The Mining and Exploration News in Mexico: Highlights on the Second Week of August, 2019

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By Jorge Cirett

During the 32nd week of the year (August 5th to August 11th, 2019), at least 36 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico. ON MEXICO ISSUES, The president of Mexico announced in a political rally that no more mining concessions are to be granted during his term in office. ON EXPLORATION, In Chihuahua, Kootenay has mobilized a drill rig to its Columba property. In Coahuila, Discovery Metals released high-grade results from underground sampling at Minerva. In Zacatecas, Alien Metals carried out surface sampling at Los Campos, Donovan and San Celso projects; Advance Gold started an IP survey at Tabasqueña. ON MINING, Gold Resource, Premier Gold, Hecla Mining, Golden Minerals, First Majestic, Coeur Mining, Argonaut Gold, Pan American Silver, Avino Silver, Endeavour Silver, Alio Gold, Torex Gold, Fortuna Silver and GoGold reported second quarter production and/or financial results for the second quarter. Mexus Gold poured first gold at its Santa Elena mine in Sonora. ON FINANCING, Excellon Resources entered into an agreement with a sole bookrunner for gross proceeds of $10 M. Santacruz Silver granted options to its directors, officers, employees, consultants and advisors. Oroco closed a first tranche for $900 K. Impact Silver completed the first series of a round of financing for $2.4 M in gross proceeds.   ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, US Antimony continues mining at Los Juarez, Queretaro. Hecla presented drill results from San Sebastian, Durango. Orla Mining filed the FS on Camino Rojo Oxide project. VVC Exploration approved the construction of a pilot plant on its Northern Mexico Copper project. Minera Alamos received the needed environmental approval for mine construction at Santana, Sonora. Goldplay Exploration compiled all the exploration information on a 6 km trend outside the known resource in San Marcial, Sinaloa ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Discovery Metals filed an early warning report in respect to its holdings in Levon Resources. Tamino Minerals is working to remove the stop sign to become current on the OTC. Minera Alamos reported the retirement from the Board of Directors of Mr. Chester Millar, (a long time player in the Mexican Mining scene). Mako Mining informed the near completion of production from La Trinidad mine in Sinaloa. Chesapeake Gold re-purchased a 1% NSR from Wheaton Precious Metals. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY. Argonaut Gold engaged in multiple community projects during the second quarter on its operations at San Agustin (Durango), El Castillo (Durango), La Colorada (Sonora) and La Paz (Baja California Sur).

ON MEXICO ISSUES

  • No more mining concessions in my term: AMLO. The president of Mexico, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, announced this Sunday (August 11th, 2019) in a political rally in Concepcion del Oro, Zacatecas, that under his term no more mining concessions are to be granted. “To give concessions of the mining regions to national and foreign companies was a policy forwarded since the time of (Carlos) Salinas de Gortari, and up to 80 million hectares were delivered for mining exploitation. To grasp it: let’s think in our territory. Mexico has 200 million hectares, and 80 million hectares, about 40 percent of the national territory. Never in History so much of our sovereign soil had been transferred”, he said. He also reiterated that current concessions are to continue, but no new ones are to be delivered. “We are not to cancel (the concessions), but we are not to continue delivering new concessions for mining exploitation. Because it was too much what was delivered. If we analyze it, we are going to conclude that it wasn’t delivered to produce, but to speculate financially ………. With what has been delivered they have to produce. That’s the main purpose and not speculation. What we ask the mining companies is, first, take care of the environment, that no territory is destroyed, not to act as it is done in other countries”. He asked for Mexican miners to be paid as in the United States, or Canada, and that the same environmental rules be applied, also making a call for the salaries of workers to be raised, with the same benefits. (Editor’s note.- All the president arguments can be easily refuted to show that granting mining concessions is, and has been, very helpful for the country and countless of Mexicans. But there is no valid argument to present to the president that on the one hand is calling for more investment, while in the other hand is closing the door to it.)

ON EXPLORATION

  • Kootenay Silver Inc. has mobilized a drill rig to commence a 3,000 m core drill program at its Columba project in Chihuahua. “The first 12 holes of the drill program will be designed to test the F vein where underground development work extended to 200 meter depth and the historic mining occurred”.
  • Alien Metals Ltd. carried out some surface rock sampling at its Donovan, Los Campos and San Celso projects in Zacatecas, results pending.
  • Advance Gold Corp. started a 800 x 500 m 3D induced polarization (IP) geophysical survey on its Tabaqueña project, Zacatecas. The goal of the survey is to assess the depth potential below the near surface mineralized zone that was encountered in the andesites, with the graphitic phyllites below still open at depth.
  • Discovery Metals Corp. released assay results for 112 underground samples from its drill permitted Minerva Ag-Zn-Pb project in Coahuila. Highlighted results from the Minerva mine include 0.4 m @ 8,880 gpt Ag, 8.7% Zn, 43.2% Zn, 2.30% Cu, 0.3 m @ 1,200 gpt Ag, 24.8% Zn, 18.2% Pb, 0.15% Cu; 0.2 m @ 1,340 gpt Ag, 20.8% Zn, 19.6% Pb, 0.11% Cu; 0.9 m @ 517 gpt Ag, 5.7% Zn, 3.3% Pb, 0.07% Cu in veins, 0.3 m @ 1,485 gpt Ag, 8.6% Zn, 32.1% Pb, 0.10% Cu; 0.3 m @ 1,145 gpt Ag, 10.8% Zn, 34.8% Pb, 0.10% Cu; 0.5 m @ 220 gpt Ag, 34.6% Zn, 13.2% Pb, 0.05% Cu; 0.4 m @ 1,050 gpt Ag, 5.8% Zn, 26.4% Pb; 1.4 m @ 131 gpt Ag, 22.2% Zn, 2.7% Pb, 0.04% Cu in mantos. Underground samples from the Concordia area returned 0.7 m @ 848 gpt Ag, 2.7% Zn, 12.5% Pb, 0.24% Cu; 0.8 m @ 320 gpt Ag, nil Zn, 13% Pb, 0.06% Cu; 1.1 m @ 267 gpt Ag, 0.4% Zn, 6.3% Pb, 0.06% Cu in vein and limestone. At Tercia area, samples from a small working in diorite returned 0.5 m @ 226 gpt Ag, 0.2% Zn, 15.5% Pb; 0.5 m @ 181 gpt Ag, 0.2% Zn, 10.0% Pb; 1.3 m @ 124 gpt Ag, 3.2% Zn, 6.1% Pb in breccias (fault zones?).

ON MINING

  • Mexus Gold US. has poured gold at its Santa Elena mine in Sonora (not to mistake for First Majestic’s Santa Elena mine, also in Sonora). The company recovered gold from its first heap leach pad using its Merrill Crowe gold recovery system. Mexus continues to mine and crush ore for the 2nd lift on heap leach pad #1.
  • Gold Resource Corp. presented production results for the second quarter 2019. At the Oaxaca’s Mining Unit 7,881 Oz Au, 466.5 K Oz Ag, 482 tonnes Cu, 2,304 tonnes Pb, 6,054 tonnes Zn were produced. At the Arista mine 115.8 K tonnes were milled @ 1.87 gpt Au, 92 gpt Ag, 0.40% Cu, 1.96% Pb, 4.77% Zn. At the Aguila open pit mine 8,872 tonnes were milled @ 1.39 gpt Au, 43 gpt Ag. At the Mirador mine 6,737 tonnes were milled @ 1.10 gpt Au, 201 gpt Ag. The company had $7.93 M of cash and cash equivalents by the end of the period.
  • Premier Gold Mines Ltd. reported operating results for the second quarter 2019, including figures from its Mexican operations. At Mercedes, in Sonora, 167.6 K tonnes were milled @ 3.0 gpt Au, 27.2 gpt Ag, recovering 95.9% Au, 35.0% Ag to produce 15,532 Oz Au, 51,354 Oz Ag. Co-product cash cost was $1,053 per Oz Au, and the co-product all-in-sustaining cost was $1,254 per Oz Au. On by-product basis, cash cost was 1,044 per Oz Au and AISC $1,252 per OZ Au. A total of 11,281 m of drilling targeted the Diluvio, Marianas and Barrancas veins “to replace reserves support mine production, test extensions of the main mine trends and to test new geological targets.”
  • Hecla Mining Co. presented second quarter 2019 results, including figure from its operations in Mexico. At San Sebastian, Durango, 463.7 K Oz Ag, 3,547 Oz Au were produced at by-product cash cost $9.22 per Oz Ag and by-product AISC$15.50.
  • Golden Minerals Co. released financial results for the second quarter 2019. An important point on the report is the still to be completed $22 M sale of the Velardeña, Santa Maria and Rodeo properties, as well as the Velardeña mill, to Grupo Autlan. Golden had a net loss of $2.5 M , ending the period with $1.8 M in cash and cash equivalents.
  • First Majestic Silver Corp. announced financial results for the second quarter 2019. During the period 3.2 M Oz Ag, 6.4 M OZ AgEq were produced at cash cost $6.84 per Oz Ag, and AISC $ 14.76 per Oz Ag on a consolidated basis from its San Dimas (Durango), Santa Elena (Sonora), La Encantada (Coahuila), San Martin (Jalisco), La Parrilla (Durango), Del Toro (Zacatecas). At the end of the period the company had $94.5 M in cash and cash equivalents.First Majestic production table1
  • Coeur Mining Inc. reported second quarter 2019 financial results, including figures from its Mexican operations. At Palmarejo, in Chihuahua, 447.7 K tonnes were milled @ 2.18 gpt Au, 147 gpt Ag, recovering 87.7% Au, 81.8% Ag, to produce 28,246 Oz Au, 1.73 M Oz Ag at adjusted CAS $741 per Oz Au and adjusted CAS $9.17 per Oz Ag. Production started and is to be ramped up 400 tonnes per day (tpd) at La Nacion deposit.
  • Argonaut Gold Inc. announced its operating and financial results for the second qurter of 2019. At Cerro del Gallo in Guanajuato, Argonaut is advancing on the pre-feasibility study, whereas at San Antonio in Baja California participated in a public information meeting regarding the environmental impact assessment process, while advancing in environmental permitting. At El Castillo, Durango, 2.3 M tonnes of ore @ 0.39 gpt Au, 3.49 M tonnes of waste were moved at a rate of 64 K tonnes per day (tpd) to produce 14,361 Oz Au, 29,791 Oz Ag at cash cost $976 per gold equivalent ounce. At San Agustin (Durango), 1.96 M tonnes of ore @ 0.39 gpt Au, 1.41 M tonnes waste were moved at 37 K tpd to produce 12,684 Oz Au, 43,097 Oz Ag at cash cost $910 per gold equivalent ounce. At La Colorada (Sonora) 1.19 M tonnes of ore @ 0.46 gpt Au, 5.9 M tonnes of waste were moved at 78 K tpd to produce 11,723 Oz Au, 35,485 Oz Ag at cash cost $894 per gold equivalent ounce.
  • Pan American Silver Corp. reported unaudited results for the second quarter 2019, including figures from its Mexican operations. At La Colorada, in Zacatecas, 2.04 M Oz Ag, 1.1 K Oz Au were produced at cash cost $2.82 per Oz Ag and AISC $5.07 per Oz Ag. At Dolores, in Chihuahua, 1.23 M Oz Ag, 28.5 K Oz Au were produced at cash cost $6.87 per Oz Ag and AISC $22.30 per Oz Ag. “Drilling at the La Colorada mine has further defined the skarn mineralization, indicating a high concentration of base metal and silver mineralization over large widths”. By the end of the period the company had cash and shorth-term investments for $138.8 M, and working capital of $793.1 M.
  • Avino Silver & Gold Mines Ltd. released consolidated financial results for the second quarter 2019. During the period 200.9 K tonnes were milled to produce 426.1 K Oz Ag, 1,609 Oz Au, 1.14 M Lb Cu, or 599.5 K Oz AgEq, with consolidated cash cost per AgEq ounce of $10.89, and AISC $13.10 per AgEq ounce. At the end of the quarter Avino held $3.4 M of cash, and a working capital of $8.7 M.
  • Endeavour Silver Corp. released its financial results for the second quarter 2019. Consolidated production from its Guanacevi (Durango), Bolañitos (Guanajuato), El Cubo (Guanajuato) and El Compas (Zacatecas) mines was 1.06 M Oz Ag, 9,558 Oz Au, or 1.8 M Oz AgEq at an all-in-sustaining cost of $20.90 per Oz Ag net of gold credits. During the period received the final tailings permit for its Terronera project in Jalisco, and reported positive drill results from Bolañitos and Guanacevi.
  • Alio Gold Inc. reported second quarter 2019 results, including figures from its operations in Mexico. At San Francisco, in Sonora, produced 10,230 Oz Au, 5,112 Oz Ag, with a by-product cost of $1,077 per Oz Au and an AISC of $1,079 per Oz Au. In January 2019 Alio stopped active mining in the San Francisco pit and focused on processing the low grade stockpile, which is to continue until the end of the year, after which only residual leaching is to go on.
  • Torex Gold Resources Inc. announced financial and operating results for the second quarter 2019. At El Limon-Guajes in Guerrero, 145.7 K tonnes per day (tpd) were moved, including 19,890 tpd of ore @ 2.91 gpt Au, with a recovery of 88% Au to produce 113,645 Oz Au at cash cost $605 and AISC $760. The Muckahi mining system is said to be on the way to demonstrate its efficacy by year end. Torex released a maiden underground mineral resource estimate for El Limon Deep of 797 K tonnes @ 5.52 gpt Au, containing 171 K Oz Au as an indicated mineral resource. The company had a cash balance of $131 M by the end of June.
  • Fortuna Silver Mines Inc. presented consolidated financial results for the second quarter 2019, including figures from its Mexican operations. At San Jose, Oaxaca, 271 K tonnes were milled at a rate of 3,045 tpd, grading 273 gpt Ag, 1.78 gpt Au, with a recovery of 91% Ag, 90% Au to produce 2.16 M Oz Ag, 13,204 Oz Au at cash cost $6.20 per Oz Ag and an AISC of $9.3 per Ag Oz. By the end of the period Fortuna held $77.2 M in cash and cash equivalents.
  • GoGold Resources Inc. reported second quarter results 2019. During the period GoGold produced 451 K Oz Ag from the Parral tailings. By the end of June the company had $9.0 M in cash and marketable securities and no debt.

ON FINANCING

  • Excellon Resources Inc. entered into an agreement with Cormark Securities Inc. as sole bookrunner and lead underwriter to buy units of the company for gross proceeds of approximately $10 M (Platosa, Durango).
  • Santacruz Silver Mining Ltd. granted 8.5 M stock options options to its directors, officers, employees, consultants and advisors (Veta Grande, Zacatecas; Rosario, San Luis Potosi).
  • Oroco Resource Corp. closed the first tranche of the previously announced non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of $900 K (Santo Tomas, Sinaloa).
  • Impact Silver Corp. completed the first series of the third tranche of the non-brokered private placement previously announced and updated, receiving aggregate gross proceeds of $2.44 M. The company intends to complete a second series of the third tranche for gross proceeds of $554.2 K. Impact has paid $56 K to Infor Financial Inc. and $50 K to Canaccord Genuity Corp. as finders fee (Zacualpan, Estado de Mexico).

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

  • United States Antimony Corp. continues mining in two open pits at Los Juarez mine in Queretaro. At the Puerto Blanco mill in Guanajuato maintenance and improvements are being made to support increased production. At the Puerto Blanco leach circuit the plastic liner and fire assay equipment have been purchased. At the Madero smelter in Coahuila, The caustic leach plant has been tested and is operational to produce gold, silver, and antimony.
  • Hecla Mining Co. added new mineralization by drilling on the Middle and El Toro veins, potentially adding oxide mine life to San Sebastian, in Durango. Near-surface mineralisation has been defined by drilling for over 1,200 m along strike and 160 m of depth. Recent intercepts include 2.40 m @ 874 gpt Ag, 11.5 gpt Au; 1.50 m @ 398 gpt Ag, 1.86 gpt Au; 3.41 m @ 236 gpt Ag, 3.42 gpt Au. “Preliminary engineering studies have begun to evaluate the potential of both open pit and underground mining options at El Toro and drilling in this area is planned to continue through the third quarter.”
  • Orla Mining Ltd. filed a technical report on its Camino Rojo project, Zacatecas. The company previously released the results of the feasibility study (FS) for the oxide part of the mineralized body, which envisages the movement of 44 M tonnes @ 0.73 gpt Au, 14.2 gpt Ag to leach pads, and a recovery of 64% Au, 17% Ag.
  • VVC Exploration Corp. board of directors approved the start of a pilot mine on the Gloria Zones of its Northern Mexico Copper Project (Samalayuca) in Chihuahua. The plan envisions open pit mining and heap leach extraction by electrowinning (SX-EW) starting at 2 K tonnes per day (tpd) of mineralized material, scalable to 4 K tpd.
  • Minera Alamos Inc. received the approval of the environmental impact statement (Manifestación de Impacto Ambiental, or MIA) by SEMARNAT, the regulatory federal environmental agency, rendering the company with the key approvals for the construction of  commercial scale mining facilities at its Santana project in Sonora.
  • Goldplay Exploration Ltd. compiled all the exploration information supporting that its San Marcial project in Sinaloa has a strong precious metal potential, beyond the already defined resource. Five known areas over a 6 km trend include: Nava, with trench sampling of up to 24 m @ 2.1 gpt Au; Chachalaca Micuines, where several rock chip samples returned 1m @ 1.0 – 5.0 gpt Au, and up to 0.9 m @ 13.3 gpt Au; Guacamayo, with a trench interval returning 24 m @ 219 gpt Ag, 0.25 gpt Au; Resource area, on which recent assays of drill holes identified new gold mineralisation outside the resource, with true width intervals (tw) of 1.0 m @ 2.5 gpt Au, 8.4 m @ 0.7 gpt Au, 12 m @ 0.2 gpt Au; Faisanes, where recently a drill hole interval of tw 0.9 m @ 204.6 gpt Au.

ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

  • Discovery Metals Corp. filed an early warning report in respect of its holdings in Levon Resources Ltd., now beneficially owns or controls 117.1 M Levon Shares, representing all of the issued and outstanding Levon Shares. Discovery did not own or control, directly or indirectly, any shares in Levon prior to the Arrangement. (Puerto Rico, Coahuila; Cordero, Chihuahua).
  • Tamino Minerals Inc. informed that “The company is not planning to complete a REVERSE SPLIT at this moment and is not in the company’s plans to do this.” Furthermore stating that “no dilution is guaranted” as its latest DTCC Share Position Report shows that the company has 149.8 M common shares in the float. The company is also working on preparing financial statements in order to remove the stop sign to become current on the OTC Markets (El Volcan, Sonora).
  • Minera Alamos Inc. reported the retirement from the Board of Directors of Mr. Chester Millar. Mr Millar (born 1927) was involved in multiple heap leach mining projects in Mexico for several decades, and is included in the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame since 2008 (Note by editor.- our sincere thanks and respect to Chester Millar for his contributions to the mining industry in Mexico).
  • Mako Mining Corp. informed gold production from the Trinidad mine in Sinaloa is nearing completion. Mining operations ceased at the end of March, and most of the crushing plant has been moved to another project in Nicaragua. The company has been unsuccessful in receiving any proceeds from the claim due to the damages sustained at La Trinidad from Hurricane Willa in October 2018, and legal actions have commenced against the insurer provider and their reinsurers. “Discussions are underway with the mining contractor for La Trinidad and the Mexican government regarding significant payables still outstanding at our Mexican subsidiary that holds La Trinidad”. Mako believes that the company has properly structured its Mexican subsidiary in a way that these liabilities do not extend outside of Mexico, whereby any proceeds from the sale of the equipment, or success in the insurance litigation, will be for the benefit of Mako. Discussions are proceeding with the mining contractor with the goal of reaching a mutually acceptable settlement. Finally, all other assets held in Mexico are to be sold or liquidated on due course (Note of editor.- From the outside, and with no further information other than what’s on the press release, the remarks on the isolation of the parent company from any litigation while leaving the country with debts outstanding are the kind of practices that make foreign companies easy targets for interest groups on any country. In short, please do not do that).
  • Chesapeake Gold Corp. has exercised an option to re-purchase a one percent (1.0%) net smelter returns royalty (NSR) on its Metates Au-Ag-Zn project, Durango. The NSR was purchased from Wheaton Precious Metals Co., a subsidiary of Wheaton Precious Metals Corp. for US$9.0 M.

ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

  • Argonaut Gold Inc. engaged in multiple community projects during the second quarter of 2019. Received the nationally awarded Environmental Socially Responsible Company recognition at the El Castillo Complex for the seventh consecutive year, and held an opening ceremony of a new plant nursery at San Agustin (also in Durango). At La Colorada (Sonora), San Juan del Rio (Durango) and San Antonio (Baja California Sur) hosted a Children’s Day celebration. At La Colorada (Sonora) assisted, in collaboration with the State of Sonora Secretariat of Education and Culture, with the rehabilitation of educational facilities and donated computers, as well as hosted a women’s community workshop in La Colorada. Finally, hosted a health and wellness community workshop in La Paz, Baja California Sur.

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 veinlets and quartz filed breccia in metamorphic rocks of a project in Oaxaca. Picture by Jorge Cirett

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