During the 44th week of the year (October 30th to November 5th, 2017), at least 33 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico, including nine quarterly reports. ON MEXICO ISSUES: No relevant news. ON EXPLORATION: seven companies informed on exploration efforts during the week: In Sonora SilverCrest informed on metallurgical test results from drill core material of its Las Chispas property; Riverside continues with ground magnetics, an IP survey and soil sampling on its Glor project, funded by Centerra; Minaurum released good drilling results from its Alamos property. In Chihuahua Golden Goliath continues exploration at San Timoteo; Prospero Silver prepares to drill its Bermudez project. In Sinaloa, Auxico released metallurgical results from its Zamora property. In Zacatecas Defiance Silver commenced a two rig drill campaign on the Veta Grande vein in its San Acacio project. ON MINING: Great Panther, Grupo Mexico, Endeavour Silver, Americas Silver, Excellon, Alamos Gold, McEwen Gold, Argonaut and First Majestic reported third quarter results. In Sonora, Corex Gold is testing different crushing sizes for the heaps, and received the first compensation for gold produced at its Santana property. In Zacatecas, Starcore removed all senior personnel from its Matehuala plant. ON FINANCING: San Marco completed a private placement for $1.26 M and Vangold is to raise up to $1.57 M with a non-brokered private placement. Telson signed a $15 M credit facility with Trafigura. GoGold is to repay a $46.5 M debt and a $7.5 M credit with the proceeds of the sale of Santa Gertrudis. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT: Starcore highlighted the increase in resources, metallurgical testing and work on the scoping study on its Plomosas property. Almaden reported grades on one more in-fill hole at its Ixtaca property. Bacanora secured access to its Sonora property. Hecla provide high-grade exploration results on its San Sebastian mine. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES: Vangold executed the purchase agreement of land on its Pinguico property. GoGold announced the completion of the sale of the Santa Gertrudis project to Agnico Eagle.
ON MEXICO ISSUES
- No Relevant News.
- SilverCrest Metals Inc. disclosed results from initial metallurgical sampling of mineralization from its Las Chispas property in Sonora. These results show that Las Chispas mineralization appears to be amenable to standard cyanidation processing, with average recoveries of 98.9% Au, 86.6% Ag. Nineteen core samples were combined into three bulk composites, with partly oxidized and non-oxidized material. Further metallurgical test work is to be completed after the announcement of a maiden resource in Q1 2018.
- Auxico Resources Canada Inc. released metallurgical results from a 2 Kg metallurgical sample from a volcanic breccia in the footwall of the Campanillas mine, at its Zamora property in Sinaloa. The test returned 13.8% Au, 8.6% Ag recovery by gravity, 67.8% Au, 89.1% recovery by flotation, for total recoveries of 71.6% Au, 92.9% Ag.
- Defiance Silver Corp. commenced a two-rigs phase II 5,000 m drill core program targeting new high-grade silver shoots along 900 m of the Veta Grande vein, SE from the San Acacio deposit in Zacatecas.
- Golden Goliath Resources Ltd. received a report on its San Timoteo property in Chihuahua. The report stresses the presence of several strong systems of mineralized structures with potential for bonanza zones and a deeper Cu-Au porphyry system. Known zones within the Level 5 of the San Timoteo vein contain a 78 m long shoot @ 0.6 g/t Au, 68 g/t Ag and a 32 m long shoot @ 0.3 g/t Au, 212 g/t Ag.
- Riverside Resources Inc. updated on exploration work in progress at its Glor property in Sonora, alongside its partner Centerra Gold Inc.. The work is focusing on the central part of the property, where samples of up to 14 g/t Au have been collected, with a detailed ground magnetic survey covering 210 hectares with 80 line-kilometers, 14 line-kilometers on an induced polarization survey, and an 850 sample soil program.
- Prospero Silver Corp. received all necessary permits to carry a first-pass drill program at Bermudez, in Chihuahua. Prospero can now proceed with a drilling campaign funded by Fortuna Silver Mines Inc. to test a low sulfidation epithermal vein system exposed over a 2.5 km by 50-100 m area. Anomalous Au, Ag, Ba and Zn, along with the quartz vein textures support the interpretation of this being a shallow zone in the epithermal system.
- Minaurum Gold Inc. released results from the first five holes (1,342 m) at its Alamos project in Sonora. Relevant intercepts on the Promontorio vein: 20.15 m @ 154 g/t Ag, 0.23 g/t Au, 0.5% Cu, 2.3% Pb, 6.8% Zn; 8.50 m @ 81 g/t Ag, 0.13 g/t Au, 0.1% Cu, 3.2% Pb, 2.7% Zn; 3.15 M @ 322 g/t Ag, 0.28 g/t Au, 0.5% Cu, 1.6% Pb, 3.3% Zn. At the Blind Vein/Southern Nueva Europa target an interval of 0.25 m @ 8 g/t Ag, 0.9% Pb, 2.4% Zn validated the idea of blind veins on the area. At the Minas Nuevas target the 17.65 m @ 96 g/t Ag and 13.05 m @ 54 g/t Ag intercepts confirm the potential for bulk-tonnage orebodies.
- Starcore International Mines Ltd. is changing its senior management and sales personnel at the Altiplano processing plant in Matehuala, San Luis Potosi. Operational duties will be assumed by existing Starcore management, assisted by the services of a newly appointed consultant specializing in the procurement of concentrates.
- Great Panther Silver Ltd. reported financial results for the third quarter 2017. Consolidated production was 532.8 K Oz Ag, 5,848 Oz Au, at a cash cost of $12.37 per AgEq Oz and AISC of $16.42 per AgEq Oz. The company held $55.5 M of cash and short term deposits at the end of the period.
- Grupo Mexico S.A.B. de C.V. presented its Q3 report for 2017. During the period the Buenavista expansion in Sonora was completed in time, and US$101 M under the budgeted US$3,265 M, increasing the Cu production from 180 K to 500 K tonnes per year. The crushing and conveyor belt system for leaching material was also finished on time and US$117 M below the US$444 M budget. At the Buenavista Zinc project, basic engineering has been completed and the detailed engineering phase commenced; this project is to produce 80 K tonnes of Zn and 20 K tonnes of Cu per year, starting on 2020. At Pilares, an open pit mine is to produce ore for the La Caridad mill; an investment of $159 M is expected, in order to produce 34.5 K tonnes of Cu/year by 2019. During the period, 262.7 K tonnes of copper (at cash cost US$1.08), 5,581 tonnes of moly, 18,857 tonnes of zinc, 3.6 M Oz Ag, 43,665 Oz Au, 717.6 K tonnes of sulfuric acid were produced.
- Corex Gold Corp. received US$278.7 K from gold recovered from the first gold-in-carbon concentrate from the Santana heap-leach project in Sonora. The company is testing different crushing sizes for the ore material staked on the heaps.
- Americas Silver Corp. announced financial and production results for the third quarter of 2017, including figures from its Mexican operations. At the Cosalá operations in Sinaloa, with ore from the Nuestra Señora, El Cajón and San Rafael mines 134.7 K tonnes were processed @ 74 g/t Ag, to produce 277.7 K Oz Ag, 1.43 M Lb Zn, 793 K Lb Pb, 507 K Lb Cu, or 528.8 AgEq Oz. The operations are transitioning from Nuestra Señora mine to the newly developed San Rafael mine, from where all the ore to be processed is expected to be mined during November. Cash cost and All-in sustaining cost was $3.16 per silver ounce. The company had $8.7 M in cash and cash equivalents at the end of the period.
- Endeavour Silver Corp. presented its third quarter 2017 financial report. During the period 1.26 M Oz Ag, 13,648 Oz Au were produced at its Guanaceví (Durango), Bolañitos (Jalisco) and El Cubo (Guanajuato) at cash cost $11.74 per Oz Ag and AISC $17.53 per Oz Ag. Development commenced at El Compas mine in Zacatecas, where additional prospective ground was acquired, and permits were received for the mine and plant at Terronera, Jalisco. The company had $70.3 M at the end of the period.
- Excellon Resources Inc. released its third quarter 2017 financial results. During the period its Platosa mine in Durango mined 18.1 K tonnes, processed 19.9 K tonnes @ 409 g/t Ag, 4.4% Pb, 6.1% Zn. Recoveries stood at 87.6% Ag, 81.8% Pb, 81.1% Zn, to produce 226.2 K Oz Ag, 1.58 M Lb Pb, 2.17 M Lb Zn, or 500.7 K AgEq ounces at cash ton per ton of $208, cash cost of $2.46 per Ag Oz and AISC of $11.62. The optimization plan has resulted in drier mining conditions and significantly improved the cash cost and AISC per Ag Oz produced. The company is currently applying to become a “qualified user” under the recent energy reforms, which will allow Excellon to access the private market for electricity, a key cost on the water pumping to maintain dry mining conditions.
- Alamos Gold Inc. reported its financial results for the third quarter of 2017, including figures from its Mulatos and El Chante operations in Sonora. At Mulatos (including numbers from La Yaqui, which started commercial production in September first) 2.34 M tonnes of ore and 1.46 M tonnes of waste were mined from open pits, with 1.75 M tonnes @ 0.96 g/t Au stacked on the heaps, while 30.8 K tonnes milled from underground feed @ 10.05 g/t Au, to produce 36,300 Oz Au at cash cost $785 per Oz Au and mine-site AISC of $864 per Oz Au. At El Chanate 1.62 M tonnes of ore and 5.19 M tonnes of waste were mined (2.19 waste to ore ratio) @ 0.48 g/t Au, to produce 14,900 Oz Au at cash cost $1,137 per Oz Au and AISC $1,164 per Oz Au.
- McEwen Mining Inc. reported consolidated financial results for Q3 2017, with figures from its Mexican operations. During the period 7,189 Oz Au were produced at its El Gallo property in Sinaloa. Production was impacted by the failure of the crushing circuit, impacting the amount of ore placed on the heaps. The failure to the crushing equipment has been corrected and a mobile crusher was added to speed up the placing of ore material on the heaps
- Argonaut Gold Inc. released third quarter 2017 operating and financial results. At El Castillo in Durango 1.7 M tonnes of ore @ 0.28 g/t Au and 2.4 M tonnes of waste were moved (45 K tonnes per day, tpd, at a waste to ore ratio of 1.40) to produce 11,437 Oz Au and cash cost of $947 per Oz Au. At San Agustin in Durango, pre-commercial production included 1.3 M tonnes of ore and 303 K tonnes of waste moved, with 1.23 M tonnes @ 0.42 g/t Au placed to the pads, to recover 2,690 Oz Au, 16.9 K Oz Ag. At La Colorada in Sonora, 1.1 M tonnes of ore and 4.5 M tonnes of waste were moved (61 K tpd, waste to ore ratio of 4.11), placing 1.3 M tonnes @ 0.50 g/t Au on the heaps to produce 9,518 Oz Au, 21.7 K Oz Ag. Total production from these three mines in Mexico was 23,645 Oz Au, 38.6 K Oz Ag.
- First Majestic Silver Corp. announced third quarter 2017 financial results. First Majestic has six mies in Mexico: Santa Elena in Sonora, La Escondida in Coahuila, La Parrilla in Durango, Del Toro in Zacatecas, San Martin in Jalisco and La Guitarra in Estado de Mexico. The consolidated production was 2.4 M Oz Ag, or 4.0 M Oz AgEq at a cash cost of $8.52 and AISC of $15.73 per Oz Ag. At the end of the period the company had $120.8 M in cash and cash equivalents, with $34.7 M in debt facilities.
- Vangold mining Corp. is to go ahead with a non-brokered private placement that can accrue up to $1.575 M in gross proceeds. The proceeds are to be used on its Pinguico property in Guanajuato, and for general working capital (Pinguico, Guanajuato).
- Telson Resources Inc. signed a term sheet of a loan facility and off-take agreement with Trafigura Mexico S.A. de C.V., to sell 100% of the Pb and Zn concentrate produced at the Tahuehueto mine in Durango, from January 2018 to December 2022. Trafigura is to provide Telson a $15 M credit facility upon signing formal agreements.
- San Marco Resources Inc. completed its previously announced private placement for gross proceeds of $1.26 M, with insiders of the company acquiring over 14% of the issued units. Finder’s fees of $52,283 were paid to four parties (Chunibas and 1068 project, Sonora).
- Silver Spruce Resources Inc. closed its non-brokered private placement, raising gross proceeds of $132 K, paying $2.5 K as finder’s fee (Pino de Plata, Chihuahua).
- GoGold Resources Inc. informed that after receiving US$80 M on the sale of its Santa Gertrudis project in Sonora is to use the proceeds to pay in full it’s outstanding US$46.5 M revolving credit facility with the Bank of Montreal and repay the principal and interest on the US$7.5 M loan advanced by Agnico. GoGold is debt free and has a strong cash balance (Parral tailings, Chihuahua).
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
- Consolidated Zinc Ltd. presented its third quarter 2017 report, highlighting its activities at its Plomosas property in Chihuahua. During the period the mineral resource estimate was increased to 968 K tonnes @ 15.9% Zn+Pb, for 154 K tonnes of contained metal. Metallurgical test work from the Tres Amigos sulfide zone indicate Zn recoveries >90%. The Scoping Study (SS) is near completion, with focus on the Tres Amigos and Las Espadas zones. Additional high-grade Zn+Pb mineralization has been identified, and regional exploration re-commenced.
- Almaden Minerals Ltd. released assay results from one of the holes from the resource infill drilling program at its Ixtaca deposit in Puebla. The hole returned 180 m @ 1.25 g/t Au, 54 g/t Ag, including 32.5 m @ 2.02 g/t Au, 109 g/t Ag; and 24.15 m @ 1.58 g/t Au, 103 g/t Ag; and 25.0 m @ 4.08 g/t Au, 92 g/t Ag.
- Bacanora Minerals Ltd. announced that access and surface rights have been secured for its Sonora project in Sonora. “The access and surface rights mainly relate to the land area covering mineral resources contained within the La Ventana, Fleur and El Sauz areas”.
- Hecla Mining Co. provided an update on its explorations programs, including information on its San Sebastian project in Durango, where three rigs were active on the Middle, Francine and West Francine veins. In-fill drilling on the Middle vein has returned continuous veins averaging 1.07 m (true width) @ 8.09 g/t Au, 1,708 g/t Ag; 1.34 m @ 5.91 g/t Au, 1,285 g/t Ag. New drilling 100 m west and down dip of current development has intercepted 1.22 m @ 0.62 g/t Au, 295 g/t Ag, 3% Cu, 2% Pb, 5% Zn; 1.65 m @ 2.18 g/t Au, 373 g/t Ag, 4% Cu, 6% Pb, 9% Zn. On the Francine vein, 182 m W from the Hugh resource area, two holes intersected 1.10 m @ 0.31 g/t Au, 886 g/t Ag, 6% Cu, 9% Pb, 14% Zn; 1.04 m @ 0.31 g/t Au, 613 g/t Ag; 3% Cu, 12% Pb, 13% Zn. A hole 750 m to the west of the Hugh zone intersected 3.66 m @ 0.31 g/t Au, 193 g/t Ag, 2% Cu, 3% Pb, 4% Zn. Drilling on the East Francine vein, 350 m east of existing workings, intercepted 3.90 m @ 0.3 g/t Au, 460 g/t Ag; drilling along the adjacent East Middle vein intersected 2.44 m @ 1.56 g/t Au, 236 g/t Ag.
- Alamos Gold Inc. drilled 5,394 m in 42 holes at La Yaqui Grande Deposit in Sonora during the third quarter 2017. True width Intercepts from the zone 3 are believed to be 80-90% of the reported longitude of 35.6 m @ 3.07 g/t Au; 10.80 m @ 6.21 g/t Au; 12.5 m @ 0.88 g/t Au; 22.10 m @ 2.31 g/t Au; 21.3 m @ 1.71 g/t Au; 7.90 m @ 3.80 g/t Au; 5.90 m @ 3.15 g/t Au; 12.0 m @ 0.82 g/t Au; 11.10 m @ 1.88 g/t Au; 15.30 m @ 1.82 g/t Au; 20.0 m @ 1.24 g/t Au; 13.60 m @ 0.55 g/t Au. A number of new prospects are undergoing initial exploration in the 28,777 hectares land package that Alamos Gold holds in the Mulatos district.
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- Vangold Mining Corp. executed the land purchase agreement with two private land owners at its El Pinguico property in Guanajuato. The 302 hectares land package includes El Pinguico property and provides significant land area for mining infrastructure. Vangold is committed to pay two annual installments of CDN $4,500 with a final payment of CDN $65 K on the third anniversary.
- GoGold Resources Inc. announced the completion of the sale to Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. of the Santa Gertrudis project in Sonora. GoGold received total cash consideration of US$80 M and was granted a 2% NSR, of which 50% can be repurchased for US$7.5 M.
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On the picture below, argillitized porphyritic intrusive rock with minor quartz veining from a gold-copper prospect of the Durango Altiplano. Photo by Jorge Cirett.