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

By Jorge Cirett

During the 18th week of the year (April 29th to May 5th, 2019), at least 35 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico. ON MEXICO ISSUES, Newmont Goldcorp Corp. informed on the intention to temporarily suspend operations at the Peñasquito mine in Zacatecas, due to an illegal blockade lasting for more than a month now. More than 300 mine employees protested outside the Zacatecas Congress, accusing José Narro, senator by Morena (the president’s party) of instigating the blockade. Drill core from La Xora project in Nayarit was added to The Mexican Core Shack. ON EXPLORATION, Nine companies presented advances in the exploration of their properties: In Baja, One World Lithium has received the permits to drill its Salar Del Diablo property. In Sonora, Sonoro Metals disclosed assays for the first 15 RC holes of the second drilling campaign; Ridgestone updated the work done to date at Rebeico; Minaurum staked a large chunk of ground at its Alamos project. In Chihuahua, Silver Spruce released surface sample results from its Pino de Plata project; Radius Gold released exciting results from the first hole of the second drilling campaign at Amalia; Kootenay Silver has initiated drill road construction for its incoming campaign at Columba. In Jalisco, GoGold released results from its drilling campaign at Los Ricos. In Zacatecas, Alien Gold updated on the exploration effort at its Donovan 2 property. ON MINING, nine companies presented its first quarter 2019 results, while one company presented its 2018 results. ON FINANCING, First Mining, and Prize Mining are to raise $6 M and $1.5 M respectively. Leagold Mining secured a 200 M term loan and a 200 M revolving credit. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, no relevant news.  ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Alio Gold received notice of a civil claim from a former Rye Patch shareholder.  

ON MEXICO ISSUES

  • Newmont Goldcorp Corp. informed on the intention to temporarily suspend operations at the Peñasquito mine in Zacatecas (one of the largest in Mexico, produced 272 K Oz Au in 2018), due to an illegal blockade by a trucking contractor and some members of the Cedros community that began on March 27, 2019. The company announced on April 9 that the trucking contracts will now be signed with independent truckers, to their economic benefit and to avoid the repeated extortion blockades by the current trucking contractor. Newmont Goldcorp denounced that the blockader’s public claims that focus in water quality and employment, turn in a direct petition for large amounts of money when done privately. The company asks for help from the Mexican and Zacatecan authorities to resolve the illegal blockade that affects the income of more than 20 thousand persons, directly or indirectly. On a different event, about 300 employees of Minera Peñasquito, protested outside the Zacatecas Congress against the illegal blockade that keeps paralyzed the Peñasquito mine. The protesters accused Jose Narro, senator by the president party, Morena, and his acolyte Felipe Pinedo of blackmailing the company with false water contamination statements.  
  • Core from La Xora project, in Nayarit, was added to the Mexican Core Shack (https://gambusinoprospector.com/mexican-core-shack/), under the epithermal low sulphidation section.

ON EXPLORATION

  • Sonoro Metals Corp.  reported assay results from the first 15 reverse circulation holes of the second phase drilling program at its Cerro Caliche property in Sonora. All holes encountered gold mineralization, which extend mineralization 1.25 Km NW from the Central Zone, where the first drill campaign defined a series of NW striking structures, outlining three shallow bulk tonnage oxidized mineralized zones in metasedimentary and volcanic rocks. Previously reported results come from the Central Zone prospects Japoneses, Abejas, El Colorado and Guadalupe, whereas the new drill holes tested El Rincon, Gloria, El Boludito, and Veta de Oro zones. Highlighted results comprise 10.67 m @ 2.73 gpt AuEq; 3.05 m @ 5.48 gpt AuEq; 10.67 m @ 0.74 gpt AuEq; 6.1 m @ 0.80 gpt AuEq; 15.24 m @ 1.05 gpt AuEq.
  • Alien Metals Ltd. updated on its exploration work at its Donovan 2 project in Zacatecas. Work to date supports indications of volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) mineralisation on multiple target areas open along strike, with surface assays of up to 3.3% Cu, 0.25% Zn. Currently there are magnetic, chargeabilty and resistivity anomalies, and a gravity survey underway is to refine the targets on this project, which is 24 kilometers from Teck’s San Nicolas deposit.
  • Ridgestone Mining Inc. announced that exploration work to date on its Rebeico property in Sonora defined the 1.2 km long Alaska vein and intensely altered breccia zones SW of the vein, carrying Cu, Au and Ag values, as well as bismuth anomalies. An 18 line-kilometer induced polarization (IP) survey identified a chargeability anomaly below the breccia zone. A 12 hole 1,430 m diamond drill program tested 500 m of the Alaska vein. Eight of the twelve holes intersected significant grades, including: 0.80 m @ 1.41% Cu, 2.95 gpt Au; 2.0 m @ 2.78% Cu, 8.69 gpt Au; 1.40 m @ 3.25 gpt Au; 1.50 m @ 1.39 gpt Au; 1.0 m @ 0.30% Cu, 5.61 gpt Au; 3.25 m @ 2.41% Cu, 8.31 gpt Au; 1.50 m @ 1.22% Cu, 36.10 gpt Au.  
  • One World Lithium Inc. has received the permit required to start its 12 hole, 4,250 m drilling program at its Salar del Diablo property in Baja California. The company intends to test three geophysical anomalies, a geochemical anomaly, and structures that may trap and concentrate brines. The Salar del Diablo Property has never been drilled in the past.
  • Silver Spruce Resources Inc. released surface sample results from its Pino de Plata property in Chihuahua. The samples returned 19 gpt Ag, 16 gpt Ag, 2 gpt Ag, 1,1,30 gpt Ag, 123 gpt Ag, 95 gpt Ag and 255 gpt Ag; up to 0.19 gpt Au, up to 802 ppm Cu, up to 3.7% Pb on samples 0.2 to 1.0 m in length. The two targets in the area comprise El Terrero and the Gossan area. At El Terrero, a 32 hectares zone “of multiple flat-lying brecciated zones hosted by a zone of strong argillic alteration” is the target, while at the Gossan area a series of hornfels and skarns developed near an intrusive contact may host massive sulphide replacement bodies associated to structures.
  • Radius Gold Inc. reported the first results from the second diamond drill campaign at its Amalia project in Chihuahua. The program is operated by Radius and funded by Pan American Silver Corp. under a JV agreement by Which Pan American can earn an initial 65% by making cash payments totaling US$1.5 M (of which US$100 K have been paid) and spending US$2 M on exploration over four years. The first hole in this campaign intersected 44 m @ 12.38 gpt Au, 309 gpt Ag, including 11 m @ 39.9 gpt Au, 323 gpt Ag. The estimated true width of the zone is 34 m, consisting of “an epithermal breccia and quartz sulphide stockwork vein zone ” located on or near to the contact between overlying Tertiary rhyolitic ignimbrite and the footwall andesite volcaniclastics of the Late Cretaceous Tarahumara Formation. Diorite dykes appear to be emplaced along the fault zone and are associated with mineralization”.
  • Minaurum Gold Inc. staked an additional 20,872 hectares on its Alamos project in Sonora. Additionally, mapping has revealed four new vein zones: Rosario, La Dura Oeste, La Dura and La Tijera. These four zones bring the total of veins zones of the district to twenty. The Rosario vein has been traced for 500 m, with samples assaying 304 gpt Ag and 227 gpt Ag over 1 m and 675 gpt Ag, 1.0% Cu, 0.9% Pb over 2 m. The La Dura Oeste vein has been traced for 550 m, returning assays of 30 gpt Ag, 3.4% Cu and 37 gpt Ag, 4.3% Pb. La Dura vein  returned 123 gpt Ag, 2.% Cu over 0.5 m. La Tijera vein was traced for 750 m, with three samples returning 23- 36 gpt Ag, 0.41 – 0.77% Cu, up to 0.1% Pb, up to 0.15% Zn over 0.1 to 0.3 m.
  • Kootenay Silver Inc. has initiated the road construction for the drilling of its Columba property in Chihuahua. The property covers a low sulphidation epithermal system with numerous veins ranging on 200 m to up to 2 km of strike length. Over 1,000 m of underground workings are present, including four shafts and six drifts, with historic records indicating grades between 600 and 900 gpt Ag.
  • GoGold Resources Inc. released results from its recently acquired Los Ricos property in Jalisco. Highlighted diamond drill results comprise 22.4 m @ 4.13 gpt Au, 182 gpt Ag (or 6.55 gpt AuEq), including 3.0 m @ 25.08 gpt Au, 534 gpt Ag (or 32.2 gpt AuEq) and 11.7 m @ 0.68 gpt Au, 89 gpt Ag (or 1.87 gpt Au), including 6.1 m @ 0.58 gpt Au, 142 gpt Ag (or 2.47 gpt AuEq). The campaign is focused on defining the mineralized halo around the ore shoots defined by 65 historical reverse circulation holes. Over six thousand assays from channel samples are being digitized from underground working, to aid with deeper drill planning.

ON MINING

  • Consolidated Zinc Ltd. released its March 2019 quarterly activities report. During the period its Plomosas mine in Chihuahua produced 11,267 tonnes @ 10.7% Zn, 2.5% Pb, while 12,992 tonnes were processed @ 10.9% Zn, 2.0% Pb, 18 gpt Ag, recovering 87.5% Zn, 84.9% Pb at cash cost $1.11 per Lb Zn. The company also informed on a surface access legal proceedings that seek to nullify the current surface access contract.  
  •  Americas Silver Corp. announced production and operating cost results for the first quarter of 2019, including figures of its Mexican operations. At its Cosalá operations in Sinaloa, 152.6 K tonnes were processed @ 57 gpt Ag, to produce 173.2 K Oz Ag, 11.3 M Lb Zn, 4.6 M Lb Pb (or 1.32 M Oz AgEq), at cash cost $30.48 per Oz Ag and AISC $25.85 per Oz Ag.
  • Grupo Mexico S.A.B. de C.V. presented results for the first quarter of 2019. During the period the company produced 261,328 tonnes Cu, 5,145 tonnes Mo, 18,550 tonnes Zn, 3,13 M Oz Ag, 12,399 Oz Au and 0.58 M tonnes of sulphuric acid from its operations in Mexico, USA and Peru, at cash cost $1.13 per Lb Cu. A US$413 M budget was approved for the construction of a Zn concentrator at Cananea, Sonora, a project that is to generate 3,760 jobs. At San Martin, in Zacatecas, $87 M have been budgeted to re-open the mine, whereas at Pilares, in Sonora, an open pit mine is to produce ore @ 0.78% Cu to be treated at the La Caridad plant, six km away.
  • McEwen Mining Inc. reported its first quarter 2019 results, including figures from its Mexican operations. At El Gallo, in Sinaloa, 5,432 Oz AuEq were produced at cash cost $967 per Oz AuEq and an AISC $989 per Oz AuEq. “Mining ceased at El Gallo by the end of May 2018, and the mine continues to recover gold from residual leaching of the heap leach. During the quarter, the process plant underwent a small expansion to improve efficiency and enable faster gold recover”.
  • Premiere Gold Mine Ltd. reported its first quarter production for 2019. During the quarter the Mercedes mine in Sonora produced 17,614 Oz Au and 57,681 Oz Ag.
  • Argonaut Gold Inc. announced its operating and financial results for the first quarter 2019. At El Castillo, in Durango, working at a rate of 68 K tonnes per day (tpd), 3.8 M tonnes of waste were moved, 2.29 M tonnes of ore were mined and 2.33 M tonnes @ 0.39 gpt Au were placed on the leach pads, producing 28,210 Oz Au, 54,030 Oz Ag at cash cost $918 per Oz Au. At San Agustin, part of the El Castillo Complex, working at a rate of 33 K tonnes per day, 1.31 M tonnes of waste and 1.66 M tonnes of ore were moved, placing 1.69 M tonnes @ 0.47 gpt Au in the leach pads, producing 14,084 Oz Au, 54,030 Oz Ag at cash cost $867 per Oz Au. At La Colorada in Sonora, working at a rate of 76 K tpd, 5.97 M tonnes of waste and 872 K tonnes of ore were moved and 882 K tonnes were placed on the leach pads @ 0.44 gpt Au, producing 15,372 Oz Au, 54,773 Oz Ag at cash cost $952 per Oz Au. “The Company plans to invest between $50 million and $60 million in capital programs during 2019, of which approximately 30% was spent during the first quarter of 2019”
  • Coeur Mining Inc. reported first quarter 2019 financial results, including figures from its Mexico operations. At Palmarejo, in Chihuahua, 379 K tonnes were milled @ 2.18 gpt Au, 144 gpt Ag, recovering 86.4% Au, 72.8% Ag, to produce 23,205 Oz Au, 1.28 M Oz Ag. Costs applicable to sales (CAS) were $713 per Oz Au and $9.66 per Oz Ag.
  • Alamos Gold Inc. released its financial results for the first quarter 2019, including figures from its operations in Mexico. At Mulatos, in Sonora, 1.83 M tonnes of ore were mined, 1.98 M tonnes of waste moved, to place 1.87 M tonnes of ore on the leach pads @ 0.98 gpt Au, producing 38,900 Oz Au at cash cost $743 and mine site AISC of $809. At El Chanate, in Sonora, 5,800 Oz Au were produced at cash cost $1,193 per Oz Au and mine site AISC of $1,193 per Oz Au. Construction of the haulage road has commenced on the Cerro Pelon mine, near the Mulatos mine, with a 2019 budget of $25 M. Pre-stripping is expected to commence in the third quarter.
  • Excellon Resources Inc. announced first quarter 2019 results from the Platosa mine in Durango. During the period 20 K tonnes were mined, with 16.8 K tonnes of ore @ 534 gpt Ag, 5.01% Pb, 8.00% Zn and 1.45 K tonnes of historical stockpile processed @ 123 gpt Ag, 1.22% Pb, 1.44% Zn, recovering 89.7% Ag, 74.6% Pb, 78.1% Zn to produce 260.4 K Oz Ag, 1.38 M Lb Pb, 2.21 M Lb Zn.
  • Golden Minerals Co. announced financial results for Q1 2019. The company continues to advance the Yoquivo Au-Ag project in Chihuahua. The company has cash and cash equivalents of $2.2 M, with no debt.
  • Santacruz Silver Mining Ltd. reports on its financial and operating results for the 2018 fiscal year. During the year the company milled 211.4 K tonnes, recovering 815.3 K Oz AgEq at cash cost $36.8 per AgEq Oz and an AISC of $37.2 per AgEq Oz. At Veta Grande, Zacatecas, silver production was 514.4 K Oz. At Rosario, in San Luis Potosi, silver production was 300.9 K Oz Ag.  

ON FINANCING

  • First Mining Gold Corp. intends to complete a non-brokered private placement for aggregate proceeds of up to $6 M. (San Ricardo, Sonora; Lachatao, Oaxaca).
  • Prize Mining Corp. intends to raise up to $1.5 M by means of non-brokered private placement (Manto Negro, Coahuila).
  • Leagold Mining Corp. received a binding underwriting commitment from a syndicate of lenders for a $200 M term loan and a $200 M revolving credit facility. “These loans will be used to repay current debt and finance the Company’s growth” (Los Filos, Guerrero).

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

  • No Relevant News.  

ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

  • Alio Gold Inc. received a notice of civil claim from a former shareholder of Rye Patch Gold Corp. whose shares were acquired by the company on May 2018.  (San Francisco, Sonora).
  • Silver Bull Resources Inc. informed that South 32 is to maintain its option on the Sierra Mojada project by funding an additional US$3 M in exploration. “This will result in aggregate funding of US$6 million at the completion of the second year of the joint venture option”. To maintain the option, South32 must contribute minimum exploration funding of US$10 M during a four year option period with minimum aggregate exploration funding of US$3 M, US$6 M and US$8 M to be made by the end of years 1, 2 and 3 of the option period respectively.

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-chalcopyrite veinlet hosted by an intrusive rock in core from a project in Michoacan. Picture by Jorge Cirett.

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