The Mining and Exploration News in Mexico: Highlights on the Fifth Week of July, 2019.

Cervantite crystals in jasperoids

By Miguel A Heredia

During the thirty one week of the year (July 29th to August 4th, 2019), at least 37 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico, with twelve communicating production results, nine disclosing deals and corporate issues, six announcing financial rounds, five reporting on resources and development of their projects, two informing on exploration results, and one commenting on Mexican issues.   ON MEXICO ISSUES, Mexican president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, declared that the mining sector will face several legislative and state government proposals to tighten environmental restrictions and raise taxes.   ON EXPLORATION, In Jalisco, GoGold released drilling results from four new holes at its Los Ricos project, and Silver Spruce confirmed high grade Au mineralization at its Cocula project. ON MINING, Alamos Gold, Americas Silver, Azure, Capstone, Consolidated Zinc, Excellon, Fresnillo, Leagold, McEwen, Newmont Goldcorp, Santacruz, and Starcore reported production and financial results from their Mexican mining operations. ON FINANCING, Avino, Chesapeake, Great Panther, Millrock, Sonoro and VVC announced financial rounds. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Capstone provided an update on the development of its one-way ramp system at Cozamin mine in Zacatecas, to increase Cu output by the end of 2020. It also initiated a large in-fill drilling program to reserve conversion. Goldplay announced drilling results from the first hole drilled at the Faisanes target, adjacent to the western edge of its San Marcial NI43-101 resource in Sinaloa.  Pan American Silver announced results from the exploration drilling completed over the past three months at its La Colorada mine in Zacatecas. Silver Bull provided results from five new holes drilled to test possible extensions at depth to the main deposit at its Sierra Mojada project in Coahuila. Sonoro filed a technical report on its Cerro Caliche project in Sonora, to present an estimate of mineral resources. SSR Mining commented that is reviewing drill programs and engineering studies to identify additional zones and continuity of high-grade mineral resources at its Pitarrilla project in Durango. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Starcore entered into an agreement covering the sale of its processing facility in Matehuala, San Luis Potosi. Aztec Minerals completed the terms of its earn-in and exercised its option to acquire 65% interest in the Cervantes project in Sonora.   Bacanora Lithium provided an update on the strategic investment by Ganfeng Lithium (Sonora Lithium project, Sonora).  Discovery Metals completed the acquisition of Levon Resources (Cordero project, Chihuahua).  One World Lithium announced the engagement of Montgomery and Associate to assist them as consultant on its Salar del Diablo project in Baja California Norte. Sierra Metals announced management changes (Bolivar mine, Chihuahua). Gold Resource declared July monthly dividend to its shareholders (El Aguila mine, Oaxaca). Peñoles stock sinked more than 10% in the Mexican Stock Exchange.

 ON MEXICO ISSUES

  • Mexican president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, declared that the mining sector will face several legislative and state government proposals to tighten environmental restrictions, raise taxes, regularize rights payments and give greater voice and vote to communities where companies have or intend to establish extraction projects. Fernando Alanis Ortega, president of CAMIMEX and general director of Industrias Peñoles commented that “there have been complicated initiatives that show a deep ignorance of what our sector is. It is important to have more executive work within the legislature to have a better coordination in the initiatives”.

ON EXPLORATION

  • GoGold Resources Inc., released drilling results of new four holes from the ongoing drilling program at its Los Ricos project in Jalisco. To date, 41 holes have been drilled for a total of 5,522m. Significant intersections were encountered in hole LRGG-19-18 (the deepest hole to intersect Los Ricos vein to date) with 21.4m of 0.81 g/t Au and 170 g/t Ag (3.08 g/t AuEq), including 12.9m of 1.24 g/t Au and 262 g/t Ag (4.74 g/t AuEq), including 7.5m of 1.78 g/t Au and 342 g/t Ag (6.35 g/t AuEq); hole LRGG-19-019 with 4.5m of 1.5 g/t Au and 197 g/t Ag (4.13 g/t AuEq, followed by 2.2m of open stope, to continue with 13.8m of 0.63 g/t Au and 86 g/t Ag (1.78 g/t AuEq), including 4.2m of 1.52 g/t Au and 198 g/t Ag (4.17 g/t AuEq); hole LRGG-19-020 with 14.9m of 1.78 g/t Au and 106 g/t Ag (3.2 g/t AuEq), including 7m of 3.48 g/t Au and 156 g/t Ag (5.55 g/t AuEq); and hole LRGG-19-021 with 7.5m of 0.09 g/t Au and 18 g/t Ag (0.33 g/t AuEq), followed by 6m of open stope, to continue with 15.6m of 1.15 g/t Au and 113 g/t Ag (2.67 g/t AuEq), including 6.5m of 2.38 g/t Au and 236 g/t Ag (5.54 g/t AuEq). GoGold plans to complete 10,000m of drilling at the property.
  • Silver Spruce Resources Inc., received results from a first set of fifteen RC drilling samples and from a second set of eight surface samples and four RC samples for due diligence purposes to confirm grades reported previously by Timmins Gold (now Alio Gold) at the advanced Au Cocula project in Jalisco. Re-assays showed a good correlation with those results reported previously by Timmins.

ON MINING

  • Alamos Gold Inc., presented production and financial results for the period Q2, 2019 from their Mulatos and Chanate mines in Sonora. At its Mulatos mine, the company processed 2,107,590 tonnes of 0.94 g/t Au to produce 36.3K Oz Au and sold 40.12K Oz Au. Sale cost per Oz Au produced was $725 for an AISC of $1,257 per Oz Au. At its Chanate mine (transitioned to residual leaching in October, 2018), Alamos produced 4,400 Oz Au and sold 4,376 Oz Au. Production cost was $1,234 USD per Oz Au for an AISC of $1,257 per Oz Au. The company expects to produce 150K-160K Oz Au at Mulatos mine and over 15K-25K Oz Au at El Chanate during 2019.
  • Americas Silver Corporation, announced Q2, 2019 production and operating cost results from its Cosala mine operation in Sinaloa. It processed 156,998 tonnes of 49 g/t Ag to produce 145.4K Oz Ag, 11.15M Lb Zn, and 4M Lb Pb (1.3M Oz AgEq), at a cash cost of $18.27 per Oz Ag and AISC of 11.66 per Oz Ag.
  • Azure Minerals Limited, reported that during Q2, 2019 over 1,200 tonnes of ore have been mined and stockpiled from its Oposura project in Sonora, with an estimated grade to be between 10-15% combined Zn+Pb. Ore will be processed under a toll treatment agreement through the nearby San Javier sulphide flotation processing facility. Ore transport will start in August and processing is expected to start in September.
  • Capstone Mining Corp., released production and financial results for the period Q2, 2019 from its Cozamine mine in Zacatecas. Capstone milled 284K tonnes of 1.48% Cu, 0.96% Zn, and 45 g/ton Ag to produce 8.72M Lb Cu, 3.84M Lb Zn, and 323K Oz Ag. Metallurgical recoveries were 94.1% for Cu, 64.2% for Zn, and 77.3% for Ag. Site operating cost was $47.71 per tonne milled, with cash cost of $1.06 per Lb Cu produced. The company reported revenue of $24.3M for an EBITDA of $9.3M.
  • Consolidated Zinc Limited, reported Q2, 2019 production and financial results from its Plomosas mine in Chihuahua. It mined 15,881 tonnes of 14.8% Zn, 6.7% Pb, and 35 g/t Ag, and processed 10,273 tonnes of 13.2% Zn, 4.7% Pb, and 35 g/t Ag, for a total of 3M Lb Zn, 1M Lb Pb, and 11.6K Oz Ag contained. From this total metal contained, only 1.3M Lb Zn, 334K Lb Pb, and 4KOz Ag was sold with cash cost of $0.78 per Lb Zn produced. 742 tonnes of Zn concentrate and 246 tonnes of Pb concentrate were stockpiled and will be available for sale at June 30, 2019.
  • Excellon Resources Inc., presented Q2 and H1, 2019 production and financial results from its La Platosa mine in Durango. It processed 19,964 tonnes of 514 g/t Ag, 5% Pb, and 7.4% Zn during Q2, 2019 for a total of 38,183 tonnes of 523 g/t Ag, 5% Pb, and 7.7% Zn in H1, 2019. Total production in Q2, 2019 was 276.8K Oz Ag, 1.8M Lb Pb, and 2.8M Lb Zn (583K Oz AgEq), for a total of 537.2 Oz Ag, 3.14M Lb Pb, and 4.5M Lb Zn (1M Oz AgEq) during the period H1, 2019. Excellon reported a production cost of $304 and $204 per tonne for Q2 and H1, 2019 respectively. Cash cost per Oz Ag produced was $9.18 and 10.06 for the periods Q2 and H1, 2019 respectively, with an AISC per Oz Ag payable of $16.89 and $19.82 respectively. The company had revenues for $8.67M and $13.85M for the periods Q2 and H1, 2019 respectively.
  • Fresnillo plc., announced consolidated production and financial results for the period H1, 2019 from their Mexican operations. Fresnillo produced 27.56M Oz Ag (including a Ag stream production of 1,548 Oz Ag), 432.4K Oz Au, 56.4M Lb Pb, and 95M Lb Zn. Adjusted revenue of USD $1,069M were reported with an EBITDA of USD $307.9M for a total profit for the period of USD$ 70.9M. The company also presented production results by mine for H1, 2019. At Fresnillo mine, Zacatecas, 1,194,199 tonnes were processed with grades of 187 g/t Ag, 0.86 g/t Au, 0.85% Pb, and 1.5% Zn for a total of 6.4M Oz Ag, 25K Oz Au, 19.6M Lb Pb, and 26.8M Lb Zn. At Saucito mine, Zacatecas, Fresnillo processed 1,327,673 tonnes of 243 g/t Ag, 1.14 g/t Au, 0.9%Pb, and 1.6% Zn to produce 8.8M Oz Ag, 36.7K Oz Au, 23.4M Lb Pb, and 33.7M Lb Zn. At its Pyrites Plant, it processed 87K tonnes of 305 g/t Ag and 2.31 g/t Au to produce 638K Oz Ag and 2,315 Oz Au. At Cienega mine in Durango, the company processed 650,107 tonnes of 1.55 g/t Au, 163 g/t Ag, 0.6% Pb, and 1% Zn to produce 29.7K Oz Au, 2.9M Oz Ag, 5.2M Lb Pb, and 8.6M Lb Zn. At the San Julian mine in Chihuahua-Durango border, Fresnillo processed 661,680 tonnes of 1.74 g/t Au and 120 g/t Ag from San Julian Veins to produce 35.3K Oz Au and 2.3M Oz Ag, while 1,107,875 tonnes were processed from the San Julian Disseminated Ore Body with grades of 0.08 g/t Au, 137 g/t Ag, 0.4% Pb, and 1.4% Zn, to produce 1,143 Oz Au, 4.2M Oz Ag, 8.1M Lb Pb, and 25.9M Lb Zn. Total production at San Julian was 36.4K Oz Au and 6.5M Oz Ag. At its Noche Buena mine in Sonora, the company processed 6,575,328 tonnes of 0.53 g/t Au and 0.2 g/t Ag to produce 65.4K Oz Au and 29K Oz Ag.
  • Leagold Mining Corporation, reported production and financial results from its Los Filos mine in Guerrero for the period Q2, 2019. Leagold reported Au production and sales for 44.9K Oz Au and 47K Oz Au respectively, at a cash cost of USD $853 per Oz Au sold and AISC of USD $978 per Oz Au sold for an associated revenue of USD $59.9M. Au production and sales were 108.9K Oz Au and 112.9K Oz Au respectively for the period H1, 2019, for revenue of USD $144.1M and AISC of USD $846 per Oz Au sold.
  • McEwen Mining Inc., announced production and financial results from its El Gallo mine in Sinaloa for the period Q2, 2019. The company produced 5.4K GEOs (Au Eq ounces) at cash cost of USD $967 per Oz Au and AISC of USD $989 per Oz Au produced. Total production in H1, 2019 reached 23K GEOs at cash cost of USD $724 per Oz Au and AISC of USD $776 per Oz Au produced.
  • Newmont Goldcorp Corporation, announced Q2, 2019 production and financial results from its Peñasquito mine in Zacatecas. It produced 165K GEOs, 245M Lb Zn, 180M Lb Pb, and 25M Oz Ag at cash cost of USD $820 per Oz Au and AISC of USD $1,095 per Oz Au produced.
  • Santacruz Silver Mining Ltd., presented Q2, 2019 production results from their Veta Grande mine in Zacatecas and El Rosario mine in San Luis Potosi. At Veta Grande mine, Zacatecas, it processed 37,156 tonnes of 101 g/t Ag, 0.21 g/t Au, 1.1% Pb, and 2.1% Zn, to produce 73K Oz Ag, 138 Oz Au, 826.5K Lb Pb, and 1.36M Lb Zn for a total of 240.2K Oz AgEq. At El Rosario mine in San Luis Potosi, the company processed 20,789 tonnes of 74 g/t Ag, 0.28 g/t Au, 0.4% Pb, and 2.1% Zn to produce 46.1K Oz Ag, 116 Oz Au, 194.9K Lb Pb, and 844.5K Lb Zn for a total of 133.1K Oz AgEq.
  • Starcore International Mines Ltd., reported year end dated April, 30, 2019 production and financial results from its San Martin mine in Queretaro. Starcore milled 301.9K tonnes with grades of 1.63 g/t Au and 86 g/t Ag with metallurgical recoveries of 86.2% and 58.4% respectively, to produce 13.7K Oz Au and 224.5K Oz Ag at an operating cost of USD $58 per tonne and USD $1,081 per Oz Au produced. Total revenues of CAD $32.8M were obtained, including CAD $5.7M of purchased concentrate processing revenue.

ON FINANCING

  • Avino Silver & Gold Mines Ltd., closed a bought deal financing for aggregate gross proceeds of CAD $6M. Net proceeds will be used to advance the exploration and development of its Avino mine in Durango.
  • Chesapeake Gold Corp., announced that it entered in a bought deal private placement financing for gross proceeds of $12M. In addition, Chesapeake also entered into a non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of $3M (Metates project, Durango).
  • Great Panther Mining Limited, entered in a bought deal financing agreement for gross proceeds of approximately $15M. In addition, Great Panther granted an over-allotment option for gross proceeds of $2.25M (Topia mine, Durango).
  • Millrock Resources Inc., closed the first tranche of a non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of $1M (Guadalcazar project, San Luis Potosi).
  • Sonoro Metals Corp., completed a non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of $750K (Cerro Caliche project, Sonora).
  • VVC Exploration Corporation, announced a non-brokered private placement to intend to raise up to CAD $2.5M. Proceeds will be used to pay for exploration and development of its Samalayuca project in Chihuahua, land use permits and associated costs, metallurgical bench testing of copper mineralization, and proposed pilot mining investigation and evaluation process.

 ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

  • Capstone Mining Corp., announced that the development of the one-way ramp system is on schedule for completion by the end of 2020, which is expected to increase copper output by 30% to between 40 to 45M Lb per annum. In addition, Cozamin initiated a large in-fill definition drilling program during the quarter that will target resource to reserve conversion to support a doubling of Cozamin’s mine life.
  • Goldplay Exploration Ltd., reported results from the first hole drilled at the Faisanes target, immediately adjacent to the western edge of its San Marcial NI43-101 resource in Sinaloa. Hole SM-19-01 intersected 1m of 204.6 g/t Au and defined a new Au mineralized zone close to surface. Goldplay is actively focused on surface and drilling exploration along the 600 m long Faisanes zone.
  • Pan American Silver Corp., provided results from the exploration drilling completed over the last three months at its la Colorada mine in Zacatecas. The drilling program covered an area of 600m by 300m and delineated skarn/manto zones that are still open laterally and at depth. Four drill rigs operating underground and three drill rigs on surface have completed 11,300m of infill and step-out drilling in the last three months, bringing the total meters drilled to date to 31,000m. Significant drill intersections were encountered in hole U-51-19 with 109 g/t Ag, 0.38% Cu, 1.7% Pb, and 3.8 % Zn over 114m, including 158g/t Ag, 0.59%Cu, 2.6% Pb, and 5% Zn over 58.2m ; hole  U-46-19 with 55 g/t Ag, 0.22% Cu, 3.8% Pb, and 6.6% Zn over 126m, including 74 g/t Ag, 0.44% Cu, 5.4% Pb, and 10.3% Zn over 32.9m; hole U-42-19 with 40 g/t Ag, 0.17% Cu, 1.2% Pb, and 2.8% Zn over 214.2m, including 75 g/t Ag, 0.33% Cu, 3.4% Pb, and 3.5% Zn over 38.3m; hole U-37-19 with 28 g/t Ag, 0.11% Cu, 1.9% Pb, and 3.9% Zn over 45.8m, including 36 g/t Ag, 0.08% Cu, 3.2% Pb, and 3.7% Zn over 18.1m; hole U-35-19 with 41 g/t Ag, 0.3% Cu, 0.9% Pb, and 4% Zn over 82.6m; hole U-29-19 with 67 g/t Ag, 0.23% Cu, 1.5% Pb, and 4.5% Zn over 18.8m; hole U-22.19 with 42 g/t Ag, 0.05% Cu, 0.8% Pb, and 3.9% Zn over 104.7m and 64 g/t Ag, 0.28% Cu, 2% Pb, and 5.8% Zn over 15.1m. Pan American plans to complete 50,000m of drilling and review 12,000 km magnetotellurics geophysics survey to better define the skarn footprint limits.
  • Silver Bull Resources Inc., provided results from five holes drilled to test possible extensions at depth of its Sierra Mojada deposit in Coahuila. Significant intersections were encountered in hole B19005 with 9% Zn, 2.1% Pb, and 16 g/t Ag over 13.25m of massive sulphide mineralization, including 11.9% Zn, 2.8% Pb, and 24 g/t Ag over 5.85m: hole B19004 with 8.1%Zn, 1.8% Pb, and 27 g/t Ag over 46.23m, including 8.1% Zn, 1.8% Pb, and 27 g/t Ag over 0.87m: hole B19006 with 7.2% Zn, 1.2% Pb, 195 g/t Ag, and 0.13% Cu over 0.85m. These drill holes are part of an 8,000m surface drilling program to test extensions of the main deposit at Sierra Mojada, Coahuila.
  • Sonoro Metals Corp., filed a NI43-101 technical report on its Cerro Caliche project in Sonora in which reported inferred resources of 11,470,000 tonnes of 0.49 g/t Au and 4 g/t Ag (or 0.55 g/t AuEq) to contain a total of 183K Oz Au and 1.6M Oz Ag (or 201K Oz AuEq). “The estimate of mineral resources is based on a total of 21,091 meters of RC drilling in 200 holes. Of these, 10,328m in 96 holes were drilled by Sonoro, plus 7,725m in 86 holes were drilled by Corex Gold and 3,038m in 18 holes were drilled by Paget Southern, both previous operators of the Cerro Caliche project”.
  • SSR Mining Inc, informed that is reviewing drill programs and engineering studies to identify additional zones and continuity of high-grade mineral resources at its Pitarrilla project in Durango. It is also evaluating contractors to extend the existing underground access and drill these areas.

 ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

  • Starcore International Mines Ltd., entered in an agreement to cover the sale of its subsidiary Altiplano Goldsilver SA de CV, which owns the processing facility in Matehuala, San Luis Potosi. Terms of the transaction includes a deposit of USD $0.5M; a payment of USD $0.5M on August 31, 2019; a payment of USD $200K on November 30, 2019; a payment of USD $200K on February 28, 2020; and a final payment of USD $200K on May 31, 2020. In addition, Starcore informed that reduced its staff by 125 people at its San Martin mine in Queretaro. It will incur in severance cost of USD $600K related to the staff reduction.
  • Aztec Minerals Corp., completed the terms of its ear-in and exercised its option to acquire 65% interest in the Cervantes project in Sonora from Kootenay Silver Inc. Both companies expect to finalize the terms of the JV agreement shortly and form a management committee to review the exploration results to date and approve the next exploration program and budget at Cervantes.
  • Bacanora Lithium plc., provided an updated on the strategic investment by Ganfeng Lithium (GFL) to participate at the Sonora Lithium operation. GFL will acquire 29.99% of Bacanora, and 22.5% of the Sonora Lithium project in Sonora.
  • Discovery Metals Corp., completed the acquisition of Levon Resources Ltd. Based on the agreement, the shareholders of Levon received 0.55% of a common share of Discovery. “Effective on the closing of the Arrangement, there were approximately 168M Discovery shares issued and outstanding (including the conversion of the Subscription Receipts, as described below, and the issuance of 64,412,929 Discovery Shares issued to Levon shareholders pursuant to the Arrangement), and Discovery’s market capitalization is approximately $66M, based on Discovery’s closing price on the TSX Venture Exchange on August 1, 2019”.
  • One World Lithium Inc., announced the engagement of Montgomery and Associates to consult with the company on its exploration program at its Salar del Diablo project in Baja California Norte.
  • Sierra Metals Inc., announced management changes after the departure of its COO (Bolivar mine, Chihuahua).
  • Torex Gold Resources Inc., amended and restated a USD $400M debt facility with bank institutions.  This debt facility is comprised of USD $185M term loan, and USD $150M revolving loan facility. All conditions precedent to the initial advance under the debt have been satisfied as of July 30, 2019, and at that date, the full amount of the term facility and USD $100M of the revolving facility is outstanding ( El Limon-Guajes Mining Complex, Guerrero).
  • Gold Resource Corporation, declared July monthly dividend of 1/6 of a cent per common share to its shareholders (El Aguila mine, Oaxaca).
  • Industrias Peñoles SA de CV, informed that its stock plummeted 58 % in the Mexican Stock Exchange after reporting losses in Q2, 2019 due to the fall of metal prices and production cost increase. The company’s operating flow collapsed 58.4% in said period 2019 against the same period of 2018. Metal operations showed a decrease in volumes: Pb production fell 13.8%, Au 8.8 %, and Ag 4.5%. The exception was Zn, where production grew 15.1%.

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 above, cervantite crystals after stibnite in jasperoids in a prospect in Durango, Mexico.  Photo by Miguel A Heredia.

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