Highlights on the first week of July 2016, Mineral Exploration in Mexico

During the first week of July, at least 23 press releases from companies working in Mexico were published. On exploration, Wealth Minerals disclosed results from a soil survey in Chihuahua, while Gayney Capital, Bacanora Minerals and Kootenay Silver announced diamond drilling campaigns on their properties in Nayarit and Sonora (no results yet). On mining, The Mexican mining industry is still dealing with decreased investment, due to the fall in commodity prices, and the steep tax increase of 2014. Coeur Mining released second quarter results from its operations in Chihuahua, Fortuna Silver commissioned a mining expansion in Oaxaca, U.S.  Antimony continues with test milling in Queretaro, Cyprium Mining started mining in Chihuahua, Starcore is mining high grade ore shoots in Queretaro, Bacanora Minerals is working on a Feasiblity study in Sonora and Dyna Resource continues with pilot mining in Sinaloa . On financing, five companies announced the opening, tranche completion or the closing of financing rounds, for total gross proceeds of $40.3 million (not a bad week); Morro Bay announced a share consolidation plan.

On Exploration

  • Wealth Minerals LTD. announced results from a soil sampling program at its Coronado project in Chihuahua. Three broad anomalies were defined: 1) Southern Ag-Zn-Cu 2) Irregular Au-Cu and 3) a 2 km east-west oriented, low level Ag-Zn-Cu anomaly.
  • Gayney Capital Corp. reported it is completing the first three holes on the La Nueva Victoria zone, on its Colomo property in Nayarit. Results will be disclosed once the holes have been completed and the drill core assayed.
  • Bacanora Minerals Ltd. is doing a 3,000 meters drilling infill program to take part of the resource from the Indicated to the Measured category (currently 259 MT @3,200 ppm Li) on its Sonora Lithium project in Sonora. Average thickness of the upper clay is 30.3 m and 19.8 m for the lower clay unit. Assays are to be reported in August.
  • Kootenay Silver Inc. announced its partner Panamerican Silver Corp. is currently performing a 3,400 meter diamond drill campaign, in approximately 18 holes on La Negra breccia, as well as to additional targets, in the Promontorio property in Sonora.

On Mining

  • In 2015 the mining industry generated 345 K jobs, and benefits for 2 million families; whiles salaries in the industry are 41% higher than the national average. However, the value of the mining production decreased for third year in a row, going from 14,820 to 13,469 million dollars. In 2015 the investment was 4,630 million dollars, far from the 8,043 million of 2008. Lower commodity prices, as well as the new mining tax implemented in 2014 (0.5% on Au-Ag production, 7.5% on earnings), and the impossibility to deduct exploration costs in the year they are incurred are to blame.
  • S. Antimony Corp. filed an environmental permit with SEMERNAT, regarding the installation of its Puerto Blanco mill site in Guanajuato. Based on the latest test mills from the Reynaldo pit at Los Juarez in Queretaro, a recovery rate of 75%, 95% and 90% are expected for antimony, gold and silver respectively, with a feed grade of 0.41% Sb, 1.83 g/t Au and 79 g/t Ag.
  • Fortuna Silver Mines Inc. announced the commissioning of the expansion of the San Jose mine in Oaxaca from 2,000 to 3,000 tpd, on time and under budget. This expansion will allow an annual production rate of 7-8 million Oz Ag and 50-53 K Oz Au. The capital expenditure of the plant expansion was US$27.5 million, 16% below budget.
  • Starcore International Mines Ltd. announced mining is now proceeding on a high grade area of the San Martin mine in Queretaro. Last May 536 tons were mined at a grade of 11.5 g/t Au and 76 g/t Ag, during June 986 tons were produced at 8.9 g/t Au and 67 g/t Ag. Geologists estimate that 1,500 tons remain to be extracted from this zone at similar grades. A recent drill hole intersected 9.1 m @ 50.7 g/t Au and 115 g/t Ag. Those high grade mantos are considerably dislocated by faults into small blocks.
  • Cyprium Mining Corp. started production at its Potosi silver mine in the Santa Eulalia District in Chihuahua. Production will focus initially on the “Tunel” mineralized body, which lies on levels 1 to 4 of the mine in the area accessed by the recently rehabilitated Potosi No. 3 shaft. Cyprium is currently extracting twenty tons per day on a test basis and expects to achieve an extraction volume of eighty tons per day by mid-August. It took six months and less than a million dollars to return the Potosi Mine to production. All mineralized material extracted from the mine will be sent to the Aldama flotation plant located 42 kilometers from the Potosi
  • Bacanora Minerals Ltd. is actively working on the definitive Feasibility Study (FS) of its Sonora Lithium project, in Sonora; The FS is targeted for completion in Q1, 2017. Continued expansion of the pilot plant capacity and metallurgical test work is ongoing, with Initial focus on producing battery-grade lithium carbonate samples for delivery during Q3, 2016.
  • Coeur Mining Inc. announced second quarter production, which includes data from its Palmarejo mine in Chihuahua. At its mine in Mexico Coeur mined 284K tons from underground, at an average grade of 168 g/t Ag, and 2.49 g/t Au. 1.7 K tons of ore were mined from surface operations, at a grade of 241 g/t Ag and 2.17 g/t Au. 270 K tons were milled, with recovery rates of 89.5% for silver and 86.4% for gold, for a production of 1.3 M Oz Ag and 18.7 K Oz Au.
  • Dyna Resource Inc. processed 4,290 tons in June, with an average grade of 15.16 g/t. The pilot mill is running at over 160 tpd.

On Financing

  • Excellon Resources Inc. increased the amount of the bought deal offering to $13.25 million (Platosa, Durango).
  • Canasil Resources Inc. closed the second and final tranche of its non-brokered private placement, for gross proceeds of $2.56 million (Sandra Escobar, Durango).
  • Morro Bay Resources Ltd. is to consolidate shares, up to a 10 to 1 basis.
  • Great Panther Silver Ltd. announced a bought deal for $20 million. Additional over –allotment, if exercised would take the total to $23 million (several mines in Durango and Guanajuato).
  • Kootenay Silver Inc. announced a commercially reasonable efforts private placement, aiming to raise aggregate gross proceeds of up to $4 million. Later on the week the offering was increased to raise $4.5 million. The proceeds will be used to fund exploration and development of its La Cigarra property in Chihuahua.

Content like what you have just read can be seen at LinkedIn’s Mexico Mineral Exploration Group.

On the picture below, Breccia cemented by specularite, in the Pilares breccia pipe, Sonora.

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