During the fourth week of October, at least 25 press releases were published by companies working in Mexico, including eight third quarter production releases. ON MEXICO NUMBERS AND NEWS Mexico’s mining sector is to reach $17.8 billion by 2020, backed by Ag, Zn prices. Gold, copper and silver represent 31%, 19% and 17% respectively of the value (%) by commodity in 2016. ON EXPLORATION, nine companies reported exploration updates on their properties, which include drilling results from properties in Jalisco (2), Veracruz, Sonora, Chihuahua and Durango, as well as the announcement of incoming drilling programs in Sonora and Durango. A company released exploration updates for its projects in Hidalgo, Durango and Chihuahua. ON MINING, nine companies reported third quarter production results for its operations in Aguascalientes, Sonora, Sinaloa, Chihuahua, Durango, Zacatecas, San Luis Potosi, Guerrero and Oaxaca. ON FINANCING, one company opened a non-brokered private placement of up to $300 K, augmenting it later on the week to $400 k. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, two companies announced a binding agreement on a tailings project in Durango, two others a definitive agreement on an exploration property in Chihuahua.
ON MEXICO NUMBERS AND NEWS
- According to Mining.com, and based on information from BMI, and sources from industry leaders, Mexico’s mining sector values is to reach $17.8 billion by 2020, backed by Ag, Zn prices. Gold, copper and silver represent 31%, 19% and 17% respectively of the value (%) by commodity in 2016, while zinc, Iron ore and lead represent 9%, 5% and 3% respectively, and 16% on other commodities. BMI forecasts a 3.3% increase of the mining industry value for 2016, with most of that expansion fueled by gold, silver and zinc production increases. Over the first seven months of 2016, the copper and zinc output increased by 22.3% and 4.5% with respect to a year ago. Mexico is seen as a solid market with low production costs.
- Endeavour Silver Corp. released in-fill drilling results from its Terronera property in Jalisco, with high grade silver-gold mineralization. True width (TW) intervals include 6.56 m @ 717 g/t Ag, 2.94 g/t Au; 4.78 m @ 109 g/t Ag, 3.91 g/t Au; 2.1 m @ 737 g/t Ag, 1.22 g/t Au; 5.28 m @ 53 g/t Ag, 3.48 g/t Au; 13.22 m @ 145 g/t Ag, 1.55 g/t Au and 10.32 m @ 82 g/t Ag, 1.96 g/t.
- Prospero Silver Corp. provided an update of exploration, which includes recent focus on evaluating properties for staking in Central Mexico. The company also released rock chip sampling results on its Baborigame property in Chihuahua and is preparing an environmental permit application to drill its Santa Maria del Oro property, in Durango. At El Petate, in Hidalgo, drill permits were obtained to cover 27 drill sites, while at the Pachuca Southeast property the company initiated the permit applications for four drill sites. At San Luis del Cordero, Durango, Prospero is to terminate an underlying option with Altiplano, as the property was returned by Golden Minerals after completing a 5,000 m drilling program.
- Almadex Minerals Ltd. announced that it has completed the second diamond hole on the Norte Zone of its El Cobre property in Veracruz. This hole intersected 9.9 m @ 0.24 g/t Au, 0.16% Cu, 27.5 m @ 0.12 g/t Au, 0.19% Cu and 432.5 m @ 0.42 g/t Au, 0.19% Cu. This last interval includes 218 m @ 0.7 g/t Au, 0.28% Cu; which includes 156 m @ 0.9 g/t Au, 0.34% Cu; which includes 80.5 m @ 1.34 g/t Au, 0.46% Cu, which includes 35.5 m @ 1.82 g/t Au and 0.59% Cu. Results for a third hole are pending.
- Premier Gold Mines Ltd. disclosed exploration work realized by the previous operator of its recently acquired Alto Guadalupe property in Chihuahua. Between 2013 and 2015, 60 holes were drilled, discovering 2 high grade polymetallic veins. Mineralized intercepts include 2.8 m @ 10.9 g/t Au, 155 g/t Ag, 0.7% Cu, 1.2% Pb, 6.5%Zn; 1.85 m @ 10 g/t Au, 192 g/t Ag, 1.9% Cu, 1.5% Pb, 15.2% Zn; 1.45 m @ 1.6 g/t Au, 353 g/t Ag, 2.1% Cu, 1.4% Pb, 1.3% Zn. Individual vein zones have been traced for up to 2 km.
- Southern Silver Exploration Corp. announced an upcoming 16 hole drilling program to total approximately 10.000 m of core drilling. The program is to measure the Blind Shoulder target and to confirm the continuity of mineralization at La Bocona target, with the aim to increase the current resource estimate.
- Kootenay Silver Inc. announced results for the first 11 holes of the 3,400 m drill program being conducted by Pan American Silver on La Negra property in Sonora. These deeper infill drill holes confirm the results from previous holes and the presence of a second breccia further to the south, which remains open at depth and to the east. Intercepts include 122.15 m @ 124 g/t Ag, 38 m @ 235 g/t Ag (including 6.15 m @ 1,246 g/t Ag), 44.5 m @ 363 g/t Ag, 54.4 m @ 137 g/t Ag, 60.7 m @ 76 g/t Ag, 28 m @ 97 g/t Ag and 27.1 m @ 74 g/t Ag. These intervals also carry gold values of 0.01 – 0.39 g/t Au and nil – 3.7% Pb (peak of 6.6% Pb). Three phases of hydrothermal breccias are overprinted by an epithermal Ag-Pb-Zn mineralization associated with illite and silicification. Acanthite-tetrahedryte, galena, sphalerite and pyrite occur as veinlets, matrix fill in breccia and dissemination.
- Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. released exploration results from its El Barqueño property in Jalisco. 64 holes were drilled (17,443 m) using six rigs to test the Olmeca, Peña Blanca, Peña de Oro, San Diego and Angostura areas. True width (TW) drilling results include 9.2 m @ 7.3 g/t Au, 13 g/t Ag; 37.9 m @ 51 g/t Ag; 4.1 m @ 4.1 g/t Au, 49 g/t Ag; 40 m @ 73 g/t Ag; 10 m @ 1.7 g/t Au; 3.6 m @ 5.3 g/t Au; 13.7 m @ 5.8 g/t Au. In the Olmeca area the 1,000 m long Socorro vein has received the most drilling with good gold grades, the 300 m long Mortero vein shows wide intercepts of low grade silver near-surface, and it is interpreted that higher gold grades might be found at depth. Drilling in the Peña Blanca area seems to link the different structures into one mineralized system. Another 10,000 m of drilling is expected to be completed by the end of 2016, when exploration expenditures in the project will approach $16 million for the year.
- Excellon Resources Inc. commenced a 25,000 m diamond drill campaign during the third quarter 2016, focused in defining additional shallow mineralization. 13 holes have been completed, for 2,090 m drilled from surface and underground locations. Relevant intercepts include 13 m @ 0.57 g/t Au, 662 g/t Ag, 4.9% Pb, 25.5% Zn; 2.77 m @ 773 g/t Ag, 11.8% Pb, 6.3% Zn; 0.37 m @ 2,991 g/t Ag, 5% Pb, 4.8% Zn. The program will also evaluate other CRD style mineralization, like the Rincon del Caido zone, where in 2012-2013 drilling intersected 55.5 m @ 132 g/t Ag, 3.1% Zn, 1.7% Pb and 0.075 g/t Au; 43.4 m @ 146 g/t Ag, 2.8% Pb, 1.9% Zn and 0.22 g/t Au and 7.3 m @ 13.1 g/t Au, 21 g/t Ag, 0.7% Pb and 3.6% Zn.
- Riverside Resources Inc. has initiated a drilling program at the Thor “designated project” in Sonora, as part of the company’s Alliance with Antofagasta PLC. A ground magnetic survey covering 18 square km was recently finished, and the data combined with previous geological and geochemical information. Several porphyry copper targets were defined.
- Minera Frisco increased its sales 6% on the third quarter of 2016 to $3,551 M pesos (approximately US $188.4 M). Gold production declined 3% on the same period due to a decrease on processed tonnage and recoveries on the El Coronel mine in Aguascalientes, as the pit deepens.
- Americas Silver Corp. released consolidated production and operating costs for the third quarter of 2016. Production at Cosalá was 245 K Oz Ag, while AgEq production increased to 450 K Oz, an 85% rise compared to a year earlier. Cash cost decreased 20% to $10.10 per Ag Oz and all-in sustaining cost decreased to $13.63 per Ag Oz. Construction work has commenced at the initial portal and ramp access at the new and nearby San Rafael mine.
- Capstone Mining Corp. announced its financial results for the third quarter 2016, which includes information from its Cozamin mine in Zacatecas, where 3,359 tonnes of copper in concentrates were produced at a C1 (internal measurement) cash cost of $1.50 per copper pound. Daily development rates continue to improve.
- Coeur Mining Inc. reported third quarter results, which include numbers on its Palmarejo mine in Chihuahua, where 253.7 K tons were mined @ 123 g/t Ag, 2.2 g/t Au. 274.6 K tons were milled, to produce 933 K Oz Ag and 16,608 Oz Au, with recovery rates of 85.5% and 77.7% for silver and gold respectively. The Guadalupe area was mined at 2,300 tpd rate, and development of the Independencia area is on track to reach 1,000 tpd by year’s end.
- Goldcorp Inc. released third quarter 2016 results, which include numbers from its Mexico operations. At Peñasquito (in Zacatecas) gold production totaled 122 K Oz at an AISC of $777 per ounce. The mined gold grade will improve as the pit has reached the upper part of a higher grade zone. The Pyrite Leach project, with an expected capital investment of $420 M, is expected to increase Au and Ag recoveries by treating the zinc tailings before discharge. The pre-feasibility study on the nearby (50 km) Camino Rojo property continues to advance. At Los Filos in Guerrero, 2.27 M tonnes were mined, 2.98 M tonnes of waste moved, 2.219 M tonnes of ore processed @ 0.75 g/t Au, producing 47 K Oz Au at cash cost of $782 and AISC $938.
- Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. reported third quarter 2016 results, which includes record 30,779 Oz Au production at La India in Sonora, and record 825 K Oz Ag at its Mexican mines. At Pinos Altos in Chihuahua the mill processed 5,415 tpd, with 98 K tonnes staked, for a payable production of 48,512 Oz Au. At Crestón Mascota (satellite to Pinos Altos) 506 K tonnes of ore were staked on the leach pad for a payable production of 12,134 Oz Au at a total cash cost of $493 per gold ounce on a by-product basis. At La India in Sonora 1.366 M tonnes of ore was staked on the leach pad to produce the record 30.8 K Oz Au mentioned above, at a cash cost of $400 per gold ounce on a by-product basis.
- GoGold Resources Inc. has started construction of the first phase of a vat leach plant at its Santa Gertrudis property in Sonora. This phase of the plant is designed to treat 2,000 tpd, and is expected to be completed by the end of March 2017.
- Excellon Resources Inc. reported third quarter 2016 results, with 11.2 K tonnes mined, 12 K tonnes milled @ 427 g/t Ag, 4.14% Pb and 5.4% Zn, with recoveries of 90.4, 82.1 and 81.3% for silver, lead and zinc respectively, to produce 153,783 Oz Ag, 891 K Lb Pb and 1.17 M Lb Zn. An optimization water management plan is underway, to maintain a depression cone below the lower most orebodies while mining. Several pumping stations and over 14 wells with 250 hp pumps and several 600 hp booster pumps are being completed.
- New Gold Inc. released third quarter 2016 results, including numbers from its San Pedro mine in San Luis Potosi, where it produced 14.9 K Oz Au and 200 K Oz Ag at cash cost $897 and all-in sustaining coast $912 per gold ounce. The mine terminated mining on the second quarter and is now on residual leaching.
- Yamana Gold Inc. reported financial and operational results for the third quarter 2016. The report includes numbers from its recently sold mine, Mercedes in Sonora, where 23 K Oz Au and 99 K Oz Ag were produced.
- Colibri Resource Corp. opened a non-brokered private placement of up to $300 K of gross proceeds (several projects in Sonora). The private placement was increased later on the week to raise total gross proceeds of $400 K.
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- Mx Gold Corp. announced a binding agreement with Gracepoint Mining Corp. a subsidiary of Firma Holdings Corp. to acquire a 50% interest in the Magistral del Oro tailings project in Durango. An historical estimate on the tailings defines a resource of 1.25 M tonnes @ 2.06 g/t Au, based on 58 auger samples from 24 drillholes. The project includes a fully permitted, 500 tpd dynamic cyanide counter current system plant. The agreement calls for an initial cash payment of US$250 k and an investment of $2.22 M over 90 days.
- Premier Gold Mines Ltd. entered into a definitive agreement with Goldcorp Inc. to acquire the Alto-Cristina project in Chihuahua. Premier can acquire up to 100% interest by making payments each of US$1.5 M at execution, 12 month anniversary and on resource estimate, a US$2.5 M on production and a 2% NSR .
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On the picture below, breccia development in fine grained marbleized limestone at La Morena project, Coahuila.