By Jorge Cirett
During the 1st week of the year (January 4th to January 10th, 2020), at least 27 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico. To note, four companies posted exploration advances on their properties, and six more posted news on resources and development. Sierra Metals Corp’s Cusi and Bolivar mines are up for grabs. ON MEXICO ISSUES, a reduction of mineral production is expected for 2020 due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Camimex pointed on the lack of clarity on the distribution of the mining royalties. At least six companies plan to start mining operations in this year. ON EXPLORATION, in Sonora, Aztec Minerals updated its exploration status at Cervantes; Mojave Gold updated on exploration at its Sonora Gold project, where at least two structures tens of meters in width run for kilometers; Canuc Resources is using results from a magnetic survey for targeting. In Chihuahua, Mammoth Resources has received the permit for drilling at Tenoriba. ON MINING, Endeavour Silver, Aura Minerals and Torex Gold presented Q4 2020 production results. Mexus Gold US continues to stack ore at its Santa Elena mine. Sierra Metals presented a PEA that doubles the processing capacity at its Cusi mine. ON FINANCING, Ridgestone Mining increased its private placement to $2.32 M. SilverCrest Metals entered into a credit agreement for US$76.5 M. Fabled Silver and Silver Wolf Exploration granted stock options. Silver Dollar Resources made a clarification requested by the OTC Market. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, GR Silver Mining reported good drilling results at the Plomosas mine, in the Plomosas project, Sinaloa. Sonoro Gold reported drilling results from Cerro Caliche, Sonora. Discovery Metals released drilling results from two vein trends at Cordero, Chihuahua. Prime Mining updated on exploration at Los Reyes, Sinaloa. Fabled Silver Gold informed on surface sampling at Santa María, Chihuahua. GoGold released results from drilling at El Favor, on its Los Ricos North project, Jalisco. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Argonaut Gold and AP Mining have amended the agreement for the previously announced sale of the Ana Paula project to AP Mining. Minaurum Gold entered into an option agreement with Fortuna Silver on the Taviche property in Oaxaca, agreement by which Fortuna can gain up to 80% interest on the project. Sierra Metals is evaluating the sale of its assets, a merger or business combination. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, Fresnillo, the Chihuahua Mining Cluster and Grupo Mexico informed on actions that benefit society.
ON MEXICO ISSUES
- Camimex (Camara minera de México) sees the mining production to decrease in 2020 due to the pandemic. The decrease is expected to reach 10% for gold, 6 to 6.3% for silver and lead, 3% for copper and 25% for iron.
- Camimex pointed on the lack of clarity on the distribution of the mining royalties. According to the previous rules the resources funded infrastructure on communities across mining regions. After de federal government changed the rules, it is not clear now how these resources are distributed. Mining companies paid US$196 M (3,990 million pesos) in royalties in 2019.
- Companies aspiring to start new mines in 2021 include: Mag Silver (Juanicipio, Zacatecas), Orla Mining (Camino Rojo, Zacatecas), Minera Alamos (Santa, Sonora), Golden Minerals (Rodeo, Durango), VanGold Mining (Pinguico and El Cubo, Guanajuato), Sonora Gold (Cerro Caliche, Sonora) and Candelaria Mining (Pinos, Zacatecas).
- Aztec Minerals Corp. informed that during 2020 formed a 65/35 joint venture with Kootenay Silver on the Cervantes project, Sonora. Also during the year an additional IP-resistivity survey was performed to define new targets; geological mapping, geochemical sampling and geophysical surveying have identified 11 targets in total, of which 7 are in preparation for drilling. Aztec intends to extend detailed geologic, structural, and alteration mapping and sampling at the Purisima West, Estrella, Jacobo, Brazil, and other targets at Cervantes, and plan and permit a phase 1 reverse circulation drilling program on the California and Purisima targets.
- Mojave Gold Corp. updated on work done during December of 2020 at its Sonora Gold project in Sonora. A 261 sample stream sediment survey was carried out in the 6,000 hectares property, and detailed geological mapping and rock chip sampling was carried out on the Caracahui and Sonora Cooper areas, including underground mapping on the latter. The Sonora Cooper West/Las Llantas structure has been observed to be over 3 km in length, reaching widths of over 70 m. “In total, mineralized structures in the western part of the project area have been observed to extend more than 8.5 kilometers in cumulative length…. The Sonora Cooper mineralized area contains large structures often reaching over 70m in width, that were mapped in detail for over 500m along strike. Additionally, detailed underground mapping was completed over 605m length in the Sonora Cooper adit and over a 260m length of the Guadalupe adit. A total of 160 rock chip samples were collected from the underground workings”.
- Mammoth Resources Corp. announced SEMARNAT (Mexican environmental agency) has approved the drill permit application on its Tenoriba property in Chihuahua. Mammoth is planning to start a drilling campaign before the end of the first quarter.
- Canuc Resources Corp. received results from a drone supported magnetic survey at its San Javier project in Sonora. Three large magnetic high features (1,000 by 600 m, 800 by 600 m, 600 by 600m) were identified. “Detailed processing of the data suggests that there are stronger magnetic features within the larger target areas which may represent areas of higher-grade mineralization. Canuc is now carrying out detailed ground magnetic surveys on these targets and is scheduled to begin drilling in the next few weeks”.
- Mexus Gold US. released an update of mining operations at its Santa Elena mine in Sonora (not to mistake for First Majestic’s Santa Elena mine, also in Sonora). The company is stacking material from a shear zone grading 0.9 gpt to 1.2 gpt Au.
- Sierra Metals Inc. filed a NI 43-101 independent technical report for a doubling of output at its Cusi mine in Chihuahua. The preliminary economic assessment (PEA) highlights include an after tax Net Present Value (NPV) of US$81 M at an 8% discount rate, at a long term silver price of US$20/Oz. The project envisages increasing the production from 1,200 tonnes per day (tpd) to 2,400 tpd @ 127.2 gpt Ag, 0.12 gpt Au, 0.48% Zn, 0.34% Pb, with a 13 year mine life and recoverable 33.4 M Oz Ag.
- Endeavour Silver Corp. reported the highest quarterly production in the last two years from its mines in Mexico. Total production in the quarter was 237.4 K tonnes mined at a rate of 2,580 tpd @ 169 gpt Ag, 1.90 gpt Au, recovering 86.8% Ag, 87% Au, to produce 1.12 M Oz Ag, 12,586 Oz Au.
- Torex Gold Resources Inc. reported Q4 production for 2020. At its Limon-Guajes mine in Guerrero, 12,560 tpd were processed, with 1,300 tpd mined from underground and 18,360 tpd mined from open pit with a waste to ore strip ratio of 6.2, to produce 130,640 Oz Au in the quarter. In the year, 11,370 tpd were processed to produce 430,480 Oz Au.
- Aura Minerals Inc. released preliminary production reports for the fourth quarter of 2020. In the period the Aranzazu mine in Zacatecas produced 19,073 Oz AuEq, which added up to the 65,497 Oz AuEq for the full year. During December 89.1 K tonnes were processed, and the company intends to increase processing to 100 K tonnes per month during the second half of 2021.
- SilverCrest Metals Inc. entered into a credit agreement with an affiliate of RK Mine Finance to provide a secured project financing facility for a total of US$120 M for funding the construction at Las Chispas, Sonora. Concurrently SilverCrest has entered into a fixed price engineering, procurement and construction contract with Ausenco Engineering Canada Inc. with a lump sum turnkey price of US$76.5 M that is to include construction of a 1,250 tonne per day process plant at Las Chispas.
- Fabled Silver Gold Corp. granted 200,000 stock options to a consultant of the company (Santa María, Chihuahua).
- Silver Dollar Resources Inc. was requested by the OTC Markets Group Inc. to issue a statement about promotional activity concerning its common stock. OTC Markets questioned about “two promotional newsletter emails published by CrushTheStreet.com (“CTS”) and Wealth Research Group (“WRG”) discussing the emerging bull market for commodities, particularly silver, and citing the Company in both publications… The Company has been advised by OTC Markets that OTC Markets takes the position that aspects of the statements were overly promotional. The Company wishes to caution readers that these statements are speculative in nature” (La Joya, Durango).
- Silver Wolf Exploration Ltd. granted incentive stock options for the purchase of 1 M shares to directors, officers, consultants, and employees of the Company (Ana María and Laberinto, Durango).
- Ridgestone Mining Inc. increased the previously announced private placement from $1.9 M to $2.32 M, for additional gross proceeds of $420 K (Rebeico, Sonora).
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
- GR Silver Mining Ltd. reported good underground drilling results from the Plomosas mine area at its Plomosas project in Sinaloa. “The mineralization is represented by thick intercepts of Au-Ag-Pb-Zn-Cu mineralization hosted in a series of hydrothermal breccias”. The highlighted results comprise 83 m @ 2.52 gpt Au, 33 gpt Ag, 0.9% Pb, 2.9% Zn, 0.3% Cu (420 gpt AgEq), including 4.0 m @ 9.35 gpt Au, 38 gpt Ag, 0.4% Pb, 10.5% Zn, 0.3% Cu (1,319 gpt AgEq) and 11.0 m @ 9.41 gpt Au, 135 gpt Ag, 5.7% Pb, 9.8% Zn, 0.5% Cu (1,596 gpt AgEq).
- Sonoro Gold Corp. reported favourable results from eight reverse circulation drill holes at its Cerro Caliche project in Sonora. At the Buena Suerte target, highlighted intercepts comprise 3.0 m @ 1.48 gpt Au; 7.6 m @ 1.32 gpt Au, 12.2 m @ 0.86 gpt Au; 12.2 m @ 0.69 gpt Au; 27.44 m @ 1.17 gpt Au (including 3.0 m @ 4.70 gpt Au); 12.2 m @ 0.50 gpt Au. Highlighted intercepts from the Japoneses target include 22.9 m @ 0.57 gpt Au; 10.7 m @ 0.45 gpt Au; 13.7 m @ 0.60 gpt Au; 10.7 m @ 0.40 gpt Au, 12.2 m @ 0.36 gpt Au; 4.6 m @ 0.41 gpt Au; 27.44 m @ 1.17 gpt Au; 12.2 m @ 0.50 gpt Au.
- Discovery Metals Corp. released results from 10 diamond drill holes targeting the Parcionera and Josefina vein trends at its Cordero project in Chihuahua. Highlighted intercepts comprise 4.4 m @ 246 gpt Ag, 0.39 gpt Au, 6.5% Pb, 0.4% Zn (524 gpt AgEq); 0.5 m @ 665 gpt Ag, 0.58 gpt Au, 13.8% Pb, 13.7% Zn (1,765 gpt Ag) on the Parcionera vein trend and 3.3 m @ 196 gpt Ag, 0.17 gpt Au, 5.6% Pb, 4.9% Zn (612 gpt AgEq); 1.6 m @ 20 gpt Ag, 0.11 gpt Au, 0.3% Pb, 1.8% Zn at the Josefina vein trend.
- Prime Mining Corp. provided a year-end update on its Los Reyes project in Sinaloa. “The ongoing work includes field mapping, trench sampling, rock alteration analysis and interpretation and re-logging of historic diamond drill core…. Re-logging of several existing diamond drill core holes also identified that adularia, a crystalline mineral, containing high-grade gold and silver locally with visible gold, is associated with nearby altered rock types. The adularia appears to be vertically zoned”. The project is a district scale low sulfidation epithermal mineralizing system on which more than US$20 million have been spent over 25 years.
- Fabled Silver Gold Corp. completed the sampling program to evaluate the IP geophysical anomalies on the Santa María property in Chihuahua. The sampling returned silver anomalous results over two geophysical anomalies. Eleven first priority anomalies have been delineated, generally in an east-west direction.
- GoGold Resources Inc. released drilling results from El Favor deposit at its Los Ricos North property in Jalisco. Highlighted core length results comprise 30.2 m @ 0.18 gpt Au, 63 gpt Ag (1.03 gpt AuEq), including 8.6 m @ 0.28 gpt Au, 146 gpt Ag (2.23 gpt AuEq); 5.6 m @ 0.55 gpt Au, 287 gpt Ag (4.37 gpt Au), including 1.7 m @ 1.7 gpt Au, 834 gpt Ag (12.83 gpt AuEq); 70.5 m @ 0.15 gpt Au, 50 gpt Ag (0.82 gpt AuEq), including 9.7 m @ 0.55 gpt Au, 199 gpt Ag (3.20 gpt AuEq); 15.3 m @ 0.30 gpt Au, 151 gpt Ag (2.31 gpt AuEq); 12.8 m @ 0.30 gpt Au, 126 gpt Ag (1.99 gpt AuEq), including 3.3 m @ 0.89 gpt Au, 302 gpt Ag (4.91 gpt AuEq); 41.1 m @ 0.24 gpt Au, 76 gpt Ag (1.24 gpt AuEq); 21.0 m @ 0.11 gpt Au, 74 gpt Ag (1.10 gpt AuEq); 27.0 m @ 0.97 gpt Au, 113 gpt Ag (2.47 gpt AuEq); 11.0 m @ 0.28 gpt Au, 160 gpt Ag (2.40 gpt AuEq); 52.1 m @ 0.69 gpt Au, 254 gpt Ag (4.08 gpt AuEq); 11.6 m @ 0.43 gpt Au, 148 gpt Ag; 32.5 m @ 0.32 gpt Au, 63 gpt Ag (1.15 gpt AuEq).
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- Argonaut Gold Inc. and AP Mining “have amended the agreement for the previously announced sale of the Ana Paula project to AP Mining (see press release dated September 11, 2020) to allow more time to meet the regulatory and government approvals required for closing. In connection with the amendment, AP Mining has agreed to pay an additional US$1.0 million at 15 months from the closing date and to reimburse all of Argonaut’s costs incurred associated with the Ana Paula project incurred between January 1, 2021 and the closing of the transaction. Closing continues to be subject to financing and receipt of all necessary approvals, which is expected in the first quarter of 2021” (Ana Paula, Guerrero).
- Minaurum Gold Inc. entered into an option agreement with Fortuna Silver Mines Inc. pursuant to which Fortuna can earn up to an 80% interest in Minaurum’s Taviche silver project in Oaxaca. Fortuna can earn an initial 60% by making cash payments totalling $450 K and incurring in US$4 M in work expenditures over three years. Fortuna can earn an additional 20% interest “by funding Minaurum ‘s acquisition by way of option exercise of the remaining 20% interest”. The cash installments to make comprise US$75 K upon signing, US$100 K on the first anniversary, US$125 K on the second anniversary and US$150 K on the third anniversary. Drilling by previous operators of the project returned up to 34.12 m @ 262 gpt Ag and 8.35 m @ 2.05 gpt Au.
- Sierra Metals Inc. announced that “its Board of Directors, supported by its management team and with the full support of Arias Resource Capital Fund L.P., Arias Resource Capital Fund II L.P. (the Company’s two largest shareholders) and Arias Resource Capital Fund II (Mexico) L.P., has commenced a process to explore and evaluate potential strategic alternatives focused on maximizing shareholder value. These alternatives could include, among other things, the sale of part or all of the Company, a sale of some of the assets of the Company, a merger or other business combination with another party, or other strategic transactions” (Cusi and Bolivar mines, Chihuahua).
ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
- Minera Fresnillo donated computing equipment in Caborca, Sonora.
- The Chihuahua Mining Cluster president, Pablo Mendez Alvídrez stated that the industry will aid with the acquisition of the Covid-19 vaccine, once it is on sale by pharmacies, for its distribution on mining communities.
- The Grupo Mexico Foundation delivered a significant amount of protective equipment for health care personnel
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 veining from a project in San Luis Potosí. Picture by Jorge Cirett.