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

During the 46th week of the year (November 13th to November 19th, 2017), at least 33 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico, including four quarterly reports. ON MEXICO ISSUES: The Mexican environmental agency (PROFEPA) suspended Santacruz Silver Mining Ltd. operations at the Veta Grande mill in Zacatecas. ON EXPLORATION: six companies informed on exploration efforts during the week: In Sonora Aztec Minerals announced drilling is underway at the Cervantes project; Colibri has new drill targets at El Pilar project. In Chihuahua, Silver Spruce is on the drill permitting process stage for its Pino de Plata property; Endeavour released drill results with bulk mining potential at its Parral project. In Coahuila Alset Minerals  applied for over 400 K hectares of ground in mining concessions, looking for lithium brines. In Sinaloa, Santana Minerals disclosed high-grade historical assays from the Lupita prospect, in its Cuitaboca project.  ON MINING: Mag Silver, Leagold Mining, Primero Mining and Starcore International presented quarterly results. Vangold Mining informed of a sampling program to measure the backfill resource at the Pinguico property in Guanajuato. Telson Resources delivered the first concentrates from Campo Morado, in Guerrero. In Zacatecas, operations at Santacruz Silver’s mill in Vetagrande, Zacatecas were suspended by PROFEPA. ON FINANCING: This was definitely a good week, with six companies reporting the opening or closing of financing rounds: VVC Exploration, Over CA$2.6 M; MAG Silver, $48.16 M; Kootenay Silver, $4 M; Gainey Capital, $717.8 K (for a total of $1.96 M). ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT: Mexican Gold Corp released high grade results from four step out holes at its Las Minas property in Veracruz. Consolidated Zinc is modifying its plans to mill over 250 K tonnes per annum at its Plomosas property in Chihuahua. Silver Bull released high-grade Ag-Cu drill results from drilling the sulfide zone at its Sierra Mojada property in Coahuila. Oceanus disclosed high-grade results from the first hole on its new drill campaign at El Tigre, in Sonora.  ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES: Argonaut Gold is to acquire the Cerro del Gallo property in Guanajuato, from Primero mining, for US$15 M, including VAT.

ON MEXICO ISSUES

  • PROFEPA (Mexico’s environmental enforcement agency) temporarily suspended operations at the Vetagrande mill in Zacatecas, citing inadequate atmospheric emission controls. Santacruz Silver Mining Ltd. failed to present an environmental permit, equipment maintenance registers or an inventory of atmospheric emissions. Primero Mining received VAT refunds from the SAT (Servicio de Administracion Tributaria) of $4.6 M during Q3, and $10.6 M during October.

ON EXPLORATION

  • Alset Minerals Corp. staked and filed mineral claims for over 400 K hectares of prospective lithium-rich salars in Coahuila. The claims contain the dry lagoons of Mayran (one of the biggest dry lakes in Mexico), Viesca and Los Remedios, in an area of 150 km (N-S) by 125 km (E-W). At Viesca there is history of commercial brine extraction by Sulfatos de Viesca.
  • Aztec Minerals Corp. along with partner Kootenay Silver Inc. announced that phase one of the drilling program is underway at its Cervantes project in Sonora. The program consists of 3,000 m on 14 to 17 holes to test: 1) A gold anomaly in soil and rock chip surveys 600 m by 900 m over quartz-feldspar porphyry and intrusive breccias at the California prospect. 2) Au-Cu mineralization on the Jasper target. 3) A geophysical chargeability/resistivity anomaly.
  • Colibri Resource Corp. is changing the mineralization model at its El Pilar project in Sonora. The mineralization is hosted in andesites along the contact with a granodiorite, but recent drilling confirmed that a supposed strike slip fault is not present, increasing the potential for gold carrying pyrite rich zones associated to two structures in the andesites. New drill targets have been defined, with chargeability anomalies also to be tested.
  • Silver Spruce Resources Inc. has restarted the permitting process for initiating a drill program at its Pino de Plata project in Chihuahua. Drill companies have visited the 397 hectares property and are to submit bids on the drilling program that is to test three zones. The El Terrero target consists of disseminated epithermal mineralization in intrusive rocks, with grab samples of up to 557 g/t Ag. The Teodora vein targets have verification samples with up to 553 g/t Ag. The Santa Elena target area shows replacement Ag-Pb-Zn-Cu mineralization.
  • Endeavour Silver Corp. discovered additional potential bulk tonnage silver mineralization in the Palmilla area of its Parral project in Chihuahua. “ Endeavour drilling has outlined lower grade, bulk tonnage mineralization above and along strike of the old workings that may be amenable to open pit mining”. The true width mineralized intervals averaged 10.1 m @ 92 g/t Ag, 0.2% Pb, 0.4% Zn (Each mineralized interval on one of the Capuzaya, Palmilla and La Luz veins). Endeavour has already an historic resource at the Veta Colorada vein, and is continuing with drilling at the San Patricio vein. A new resource for the Parral property is to be released by Q1, 2018.
  • Santana Minerals Ltd. disclosed a review of historic data that shows high-grade silver mineralization in the La Lupita prospect, part of its Cuitaboca project in Sinaloa. Of a total of 24 samples collected by Peñoles in a 130 m long stretch, nine returned values between 200 g/t Ag and 786 g/t Ag, with an average (on the 24 samples) of 220 g/t Ag, 0.3 g/t Au. Previously reported saw channel sampling by Santana on the same zone returned 7 m @ 161 g/t Ag, 1.1 m @ 158 g/t Ag, 2.9 m @ 281 g/t Ag, 1.65 m @ 514 g/t Ag.

ON MINING

  • Vangold Mining Corp. started a grading and sampling campaign on the surface 200 K stockpile at its Pinguico property in Guanajuato. The company also intends to clean the underground workings in order to access and sample the mine back fill, which they estimate to have the potential to reach 500 K tonnes. The back fill comprises material that did not reach the 15 g/t Au cut off that was being mined in 1913. Both above ground and underground material is to be tested metallurgicaly to define processing methods.
  • Mag Silver Corp. released its third quarter 2017 financial results. During the quarter underground development has been intensified to allow for a planned increase to 4,000 tpd in mining rate, permitting is in process for the planned production increase, and a 20,000 m exploration drill program commenced in July, with three rigs on the surface and one underground. An independent feasibility study (FS) is due by early 2018. The company had $121.6 M in cash and cash equivalents at the end of the period. A new expanded resource estimate was presented on November 7, 2017.
  • Telson Resources Inc. delivered the first zinc concentrates produced at its Campo Morado mine in Guerrero, to Trafigura’s warehouse in Manzanillo, Colima. Up to the first week of November, Telson has produced more than 800 tonnes of zinc concentrate and more than 250 tonnes of lead concentrate.
  • Leagold Mining Corp. reported Q3 2017 production from Los Filos in Guerrero. During the quarter 7,6 M tonnes were moved and 2.1 M tonnes of ore mined @ 0.67 g/t Au, 98 K tonnes were mined from underground @ 7.43 g/t Au, with a recovery rate of 70% (estimated at 80% from underground material) to produce 47,766 Oz Au at an all-sustaining cost (AISC) of $993. An expanded resource estimate for the Bermejal underground deposit was released, and 38,581 m of a 56,000 m drilling campaign were also completed. The company held $52.9 M of cash and cash equivalents at the end of the period.
  • Primero Mining Corp. reported operating and financial results for the third quarter 2017. At San Dimas in Durango, 110.2 K tonnes were mined and 114.7 K tonnes milled (1,246 tpd) @ 4.78 g/t Au, 301 g/t Ag, recovering 97% Au, 94% Ag, to produce 17,070 Oz Au, 1.1 M Oz Ag (or 20,537 Oz AuEq), at cash cost $884 AuEq and AISC of $1,117 per ounce. Production at San Dimas was affected by persistent issues with underground equipment reliability which impacted development and stoping, and a strike by unionized workers over the negotiation of the 2016 annual workers’ bonus. Cash at end of period was $14,9 M, which increased to $22 M by the end of October.
  • Starcore International Mines Ltd. announced production results for the second quarter of fiscal 2018, ended on October 31st, 2017. During the quarter 69.7 K tonnes were milled @ 1.56 g/t Au, 13.6 g/t Ag, recovering 80.9% Au and 54% Ag, to produce 2,739 AuEq Oz. the Altiplano Facility received 137.2 K tonnes of concentrate and 311 Kg of precipitates containing 197 Oz Au, 13,650 Oz Ag. Also during the quarter 94 Oz Au and 20.3 K Oz Ag were sold.
  • Santacruz Silver Mining Ltd. reported that the Mexican Environmental Protection Agency (PROFEPA) requested that the subsidiary operating the Veta Grande mill hold the environmental license directly on its name. The documents were submitted on November 8th, and the company expects the imminent resumption of operations at the mill. The mining operations and mill maintenance have continued through this time period.

ON FINANCING

  • VVC Exploration Corp. issued last week shares and warrants for CA$1.4 M, pursuant to the first closing, shares and warrants were issued for gross proceeds of CA$1.26 M. Insiders of the company subscribed for an aggregate of CA$200 K (Samalayuca, Chihuahua).
  • MAG Silver Corp. announced a non-brokered private placement with some shareholders for up to $44 M in gross proceeds. Later on the week MAG informed that the offering was increased for total gross proceeds of $ $48.16 M. MAG intends to use the net proceeds of the offering to fund exploration and development of the Juanicipio Project, in Zacatecas, and for working capital and general corporate purposes (Juanicipio, Zacatecas).
  • Kootenay Silver Inc. announced the opening of a non-brokered private placement of up to $4 M (La Cigarra, Chihuahua).
  • Gainey Capital Corp. closed the second and final tranche of its previously announced private placement, for gross proceeds of $ 717.8 K. Total gross proceeds for the offering are $1.96 M (El Colomo, Nayarit).
  • Mexican Gold Corp. informed its largest share holder, Palisade Global Investments Ltd. exercised warrants for gross proceeds of $833 K (Las Minas, Veracruz).

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

  • Mexican Gold Corp. released results from four step-out holes at its Las Minas project in Veracruz. The highlighted intervals include: 54.0 m @ 3.9 g/t Au, 13 g/t Ag, 1.7% Cu (including 38 m @ 5.4 g/t Au, 17 g/t Ag, 2.2% Cu); 19.0 m @ 2.1 g/t Au, 0.2% Cu (including 5.0 m @ 4.6 g/t Au, 0.4% Cu); 21.35 m @ 1.3 g/t Au, 0.7% Cu (including 11.35 m @ 2.2 g/t Au, 1.0% Cu) in one hole, and 9.0 m @ 0.9 g/t Au, 11 g/t Ag, 1.4% Cu; 8.0 m @ 1.3 g/t Au, 0.4% Cu; 12.80 m @ 0.8 g/t Au, 8 g/t Ag, 1.2% Cu. The drilling increased the strike width of the initial resource to 365 m (a 65 m increase) by 395 m. The rig is back to this zone to commence infill and resource expansion drilling near the drill intercept outlined above.
  • Consolidated Zinc Ltd. is expanding the plans outlined in the recent scoping study on its Plomosas property in Chihuahua. The company is now evaluating the opportunity targeting over 250 K tonnes per annum over a mine life of 7 to 10 years.
  • Silver Bull Resources Inc. released results from the sulfide zone at its Sierra Mojada property in Coahuila. Highlighted drill intercepts comprise: 16 m @ 396 g/t Ag, 1.6% Cu (including 5 m @ 379 g/t Ag, 3.2% Cu; 6 m @ 610 g/t Ag, 1.1% Cu); 7 m @ 370 g/t Ag, 0.8% Cu; 4.8 m @ 352 g/t Ag, 0.6% Cu. The sulfide zone sits below the current Sierra Mojada’s oxide resource, along a steeply dipping fault, remaining open to depth and over 3 km along strike.
  • Oceanus Resources Corp. reported results from the first hole of the current drill campaign in the Caleigh vein at its El Tigre property in Sonora. The hole returned 0.75 m @ 10.9 g/t Au, 2,830 g/t Ag, encountering also the low grade hanging wall alteration zone adjacent to the vein, with 25.75 m @ 0.65 g/t Au, 92 g/t Ag. “The true width has not been calculated for the intercepts, however true width is generally estimated at 75% to 90% of drilled width.”

ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

  • Argonaut Gold Inc. reached an agreement with Primero Mining Corp. regarding the acquisition of the Cerro del Gallo project in Guanajuato. Under the deal Argonaut is to purchase all the shares of the Primero Mining subsidiary that holds the property for a cash consideration of $15 M (including VAT), payable on closing.

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, beautifully banded epithermal quartz vein from a prospect on the Durango Altiplano. Photo by Jorge Cirett.

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