During the 31st week of the year (July 31st to August 6th, 2017), at least 27 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico, including nine second quarter reports. ON MEXICO ISSUES, gold and silver production decreased during the first five months in the Bajío region. ON EXPLORATION, in Sonora Evrim acquired the low sulfidation epithermal Sarape project, Minaurum is to commence drilling at the Alamos project and SilverCrest released high-grade intercepts from drilling at Las Chispas. In Veracruz Almadex released drilling results from El Cobre project. ON MINING, Capstone, Leagold, Excellon, Gold Resource, Alamos Gold, Avino, McEwen Mining, Endeavour Silver, Hecla and First Majestic presented production and/or financial results for the second quarter of 2017. Telson sent some ore from Tahuehueto for processing. Leagold received the environmental permit of the portal and ramp for the Bermejal underground deposit in Guerrero. ON FINANCING, Four companies announced the opening/closing of financing rounds: Oceanus ($3 M), Westminster ($750 K), Silver Bull (CDN$ 1.46 M) and Avino ($25 M). Coeur is to exchange up to $250 M in notes. Avino extended a concentrate prepayment agreement. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Mexican Gold released a maiden resource for Las Minitas, Veracruz, comprising 304 K AuEq Oz M&I and 719 K AuEq Oz Inferred, in underground and open pit constrained gold-copper mineralization. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Prospero Silver and Exploraciones Altiplano reached an agreement on the Buenavista claims in Durango. Radius Gold completed the sale of the Talcolula property to Fortuna Silver. Golden granted Hecla the right to use Golden’s oxide plant in Durango for two more years.
ON MEXICO ISSUES
- INEGI (Instituto Nacional de Estadistica y Geografía) informed that mining production decreased in the Bajio region, with 28.2% less silver produced in Guanajuato, 3.3% in San Luis Potosi and 1% in Queretaro, from January to May 2017. On gold, production was reduced by 15.2% in Guanajuato, 28.8% in San Luis Potosi and 7% in Queretaro.
- Evrim Resources Corp. has defined two major veins in the recently acquired Sarape project in Sonora. The Sarape vein trends NW and is 6 km long and up to 12 m in width, whereas the Chiltepin vein trends W and is 2.6 km long and up to 3 m in width. The western portion of the veins presents barren chalcedonic white quartz with bladed calcite, while the eastern part presents low-temperature, tan-green quartz consistently assaying 0.1 to 0.36 g/t Au across sampled widths, with individual samples assaying up to 3.6 g/t Au.
- Minaurum Gold Inc. is to commence a 5,000 m diamond drilling campaign at its Alamos Silver project in Sonora. The drilling will focus on seven major veins identified by Minaurum, three of which were the source of the historic 200 M Oz silver production. The three other veins are in down-dropped blocks and are exposed at a high level. Areas to be tested include La Quintera, Promontorio, Gap and Minas Nuevas.
- Almadex Minerals Ltd. reported assay results from the last drill hole on the Norte zone at its El Cobre project in Veracruz. Drill intercepts include 276.80 m @ 0.67 g/t Au, 0.23% Cu (including 103.85 m @ 1.33 g/t Au, 0.41% Cu); 94.40 m @ 0.73 g/t Au, 0.25% Cu (including 62.0 m @0.97 g/t Au, 0.31% Cu). The hole intersected multiple zones of intense stockwork veining and potassic alteration.
- SilverCrest Metals Inc. announced additional Phase II drill results for Las Chispas property in Sonora. The new results indicate continued expansion of unmined high-grade mineralization in the Giovanni and William Tell veins, initial high-grade intercepts in the Varela vein and newly discovered Blanquita vein. The most relevant drill intercepts are: 1.9 m 6 g/t Au, 5,018 g/t Ag (including 0.7 m @ 137.5 g/t Au, 13,560 g/t Ag); 0.4 m @ 3.7 g/t Au, 506 g/t Ag; 0.7 @ 2.0 g/t Au, 255 g/t Ag; 4.1 m @ 1.7 g/t Au, 232 g/t Ag; 1.0 m @ 2.0 g/t Au, 313 g/t Ag; 1.9 m @ 0.4 g/t Au, 428 g/t Ag; 0.5 m @ 3.1 g/t Au, 595 g/t Ag; 1 m @ 1.2 g/t Au, 362 g/t Ag.
- Telson Resources Inc. reported that 4,600 tonnes of ore have been sent from the Tahuehueto mine in Durango to the Atocha toll mill, where it is to be processed at a 300 tonnes per day (tpd) rate. Underground mining from the Level 10 ore shoot, estimated to contain at least 50 K tonnes.
- Capstone Mining Corp. announced its financial results for Q2 2017, including figures from its operations in Mexico. At Cozamin in Zacatecas produced 4,106 tonnes of copper at cash cost of $1.19 per Cu pound and all-in cost of $1.73 per Cu pound produced. The precious metal streaming arrangement with Wheaton Precious Metal Corp. expired on April 4th; this is to result in an increase to by-product credits of $0.23 per copper pound.
- Leagold Mining Corp. received the environmental permit for development of the portal and ramp for the Bermejal Underground deposit at Los Filos mine in Guerrero. Six tunneling contractors have completed site visits. Contractor selection is to be completed in August. The location of the portal is at the northern end of the Bermejal open pit, site that offers a deeper starting point, shortest distance to access an initial test stoping area and commencement of the portal within competent carbonate wallrock. The 5 x 5 m ramp is to extend 1,600 m to the central, high grade portion of the mineralization. Portal preparation is expected to commence in Q3 2017, with access to the first stoping area early in 2018 and completion of the ramp to the Central Sector by Q4 2018.
- Excellon Resources Inc. reported financial results for the second quarter 2017. Dry mining conditions were achieved at the Platosa mine in Durango. Mine production increased to 215 tpd, with access to high-grade ore. The goal is to further increase production to 300 tpd by year end. The Miguel Auza mill was awarded Certification of Clean Industry, Level 1 from the environmental regulator. Net working capital totaled $4.0 M at the end of June, increasing to $6.1 M to the end of July. During the quarter 10,840 tonnes were produced and 13,877 tonnes processed @ 394 g/t 3.5% Pb, 4.5% Zn, recovering 89.8% Ag, 80.4% Pb, 80.7% Zn to produce 160.8 K Oz Ag, 850 K Lb Pb, 1.1 M Lb Zn.
- Gold Resource Corp. disclosed production results for Q2 2017. At its Aguila property in Oaxaca 113.8 K tonnes were milled (1,293 tpd) @ 1.82 g/t Au, 118 g/t Ag, 0.33% Cu, 1.4% Pb, 4.3% Zn with recoveries of 85% Au, 92% Ag, 78% Cu, 77% Pb, 85% Zn to produce 5,696 Oz Au, 397.7 K Oz Ag, 294 tonnes Cu, 1,207 tonnes Pb, 4,176 tonnes Zn. Cash and cash equivalents by the end of period stood at $16.41 M.
- Alamos Gold Inc. reported financial results for the second quarter 2017, including figures from its operations in Mexico. At Mulatos 1.76 M tonnes of ore and 1.37 M tonnes of waste were moved (waste-to-ore ratio 0.78), with 1.65 M tonnes @ 0.78 g/t Au stacked on the heap (51,564 Oz Au contained) and 35.3 K tonnes of high-grade ore @ 10.56 g/t Au milled (11,998 Oz Au contained). Mulatos produced 41,000 Oz Au during the period, with a recovery rate of 65% and cash cost of $735 per Au ounce. The San Carlos underground operation is expected to end its current mineral reserve in the third quarter of 2017. At El Chanate 1.05 M tonnes of ore were mined (12,000 tpd) @ 0.41 g/t Au and 4.69 M tonnes of waste moved (Waste to ore ratio of 4.47) producing 17,600 Oz Au. Production at La Yaqui is expected in the third quarter of 2017.
- Avino Silver & Gold Mines Ltd. presented the financial results for the second quarter 2017. During the period 386 K Oz Ag, 1,954 Oz Au, and 1.1 M Lb Cu were produced at cash cost $8.90 per AgEq Oz and AISC of $10.42 per AgEq Oz. At the end of the quarter Avino held $5.9 M in cash and short term investments for $7.5 M.
- McEwen Mining Inc. disclosed financial results for the second quarter 2017, including figures from its operations in Mexico. At El Gallo 9,714 Oz Au, 4,966 Oz Ag were produced at cash cost $706 and AISC $843 AuEq co-product. At the end of the period debt free McEwen had $44 M in cash, investments and precious metals.
- Endeavour Silver Corp. released Q2 2017 consolidated financial results. 1.14 M Oz Ag, 13,058 Oz Au were produced at cash cost $ 8.36 and AISC $20.46 per Oz Ag net of Au credits. The Bolañitos and El Cubo mines in Guanajuato produced higher tonnes and/or grades, while Guancevi in Durango continues to lag behind. The Calicanto and Veta Grande properties were acquired near El Compas, in Zacatecas. The working capital stood at $75 M at the period’s end.
- Hecla Mining Co. reported second quarter 2017 results, including figures from its operations in Mexico. At San Sebastian in Durango, 867 K Oz Ag, 6,596 Oz Au were produced at cash cost $(3.31) per AgEq Oz and AISC of $0.06 per AgEq Oz. The mill operated at 423 tpd during the period. The mine is transitioning from open pit to underground mining, which is expected by the end of 2017. “It now appears that sufficient material has been identified underground, in open pits and in stockpiles to extend the life of the project through 2020…” Cash and cash equivalents stand at $202 M at the end of the period.
- First Majestic Silver Corp. presented its Q2 2017 financial results. During the period First Majestic produced 2.29 M Oz Ag, or 3.89 M Oz AgEq from its six mines in Mexico, at cash cost $7.41 per Ag Oz and AISC $14.58. The company maintains $126.9 M in cash and cash equivalents at the end of the period. Three illegal blockades affected production at La Parrilla (4 days), Santa Elena (2 days) and La Encantada (42 days). The company expects 64,500 m of underground development to be completed during 2017, as well as 145,000 m of exploration drilling.
- Oceanus Resources Corp. closed a non-brokered private placement raising $3 M. Oceanus intends to begin drilling the unmined Protectora vein, north of El Tigre mine in Sonora.
- Avino Silver & Gold Mines Ltd. Extended the concentrates prepayment agreement with Samsung C&T UK Ltd. for one year. According to the new amending agreement Avino will sell silver concentrate on exclusive basis to Samsung until December 31, 2021 (Avino, Durango).
- Westminster Resources Ltd. has received conditional approval from the TSX for its previously announced non-brokered private placement, and announces the closing of the first tranche of said placement, for gross proceeds of $764 K (El Cobre, Sonora).
- Silver Bull Resources Inc. completed the second and final tranche of the private placement for aggregate gross proceeds of CDN$250 K. Under the initial tranche of the private placement, which closed on July 10th, CDN$1.46 M was raised (Sierra Mojada, Coahuila).
- Coeur Mining Inc. offered to exchange up to $250 M aggregate principal amount of its 5.875% senior notes due 2024 (Palmarejo, Chihuahua).
- Avino Silver & Gold Mines Ltd. is to offer shares in the US up to the aggregate amount of US$25 M (Avino, Durango).
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
- Mexican Gold Corp. announced an initial mineral resource estimate fir the El Dorado/Juan Bran and Santa Cruz zones at its Las Minas project in Veracruz. The total measured and indicated (M&I) resource of 304 K AuEq Oz is contained within 4.97 M tonnes grading 1.90 g/t AuEq. The total inferred resource of 719 K AuEq Oz is contained within 10.3 M tonnes grading 2.17 g/t AuEq. The El Dorado/Juan Bran zone occurs as a sub-horizontal body measuring approximately 650 m N-S by 250 m E-W, varying in thickness from 6.0 to 28.0 m. The Santa Cruz zone is comprised of a series of high-grade stacked lenses of skarn mineralization dipping 50 degrees to the west, measuring about 220 m x 100 m. The initial mineral resource estimate is based on 140 diamond drill holes totaling 19,636 m at El Dorado/Juan Bran and Santa Cruz zones. “The Mineral Resource was estimated using 2.0 metre composites of assay values with “zero grade” inserted into intervals that were not sampled.”
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- Prospero Silver Corp. entered into an option to own agreement with Exploraciones del Altiplano, S.A. de C.V. to earn a 100% right, title and interest in and to Altiplano’s Buenavista claims in Durango, subject to a 2% NSR. The option agreement constitutes a related party transaction. To earn its 100% interest in the Property, Prospero must issue a total of 750 K common shares to Altiplano on a scheduled calendar over 48 months.
- Radius Gold Inc. completed the sale of its Talcolula property to Fortuna Silver Mines In. On closing Radius received US$150K cash and 239 K common shares of Fortuna, keeping a 2% NSR royalty. Fortuna retains the right to purchase one-half of the royalty by paying Radius US$1.5 M.
- Golden Minerals Co. has granted Hecla Mining Co. an option to secure the use of Golden’s oxide plant in Durango fro and additional two years for US$2 M.
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On the picture below, gold grains on a “tentadura” or ore assaying in a cow’s horn in Chihuahua. Photo by Jorge Cirett.