During the 17th week of the year (April 24th to April 30th, 2017), at least 30 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico. ON MEXICO ISSUES, the country’s gold production declined, although retaining its position amongst the world’s top ten producers. ON EXPLORATION, OZ Minerals announced the commencement of exploration on its Zaachila, Riqueza Marina and Zapotitlan projects in Oaxaca. Candelaria released drill results from a 2012 drilling campaign, not in the technical report, from its Caballo Blanco property in Veracruz. Alix released results from its first drill hole at its Agua Fria lithium project in Sonora, while Zenith reported initial sampling results from its lithium salar properties in Zacatecas. ON MINING, Six companies, including Capstone Mining, Americas Silver, Coeur Mining, New Gold, Excellon and Agnico Eagle, presented Q1 2017 financial and/or production results, including figures from its Mexican operations. ON FINANCING, Three companies, Mexican Gold, Evrim and Geologix, released news relating to private placements for up to $7.7 M. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Avino presented high-grade drilling results from its Avino mine in Durango, while Agnico Eagle disclosed exploration results at Pinos Altos, Creston Mascota, La India and its Jalisco properties. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Capstone announced the termination of its precious metals streaming arrangement with Wheaton Silver, Arian Silver informed it is letting its option on the Nochebuena (Zacatecas) tailings project to lapse unexercised, and Telson entered into a definitive agreement with Nyrstar to buy the Campo Morado mine in Guerrero.
ON MEXICO ISSUES
- Among the Worlds ten top gold producers, Mexico presented the steepest decline in production during 2016, extracting 11.3% less than the previous year. Most of the decline was caused by 46% less gold extracted by Goldcorp’s Peñasquito mine in Zacatecas, due to a grade reduction on the mineral mined. The decline is to continue during 2017 at Peñasquito, which is expected to produce 410 K Oz Au during the year, a 16% drop on the 2016 production, before ramping up as grade increases. Nonetheless Mexico maintains the 9th position among the top gold producers.
- OZ Minerals entered into an earn-in agreement with Acapulco Gold Corp. to explore three projects in southern Mexico. Zaachila contains outcrops of extensive silica-iron exhalite and pillowed basalt, typical of many VHMS deposits. Riqueza Marina comprises a suite of bimodal volcanic rocks, including an interpreted felsic dome that contains outcropping silica-iron exhalite, whilst at Zapotitlan an alteration zone 700 metres by 300 metres has been outlined. Exploration is to begin immediately and drilling is expected to commence in the second half of 2017.
- Candelaria Mining Corp. announced assay results from 55 drill holes that were not included or mentioned on the 2012 technical report by previous project operators. Some of the best intercepts are: 29 m @ 0.64 g/t Au; 19.2 m @ 0.61 g/t Au; 18 m @ 1.3 g/t Au, 59.7 m @ 1.1 g/t Au; 18.5 m @ 0.89 g/t Au; 13.7 m @ 2.38 g/t Au; 101 m @ 0.53 g/t Au; 12.3 m @ 0.52 g/t Au; 11.7 m @ 0.98 g/t Au; 42.4 m @ 0.43 g/t Au; 35.7 m @ 0.78 g/t Au; 8.5 m @ 1.2 g/t Au; 94 m @ 1.29 g/t Au; 147.3 m @ 0.62 g/t Au; 64 m @ 0.49 g/t Au, 39 m @ 0.58 g/t Au; 79.7 m @ 0.77 g/t Au; 90.5 m @ 1.11 g/t Au; 59.5 m @ 0.52 g/t Au.
- Alix Resources Corp. released results from the first reverse circulation (RC) hole at its Agua Fria project in Sonora. Two intervals intersected lithium mineralization: 33 m @ 1,058 ppm Li, 21 m @ 1,043 ppm Li.
- GoldCorp Inc. informed a generative study yielded 13 new targets for follow-up testing. The initial study covered a 50 Km x 30 km block centered over the Peñasquito and Concepción del Oro districts.
- Zenith Minerals Ltd. presented its Q1 2017 activity report, which includes its lithium plays in Zacatecas, near San Jose Caliguey and Illescas. Intial sampling on salt pans returned up to 924 ppm Li in surface sediments, comparable to and higher than those from competitor Li brines in Mexico and the USA.
- Capstone Mining Corp. presented financial results for Q1 2017, including figures on its Mexico operations. At its Cozmin mine in Zacatecas 4,130 tonnes of copper were produced at cash cost $1.31 per pound, and all-in cost $1.94 per copper pound.
- Goldcorp Inc. presented Q1 2017 results. The company did not disclose the consolidated 655 K Oz Au production by country. By-product cash cost is $540 and AISC $800 per Au Oz (Peñasquito, Zacatecas).
- Americas Silver Corp. disclosed production results for Q1 2017, including figures from its Cosalá operations in Sinaloa, where 128.6 K tonnes of ore were milled @ 70 g/t Ag, to produce 250.3 K Oz Ag, 2.39 M Lb Zn, 1.12 M Lb Pb, 308.1 K Lb Cu. Cash cost was $2.61 and all-in sustaining cost $3.21. Production is transitioning from Nuestra Señora mine (where mining is due to end on Q2 2017) to El Cajón mine, and then to the San Rafael mine, now in development. A $2 M exploration budget for the Cosalá operations is to fund the first exploration drilling in the property in over four years.
- Coeur Mining Inc. released first quarter 2017 results, including figures from its Palmarejo mine in Chihuahua. At the mine 355.8 K tonnes were mined @ 150 g/t Ag, 2.8 g/t Au, with 5% and 93.7% recovery rates for silver and gold respectively, to produce 1.53 M Oz Ag, 30,792 Oz Au.
- New Gold Inc. disclosed Q1 2017 results, including figures from its operation in Mexico. Cerro San Pedro in San Luis Potosi terminated mining in Q2 2016, and is now in residual leaching, with 9,240 Oz Au, 0.2 M Oz Ag produced at AISC $1,255 per gold ounce.
- Excellon Resources Inc. announced first quarter 2017 production results from the Platosa mine, Durango. 12 K tonnes were mined, 11.9 K tonnes milled @ 317 g/t Ag, 2.9% Pb, 4.1% Zn, with recoveries of 89.8%, 81.3%, 81.8% silver, lead and zinc respectively, producing 108.1 K Oz Ag, 610 K Lb Pb, 873 K Lb Zn.
- Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. presented first quarter 2017 results, including figures from its operations in Mexico. At Pinos Altos in Chihuahua, 553 K tonnes were processed (6,149 tonnes per day, or tpd) @2.71 g/t Au, to produce 45,360 Oz Au at cash cost $350 per gold ounce. At Creston Mascota (< 7 km from Pinos Altos) 524 K tonnes were processed (5,817 tpd) @ 1.16 g/t Au, to produce 11,244 Oz Au at cash cost $525 per Au Oz. At La India in Sonora, 1.4 M tonnes were processed (15,575 tpd) @ 0.74 g/t Au to produce 26,296 Oz Au at cash cost $438 per gold ounce.
- Mexican Gold Corp. arranged a non-brokered private placement for up to $1.5 M gross proceeds (Las Minas, Veracruz).
- Evrim Resources Corp. announced a private placement aimed to raise gross proceeds of $3.21 M (Ermitaño, Sonora; Cerro Cascaron, Chihuahua).
- Geologix Explorations Inc. has finalized the terms of the previously announced private placement financing, aiming to raise up to $3 M (Tepal, Michoacan).
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
- Avino Silver & Gold Mines Ltd. disclosed assay results for 10 more drill holes at its Avino mine in Durango. The drillholes were testing a previously overlooked shallow mineralized zone within the Avino vein system, 240 m in length by 130 m in depth, averaging 15 m thickness. Intercepts include: 4.9 m @ 5.36 g/t Au; 8.8 m @ 1.17 g/t Au, 45 g/t Ag, 0.21% Cu; 11.9 m @ 0.45 g/t Au, 57 g/t Ag, 0.54% Cu; 18 m @ 0.6 g/t Au; 8.4 m @ 2.16 g/t Au, 21 g/t Ag, 0.2% Cu; 24.5 m @ 0.36 g/t Au, 29 g/t Ag, 0.4% Cu; 38.8 m @ 1.07 g/t Au, 29 g/t Ag, 0.1% Cu; 26.5 m @ 1.26 g/t Au, 21 g/t Ag; 20 m @ 2.32 g/t Au, 66 g/t Ag; 4.3 m @ 1.9 g/t Au, 125 g/t Ag, 0.65% Cu; 11.3 m @ 0.97 g/t Au, 54 g/t Ag, 0.24% Cu; 6.45 m @ 1.85 g/t Au, 34 g/t Ag, 0.24% Cu; 6.9 m @ 1.05 g/t Au; 38 g/t Ag, 0.27% Cu; 8.8 m @ 1.24 g/t Au, 14 g/t Ag, 0.14% Cu.
- Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. disclosed exploration advances from its operations in Mexico. Drilling at the Bravo zone, 600 m from the Creston Mascota pit (less than 7 km from Pinos Altos, Chihuahua), intersected 12.5 m @ 3.9 g/t Au; 19.2 m @ 3.1 g/t Au; 6.6 m @ 5.1 g/t Au; 4.6 m @ 9.8 g/t Au. A total of 36,000 metres of exploration drilling is planned at the Pinos Altos-Creston Mascota complex in 2017. At La India in Sonora, Drilling was carried within the Main Zone, below the pit design, at the nearby El Realito project with encouraging results. At present El Realito, Cerro de Oro and El Cochi areas are being drilled with the goal of increasing reserves in proximity to the mining areas. At El Barqueño in Jalisco, approximately 45,000 metres of additional drilling is expected on the Olmeca, Azteca-Zapoteca and Peña de Oro sectors, and the El Rayo prospects and the Tecolote-Tortuga areas in the south area of the El Barqueno project. Exploration expenditures in 2017 are expected to total approximately $16.8 million.
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- Capstone Mining Corp. informed that subsequent to Q1 2017 end, on April 4, 207, “the precious metal streaming arrangement with Silver Wheaton Corp. After this date, the full silver by-product credit is earned by Cozamin”. This is expected to increase its by-product credits by approximately $0.40 per copper pound.
- Arian Silver Corp. announced that it will allow its option with Terra Nuevo Mining Ltd. over the Nochebuena tailings project to lapse unexercised. A metallurgical test work showed that the material is highly refractory, and contains other minerals that deem any concentrates to bear penalties by buyers.
- Telson Resources Inc. entered into a definitive share purchase agreement with Nyrstar Mining Ltd. to purchase all shares of Nyrstar Mexican subsidiary, which owns 100% of the Campo Morado mine in Guerrero. The total purchase price is US$20M, with US$800 K at signature, US$2.7 M on or before June 12, 2017 and US$16.5 M on the closing of the transaction first anniversary. A variable NSR payment from US$20 per tonne to up to 4.25% is to be applied on a sliding scale based on zinc price for the first 10 M tonnes processed.
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, quartz veining in sandstone, Central Chiapas. Photo by Jorge Cirett.