The Mining and Exploration News in Mexico: Highlights on the First Week of May, 2020.

Bladed calcite in an epithermal vein system

By Miguel A Heredia

During the nineteen week of the year (May 4th to May 10th, 2020), at least 45 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico, with eleven communicating production and financial results, seven announcing financing rounds, seven disclosing deals and corporate issues, six reporting on resources and developments, six discussing issues on social responsibility, five commenting on Mexican issues, and three informing on exploration results.  ON MEXICO ISSUES, Americas Gold and Silver reported that its Cosalá operation in Sinaloa continue to be illegally occupied. The General Direction of Mines announced that all mining procedures were suspended until May 30, 2020. Peñoles concluded the construction of its Capela mine in Guerrero with a total investment of USD $334M, of which USD $83.9M were exercised in 2019. Gold mining companies in Mexico are preparing for a solid second semester. ON EXPLORATION, In Sonora, Ridgestone announced that it has completed the first three holes of its ongoing 1,500m drill program at its Rebeico Au-Cu project and Aztec provided an updated 2020 strategic plan and outlook on its Cervantes project. In Chihuahua, Radius reported rock chip sampling results from its recently acquired Plata Verde project.   ON MINING, Avino, Endeavour, GoGold, Gold Resource, Golden Minerals, Great Panther, Hecla, Newmont, Pan American, Premier, and Torex reported production and financial results from their Mexican mining operations. ON FINANCING, Americas Gold and Silver entered in a bought deal public offering for net proceeds of approximately CAD $25M (Cosalá mine, Sinaloa). Fortuna Silver announced proposed amendments to financial covenants contained in its USD $150M credit facility (San Jose mine, Oaxaca). GR Silver entered firstly into a bought deal brokered private placement to raise aggregate gross proceeds of $6,021,000, and later the company upsized it to $8.1M (San Marcial and Plomosas projects, Sinaloa). Minaurum announced a private offering to raise up to CAD $5M (Alamos Silver project, Sonora).    Mithril announced that it is conducting a capital raising by way of a non-renounceable rights issue to shareholders for a minimum gross proceeds of A $1.5M and a maximum of A $2.46M (Copalquin project, Durango). Magna Gold entered into an amendment to include the closing of a non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of a minimum of $1.8M and a maximum of $2M (San Francisco mine, Sonora).   ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Discovery Metals released results from eight diamond drill holes collared at its Cordero project in Chihuahua. GR Silver announced historical drilling results from its Plomosas Silver project and provided an update on its ongoing exploration program at its San Marcial project, both located in Sinaloa. Golden Minerals completed PEA´s for its Rodeo and Velardeña projects in Durango. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Agnico announced election of directors during its annual and special meeting of shareholders (Pinos Altos, Chihuahua). Alio Gold completed the sale of its San Francisco mine in Sonora to Magna Gold. Argonaut and Alio received positive recommendations of its proposed merger announced on March 30, 2020 (El Castillo mine, Durango). Azucar Minerals granted stock options to certain directors, employees and consultants (El Cobre project, Veracruz). Xtierra received TSXV conditional approval for the acquisition of Minera Portree (Bilbao project, Zacatecas). Pan American Silver released its 2019 sustainability report (La Colorada mine, Zacatecas). ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, Chihuahua Mining Cluster donated MXP $200M to the Mexican Red Cross. Esperanza Silver de México (Alamos Gold), delivered protective overalls to doctors and nurses at the IMSS Regional hospital 1 in Cuernavaca. First Majestic delivered pantries to five Ejidos from the Municipality of Ocampo, Coahuila. Fresnillo plc joined donated medical equipment to hospitals in Sonora. Grupo Mexico, in coordination with the Torreón City Council, delivered 300 pantries and disinfectant products to residents of a neighborhood near its Met-Mex Peñoles metallurgical plant. Minera San Julian (Fresnillo plc), will provide mask to the Municipality of San Julian, Chihuahua. Aura Minerals, in coordination with the municipal authorities of Concepción Del Oro Zacatecas, has helped to implement measures designed to support the communities in this difficult time. Compañia Minera Pangea (McEwen Mining) donated cleaning kits to 109 families of seven communities near of its El Gallo mine in Sinaloa.

ON MEXICO ISSUES

  • Americas Gold and Silver, reported that its Cosalá operation in Sinaloa continue to be illegally occupied and stated that “while the company cannot negotiate with the self-interested representatives of this illegal action, it is optimistic that a legal a legitimate labour representative for its workers will be identified, and the mine will be in a position to re-open after any COVID-19 restrictions are lifted”.
  • The General Direction of Mines, announced that all the mining procedures were suspended until May 30, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemia. “For the foregoing, the holders of mining concessions are informed that the obligation to present the report during May to verify the execution of the exploration or exploitation works, in the terms of articles 27, fraction I, 28, 29, 30 and 31 of the Mining Law, and 63 to 66 of its regulations, the term for its presentation is suspended, until May 30, 2020”. The deadline for receipt of the report will be now from June 01, 2020 to June 30, 2020. This postponement was published in the Official Gazette of the Federation and is based on article 28 of the Federal Law of Administrative Procedure.
  • Peñoles Group, finalized the construction of its Capela mine in Guerrero with a total investment of USD $334M, of which USD $83.9M were exercised in 2019. This new unit has a grinding and processing capacity of 4,500 tons of ore per day, to produce an annual average of 4.7M Oz Ag, 89.6M Lb Zn, 19.3M Lb Pb, and 15.7M Lb Cu contained in Pb, Zn, and Cu. It will also generate a total of 650 jobs.
  • Gold Mining companies in Mexico, are preparing to reactivate their activities after quarantines applied by the government to achieve profitable production amid the multi-year records that commodity prices have broken. The timing and success of reactivations will largely depend on the evolution of the pandemic. As operations could resume in May, the mines are in good shape to take advantage of healthy yellow metal prices, although social distancing measures are likely to affect productivity and costs.

ON EXPLORATION

  • Ridgestone Mining Inc., announced that it has completed 435.7m on the first three holes of the ongoing 10 holes, 1,500m diamond core drilling program at its Rebeico Au-Cu project in Sonora. The three first holes were collared at the New York Zone where high grade Au-Cu mineralization has been sampled on surface. All holes present visible sulphide mineralization. Assay results are pending and will be released when available.
  • Aztec Minerals Corp., provided an updated 2020 strategic plan and outlook on its Cervantes project in Sonora. During Q2, 2020 the company plans to finalize the JV agreement with Kootenay Silver, finalize the interpretation of 3-D geophysics conducted in 2019, and advance exploration on near surface oxide Au mineralization and deeper porphyry sulphide Au-Cu targets. In Q3, 2020, Aztec plans to extend detail mapping and sampling of the Purisima West, Estrella, Jacobo, Brazil, and other targets at its Cervantes project, and plan and obtain permits for phase 2 drilling program on its California and Purisima targets. In Q4, 2020 the plan is to commence phase 2 drilling program on these two targets.
  • Radius Gold Inc., reported results of 35 rock chip samples collected at its recently acquired Plata Verde project in Chihuahua. Highlights include 142g/t Ag over 64m at Mina Mojonera, including 350 g/t Ag over 12m. “At Plata Verde, Ag mineralization occurs as massive to crustiform banded barite calcite with Ag chlorides, sulphosalt minerals and native Ag infilling and cementing fractures and breccia within a basaltic/andesite extrusive volcanic”. At Mina Real, located 150m south of Mina Mojonera, 75 rock chip samples were collected from the walls and remaining pillars with Ag grades varying from 8 and 730 g/t Ag, with an average grade of 276 g/t Ag. Minas Mojonera and Real define a zone of Ag mineralization approximately 550m long by 200m wide, with the south portion apparently displaced by a large fault, and largely covered by post-mineral rhyolite ignimbrites. Radius is planning to run an airborne magnetic survey to help define the extension of the host rocks under cover.

ON MINING

  • Avino Silver & Gold Mines Ltd., released Q1, 2020 production and financial results from its Avino mine in Durango. It processed 164,096 tonnes of 0.4 g/t Au, 57 g/t Ag, and 0.57% Cu to produce 1,531 Oz Au, 267K Oz Ag and 1.8M Lb Cu (684K Oz AgEq), with metallurgical recoveries of 73%, 89%, and 86% respectively, at cash cost of USD $9.83, and AISC of USD $14.88 per Oz AgEq payable.  The company reported revenues of USD $7.12M, mine operation income of USD $843K, cash of $6.7M, working capital of USD $1075M, an EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA of USD $372K  and USD $391K respectively.
  • Endeavour Silver Corp., presented consolidated production and financial results from its Guanacevi mine in Durango, Bolañitos mine in Guanajuato, and El Compas mine in Zacatecas. Endeavour produced 857.7K Oz Ag and 8,476 Oz Au for 1.5M Oz AgEq at an 80:1 Ag: Au ratio or 1.8M Oz AgEq at 110:1 ratio. Cash cost of $7.85 and AISC of $18.38 per Oz payable Ag, both net of Au credits. The company reported an income of $21.9M from the sale of 665.5K Oz Ag and 7,454 Oz Au at average realized prices of $15.33 per Oz Ag and $1,633 per Oz Au.
  • GoGold Resources Inc., reported Q1, 2020 production and financial results from its Parral Tailings project, Chihuahua. It processed 367K tonnes to produced 601K Oz AgEq, at cash cost of USD $12.33 and AISC of USD $15.10 per Oz AgEq. GoGold reported an income of $USD $8.6M, and cash of USD $19.1M.
  • Gold Resource Corporation, announced Q1, 2020 production and financial results from its Oaxaca mining unit, Oaxaca. The company milled 174.5K tonnes to produce 6,450 Oz Au, 402.5K Oz Ag, 1.1M Lb Cu, 5.6M Lb Pb, and 13.1M Lb Zn, at cash cost of $918 and AISC of $1,229 per Oz AuEq sold.
  • Golden Minerals Company, announced its financial results for the period Q1, 2020. The company reported revenue of USD $1.2M and net operating margin of USD $0.6M related to the lease of its oxide plant. It also reported cash and cash equivalents balance of USD $ 2.2M.
  • Great Panther Mining Limited, released Q1, 2020 consolidated production and financial results from its Topia, Durango and Guanajuato mine complex, Guanajuato. The company milled 68,965 tonnes of 318 g/t AgEq.
  • Hecla Mining Company, reported Q1, 2020 production and financial results from its San Sebastian mine in Durango. Hecla produced 346,625 Oz Ag and 2,802 Oz Au, at cash cost of $6.91 and AISC of $9.59 per Oz Ag produced.
  • Newmont Corporation, produced 87K Oz Au at AISC of $769 per Oz Au sold, or 288K Oz AuEq at AISC of $841 per Oz AuEq sold.
  • Pan American Silver Corp., presented Q1, 2020 production and financial results from its La Colorada mine in Zacatecas and Dolores mine in Chihuahua. At La Colorada, Zacatecas the company produced 1.6M Oz Ag and 1.1K Oz Au, at cash cost of USD $7.23 and AISC of USD $9.98 per Oz Ag produced. At Dolores, Chihuahua it produced 1.23M Oz Ag and 27.1K Oz Au, at AISC of USD $23.29 per Oz produced.
  • Premier Gold Mines Limited, released Q1, 2020 production and financial results from its Mercedes mine in Sonora. Premier milled 162,408 tonnes of 2.4 g/t Au and 27 g/t Ag to produce 11,587 Oz Au and 52.2K Oz Ag, with metallurgical recoveries of 93.9% and 37.1% respectively, at cash cost of USD $1,282 and AISC of 1,883 per Oz Au per Oz Au sold.
  • Torex Gold Resources Inc., reported Q1, 2020 production and financial results from its El Limon Guajes mining complex in Guerrero. It produced 108.5K Oz Au at cash cost of $794 and AISC of $975 per Oz Au sold. Torex reported an EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA of $39.4M and 67.4M respectively, and cash flow from operations of $29.5M.

ON FINANCING

  • Americas Gold and Silver Corporation, announced a bought deal public offering for gross proceeds of approximately CAD $25M (Cosalá mine, Sinaloa).
  • Fortuna Silver Mines Inc., provided an update to amend the financial covenants contained in its USD $150M credit facility. The credit facility requires the company to maintain a total debt to EBITDA ratio of not greater than3:1. As of the financial year ended December 31, 2019, the total debt to EBITDA ratio was 1.7:1. Fortuna has entered into discussions with its senior lenders under the credit facility, and obtained agreement in principle to amend the financial covenants. The amendment to the credit facility is subject to the completion of definitive documentation between the parties (San Jose mine, Oaxaca).
  • GR Silver Mining Ltd., entered into a bought deal brokered private placement with a syndicate of underwriters for aggregate gross proceeds of $6,021,000. The company also granted the underwriters an option to purchase more stock for additional gross proceeds of $903,150. Later on, the company upsized it to $8.1M (San Marcial and Plomosas projects, Sinaloa).
  • Minaurum Gold Inc., announced a private offering to raise gross proceed up to CAD $5M. Net proceeds will be used for the exploration of its Alamos Silver project in Sonora and for working capital purposes.
  • Mithril Resources Limited, announced that it is conducting a capital raising by way of a non-renounceable rights issue to shareholders for a minimum gross proceeds of A $1.5M and a maximum of A $2.46M. Net proceeds will be used primarily to advance exploration at its Copalquin project in Durango.
  • Magna Gold Corp., entered into an amendment to include the closing of a non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of a minimum of $1.8M and a maximum of $2M. Net proceeds will be used for the acquisition of, and for working capital purposes in connection with the San Francisco mine, Sonora.

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

  • Discovery Metals Corp., released results from eight diamond drill holes collared at its Cordero project in Chihuahua. Goal of these holes was to define and extend the higher-grade mineralized footprint to the NE and SW of the Pozo de Plata zone. Significant drill intersections were encountered in hole C20-319 with 0.1 g/t Au, 70 g/t Ag, 1.5% Pb, and 1.9% Zn (207 g/t AgEq) over a width of 168.8m, including 0.2 g/t Au, 103 g/t Ag, 2.2% Pb, and 4.4% Zn (378 g/t AgEq) over 27.7m; and hole C20-317 with 0.22 g/t Au, 90 g/t Ag, 0.9% Pb, and 0.5% Zn (159 g/t AgEq) over 79m. 48 holes totaling 17,500 m have been completed to date at Cordero to understand the high-grade footprint. Assays from 16 holes are pending. All holes have been drilled roughly perpendicular to the main structural north-east trend of higher-grade mineralization.
  • GR Silver Mining Ltd., announced historical drilling results from its Plomosas Silver project and provided an update on its ongoing exploration program at its San Marcial project, both located in Sinaloa. At Plomosas, in San Juan Area, highlights include hole LRD-46 with 0.13 g/t Au, 198 g/t Ag, 1.7% Pb, and 0.5% Pb (261 g/t AgEq) over a true width (TW) of 6.4m, including 0.13 g/t Au, 404 g/t Ag, 0.7% Pb, and 0.3% Zn (444 g/t AgEq) over a TW of 3m; hole LRD-54 with 0.4 g/t Au, 821 g/t Ag, 7.4% Pb, and 4.5% Zn (1,304 g/t AgEq) over a TW of 2m; hole SJD-17 with 0.43 g/t Au, 521 g/t Ag, 4.6% Pb, and 1.6% Zn (705 g/t AgEq) over a TW of 1.9m; and hole SJD-10 with 0.8 g/t Au, 574 g/t Ag, 1.6% Pb, and 0.7% Zn (675 g/t AgEq) over a TW of 2.7m. “GR Silver Mining continues its review and validation of more than 500 surface and underground drill holes on all six zones, aiming to confirm additional multiple vein systems hosted in a set of regional high angle fault zones and shallow dipping younger regional faults”. At San Marcial project, it obtained positive initial Au results from channel sampling at two new targets including 28.94 g/t Au and 143 g/t Ag over 0.2m, and 6.81 g/t Au over 0.2m. It also completed the work to widen 170m an existing tunnel to reach the breccia-hosted high-grade mineralization. GR also commented that with all the accumulated data generated it has generated at least eight drill-ready targets to test.
  • Golden Minerals Company, completed PEA´s for its Rodeo and Velardeña projects in Durango. At Rodeo, the PEA shows a pre-tax NPV (8% discount rate) of USD $24.4M with a low start-up cost of USD $1.5M. Pending receipt of mining permits, mining and processing is planning for Q1, 2021. At Velardeña, the PEA shows a pre-tax NPV (8% discount rate) of USD $85.9M based on incorporating bio-oxidation processing as the key to achieving robust project economics. No development decision has been made with regard to this project.

ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

  • Agnico Eagle Mines Limited, announced the election of directors during its annual and special meeting of shareholders (Pinos Altos, Chihuahua).
  • Alio Gold Inc., completed the sale of its San Francisco Mine in Sonora to Magna Gold Corp. Under the terms of the agreement, Timmins GoldCorp Mexico S.A. de C.V., a subsidiary of Alio Gold, received 9.74M of common shares of Magna and will receive USD $5M in cash (or a 1% NSR royalty in respect of the San Francisco Mine, if the cash payment is not made by Magna) within twelve months.
  • Argonaut Gold Inc., and Alio Gold Inc., received positive recommendations of its proposed merger announced on March 30, 2020. Argonaut and Alio shareholders of record at the close of business on March 30, 2020 and April 14, 2020 respectively are eligible to vote their common shares (El Castillo mine, Durango).
  • Azucar Minerals Ltd., announced it has granted stock options to certain directors, employees and consultants of the company to purchase an aggregate 425K common shares at a price of $0.11 per share (El Cobre project, Veracruz).
  • Xtierra Inc., received conditional approval for the acquisition of 87.99% interest of Minera Portree de Zacatecas S.A. de C.V. , for the amount of CAD $56K in cash less a deposit of CAD $26K previously paid, the remaining CAD $30K is payable in installments subject to certain milestones, and the issue to the vendor of 2M common shares of the company at a deemed value of CAD $0.05 per share. The TSXV has provided conditional approval of the acquisition which requires completion of legal documentation in Mexico (Bilbao project, Zacatecas).
  • Pan American Silver Corp., released its 2019 sustainability report, which includes details on Pan American’s environmental, social, governance (“ESG”), and health and safety performance.

ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

  • The Chihuahua Mining Cluster, donated MXP $200M to the Mexican Red Cross, which will be used to acquire the paramedics ´personal protection equipment to face the COVID-19 pandemic. The president of the Chihuahua Mining Cluster recognized the commitment of all mining units and suppliers belonging to the cluster for showing solidarity with its employees and with the communities, and declared that the mining industry has had to fight against the onslaught of the pandemic, since despite not having been considered an essential industry and being forced to close all its operations.
  • Esperanza Silver de México (Alamos Gold), delivered protective overalls to doctors and nurses at the IMSS Regional hospital 1 in Cuernavaca. This action was in addition to the previous delivery of KN95 masks and gloves that the mining company carried out at the Regional 1 hospitals of the IMSS, the ISSSTE Family Clinic in Cuernavaca, the Regional of Temixco and José G. Parres de Cuernavaca.
  • First Majestic Silver Corp., through its personnel of La Encantada mine in Coahuila, delivered pantries to five Ejidos from the Municipality of Ocampo. Personnel of the company prepared packages with items from the basic food basket that were delivered to the peasant families, house by house, in support of the health contingency by COVID-19. The local authorities appreciated the help of the mining company and other companies and social organizations that have brought support and health and humanitarian aid to the inhabitants of Ocampo.
  • Fresnillo plc, donated 2,000 covers, 40 gallons of disinfectant gel and 400 N95 masks to the hospitals of Zone No. 8 of the IMSS and General of the State of Sonora, in the city of Caborca, in support and recognition of the hard work carried out by the staff of these institutions.
  • Grupo Peñoles, in coordination with the Torreón City Council, donated 300 pantries and disinfectant products, for the benefit of residents of the Vicente Guerrero neighborhood, Torreón, near its Met-Mex Peñoles metallurgical plant.
  • Minera San Julián (Fresnillo plc), will provide mask to the Municipality of San Julian, Chihuahua. The production of mouth masks will be in charge of a community company in the town of Yerbitas, which was hired by Minera San Julián to contribute to the support of sanitary guidelines to face the COVID-19 pandemic. The mining company is also helping to generate employment and strengthen the local economy.
  • Aura Minerals Inc., in coordination with the Municipal Authorities of Concepción del Oro Zacatecas, has helped to implement measures designed to support the communities in this difficult time such as screening checkpoint for all those entering the city, contracting the local workforce to produce additional face masks for ongoing essential activities, providing canteens, transportation vehicles and health questionnaires, facilitating temperature scanning and the use of screening checkpoints, hiring additional medical personnel and supplying COVID-19 test kits.
  • Compañia Minera Pangea (McEwen Mining), donated cleaning kits to 109 families (354 persons) of seven communities near of its El Gallo mine in Sinaloa.

 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, bladed calcite in a low sulphidation epithermal vein system in a prospect in Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Miguel A Heredia.

3 thoughts on “The Mining and Exploration News in Mexico: Highlights on the First Week of May, 2020.

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