During the 4th week of the year (23rd to 29th January, 2017) at least 18 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico, including one preliminary production report for 2016. ON EXPLORATION, four companies presented exploration updates. One company with mines in, Jalisco, Durango and Guanajuato, and advanced properties in Chihuahua, Jalisco and Zacatecas is to drill 64,000 meters in 2017. In Sonora trench sampling results were released from a lithium property. In Chihuahua results of a PIMA-XRD survey on a high sulfidation property were released. Underground samples returned high grade silver values on a vein system in Zacatecas. ON MINING, Avino Silver and Endeavour presented production guidance for 2017, and Fresnillo increased silver production during 2016. ON FINANCING, Four companies conducted financial operations, for a hefty total of $358.35 M, with the majority arising from Fortuna Silver and Alamos Gold bought deals. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, one company reported high grade step-outs on its Mexico State mine. In Chihuahua metallurgical results were presented for a silver property. In Durango a PFS was presented on one property, while a maiden resource was presented for another one. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, the last installment to earn an interest on a tailings property in Zacatecas was completed.
- Arian Silver Corp. released results from exploration at its La Africana property in Zacatecas. Consistent high grade results from underground sampling range 200 – 1,200 g/t Ag, with Pb and Zn credits. Sampling results include 2.4 m @ 445 g/t Ag, 0.28% Pb, 0.49% Zn; 4.97 m @ 260 g/t Ag, 0.2% Pb, 0.37% Zn; 3.45 m @ 184 g/t Ag, 0.65% Pb, 0.34% Zn; 4.46 m @ 178 g/t Ag, 0.33% Pb, 0.44% Zn; 3.35 m @ 198 g/t Ag, 0.67% Pb, 0.29% Zn; 4.95 m @ 319 g/t Ag, 0.71% Pb, 0.37% Zn.
- Alix Resources Corp. presented trench sampling results from the Agua Fria zone of the Elektra project in Sonora, which include 146.5 m @ 712 ppm Li, 2.6% K; 30 m @ 954 ppm Li, 2.1% K; 103.2 m @ 758 ppm Li, 2.3% K. Also metallurgical testing has commenced on Li enriched clays, with 24 trench samples sent for assessment. On the Agua Fria North zone, nine channel samples averaged 1,069 ppm Li, with a peak of 1,340 ppm Li.
- Endeavour Silver Corp. plans to drill 64,000 metres and spend $15.2 M on brownfield and greenfield exploration, development engineering and land payments on its properties. At El Compas in Zacatecas, a $3 M exploration budget includes 3,000 m of drilling and an 800 m long exploration adit. At Terronera in Jalisco, the $2.3 M budget is to cover 10,000 m of drilling to test other mineralized veins, complete the PFS and advance site infrastructure. At Parral $3.0 M are to drill 18,000 m to confirm a portion of the historical resource, testing multiple greenfields high-grade and bulk tonnage silver targets. A 5,000 m drill program will be conducted at Guadalupe y Calvo in Chihuahua.
- Mammoth Resources Corp. reported results from its PIMA-XRD surface program at its Tenoriba property in Chihuahua. According to the company, 202 samples were collected on 14 lines 1 – 2 km in length, separated 500 m of each other; the dickite, pyrophyllite and smectite signatures define some corridors with greater favorability to contain economic gold mineralization in the high sulphidation epithermal environment. Tighter line spacing is to follow in to the Carneritos and Moreno zones, and expansion of the survey to other targets.
- Avino Silver and Gold Mines Ltd. summarized 2016 operations, and provided guidance for 2017. At Avino and San Gonzalo mines 1.6 M Oz Ag, 7,119 Oz Au and 4.2 M Lb Cu were produced during 2016. Commercial production on the Avino mine commenced on April 1st , 2016, a new power line was completed and construction of a new tailings storage facility was initiated. For 2017 capital expenditures at the two mine sites is estimated USD$12.2 M, including a mill expansion, mining equipment, tailing storage facility and exploration.
- Endeavour Silver Corp. provided 2017 production and cost guidance for its Guanaceví (Durango), Bolañitos (Guanajuato) and El Cubo (Guanajuato) mines. At Guanaceví 1.0 – 1.2 K tonnes per day (tpd) will be processed, to produce 2.4– 2.6 M Oz Ag, 5.3 – 6.3 K Oz Au; at Bolañitos 1.0 – 1.1 tpd are to be processed to produce 0.9 -1.0 M Oz Ag, 21.5 – 22.5 K Oz Au; at El Cubo 1.3 – 1.5 K tpd will be processed to produce 1.9 -2.1 M Oz Ag, 50.0 – 53.0 K Oz Au. Cash cost is expected to be $6.50 – $7.50 per silver ounce, net of gold by-product credits, and AISC on the same basis is estimated to be $14 – $15 per silver ounce. Investments for $43.3 M are planned on capital projects, primarily for mine development (16.7 km) to access reserves and resources.
- Fresnillo PLC produced 50.3 M Oz Ag during 2016, a 7.1% increase year on year, and established a production goal of 58 – 61 M Oz Ag for 2017 from its six mines in Mexico. The increase in 2016 was supported by initial production from San Julian, in Chihuahua, and higher silver grades at Ciénega in Durango and Fresnillo in Zacatecas.
- Fortuna Silver Mines Inc. entered into a bought deal agreement to sell shares for total gross proceeds of US$65 M (San Jose, Oaxaca).
- Alix Resources Corp. arranged a non-brokered private placement for aggregate gross proceeds of $350 K (Elektra, Sonora).
- Alamos Gold Inc. announced it has entered into a bought deal agreement with a syndicate of underwriters led by TD Securities Inc., BMO Capital Markets and Macquarie Capital Markets Canada Ltd., which if carried in its entirety will accrue US$288 M aggregate gross proceeds (Mulatos, Sonora).
- Marlin Gold Ltd. informed that due to record free cash from its La Trinidad mine in Sinaloa, the company repaid US$5.5 M of principal one year early from its unsecured facility to affiliates of Wexford Capital LP., Marlin’s controlling shareholder. After the payment, Marlin cash and refined gold stands at $8.5 M.
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
- Impact Silver Corp. announced more high-grade drill results from San Ramon Deeps, in its Zacualpan operation in Mexico State. True width drill intercepts include 2.73 m @ 265 g/t Ag, ; 4.12 m @ 1,613 g/t Ag, 0.47 g/t Au, 0.5% Pb, 1.7% Zn; 11.08 m @ 248 g/t Ag, 0.13 g/t Au, 0.3% Pb, 0.9% Zn; 4.82 m @ 242 g/t Ag, 0.18 g/t Au, 0.4% Pb, 1.3% Zn; 2.15 m @ 282 g/t Ag, 0.14 g/t Au, 0.2% Pb, 1.4% Zn; 0.45 m @ 1,014 g/t Ag, 0.18 g/t Au, 0.2% Pb, 1.5% Zn; 1.48 m @ 655 g/t Ag, 1% Pb, 1.5% Zn; 0.58 m @ 1,185 g/t Ag, 0.14 g/t Au, 2.1% Pb, 2.5% Zn. The zone remains open up, down and to the north.
- Kootenay Silver Inc. reported results from preliminary metallurgical testing on its La Cigarra property in Chihuahua. The study indicates a marked improvement in silver recovery from 38% using standard leaching to 44% – 52% using a technique developed by SILVOX Technologies Inc. Some incomplete test suggest the process can achieve 54% – 58% silver recoveries.
- Telson Resources Inc. informed that a pre-feasibility study (PFS) technical report has been filed on its Tahuehueto project in Durango. The project envisages a 790 tpd overhand cut and fill mine, and a 550 tpd flotation plant to produce Pb, Cu and Zn concentrates during the 21 year mine life, with annual production averaging 16.1 K Oz Au, 177.1 K Oz Ag, 0.9 M Lb Cu, 3.2 M Lb Pb and 5.6 M Lb Zn. The current probable mineral reserves stand at 3.3 M tonnes @ 3.4 g/t Au, 41.8 g/t Ag, 0.31% Cu, 1.1% Pb, 2.0% Zn. The study portrays a post-tax net present value (NPV) of $77 M (using an 8% discount rate), and pre-production capital costs of $32.2 M.
- Golden Minerals Co. announced a NI-43-101 compliant maiden resource for its Rodeo property in Durango. Two resource estimates were prepared, one for mill processing comprising indicated open pit resources of 0.4 M tonnes (0.83 g/t AuEq cutoff) @ 3.3 g/t Au, 11 g/t Ag, for a total of 46 K Oz Au, 0.2 M Oz Ag, with expected recoveries of 77% Au, 90% Ag; and a second scenario with an open pit heap leach processing, bearing indicated resources of 3.6 M tonnes @ 0.8 g/t Au, 12 g/t Ag containing 94 K Oz Au, 1.4 M Oz Ag and inferred resources of 3.6 M tonnes @ 0.4 g/t Au, 11 g/t Ag, containing 47 K Oz Au, 1.3 M Oz Ag, with recoveries of 60% Au, 70% Ag.
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- Mx Gold Corp. has paid remaining installments (totaling $2.5 M) earning a 50% participating ownership interest and 45% net profit participating interest in the Magistral del Oro tailings project in Durango. “The Project includes a fully permitted, 500 tonne-per-day dynamic cyanide countercurrent system plant constructed in 2013 at a cost of approximately $4.5 million, which appears to be in excellent condition.”
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On the picture below, pyrite bearing metasediments, south of La Rumorosa, Baja California.