By Jorge Cirett
During the 24th week of the year (June 8th to June 14th, 2020), at least 35 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico. Notably, 8 of those were exploration updates and 9 related to financing. ON MEXICO ISSUES, Senator Miguel Lucero and a coalition of mining unions proposed the creation of the Mining Secretariat, against the presidential bid to close the Sub-Secretariat of Mining. The Mexican president asked publicly the Canadian ambassador for help to get Canadian mining companies to pay due taxes. First Majestic asked the Canadian ambassador to intervene on the tax dispute. Copper prices have reached $2.60 per pound. Two rival unions were involved in a brawl in Fresnillo, Zacatecas. Francisco Quiroga Sub-Secretary of Mining informed that mines in Mexico are free of confirmed Coronavirus cases. All mines have procedures in place to detect and control outbreaks on transport and work sites. ON EXPLORATION, in Sonora, Silver Viper resumes drilling at La Virginia; Aztec Minerals updated on exploration at its Cervantes project; Colibri presented assay results from grab samples at the Evelyn project. In Chihuahua, Kootenay Silver recommenced drilling at Columba. In Sinaloa, Kootenay Silver restarted drilling at the Copalito property. In Durango, Mithril Resources prepares to drill the Copalquin project. In Jalisco, GoGold Resources began drilling Los Ricos North project. ON MINING, Mexus Gold continues mining at its Santa Elena property. Peñoles is to invest one billion dollars in 2020 in its mining operations. Fresnillo PLC reported on payments to governments of Mexico and Peru. ON FINANCING, Minaurum closed a private placement netting $4.21 M. Discovery closed the second and final tranche of its private placement, accruing C$25 M. Silver Viper commenced trading on the OTCQB in USA. Sonoro Metals realized a third MOU on its Cerro Caliche project, Sonora. Starcore paid its debts and is now debt free. Consolidated Zinc is to raise $0.57 M to purchase equipment. Vangold accelerated the warrant program relating to its 2019 placement. Prime Mining completed the offering for C$10 M. Mag Silver now holds 19.9% of Reyna Silver. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Mexican Gold started the fieldwork needed to complete the environmental baseline report at its Las Minas property in Veracruz. Minera Alamos reported more drill results from its Santana project in Sonora. Capstone updated on the mineral resources of its Cozamin mine in Zacatecas, showing a nice increase. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Magellan Gold is leaving Mexico. Mithril Resources appointed new CEO and Chief Geologist. Sonoro Metals postponed its general meeting. Evrim Resources and Renaissance Gold are merging into a new entity named Orogen Royalties. Silver Spruce optioned the El Mezquite property in Sonora. GR Silver Mining filed on SEDAR the amended technical report on its San Marcial project. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY. Grupo Mexico, Fresnillo PLC, Argonaut Gold, Bylsa Drilling, Asociación de Real de Minas de San Javier, SilverCrest, Alamos Gold, Agnico Eagle, EMS, Molymex, Metallorum-Autlán, FLSmidth, First Majestic, Gruminex, Peñoles, Barimont, MAC Distribuciones, Dynapro Pumps, Cobre del Mayo, Minera Capela, Peña Colorada and Newmont Corp. informed on a large array of investments and measures that benefit the mining communities.
ON MEXICO ISSUES
- Senator Miguel A. Lucero (president of the mining and regional development commission in the senate) proposed the creation of the Mining Secretariat. This was his viewpoint in the rumors that the president Lopez Obrador is about to disappear several sub secretariats on grounds of saving resources. He stressed that the mining industry operates in over 200 municipalities that deserves close attention.
- The Union Nacional de Sindicatos Minero–Metalurgicos de Mexico asked the president Lopez Obrador to evaluate the creation of a Mining Secretariat, to foster national and foreign investment and generate jobs.
- The President of Mexico, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) asked publicly the Canadian ambassador for help to get Canadian mining companies to pay due taxes. He stated that the debts are clear and that there is no point on the mining companies to seek legal complaints.
- First Majestic Silver Corp. has asked Canada’s ambassador to Mexico to intervene in an escalating tax dispute with President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s government. “We’ve been trying to get somebody to the table to finally put this behind us,” First Majestic CEO Keith Neumeyer told Reuters. Neumeyer said the company had proposed three settlement offers since 2018 before launching the trade challenge last month. “Each of the offers has been rebuffed”.
- Copper prices grew 25% from its March minimums, reaching US$2.60 per Lb thanks to the Chinese recovery.
- Rival Unions in Fresnillo, Zacatecas, participated in a brawl that resulted in several persons conducted to a nearby hospital for medical care. This arises for a rivalry between the Sindicato Nacional Minero Metalúrgico (FRENTE) and the Sindicato Independiente for representation of workers at the Fresnillo mine.
- Francisco Quiroga, Sub-Secretary of Mining informed that mines in Mexico are free of confirmed Coronavirus cases. All mines have procedures in place to detect and control outbreaks on transport and work sites.
- VanGold Mining Corp. completed a bulk sample and metallurgical test at its Pinguico project in Guanajuato. The 1,039 tonne bulk sample was processed at Endeavour Silver Corp’s Bolañitos mill in Guanajuato, with an average grade of 1.23 gpt AuEq, and a recovery rate of 75.2% Au, 60.4% Ag.
- Silver Viper Minerals Corp. resumes exploration at its La Virginia project in Sonora. “The recently renewed work program continues Phase II drilling at the El Rubi discovery area, where systematic testing of the structure is being conducted on 50m sectional step outs. A second drill will test exploration targets in and around the El Rubi location”.
- Kootenay Silver Inc. recommenced drilling at its Columba project in Chihuahua. The initial holes of the remaining 5,200 meters of the phase II 7,000 m program “will focus on expanding the F-vein by following-up on positive results from the first 10 holes of the Program…… Beyond augmenting previously drilled areas the Program will investigate untouched veins mapped out by Kootenay’s geological team”.
- Aztec Minerals Corp. updated on the exploration of the Cervantes project in Sonora, in advance of the signing of the 65/35 joint venture agreement with Kootenay Silver Inc. Highlights from the 2017 drilling program at the California target include the following intercepts: 160 m @ 0.77 gpt Au (including 80 m @ 1.04 gpt Au, 0.11% Cu); 139 m @ 0.71 gpt Au (including 20 m @ 2.10 gpt Au, 0.16% Cu); 118 m @ 0.63 gpt Au (including 43 m @ 1.18 gpt Au, 0.16% Cu); 122 m @ 0.60 gpt Au (including 62 m @ 0.88 gpt Au, 0.06% Cu); 170 m @ 0.42 gpt Au (including 32 m @ 0.87 gpt Au, 0.06% Cu). Other targets include Purisima East, Estrella, Purisima West and Jasper. Preliminary metallurgical tests have shown 85.1% to 87.7% Au recovery in oxide, 77.9% Au recovery in mixed oxide/sulfide and 51.2% in sulfide.
- Kootenay Silver Inc. recommenced drilling at its Copalito property in Sinaloa. The 3,000 m drill program was halted due to the Coronavirus lockdown when only one 105.2 m hole had been completed. Over 10 kilometres of untested vein strike has been mapped, with strike lengths up to 2 km and widths from 0.5 m to 15 m. Previously reported grab and channel samples have returned up to 3,770 gpt Ag, 8.2 gpt Au, 17.4% Zn, 9.9% Pb and 1.5% Cu.
- GoGold Resources Inc. began drilling at the La Trini target, part of the Los Ricos North project in Jalisco. Historical intersections by Tumi Resources include: 24.4 m @ 6.4 gpt Au, 1,629 gpt Ag; 18.3 m @ 3.1 gpt Au, 150 gpt Ag; 6.1 m @ 2.8 gpt Au, 174 gpt Ag; 19.7 m @ 4.9 gpt Au, 193 gpt Ag; 14.1 m @ 4.9 gpt Au, 261 gpt Ag; 10.5 m @ 5.7 gpt Au, 188 gpt Ag.
- Mithril Resources Ltd. prepares to drill its Copalquin project in Durango. “Drilling and helicopter support contracts have been signed with mobilisation of equipment commencing in June 2020…… Previous drilling has identified three areas with underground mineable grades over potentially mineable widths. These areas are El Refugio, La Soledad and El Cometa (which also include open pit resource potential). Mithril’s drilling campaign will systematically test each of these high-priority areas and will also drill test Los Reyes, Los Pinos, and later La Constancia and the important San Manuel multi-level mine workings”.
- Colibri Resource Corp. received assays from samples collected on the western part of the Evelyn property in Sonora. The western part of the project is mostly covered by a thin veneer of alluvium and colluvium. More than 50 grab samples have been taken from small areas of sub-crop and outcrop exposed through the cover. “Three samples returned values greater than 2.0 g/t Au, 6 samples returned values greater that 0.25 g/t Au, and a total of 15 samples returned anomalous Au” up to 27.5 gpt Au.
- Mexus Gold US. continues mining and expects to put 1,800 tons of material in the leach pads by the end of this week, on its Santa Elena mine in Sonora (not to mistake for First Majestic Santa Elena mine, also in Sonora).
- Industrias Mineras Peñoles. is to invest one billion dollars in Mexico this year, regardless of the economic downturn by the Coronavirus pandemic.
- Fresnillo PLC. reported on payments done to Mexico and Peru governments derived from its operations in both countries. The company paid in Mexico a total of US$233.7 M in Mexico, of which US$28.6 M were from licences and mining concessions fees.
- Minaurum Gold Inc. announced the closing of the previously announced non-brokered private placement, for gross proceeds of $4.21 M, with the prominent participation of Sprott Global Resources Investments Ltd. (Alamos Silver, Sonora).
- Discovery Metals Corp. closed the second and final tranche of its non-brokered private placement for aggregate proceeds of C$25 M. “The Company also announces it has received approval by the Mexican government to resume operations at its Cordero project with strict COVID-19 health and safety protocols”. The company has over $40 M in cash on its balance sheet (Cordero, Chihuahua).
- Silver Viper Minerals Corp. commenced trading on the OTCQB Venture Market in the United States (La Virginia, Sonora).
- Sonoro Metals Corp. executed a third memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the finance and development of its proposed Cerro Caliche Heap Leach Pilot Operation. As of February 28, 2020, Sonoro had received two executed MoUs regarding project debt financing and EPC services for its proposed Cerro Caliche heap leach (Cerro Caliche, Sonora).
- Starcore International Mines Ltd. reported that the company paid out CAD$3 M of secured bonds plus accrued interest of CAD$235.4 K. In addition to this, the company also repaid a US$1 M loan. The payments were made from the Company’s cash flow generated from mine operations and prior asset sales (San Martin mine, Queretaro).
- Consolidated Zinc Ltd. announced firm commitments to raise a further $0.57 M via a single tranche placement. “Funds raised from the Placement will be applied towards the purchase of equipment to increase efficiencies at Plomosas, working capital and offer costs” (Plomosas, Chihuahua).
- VanGold Mining Corp. announced that to date the warrant acceleration program in connection with the company’s 2019 placement has rendered $1.16 M in gross proceeds of which $650 K were accrued by the exercise of warrants by Vangold’s directors and officers. “…funding for a portion of the exercise of warrants by directors and officers was facilitated through the sale of a portion their existing share holdings” (El Pinguico, Zacatecas).
- Prime Mining Corp. announced the completion of the offering for gross proceeds of C$10 M (Los Reyes, Sinaloa).
- Mag Silver Corp. has acquired 14.55 M shares of Reyna Silver Corp., owning to date 19.9% of its outstanding shares.
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
- Mexican Gold Mining Corp. announced “that fieldwork towards completing an environmental baseline study has commenced at the Las Minas project. Drilling at Las Minas is scheduled to commence in early July”.
- Minera Alamos Inc. reported more drilling results from its Phase II program at its Santana project in Sonora. The results further expand mineralization to the SW, and confirm the depth potential previously identified. Highlighted core length intervals comprise: 202.7 m @ 0.51 gpt Au; 105.6 m @ 0.31 gpt Au, 50.9 m @ 0.34 gpt Au; 90.0 m @ 0.40 gpt Au; 43.3 m @ 0.61 gpt Au; 42.5 m @ 0.36 gpt Au; 62.5 m @ 0.31 gpt Au, 188.2 m @ 0.28 gpt Au.
- Capstone Mining Corp. updated the mineral resource estimate for the Cozamin mine in Zacatecas.
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- Magellan Gold Corp. is redirecting its focus toward opportunities within the United States. “the company has divested all of its Mexico operations through the sale of its subsidiary Magellan Acquisition Corp.”. Among the operations divested is the SDA mill and the El Dorado property, both in Nayarit.
- Mithril Resources Ltd. appointed John Skeet as its new CEO and Hall Stewart as its Chief Geologist (Copalquin, Durango)
- Sonoro Metals Corp. postponed its annual general meeting to September 4, 2020 (Cerro Caliche, Sonora).
- Evrim Resources Corp. and Renaissance Gold Inc. entered into an agreement to combine in a merger of equals “in which Evrim will acquire all of the outstanding common shares of Renaissance through a share exchange transaction to create a new company, to be named Orogen Royalties Inc. Orogen will focus on project generation as has been the history of both Evrim and Renaissance but with a renewed focus on organic royalty creation and royalty acquisition” (royalty in Ermitaño, Sonora).
- Silver Spruce Resources Inc. signed a binding option agreement with Colibri Resources Corp. to acquire 50% interest in its wholly owned Mexican subsidiary Yaque Minerals S.A. de C.V., which holds the El Mezquite project in Sonora. El Mezquite is 12 Km NE of the Santana property, currently under mine development by Minera Alamos. To obtain 50% interest Silver Spruce has to pay US$82.5 K by September 1, 2020, US$127.5 K by September 1, 2021, and CDN$500 K for a debenture due in October 2023. The company will have the option to pay US$107.5 K by December 31, 2020 to complete the cash acquisition for a discounted total of US$190 K. Minimum work expenditures total US$600 K on the four year term of the agreement. A 1% royalty to the original vendors of the property can be purchased for US500 K at any time.
- GR Silver Mining Ltd. filed on SEDAR its amended technical report on resources estimation of its San Marcial project in Sinaloa. There are 12 amendments in different parts of the report, with no material differences on the resource estimation.
ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
- In Sonora more than 125 thousand persons in 30 municipalities and 47 rural communities have received support by 13 mining companies and six service providers: Grupo México, Fresnillo Plc, Argonaut Gold, Bylsa Drilling, Asociación de Real de Minas de San Javier, SilverCrest, Alamos Gold, Agnico Eagle, EMS, Molymex, Metallorum-Autlán, FLSmidth, First Majestic, Gruminex, Peñoles, Barimont, MAC Distribuciones, Dynapro Pumps and Cobre del Mayo).
- The mining sector in Mexico strives nowadays for social co-responsibility between community, government and enterprises, where the communities define their needs and priorities, the government complies with its responsibilities and enterprises promote and provide resources, organize community committees and develop executive projects.
- The world day of the environment was held in Teloloapan, Guerrero, with the presence of Efrén Romero, municipal president, Army members and Minera Capela executives.
- In Cuencamé, Durango, a road work investment of 11 million pesos was inaugurated by Luly Martínez. Municipal president. The investment was made possible with resources from the Mining Fund.
- Agnico Eagle received the Environmental Excellence Award from the Mining Association in Canada, for its work in Pinos Altos, Chihuahua, where was developed an ultra-high density grazing initiative.
- Peña Colorada builds a medical facility in Manzanillo. With an investment of 4 M pesos, the facility will count with an area for patient care, and another area for the rest of the medical personnel, as this new building is by the side of the Hospital General de Manzanillo.
- Newmont Corp. published its 2019 sustainability report. The report displays all the work planned and done by the company as it strives to better its environmental, social and governmental imprint in Mexico.
- Bylsa Drilling efforts on social responsibility on the communities neighboring the Las Chispas and Alamos Silver projects in Sonora were commended by governor Claudia Pavlovich.
- The Mining Fund provided the resources to build the Doctores Avenue in Fresnillo, Zacatecas. The 27.14 million pesos invested funded 670 m of paving and drainage construction.
- Grupo Mexico restated its compromise on the state of Chihuahua with the donation of a termo-cycler to the State Health Laboratory. Previously the company had donated five mechanical ventilators to the University Central Hospital, same that shortly is to receive 25 non-invasive ventilators more.
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-graphite vein, Hermosillo District, Sonora. Picture by Jorge Cirett.