The Mining and Exploration News in Mexico: Highlights on the First Week of March, 2019

By Jorge Cirett

During the 10th week of the year (March 4th to March 10th, 2019), at least 16 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico. ON MEXICO ISSUES, The cancellation of the Los Cardones project in Baja California Sur was announced by the president of Mexico. According to the Fraser Institute, Mexico climbed several positions on its ranking, although security and taxation remain dragging down its overall ranking. On PDAC’s Mexico Mining Day, the participation of Francisco Quiroga, Pedro Haces and the governors of Durango and Sinaloa left a bittersweet message, as an invitation for investment was mixed with the government impulse for community consultations, the reviewing of mining concessions, labor issues and environmental revisions.   ON EXPLORATION, In Sonora, Sonoro Metals commenced a second phase of RC drilling at its Cerro Caliche property. In Chihuahua, Radius Gold informed is working on a revised geological model of the previous drilling campaign as it prepares for the next at the Amalia project. In Durango and Veracruz. Chesapeake Gold is to focus its 2019 exploration program in properties near its flagship Metates project, and in the Tatatila project in Veracruz. ON MINING, Americas Silver, Avino Silver and Premier gold reported operating and/or financial results for the Q4 and full year 2018. ON FINANCING, Minera Alamos corrected a previous financing press release, Kootenay Silver increased the size of its placement to $7 M. McEwen Mining suspended distribution of its dividend. Mako Mining raised CAD$4.5 M. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Mag Silver reported on 46,000 m of drilling and the discovery of a new vein trend at Juanicipio, in Zacatecas. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Oroco informed on the status of legal actions regarding its intention to acquire the Santo Tomás project in Sinaloa. Alio Gold changed CEO and Great Panther Silver Ltd. changed its name to Great Panther Mining Ltd. as it diversifies into gold mining.

ON MEXICO ISSUES

  • The Durango and Sinaloa governors, Jose Rosas Aispuro and Quirino Ordaz, respectively, attended the PDAC convention in Toronto, looking to strengthen the ties with Canadian companies and promote investment in the local mining sector.
  • The president of Mexico, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, announced the cancellation of the Los Cardones open pit mining project in Baja California Sur (on the bright side, the cancellation could be the result of negotiations with the project owner, which has multiple government contracts in other industries. On the other hand, the president said he took the decision because he has the authority to do so).
  • The Fraser institute released its annual survey on mining jurisdictions of the World, Mexico climbed several positions to reach the 29th on the ranking, from the 44th on the previous year. Our Latin American competitors on the foreign investment race, Chile and Peru, also raised to the 6th (from the 8th) and 14th (from the 91th) position respectively. The categories on which Mexico can improve significantly are: “Disputed Land Claims” (58th position), “Socioeconomic Agreements/Community Development” (59th position), “Labor Regulations” (58th position), Security (80th position, regrettably) and “Taxation Regime” (71st position, just 13th places from the bottom). To download the report: https://www.fraserinstitute.org/sites/default/files/annual-survey-of-mining-companies-2018.pdf.
  • In PDAC, Francisco Quiroga, undersecretary of Mining on the Secretaría de Economía (Ministry of Economy) asked Canadian mining companies to accept public consultations to avoid harmful effects on society and the environment. He also solicited fiscal observance, environmental protection and human rights respect by the companies to avoid the closure of mines. He offered an administrative simplification to miners by the implementation of a sole attention desk to reduce paperwork.
  • Also in PDAC, and during the Mexico Mining Day, Pedro Haces Barba (Morena senator) stated that Canada is a strategic partner on the mining sector. He expressed the Congress and Senate support to stimulate the development of the industry, giving form to a legal framework in the leading edge, with the participation of experts, producers, environmentalists, workers and all other involved. Haces also stressed the compromise to impulse significant changes to the mining law to benefit from the sustainable exploitation of natural resources in pace with the regional dynamics and global challenges.  

ON EXPLORATION

  • Radius Gold Inc. informed on the review and re-logging of five holes drilled to test the Campamento structural corridor (now called San Pedro) at its Amalia project in Chihuahua. Only the deepest hole intercepted the structure within the lower volcanic group andesitic rocks, returning 26 m @7.1 gpt Au, 517 gpt Ag, including 5 m @ 14.7 gpt Au, 517 gpt Ag. Access agreements with landowners have been secured, and a new environmental permit has been applied for the second drill stage. Pan American Silver is funding the project with Radius as the operator.
  • Sonoro Metals Corp. commenced the phase two drilling campaign at its Cerro Caliche property in Sonora. This 4-month program is to consist of approximately 5,000 m of reverse circulation drilling. The goal is to enlarge the gold mineralization inventory, test deeper zones and extend the high-grade gold intercept at El Colorado zone, which returned 12.2 m @ 11.21 gpt Au. If results support it, a phase 3 drilling campaign of approximately 7,000 m of infill drilling will follow. “The Company anticipates that it will commission and publish an NI 43-101 technical report, including an initial resource estimate, within two months”.
  • Chesapeake Gold Corp. informed this year its exploration programs will focus on the under-explored region of its Metates project in Durango. At Crisy, close to Metates, a quartz breccia and stockwork that runs for over 2 km hosted in shales, produced 24 m @ 1.5 gpt Au; 13 m @ 1.1 gpt Au, 14 gpt Ag; 4 m @ 2.5 gpt Au, 49 gpt Ag, in channel samples. At Cerro Pelon, Durango, a 3 km long, 750 m wide zone of epithermal veins and stockworks returned 40 m @ 42 gpt, 0.2 gpt Au; 25 m @ 57 gpt Ag; 15 m @ 1.0 gpt Au in surface sampling. At San Javier, Durango, “Silver mineralization is hosted within clay altered sandstone, mudstone and local intrusive dikes and has been traced continuously on surface for over 500 meters. Previous samples returned 60 meters of 71 g/t silver and 0.6% lead. In January, a trench channel sample collected 200 meters further along strike returned 25 meters of 46 g/t silver and 0.5% lead”. At Yarely, Sinaloa, A channel sample returned 30 m @ 1.6 gpt Au, 38 gpt Ag, on quartz breccias and stockworks associated to a rhyolite flow-dome complex. At Tatatila, in Veracruz, skarn bodies developed along the contact of intrusive dikes and sills and older limestones returned 2 m @ 28.9 gpt Au, 0.5% Zn; 6 m @ 0.4 gpt Au, 5.6% Zn; 2 m @ 0.14 gpt Au, 65 gpt Ag, 2.3% Pb, 3.1% Zn.

ON MINING

  • Americas Silver Corp. reported consolidated financial and operational results for the fourth quarter and full year 2018. The company had a revenue of $68.4 M from its operations in Mexico and the USA, without entering in details by unit (Cosalá Complex, Sinaloa).
  • Avino Silver & Gold Mines Ltd. announced consolidated financial results for the fourth quarter and year 2018. During the year revenues were $34.1 M from 708.8 K tonnes milled to produce 1.28 M Oz Ag, 8,092 Oz Au, 4.81 M Lb Cu or 2.86 M Oz AgEq, at cash cost $9.63 and AISC $10.67 (Avino, San Gonzalo mines, Durango).
  • Premier Gold Mines Ltd. released operating results for Q4 and full year 2018, including figures from its operations in Mexico. At Mercedes, in Sonora, during the last three months of the year 183.1 K tonnes were milled @ 3.96 gpt Au, 44.8 gpt Ag, recovering 96.3% Au and 45.2% Ag, to produce 22,465 Oz Au, 119 K Oz Ag. For the year, 665.5 K tonnes were milled @ 3.34 gpt Au, 35.3 gpt Ag, recovering 96% Au, 40.9% Ag to produce 68,719 Oz Au, 309.2 K Oz Ag. By product cash cost and AISC were $609 and $795 per Au Oz, respectively. “Exploration drilling continued during the fourth quarter with 1,972 meters completed for a total drilling of 40,721 meters for the year”.  

ON FINANCING

  • Minera Alamos Inc. issued a correction to its previous press release, where it stated $4.93 M of gross proceeds on a non-brokered placement. In fact, Minera Alamos raised aggregate proceeds of $4.99 M, paying $280 K in commissions (La Fortuna, Durango; Santana, Sonora).
  • Kootenay Silver Inc. increased the size of its non-brokered private placement, originally for gross proceeds of $2.5 M, to $7 M (La Negra, Sonora; La Cigarra, Chihuahua).
  • McEwen Mining Inc. suspended the distribution of its dividend, stating lower revenues from operating issues at a couple of mines as the cause (El Gallo, Sinaloa).
  • Mako Mining Corp. closed its non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of CAD$4.5 M (Trinidad, Sinaloa)

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

  • Mag Silver Corp. reported on results from a 48-hole diamond drilling program with a total of 46,060 m completed in late 2018 at the Juanicipio JV property (Fresnillo PLC 56% / Mag Silver 44%), designed to expand and infill the wide high-grade deep zone mineral resource. The program confirmed continuity to depth of high-grade mineralization in the East and West Valdecañas vein deep zones and in the Anticipada vein, discovering the new Pre-Anticipada vein in the hangingwall above the system. Highlighted intercepts include 11.6 m @ 783 gpt Ag, 2.57 gpt Au, 6.5% Pb, 9.5% Zn, 0.32% Cu at the deep west zone; 6.3 m @ 246 gpt Ag, 1.78 gpt Au, 7.2% Pb, 11.6% Zn, 0.40% Cu at the deep zone east; 6.2 m @ 275 gpt Ag, 4.02 gpt Au, 7.3% Pb, 9.2% Zn at the Anticipada vein; 3.2 m @ 472 gpt Ag, 0.31 gpt Au, 0.4% Pb, 0.4% Zn, 0.03% Cu at the Pre-Anticipada vein.
  • Mag Silver Corp. announced the discovery of the northeast trending Venadas vein at the Juanicipio property in Zacatecas. The vein was inferred from the alignment of fifteen previously unconnected intercepts before being cut in an underground development working as a 1.1 m vein @ 116 gpt Ag, 3.16 gpt Au. The first hole designed to test the Venadas vein cut 3.0 m (core length) @ 392 gpt Ag, 5.54 gpt Au. “Venadas is the first ever mineralized vein in the overall Fresnillo District oriented at a high angle to the historically mined NW oriented veins. Notably, other much larger NE structures with intense surface alteration are known farther afield within the Juanicipio property and are now priority exploration targets. None have ever been directly drilled.”

ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

  • Oroco Resource Corp. informed on the legal actions being taken to acquire interest in the Santo Tomás project in Sinaloa. “At present, the following initiatives, amongst others, are expected to validate and maintain the status quo of the titles and eventually remove any unwarranted ownership claims to the Santo Tomas Concessions as are currently being made by Aztec Copper Inc., an Arizona company, and its Mexican subsidiary, Prime Aztec Mexicana S.A de C.V.” (Santo Tomas, Sinaloa).
  • Alio Gold Inc. informed its chief executive officer, Greg McCunn is resigning to pursue other opportunities. The board of directors appointed Mark Backens as CEO, position which he has served previously on an interim basis (San Francisco, Sonora).
  • Great Panther Silver Ltd. completed the acquisition of Beadell Resources Ltd., owner of the Tucano mine in Brazil, with 1.3 M Oz Au in reserves. As part of the evolution in strategy, the company name has been changed to Great Panther Mining Ltd (Topia, Durango).

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 above, weathered intrusive rock with oxidized quartz-sulphide veinlets in a Michoacán project. Picture by Jorge Cirett.

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