By Jorge Cirett
During the 8th week of the year (February 18th to February 24th, 2019), at least 31 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico. ON MEXICO ISSUES, The first declaration of liberties for the year was issued on February 19th. ON EXPLORATION, In Baja, One World Lithium is to drill the Salar del Diablo property. In Chihuahua, Valterra presented the exploration plan for Los Reyes Cu-Au project. In Coahuila, Prize Mining presented drilling results from its Manto Negro Cu project. ON MINING, Mc Ewen Mining, Torex Gold, Coeur Mining, Argonaut Gold, Pan American Silver and Hecla presented Q4 and full year 2018 production or financial results. Camrova presented mining details from El Boleo in Baja. Mako Mining has recommenced mining activities at La Trinidad in Sinaloa. Magellan Gold processed third-party’s ore on its mill. ON FINANCING, Mexican Gold presented, and then withdrew, for an extension on the date for warrants exercise. Alamos Gold augmented its annual dividend. Solaris Copper is considered a public corporation. Mako Mining is undertaking a financing round of up to CAD$4.5 M. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Impact Silver is drilling other veins in Zacualpan. Minera Alamos is still selling gold from the pilot plant at Santana, in Sonora. Alamos Gold and Pan American Silver presented updated resources for its properties. Silver Bull is to perform a new drilling round at Sierra Mojada, Coahuila. Goldplay is finding mineralization on trend of its resource at El Magistral, in Sinaloa. Telson reported on development of Tahuehueto, in Durango. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Riverside entered into a definitive agreement with Sinaloa Resources on La Silla project, in Sinaloa. Aztec Minerals and Aloro Mining appointed senior figures for its business and technical advisory committees. Pan American Silver completed the acquisition of Tahoe Resources.
ON MEXICO ISSUES
- The first declarations of liberties (or open ground for staking) for the year was released on February 19th. The 95 concessions on several states will be open for staking at 10:00 am, 30 days after the date of publication on the official gazette (Diario Oficial de la Federación).
- One World Lithium Inc. signed a contract to drill 4,200 m of reverse circulation holes on its Salar del Diablo property in Baja California. The program includes 12 holes varying between 150 and 500 m of depth to test three geophysical highly conductive zones and two geochemical surface sampling anomalies.
- Prize Mining Corp. presented drilling results from its Manto Negro project in Coahuila. Mineralized intercepts include 4.4 m @ 1.02% Cu, 28 gpt Ag; 3.55 m @ 1.69% Cu, 28 gpt Ag at Manto Negro; 4.10 m @ 0.88% Cu, 49 gpt; 3.40 m @ 1.58% Cu, 122 gpt Ag; 4.05 m @ 0.82% Cu, 55 gpt Ag; 1.0 m @ 1.43% Cu, 126 gpt Ag; 2.90 m @ 0.72% Cu, 24 gpt Ag; 2.05 m @ 0.76% Cu, 33 gpt Ag; 6.05 m @ 1.29% Cu, 77 gpt Ag; 1.05 m @ 3.23% Cu, 135 gpt Ag; 3.80 m @ 1.62% Cu, 143 gpt Ag at Pilar Grande; 6.75 m @ 0.75% Cu, 9 gpt Ag; 1.20 m @ 0.71% Cu, 13 gpt Ag at La Cuchilla, and 1.10 m @ 1.21% Cu, 26 gpt Ag; 1.50 m @ 1.24% Cu, 102 gpt Ag at El Pilon. At El Granizo, a 150 m log by 50 m wide zone contains a 2-4 m thick horizon of copper oxide mineralisation, but is disrupted by strong faulting. At Pilar Grande, drilling probed mineralisation on a longitude of 180 m, but further testing is problematic due to strong topographic relief. The British Columbia Securities Commission lifted the cease trade order issued on Prize Mining after the company complied on the presentation of its 2018 annual filings.
- Valterra Resource Corp. has received permits for exploration at its Los Reyes Cu-Au property in Chihuahua, Mexico. The exploration program for 2019 includes surface mapping and sampling to be followed by an 8-10 km line-km IP geophysical program and a 2,500 diamond drilling program in 8 holes to test a 600 m strike length of the Cu-Au skarn. “The company is initially targeting a five to ten million tonne, shallow high grade Cu-Au resource localized along the strike length of the exposed skarn zone“.
- Camrova Resources Inc. provided an update on mining at El Boleo, Baja California, property on which it has a 7.24% interest. On administration, the CEO and chairman were appointed. On financing, a US$713.1 M comes due in 2019 and will need refinancing. On mining, underground mine production was 440 K tonnes @ 1.18% Cu (558 K tonnes @ 1.21% Cu budgeted for the period). The forecast for 2019 is 654 K tonnes @ 1.26% Cu. Open pit mine production on 2018 was 2,215 tonnes @ 0.93% Cu (2.06 M tonnes @ 1.19% Cu budgeted for the period) and the forecast for 2019 is 2.35 M tonnes @ 0.87% Cu. Ore delivered to the plant in 2018 was 2.81 M tonnes @ 0.95% Cu, to produce 19,438 metric tons of copper, 226 tons of cobalt, 452 tons Zn, averaging recoveries of 77.5% Cu, 15.8% Co, 1.6% Zn. Minera y Metalúrgica del Boleo, S.A.P.I. de C.V. has a $303.4 K debt with Camrova, and has been served with a judicial notice demanding the payment.
- Mako Mining Corp. owns 100% interest on the La Trinidad property in Sinaloa, as result of the acquisition of Marlin Gold Mining Ltd. After Hurricane Willa hit the mine installations on October of last year, operations were halted due to the inundation of the pit. Dewatering of the Taunus pit is near completion and mining has recommenced. Crushing and stacking on the leach pad is ongoing, and this month to date over 71 K tonnes @ 1.22 g/t gold has been mined.
- McEwen Mining Inc. Reported fourth quarter and full year 2018 results, including information on its Mexican operations. At El Gallo in Sinaloa, 5,632 Oz AuEq were produced on the quarter, and 39,105 on the year, at cash cost $733 and AISC $771. El Gallo 2019 production guidance is 13,000 gold ounces at cash costs and AISC per GEO of $875 and $915, respectively. These ounces are derived from residual heap leaching activities that are ongoing and will continue for several years.
- Torex Gold Resources Inc. presented its yearly production report 2018. During the last quarter Torex delivered 96,316 Oz Au, reaching 353,947 Oz Au produced on the year. This was achieved by the mining of 32.6 M tonnes, or 93,214 tonnes per day (tpd), of which 4.33 Mt @ 2.69 gpt Au were ore. The plant processed 4.15 Mt at a rate of 13,011 tpd @ 2.97 gpt during the year, with a recovery of 85% Au, a cash cost of $646 per Oz Au and AISC of $964 per Oz Au.
- Coeur Mining Inc. reported fourth quarter and full year 2018 financial results, including figures from its operations in Mexico. At Palmarejo, in Chihuahua, 1.38 M tons were milled @ 202 gpt Ag, 3.11 gpt Au, recovering 83.8% Ag and 88.9% Au, to produce 7.52 M Oz Ag, 122,722 Oz Au during the year. On the 4Q, 378.4 K tonnes were milled @ 185 gpt Ag, 2.49 gpt Au, recovering 84.0% Ag and 97.6% Au, to produce 1.89 M Oz Ag, 31,239 Oz Au. During the year over 74,500 m were drilled on the property. Coeur will no longer provide guidance or final reporting on all-in-sustaining cost (AISC), and is using the figure of “CAS” (costs applicable to sales), which is here interpreted as cash cost per silver ounce. Given these considerations, Palmarejo produced at a cash cost of $8.46 per AgEq ounce (the lowest on its international portfolio).
- Argonaut Gold Inc. disclosed its financial and operating results for the fourth quarter and year 2018. During the year Argonaut had $196.1 M of revenue, an increase of $41 M. on the prior year. At El Castillo Complex (El Castillo and San Agustin mines), in Durango, 15.52 M tonnes of waste and 16.18 M tonnes of ore were mined at a rate of 87 K tonnes per day (tpd) with a waste/ore ratio of 0.96. A total of 9.17 M tonnes of ore were crushed and piled on the leach pads, at a grade of 0.38 gpt Au, producing 113,180 Oz Au and 276,272 Oz Ag at cash cost $737 per Au Oz. At La Colorada, Sonora, 18.86 M tonnes of waste and 4.49 M tonnes of ore were mined at a rate of 64 K tpd and a waste/ore ratio of 3.74. Tonnes placed on the leach pad were 5.05 M at a grade of 0.40 gpt Au, producing 45,886 Oz Au, 147,348 Oz Ag at cash cost $914 per Au ounce.
- Pan American Silver Corp. presented its financial results for Q4 and full year 2018, including figures from its Mexican operations. At La Colorada, in Zacatecas, production for the quarter 2.1 M Oz Ag, 1,200 Oz Au, and 7.6 M Oz Ag, 4,400 Oz Au for the year, at cash cost $2.02 per Ag Oz. At Dolores, in Chihuahua, production for the quarter was 0.8 M Oz Ag, 29,400 Oz Au, and 4.1 M Oz Ag, 136,600 Oz Au for the year, at cash cost ($1.87).
- Hecla Mining Co. disclosed its Q4 and full year 2018 earnings conference call. In the presentation, San Sebastian in Durango is expected to produce 2.0 M Oz Ag, 14 K Oz Au at cash cost $9.00, AISC $12.00 per silver ounce after byproduct credits.
- Magellan Gold Corp. informed it has processed ore from a private third-party on its SDA mill in Acaponeta, Nayarit. Magellan is advancing the El Dorado project 50 km to the south of the mill. “Quotes have been obtained for contract mining and applications for environmental and blasting permits are in progress”.
- Mexican Gold Corp. made an application to the TSX Venture Exchange to extend for six months the expiry date of outstanding warrants exercisable to purchase over 8.4 M common shares of Mexican Gold. Later on the week Mexican Gold withdrew the application for the extension (Las Minas, Veracruz).
- Alamos Gold Inc. announced the doubling of its annual dividend to $0.01 per common share quarterly (Mulatos, Sonora).
- Solaris Copper Inc. received notification from the Canada Revenue Agency that it is considered a “public corporation” as of November 30, 2018 (La Verde, Michoacan).
- Mako Mining Corp. is undertaking a non-brokered private placement to raise up to CAD$4.5 M, through the issuance of shares that can be bought by existing shareholders (La Trinidad, Sinaloa)
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
- Impact Silver Corp. informed drilling has commenced on the El Canelo vein, in the Santa Teresa area of its Zacualpan property in Estado de Mexico. “Trench sampling along the strike of the vein at 10m intervals returned an average gold grade of 6.5 g/t over a true width of 1.66m and a length of 50m”. Exploration programs are ongoing in the San Ramon Sur area to the south of the San Ramon mine and at the Manto America area 4 km south of the Santa Teresa area.
- Minera Alamos Inc. reported the sale of 162 Oz Au from residual leaching of its 50 K tonnes bulk leach test at the Santana project in Sonora. The cumulative gold recovered from the bulk test is 1,060 Oz Au, for a calculated recovered gold of 0.66 g/t. The exploration program at the project involves over 10,000 m of drilling on the Nicho and Nicho Norte deposits, and a number of high priority targets, like Zata, Benjamin and Ubaldo.
- Alamos Gold Inc. reported its updated mineral reserves and resources, as the end of 2018. Of the 22.4 M Oz Au held by Alamos in all categories, 7.4 M Oz Au are in Mexico.
- Silver Bull Resources Inc. is about to start an 8,000 m surface drill program on its Sierra Mojada project in Coahuila. The program will test a series of the sulphide extension at depth of the main deposit, and a series of untested targets. The updated resource presented on last October includes an open pittable M&I resource of 13.5 M tonnes @ 11.2% Zn, and an open pittable M&I resource of 15.2 M tonnes @ 114.9 gpt Ag, and a total of M&I resources of 70.4 M tonnes @ 38.6 gpt, 3.4% Zn containing 5.3 B Lb Zn, 87.4 M Oz Ag.
- Goldplay Exploration Ltd. obtained high-grade silver results from a trench extending mineralisation from the resource area to the Faisanes target at its San Marcial project in Sinaloa. The trench samples were collected with a rock saw, with results highlighting two true width (TW) intervals of 15.0 m @ 472 g/t Ag and 14.6 m @ 211 g/t Ag within a 56 m @ 196 gpt Ag TW interval.
- Pan American Silver Corp. presented its updated mineral reserve and resource base to the end of 2018, including figures for its Mexican properties, as can be seen on the table below. At La Colorada, in Zacatecas, over 20,800 meters of drilling were performed during the period. “Exploration drilling of the skarn mineralization at depth, approximately 500 to 800 metres below the drill stations, indicates wide intercepts with high-grade, polymetallic mineralization”. Recent drill hole intercepts include: 44.5 m @ 40 gpt Ag, 0.1% Cu, 2.0% Pb, 4.7% Zn; 48.8 m @ 29 gpt Ag, 0.17% Cu, 1.4% Pb, 4.3% Zn; 67.9 m @ 18 gpt Ag, 0.07% Cu, 0.6% Pb, 4.7% Zn; 308.1 m @ 46 gpt Ag, 0.20% Cu, 1.9% Pb, 4.5% Zn; 64.7 m @ 33 gpt, 0.16% Cu, 2.0% Pb, 2.9% Zn.
- Telson Mining Corp. reported on development progress and significant underground assay results at its Tahuehueto property in Durango. Mineralisation exposed during development returned high-grade assays, like: 6.74 m @ 3.80 gpt Au, 53 gpt Ag, 0.42% Cu, 2.4% Pb, 5.2% Zn; 4.40 m @ 5.39 gpt Au, 62 gpt Ag, 0.46% Cu, 3.0% Pb, 8.5% Zn; 3.55 m @ 8.61 gpt Au, 35 gpt Ag, 0.12% Cu, 1.4% Pb, 0.9% Zn; 6.77 m @ 5.36 gpt Au, 109 gpt Ag, 0.25% Cu, 0.3% Pb, 2.4% Zn, 2.0 m @ 5.54 gpt Au, 42 gpt Ag, 0.12% Cu, 2.2% Pb, 6.2% Zn. Pre-production mining produced 37.7 K tonnes @ 3.86 gpt Au, 43.6 gpt Ag, 3.9% Zn, 0.24% Cu, 2.1% Pb. A total of 1.44 km of underground development was completed, and mill construction continues.
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- Riverside Resources Inc. announced that partner Sinaloa Resources Inc. has entered into a definitive agreement that begins with an initial option to acquire a 70% interest in the La Silla project, in Sinaloa. “Under the terms of the Agreement, the Initial Option to earn 70% is predicated upon the issuance by Sinaloa Resources of shares at a value of $1,000,000, $60,000 in cash payments and exploration work totaling $2,000,000 over 36 months”. To earn an additional 30%, Sinaloa Resources is to spend $1 M in exploration work and issue $500 K in shares. Riverside will retain a 3% NSR on the project should Sinaloa Resources complete 100% earn-in, or Riverside’s interest dilutes to less than 10%.
- Aztec Minerals Corp. reported the appointment of Mr. Marc Prefontaine and Dr. David Jones to the company’s newly formed Business and Technical Advisory Committee (Cervantes, Sonora).
- Silver Bull Resources Inc. signed in June 2018 an agreement with South32 Ltd., granting an option to form a 30/30 JV with respect to the Sierra Mojada project in Coahuila. To maintain the option, South32 must contribute US$10 M during a 4 year option period with aggregate US$3 M, US$6 M and US$8 M to be made by the end of years 1, 2 and 3 of the period. South32 may exercise its option to subscribe for 70% of the property, by contributing US$100 M (less previous contributions) to project funding.
- Aloro Mining Corp. announced the appointment of Kenneth J. Balleweg as technical advisor to the company. Ken has extensive experience in the Mulatos district in Sonora, and is to aid Aloro in the exploration of its Los Venados property in the same district.
- Pan American Silver Corp. completed the acquisition of Tahoe Resources Inc. (the latte with mines in Guatemala, Peru and Canada).
Content like what you have just read can be seen at https://gambusinoprospector.com/ and at LinkedIn’s Mexico Mineral Exploration Group.
On the image below, quartz-sulfide sheeted veinlets with sericitic halos in an intrusive rock from a porphyry copper project in Michoacan. Picture by Jorge Cirett.