Highlights on the Fourth Week of March, 2017. Mineral Exploration in Mexico

During the 12th week of the year (March 20th to March 26th, 2017), at least 21 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico. ON EXPLORATION, Southern Silver and Orex Minerals reported drilling results from their respective projects in Durango. Riverside disclosed interesting trench assay results from its project in Sonora, Silver Bull presented the results from deep drilling in Coahuila, Canasil reported drilling results from a project in Zacatecas/Durango and Alset received needed drilling permits in Zacatecas. ON MINING, Argonaut gold, Excellon, Premier Gold and Santacruz presented operating and/or financial results for 2016. ON FINANCING, Starcore closed the sale of a surface land package, and Primero Mining obtained an extension on a loan. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Argonaut presented drilling results that support a potential pit expansion in Sonora, Consolidated Zinc disclosed assay results from underground sampling on its Chihuahua property, Pan American Silver filed a technical report on SEDAR regarding its mine in Chihuahua and Mexus US informed of advances on the commissioning of its Sonora mine.  ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Lithium Australia increased its stake on a lithium property in Sonora.

ON EXPLORATION

  • Southern Silver Exploration Corp. reported drilling results for two holes at its Cerro Las Minitas project in Durango. Results include 9.9 m (True width) @ 48 g/t Ag, 0.3% Pb, 3.6% Zn; 2.9 m @ 26 g/t Ag, 0.5% Pb, 3.0% Zn; 9 m @ 601 g/t Ag, 7.1% Pb, 17.9% Zn. The results table mentions “dilution” ranging from 38% to 61%, meaning perhaps poor core recovery.
  • Riverside Resources Inc. reported assays from trench sampling at its Glor project in Sonora, funded by partner Centerra Gold Inc. Results from the Pitaya target area include 105 m @ 0.49 g/t Au, 84 m @ 0.53 g/t Au, 12 m @ 0.64, 36 m @ 0.34 g/t Au. A first-phase drill program is being planned, with 2,000 m to test the Pitaya zone and previously reported induced polarization anomalies.
  • Silver Bull Resources Inc. disclosed assay and geologic results from five deep holes (515-833 m depth) targeting high grade feeder structures at its Sierra Mojada property in Coahuila. Assay results include 50 m @ 0.15% Cu, 27 g/t Ag, 115 m @ 0.25% Zn, 81 m @ 0.64% Zn, with this last interval including 17 m @ 65 g/t Ag and 41 m @ 1.4% Pb. The holes intercepted 180, 360 and 460 m of intense silica alteration resulting in total replacement of the original country rock in places. The company interprets these results as the proximal halo to an intrusive rock source, thus providing a vectoring for future drill holes.
  • Canasil Resources Inc. has received assay results for three more holes at its La Esperanza project in Durango/Zacatecas. Intercepts include 0.7 m @ 0.3 g/t Au, 131 g/t Ag, 0.64% Zn, 0.23% Pb, 0.84% Cu; 2.1 m @ 38 g/t Ag, 0.5% Zn, 0.14% Pb; 2.5 m @ 63 g/t Ag, 0.5% Zn, 0.15% Pb; 4.1 m @ 33 g/t Ag, 1.0% Zn, 0.6% Pb; 1.5 m @ 51 g/t Ag, 1.9% Zn, 1.4% Pb. A further drill hole is in progress, increasing the current program to 2,00 m in seven holes.
  • Alset Energy Corp. has received the necessary environmental permits for drilling its La Salada lithium property in Zacatecas. The company intends to drill two holes, and make a 100-meter grid for subsurface sampling of the salar.
  • Orex Minerals Inc. informed that project partner Fresnillo PLC completed a phase-V exploration diamond drilling program with 11 holes in 5,214.9 m. Results include 1.22 m @ 1.5 g/t Au, 28 g/t Ag; 0.65 m @ 2.3 g/t Au, 42 g/t Ag; 31.6 m @ 0.42 g/t Au; 14.5 m @ 0.56 g/t Au; 1.0 m @ 1.31 g/t Au; 1.0 m @ 2.12 g/t Au; 0.9 m @ 0.40 g/t Au, 402 g/t Ag; 0.4 m @ 0.48 g/t Au, 812 g/t Ag; 0.9 m @ 1.01 g/t Au, 67 g/t Ag.

ON MINING

  • Argonaut Gold Inc. presented financial and operating results for 2016, which includes figures from its operations in Mexico. At El Castillo in Durango, 11.1 M tonnes of ore and 16.4 M tonnes of waste were extracted, while moving 75 K tonnes per day (tpd), at a grade of 0.37 g/t Au, producing 62,235 Oz Au at cash cost $884 per Au Oz. At La Colorada in Sonora, 11.1 M tonnes of ore and 16.4 M tonnes of waste were moved, with the ore grading 0.55 g/t Au to produce 56,492 Oz Au and 184.5 K Oz Au. The first pour of gold at San Agustin (10 km from El Castillo) is expected during the third quarter of 2017.
  • Excellon Resources Inc. reported operational and financial results for 2016, period during which 55,593 tonnes of ore were processed at a grade of 456 g/t Ag, 4.4% Pb, 5.7% Zn, to produce 752.7 K Oz Ag, 4.44 M Lb Pb, 5.58 M Lb Zn (with recoveries at 90.5% Ag, 82.1% Pb, 80.1% Zn). Cash cost per Ag Oz was $13.42 and all-in sustaining cost (AISC) of $33.04 per Ag Oz. An optimization plan to enable dry mining on Platosa is set to double productivity and halving costs by the second quarter of 2017. Cash, current accounts receivable and marketable securities totaled $7.7 M at the end of 2016.
  • Premier Gold Mines Ltd. presented operational and financial results for 2016, including figures for its Mexico operations. At Mercedes in Sonora (which was bought at the end of the third quarter) production during the fourth quarter included the milling of 175 K tonnes of ore @ 4.27 g/t Au, 44.5 g/t Ag to produce 22,481 Oz Au and 98.4 K Oz Ag, on recoveries of 94.8% Au, 39.1% Ag. Cash cost was $690 per Au Oz and AISC  $811 per Au Oz including co-products. Also during the quarter 8,532 m of drilling were completed in 44 holes. Premier aims to produce 85-90 K Oz Au at Mercedes during 2017.
  • Santacruz Silver Mining Ltd. reported operating results from the Rosario project in San Luis Potosi and the Veta Grande project in Zacatecas, for 2016. At Rosario 93.2 k tonnes of ore were milled @ 163 g/t Ag, to produce 456.3 K Oz Ag, 454 Oz Au, 759 tonnes Pb, 2,657 tonnes Zn (Ag recovery @ 94%). At Veta Grande 28.5 K tonnes @ 56 g/t Ag were milled to produce 29,843 Oz Ag, 115 Oz Au, 232 tonnes Pb, 382 tonnes Zn (Ag recovery 58%). The Rosario mill has been processing ore from the nearby Cinco Estrellas mine, where the company has completed development work in three levels and expects to mine at a 250 tpd rate. At Veta Grande more than 2,000 m of development have been completed on two mines, furthermore, back-fill mineralized material was identified and is to be a primary source of millfeed combined with material from other mine working faces.

ON FINANCING

  • Starcore International Mines Ltd. announced the closing of the sale of its San Pedrito surface property in Queretaro. The property is near the Santiago de Queretaro city limits, and has gained value in recent years. The total amount paid was C$10,171,415 dollars for 55 hectares of the land package, with payments amounting over C$3 M pending for the remaining 17 hectares.
  • Primero Mining Corp. announced that it has agreed in principle with its lenders to an extension of its $75 M revolving credit facility, extending it for six months to November 2017.

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

  • Argonaut gold Inc. has completed a 5,139 m, 22 holes RC drill program at its La Colorada mine in Sonora, aiming to confirm resources for a pit expansion at the Creston deposit. Results include 15.2 m @ 0.62 g/t Au, 5 g/t Ag; 19.8 m @ 0.72 g/t Au, 10 g/t Ag; 12 m @ 0.44 g/t Au, 5 g/t Ag; 41.1 m @ 1.15 g/t Au, 6 g/t Ag; 27.4 m @ 0.96 g/t Au, 5 g/t Ag; 16.8 m @ 2.69 g/t Au, 3 g/t Ag; 59.4 m @ 1.24 g/t Au, 6 g/t Ag; 51.8 m @ 0.52 g/t Au, 4 g/t Ag; 48.8 m @ 0.97 g/t Au, 12 g/t Ag; 54.9 m @ 0.89 g/t Au, 5 g/t Ag; 36.6 m @ 1.22 g/t Au, 12 g/t Ag; 57.9 m @ 1.0 g/t Au, 4 g/t Ag; 132.6 m @ 1.29 g/t Au, 24 g/t Ag. These results are not included on the mineral resource estimate prepared on December 2016, which includes 13.1 M tonnes of indicated resources @ 0.63 g/t Au, 16.5 g/t Ag, for 264 K Oz Au, 6.9 M Oz Ag and 2.38 M tonnes of inferred resources @ 0.82 g/t Au, 12.1 g/t Ag, for 63 K Oz Au, 0.9 M Oz Ag.
  • Mexus Gold US announced that cyanide solution assays on its Santa Elena mine in Sonora (not to mistake for First Majetic’s Santa Elena mine, also in Sonora) are better than expected at this early stage, before heap saturation.
  • Consolidated Zinc Ltd. presented assay results for 40 underground samples collected on the Carola South zone of its Plomosas property in Chihuahua, which extends the mineralized zone for other 800 m. The average for all the samples is 20.4% Zn+Pb, with a high of 56.3% Zn+Pb.
  • Pan American Silver Corp. filed on SEDAR an updated technical report on its Dolores property in Chihuahua. The reports provides current information on mineral resource and reserve drilling, updated mineral resource and reserve estimates and the current expansion on the Dolores mine to include a pulp agglomeration treatment option and an underground mine to extract ore beneath the planned pit limits.

ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

  • Lithium Australia increased its interest in the Electra lithium clays joint venture with Alix Resources, ahead of a 3,000 m drilling program to begin this week. Lithium Australia has boosted its stake in the Electra project, in Sonora, from 25% to 49%.

Content like what you have just read can be seen at https://gambusinoprospector.com/ and at LinkedIn’s Mexico Mineral Exploration Group.

On the picture below, Agglomerate fragment within a more recent agglomerate, Soconusco area in Chiapas. Photo by Jorge Cirett.

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