Highlights on the Second Week of May, 2017. Mineral Exploration in Mexico

During the 19th week of the year (May 8th to May 14th, 2017), at least 31 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico. ON MEXICO ISSUES, Mexico was in 2016 the major producer of silver in the world for the seventh year in a row. ON EXPLORATION, In Sonora Riverside Resources initiated exploration on its Cecilia project and SilverCrest reported the discovery of a new high-grade silver vein at its Las Chispas project. Arian Silver presented lithium results from its projects in Zacatecas.  ON MINING, Eleven companies presented first quarter 2017 financial results: Hecla, Golden Minerals, Pan American, Excellon, GoGold, Premier Gold, Avino, Americas Silver, Sierra Metals, Aura Minerals and Mag Silver. ON FINANCING, Only one company, Alset Minerals, presented a press release relating to a $369 K financing round. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Avino Silver presented an update in exploration and the expansion project on the process facilities, and a PEA on the tailings project. Hecla presented an update on exploration activities at San Sebastian. Argonaut presented an exploration update on its recently acquired property adjacent to El Castillo mine. Candelaria presented an updated technical report on the Caballo Blanco property. Consolidated Zinc presented more high-grade zinc results from Plomosas, and Timmins/Alio presented an optimization plan on the San Francisco mine. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Red Tiger received failure-to-file cease trade orders from the Ontario securities Commission. Prospero closed a deal with Fortuna for $1.5 M. Mexico Gold closed a debt with shares. Timmins Gold is now formally Alio Gold.

ON MEXICO ISSUES

  • Mexico kept during 2016 the title as the major silver producer of the world for the seventh year in a row, producing 182.6 M Oz, even with a small drop in production relative to 2015. For this year the Mexican production is expected to rise by 2.5 M Oz of silver, aided by the production of the San Julian and Palmarejo mines in Chihuahua. On a world basis the silver production fell by 32.6 M Oz, or 0.6%, to 885.8 M Oz.

ON EXPLORATION

  • Riverside Resources Inc. has initiated an extensive rock-chip sampling campaign at its Cecila project in Sonora, with the aim of increasing the extent of the known zones of gold mineralization. Surface access agreements are in place.
  • Arian Silver Corp. reported assay results from sampling from its three recently optioned lithium properties in Zacatecas. Results are up to 120 ppm Li at Columpio, 88 ppm Li at Pozo Hondo and 158 ppm Li at La Abundancia.
  • SilverCrest Metals Inc. discovered an unmined high grade vein immediately adjacent to Las Chis0pas main vein. The new vein has been named Giovvani, appears to be continuous for 400 to 500 m and 150 to 200 m along dip, averaging 2.0 m in thickness. Giovvani vein intercepts include 1.0 m @ 0.05 g/t Au, 306 g/t Ag; 2.3 m @ 0.7 g/t Au, 125 g/t Ag; 2.1 m @ 1.7 g/t Au, 215 g/t Ag; 2.1 m @ 3.4 g/t Au; 330 g/t Ag (including 0.6 m @ 10.8 g/t Au, 890 g/t Ag); 0.5 m @ 7.5 g/t Au, 1,095 g/t Ag; 2.3 m @ 3.6 g/t Au, 578 g/t Ag; 0.9 m @ 4.4 g/t Au, 564 g/t Ag.

ON MINING

  • Hecla Mining Co. presented first quarter 2017 financial and operating results, including figures from its operations in Mexico. At San Sebastian in Durango, 750.8 K Oz Ag, 6,284 Oz Au were produced, operating at 407 tpd. The cash cost after by-product credits was negative $3.27 per Ag Oz, the AISC after by-product credits was $0.43 per Ag Oz. Cash and cash equivalents stand at 176.8 M. Recent drill intercepts include 1.86 m @ 124 g/t Au, 12,420 g/t Ag; 1.92 m @ 25.5 g/t Au, 3,866 g/t Ag; 0.73 m @ 1.5 g/t Au, 572 g/t Ag; 0.94 m @ 3.7 g/t Au, 379 g/t Ag; 1.10 m @ 24 g/t Au, 6,118 g/t Ag; 2.13 m @ 0.9 g/t Au, 385 g/t Ag.
  • Golden Minerals Co. provided financial results for the first quarter 2017. During March the lease on the Velardeña oxide mill to Hecla Mining Co. was further lengthened until December 2018. During January 2017 was released an estimate of mineralized material for the Rodeo property in Durango. In February 2017 a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) was completed for the company’s Santa Maria property in Chihuahua. Electrum Global Holdings L.P. has been drilling the Celaya property in Guanajuato, as part of an earn-in agreement. Cash and cash equivalents stand at $2.1 M at the end of 2017, with no debt.
  • Pan American Silver Corp. presented first quarter results 2017, including figures from its operations in Mexico. Production was 1.63 M Oz Ag, 870 Oz Au; 0.96 M Oz Ag, 24,390 Oz Au, and 0.35 M Oz Ag, 1,330 Oz Au respectively at La Colorada in Zacatecas, Dolores in Chihuahua and Alamo Dorado in Sonora.
  • Excellon Resources Inc. reported Q1 2017 financial results. During the period the company processed 11.9 K tonnes @ 317 g/t Ag, 2.9% Pb, 4.1% Zn, with recoveries of 89.8% Ag, 81.3% Pb, 81.8% Zn to produce 108 K Oz Ag, 610 K Lb Pb, 838 K Lb Zn. The mine dewatering optimization plan has now 6 of 12 pumps working, with the water level droping by more than 2.8 m. Cash and cash equivalents of $5.7 M at the end of the period, and net working capital totaled $6.2 M.
  • GoGold Resources Inc. released financial results for Q1 2017. During the period the company sold 413 K Oz AgEq Oz for revenue of $7.1 M, operating at cash cost $9.80 per AgEq Oz and AISC $11.76 per AgEq Oz (Parral tailings, Chihuahua; Santa Gertrudis, Sonora).
  • Premier Gold Mines Ltd. announced operational and financial results, including figures from its Mercedes mine in Sonora, where 166.8 K tonnes were milled @ 4.34 g/t Au, 44 g/t Ag, to produce 22,164 Oz Au, 88.6 K Oz Ag. Recoveries were 95.4% Au and 37.3% Ag. And cash in co-product basis was $675 per Au Oz sold, and all-in sustaining cost of $785 per Au Oz. The 2017 drilling program has been increased to 50,000 m, with currently five rigs working from the surface and four from underground. Cash and cash equivalents stood at $110.7 M at the end of March.
  • Avino Silver & Gold Mines Ltd. presented the financial results for Q1 2017, period during which revenue was $8.1 M and net income after taxes $0.7 M. At the end of March the company had $17.7 M of cash and cash equivalents (Avino and San Gonzalo, Durango).
  • Americas Silver Corp. reported operational and financial results for the first quarter of 2017, period during which revenues of $15.2 M and a net loss of ($0.2) were obtained. The company purchased an option on the San Felipe project in Sonora for total payments of $7.0 M plus VAT. The cash balance at the end of March was $17.6 M (San Rafael, Cosalá, Sinaloa).
  • Sierra Metals Inc. reported Q1 2017 financial results, with revenue of $54.5 M. At Bolivar in Chihuahua, cash cost was $1.14 per CuEq pound, and AISC was $ 1.89 per CuEq pound. At Cusi, in Chihuahua, cash cost per AgEq Oz was $10.82, and AISC per AgEq Oz was $22.72. The company had $38.0 M in cash and cash equivalents at the end of the period.
  • Aura Minerals Inc. presented financial results for Q1, 2017, which include $34.9 M in revenue, and a net loss of ($5.02 M), (Aranzazu, Zacatecas)
  • Mag Silver Corp. disclosed financial results for the first quarter of 2017. A new resource estimate and design upgrades for the Juanicipio (Zacatecas) JV project with Fresnillo is to be completed on the second quarter. A 20,000 m 2017 exploration drill program was initiated after the quarter end. The company had cash and cash equivalents totaling $132.4 M at the end of the period.

ON FINANCING

  • Alset Minerals Corp. has filed documents with the TSX seeking final approval on their previously announced non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of $369 K (Lithium properties, Zacatecas).

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

  • Avino Silver & Gold Mines Ltd. informed the installation of a fourth mill and flotation circuit on its San Avino mine is on progress, a positive PEA (Preliminmary Economic Assessment) was presented last April on the re-treating of the Avino mine tailings, a study is in progress to weight the different options to tailings management (backfill on underground, pit or new tailings dam). A 3,000 m, 18 holes, infill drill program has been expanded to include further 20 holes to test the gap zone between San Luis and Elena Tolosa, aiming to update the category of the resource. A small scale test pilot project is underway to test the reduction of bismuth content (to avoid smelter penalties) from the concentrate. At San Gonzalo testing of the zinc circuit continues in the effort to improve gold and silver recoveries.
  • Hecla Mining Co. updated development and exploration work at its San Sebastian mine in Durango. The company expects to transition from open pit to underground by the end of 2017. A ramp is under construction to connect the new portal with the existing workings. Drilling has focused on resource definition along the Middle and Francine veins, recently defining more than 9.6 km of mineralized strike length.
  • Argonaut Gold Inc. completed 11,540 m in 75 reverse-circulation (RC) holes at the North Target of its El Castillo mine in Durango. The North Target lies within the 420 hectare San Juan mineral concession recently acquired from Fresnillo PLC., and the drilling is part of an ongoing infill RC drill program outward from El Castillo open pit. Results include 99.1 m @ 0.64 g/t Au; 141.7 m @ 0.49 g/t Au; 153.9 m @ 0.53 g/t Au; 138.7 m @ 0.58 g/t Au, 111.3 m @ 0.54 g/t Au; 141.7 m @ 0.68 g/t Au.
  • Candelaria Mining Corp. announced an updated NI 43-101 technical report for the Caballo Blanco property in Veracruz. The report incorporates the results of 55 drill holes collared in 2012, which were not included in the last resource calculation. The new report includes 31.2 M tonnes @ 0.52 g/t Au as an indicated resource containing 521 K Oz Au, and 8.6 M tonnes grading 0.34 g/t Au containing 95 K Oz Au as an inferred resource.
  • Consolidated Zinc Ltd. confirmed the presence of high grade zinc on the Tres Amigos North zone, at its Plomosas property in Chihuahua. Six initial drill holes completed returned intervals as high as 1.5 m @ >30% Zn, 0.6% Pb, 52 g/t Ag; 1.85 m @ >30% Zn, 0.2% Pb, 11 g/t Ag; 0.5 m @ >30% Zn, 0.6% Pb; 0.5 m @ >30% Zn, 0.3% Pb. Other results include 2.2 m @ 2.8% Zn, 1.1% Pb; 0.6 m @ 6.6% Zn, 1.4% Pb; 0.5 m @ 5.9% Zn, 0.3% Pb; 0.6 m @ 8.5% Zn, 0.3% Pb; 0.6 m @ 5.3% Zn, 2.2% Pb.
  • Timmins Gold Corp. (in process to change name to Alio Gold Corp.) informed of a revitalization plan (i.e. pit push back) for its San Francisco mine in Sonora. Under this plan the production guidance is increased to 86 – 92 K Oz Au for 2017, and an average of 103 K Oz Au for a further six years at cash cost of $900 and AISC $935 per Au Oz. The updated reserves at San Francisco stand at 54.8 M tonnes @ 0.53 g/t Au containing 928.7 K Oz Au, measured and inferred resources of 74.8 M tonnes @ 0.54 g/t Au that contain 1.3 M Oz Au and 0.7 M tonnes of inferred resources containing 13 K Oz Au. The expansion capital adds up to $ 44.9 M from 2017 to 2019.

ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

  • Red Tiger Mining Inc. has received failure-to-file cease trade orders from the Ontario securities Commission. The company aims to file the required 2016 annual filings by July 17, 2017 (La Luz, Sonora).
  • Prospero Silver Corp. closed the previously announced C$1.5 M strategic investment from Fortuna Silver Mines Inc. “Prospero will allocate C$1.2 million to drill testing selected projects and C$300k will be allocated towards Prospero’s generative efforts in Mexico. Fortuna will have the right to select one of the projects within 18 months from signing of the definitive agreement to joint venture with Prospero, potentially earning in to a 70% interest by spending US$8 million over 6 years and completing a Preliminary Economic Analysis on the selected property” (El Petate, Hidalgo)
  • Mexican Gold Corp. has issued an aggregate of 1.66 M shares to settle a debt of $478.9 K to certain officers and directors of the company (Las Minas, Veracruz).
  • Timmins Gold Corp. has formally changed name to Alio Gold Corp., expecting to be listed under the new name and ticker symbol on the Toronto Stock Exchange on March 16th.

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, shear zone within a granodioritic protolith, Central Chiapas. Photo by Jorge Cirett.

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