Highlights on the Third Week of September, 2017. Mineral Exploration in Mexico

During the 38th week of the year (September 18th to September 24th, 2017), at least 26 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico. ON MEXICO ISSUES, Primero Mining acknowledged the receipt of US$4.6 M of VAT refunds. ON EXPLORATION, in Sonora, Azure is to begin a 5,000 m drill program at Oposura, and San Marco is re-shaping its exploration strategy in Chunibas, to reflect the new porphyry model for the mineralization. In Chihuahua, Radius is giving shape to a coherent epithermal target at its Amalia project, and Mammoth released trench results from its Tenoriba property. In Hidalgo, Prospero is to start drilling at El Petate. ON MINING, Argonaut poured the first gold from its San Agustin project in Durango. Primero Mining is struggling while ramping up production at San Dimas, in Durango. ON FINANCING, Telson Resources entered into a loan facility for US5 M with Trafigura. McEwen Mining entered into a bought deal financing for US$46.6 M. Alamos Gold increased its revolving credit facility to US$400 M ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT; Americas Silver released a new resource estimate for its Cosalá operations in Sinaloa. Torex Gold released high-grade intercepts from the sub-sill zone at its El Limon-Guajes mine in Guerrero. Argonaut Gold updated mineral the mineral resource estimate for its La Colorada and El Castillo mines in Sonora and Durango, respectively. Alio Gold received an important permit on its Ana Paula project in Guerrero, and is working on the definitive feasibility study (DFS). ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Rose Petroleum presented an update on its operations in Sinaloa, and some notes on the transferal of its San Dieguito mill in Nayarit to Magellan Gold. Alio Gold is to commence the construction of a 1,200 m long decline at its Ana Paula project in Guerrero. Primero Mining provided an update on its operations, along with a description of its financial struggle. Soleil Capital and Goldplay Exploration are to create a TSX listed company. Goldgroup Mining provided its side of the story on the legal battle with DynaResource Inc.

ON MEXICO ISSUES

  • Primero Mining Inc. acknowledged having received US$4.6 M in VAT refunds from the Mexican authorities in two installments over July and August, and is working closely with the SAT to recover in due time the outstanding US$32 M.

ON EXPLORATION

  • Azure Minerals Ltd. plans to start a 100 diamond hole, 5,000 m drill program at its Oposura property in Sonora during October, once the permits have been received. “Drilling by previous explorers of 85 surface holes tested the mineralised zone over an area of approximately 1,400m (east-west) x 400m (north-south) (see Figure 1). Early drilling by Azure will twin some of these historical holes to assess whether they can be used in defining the deposit and estimating the mineral resource”. With all the historical and recent work compiled Azure has derived an exploration target of 2.5 M tonnes @ 10% – 12% Zn+Pb.
  • Prospero Silver Corp. has received from SEMARNAT the permit to drill the Petate property in Hidalgo. Drilling is to start on September 17th, 2017, with 12 holes to test four targets: Apartadero SE, Apartadero Central, Tajo and Petate #3. “High-level epithermal alteration is exposed over a 5×4 km area with highly anomalous gold and silver hosted in extensive outcrops and float of steep to strata-bound jasperoid.”
  • Radius Gold Inc. released high-grade channel sampling results from the recently optioned Amalia property in Chihuahua. At the Campamento zone, where a 150 m by 300 m zone of intense silicification, brecciation and stockwork veining has been mapped, results include 62 m @ 0.43 g/t Au, 98 g/t Ag; 14 m @ 1.47 g/t Au, 167 g/t Ag; including 7 m @ 2.37 g/t Au, 239 g/t Ag. At the Guadalupe target, a quartz sulfide vein breccia hosted in andesites returned 7 m @ 3.62 g/t Au, 1,048 g/t Ag; 7 m @ 2.4 g/t Au, 188 g/t Ag; 4 m @ 3.92 g/t Au, 888 g/t Ag. At Dulces Nombres the vein in a short tunnel returned 1 m @ 34 g/t Au, 13 g/t Ag; 1 m @ 20.3 g/t Au, 44 g/t Ag; 1.5 m @ 114.5 g/t Au, 57 g/t Ag. Au-Ag mineralization occurs over a vertical interval of 600 m, at multiple targets over 3.5 km of strike length.
  • Mammoth Resources Corp. released channel sample results from 14 trenches at its Tenoriba project in Chihuahua. Results include (true width) 11.5 m @ 0.64 g/t Au, 2 g/t Ag; 16.0 m @ 0.38 g/t Au, 4 g/t Ag; 15.5 m @ 0.99 g/t Au, 6 g/t Ag in the Moreno zone; 7.0 m @ 1.28 g/t Au, 8 g/t Ag; 13.5 m @ 1.50 g/t Au, 3 g/t Ag; 10.0 m @ 0.42 g/t Au, 7 g/t Ag; 6.2 m @ 0.88 g/t Au, 4 g/t Ag at the Carneritos zone; 13.1 m @ 0.66 g/t Au, 1 g/t Ag; 6.4 m @ 0.47 g/t Au, 10 g/t Ag in the Masuparia zone and 6.4 m @ 0.54 g/t Au, 2 g/t Ag in the Cerro Colorado zone.
  • San Marco Resources Inc. is readjusting its exploration strategy to accommodate an evolving geologic model on its Chunibas project in Sonora. The discovery of breccias in the recent core drilling program led to re-mapping and re-logging of the core, and the generation of a larger porphyry related breccia gold model with over printing epithermal quartz-carbonate veining. The surface mineralized footprint is 3 km x 1.5, and still open. The gold mineralization occurs disseminated and vein controlled. The re-logging of the core highlighted an 88 m breccia interval @ 0.37 g/t Au, and several drill holes present magnetite bearing potassic alteration associated with elevated gold grades. To test the property under the new model a magnetic survey is to be undertaken, along with the extension of some soil lines and deeper drill holes.

ON MINING

  • Argonaut Gold Inc. announced the first pour of gold at San Agustin, Durango, as scheduled. Impressive is the claim by the company of having had no lost time accidents during the 10 months construction period.
  • Primero Mining Corp. informed that the expected ramp-up production following successful negotiations with unionized workers has been significantly delayed due to persistent issues with underground equipment reliability, which has impacted development rates and stoping activities. As a result the production guidance has been lowered to 75 K to 85 K Oz AuEq at total cash costs of between $800 and $900 per AuEq Oz and all-in sustaining cost (AISC) of $1,050 to $1,150 per Au Oz.

ON FINANCING

  • Telson Resources Inc. has entered into a loan facility and offtake agreements with Trafigura Mexico, S.A. de C.V., to sell 100% of the lead and zinc concentrate produced at its Campo Morado mine in Guerrero. The US$5 M loan has a three-year term with a six-month grace period followed with 30 repayment installments. The loan facility matures on September 2010 and bears interest at rate equal to LIBOR (3M) plus 5%.
  • McEwen Mining Inc. has entered into an agreement on a bought deal basis under which up to 9 M shares are to be purchased, for gross proceeds of $46.6 M, before deducting underwriting commissions and estimated offering expenses. If all the associated warrants are exercised before the two year expiration date aggregate proceeds are to reach US$74 M.  (El Gallo, Sinaloa).
  • Alamos Gold Inc. has secured amendments to its existing undrawn revolving credit facility, including an increase of the facility from US$150 M to US$400 M on more favourable terms (Mulatos, La Yaqui; Sonora).

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

  • Americas Silver Corp. released an updated mineral reserve and resource estimate for its Cosalá operations in Sinaloa. Proven and probable mineral reserves stand at 4.0 M tonnes @ 100 g/t Ag, 0.02% Cu, 1.6% Pb, 3.9% Zn; Measures and indicated resources include 8.0 M tonnes @ 128 g/t Ag, 0.24% Cu, 0.5% Pb, 1.2% Zn; Inferred mineral resources include 4.1 M tonnes @ 147 g/t Ag, 0.33% Cu, 0.6% Pb, 1.0% Zn. The updated estimate reflects the drilling programs conducted at the property between January 2016 and the end of June 2017.
  • Torex Gold Resources Inc. released high-grade intercepts in the step-out drilling to the NW of the current Sub-Sill resource area, at its El Limon-Guajes mine in Guerrero. Some highlighted core length intercepts comprise 19.3 m @ 41.4 g/t Au, 43 g/t Ag, 2.1% Cu; including 5.6 m @ 69.8 g/t Au, 57 g/t Ag, 1.7% Cu; 35.9 m @ 5.7 g/t Au, including 3.5 m @ 32.2 g/t Au and 3.5 m @ 14.1 g/t Au; 4.8 m @ 8.5 g/t Au, 20 g/t Ag, 1.2% Cu; 6.1 m @ 15.7 g/t Au. A 240 m step-out drill hole intercepted 3.6 m @ 11.6 g/t Au. These results confirm the potential for extending the current resource, already defined in an area of 250 m x 150 m. “The Sub-Sill area is located between the El Limon and El Limon Sur ore deposits and under the El Limon Sill. The Sub-Sill area occurs in the Mesozoic carbonate-rich Morelos Platform, which has been intruded by Paleocene granodiorite stocks, sills and dikes. Skarn-hosted gold mineralization is developed along the contacts of the intrusive rocks and the enclosing carbonate-rich sedimentary rocks”.
  • Argonaut Gold Inc. provided updated pit-constrained mineral resource estimates for its El Castillo and La Colorada mines in Durango and Sonora respectively. At El Castillo measured and indicated resources stand at 63.97 M tonnes @ 0.36 g/t Au, and inferred resources at 1.57 M tonnes @ 0.36 g/t Au, for contained 751 K Oz Au and 18 K Oz Au respectively. At La Colorada indicated resources stand at 29.87 M tonnes @ 0.61 g/t Au, 10 g/t Ag and inferred resources of 1.24 M tonnes @ 0.80 g/t Au, 12 g/t Ag, for contained 596 K OZ Au, 9.9 M Oz Ag and 32 K Oz Au, 488 K Oz Ag respectively.
  • Alio Gold Inc. received approval for its change of land use application from SEMARNAT on its Ana Paula project in Guerrero. A definitive feasibility study (DFS) was initiated on July 2017 and is expected to be completed on the second quarter of 2018. The Pre-feasibility study (PFS) contemplated $137 M in capital for construction of the mine, Alio has $64 M of cash on hand and is looking to raise between $90 and $100 M in project financing.

ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

  • Rose Petroleum PLC. Entered into a memorandum of understanding with Magellan Gold Corp. for transferring 100% interest on the San Dieguito de Arriba mill in Nayarit. Magellan is to pay Rose a total consideration of US$1.5 M, with US$1.0 M in cash and US$0.5 M in Magellan restricted common shares. Rose operated the mill for 10 years with ore from its Charay mine in Sinaloa. The company continues to hold the 3,954 has Tango property in Sinaloa, with permitting for drilling Cu-Mo porphyry targets and the Au-Ag vein structure.
  • Alio Gold Inc. has approved the construction of a $16 M, 1,200 m long decline and exploration program at its Ana Paula project in Guerrero. The decline permitting has been approved by SEMARNAT, and mobilization of the contractor is expected to begin in October 2017. In about nine months, once the decline has reached its target, A 20,000 m underground drilling program with 80 holes is to test the high-grade mineralization below the planned pit.
  • Primero Mining Corp. “continues to operate in a cash conservation mode as management works on possible alternatives to refinance or repay its upcoming debt obligation. The Company continues with negotiations on the potential sale of San Dimas or potential renegotiation of its silver stream. Primero had approximately $12 million in cash at August 31st and has fully-drawn its $75 million revolving credit facility (“RCF”). The Company expects to use the proceeds from Black Fox transaction to reduce its total debt position.” “Primero has recently received approximately $4.6 million in Mexican VAT refunds over two instalments in July and August, and is working closely with SAT to arrange for the remaining eligible outstanding VAT amounts totalling $32 million to be refunded in due course.”
  • Soleil Capital Corp. signed a letter of intent (LOI) with Goldplay Exploration Ltd. to create a public TSX listed precious metals exploration company utilizing Goldplay’s exploration strategy and experience in the Rosario district, in Sinaloa. The resulting issuer will be named Goldplay Exploration Ltd.
  • Goldgroup Mining Inc. states that the company was never notified of the court case where DynaResource Inc. was awarded US$48 M (See last week Highlights), and does not recognize any of the claims therein “and is of the belief that such claims are entirely without merit.”

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, high-grade gold milky quartz vein with pyrrothite in Chihuahua, near Batopilas. Photo by Jorge Cirett.

DSCN5549

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