Boiling texture in an epithermal quartz vein
By Miguel A Heredia
During the third week of the year (January 13th to January 19th, 2020), at least 27 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico, with eight communicating production results, seven reporting on resources and developments, five informing on exploration results, two disclosing deals and corporate issues, two discussing issues on social responsibility, two commenting on Mexican issues, and one announcing financial rounds. ON MEXICO ISSUES, The Mexican mining industry, the thirteenth largest in the world, is laying the groundwork for generating more investment in this important development engine. Mining activity has increased in Tamaulipas, according to the General Directorate of Mines. ON EXPLORATION, In Sonora, Silver Viper released drilling results from its La Virginia project and Aztec Minerals provided a 2020 outlook for its Cervantes project. In Chihuahua, Radius announced results from the third phase of drilling from its Amalia project. In Sinaloa, Vizsla Resources discovered a new high grade vein at its Panuco project. In Zacatecas, Advance Gold commenced the third phase geophysical survey at its Tabasquena project. ON MINING, Alamos Gold commenced operation at its Cerro Pelon mine in Sonora. Torex announced that it expects to produce between 420K to 480K Oz Au in 2020 (El Limón Guajes, Guerrero). Great Panther, GoGold, McEwen, Fortuna Silver, Avino, and Coeur reported Q4 and full year 2019 production and financial results from their Mexican operations. ON FINANCING, Minera Alamos closed a private placement with Osisko for gross proceeds of $6M. (Santana project, Sonora). ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Starcore staked two new claims near its San Martin Mine in Querétaro. Prime Mining retained a consulting company to complete an estimate of the Au and Ag resources for its Los Reyes mine in Sinaloa. Capstone presented expansion and infill drilling results from its Cozamine mine in Zacatecas. Torex announced an updated resource estimate for its Media Luna project in Guerrero. SilverCrest announced it plans to release in-fill and expansion drill results from six areas in Q1, 2020. Minera Alamos commenced construction of its Santana mine in Sonora. Southern Silver reported that metallurgical test work confirmed that a marketable Cu, Pb, Zn concentrate can be produce at its Cerro Las Minitas project in Durango. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Sonoro Metals granted stock options to certain directors, officers, and consultants (Cerro Caliche project, Sonora). Radius signed a binding option agreement to acquire from a private family an 800 Ha property called Palmillas, which is adjacent to its Amalia project in Chihuahua. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, The Mining Fund contributed in the road construction in the municipality of Tepehuanes, Durango. The Peñoles Community Center will give new human development workshop.
ON MEXICO ISSUES
- The Mexican mining industry, the thirteenth largest in the world, is laying the groundwork for generating more investment in this important development engine. The Ministry of Economy works to have a financing model like the Canadian one. One of the government’s bets is that Mexico, with private investment, be a producer of rechargeable Li batteries for electric cars. José Francisco Quiroga Fernández, the Under Secretariat of Mining said in an interview, that USD $ 100B will be the value of annual Li sales in 2029, according to Bloomberg. 243M tonnes of Li are estimated to be in the Sonora deposits. At the moment that market is worth just over USD $22B; However, according to Bloomberg NEF estimates in 2023 it exceeds USD $40B, in 2025 it will be USD $60B and in 2030, USD $116B, that is to say almost 420% more than the global sales of 2019.
- Mining activity has increased in Tamaulipas, according to the General Directorate of Mines. The state has 124 mining concessions in 19 of their municipalities. Profits produced by the mineral extraction of Pb, Zn, Cu, Au, Ag, serpentine, and stone aggregates exceed MXP $2,000M per year.
- Silver Viper Minerals Corp., announced drilling results for the first three holes of the phase 2 from its Virginia project in Sonora. Significant results were encountered in hole LV19-209 with 3.22 g/t Au and 1,054 g/t Ag (1,280 g/t AgEq) over 1.8m, and other interval with 2.50 g/t Au and 27 g/t Ag (202 g/t AgEq) over 7m, including 5.27 g/t Au and 41 g/t Ag (410 g/t AgEq) over 3m; hole LV19-210 with 1.47 g/t Au and 216 g/t Ag (319 g/t AgEq) over 6m, including 6.32 g/t Au and 1,071 g/t Ag (1,513 g/t AgEq)over 1m; and hole LV19-211 with 13.39 g/t Au and 446 g/t Ag (1,384 g/t AgEq) over 4.5m, including 58.3 g/t Au and 1,923 g/t Ag (6,004 g(t AgEq) over 1m, and other interval with 1.37 g/t Au and 40 g/t Ag (136 g/t AgEq) over 9m. Phase II will consists of 5,000m in approximately 20 holes.
- Aztec Minerals Corp., provided a 2020 outlook for its Cervantes project in Sonora. It plans to finalize the JV agreement with Kootenay in January 2020, and secure a senior partner to conduct an aggressive exploration program to advance both near surface oxide Au mineralization and deeper porphyry Au-Cu targets.
- Radius Gold Inc., announced results from the recently completed third phase of drilling from its Amalia project in Chihuahua. Significant results were encountered in hole AM-DD19-18 with 12.5 g/t Au and 2,320 g/t Ag over 1.3m, and 1.4 g/t Au over 13.7m; and hole AM-DD19-19 with 0.5 g/t Au and 22 g/t Ag over 7.4m. Holes AM-DD19-20 and 21 only encountered anomalous Au-Ag values at the San Pedro fault. Radius reported that it has signed a binding agreement to acquire the 800 Ha Palmillas property from a private family which hosts high-grade epithermal Au-Ag mineralization and is adjacent to Amalia project.
- Vizsla Resources Corp., discovered a new high grade vein at its Panuco property in Sinaloa. This vein consists of crystalline quartz with disseminated argentite and pyrite hosted in a strongly weathered and demagnetized diorite. Sampling on this 500m long vein returned 3.07g/t Au and 312 g/t Ag (557 g/t AgEq over 3.4m; 1.34 g/t Au and 263 g/t Ag (370 g/t AgEq) over 0.7m; and 0.5 g/t Au and 107 g/t Ag (147 g/t AgEq) over 1.1m. Vizsla plans to drill this recently discovered vein in late January/early February as one of the twenty targets that will be drilled throughout 2020.
- Advance Gold Corp., commenced the third phase geophysical survey at its Tabasquena project in Zacatecas to delineate a new chargeability anomaly identified on the most southerly of the reconnaissance lines from the second phase survey, and to do a long NW-SE line cross cutting all of the previous E-W survey lines to obtain a much deeper penetration. This new survey will consist of nine E-W lines of 1,000m long, with line spacing of 120m, and one line NW-SE of 4,000m long.
- Alamos Gold Inc., commenced operation at its satellite mine Cerro Pelon, located 3km from its Mulatos mining unit in Sonora. The new open pit mine, whose current life is three years, has a capacity of 4,500 tons per day, has an independent crushing train and the material is deposited in the Mulatos mine yards, taking advantage of the existing mining infrastructure and avoiding more capital costs.
- Torex Gold Resources Inc., announced that it expects to produce between 420K to 480K Oz Au in 2020, at a total cost per Oz Au sold of USD $640-$670, and AISC of USD $900-$960 per Oz Au sold.
- Great Panther Mining Limited, reported Q4 and full year 2019 production and financial results from their Mexican operations. At Topia mine, Durango, the company processed in Q4, 2019, 18,854 tonnes with grades of 0.81 g/t Au and 424 g/t Ag for a total of 267 Oz Au, 242.8K Oz Ag, 1.09M Lb Pb, and 1.45M Lb Zn (449.6K Oz AgEq), that brings a total of 79,257 tonnes processed in the full year 2019, with grades of 0.94 g/t Au and 392 g/t Ag for a total of 1,344 Oz Au, 938.6K Oz Ag, 4.39M Lb Pb, and 5.77M Lb Zn (1.78M Oz AgEq). At Guanajuato mine complex, the company processed in Q4, 2019 a total of 48,710 tonnes with grades of 2 g/t Au and 136 g/t Ag for a total of 2,640 Oz Au and 180.5K Oz Ag (394.6K Oz AgEq), that brings a total of 187,610 tonnes processed in the full year 2019 with grades of 2.26 g/t Au and 116 g/t Ag for a total of 11,588 Oz Au and 590.8K Oz Ag (1.5M Oz AgEq).
- GoGold Resources Inc., announced Q4, 2019 production results from its Parral Tailings project in Chihuahua. The company produced 2,407 Oz Au and 379K Oz Ag (585K Oz AgEq).
- McEwen Mining Inc., reported that its El Gallo mine in Sinaloa produced in 2019 a total of 16,333Oz AuEq from residual leaching of the heap leach pad.
- Fortuna Silver Mines Inc., announced Q4 and full year 2019 production results from its San Jose mine in Oaxaca. It processed 273,066 tonnes of 1.5 g/t Au and 249 g/t Ag to produce a total of 12K Oz Au and 2M Oz Ag. In the full year 2019, the company processed 1,068,722 tonnes of 1.57 g/t Au and 252 g/t Ag to produce 48.9K Oz Au and 7.9M Oz Ag.
- Avino Silver & Gold Mines Ltd., reported Q4, and full year 2019 production results from its Avino mine in Durango, including Avino, San Gonzalo and stockpiles. During the Q4 period, it processed 188,436 tonnes of 0.47 g/t Au, 51 g/t Ag, and 0.43% Cu to produce 2,032 Oz Au, 220.8K Oz Ag, and 1.39M Lb Cu (608.6K Oz AgEq). In the full year 2019, the company processed 789,660 tonnes of 0.41 g/t Au, 54 g/t Ag, and 0.4%Cu to produce 6,912 Oz Au, 958.8 Oz Ag, and 4.97M Lb Cu (2.4M Oz AgEq).
- Coeur Mining Inc., announced Q4 and full year 2019 production and financial results from its Palmarejo mine in Chihuahua. In the period Q4, it milled 486,779 tonnes of 2.25 g/t Au and 159 g/ Ag for a total of 28.7K Oz Au and 2M Oz Ag at an average realized price per Oz Au and Ag of $1,238 and $17.28 respectively. For the full year 2019, the company milled 1,755,957 tonnes of 2.49 g/t Au and 151 g/t Ag to produce a total of 111.9K Oz Au and 6.76M Oz Ag at an average realized price per Oz Au and Ag of $1,220 and $16.23 respectively.
- Minera Alamos Inc., closed a private placement with Osisko Gold Royalties Ltd., for gross proceeds of $6M. With this, Osisko has increased its shareholding of the company´s common share from 12.3% to 18.7%. Net proceeds will be used for building its Santana mine in Sonora.
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
- Starcore International Mines Ltd., staked two new claims near its San Martin Mine in Queretaro with upside potential for exploration and development. These two new claims are located to the west of the current mineral rights of the mine and cover approximately 710 Ha. The company will release an exploration plan for the first part of 2020.
- Prime Mining Corp., retained a consulting company to complete a 43-101 compliant technical report that includes a n estimate of the Au and Ag resources for its Los Reyes mine in Sinaloa. Prime geologists have prepared a database of 493 historic drill holes to establish a new 43-101 compliant in-pit resource. The company expects to expands the size of the indicated resource presented by the former owner of 380.1K Oz Au at a grade of 1.73 g/t Au and inferred resources of 155.2K Oz Au at a grade of 1.49 g/t Au, and Ag resources of 6.3M indicated Oz Ag at a grade of 29 g/t Ag, and 3.6M inferred Oz Ag at a grade of 35 g/t Ag.
- Capstone Mining Corp., presented drilling results from 6 expansion holes and 21 infill holes collared at its Cozamin mine in Zacatecas. This brings the total drilled to date to 150 holes of a 200 hole program, aiming to double the current reserve base. Significant drill intercepts were encountered in hole CG-19-S445 (step out) with 5.31% Cu, 0.15% Zn, and 79 g(t Ag over a true width of 6.3m, including 9.8% Cu, 0.26% Zn, and 139 g/t Ag over 2.8m; hole CG-19-S443 (step out) with 4.95% Cu, 0.15% Zn, and 104 g/t Ag; hole CG-19-S436 with 6.13% Cu, 0.24% Zn, and 98 g/t Ag over a true width of 1.7m; hole CG-19-S441(step out) with 3.35% Cu, 0.34% Zn, and 62 g/t Ag over a true width of 5.4m; hole CG-10-S455 (infill) with 7.65% Cu, 0.35%Zn, and 141 g/t Ag over a true width of 5.4m; hole CG-19-S437 (infill) with 1.94% Cu, 0.15% Zn and 45 g/t Ag over a true width of 19.3m, including 5.9% Cu, 0.33% Zn, and 134 g/t Ag over a true width of 2.80m; hole CG-19-S440 (infill) with 8.29% Cu, 0.25%Zn, and 133 g/t Ag over a true width of 4.9m, including 10.75% Cu, 0.32% Zn, and 166 g/t Ag over a true width of 3.4M; and hole CG-19-S444 (infill) with 3.31% Cu, 0.11% Zn, and 82 g/t Ag over a true width of 11.8m, including 7.89% Cu, 0.2%Zn, and 198 g/t Ag over a true width of 3.7m.
- Torex Gold Resources Inc., announced an updated resource estimate for its Media Luna project in Guerrero. It reported an indicated resource of 12.6M tonnes of 3.27 g/t Au, 38 g/t Ag, and 1.16% Cu for a total of 1.32 M Oz Au, 15.3M Ag, and 322M Lb Cu (2.24M Oz Au Eq at a grade of 5.5 g/t AuEq). Inferred resources are 33.5M tonnes of 2.49 g/t Au, 24 g/t Ag, and 0.93% Cu for a total of 2.68M Oz Au, 25.5M Oz Ag, and 686M Lb Cu (4.56M Oz AuEq at a grade of 4.23 g/t AuEq).
- SilverCrest Metals Inc., announced it plans to release in Q1, 2020 in-fill and expansion drill results from Babi Sur, Babi Vista Discover, Babicanora Norte, Babicanora, Babicanora FW, and Area 118 Discovery veins. Drill results will be incorporated into the updated resource to be released in the FS in H1, 2020. SilverCrest plans to conduct a 125,000m of exploration drill program focused on expanding measured and indicated resources to be considered for inclusion in the initial reserve estimate with the FS. In anticipation of a positive construction decision based on the FS, and the approval from the government of the change of use of soil permit, the company will commence to construct offices, warehousing, water works, and roads access improvements in H1.
- Minera Alamos Inc., commenced the construction of its Santana mine in Sonora. It plans to provide construction updates during the 6-8 months construction period. During January and February, the company along with members of the community will begin to prepare the areas designed for the leach pads and holding pods, as well as initiate road construction within the planned mine area.
- Southern Silver Exploration Corp., announced that the metallurgical tests work at its Cerro Las Minitas project in Durango confirmed that a marketable Cu, Pb, and Zn concentrate can be produce, increasing its value compared with earlier batch testing. These results are highlighted by a 94.7% Zn recovery grading 54.0% Zn in the Zn concentrate and grades of 5,504g/t Ag and 65.1% Pb in the Pb concentrate. Ag strongly partitions into the Pb and Cu concentrates for a combined 83.8% Ag recovery into concentrates that traditionally receive favourable payable terms.
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- Sonoro Metals Corp., granted stock options to certain directors, officers and consultants of the company to purchase an aggregate of 3,040,000 common shares.
- Radius Gold Inc., reported that it has signed a binding agreement to acquire the 800 Ha Palmillas property from a private family which hosts high-grade epithermal Au-Ag mineralization and is adjacent to Amalia project in Chihuahua. During due diligence evaluation, Radius sampled outcrops and old adits obtaining encouraging results, such as 9.5 g/t Au and 73 g/t Ag over 4m, and 1.54 g/t Au and 58 g/t Ag over 10.5m. The company can earn a 100% interest in the Palmillas property by making staged payments over a period of five years for a total USD $350K, of which USD $200K is a final payment at the end of five years.
ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
- With an investment of MXP $9M, and a direct benefit for 1,200 residents of the area, Governor of Durango, José Rosas Aispuro Torres, delivered road infrastructure works, in compliance with one more commitment to the inhabitants of Tepehuanes. The state executive said that this is a work that was carried out thanks to the resource of the Mining Fund, which made it possible to build eight thousand square meters of pavement with hydraulic concrete, directly benefiting the inhabitants of four colonies of the Municipal head.
- The Peñoles Community Center, will give a new human development workshop. It also announced that another of the Peñoles Community Center workshops with the highest demand is that of teaching English, which students attend to receive instruction three days a week in both morning and evening hours.
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, an epithermal quartz vein displaying boiling textures in a prospect in Zacatecas, Mexico. Photo by Miguel A Heredia.