chalcedonic quartz vein
By Miguel A Heredia
During the forty-nine week of the year (December 2nd to December 8th, 2019), at least 31 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico, with nine commenting on Mexican issues, six informing on exploration results, four announcing financial rounds, four reporting on resources and developments of their properties, three communicating production and financial results, three disclosing deals and corporate issues and two discussing issues on social responsibility. ON MEXICO ISSUES, Alejandro Tello, governor of Zacatecas State, obtained MXP $430M from the 2016-2017 Mining Fund for infrastructure work. Mexico´s mining production suffered a sharp decline in September. Fernando Alaniz, president of the Mining Chamber of Mexico (CAMIMEX), demanded for long-term certainty in Mexico for mining investment purposes. Fresnillo plc announced that it will allocate approximately USD $670M in new and sustainable projects. Grupo Mexico announced an investment of USD $250M in the construction of a wind farm in Nuevo León. A Minister of the Supreme Court of Justice proposed to invalidate the changes applied in 2019 to the Mining Fund. CAMIMEX announced that mining companies claime tax return to have funds to invest. The Under Secretariat of Mining, Francisco Quiroga Fernández, confirmed there is a lithium deposit in Bacadéhuachi, Sonora. ON EXPLORATION, In Baja California Norte, One World Lithium provided an update on its 4 holes drilling program being conducted at its Salar del Diablo project. In Sonora, Colibri announced results from 100 samples collected at its Evelyn project. In Chihuahua, Radius and its JV partner Pan American Silver released results from the phase 3 drilling program at its Amalia project, and Valterra refined drill targeting on its Los Reyes project. In Jalisco, GoGold released drill results from eight holes collared at its Los Ricos project. In Oaxaca, Megastar identified multiple high potential epithermal targets at its Magdalena project. ON MINING, Santacruz reported Q3, 2019 production and financial results (Veta Grande, Zacatecas). Alio Gold announced production and cost guidance for 2020. (San Francisco mine, Sonora). Consolidated Zinc advised that mining of its Plomosas mine in Chihuahua will be managed and operated by the company. ON FINANCING, San Marco revised its non-brokered flow through private placement on October9, 2019 (Chunibas project, Sonora). Tocvan Ventures announced that its shares are now listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange with the symbol TV3 (El Pilar project, Sonora). First Mining announced a flow through equity financing for gross proceeds of approximately to $2M (San Ricardo project, Sonora). ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Capstone reported that drilling results from its Cozamine mine in Zacatecas returned higher grades and wider intercepts than in current reserves. Starcore presented its updated NI 43-101 mineral reserves and resources at its San Martin mine in Queretaro. US Antimony provided an update on its Puerto Blanco mill in Guanajuato for its Los Juarez Au-Ag and Sb deposit in Querétaro. Mexus Gold announced that its new 500GPM Merrill Crowe Au recovery plant is complete and operational (Santa Elena mine, Sonora). ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, San Marco retained Momentum Public Relations Inc., to assists with strategic business development activities (Chunibas project, Sonora). Argonaut provided an update on its San Antonio project permitting in Baja California Sur. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, Grupo Mexico, through its health and social care program called Dr Vagón, attended nearly 3,000 consultations in Delicias, Chihuahua. Peñoles, through its Community Center, informed about the planned activities to be performed in the coming Christmas season.
ON MEXICO ISSUES
- Alejandro Tello, governor of Zacatecas State, obtained $430M from the 2016-2017 Mining Fund to be invested in 2010, in 41 infrastructure works in Zacatecas, such as construction and rehabilitation of roads, and sports infrastructure projects, among others.
- Mexico’s mining production, suffered a sharp decline in September while the industry continue dealing with community relations, security and political challenges. Overall production fell 4.7% compared to the same month last year, with Au and Pb among minerals registering double-digit falls. Ag and Cu production fell 2.2% and 1.3%, respectively, with coke, sulfur and fluorite seeing the greatest decreases, 22.3%, 13.2% and 12.7%. Only the production of coal, Zn and non-coking plaster increased, by 7.2%, 2.0% and 1.3%. Part of the fall can be attributed to a blockade at the Peñasquito mine in Newmont Goldcorp, one of Mexico’s largest producers of Au, Ag, Pb, and Zn.
- Fernando Alanis, president of the Mining Chamber of Mexico (CAMIMEX), demanded for long-term certainty conditions in Mexico for mining investment purposes. The mining sector has invested significant amounts in recent years, with 2012 being the year of greatest investment, which was approximately USD $8,043M. Mining investment has been falling and in 2016 it reached USD $3,752M, and the current year it is believed to have exceeded USD $2,600 M. “Mining is a sector that can generate a lot of investment in places that require many services and support from our entire sector and the only thing we ask is that there be certainty conditions in order to continue generating investment attraction”.
- Fresnillo plc, announced that it will allocate USD $670 M in new and sustainable project, increasing its investment by 14.5% in 2020. “The capital investment forecast for new 2021 projects is expected to be around USD $475M, while by 2022, USD $415M, ”said Octavio Alvidrez, General Director of the company. By 2020, Fresnillo plans to extract 54M Oz Ag, 8% lower than expected by the end of 2019; while Au would be 857 K Oz. By 2021 the company expects to increase the extraction of Ag by 22%, as they expect to obtain 66 M Oz.
- Grupo Mexico, reported an investment of USD $250M in the construction of a wind farm in the state of Nuevo León, México. The Fenicias project will have a production capacity of 168 megawatts and will be interconnected with the National Electric System through the construction of a transmission line of more than 60 km in the area of Reynosa, in the state of Tamaulipas. “Grupo México will increase its power generation capacity to almost 800 megawatts, becoming one of the main power generators in the country,” said the company, in the release. The commercial operation of this wind farm is planned to begin in early 2021.
- Industrias Peñoles S.A.B. de C.V., announced that it continues growing and now there are already 31,500 workers. The General Director of Peñoles, Fernando Alanís Ortega, also confirmed that all of its 2019 production is sold.
- A Minister of the Supreme Court of Justice, proposed to invalidate the changes applied to the Mining Fund in 2019. The Mining Fund was reformed in the Revenue Law of the Federation of 2019, removing from the states and municipalities the resources raised by the extraordinary right to mining created in 2014. This reform caused 33 controversies, one of the Chihuahua Executive, which is the first on the list, and 32 of municipalities of five states. Until 2018, the collection of mining rights was divided into two exchanges: 22.5% was distributed to all states and Mexico City as a federal share -which in 2018 was MXP $2,605M, and the remaining 77.5 percent was sent to the Mining Fund, which accumulated MXP $11,325M from 2014 to 2017. Municipalities received 62.5% of the Mining Fund for public works premises, which in the case of Chihuahua alone included 330 projects in four years. After the 2019 reform, the money went to the Ministry of Economy (SE) with the idea of applying them for the Welfare Tandas, a program of the current government that gives credits to micro entrepreneurs for up to MXP $15K. In 2020, the changes to the Mining Fund will be applied in the Federal Law of Rights, which is where it has existed since its creation. Now, the majority of Morena in Congress determined that 85 % of the money will go to the SEP for the construction of schools, 10% to the federal government for other works, and 5% to the SE to supervise the mining activity, without funds being provided for local governments of mining areas, nor to distribute funds to its entities.
- The Mining Chamber of Mexico (CAMIMEX), said that companies in the mining sector are claiming the return of taxes to maintain their cash flow and have funds to carry out new investment projects. In a statement, CAMIMEX said that, being highly exporting companies, they always get a balance in favor when they file their returns with the Tax Administration Service (SAT).
- The Under Secretariat of Mining, Francisco Quiroga Fernández, confirmed the existence of a lithium deposit in Bacadéhuachi, Sonora, which will begin production in 2022. Sonora is the main mining state in the country and with the discovery of this site reinvents itself, since in the world there is a race to develop lithium and now the state is within that future.
- One World Lithium Inc., provided an update on its 4 holes drilling program being conducted at its Salar del Diablo project in Baja California Norte. To date, hole DDH-1 has been collared to a depth of 650m, and hole DDH-2 has reached 590m with a planned depth of 650m. Hole 3 will commence soon at a location where there is evidence of historic and currently hydrothermal activity, which can be a source of lithium. Depending on the hole DDH-3 results, a fourth hole will be drilled to complete the planned drilling program.
- Colibri Resource Corporation, announced results from 100 samples collected at its Evelyn project in Sonora. Of the samples taken, 30 returned >0.1 g/t Au, 24 returned > 0.2 g/t Au and 12 returned > 0.75 g/t Au. With the recent mapping and sampling program conducted at the Evelyn project, the compnay has identified two separate NW corridors with favourable structures containing Au: Cerro Rojo and El Sahuaro areas. Rock-chip sampling from these areas have returned encouraging values ranging from 0.5 up to 73.4 g/t Au and correspond with anomalous Au soil samples taken previously. Colibri is planning to conduct a 1,000m drilling program to test these target areas.
- Radius Gold Inc., and its JV partner Pan American Silver Corp., released results from the first 2 diamond drillholes of the phase 3 drilling program at its Amalia project. Hole AMDD19-016 encountered 1.53 g/t Au and 41 g/t Ag over 120m (75m of true width), related to disseminated fine black sulphides and sulphide veining in ignimbrite rhyolites and transitioning to intense silicification, stockwork veining, and breccias. Hole AMDD19-17, was collared 100m north of hole AMDD19-016 and intersected with anomalous values up to 2.26 g/t Au and 23 g/t Ag over a section of 30m wide silicified fault breccia, but no potentially economic mineralization was encountered. Drilling is ongoing at Amalia project, and results will be released upon they become available.
- Valterra Resource Corporation, refined drill targeting on its Los Reyes Cu-Au project in Chihuahua, using the recently completed surface sampling along an 800m strike length of a Cu-Au skarn and a 4.8 line km 2D/3D DCIP geophysical program. 22 out of 28 samples returned Cu values > 1% at an average grade of 3.1% Cu and up to 5.9% Cu. The anomalous samples returned up to 0.57 g/t Au, 25 g/t Ag, 0.47% Mo, and 1.7% Zn. The geophysical survey identified a strong conductivity anomaly along the intrusive contact which projects more than 400m through four of the five main areas of historic old workings and defines the main target for test drilling. Conductivity and chargeability anomalies were also identified in all the survey lines and are spatially associated or adjacent to areas of known historical surface mineralization. “The Company is initially targeting a 5-10M tonnes, shallow high grade Cu-Au resource localized along the strike length of the exposed skarn zone. Further work will examine the deeper potential of the mineralizing system including a potential Porphyry Cu-Au source for the shallow high-grade mineralization.
- GoGold Resources Inc., released drill results from the last eight holes collared at its Los Ricos project in Jalisco, of which four were drilled in San Juan Area, two in the Main Area, and two along the south edge of the Main Area. Highlights of the holes collared in the San Juan Area include hole LRGG-19-073 with 1.12 g/t Au and 117 g/t Ag (2.67 g/t AuEq or 200 g/t AgEq) over 33.5m, including 3.01 g/t Au and 184 g/t Ag (5.47 g/t AuEq or 410 g/t AgEq) over 9.5m, and including 1.81 g/t Au and 291 g/t Ag (5.70 g/t AuEq or 427 g/t AgEq) over 3.0m; hole LRGG-19-76 with 0.73 g/t Au and 123 g/t Ag (2.38 g/t AuEq or 178 g/t AgEq) over 38.5m, including 1.70 g/t Au and 260 g/t Ag (5.17 g/t AuEq or 387 g/t AgEq) over 5.8m, and including 1.58 g/t Au and 220 g/t Ag (4.51 g/t AuEq or 338 g/t AgEq) over 6.0m; and hole LRGG-19-77 with 1.03 g/t Au and 94 g/t Ag (2.29 g/t AuEq and 172 g/t AgEq) over 26.0m, including 4.28 g/t Au and 241 g/t Ag (7.49 g/t AuEq or 562 g/t AgEq) over 4.3m. In the Main Area, hole LRGG-19-065 encountered 0.23 g/t Au and 84 g/t Ag (1.35 g/t AuEq or 101 g/t AgEq) over 13.1m, including 0.50 g/t Au and 155 g/t Ag (2.57 g/t AuEq or 192 g/t AgEq) over 5.4m. To date, GoGold has completed 90 diamond drill holes totaling 15,140m.
- Megastar Development Corp., identified multiple potential epithermal targets at its Magdalena project in Oaxaca. During the first mapping and sampling exploration campaign conducted at the property, 277 rock chip samples were taken and the geologist found characteristics of a significant epithermal system with 59 rock samples returning above 0.2 g/t Au, 24 samples returning above 0.5 g/t Au, 12 samples returning above 1 g/t Au, and 2 samples returning above 3 g/t Au. “Strong epithermal alteration is found along a minimum 1.7 km long E-W structural trend that shows sheeted quartz vein sets and silicification in conjugate NNW to NNE-NE structural sets. The setting is the eastern structural margin of a caldera where it intersects a prominent regional E-W structural trend. Approximately 4,100 square meters of silicified bladed calcite textures have been mapped within a larger area of strong and sheeted quartz veining. This main zone, along with other prominent outliers, constitutes easy-to-access and drill-ready targets”.
- Santacruz Silver Mining Ltd., reported Q3, 2019 production and financial results from its operations. At Zimapan mine, Hidalgo, the company milled 82,242 tonnes to produce 606.6K Oz AgEq at cash cost of $41.89 per ton, or $16.32 per Oz AgEq produced, and an AISC of $18.56 per Oz AgEq produced. At Veta Grande mine, Zacatecas, it milled 43,999 tonnes to produce 214.3K Oz AgEq at a cash cost of $47.67 per tonne or $19.79 per Oz AgEq produced, an AISC of $26.77 per Oz AgEq produced. At El Rosario mine, San Luis Potosi, Santa Cruz milled 22,048 tonnes to produce 132K Oz AgEq, at cash cost of $82.10 per tonne or $27.96 per Oz AgEq produced, and an AISC of $38.63 per Oz AgEq produced. Consolidated numbers for its mining operations were 148,289 tonnes milled to produce 952.8K Oz AgEq, at cash cost of $49.58 per tonne or $18.52 per Oz AgEq produced, and an AISC of $22.83 per Oz AgEq produced. Consolidated mining operations generated a gross profit of $102 including gross profit from Zimapan of $992, and gross losses from Rosario and Veta Grande of $672 and $511 respectively plus mine services gross profit of $293.
- Alio Gold Inc., announced production and cost guidance for 2020. It expects to produce between 12K-15K Oz Au at cash cost of USD $1,700-$1,800 per Oz.
- Consolidated Zinc Limited, terminated its mining contractor and advised that mining of its Plomosas mine in Chihuahua will be managed and operated by the company in order to significantly reduce its mining cost. “The Company is confident it can deliver improved performance from the mine before the end of December. During this short transition period processing ore and concentrate from existing stockpiles will continue to provide revenue”.
- San Marco Resources Inc., revised it non-brokered flow through private placement announced on October 9, 2019 It now consists of 266,667 shares at a price of $0.15 each (Chunibas project, Sonora).
- SilverCrest Metals Inc., announced a bought deal financing for aggregate gross proceeds of CAD $80M. Net proceeds will be used to continue the exploration and development of its Las Chispas project in Sonora.
- Tocvan Ventures Corp., announced that its shares are now listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (FSE) with the symbol TV3. The Company expects that the FSE listing will help increase trading liquidity and facilitate investment in the Company by institutional and retail investors across Europe (El Pilar project, Sonora).
- First Mining Gold Corp., announced a flow through equity financing for gross proceeds of approximately $2M (San Ricardo project, Sonora).
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
- Capstone Mining Corp., reported that the infill drilling program at its Cozamin mine in Zacatecas returned higher grades and wider intercepts than in current reserves. 20 infill drill holes were collared, bringing the total drilled to date to 138 holes of a 200 holes program. Significant drill interceptions were encountered in hole CG-19-S434 with 2.2% Cu and 44 g/t Ag over a true width (TW) of 20.3m, including 5.28% Cu and 97 g/t Ag over a TW of 5m; hole CG-19-S427 with 4.01% Cu and 67 g/t Ag over a TW of 6.1m; hole CG-19-S429 with 1.49% Cu and 51 g/t Ag over a TW of 18.5m, including 1.92% Cu and 70 g/t Ag over a TW of 5.5m; hole CG-19-S433 with 1.27% Cu and 31 g/t Ag over a TW of 24.6m, including 2.99% Cu and 62 g/t Ag over a TW of 7.1m; hole CG-19-S426 with 3.15% Cu and 58 g/t Ag over a TW of 12.2m, including 6.97% Cu and 121 g/t Ag over a TW of 4.1m; and hole CG-19-S418 with 3.98% Cu and 84 g/t Ag over a TW of 8.4m.
- Starcore International Mines Ltd., released its updated Ni 43-101 mineral reserves and resources at its San Martin Mine in Queretaro. Total proven and probable mineral reserves and resources as September 30, 2019 are 1,434,308 tons of 2.04 g/t Au and 27 g/t Ag for a total of 109.1K Oz AuEq contained. Total inferred and indicated mineral reserves and resources are 1,713,120 tons of 1.91 g/t Au and 19 g/t Ag for a total of 118.4K Oz AuEq contained. The total of Oz AuEq contained in both categories is 227.5K.
- US Antimony Corporation, provided an update on its Puerto Blanco mill in Guanajuato for its Los Juarez Au-Ag and Sb deposit in Querétaro. It could be ready for cyanide leach testing by the end of December.
- Mexus Gold US, announced that its new 500GPM Merrill Crowe Au recovery plant is complete and operational. It is capable of handling 3K tonnes a week mining operation and will allow for future expansion as well.
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- San Marco Resources Inc., retained Momentum Public Relations Inc., to assists with strategic business development activities. The agreement with Momentum has a term of 12 months at $8,500 per month (Chunibas project, Sonora).
- Argonaut Gold Inc., provided an update on its San Antonio project permitting in Baja California Sur. It announced that SEMARNAT issued a ruling to not approve the updated Environmental Impact Assessment (MIA in Spanish), citing that the MIA is non-compatible zoning based on a revised, 2018 zoning plan filed by the Municipality of La Paz. The Company is reviewing all of its options from seeking an amendment to the La Paz 2018 zoning plan based upon the July 2016 supreme court ruling, submitting a revised MIA and legal options.
- Excellon Resources Inc., provided an update on the ongoing legal action with respect of the La Antigua mining concession included in Excellon´s acquisition of Silver Eagle Mine Inc. in 2009, which includes a portion of the historic mineral resource at Miguel Auza in Zacatecas. Silver Eagle, the Plaintiff, sued Excellon for non-compliance with the agreement and specifically for not operating the Miguel Auza Mine and the Court granted the Plaintiff an award of approximately $23M predominantly in damages for the Miguel Auza mine not being in operation. “Excellon expects this decision to be reversed and rationalized in the federal court system. In the interim, it does not expect any impact on its ongoing business activities”.
ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
- Grupo Mexico, through its health and social program called Dr Vagón (the health train), attended nearly 3,000 consultations last week in Delicias, Chihuahua. Specialist of the health train performed 256 mammograms or tests for the detection of breast cancer, Pap smears, and placed the Intra Uterine Device (IUD) in women. Apart from the mastographs and Pap smears, audiometries and vasectomies were performed on men.
- Industrias Peñoles S.A.B. de C.V., through its Community Center, informed about the planned activities to carry out in the coming Christmas season. Dolores Herrera, coordinator of the center, also announced a proposal for the realization of the Human Development workshop, promoted by the National Association for Personal Improvement AC (ANSPAC), with duration of a year and a half.
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On the picture above, chalcedonic quartz vein in a low sulphidation epithermal system from a prospect in Durango, Mexico. Photo by Miguel A Heredia.