The Mining and Exploration News in Mexico: Highlights on the First Week of October, 2019
By Jorge Cirett
During the 40th week of the year (September 30th to October 6th, 2019), at least 20 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico. ON MEXICO ISSUES, Gold production declined 2.8% in 2018. On the illegal blockade at the Peñasquito mine in Zacatecas, the president of Mexico asked for both parties to solve their differences (not pronouncing himself on the illegality of the blockade). Frisco and Cemex suffered big losses at the Mexican stock exchange. ON EXPLORATION, in Sonora, Magna Gold signed a LOI on the San Judas project in Sonora; Colibri Resource is to complete mapping and sampling on its Evelyn project. In Sinaloa, Kootenay Silver signed a surface access agreement on the Copalito project. In Zacatecas, Alien Metals is eyeing a drill program on its San Celso project. ON MINING, Alien Metals presented financial results for the first semester 2019. Torex Gold produced 138,100 Oz Au at El Limon-Guajes mine in Guerrero during the Q3 2019. ON FINANCING, Southern Silver, Millrock Resources and Alien Metals granted 3.25 M, 1.88 M and 7 M incentive options respectively to officers, directors, employees and consultants. Fortuna Silver closed a bought deal financing for US$40 M. Azure Minerals raised $4 M. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, GoGold resources released results for one more hole at its Los Ricos project in Jalisco. Premier Gold released results on drilling at the Lupita extension on its Mercedes mine in Sonora. Goldplay disclosed channel surface sample results at its San Marcial property in Sinaloa. Silver Bull provided results from eleven more drill holes at the Sierra Mojada project in Coahuila (halted by an illegal blockade). ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Magna Gold signed a LOI on the San Judas project in Sonora. Silver Bull halted exploration at its Sierra Mojada project in Coahuila, due to an illegal blockade by a mining cooperative demanding a royalty payment on a property that is not in production. Fortuna Silver terminated the option on Prospero Silver’s Pachuca SE project in Hidalgo. Millrock and Riverside entered into a definitive agreement on the La Union, Los Cuarentas, El Pima, El Valle, and Llano del Nogal projects in Sonora. Santacruz Silver approved the acquisition of the remaining 50% of PCG Mining S.A. de C.V., parent company of Carrizal Mining, S.A. de C.V.. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY. No relevant news.
ON MEXICO ISSUES
- Gold production in Mexico declined by 2.8% in July 2019. This is the 28th consecutive month of production contractions, the longest since 1981, according to INEGI (Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía). In 2016 the production declined by 5.2%, in 2017 another 13.6% and a further 9.7% in 2018. Mineral products with annual increments include zinc at 10.7%, iron pellets with 2.9%, lead with 2.5%, sulphur with 1.6% and coal with 0.8%.
- On Peñasquito’s illegal blockade, Mexico’s president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, asked both parties two solve their differences in the conflict that has now more than two weeks (he did not mention the blockade being illegal). Newmont Goldcorp has offered more than US$25 M in investments, amount that the blockaders reckon as lacking. The Peñasquito mine produced 272,000 Oz Au last year, and had re-started production in mid-June after a first illegal blockade by truckers wanting to get a contract and locals accusing the company of water availability issues.
- To the 3rd of October Frisco and Cemex have suffered big losses in the Mexican stock exchange (S&P/BMV IPC), 13.76% and 6.24% respectively, under the current commercial instability between USA and the European Union. Frisco is one of the biggest mining companies in Mexico, with operations in Baja California, Sonora, Chihuahua, Zacatecas and Aguascalientes (although Frisco is also known for its scant releases on reserves and resources). Cemex is the biggest Mexican cement producer, with operations internationally.
- Magna Gold Corp. signed a LOI to explore the San Judas project in Sonora. The two mineral concessions cover 2806 ha underlain by a Precambrian basement composed of granite, gneiss, pegmatites and schist. “The entire sequence is affected by multiple deformations and the emplacement of intrusions such as leucocratic granites and andesitic dikes”. Gold mineralization is associated with quartz-breccia veins, quartz veins and “quartz stockworks emplaced along a series of parallel, foliated, low-angle shear zones within the igneous-metamorphic sequence”. Assays in an historical rock chip sample database have values of up to 230 gpt gold.
- Colibri Resource Corp. contracted Auro Metallum Geology Consulting Services of Hermosillo, in Sonora, to complete a geological mapping study of its 506 ha Evelyn Gold Project near Caborca in Sonora. Recent sampling has returned up to 4.8 gpt Au from abundant quartz in sub-crop in a new zone identified by soil sampling.
- Alien Metals Ltd. updated on the exploration of its San Celso and Los Campos projects in Zacatecas. At San Celso a next step of work will examine a drill program funded by a third party to test the strike extension of the main veins, and the depth extension below the existing workings.
- Kootenay Silver Inc. signed a surface access agreement with the local ejido at the Copalito project in Sinaloa. Said agreement allows the company to mapping, sampling, geophysics, trenching and drilling. The 3,700 ha project covers a low sulfidation epithermal system with numerous veins, traced over up to 2 km of length, and 0.5 to 15 meters in width. Sampling has returned assays of up to 8.2 gpt Au, 532 gpt Ag, 17.4% Zn, 9.9% Pb and 5.1% Cu.
- Alien Metals Ltd. presented its financial results for the first semester of 2019. As of the end of the period the company had total assets of US$1.2 M, of which US$0.4 M was cash, and current total liabilities for US$0.1 M (Donovan 2, Zacatecas).
- Torex Gold Resources Inc. announced gold production of 138,100 ounces of gold during Q3 2019, on track to meet it 2019 production guidance of 430,000 ounces. During the period plant throughput averaged 12,370 tonnes per day (tpd), underground mining 1,110 tpd, open pit mining 14,270 tpd (El Limon-Guajes, Guerrero).
- Southern Silver Exploration Corp. granted 3.25 M incentive stock options to directors, officers and consultants, exercisable at $0.27 per common share for a period of five years. The rolling incentive stock option plan was also approved, pursuant to which a maximum of 10% of the issued shares will be reserved for issuance under the plan. (Cerro Las Minitas, Durango).
- Millrock Resources Inc. approved a grant of stock options to employees, officers, directors and advisers to the company, granting a total of 1.88 M stock options exercisable at $0.09 for five years. The company is also to settle debt owed for deferred cash compensation to certain officers, directors and employees by issuing 819 K Millrock shares (Batamote, Sonora).
- Alien Metals Ltd. granted 7 M options to its technical director, Brill Brodie. All shares are exercisable from 1 October 2019, of which 3 M can be exercised at 0.22 pence, 3 M at 0.30 pence and 4 M at 0.45 pence (San Celso, Zacatecas).
- Fortuna Silver Mines Inc. closed the previously announced bought deal offering of senior subordinated unsecured convertible debentures for an aggregate principal amount of US$40 M. “The Debentures mature on October 31, 2024 and will bear interest at a rate of 4.65% per annum, payable semi-annually in arrears on the last business day of April and October in each year, commencing on April 30, 2020. The Debentures will be convertible at the holder’s option into common shares in the capital of the Company” at a conversion price of US$5.00 per share (San José, Oaxaca).
- Azure Minerals Ltd. raised $4 M (before costs) through a placement to institutional and sophisticated investors “to relaunch an aggressive exploration push on the Alacrán silver and gold projects” in Sonora. Azure is to undertake drilling to increase mineral resources at the Loma Bonita Au-Ag deposit, today standing at 150 K Oz Au, 4.8 M Oz Ag in 5.4 M tonnes @ 0.9 gpt Au, 28 gpt Ag.
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
- GoGold Resources Inc. released results from one more hole completed on the San Juan area of its Los Ricos project in Jalisco. The hole returned 21.0 m @ 1.38 gpt Au, 146 gpt Ag (3.33 gpt AuEq), including 5.0 m @ 4.36 gpt Au, 436 gpt Ag (10.2 gpt AuEq). The San Juan area is located 400 m NW from the Los Ricos Main area.
- Premier Gold Mines Inc. released results from its drilling program focused on delineating new mineral resources in the Lupita Extension at its Mercedes mine in Sonora. Highlighted results comprise 3.6 m @ 7.18 gpt Au, 54 gpt Ag; 1.8 m @ 24.24 gpt Au, 179 gpt Ag; 3.4 m @ 8.86 gpt Au, 67 gpt Ag; 3.1 m @ 13.65 gpt Au, 80 gpt Ag. The Neo target is 400 m north of San Martin is a possible extension of the Diluvio system, with one of three drill holes returning 3.1 m @ 13.65 gpt Au, 80 gpt Ag.
- Goldplay Exploration Ltd. disclosed results from channel sampling on the Faisanes target of the San Marcial project in Sinaloa. The samples were cut by saw along the access road walls and road surface, returning 10 m @ 98 gpt Ag, 0.06 gpt Au) 0.6 m @ 587 gpt Ag, nil Au; 1.0 m @ 214 gpt Ag, nil Au; 1.1 m @ 42 gpt Ag, nil Au; 1.0 m @ 41 gpt Ag, 0.26 gpt Au.
- Silver Bull Resources Inc. provided results from eleven more drill holes from its Sierra Mojada project in Coahuila. Highlights from the holes comprise: 17.1 m of oxide mineralization @ 120 gpt Ag, 0.43% Cu (including 1.35 m @ 539 gpt Ag, 0.27% Cu and 2.25 m @ 198 gpt Ag, 1.66% Cu and 0.55 m @ 403 gpt Ag, 1.6% Cu); 5.2 m of sulfide mineralization @ 149 gpt Ag, 0.87% Cu, 4.67% Zn. Due to an illegal blockade by a cooperative of miners who hold a royalty on two claims, the drill program has been paused.
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- Magna Gold Corp. entered into a binding letter of intent (LOI) with the private owners of the two mining concessions forming the 2,806 ha San Judas project in Sonora. The deal involves payments of US$50 K on signature of the definitive agreement, US$50 K on the first year, US$100 K on the second year, US$150 K on the third year, US$300 K on the fourth year and US$1.,03 M on the fifth year, all figures plus VAT.
- Silver Bull Resources Inc. halted all work on the Sierra Mojada project in Coahuila due to a blockade by a cooperative of local miners called Sociedad Cooperativa de Exploración Minera Mineros Norteños, S.C.L.. The company has an agreement with the said cooperative on two mineral concessions in the eastern part of the Sierra Mojada project, under which they have the right of a 2% production royalty. Since 2014 the cooperative filed a suit fighting for payment of the royalty, notwithstanding the lack of production from the property. The cooperative also demands payments of wages for individuals that have not worked for the company, neither received employment commitments from Silver Bull. The cooperative has now illegally blockaded access to the project in an attempt to force a settlement before the final ruling. “Silver Bull is working with authorities to resolve the situation in a safe, fair, and timely manner”.
- Fortuna Silver Mines Inc. announced the termination of the Pachuca SE property option agreement signed previously with Prospero Silver Corp. (San José, Oaxaca).
- Millrock Resources Inc. entered definitive agreements to sell the La Union, Los Cuarentas, El Pima, El Valle, and Llano del Nogal claim blocks to Riverside Resources Inc., as well a copy of its exploration database and exploration vehicles also to Riverside. Consideration paid to Millrock is $35 K cash and 150 K Riverside shares, and a 0.5% NSR on the El Pima, El Valle and Santa Rosalia (conditional on this one) claims. “Millrock has retained the El Batamote copper porphyry project and this will be the sole focus of Millrock’s exploration effort in Mexico going forward” (Batamote, Sonora).
- Santacruz Silver Mining Ltd. shareholders approved in its last annual general meeting held in October 1, 2019, the re-election of directors, the auditor of the company and the approval of the existing 10% rolling stock option plan. Also approved was the acquisition of the remaining 50% of the outstanding shares of PCG Mining S.A. de C.V. from a non-arm’s length party in consideration for the issue of 30 M common shares of the company. Upon completion of the transaction the company will own 100% of PCG, which is the parent holding company of Carrizal Mining, S.A. de C.V..
ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
- No Relevant News.
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: Sheeted quartz veining in metamorphic rocks from an orogenic gold project in Oaxaca. Picture by Jorge Cirett.