By Jorge Cirett
During the 42nd week of the year (October 15th to October 21st, 2018), at least 31 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico. San Marco and Odyssey released advances in exploration. Galore Resources and Aura Minerals released news on mining, while Avino Silver, First Majestic, Premier Gold and Gold Resource reported Q3 production results. Sonoro Metals, First Majestic, Azucar Minerals and Plata Latina reported news related to financing. Telson, Azure, Candelaria and Goldplay reported on advances on its properties. Santacruz, Prize Mining, Azucar Minerals, Alio Gold, Canuc Resources, Minera Alamos and Excellon presented information on deals or corporate issues. ON MEXICO ISSUES, CAMIMEX stated there are 19 ongoing projects to augment gold production in Mexico. ON EXPLORATION, In Baja California Sur, Odyssey informed on SEMARNAT’s refusal for permitting the Don Diego project. In Sonora, San Marco is to start mapping and sampling the Espiritu project. In Coahuila, Prize Mining continues drilling at its Manto Negro project. ON MINING, Avino Silver, First Majestic, Premier Gold, and Gold Resource reported on Q3 2018 production. Galore begun mining at Los Gemelos, Zacatecas. Aura Minerals completed the first copper concentrate shipment from Aranzazu, also in Zacatecas. ON FINANCING, Sonoro is undertaking a private placement to raise up to $500 K. First Majestic filed a shelf prospectus that enables the raising of up to US$300 M in 25 months. Newcrest is exercising its top up rights to maintain 19.9% ownership of Azucar Minerals. Plata Latina settled C$231 K of indebtedness by share issuing. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Telson released high grade results from development sampling at Tahuehueto, Durango. Azure Minerals announced a positive scoping study on its Oposura project in Sonora. Candelaria Mining filed a NI-43-101 report on its Pinos project in Zacatecas. Goldplay was approved the drilling permit by SEMARNAT for drilling at its San Marcial project in Sinaloa. Azure Minerals released a positive scoping study on its Oposura project in Sonora, for an open pit/underground operation. Newcrest is to maintain its 19.9% ownership of Azucar Minerals (see above). Minera Alamos reported second round drill results on its Santana property in Sonora. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Santacruz Silver made the final payment to acquire a considerable land package in the Zacatecas district. Newcrest is to maintain its participation in Azucar Minerals. Canuc received conditional approval for its acquisition of Circle Energy. Alio Gold is disposing of some assets in Nevada and reducing its debt levels. Excellon is to sell the Beschefer project in Canada.
ON MEXICO ISSUES
- According to CAMIMEX (Cámara Minera de México) there are 19 investment projects to be developed during the 2018-2019 period, five in Durango (Camino Rojo, Piritas in Peñasquito, El Compás, Fresnillo’s Piritas project and Juanicipio), four in Guerrero (Ana Paula, Bermejal underground, Media Luna, and Rey de Plata), four in Durango (Tahuehueto, Pitarrilla, Metates and San Agustin), Two in Sonora (Santa Gertrudis and a second leach plant at La Herradura), one in Puebla (Ixtaca) and one in Chihuahua (San Julian). Gold production in 2017 was 4,080,000 ounces, decreasing by 4% on the prior year, but considerably larger than the 848,000 ounces produced in year 2000.
- San Marco Resources Inc. is to start exploration at its Espiritu porphyry copper project in Sonora. Work in the property will consist of geological mapping, surface rock sampling and assessment of past drill hole and surface data. San Marco’s first pass review suggest the system is open in most directions. Past drill hole intercepts include 48.0 m @ 0.19 g/t Au, 0.10 % Cu and 220.5 m @ 0.14 g/t Au, 0.15% Cu.
- Odyssey Marine Exploration Inc. received notification that SEMARNAT repeated their refusal to issue an environmental permit for the phosphate deposit, “in direct contravention of the Order of the Federal Administrative Court”. SEMARNAT did not inform of any new environmental information used as a basis their decision, as was required in the Court’s Order. Odyssey “expects its legal team to file a new action before the Superior Section of the Federal Administrative Court demonstrating that SEMARNAT is in contempt of the Court’s Order with a request for sanctions and notification to Mexico’s Internal Control Unit” (Don Diego, Baja California Sur).
- Prize Mining Corp. continues with the 30-hole 3,000 m drill program at its Manto Negro project in Coahuila. “Core is being logged and sampled and sent out for assay, with first results expected in November”.
- Avino Silver & Gold Mines Ltd. announced its third quarter production results for 2018. In the Avino mine. during the period 81.5 K dry tonnes were milled @ 58 g/t Ag, 0.52 g/t Au, 0.54% Cu; with 84% Ag, 67% Au, 88% Cu recoveries to produce 112.6 K Oz Ag, 882 Oz Au, 865 K Lb Cu (or 3,935 Kg Ag, 28.31 Kg Au, 392.36 Tonnes Cu). In the San Gonzalo mine (which is nearing the end of its mine life) 19.7 K dry tonnes were milled @ 226 g/t Ag, 1.15 g/t Au; with 78% Ag, 75% Au to produce 107.8 K Oz Ag, 532 Oz Au (or 3,461 Kg Ag, 17,086 g Au). From the above ground stockpile 88.7 K tonnes were milled @ 62 g/t Ag, 0.45 g/t Au, 0.15% Cu; with 57% Ag, 52% Au, 37% Cu recoveries, to produce 97.4 K Oz Ag, 652 Oz Au, 112.8 K Lb Cu (or 3,127 Kg Ag, 20,931 g Au). An additional 8,212 Oz Ag were produced by a test program to recover precious metals and zinc from the San Gonzalo mine tailings. To counter significantly lower metal prices, Avino is reducing costs by postponing exploration, as well as reducing general and administrative costs in Mexico and British Columbia.
- First Majestic Silver Corp. announced production results for Q3 2018. Consolidated results include the milling of 864 K tonnes of ore to produce 3.5 M Oz Ag, 35,260 Oz Au, 4.44 M Lb Pb, 1.23 M Lb Zn (or 6.74 M Oz AgEq). A 20% cost reduction program across all areas is being implemented to deal with the prolonged low silver prices. AgEq year on year production grew by 69%, mainly by the addition of the San Dimas operations. The mine by mine production table is below.
- Galore Resources Inc. Has begun mining at Los Gemelos, in Zacatecas. Mining has begun without a feasibility study at Galore’s owned Duraznillo ranch, which includes the Los Gemelos and Duende 7 claims, within the Concepción del Oro district. The mining contractor has installed a gold processing plant with initial capacity of 90 tons per week. The proceeds, net of costs, are to be allocated with 40% to Galore and 60% to the contractor, URBYASA.
- Aura Minerals Inc. completed the first shipment of copper concentrate since the reopening of its Aranzau mine in Zacatecas. Aura “continues to further progress on the underground mine development and operational improvements to the plant. Construction of the new tailings disposal system (TD5) is expected to be completed this year”.
- Premier Gold Mines Ltd. released Q3 2018 production results, including figures from its Mercedes mine in Sonora, where 17,465 Oz Au; 88,390 Oz Ag were produced. “The Mercedes Mine remains focused on cost reduction and the development of new deposits to increase flexibility and productivity……. construction to expand tailings capacity began. Additionally, development continued on a drift from the Lagunas mine to access the higher-grade Marianas deposit located along the main Mercedes mine trend”.
- Gold Resource Corp. reported preliminary production results for the third quarter 2018. During the period production totaled 434 tonnes Cu, 2,119 tonnes Pb, 4,970 tonnes Zn, and no details were disclosed on precious metals. For the first three quarters of 2018, 18,864 Oz Au, 1.34 M Oz Ag, 1,206 tonnes Cu, 5,274 tonnes Pb, 14,236 tonnes Zn were produced.
- Sonoro Metals Corp. proposes to undertake a non-brokered private placement, aiming to raise up to $500K (Cerro Caliche, Sonora).
- First Majestic Silver Corp. filed a preliminary short form base shelf prospectus that will allow First Majestic to raise up to US$300 M during the next 25 months (Six producing mines in Mexico).
- Azucar Minerals Ltd. announced Newcrest Canada Holdings Inc. exercised its top-up rights pursuant to the May 2018 investor rights agreement with Azucar, acquiring additional shares for a total of $124.4 K, and maintaining its 19.9% ownership.
- Plata Latina Minerals Corp. has agreed to settle indebtedness of C$201 K owing to its directors and indebtedness of C$30 K owing to its former CEO, by issuing common shares.
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
- Telson Mining Corp. reported assay results from veins exposed during underground development at its Tahuehueto mine in Durango. Highlighted results comprise 3.25 m @ 7.10 g/t Au, 37 g/t Ag, 0.22% Cu, 0.9% Pb, 5.4% Zn; 6.10 m @ 5.04 g/t Au, 36 g/t Ag, 0.16% Cu, 1.8% Pb, 3.9% Zn; 8.05 m @ 2.52 g/t Au, 28 g/t Ag, 0.19% Cu, 0.8% Pb, 2.9% Zn; 4.20 m @ 8.02 g/t Au, 96 g/t Ag, 2.93% Cu, 5.0% Pb, 8.2% Zn; 4.40 m @ 2.62 g/t Au, 19 g/t Ag, 1.3% Cu, 3.8% Pb, 3.7% Zn.
- Candelaria Mining Corp. filed a NI-43-01 preliminary feasibility assessment (PEA) report on its Pinos project, Zacatecas. The resources stand at: 85,847 tonnes @1.6 g/t Au, 83 g/t Ag measured; 175.7 K tonnes @ 3.6 g/t Au, 47 g/t Ag indicated; 529.6 K tonnes @ 3.6 g/t Au, 48 g/t Ag as inferred. The measured resources are in dumps, whereas the indicated and inferred resources are contained in veins 1.3 to 2.1 m in average widths. Production costs were evaluated for a range of 200 to 400 tonnes per day (tpd) operation. The capital cost is estimated at $13.5 M and the sustaining capital at $9.15 M.
- Goldplay Exploration Ltd. received approval from SEMARNAT (Mexican environmental agency) for its upcoming drill programs at San Marcial, Sinaloa. Up to 69 drill holes can be completed within a two year window. A NI-43-101 resource estimate is to be completed before the end of 2018., and a PEA is expected to be undertaken in 2019.
- Azure Minerals Ltd. announced a positive scoping study (SS) completed at its Oposura project in Sonora. “The Study delivers a Life of Mine (LOM) EBITDA of A$237 million, NPV(8%) (pre-tax) of A$112 million and an IRR (pre-tax) of 76%….. ”. The study calls for mining by open pit and underground methods 2.5 M tonnes @ 4.6% Zn, 2.6% Pb, 15.9 g/t Ag. The initial mine life is 5.3 years, with average annual production of 19 Kt Zn, 10 Kt Pb, 145 K Oz Ag. The total capital expenditure needed to achieve production is A$ 69.9 M (US$ 52.4 M).
- Minera Alamos Inc. reported results on the second round of its phase 1 drilling program at its Santana property in Sonora. Highlighted results comprise 80.4 m @ 1.05 g/t Au; and 8.0 m @ 1.0 g/t Au and 24.5 m @ 0.81 g/t Au on a second hole. “Planning of the Phase 2 drill program will begin once the remaining drilling results have been received and interpreted”.
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- Santacruz Silver Mining Ltd. has made the final option payment to acquire 149 concessions covering 7,800 ha in the Zacatecas district. Santacruz now controls 8,900 ha in the district.
- Azucar Minerals Ltd. informed Newcrest Canada Holdings Inc. has confirmed its intention to exercise its top-up rights on their last May signed agreement. Under the scheme, Newcrest is to maintain its 19.9% ownership of Azucar (El Cobre, Veracruz).
- Alio Gold Inc. entered into a definitive agreement to sell the Lincoln Hill, Wilco and Gold Ridge projects in Nevada to Coeur Mining Inc.. Alio is to receive $19 M upon the closing of the transaction. Recently, Alio has also reduced its outstanding debt with Macquarie Bank Ltd. from $15 million in past June, to $5 million now. The Company expects to fully extinguish the MBL debt during the fourth quarter. Alio also settled a $5 M contingent liability that the Company acquired with its acquisition of Rye Patch Gold Corp. and the Florida Canyon Mine earlier this year. The Company has also updated its surety bond for the Florida Canyon Mine in Nevada, releasing an additional $5.1 million in cash (San Francisco, Sonora).
- Canuc Resources Corp. received conditional approval from the TSX Venture Exchange for the previously announced acquisition of Circle Energy Ltd., a company with six oil prospective sections in Saskatchewan (San Javier, Sonora).
- Excellon Resources Inc. entered into an option agreement with Wallbridge Mining Co. to sell the Beschefer project in Canada (Platosa, Durango).
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On the image above, epidote veinlet with feld-K halo in andesitic volcanic rocks in a porphyry-Cu prospect in Jalisco. Picture by Jorge Cirett.