During the 9th week of the year (February 27th to March 5th, 2017), on the eve of PDAC, at least 39 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico, the greatest weekly figure on the year. ON EXPLORATION, Arian Silver presented results from exploration in Zacatecas, Sierra Metals announced high grade results from a brownfield area in Chihuahua, Source Exploration commenced a drill program in Veracruz, San Marco Resources and Silver One announced soil sampling results from properties in Sonora and Nayarit, and Kootenay Silver announced exploration work in 2017 by partner in Sonora. ON MINING, Primero Mining informed reduction of operations in Durango; Autlan informed on its mine in Sonora, Gold Resource, Golden Minerals and Great Panther presented financial, operational and or production results for 2016. ON FINANCING, Six companies announced financing rounds for $1.85 M, exercise of warrants for $717 K, a re-purchase of shares, a $150 M loan, a private placement for $50 M and the re-negotiation of terms on a loan. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Fortuna Silver and Primero mining updated resources to 2016, Mexus Gold continues mine construction in Sonora, Marlin gold evaluates a pit layback in Sinaloa and Fortuna Silver signs a surface rights agreement in Durango. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Santacruz Silver and First Majestic signed an agreement on a property in Sonora, and Red Tiger informed it is in violation of a loan covenants.
ON MEXICO ISSUES
- First Majestic Silver’s, El Pilon mine in San Martin de Bolaños, Jalisco, suffered a robbery, with 57 silver bars (25 Kg each) extracted and transported in company’s trucks. One of the vehicles was recovered nearby, with part of the bounty.
- Arian Silver Corp. presented sample results from its La Africana project in Zacatecas. Assay results from 11 grab samples, of which seven are between 196 and 842 g/t Ag, and up to 4.9% Zn.
- Sierra Metals Inc. announced high-grade silver intercepts in the Santa Rosa de Lima complex at its Cusi mine in Chihuahua. The 15,000 m program has an 80% advance to date (10,200 m). True width (TW) Intercepts include 3.2 m 332 g/t Ag; 2.5 m @ 200 g/t Ag; 1.5 m @ 292 g/t Ag; 1.5 m @ 1,152 g/t Ag; 3.1 m @ 1,037 g/t Ag, with up to 5.2% Pb and 3.5% Zn. The Santa Rosa de Lima complex has an anticipated extension of 12 km within Sierra Metals concessions; with mineralization located 100 m below the surface, and occasionally observed at the intersections of other veins. The drilling covers about one kilometer of the structure.
- Source Exploration Corp. commenced a diamond drill program for the Las Minas copper-gold skarn project in Veracruz. An initial 2,000 – 3,000 metres infill and step out at the El Dorado – Juan Bran zone, with the aim of completing a maiden NI-43-10 resource estimate on early 2017. Further mapping, trenching and sampling will be carried out on the Pueblo Nuevo concession. Previous drilling has outlined a mineralized zone 420 m in width, 6.0 to 82 m in thickness, and extending more than 600 m in depth; the zone remains open on strike and down-dip.
- San Marco Resources Inc. announced that soil sampling results from its Chunibas property in Sonora have confirmed a 600 x 800 m target. Drilling is expected to probe deeper and on-strike mineralized zones.
- Kootenay Silver Inc. informed Pan American Silver Corp. is to proceed in 2017 with a US$2.0 M budget on La Negra property in Sonora, with 6,500 m of diamond drilling, geological mapping and reconnaissance work to define additional prospective targets proximal to La Negra within the Promontorio project.
- Silver One Resource Inc. completed geochemical soil surveys at its Peñasco Quemado and La Frazada properties in Sonora and Nayarit respectively. At Peñasco Quemado a 3,000 m long, 300 m wide linear anomaly overlaps with the area of the current resource, with high manganese (0.17% – 1.1%) and barium (0.15% – 0.88%), and more localized zinc (400 – 3,500 ppm) and lead (135 – 800 ppm); a second anomaly 2,000 m long by 1,000 m wide is a new target. The survey consisted of 1,925 soil samples, XRF assayed, with 320 quality control samples sent for assaying to a US lab, with a very good correlation. At La Frazada the 222 soil samples were not that successful to highlight some of the veins, the reason forwarded being the probable leaching of metals in the subtropical environment.
- Grupo Autlan announced its Lluvia de Oro property in Sonora has a mine life of 15 years, and that its cash flow increased with the operation of its first gold mine.
- Primero Mining Corp. is reducing the complexity and scale of operations at its San Dimas mine in Durango, with significant decreases to the workforce.
- Gold Resource Corp. presented 2016 production figures, having milled 450.2 K tonnes at a rate of 1,295 tonnes per day (tpd) and grade of 2.13 g/t Au, 139 g/t Ag, 0.29% Cu, 1.21% Pb, 3.78% Zn; with recoveries standing at 89% Au, 92% Ag, 78% Cu, 74% Pb, 84% Zn. Yearly production amounted to 27,628 Oz Au, 1.86 M Oz Ag, 1,035 tonnes Cu, 4,049 tonnes Pb, 14,302 tonnes Zn. The company is targeting 2017 annual production of 27,500 Oz Au, 1.85 M Oz Ag.
- Golden Minerals Co. presented operational results for 2016, which include a profit on the lease of an oxide plant, granting the right to operate such plant until the end of 2018; obtained an additional $1.8 M in other operating income related to sales and farm-outs of non-strategic property and spent $3.7 M in exploration of the Santa Maria and Rodeo properties in Chihuahua and Durango respectively.
- Great Panther Silver Ltd. reported fiscal year 2016 financial results. During the period 376.7 K tonnes were milled to produce 2.05 M Oz Ag, 22,238 Oz Au, at cash cost $10.35 per AgEq Oz and AISC $14.29. The company ended the year with $67 M in net working capital and no debt (Topia, Durango, Guanajuato mine complex, Guanajuato).
- Impact Silver Corp. was ranked on the 2017 TSX Venture 50, among the top performers on the TSX Venture Exchange over the last year, when a 442% increase in share price was achieved, compared with the all-time low during the period.
- Primero Mining Corp. entered into a binding term sheet with Sprott Resource Lending Partnership for a $75 M revolving credit three year term loan.
- Leagold Mining Corp. announced the execution of a non-binding term sheet with Orion Resources Partners to provide the company US$20 M in cash through a senior secured loan facility in the principal amount of US$150 M and an equity private placement of US$50 M (Los Filos, Guerrero).
- Marlin Gold Mining Ltd. announced its intention to purchase, from time to time, an aggregate of 2.48 M common shares in the capital of the company (La Trinidad, Sinaloa).
- San Marco Resources Inc. announced the exercise of warrants for gross proceeds of $717 K during the period Nov 1st, 2016 to February 15th, 2017 (several properties, Sonora).
- Source Exploration Corp. closed a non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of $1.85 M (Las Minas, Veracruz)
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
- Fortuna Silver Mines Inc. updated mineral reserves and resources to the last day of 2016. Figures on its San Jose mine in Oaxaca include proven and probable reserves of 5.0 M tonnes @ 249 g/t Ag, 1.72 g/t Au, for 40.2 M Oz Ag, 278 K Oz Au; measured and indicated resources of 2.86 M tonnes @ 84 g/t Ag, 0.42 g/t Au for 7.8 M Oz Ag, 39 K Oz Au; and inferred resources of 3.1 M tonnes @ 252 g/t Ag, 1.66 g/t Au for 25.1 M Oz Ag, 165 K Oz Au.
- Mexus Gold US finished a 4.5 m lift on the leach pad at its Santa Elena mine in Sonora (do not mistake with First Majestic’s Santa Elena mine, also in Sonora). The leaching system started testing on the last week of February. The mining plan goal is to increase ore production to 10 K tons per day by the end of 2017.
- Primero Mining Corp. updated mineral reserves and resources to December 31st, 2016, including figures for its San Dimas and Ventanas properties in Durango, and Cerro del Gallo in Guanajuato. At San Dimas proven and probable reserves stand at 4.0 M tonnes @ 4.0 g/t Au, 322 g/t Ag, for 517 K Oz Au, 41.2 M Oz Ag; the measured and indicated resources (which include reserves) stand at 5.0 M tonnes @ 5.0 g/t Au, 387 g/t Ag, for 832 K Oz Au, 61.9 M Oz Ag; and inferred resources of 7.2 M tonnes @ 3.7 g/t Au, 317 g/t Ag, for 860 K Oz Au, 73.4 M Oz Ag. Proven and probable reserves at Cerro del Gallo stand at 32.2 M tonnes @ 0.7 g/t Au, 15 g/t Ag, for 712 K Oz Au, 15.3 M Oz Ag; measured and indicated resources (exclusive of mineral reserves) of 47.9 M tonnes @ 0.6 g/t Au, 13 g/t Ag, with no inferred resources. Measured and Inferred resources at Ventanas stand at 0.2 M tonnes @ 2.5 g/t Au, 258 g/t Ag, for 12 K Oz Au, 1.3 M Oz Ag; inferred resources stand at 0.2 M tonnes @ 2.3 g/t Au, 412 g/t Ag.
- Minera Alamos Inc. announced the completion of a surface rights agreement for its La Fortuna project in Durango. The completion of the agreement enables the company to submit the already prepared mining permit applications. The agreement covers a period of up to 25 years during which time the Company will be required to pay annual rental payments while operating activities are ongoing.
- Marlin Gold Mining Ltd. reported assay results from the first set of holes in the north side of the pit wall at its La Trinidad mine in Sinaloa. Results include 6.5 m @ 2.59 g/t Au, 9.4 m @ 3.27 g/t Au and 10.2 m @ 2.68 g/t Au. A decision to proceed with a pit layback is pending further assays.
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- Santacruz Silver Mining Ltd. signed an agreement to transfer its interest in the El Gachi property in Sonora to First Majestic Silver Corp. for total consideration of US$2.5 M plus tax. “The El Gachi Property comprises a 48,057 hectare land package located adjacent to First Majestic’s Santa Elena Mine…”.
- Red Tiger Mining Inc. announced that it is currently in violation of certain loan covenants under its senior secured loan with Gerald Metals S.A., owing approximately $18.7 M under the loan agreement. Solvent extraction and electrowining continues from existing copper inventory on the leach pad of the Luz del Cobre mine in Soora, which ceased operations in December 2016.
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On the picture below, broken surface on a boulder from a stream sediment survey in Chiapas, displaying a coarse grained quartz and oxidized sulfide veinlet stockwork in a porphyritic intrusive rock with phyllic alteration, the scale is in centimeters.