During the 2nd week of the year (9th to 15th January, 2017) at least 31 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico, including ten preliminary production reports for 2016. ON EXPLORATION, nine companies presented exploration updates, reflecting fairly strong activity in this new year. A company completed soil surveys in a project in Sinaloa, and another in Sonora. Also in Sonora, a project generator presented 2016 results and presented plans for the year, while a mining company released high grade gold drilling results on its brownfield and mine site exploration. In Zacatecas, results from surface exploration were received in one project, while another property received the needed drilling permit. On Nayarit, three more holes have been completed in a property. Anomalous but still interesting drilling results were received for a project in Guerrero. In Chihuahua, results from underground channel sampling in a silver project were released, whereas in Oaxaca, a polymetallic vein system continues to expand, showing high grade drill intercepts on a 200 m step out. ON MINING, Torex Gold, US Antimony, Endeavour Silver, HECLA Mining, Great Panther, Fortuna Silver, Timmins Gold, Capstone, Premier Gold, Pan American Silver, and Gold Resource presented 2016 production figures. A company presented the 2016 production figures, and plans for the coming years in a copper mine in Baja California Sur. ON FINANCING, Two companies reported financing exercises for a total of $16.4 M in gross proceeds. ON RESOURCES, one company filed NI-43-101 reports for two projects in Sonora and Nayarit. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, an agreement on the sale of one of the major gold operations in Mexico has been completed. An agreement on the option of a past producing mine in Guanajuato was achieved between a junior Canadian company and a local Mexican enterprise. A company with projects in Sonora remains in operations suspension on the TSX.
- Silver One Resources Inc. has completed soil geochemical surveys over its La Frazada property in Sinaloa and at Peñasco Quemado in Sonora. Results are pending.
- Arian Silver Corp. released high grade results from its surface sampling program at its San Celso property in Zacatecas. Results include 1.05 m @ 396 g/t Ag, 1.8 m @ 146 g/t Ag, 1.1 m @ 116 g/t Ag, 2.2 m @ 286 g/t Ag, 0.5 m @ 350 g/t Ag, 0.45 m @ 347 g/t Ag and 1.15 m @ 254 g/t Ag.
- Gainey Capital Corp. announced that two of three holes to be drilled on the La Higuerita mineralized zone at its El Colomo property in Nayarit have been completed and samples shipped for assay. Four more holes are to be drilled between the Higuerita and Nueva Victoria zones, which are 250 m apart.
- Defiance Silver Corp. has received the necessary permits for drilling up to 60,000 m on its San Acacio property in Zacatecas. The permit is valid for 4.5 years. Defiance will now finalize its program for the 1.2 km of vein strike length that hosts the San Acacio deposit, and eventually explore the 4.4 km of the vein that has yet to see modern exploration.
- Minaurum Gold Inc. released results from its 4,200 m program in its Biricu property in the Guerrero Gold Belt. Four of the nine holes intercepted anomalous gold values, including 17 m @ 230 ppb Au and 117.8 m @ 191 ppb Au. Surface mapping and drilling indicates the favorable contact between the Mezcala and Morelos Formations is shallower further north in the Punto Rojo area.
- Premier Gold Mines Ltd. released 2016 exploration results from several areas at its Mercedes mine in Sonora, where 27,442 m of drilling were completed in 135 core holes during the period. At the Mercedes/Barrancas/Lagunas area drill intercepts include 8.2 m @ 11.9 g/t Au, 81 g/t Ag; 0.9 m @ 7.3 g/t Au, 260 g/t Ag. At Diluvio drill intercepts include 12.5 m @ 16.0 g/t Au, 13 g/t Ag; 4.5 m @ 29.2 g/t Au, 49 g/t Ag; 21.0 m @ 3.2 g/t Au, 21 g/t Ag; 4.5 m @ 9.5 g/t Au, 20 g/t Ag; 25 m @ 3.1 g/t Au, 7 g/t Ag; 26 m @ 3.0 g/t Au, 9 g/t Ag; 13.5 m @ 17.2 g/t Au, 33 g/t Ag; 61.6 m @ 3.7 g/t Au, 11 g/t Ag. “Mineralization at Diluvio is distinct from other Mercedes deposits in that it consists of two or more gently-dipping “Manto” type ore bodies that could be amenable to bulk underground mining or higher grade narrow vein mining.” At Rey de Oro target (open pit and underground target) intercepts include 13.7 m @ 3.7 g/t Au, 21 g/t Ag; 10 m @ 1.9 g/t Au, 36 g/t Ag; 17.6 m @ 1.4 g/t Au, 49 g/t Ag; 21.7 m @ 3.7 g/t Au, 23 g/t Ag; 13.9 m @ 9.9 g/t Au, 122 g/t Ag; 4.6 m @ 68.4 g/t Au, 72 g/t Ag.
- Kootenay Silver Inc. released results from underground adit channel sampling at its La Cigarra property in Chihuahua. 17.5 m @ 130 g/t Ag, 0.13 g/t Au (includes 2.0 m @ 536 g/t Ag, 1.0 m @ 569 g/t Ag); 5.5 m @ 173 g/t Ag, 0.15 g/t Au; 12.0 m @ 49 g/t Ag, 0.11 g/t Au; 6.0 m @ 28 g/t Ag, 0.18 g/t Au. These results will aid in the definition of new targets on the deposit.
- Gold Resource Corp. announced a significant expansion of its Switchback vein system, with a greater than 200 m step-out drill interception at the Aguila’s project Arista mine. At least 6 vein were cut, with intercepts like: 4.05 m @ 1.25 g/t Au, 117 g/t Ag, 1.0% Cu, 2.1% Pb; 12.9% Zn; 1.10 m @ 2.36 g/t Au, 566 g/t Ag, 0.55% Cu, 0.7% Pb, 1.2% Zn; 3.28 m @ 0.87 g/t Au, 257 g/t Ag, 0.18% Cu, 0.3% Pb, 0.5% Zn. The discovery outcrop of the Switchback system is evident in a ridge approximately 300 m further on strike to the NW from this intercept.
- Millrock Resources Inc. presented 2016 results and plans for 2017. During 2016 signed an option agreement with Centerra Gold Inc. on Los Chinos and Los Cuarenta projects in Sonora, drilling at Los Chinos and completing surface exploration at Los Cuarenta. For 2017 Millrock and Centerra signed a 250 K alliance agreement for exploration in Sonora; drilling of the Los Cuarenta project is planned for the spring.
- Torex Gold Resources Inc. poured 279,937 Oz Au during its first year of operations at its El Limon-Guajes mine in Guerrero. The company plans to sell 350 – 380 K Oz Au during 2017, at cash cost $525 – $575 and AISC $775 – $825 per Au Oz sold. The exploration budget for 2017 is $10 M.
- US Antimony Corp. has started mining in its Mexican antimony and gold and silver properties, aiming to produce 50 K Lb Sb during January. During 2016 the company produced 277.8 K Lb of direct shipping ore @ 35.9% Sb at its Wadley mine in San Luis Potosi; at Soyatal, Queretaro, 155.3 K Lb of mill concentrate @ 24.6% Sb were produced, whereas at Los Juarez in Queretaro, the company is awaiting the permit on the cyanide leach plant. The flotation mill is to start the process of a 19 K ton stockpile of Los Juarez ore to test recovery rates.
- Endeavour Silver Corp. reported 2016 production of 5.4 M Oz Ag and 57,375 Oz Au, or 9.7 M Oz Ag/Eq. At Guanaceví in Durango, 367.4 K tonnes were processed (1,007 tonnes per day) at a grade of 232 g/t Ag, 0.51 g/t Au (recoveries of 86.3% Ag, 88.4% Au) to produce 2.36 M Oz Ag and 5,328 Oz Au. At Bolañitos in Jalisco 507.7 K tonnes were processed (1,391 tonnes per day) at a grade of 81 g/t Ag, 2.31 g/t Au (recoveries of 79.6% Ag, 81.5% Au) to produce 1 M Oz Ag and 30,720 Oz Au. At El Cubo 583.8 K tonnes were treated (1,599 tonnes per day) at a grade of 123 g/t Ag, 1.41 g/t Au (recoveries of 87.4% Ag, 80.6% Au) to produce 2 M Oz Ag, 21,327 Oz Au. Over 16.km of mine development were carried out on the three mining units, and more than 34,000 trees were planted, receiving the annual “Socially Responsible Company Award” on the three units.
- HECLA Mining Co. produced 17.2 M Oz Ag (48% increase) and 233,929 Oz Au (24% increase) during 2016 in its operations in several countries. At San Sebastian in Durango, 4.3 M Oz Ag and 34,042 Oz Au were produced.
- Great Panther Silver Ltd. produced 2 M Oz Ag and 22,238 Oz Au during 2016. At the Guanajuato Mine Complex 320.9 K tonnes were milled @ 163 g/t Ag, 2.43 g/t Au (recoveries of 87.9% Ag, 86.4% Au) to produce 1.47 M Oz Ag and 21,626 Oz Au. At the Topia mine in Durango 55.8 K tonnes were milled @ 354 g/t Ag, 0.56 g/t Au (recoveries of 90.4% Ag, 60.6% Au) to produce 574 K Oz Ag, 612 Oz Au, 1,034 tonnes Pb and 1,496 tonnes Zn.
- Fortuna Silver Mines Inc. reported 2016 production, which includes numbers from its San Jose mine in Oaxaca, where 905.4 K tonnes were milled (2,596 tonnes per day) at a grade of 228 g/t Ag, 1.72 g/t Au (recoveries of 92.3% Ag, 92.1% Au) to produce 6.1 M Oz Ag and 46,018 Oz Au. That production was reached at AISC $8.4 per silver ounce. Major capital investments for 2017 include $6.5 M for mine development, $2.2 M for equipment and infrastructure, $6.5 M tailings on a filtration plant expansion and $7 M for brownfield exploration (31,00 m of drilling, 600 m of underground development for drilling).
- Capstone Mining Corp. announced production results for 2016, which include figures on its Cozamin mine in Zacatecas, where 1 M tonnes of ore were milled (2,736 tonnes per day) at a grade of 1.51% Cu, 0.66% Zn, 0.07% Pb, 43 g/t Ag (recoveries of 94.8% Cu, 63% Zn, 18.7% Pb, 72.4% Ag) to produce 53,744 tonnes of copper concentrate (26.6% Cu, 566 g/t Ag), 8,866 tonnes of zinc concentrate (47.3% Zn) and 222 tonnes of Pb concentrate (58.4% Pb, 3,155 g/t Ag). During the period 13,956 tonnes of payable copper were shipped.
- Timmins Gold Corp. reported production results for 2016. At San Francisco, in Sonora, during the period 7.65 M tonnes of ore grading 0.58 g/t Au were processed, 3.96 M tonnes of low grade ore @ 0.24 g/t Au were stockpiled and 14.9 tonnes of waste moved (2.00 strip ratio) to accomplish the production of 100,322 Oz Au and 56,325 Oz Ag. Ore was processed at an average daily rate of 20,909 tonnes per day. Guidance for 2017 is between 70 K and 75 K Oz Au at cash costs of US$900 to US$950 per gold ounce. Mining operations at San Francisco are expected to continue to 2023 producing 450 K to 500 K Oz Au. At Ana Paula, in Guerrero, the feasibility study test work is advancing, with the 20,000 m drilling nearing completion. The feasibility study should be complete by mid-2017, and construction permits received before the end of the year.
- Premier Gold Mines Ltd. produced 22,760 Oz Au in 2016 on its Mercedes mine in Sonora. Forecast for 2017 is the production of 85 K – 90 K Oz Au, at cash cost $680 – $710 per Au Oz and AISC $810 – $840 per Au Oz. Mercedes exploration budget for 2017 is $4.7 M, including some 20,000 m of drilling; The planned expansion and mine development is budgeted at $7.9 M.
- Pan American Silver Corp. reported its operational results for 2016. The company produced 5.8 M Oz Ag, 2,930 Oz Au at La Colorada, Zacatecas, at cash cost $6.15; at Dolores, Chihuahua, produced 3.84 M Oz Ag, 102,760 Oz Au, at cash cost -$1.08 and 1.86 M Oz Ag, 8,380 Oz Au at Alamo Dorado, Sonora, at cash cost $16.02. The La Colorada mine is expected to mine 1,500 tonnes per day in 2017, to produce 6.4 to 6.9 M Oz Ag; the new underground mine at Dolores is to extract 1,500 tonnes per day by the end of 2017, with total production of 4.0 to 4.5 M Oz Ag and 109,100 to 115,000 Oz Au, whereas the Alamo Dorado mine in Sonora will cease processing stockpiled inventory during the first quarter 2017, and enter the reclamation phase. The company is to spend $21 M on near-site and regional exploration in the countries it operates, with a 110,000 meters drill program. The company plans regional exploration in Mexico and Peru.
- Gold Resource Corp. announced preliminary 2016 production. The company produced at its El Aguila mine in Oaxaca 27,629 Oz Au, 1.86 M Oz Ag, 1,035 tonnes of copper, 4,049 tonnes of lead and 14,302 tonnes of zinc during the period.
- Camrova Resources Inc. informed that the Boleo mine in Baja California Sur produced 14,284 tonnes of copper cathode, double from 2015, but short of the targeted 22,574 tonnes for 2016, due to a variety of factors (union action, a hurricane, lower grade feed etc.). Production for 2017 is aimed to double that of 2016. The mine plans to produce 2.0 M tonnes of ore from surface and 0.7 M tonnes from underground operations, to average 1.24% Cu, with recoveries of 84% Cu. Surface operations strip ratio is expected to exceed 8:1, to mine 1.16% Cu open pit ore. The 2017 budget is still 130 M short of funding. The life of mine plan extends to 2031, with average mine production of 3.2 M tonnes of ore (1.9 M tonnes surface, 1.2 M tonnes underground), for a total of 45.9 M tonnes @ 1.3% Cu, 0.07% Co, 0.5% Zn.
- Mx Gold Corp. announced its intention to undertake a private placement to raise up to $2.6 M gross proceeds (Magistral del Oro, Chihuahua).
- Timmmins Gold Corp. issued 36,400,000 units additionally and pursuant to the company’s short form prospectus dated November 28, 2016, for total net proceeds amounting $13.8 M (San Francisco mine in Sonora, Ana Paula project in Guerrero).
- Silver One Resources Inc. filed two NI-43-101 technical reports on the La Frazada and Peñasco Quemado silver properties in Nayarit and Sonora respectively. Both properties had resource estimates by the previous owner, Silvermex Resources Ltd. At La Frazada there is a Measured and Indicated resource of 4.7 M Oz Ag, 42.4 M Lb Pb+Zn and an Inferred resource of 3.8 M Oz Ag, 41 M Lb Pb+Zn. At Peñasco Quemado there is a Measured and Indicated resource of 9.6 M Oz Ag.
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- VanGold Resources Ltd. entered into an agreement with Exploraciones Mineras del Bajio, SA de CV to acquire a 100% interest on El Pingüico property in Guanajuato. Vangold will pay US$20 K on execution, US$30 K on receipt of TSX approval, issue 5 M common shares and make a final payment of US$50 K six months from TSX approval. A 4% NSR and 15% NPI is to be paid on stockpile minerals, and 3% NSR (1% can be purchased back for US$1 M) and 5% NPI on mined mineralization. The 71 has. Property includes the old Pinguico mine with a NON-43-101 compliant estimate of 320 K tonnes @ 1.16 g/t Au on an underground stockpile.
- Goldcorp Inc. entered into a share purchase agreement with Leagold Mining Corp. to sell its Los Filos mine in Guerrero. Goldcorp will receive $438 M, consisting of $279 M in cash, $71 M in Leagold common shares and certain tax receivables of $88 M. At the close of the transaction Goldcorp will own 30% of Leagold shares.
- Colibri Resource Corp. announced that its shares remain halted at the TSX, pending reception and review of documentation regarding the acquisition of Canadian Gold Resources.
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On the picture below, makeshift tauna remains south of La Rumorosa, Baja California.