By Miguel A Heredia
During the forty one week of the year (October 5th to October 11th, 2020), at least 27 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico and 10 news published by the media, with seven informing on exploration results, seven announcing financial rounds, seven commenting on Mexican issues, six disclosing deals and corporate issues, six communicating production and financial results, three discussing social issues, and one reporting on resources and development of their mine operations ON MEXICO ISSUES, The Mining Chamber of Mexico (CAMIMEX) and other organizations in the mining sector urged the federal government to maintain the operations of the Mining Fund, which has counted, until now, with an amount of MXP $22,000M (about $1B). The fate of the Fund for the Development of Mining Production Zones (Mining Fund), which had drastically changed its distribution in the last two years, is now more uncertain. Alvaro Burgos Barrera, the State Secretary of Economic Development of Guerrero, stated that Mining fund distributed MXP $300M for urban infrastructure in seven municipalities of the state, but now this support won´t arrive anymore at the entity after the disappearance of such program, at the initiative of the current federal government. Mining companies operating in Mexico demanded to guarantee the resources of the Mining Fund to the mining communities. The mining sector of Zimapan, Hidalgo spoke against the extinction of the Mining Fund. Mexico loses shine to attract mining investment. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador plans to take a decision on how to manage Mexico’s lithium resources soon. ON EXPLORATION, In Sonora, Riverside reported assay results from 55 channel samples and 181 soil samples taken at its Cuarentas property and announced it is preparing a drill program. In Chihuahua, Kootenay released drilling results from its Columba project and announced the discovery of a broad area of Ag mineralization. In Sinaloa, Brigadier reported exploration results from the El Placer vein system within its Picachos project, Prismo received environmental permit from SEMARNAT to drill 5 holes at its Palos Verdes project, and Vizsla reported drill results from its Panuco property. In Zacatecas, Advance Gold reported drill results from two holes collared at its Tabasquena project. In Guanajuato, VanGold released assays from underground channel sampling carried out at its Pinguico property. ON MINING, Aura reported preliminary Q3, 2020 production results from its Aranzazu mine in Zacatecas. GoGold reported Q3, 2020 production activities from its Parral Tailings project in Chihuahua. Endeavour announced Q3, 2020 production results from their Mexican operations. Great Panther released production results from their Topia mine in Durango and Guanajuato Mine Complex in Guanajuato for the period Q3, 2020. Hecla announced production results from its San Sebastian mine in Durango for the period Q3, 2020.Torex reported Q3, 2020 production results from its El Limon-Guajes mine complex in Guerrero. ON FINANCING, Almadex announced a proposed non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of approximately $1.35M (El Chato project, Puebla). Barksdale granted stock options to its directors, employees and consultants (San Javier project, Sonora). Comet raised $1M under its share purchase plane with approximately 180 shareholders participating (Santa Teresa project, Baja California). Golden Tag announced that it has initiated the process to have its common shares trading on the OTCQB Venture Market and the repricing of 9.9M incentive stock options. Inomin closed a non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of $400,500 (La Gitana project, Oaxaca). Santacruzclosed the first tranche of its previously announced non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of $7,629,279.02. Mexus announced that it has completed a 1 for 20 reverse split of its stock (Santa Elena mine, Sonora). ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Mexus announced that its ball mill gravity gold recovery system is now operational, allowing the company to run high grade material from the Julio quartz vein at its Santa Elena mine located in Caborca, Sonora. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Avino announced that it achieved a successful resolution to the strike at its Avino mine in Durango. Gold Resource announced its intent to spin-off in two separate companies its Nevada and Oaxaca Mining Unit (Arista Mine, Oaxaca). Gray Rock announced the change of its name to Silver Wolf Exploration Ltd (Ana Maria project, Durango). Impact Silver executed a letter of intent to option the Nuevo Taxco project in Guerrero to Road Oak Mining Corp. Osisko announced spin-out of mining assets and creation of a premier North American Gold Development Company (San Antonio project, Sonora). Silver Dollar reported that it is evaluating to transfer its Canadian exploration projects to a new subsidiary with the aim of position the company to be focus on the exploration and development of its advanced stage la Joya property in Durango. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, Minera Cuzcatlán (Fortuna Silver) fulfilled an agreement with the Oaxaca community to extend the hours of attention to patients at the Health Center of the Municipal Headquarters. In the Municipality of Guadalupe y Calvo, Chihuahua, 11 school domes were inaugurated, of which 6 were made with resources from the Mining Fund and five in coordination with the Municipality and the State. Industrias Peñoles SAB de CV faces firmly the new challenges posed by the pandemic.
ON MEXICO ISSUES
- The Mining Chamber of Mexico (CAMIMEX) and other organizations in the sector urged the federal government to maintain the operations of the Mining Fund, which has counted, until now, with an amount of MXP $22,000M (about $1.04B), with an impact on 690 communities. The Mining Fund was created with the objective of benefiting the populations where the resources were generated.
- The fate of the Fund for the Development of Mining Production Zones (Mining Fund), which had drastically changed its distribution in the last two years, is now more uncertain. The resources collected between 2014 and 2018 have been used for the installation and maintenance of public lighting, sanitary landfills, water treatment plants, drainage works. Public jets and environmental projects such as reforestation, etc. In 2019, it was decreed that these resources be distributed in a general way in the country through the Ministry of Public Education (SEP), which reduces the possibility of continuing with the development of mining communities. It goes against the principles by which it was generated: to distribute the Mining Fund among mining states and municipalities to promote high-impact infrastructure works.
- Alvaro Burgos Barrera, the State Secretary of Economic Development of Guerrero, stated that Mining fund distributed MXP $300M for urban infrastructure in seven municipalities, but now this support won´t arrive anymore at the entity after the disappearance of such program, at the initiative of the current federal government.
- Mining companies operating in Mexico demanded to guarantee the resources of the Mining Fund to the mining communities claiming that is was created with the spirit of benefiting the populations where the resources are generated. The Mexican Mining Chamber (CAMIMEX) asked the federal government to guarantee the application of resources from the Fund for the Development of Mining Production Zones for the benefit of the more than 690 mining communities in the country located in 212 municipalities in 24 states of the Mexican Republic. That is the commitment 27 made by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador during his protest, which states: “The tax charged to companies for the extraction of the mineral will be transferred to the mining communities.”
- The mining sector of Zimapan, Hidalgo spoke against the extinction of the Mining Fund. The federal initiative to disappear 109 trusts with an economic sum of almost MXP $68.5 would cause Hidalgo to stop receiving part of those funds, in different lines, including the one focused on Science and Technology as well as the extractive mineral industry. One of the first impacts would be the cancellation of economic resources for the urban infrastructure of the municipality.
- Mexico loses shine to attract mining investment. After disagreements between the federal government and the mining industry, last year Mexico fell nine places in investment attractiveness for the mining industry, going from 29th place in 2018 to 38th in 2019. The federal government has been clear that no mining concessions will be granted during this administration. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has declared that 40 percent of the national territory was concessioned and it is about stopping them “because with what has been granted, it is enough for millions of years.” Karen Flores, general director of the Mining Chamber of Mexico (CAMIMEX), refuted this statement and points out that 24 thousand 66 mining concession titles are in force in Mexico, representing 16.83 million hectares, equivalent to 8.59 percent of the national territory, for which is a myth to affirm that practically the entire national territory is concessioned to mining. At least 84 projects were postponed in 2019 due to different factors that affect their competitiveness, such as the price of metals, a higher tax burden, delays or rejections of permits, and uncertainty regarding possible changes in existing regulations, as well as in mining public policies, according to CAMIMEX.
- President Andrés Manuel López Obrador plans to take a decision on how to manage Mexico’s lithium resources soon. As is known, the government considers nationalizing the metal for batteries, whose demand is expected to increase in the coming decades to meet the growing manufacture of electric vehicles. What will be analyzed is to see if the country will opt for a total nationalization or to count with stricter controls on concessions, since all minerals belong to the State under Mexican law. While Mexico is not yet a lithium-producing country, this is expected to change in 2023 when project production begins in Sonora. Sonora is home to one of the largest lithium deposits in the world.
- Riverside Resources Inc., reported assay results from 55 channel samples and 181 soil samples taken at its Cuarentas property in Sonora and announced it is preparing a drill program to test some outlined targets. Highlights of the channel sampling include 9.1 g/t Au over 3.4m, including 32.9 g/t Au over 0.8m; 21.7 g/t Au over 1.6m; and 6.3 g/t Au over 1.2m. The soil program was done using a grid of 50 meter spaced lines and 25 meter spacing between samples. The soil sampling has defined a continuous 550 m long high-grade gold-in-soil anomaly which merges the Santa Rosalia and Santa Rosalia Sur as Centro de Rosalia and cumulates more than 1.7 km with higher-grade gold mineralization. Highlights include results of up to 0.9 g/t Au.
- Kootenay Silver Inc., released drilling results from the J-Z zone within its Columba project in Chihuahua, and announced the discovery of a broad area of at least 320m long, 460m deep, and an average width of 60m with high grade Ag mineralization in hydrothermal breccias. The mineralized system is open laterally on strike and at depth. Significant drill intercepts were encountered in hole CDH-20-061 with 43 g/t Ag over 30.85m, including 164 g/t Ag over 1m and 63 g/t Ag over 8m, as well as 54 g/t Ag over 7.85m, including 144 g/t Ag over 2m; hole CDH-20-062 with 93 g/t Ag over 11.6m including 115 g/t Ag over 8.3m and including 161 g/t Ag over 1m; hole CDH-20-063 with 91 g/t Ag over 9m, including 187 g/t Ag over 2.49m, including 762 g/t Ag over 0.49m; hole CDH-20-065 with 106 g/t Ag over 7m; hole 69 g/t Ag over 25.5m, including 154 g/t Ag over 9m, including 773 hg/t Ag over 1.5m; hole CDH-20-030 with 76 g/t Ag over 8.9m, including 173 g/t Ag over 3.3m, as well as 200 g/t Ag over 25.85m, including 415 g/t Ag over 11.15m, including 721 g(t Ag over 4.07m, and including 982 g/t Ag over 1.9m; and hole CDH-20-060 with 132 g/t Ag over 64m, including 226 g/t Ag over 9m, including 1,025 g/t Ag over 1m, as well as 229 g/t Ag over 22m, including 608 g/t Ag over 5m, including 1,160 g/t Ag over 1m.
- Brigadier Gold Limited, reported exploration results from the El Placer vein system within its Picachos project in Sinaloa. This vein system has been traced now for at least 4km along strike and comprises multiple parallel veins over a trend width ranging from 60 to 160 metres. Sample assay highlights include 7.4 g/t Au over 3.2m; 12.8 g/t Au, 54 g/t Ag, 0.1% Cu, 7.7% Pb, and 6.73% Zn over 0.5m; and 101 g/t Ag, 0.3% Cu, 2% Pb, and 11.6% Zn over 1m.
- Prismo Metals Inc., received environmental permit from SEMARNAT for its Palos Verdes project in Sinaloa. “The Palos Verdes drilling program will consist of about five holes, with the longest hole planned at 150-175m, designed to test the vein on strike and below the high-grade intercepts from a previous drill program carried out in May 2018. The best intercept from that program was 8.42 g/t Au and 2,336 g/t Ag, over an estimated 0.8m true width”.
- Vizsla Resources Corp., reported results from its current drill program at its Panuco property in Sinaloa. Significant drill intersects were encountered at hole NP-20-25 with 2.02 g/t Au, 255 g/t Ag, 0.3% Pb, and 0.6% Zn (449 g/t AgEq) over a true width (TW) of 15.3m; and hole NP-20-27 with 8.7 g/t Au, 870 g/t Ag, 0.8% Pb, and 2% Zn (1,696 g/t AgEq) over a TW of 2.58m.
- Advance Gold Corp., reported drill results from two holes collared at its Tabasquena project in Zacatecas, to test a 3,500m long continuous high chargeability Induced Polarization (IP) anomaly. Hole AGT-15 intercepted 122 g/t over a narrow interval of 0.33m, 198 g/t Ag over 2.23m, and 664 g/t Ag over 2.15m; and hole AGT-16 intercepted 0.7% Pb and 2.6% Zn over 6.5m, including 2.27% Pb and 5.45% Zn over 1.3m. A new geophysical survey will be underway within days to determine east to west dimensions of the geophysical anomaly at the northern end.
- VanGold Mining Corp., released assays from channel sampling carried out at its Pinguico property in Guanajuato. “El Pinguico vein system between the 4th and 6th levels (from approximately 130m to 185m below surface), covering an area approximately 55 meters in height, by 60 meters in width and where the stopped out area, plus remaining vein material, ranges from 1.5 meters to 5.5 meters wide. This exposure is adjacent to the El Pinguico shaft where crews continue to remove material blocking access to the #7 adit level”. Significant assays are 1.72 g/t Au and 630 g/t Ag (9.59 g/t AuEq or 767 g/t AgEq) over 1.6m; 4 g/t Au and 404 g/t Ag (9.05 g/t AuEq or 724 g/t AgEq) over 1.3m; and 4.59 g/t Au and 4566 g/t Ag (10.41 g/t AuEq or 833 g/t AgEq) over 1.2m. A weighted average grade of the underground sampling was 2.5 g/t Au and 363 g/t Ag (6.71 g/t AuEq or 537 g/t AgEq). Additionally, VanGold announced that a drill program will commence in the third week of November. It will consist of 14 holes for a total of 2,230m of HQ and/or NQ drilling.
- Aura Minerals Inc., reported preliminary Q3, 2020 production results from its Aranzazu mine in Zacatecas. It produced 5,881 Oz Au, 101, 379 Oz Ag, and 6,921 Lb Cu (17,909 Oz AuEq).
- GoGold Resources Inc., reported Q3, 2020 production activities from its Parral Tailings project in Chihuahua. The company produced 300,740 Oz Ag, 3,414 Oz Au, and 282.2K Lb Cu (a total of 605,287 Oz AgEq).
- Endeavour Silver Corp., announced Q3, 2020 production results from their Mexican mine operations: Guanacevi in Durango, Bolañitos in Guanajuato, and El Compas in Zacatecas. Figures are summarized in the below table:
- Great Panther Mining Limited, released production results from their Topia mine in Durango and Guanajuato Mine Complex in Guanajuato for the period Q3, 2020. At Topia, Durango, the company processed 20,292 tonnes of 0.85 g/t Au and 353 g/t Ag, at metallurgical recoveries of 55.5% and 92.5% respectively to produce 308 Oz Au, 213,320 Oz Ag, 1M Lb Pb, and 1.25M Lb Zn (383,897 Oz AgEq). At Guanajuato Mine Complex, Great Panther processed 45,101 tonnes of 1.59 g/t Au, and 131 g/t Ag at metallurgical recoveries of 83.4% and 85.5% respectively to produce 1,919 Oz Au and 161,927 Oz Ag (334,675 Oz AgEq).
- Hecla Mining Company, announced production results from its San Sebastian mine in Durango for the period Q3, 2020.The company produced 1,931 Oz Au and 0.3M Oz Ag, for a total production of 6K Oz Au and 0.8M Oz Ag during the first 9 months of 2020.
- Torex Gold Resources Inc., reported Q3, 2020 production results from its El Limon-Guajes mine complex in Guerrero. The company produced 131,790 Oz Au and sold 133,030 Oz Au at an average realized price of $1,880 per Oz. Torex has produced 299,830 Oz Au and sold 304,230 Oz Au through the first nine months of 2020, at an average realized gold price of $1,735 per Oz.
- Almadex Minerals Ltd., announced a proposed non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of approximately $1.35M. The company intends to use the proceeds for general corporate purposes (El Chato project, Puebla).
- Barksdale Resources Corp., granted stock options to its directors, employees and consultants to purchase up to 925K common shares at an exercise price of $0.50 per share (San Javier project, Sonora).
- Comet Resources Limited, raised $1M under its share purchase plane with approximately 180 shareholders participating. These funds are in addition to the $2M raised under the previous placement completed in September 2020. Part of the proceeds raised will be used to fund activities at its Santa Teresa project in Baja California.
- Golden Tag Resources Ltd., announced that it has initiated the process to have its common shares trading on the OTCQB Venture Market and the repricing of 9.9M incentive stock options from $0.325 to $0.33 (San Diego property, Durango).
- Inomin Mines Ltd., closed a non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of $400,500. The company will use the gross proceeds to establish operations in Mexico to move forward with the La Gitana project in Oaxaca.
- Santacruz Silver Mining Ltd., closed the first tranche of its previously announced non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of $7,629,279.02. Gross proceeds will be used to purchase underground equipment for its Zimapan property in Hidalgo and for general working capital and corporate purposes. Santacruz also announced that due to the strong demand it has further increased the size of the private placement to up to $10M. Closing of remain tranche(s) of the private placement is expected to occur on or before October 14, 2020.
- Mexus Gold US, announced that it has completed a 1 for 20 reverse split of its stock. The stock will began trading at its new price allowing the stock price to move up and accurately to reflect the value of the company. An increased stock price will also give Mexus the opportunity to uplist the stock once all parameters for doing so have been met. (Santa Elena mine, Sonora).
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
- Mexus Gold US recently announced the discovery of a significant amount of gold trapped in silver chloride at the bottom of the heap leach pad located at its Santa Elena mine. As stated in its recent press release the company noted that its ball mill gravity recovery system would be used to recover this gold, allowing the company to run high grade material from the Julio quartz vein at its Santa Elena mine located in Caborca, Sonora.
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- Avino Silver & Gold Mines Ltd., announced that it reached an agreement with the Mexican Mining Union and the strike at the mine has ended (Avino mine, Durango).
- Gold Resource Corporation, announced its intent to spin-off in two separate companies its Nevada and Oaxaca Mining Unit. The company wants to spin-off its Nevada Mining Unit to shareholders as a separate publicly-traded company. The transaction is targeted to be completed by year-end 2020 or the first quarter of 2021. With this transaction, the Oaxaca Mining Unit would be focused on expanding and discovering new vein systems since it has only drilled 2% of its 560 square kilometer land package in Oaxaca (Arista Mine, Oaxaca).
- Gray Rock Resources Ltd., announced the change of its name to Silver Wolf Exploration Ltd., effective October 8, 2020. The company shares will commence trading on the TSX Venture Exchange under the new trading symbol “SWLF” (Ana Maria project, Durango).
- Impact Silver Corp., executed a letter of intent to option the Nuevo Taxco project in Guerrero to Road Oak Mining Corp. , under which Red Oak will carry exploration of a portion of Impact´s very large land position in Mexico. The Nuevo Taxco project comprises 1,100 hectares and is located on the NW extension of the famous Taxco Silver Mining District, and the area is prospective for high grade Ag-Au mineralization. Red Oak may earn a 100% interest by making staged payments and incurring exploration expenditures over a 3-year period as follow: a) $50K in cash and 500K Red Oak common shares upon TSXV approval of the transaction and closing of their financing, b) $200K in exploration expenditures on or before September 30, 2021, c) $100K in cash, 1M common shares, and $400K in exploration expenditures before September, 2022, and d) $150K in cash, 2M common shares, and $800K in exploration expenditures on or before September, 2023. IN addition, Impact will retain a 1% NSR that Red Oak may buy back for CAD $1M.
- Osisko Gold Royalties Ltd., announced spin-out of mining assets and creation of a premier North American Gold Development company (San Antonio project, Sonora). Osisko and Barolo Ventures Corp., entered into a binding letter agreement outlining the terms upon which Osisko Royalties will transfer certain mining properties (or securities of the entities that directly or indirectly own such mining properties), including the San Antonio Gold property in Sonora and Guerrero properties in Guerrero state as well as a portfolio of marketable mining properties in Canada valued at approximately CDN $116M, to Barolo in exchange for common shares of Barolo which will result in a “Reverse Take-Over” of Barolo under the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange.
- Silver Dollar Resources Inc., reported that it is evaluating to transfer its Canadian exploration projects to a new subsidiary that would be spun out to Silver Dollar shareholders. It allows Silver Dollar to be focused on the exploration and development of its advanced stage la Joya property in Durango.
ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
- Minera Cuzcatlán (Fortuna Silver Mines Inc.), fulfilled an agreement with the Oaxaca community to extend the hours of attention to patients at the Health Center of the Municipal Headquarters, benefiting the inhabitants of the municipality, agencies and ranches. In addition, two specialized spaces were enabled for general medicine and emergency care, and the two municipal ambulances were maintained, one of them equipped for the transfer of patients with COVID-19 symptoms. It is worth mentioning that the agreement will be in force until the health emergency due to COVID-19 is lifted by the Federal Government through the General Health Council.
- In the Municipality of Guadalupe y Calvo, Chihuahua, 11 school domes were inaugurated, of which 6 were made with resources from the Mining Fund and five in coordination with the Municipality and the State.
- Industrias Peñoles SAB de CV faces firmly the new challenges posed by the pandemic and continues to prepare to create the health conditions required to protect its thousands of workers, highlighting that this has undoubtedly been an extremely complicated year. In addition to the fact that during this 2020 none of its workers will be left without employment. Peñoles today applies the highest standards of health protection to continue operating as a company and also as an industry despite all the circumstances.
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, a rich-Mn jasperoid from an epithermal system in a prospect in Chihuahua, Mexico. Photo by Miguel A Heredia.