million Golden Arrow (TSXV:GRG) losing 7.55% to 24.5c.