On an otherwise quiet time lapse, the fourth week of January began with the announcement of two significant news releases on silver exploration by junior companies in Durango and Sonora. One of those press-releases regarding the tens of meters high grade silver intercept of the first hole on the first drilling campaign, and the other on the finishing of the resource drilling of a near surface discovery. A few other news releases involve the announcement of drilling campaigns, high grade results from exploration in producing mines and a new small copper resource.
On Exploration. Two silver properties announcements compete for relevance this week. Orex Minerals released the results of its first hole at its Sandra Escobar property in Durango, in the fringes of the Sierra Madre. The intercept of 61m @ 369 g/t silver is nothing short of astounding. According to Orex: “Silver mineralization is hosted on the north side of a rhyolite volcanic dome. An altered and highly permeable volcaniclastic unit contains disseminations of silver bearing minerals and broadly spaced stockwork veinlets. The current working model has a porphyritic rhyolite unit as an impermeable cap, which may have focused mineralizing fluids into the host permeable volcaniclastic unit”. It is for sure we will hear more on this property soon. On the other hand and competing for notoriety is the announcement by Azure Mining of the completion of the resource drilling at its Mesa de Plata project, in northern Sonora. The next paragraph can give us a hint of the size of the resource to be filed in the next few months: “The central zone of high grade silver mineralisation, which averages greater than 200g/t Ag over a vertical thickness of approximately 20m, extends over an area of approximately 400m x 150m. This is surrounded by, and underlain by, a larger zone of moderate grade silver mineralisation (averaging 40-80g/t Ag) up to 60m thick, extending over an area of about 1,000m x 150-200m. The overall mineralised body dips shallowly to the northeast, and is confined to the southwest (up-dip) and northeast (down-dip) by erosional contacts forming valleys. “ . The drilling began 6 months ago and finished in January, comprising 61 RC holes and 5 diamond holes, for a total of 6,350m. Outstandingly, there are at least a couple of other targets nearby, awaiting permits for drilling.
Riverside Resources announced an oncoming drill campaign at its Tajitos project near Fresnillo’s Nochebuena mine in Caborca, Sonora. Gold Resource Corp. released the drill results of the Switchback system, which includes several parallel veins, with up to 6.3m @ 5.9 g/t Au, 139 g/t Ag, 0.6% Cu, 5.0% Pb and 8.1% Zn.
On Resources. Minera Alamos Inc. released a resource estimate for its Los Verdes North deposit in Central eastern Sonora, near Yecora. The resource is close to 1 million tons of 0.72% Cu, 0.09%Mo and 10 g/t Ag, for a copper equivalent tenor of 1.1% Cu.
On financing. Timmins Gold signed a new credit facility term sheet with Sprott Resource Lending Partnership and Goldcorp Inc.
On Mining. Primero Mining released its guidance for 2016, with forecasted production of 195,000 AuEq ounces from its San Dimas operation in the Durango’s Sierra Madre. Impact Silver announced production of 950 K ounces of silver during 2015, on its Zacualpan mine in Mexico State, from ore grading 193 g/t Ag, 0.13 g/t Au, 0.3% Pb and 0.7% Zn. Endeavour Silver announced the planned staged reduction of production activities at its El Cubo mine in Guanajuato.
Regarding the 7.5% mining tax introduced in 2014, Sonora will receive over 33 million US dollars from the tax collected in 2014, resources to be applied in the development of localities where mining occurs.
On the image below, banded barite-calcite-galena vein, running 1.3 kg/ton silver (1,300 ppm) and 10% combined Pb-Zn, from a dump in one of the prospects in the Cienega de Escobar area, Durango.