By Miguel A Heredia
During the forty eight week of the year (November 16th to November 22th, 2020), at least 29 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico and 1 news published by the media, with eight reporting on resources and development of their mine operations, six disclosing deals and corporate issues, six informing on exploration results, four commenting on Mexican issues, three communicating production and financial results, two announcing financial rounds, and one discussing social issues. ON MEXICO ISSUES, Equinox announced that the community blockade at its Los Filos mine in Guerrero has been lifted and access to the mine has been restored. First Majestic announced its intention to appeal the Circuit Court decision to nullify the Advance Pricing Agreement concluded in 2012 between Primero Empresa Minera and the Mexican tax authority, Servicio de Administracion Tributaria (SAT). Deputies of the mining commission of the State Congress and the State Secretariat of Economy of Sonora will join forces to request to the Federal Government that the Mining Fund returns to the Municipalities of the State. Great Panther has temporarily suspended the operations at its Topia mine in Durango due to the detection of COVID-19 among the workforce. ON EXPLORATION, In Sonora, Canuc started a drone supported, high frequency, magnetic survey over its newly acquired claims at its San Javier project, Silver Tiger reported drill results from its El Tigre project, Colibri released results from the trenching sampling carried out at its Evelyn project, and Riverside and its JV partner Carlyle reported channel sampling results from its Cecilia project. In Jalisco, GoGold released drilling results from El favor target at its los Ricos North project. In the State of Mexico, Impact has commenced a trenching sampling at its Manto America gold target. ON MINING, Excellon reported Q3, 2020 production and financial results from its Platosa mine in Durango. Santacruz reported October 2020 production results from its Zimapan and Rosario mines in Hidalgo and San Luis Potosi respectively. Starcore reported Q2, 2020/2021 production results from its San Martin mine in Queretaro. ON FINANCING, Magna Gold closed the acquisition of the Margarita Silver project in Chihuahua. Telson executed a Trust Agreement with Trafigura Mexico (Tahuehueto project, Durango). ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Azucar resumed drilling at its El Cobre property in Veracruz. Endeavour expanded its land position at its Terronera property in Jalisco. Elemental Royalties presented Q3, 2020 results from its Mercedes mine in Sonora. Mexus provided an update on its new heap leach pad at its Santa Elena mine in Sonora. Golden Minerals received the final environmental permit for its Rodeo property in Durango. Minera Alamos announced an independent NI 43-101 compliant mineral resource estimate of 630K Oz Au at its Cerro de Oro project in Zacatecas. Sierra Metals announced a significant increase of its mineral resource estimate at its Cusi mine in Chihuahua. SilverCrest announced new high-grade discovery at the Babi Vista Splay Vein within its Las Chispas project in Sonora. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Aura announced a new and improved offtake agreement with Trafigura starting in 2022 (Aranzazu property, Zacatecas). Barksdale appointed its company Senior VP Project Development (San Javier project, Sonora). Comet changed its provider for shareholder registry services from Advanced Share Registry Services to Automic Pty Ltd (Santa Teresa property, Baja California). SilverCrest announced the appointment of a new member for its Board of Directors (Las Chispas project, Sonora). Starcore presented results from its annual general meeting of shareholders (San Martin mine, Queretaro). Silver Dollar announced it has hired a Country Manager for its la Joya Silver project in Durango. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, Torex achieved 10M hours work without a lost time injury (El Limon-Guajes mine complex, Guerrero).
ON MEXICO ISSUES
- Equinox Gold Corp., announced that the community blockade at its Los Filos mine in Guerrero has been lifted and access to the mine has been restored. Los Filos has commenced a staged restart and workers will resume their duties only after testing negative for COVID-19.
- First Majestic Silver Corp., announced its intention to appeal the Circuit Court decision to nullify the Advance Pricing Agreement concluded in 2012 between Primero Empresa Minera SA de CV (PEM) and the Mexican tax authority, Servicio de Administracion Tributaria (SAT). “The Federal Court’s decision directs SAT to re-examine the evidence and basis for the issuance of the APA with retroactive effect, for the following key reasons: (i) SAT’s errors in analyzing PEM’s request for the APA and the evidence provided in support of the request; and (ii) SAT’s failure to request from PEM certain additional information before issuing the APA. The Company’s legal advisors having now reviewed the written reasons continue to be of the view that the Federal Court’s decision is flawed both due to procedural irregularities and failure to address the relevant evidence and legal authorities. The Company intends to appeal the decision to the Circuit Courts by the December 1, 2020 deadline”.
- Deputies of the mining commission of the State Congress and the State Secretariat of Economy will join forces to request to the Federal Government that the Mining Fund returns to the Municipalities of the Sonora State. The commission reported that the Federal Government has pending the contribution of MXP $1,500M corresponding to fiscal year 2019 to be exercised in fiscal year 2020 in works of high social impact in municipalities with mining activities. One of the deputies stated that the resources of the Mining Fund originated in the State of Sonora, must remain here, because it is a resource of Sonora and must be applied, definitely, to the needs of the State. Sonora ranks first in the country in the extraction of copper, gold, molybdenum, wollastonite, and graphite and second in silver, substances that are exploited by national and foreign companies with investments around the world.
- Great Panther Mining Limited has temporarily suspended the operations at its Topia mine in Durango due to the detection of COVID-19 among the workforce. A reduced workforce will remain on site to maintain essential activities for the duration of the voluntary suspension. The health and safety of employees, contractors, and host communities remains a priority. The company will continue working closely with the local government and regional health authorities to ensure a safe restart of normal operations.
- Canuc Resources Corporation, started a drone supported, high frequency, magnetic survey over the 800m in length and 80 m in width silver-bearing magnetite swarms that have been identified within, and proximal to the large silver-bearing breccia structures uncovered in July and August of this year and first reported in a press release dated September 22nd.
- Silver Tiger Metals Inc., reported drill results from its El Tigre project in Sonora, where the company is currently exploring with core drilling the Caleigh and Protectora Veins. The company has drilled ten holes and highlights include hole 163 on Protectora Vein with 1,782 g/t Ag and 3.56 g/t Au (2,049 g/t AgEq) over 0.5m, and a second intercept of 1,374 g/t Ag and 0.89 g/t Au (1,441 g/t AgEq) over 0.5m; hole 164 on Protectora Vein with 805 g/t Ag and 10.5 g/t Au (1,593 g/t AgEq) over 0.5m; hole 158 on Caleigh Vein with 815 g/t Ag and 4.09 g/t Au (1,122 g/t AgEq) over 0.7m; and hole 156 on Caleigh Vein with 752 g/t Ag and 7.09 g/t Au (1,284 g/t AgEq) over 0.3m.
- Colibri Resource Corporation, released results from the trenching sampling carried out at its Evelyn project in Sonora. Fifty six chip samples from 0.30 to 2.00m in length were taken from trenches at The Cerro Rojo, El Sahuaro, and the West Evelyn targets. Nine samples returned values greater than 1 g/t Au and a total of 16 samples returned values greater than 0.1 g/t Au, with a peak of 23.2 g/t Au at the Cerro Rojo target area. The trenching has defined a northwest-southeast mineralized trend over an approximate strike length of 35 metres with samples ranging from 0.304 g/t Au to 27.5 g/t Au.
- Riverside Resources Inc and its JV partner Carlyle Commodities Corp., reported channel sampling results from its Cecilia project. Thirty six channel samples were collected from underground working as well as at surface over the San Jose target from brecciated and silicified rhyolite. Over 43% of the samples returned more than 0.2 g/t Au with a peak of 48.3 g/t Au over a width of 0.75m. Other significant results were 0.86 g/t Au over 1.7m; 0.78 g/t Au over 0.85m; 0.66 g/t Au over 1.6m; 0.66 g/t Au over 0.8m; and 0.56 g/t Au over 1.25m.
- GoGold Resources Inc., released drilling results from El Favor target at its los Ricos North project in Jalisco. Significant drill intercepts were encountered in hole LRGF-20-005 with 0.11 g/t Au and 74 g/t Ag (1.10 g/t AuEq or 83 g/t AgEq) over 21m, including 0.23 g/t Au and 150 g/t Ag (2.23 g/t AuEq or 167 g/t AgEq) over 9.0m; hole LRGF-20-006 with 2 intercepts, one of 0.2 g/t Au and 96 g/t Ag (1.48 g/t AuEq or 111 g/t AgEq) over 12m, including 0.53 g/t Au and 271 g/t Ag (4.15 g/t AuEq or 311 g/t AgEq) over 3.4m, and 0.97 g/t Au and 113 g/t Ag (2.47 g/t AuEq or 186 g/t AgEq) over 27m, including 3.35 g/t Au and 350 g/t Ag (8.01 g/t AuEq or 601 g/t AgEq); hole LRGF-20-007 with 0.28 g/t Au and 160 g/t Ag (2.4 g/t AuEq or 180 g/t AgEq) over 11m, including 0.53 g/t Au and 291 g/t Ag (4.41 g/t AuEq or 331 g/t AgEq) over 3.5m; hole LRGF-20-008 with 0.69 g/t Au and 255 g/t Ag (4.08 g/t AuEq or 306 g/t AgEq) over 52.1m, including 0.93 g/t Au and 343 g/t Ag (5.51 g/t AuEq or 413 g/t AgEq) over 37.1m, including 5.62 g/t Au and 2,052 g/t Ag (32.98 g/t AuEq or 2,473 g/t AgEq) over 5m, including 8.47 g/t Au and 3,039 g/t Ag (49 g/t AuEq or 3,675 g/t AgEq) over 3.3m; and hole LRGF-20-009 with 2 intercepts, one of 0.43 g/t Au and 148 g/t Ag (2.41 g/t AuEq or 180 g/t AgEq) over 11.6m, including 1.22 g/t Au and 324 g/t Ag (5.55 g/t AuEq or 416 g/t AgEq) over 2.5m, and 0.32 g/t Au and 63 g/t Ag (1.15 g/t AuEq and 87 g/t AgEq) over 32.5m, including 0.64 g/t Au and 171 g/t Ag (2.93 g/t AuEq or 220 g/t AgEq) over 7m. The drilling program at El Favor target has tested 1,000m along strike of the historic El Favor vein and workings. These first nine drill holes have confirmed the wide zones of mineralization mapped and sampled on surface continue down dip for close to 600m. The company stated that the mineralization is open along strike in both directions and down dip and will aggressively advance this zone towards a mineral resource estimate.
- Impact Silver Corp., has commenced a trenching sampling at its Manto America gold target in the State of Mexico. Thirty three rock chip samples returning more than 2 g/t Au have been collected on this target, with a peak of 19.5 g/t Au over a true width of 1.2m. Additionally, 67 soil samples taken on a 50m by 25m grid have returned an average of 250 ppb Au. The 900m trenching sampling plans to test an area of 450m by 300m over the strongest Au-in soil anomalies. Previous operators of this target excavated two trenches, the same that were sampled by Impact, returning 0.51 g/t Au over 5.6m in width and a length of 23.5m, and 0.3 g/t Au over 5.5m in width and a length of 17.2m.
- Excellon Resources Inc., reported Q3 2020 production and financial results from its Platosa mine in Durango. The company mined 21,877 tonnes and processed 22,612 tonnes of 483 g/t Ag, 5.3% Pb, and 6.8% Zn, with metallurgical recoveries of 93%, 85% and 80.9% respectively. Excellon produced 326.9K Oz Ag, 2.23M Lb Pb, and 2.75M Lb Zn (or 524.3K Oz AgEq), and sold 310.3K Oz Ag, 2.18M Lb Pb, and 2.28M Lb Zn (or 485.8K Oz AgEq) at a cash and AISC of USD $12.60 and USD $18.92 respectively per Oz Ag sold. The company reported revenues of USD $9.7M, gross profit of USD $2.5M, net working capital of USD $10.5M, and cash and marketable securities of USD $10.1M as at September 30, 2020.
- Santacruz Silver Mining Ltd., reported October 2020 production results from its Zimapan and Rosario mines in Hidalgo and San Luis Potosi respectively. At Zimapan mine in Hidalgo, the company milled 62,543 tonnes of 81 g/t Ag, 0.8% Pb, 2.6% Zn, and 0.32% Cu to produce 114K Oz Ag, 983.3K Lb Pb, 2.45M Lb Zn, and 315.3K Lb Cu (or 363.7K Oz AgEq). At Rosario mine in San Luis Potosi, Santacruz milled 6,319 tonnes of 85 g/t Ag, 0.2 g/t Au, 0.4% Pb, and 1.5% Zn to produce 15.1K Oz Ag, 26 Oz Au, 52.9K Lb Pb, and 169.7K Lb Zn.
- Starcore International Mines Ltd., reported Q2, 2020/2021 production results from its San Martin mine in Queretaro. Starcore milled 56,731 tonnes of 1.6 g/t Au and 22 g/t Ag with metallurgical recoveries of 88.5% and 56.99% respectively to produce 2,867 Oz AuEq.
- Magna Gold Corp., closed the acquisition of the Margarita Silver project in Chihuahua from Sable Resources Ltd and Exploraciones Sable S de RL de CV. Magna acquired the property by paying CAD $1.5M in cash plus an additional CAD $800K in cash representing Mexican VAT, and CAD $3.5M in common shares in the capital of Magna, being 3,219,278 Magna shares at a deemed price of CAD $1.0872 per Magna Share. Immediately following the acquisition, the Purchaser exercised the option to acquire the property by payment to the titleholders of the property of CAD $500K in cash, plus an additional $368K in cash representing Mexican VAT; and CAD $1.8M in Magna Shares, being 1,655,629 Magna Shares at the Issue Price. In addition, Magna will pay Osisko Gold Royalties Ltd a 2% NSR on all products mined and produced from the Property.
- Telson Mining Corporation executed a Trust Agreement with Trafigura Mexico. Under the terms, Trafigura waived all defaults plus deferred all principal and interest payments until June30, 2021, under certain terms and conditions, related to certain loan agreements entered into between the parties in late 2017. Additionally, Telson agreed to place its assets into the Trust to guarantee full repayment of all outstanding financial obligations under the loan agreements with Trafigura. Telson has advanced its Tahuehueto construction plans and currently calculates a construction budget at approximately USD $13M, including a 15% contingency. Telson is contemplating to enter into a USD $12M medium term loan facility with Accendo Banco S.A. Institucion de Banca Multiple, the possibility of a small silver stream metal purchase funding or conducting a private placement financing to supplement the Accendo loan for Tahuehueto construction, and to provide working capital.
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
- Azucar Minerals Ltd., resumed drilling at its El Cobre property in Veracruz. The company is first deepening hole EC-20-108, which is located at the Primo Zone, in an effort to further delineate resource potential at the project beyond that contained in the initial Norte Zone mineral resource estimate. The Primo Target was discovered in 2019 based on the hole EC-19-086 which intersected 0.4 g/t Au and 0.24% Cu over 200m, including 0.94 g/t Au and 0.56% Cu over 55.6m.
- Endeavour Silver Corp., expanded its land position at its Terronera property in Jalisco to 20,128 hectares by acquiring two adjacent groups of mineral concessions called La Sanguijuela and Cerro Gordo. La Sanguijuela, which covers the possible NW extension of the Terronera Vein and the possible west extension of the Los Reyes Vein, comprises 2,759 hectares and Endeavour has an option to purchase it by USD $550K in a four years staged payments. The Los Cuates Vein is the main structure at la Sanguijuela and has been traced for over a length of 1.5km with thickness of 2 to 6m with values of 0.5 – 5 g/t Au and 50-300 g/t Ag. Cerro Gordo, which covers the possible southeast extension of four Terronera footwall veins (Pena Gorda-Canoas, Los Venados-La Carbonera, Pena Blanca-El Alacran and El Mirador-Los Tablones) as well as three other veins (El Maguey-El Madrono, Monte Obscuro-Musgos and La Muda-Monte Grande), was acquired by staking 2,200 hectares. The El Maguey-El Madrono vein has been observed over a length of 1.6 km with a thickness of 2 to 4 m, carrying values of 0.6 to 2 g/t Au and 10-30 g/t Ag. The Pena Gorda-Canoas vein outcrops over a length of 1.7 km with a thickness of 2 to 5 m, returning values up to 0.5 g/t Au and 40 g/t Ag. Vein systems in these two properties have never been drilled and Endeavour plans to test some portion during Q4, 2020.
- Elemental Royalties Corp., presented Q3, 2020 results from its Mercedes mine in Sonora. The company announced that Mercedes mine was placed on care and maintenance following a decree from the Mexican Federal Government on March 30. 2020 in which listed mining operations as non-essential industry, and restarted activities on July, 2020 following a two-month suspension. Mining activities were focused with a reduce staff on higher grades and are concentrated on the Diluvio-Lupita-San Martin system while also implementing continued exploration, underground development and mill maintenance programs with the intention of returning to full production in due course.
- Mexus Gold US provided an update on its new heap leach pad at its Santa Elena mine in Sonora. It has completed phase 1 of its new 250K tonnes pad which is expandable to 1M tonnes, and will have crush mineralized material averaging 2.7 g/t Au. Mexus is looking for a return of 0.6 g/t Au in solution. In addition, Mexus is scheduled to begin blasthole drilling to expand its open pit 2 by approximately 1,741 Oz Au at a grade of 2.7 g/t Au.
- Golden Minerals Company received the final environmental permit for its Rodeo gold-silver property in Durango, which is scheduled to begin gold production in January 2021, delivering mineralized material at its Velardeña mill to process it immediately. “The Velardeña plant is a typical agitated leach plant rated to handle up to 450 tonnes per day of throughput from Rodeo. It is equipped with a Merrill Crowe circuit and a modern doré refinery, and the attached tailings facility was recently expanded and is expected to be sufficient for the tailings produced from Rodeo’s operations”.
- Minera Alamos Inc., announced an independent NI43-101 compliant inferred mineral resource estimate of 630K Oz Au at its Cerro de Oro project in Zacatecas. The inferred mineral resource was prepared using an economic pit shell at a gold price of USD $1,450 per Oz and contains 630K Oz of oxide gold mineralization from 48M tonnes of 0.41 g/t Au. Minera Alamos has also identified a number of high priority targets with potential to expand resources at Cerro de Oro, as well as a limited number of diamond drill holes which have demonstrated the potential for sulphide mineralization to extend to depth below the current estimate area.
- Sierra Metals Inc., announced a significant increase of its mineral resource estimate at its Cusi mine in Chihuahua. The company increased 18% the measured and indicated resources from 4,557,000 tonnes to 5,356,000 tonnes, and 200% the inferred resources from 1,633,000 tonnes to 4,893,000 tonnes. The updated mineral resource estimate include measured + indicated resources of 5,356,000 tonnes of 182 g/t Ag, 0.12 g/t Au, 0.5% Pb, and 0.6% Zn (215 g/t AgEq) for a total of 31.26M Oz Ag, 20.22K Oz Au, 58.26M Lb Pb, and 67.99M Lb Zn (37M Oz AgEq), and Inferred resources of 4,893,000 tonnes of 146 g/t Ag, 0.18 g/t Au, 0.43% Pb, and 0.69% Zn (183 g/t AgEq) for a total of 23M Oz Ag, 27.7K Oz Au, 46M Lb Pb, and 74.81M Lb Zn (28.82M Oz AgEq).
- SilverCrest Metals Inc., announced new high-grade discovery at the Babi Vista Splay Vein within its Las Chispas project in Sonora as a result of an in-fill drilling program at the northwestern extension of the Babi Vista Vein. Twenty four holes have been collared at this target with a high grade footprint of approximately 300m along strike and average height of 175m. Weighted average results are 74.27 g/t Au and 3,437 g/t Ag (9,071 g/t AgEq) over a true width of 1.6m. The most significant drill intercept was encountered in hole BV20-201 with 555.36 g/t Au and 19,453 g/t Ag (61,105 g/t AgEq) over a true width of 2.4m. This discovery at Babi Vista Splay Vein will be included as inferred resources for the upcoming resource estimation in the ongoing PFS study.
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- Aura Minerals Inc., announced a new and improved offtake agreement with Trafigura Mexico S.A. de C.V., starting in 2022. The new agreement, in which Trafigura has agreed to purchase 100% of the copper and gold concentrate produced at Aranzazu mine in Zacatecas, is effective as of the beginning of 2022 and continues until the end of 2024.
- Barksdale Resources Corp., appointed its company Senior VP of project Development. Its role will be overseeing the advancement of the Company’s project portfolio, including the San Javier copper-gold project in Sonora, Mexico. In connection with this appointment, Barksdale has granted a stock option to purchase 250K common shares, exercisable at $0.68 per share over a three-year period.
- Comet Resources Limited, changed its provider for shareholder registry services from Advanced Share Registry Services to Automic Pty Ltd (Santa Teresa property, Baja California).
- SilverCrest Metals Inc., announced the appointment of a new member for its board of directors (Las Chispas project, Sonora).
- Starcore International Mines Ltd., presented results from its annual general meeting of shareholders (San Martin mine, Queretaro).
- Silver Dollar Resources Inc., announced it has hired a Country Manager to work alongside the company at its la Joya Silver project in Durango.
ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
- Torex Gold Resources Inc., achieved 10M hours work without a lost time injury (El Limon-Guajes mine complex, Guerrero).
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, barite crystals from a low-intermediate sulphidation epithermal system in a prospect in Chihuahua, Mexico. Photo by Miguel A Heredia.