By Jorge Cirett
During the 26th week of the year (June 22nd to June 28th, 2020), at least 30 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico. Notably, 6 of those were exploration updates and 6 more related to financing. ON MEXICO ISSUES, Mining and Automotive industries are to operate even if there is a resurgence of Coronavirus cases. The Mining Fund Technical Committee approved US$11.6 M for 98 projects in 11 States. Canadian Mining companies are under pressure to pay disputed taxes. AMLO rejected the idea of nationalizing the lithium industry…. but declares the conditions on which those conditions are granted have to be reviewed (Keep in mind what’s been happening in the electricity industry). ON EXPLORATION, in Sonora, Ridgestone completed a maiden drill program on its Rebeico project; Tarachi Gold acquired the Tarachi property in Sonora; Aztec Minerals identified multiple chargeability anomalies at its Cervantes project; Tocvan Ventures released strong results of its soil program on the Pilar project. Vizsla Resources released high grade drilling results from its Panuco project. GoGold Resources released results from three more drill holes at its Los Ricos South project. ON MINING, VanGold Mining plans to clearing the shaft at the Pinguico property to provide access for sampling and eventually infill extraction. ON FINANCING, Southern Silver is eyeing a private placement to raise up to C$7 M. Aura Minerals authorized a dividend’s policy. First Mexican Gold granted 2.5 M options to directors, officers and consultants. Orex Minerals raised $989 K on the closing of the first tranche of its non-brokered private placement. Apollo Gold aims to raise up to $5 M. McEwen Mining refinanced its $50 M senior secured term loan facility. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, GR Silver Mining released drill results from historic holes at its Plomosas project in Sinaloa. Magna Gold filed a technical report on its San Francisco mine, in Sonora. SilverCrest Metals updated on the development of the Las Chispas project under the Coronavirus emergency. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Argonaut Gold and Alio Gold announced that COFECE, the last bureaucratic hurdle, has cleared the transaction on its merger. Riverside Resources disclosed additional funding from BHP on its generative copper exploration program in Sonora. Southern Silver Exploration signed an agreement to acquire Electrum Global Holdings’s 60% share on the Cerro Las Minitas project in Durango. Candente Gold mobilized a team for the due diligence on the El Dorado project and the SDA mill in Nayarit. Hochschild optioned the Los Cuarenta property in Sonora from Riverside Resources. Apollo Gold Corp. entered into a LOI to option the “Jalisco Group of properties” from First Majestic. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY. Peñasquito donated medical supplies to the IMSS Hospital Número 12 in Concepción del Oro, Zacatecas. Esperanza Silver repaired the water supply system in San Agustín Tetlama, Morelos.
ON MEXICO ISSUES
- Mining and the Automotive industries to operate, even if there is a resurgence (hypothetical) of Coronavirus cases. Graciela Márquez, Economy Secretary, explained these industries are essential, and are to continue activities under any color of the health lights system.
- The Mining Fund Technical Committee approved the funding of 98 projects for US$11.6 M ($260.9 M pesos) for pavement laying, sidewalk construction and water supply nets. The funds are to be distributed as follows: Sonora US$6.12 M, Zacatecas US$2.47 M, Durango US$1.08 M, Coahuila US$0.93 M, Chihuahua US$0.71 M, San Luis Potosí US$0.21 M, Aguascalientes US$90 K, Jalisco US$54 K, Michoacán US$45 K, Oaxaca US$32 K and Hidalgo US$14 K.
- Canadian Mining companies are under pressure to pay disputed taxes to the Mexican government, according to University academics on the matter.
- The president of Mexico, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, rejected the idea of nationalizing the lithium exploitation in the country. His comment comes regarding the ideas expressed by Victor Manuel Toledo, Environment Secretary and staunch opponent of mining. According to the president, there is already a legal framework for contracts and concessions by the government for the exploitation of mineral resources. However, he also stressed that the conditions on which those concessions are granted have to be reviewed.
- Ridgestone Mining Inc. completed the maiden drill program at its Rebeico project in Sonora. Under the program 1,674 m were drilled in ten holes. Most of the holes tested the geometry of gold-copper mineralization on the New Year Zone. Core samples are being submitted to the lab.
- Vizsla Resources Corp. released drilling results from two holes on the Napoleon vein corridor at the Panuco project in Sinaloa. Highlighted core-length intercepts comprise: 8.2 m @ 739 gpt Ag, 11.06 gpt Au; 2.0 m @ 1,527 gpt Ag, 24.9 gpt Au on one hole; 2.5 m @ 454 gpt Ag, 9.20 gpt Au; 5.1 m @ 309 gpt Ag, 8.00 gpt Au, 2.22% Pb, 4.75 % Zn; 1.8 m @ 186 gpt Ag, 15.63 gpt Au, 1.12% Pb, 7.73% Zn in the second hole. True widths are estimated at between 46-66% of down hole lengths.
- GoGold Resources Inc. informed on the results from three diamond drill holes at the Los Ricos South project. The holes drilled at the San Juan, Rascadero and East veins returned core length intervals of 27 m @ 0.09 gpt Au, 28 gpt Ag (including 4.0 m @ 0.45 gpt Au, 89 gpt Ag); 39.0 m @ 0.45 gpt Au, 117 gpt Ag (including 11.0 m @ 1.40 gpt Au, 319 gpt Ag); 3.2 m @ 0.15 gpt Au, 25 gpt Ag.
- Tarachi Gold Corp. commenced fieldwork at its Tarachi project in Sonora. Tarachi’s geological crews have begun a two-week field program of geological mapping and rock sampling of known mineral occurrences to verify historical work programs. Historical work includes drill intercepts of 5.0 m @ 34.5 gtp Au, 3.0 m @ 24.3 gpt Au; 1.32 m @ 110 gpt Au. The 2,560 ha project includes the San Javier, Pretoria, Chivitas, Jabali, Juliana, Texana and Tarachi concessions.
- Aztec Minerals Corp. identified multiple chargeability anomalies on a 3-dimensional IP-Resisitivity survey completed last year at its Cervantes property in Sonora. Each of the 6 porphyry prospects along the corridor exhibit strong porphyry alteration and Au (Cu) mineralization, while none of the Jacobo, Purisima West, Purisima East and Estrella targets have ever been drill-tested .
- Tocvan Ventures Corp. released results from the soil sampling survey undertaken at its Pilar property in Sonora. The results include values of up to 8 gpt Au and 317 gpt Ag, and collectively have highlighted the East Zone as a new focus area..
- VanGold Mining Corp. plans to begin clearing the El Pinguico shaft at its El Pinguico project in Guanajuato. The mucking of the shaft will allow the company to sample the lower part of the old workings infill, which on surface averaged 1.75 gpt Au, 183 gpt Ag. It will also allow the inspection of underground drifts for extracting the mineralized material, and check on past producing high-grade stopes.
- Southern Silver Exploration Corp. plans a fully marketed private placement aiming to gross proceeds for a minimum of C$7 M. The company entered into a definitive agreement with Electrum Global Holdings L.P. to acquire Electrum’s 60% ownership interest in Southern Silver Holdings Ltd. for current and future cash and share payments totaling US$15.0 M (Cerro Las Minitas, Durango).
- Aura Minerals Inc. announced its board of directors approved a dividend policy (Aranzazu, Zacatecas).
- First Mexican Gold Corp. granted 2.5 M options to directors, officers and consultants (Hilda, Sonora).
- Orex Minerals Inc. closed the first tranche of its non-brokered private placement, for gross proceeds of $989 K (Sandra-previously Sandra Escobar-, Durango).
- Apollo Gold Corp. is conducting a non-brokered placement aiming to raise up to $5 M in gross proceeds (Eztzatlan, Jalisco).
- Mc Ewen Mining Inc. announced the refinancing of its $50 M senior secured term loan facility. “As part of the refinancing, Sprott Private Resource Lending II (Collector), LP has replaced Royal Capital Management Corp. as a lender and the administrative agent for the Term Loan; and Evanachan Limited, a corporation wholly-owned by Rob McEwen, remains a lender….. the maturity date of the Term Loan has been extended by two years to August 31, 2023” (El Gallo, Sinaloa).
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
- GR Silver Mining Ltd. Released drill results from historic holes at its Plomosas project in Sinaloa. These high-grade silver intercepts are outside the previously mined Pb-Zn-Ag-Au ore of the Plomosas mine area. Some of the highlighted true width (tw) intercepts comprise: 14.6 m @ 46 gpt Ag, 1.0 gpt Au, 1.7% Pb, 2.2% Zn; 5.4 m @ 326 gpt Ag, 1.9 gpt Au, 0.7% Pb, 1.2% Zn (including 1.9 m @ 900 gpt Ag, 1.9 gpt Au, 1.9% Pb, 3.2% Zn); 2.1 m @ 349 gpt Ag, 0.4 gpt Au, 2.3% Pb, 1.3% Zn); 2.7 m @ 1,469 gpt Ag, 0.5 gpt Au, 2.2% Pb, 3.2% Zn; 17.4 m @ 4 gpt Ag, 3.6 gpt Au; 2.2 m @ 398 gpt Ag, 0.3% Pb, 0.7% Zn; 32.8 m @ 32 gpt Ag, 0.9 gpt Au; 9.8 m @ 28 gpt Ag, 0.7 gpt Au, 4.2% Pb, 0.9% Zn; 13 m @ 13 gpt Ag, 2.8 gpt Au, 0.5% Pb, 1.4% Zn; 11.7 m @ 8 gpt Ag, 1.7 gpt Au, 0.4% Pb, 0.7% Zn.
- Magna Gold Corp. filed an independent technical report for the San Francisco Gold project in Sonora.
- SilverCrest Metals Inc. continues activities at its Las Chispas project in Sonora. A fully confined camp for 160 persons has been built at the site. All personnel is tested for COVID-19, and transported to the project once the negative results are received. Currently eight rigs are operating on the H2 program focusing on the high-grade resource expansion at the veins Babicanora (SE, NE, deep), Babi Sur (SE to depth), Babi Vista (all directions), Babicanora Norte (SE, NW, deep), Las Chispas (SE to depth), Giovanni (SE to depth), William Tell (all directions), and Varela (all directions). “Underground development has resumed, with a target of 500 metres per month by Q3, 2020, under confined camp conditions. The first ventilation raise in the Babicanora area has been completed. “. The feasibility study is progressing.
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- Argonaut Gold Inc. and Alio Gold Inc. announced the receipt of the clearance decision from the Comisión Federal de Competencia Económica (COFECE) with respect to the pending merger between Argonaut Gold and Alio Gold. This approval “was the final government agency approval required before completing the merger, which is anticipated to occur between June 29, 2020 and July 3, 2020” (El Castillo, Durango; Ana Paula, Guerrero).
- Riverside Resources Inc. announced the continuation of the exploration agreement with BHP Exploration Chile SpA for the funding of generative copper exploration in the copper producing belt of Sonora. “BHP will be providing Riverside with US$720,000 to commence the first half of the second year of the Program to continue to grow the portfolio of copper projects which is an increase of US$220,000 from the initial plan ”.
- Southern Silver Exploration Corp. entered into a definitive agreement with Electrum Global Holdings L.P. to acquire Electrum’s 60% ownership interest in Southern Silver Holdings Ltd. for current and future cash and share payments totaling US$15.0 M to gain 100% interest in the Cerro Las Minitas project, in Durango. Payments include US$5M in cash and US$2 M in shares by September 2020 (less credit for deposit of C$1.35 M paid in June 2020), US$2 M in cash and US$2 M in shares six months from closing and US$2 M in cash and US$2 M in shares one year from closing Cerro Las Minitas, Durango).
- Candente Gold Corp. mobilized a team for the due diligence process on its acquisition process from Magellan Acquisition Corp. of the San Dieguito de Arriba processing plant and the El Dorado project in Nayarit. The Eldorado epithermal vein trend has been traced for 3.5 km along strike, hosting multiple mineralized zones, including distinct high-grade veins and lower grade bulk tonnage stockwork zones extending over tens of meters in width in both the hanging wall and footwall of the vein system.
- Riverside Resources Inc. entered into a definitive option agreement with Minera Hochschild de Mexico S.A. de C.V. for Riverside’s Los Cuarentas project in Sonora. Hochschild is to pay Riverside US$90 K on the signing of the agreement and invest US$8 M over four years in the property to earn 51%, upon which it can elect to earn an additional 24% by spending a further $3 M and producing a feasibility study. Upon completing the second phase earn-in, Riverside will have the option to sell its interest for US$20 M, while retaining a 1% NSR.
- Apollo Gold Corp. entered into a non-binding letter of intent (LOI) with First Majestic Silver Corp. for a three-year earn-in option to acquire First Majestic’s “Jalisco Group of Properties”. Under the terms of the agreement Apollo will pay $250 K and issue 4.29 M shares and 1.5 M warrants on closing of the definitive agreement. A further $200 K and 1 M shares a year from closing and $300 K and 1 M shares two years from the closing date. Apollo commits to spend at least $1.25 M on the properties within 36 months of closing. The properties comprise 5,240 ha of mining concessions which include the Etzatlan, Ampora, La Calabaza, Piedra and Bola mines.
ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
- Peñasquito donated medical supplies in the fight against Coronavirus to the IMSS Rural Hospital number 12 in Concepción del Oro, Zacatecas.
- Esperanza Silver de Mexico repaired the water supply equipment supplying the 2,500 inhabitants of San Agustín de Tetlama community in Morelos.
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: Epithermal quartz-graphite vein, Hermosillo District, Sonora, Sonora. Picture by Jorge Cirett.