By Jorge Cirett
During the 10th week of the year (March 5th to March 11th, 2018), at least 24 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico, and three articles on mining matters in Mexico published by newspapers. ON MEXICO ISSUES, the Fraser Institute released the results of the 2017 survey on Mining Attractiveness by Jurisdiction, with Mexico stagnant at mid table due to low results on taxation regime, labor disruptions and security perception. The Sonora government is supporting the mining industry with the signature of a collaboration agreement with the Economy Bureau. The governors of Chihuahua and Oaxaca attended the PDAC in Toronto for promoting mining investment in their respective states. Other delegations present were from Durango and Zacatecas. ON EXPLORATION, In Sonora Riverside announced a bigger land position at its Cecilia project; Oceanus has mapped the favorable El Tigre Formation rock package for 5 km in strike length at its El Tigre property; Mexus Gold updated on exploration of its 8 Hermanos property; Millrock disclosed interesting low grade drilling results from its Navidad property; Azure has started the second drill campaign at its Sara Alicia Au-Co property. In Chihuahua VVC Minerals received the permit for drilling its Samalayuca property; Radius updated on exploration at its Amalia project. In Guanajuato, Vangold started the phase two of drilling at its Pinguico property. ON MINING, two companies, Americas Silver and Santacruz Silver presented production results for the quarter and/or full year 2017. Magellan Gold announced the restart of its mill in Nayarit. ON FINANCING, Canuc Resources closed a $1.1 M financing round, Colibri closed the first tranche of a financing round netting $1.08 M. Vangold announced the opening of a financing round for raising up to $2 M. Santacruz Silver obtained a US$2.3 M private loan. Starcore closed a financing round for $125 K with an insider. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Levon Resources released an updated mineral resource report for its Cordero project in Chihuahua. Alio Gold provided an exploration update at its Ana Paula project in Guerrero. Leagold updated its mineral resource estimate for its Los Filos mine and the Bermejal Underground deposits in Guerrero. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Sonoro Metals acted on the LOI to option a group of properties adjacent to its Cerro Caliche property in Sonora. Autlan is to acquire all shares from Metallorum (it already controls an undisclosed percentage), which owns the Lluvia de Oro mine in Sonora.
ON MEXICO ISSUES
- Mexico stays about the same on the investment attractiveness index published yearly by the Fraser Institute. Mexico fell to the 50 (of 91 jurisdictions surveyed) position from the 44 (of 104) on the 2016 survey, affected mainly by low rankings in security, taxation regime and labor regulations/work disruptions. In 2014 Mexico was on the 24 position of 122 surveyed. Chile ranked 8 and Peru 19 on the 2017 survey. Below is the table for the perception of the taxation regime (which presents the effect of the recently imposed royalties as a hard fact). The security perception ranking, along the other rankings can be seen at the following link: (https://www.fraserinstitute.org/sites/default/files/survey-of-mining-companies-2017.pdf).
- The Sonora government is supporting the development of the mining industry in the state with the signature of a collaboration agreement with the Economy Bureau (Secretaría de Economía). The agreement looks to promote investment, better technical assessments, training and cut red tape. The mining industry represents 17% of the state’s GDP, with the state providing 31% of Mexico’s mining production. Sonora’s Governor Claudia Pavlovich has been pushing a proposal on the Deputies Chamber to install a 100% deduction of exploration expenses on the year these are incurred.
- The governors of Chihuahua and Oaxaca attended the PDAC in Toronto Canada to promote mining investment on their states. Both Javier Corral (Chihuahua) and Alejandro Murat (Oaxaca) attended the Mexico Mining Day 2018 and had personal interviews with companies doing business in their states or trying to set a foothold there. Other delegations present were from Durango and Zacatecas.
- VVC Minerals Corp. received the permit for drilling at its Samalayuca property in Chihuahua. The SEMARNAT permit approved 22 new drilling sites, in addition to 13 already approved. The drilling is to focus on La Gloria Extension area, La Concha pit area, La Zorra zone and the Julianna, Suerte and Trinidad areas. The completed and proposed drilling cover 7 Km of strike length on the property.
- Vangold Mining Corp. concludes phase 1 drilling, starts phase 2 drilling at El Pinguico property in Guanajuato. Vangold completed five of 15 drill holes targeting the underground stockpiles (backfill) on the El Pinguico vein, with poor recoveries and grades. While a better method of assessing these stockpiles is researched, the company has initiated the phase 2 drilling campaign targeting the lower El Pinguico vein extension below the old workings, 300 m below the surface.
- Riverside Resources Inc. announced that it has been granted the mineral rights to the Cecilia 1 concession, increasing the ground held on the Cecilia project in Sonora to almost 6,000 hectares. Epithermal Au-Ag mineralization is associated to a rhyolite flow-dome setting.
- Oceanus Resources Corp. updated on its exploration efforts on El Tigre property in Sonora. The El Tigre Formation is the rock package that host the historic El Tigre mine, which operated from 1903 to 1938, producing 353 K Oz Au and 67.4 M Oz Ag; the favorable El Tigre Formation has been now traced for 5 km.
- Mexus Gold US. presented an update on exploration of its 8 Hermanos and Scorpio_370 claims in Sonora. Mexus controls 2,800 hectares in an area with sedimentary rocks intruded by granodiorite, dioritic dikes and a diorite porphyry, all covered in turn by Tertiary volcanic tuffs and flows. Three samples from the 370 concession returned 9 g/t Au, 41 g/t Ag; 47 g/t Au, 33 g/t Ag; 10 g/t Au, 8 g/t Ag. Porphyry copper potential is highlighted on a report (no alteration is described).
- Radius Gold Inc. provided an update on exploration at the Amalia project in Chihuahua. The 10,380 ha project has Au-Ag mineralization defined over 2 km of strike length in high level chalcedonic veins, stockworks and breccias and deeper level structurally controlled higher grade mineralization. “Radius continues to advance the Amalia project and is currently permitting drilling and bulldozer trenching.” Recent channel sampling returned 4.5 m @ 10.3 g/t Au, 202 g/t Ag, extending the total strike length of the high-level epithermal mineralization of the Campamento zone to 500 m.
- Millrock Resources Inc. reported on first phase core drilling at its La Navidad project in Sonora, funded by earn-in partner Centerra Gold. In total, 2,130 m were drilled in 12 holes, with several anomalous intersections, like: 17.2 m @ 0.75 g/t Au (including 1 m @ 9.05 g/t Au); 15.65 m @ 0.60 g/t Au; 18.30 m @ 0.33 g/t Au; 18.0 m @ 0.12 g/t Au; 6.00 m @ 0.26 g/t Au; 5.90 m @ 0.45 g/t Au; 57.0 m @ 0.29 g/t Au; 16.6 m @ 0.35 g/t Au.
- Azure Minerals Ltd. announced the start of the second drilling campaign on its Sara Alicia project in Sonora. “The Sara Alicia mineralised zone consists of carbonate rocks intruded by a porphyry. This intrusive event caused strong alteration and mineralising reactions in the limestones to form a skarn body which hosts massive and semi-massive sulphides containing the cobalt and gold mineralisation”. The first phase of this drilling campaign is to comprise 1,000 m in 10-12 holes, targeting along-strike and down-dip extensions. The second phase is planned to complete a 50 x 50 m drill pattern over the mineralized body.
- Americas Silver Corp. reported 4Q and year-end financial results for 2017, including some figures from its operations in Mexico. The San Rafael mine in Sinaloa declared commercial production on December 19, 2017, and was constructed for $16.3 M, 32% lower than the initial project guidance. For 2018 the company plans to produce 1.6 to 2.0 M Oz Ag and 7.2 to 8.0 M Oz AgEq. Cash balance at the end of December was $9.3 M, with net working capital of $11.8 M.
- Santacruz Silver Mining Ltd. reported operating results for the fourth quarter and full year 2017. Santacruz produced 865.4 K Oz AgEq during the year, including 139.7 K Oz AgEq during the fourth quarter. At Veta Grande in Zacatecas 102.1 K tonnes were milled @ 100 g/t Ag (127 g/t AgEq) and Ag recovery of 61% to produce 201.3 K Oz Ag, 424 Oz Au, 466 tonnes Pb, 803 tonnes Zn during the year. At Rosario in San Luis Potosi, 78.9 K tonnes were milled @ 52 g/t Ag (205 g/t AgEq) and a recovery of 85% Ag to produce 112.6 K Oz Ag, 1,007 Oz Au, 157 tonnes Pb, 1,489 tonnes Zn during the same period.
- Magellan Gold Corp. announced it has rehired employees and is restarting its 100% owned SDA mill in Nayarit. Operations are initially to reprocess tailing located at the site, with recovery of precious metals expected to defray holding costs of the mill while new ore sources are acquired. The mill last operated in November 2017 and processed third-party ore on a toll basis.
- Canuc Resources Corp. closed a non-brokered private placement financing with gross proceeds of $1.1 M (San Javier, Sonora).
- Colibri Resource Corp. has closed an over-subscribed first tranche on its previously announced $1 M financing, raising gross proceeds of $1.077 M. Total gross proceeds to be raised between the two tranches is expected to be $1.2 M (Pilar, Sonora).
- Vangold Mining Corp. announced a non-brokered private placement financing to raise up to $2 M, and fund the phase 2 drill program targeting the lower El Pinguico vein extension, and general working capital.
- Santacruz Silver Mining Ltd. has arranged a loan from a private Bolivian mining company, for US$2.3 M. The loan bears interest at 9% per annum, is repayable July 1st, 2018, and is unsecured (Veta Grande, Zacatecas; Rosario, San Luis Potosi).
- Starcore International Mines Ltd. announced the closing of its non-brokered private placement to an insider, for gross proceeds of $125 K (San Martin, Queretaro).
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
- Levon Resources Ltd. announced an updated NI-43-101 mineral resource estimate and a 2018 preliminary economic assessment (PEA) for the Cordero project in Chihuahua. The new estimate includes 990 M tonnes of ore @ 12.8 g/t Ag, 0.37% Zn, 0.17% Pb, 0.04 g/t Au as indicated resources and 282.2 M tonnes @ 20.7 g/t Ag, 0.75% Zn, 0.30% Pb, 0.04 g/t Au as inferred resources. The said resource contains 595 M Oz Ag, 1.63 M Oz Au, 12.7 B Lb Zn, 5.6 B Lb Pb in the indicated and inferred categories. The PEA includes an open pit mining rate of 40 K tpd (tonnes per day) to produce mineral concentrate, an annual production of 8 M Oz Ag, 44.8 K tonnes Zn, 31.1 K tonnes Pb, 11,900 Oz Au. Over the 29 year mine life on the PEA, 231 M Oz Ag, 2,863 M Lb Zn, 1,992 M Lb Pb would be produced.” Metallurgy is simple (side by side lead and zinc conventional flotation mills) with 88% overall recoveries after three rounds of bench-scale testing”.
- Alio Gold Inc. provided an update on exploration of its Ana Paula project in Guerrero. To date 1,300 m of the planned 3,800 m of surface drilling have been completed (two of six diamond drill holes), intersecting breccia mineralization as expected and awaiting assay results. Two new breccia targets were discovered by mapping within 1.5 km of the limit of the proposed pit, showing magmatic and hydrothermal breccia mineralization with traces of pyrite and arsenopyrite.
- Leagold Mining Corp. has filed a NI-43-101 technical report for the Los Filos mine in Guerrero. For Los Filos and Bermejal Underground deposits, measured and indicated resources amount to 13.53 M Oz Au, while inferred resources stand at 6.28 M Oz Au (Almost 20 million ounces of gold!).
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- Sonoro Metals Corp. has executed on the letter of intent (LOI) of an option agreement on the Rosario group of properties in Sonora. The Rosario concessions are adjacent to Sonoro’s Cerro Caliche property, covering 403.5 hectares, thereby increasing Sonoro’s land holdings in the area to 1,455 hectares. Sonoro is to acquire 100% interest on the property by paying the vendor (a Tucson resident) US$1.6 M payable in escalating cash installments over 72 months, with the initial installment of US$60 K payable on execution. The vendor is to retain 2% NSR, same that can be bought by Sonoro by US1 M for each one percent.
- Compañía Minera Autlán SAB de CV. is to acquire all the shares of Metallorum Holding, which owns the Lluvia de Oro mine in Sonora. The company is to invest US$25 M in the next three years to increase its manganese and ferroalloys production capacity.
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, beautiful quartz vein with bladed calcite pseudomorphs at the museum of El Oro mining district in Estado de Mexico.