By Jorge Cirett
During the 43rd week of the year (October 25th to October 31st, 2021), at least 34 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico. To note, six companies posted exploration advances on their properties, six released Q3 reports, one on commencement of mining and one other in red tape issues, there were no financing related news, while ten companies posted on project development or resource definition and one more on a project acquisition. ON MEXICO ISSUES, a leftist senator asked for the Mining Fund to be reinstated for the benefit of communities. The head of the Energy Secretariat confirmed plans to create a lithium State company, and the government’s drive to monopolize the electricity market. Mixed market results for Mexican companies in 2021. ON EXPLORATION, In Sonora, Colibri Resources updated on drilling preparations. In Chihuahua, Reyna Silver has drilled the first skarn intervals in the Guigui project, rising the stakes and probing that pursuing geological models can pay off. Radius Gold released good drill results from the California target in the Amalia project. In Durango, Silverton updated on exploration activities at Pluton. In Sinaloa, Brigadier Gold released trench results from El Placer vein system at its Picachos property. In Nayarit, Sierra Madre Gold and Silver released surface sample results. ON MINING, Fortuna Silver is awaiting a resolution on an application to continue mining at San José, in Oaxaca. Agnico Eagle, Altaley Mining, Guanajuato Silver, Alamos Gold, Coeur Mining, Gold Resource and Fresnillo PLC presented their Q3 2021 reports. Guanajuato Silver shipped its first concentrate from El Cubo mill. ON FINANCING, for the first time in a long period, no relevant news on this matter. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Sonoro Gold plans a 10,000 m RC drilling campaign alongside the development of a 15 K tpd leach mining operation at Cerro Caliche in Sonora. A PEA has been filed. Barksdale Resources released good drilling results from San Javier, in Sonora. SilverCrest Metals continues construction on budget and on schedule at Las Chispas, Sonora. Excellon Resources presented high-grade drilling results from Platosa, in Durango. Silver Dollar is preparing for drilling at La Joya, Durango. Southern Silver Exploration updated the resource estimate at Cerro Las Minitas, Durango. GoGold Resources released drilling results from Los Ricos North project in Jalisco. Orex Minerals pointed that Fresnillo PLC, its JV partner at the Coneto project in Durango, released a maiden resource estimation. Mag Silver reported production from development at Juanicipio, Zacatecas by its JV partner Fresnillo PLC. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Avino silver & Gold Mines acquired the La Preciosa project, neighboring its Avino mine in Durango. Advance Gold filed a patent for lithium extraction from clays and fine sands. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, Fresnillo PLC informed on health campaigns in Zacatecas.
ON MEXICO ISSUES
- Geovanna Bañuelos, senator by the Partido del Trabajo (PT) asked for the Mining Fund to be reinstated in benefit to communities and municipalities where mining takes place.
- Rocío Nahle, head of the Energy Secretariat, confirmed plans to create a lithium State company, as part of a wider reform in the electricity industry, same that is seen as containing expropriation streaks. The private sector is overwhelmingly against this reform, that is seen to conduct to higher energy prices and pollution, as well to scare other investments from the country.
- Mixed results for Mexican Mining companies reflect changes in metal prices. Companies that have seen their stock tumble during 2021 include Fresnillo (-20.7% in Mexico, -18.3% in London). Peñoles (-11.4%) and Frisco (-4.2%) by their exposure to precious metals that have contracted by 5% in the case of gold and 7.4% for silver. Companies that have seen their stock appreciate include Autlán (+23.5%) and Grupo Mexico (+13.5%), the latter due to the 26.7% increase in the copper price.
- Silverton Metals Corp. updated on the exploration activities at the Pluton project in Durango. The company’s processing and 3-D modelling of geophysical data is showing features not previously identified and defined new target areas. “Magnetometry reprocessing has been completed while ZTEM and gravity modelling are in progress. Permitting is underway for a seismic test line scheduled to be surveyed before year end. The seismic profile is expected to determine the depth to carbonate rocks” which might determine the depth to the favorable carbonate rocks.
- Brigadier Gold Ltd. released results from additional trenches at El Placer Sur vein system at its 3,954-hectare Picachos project in Sinaloa. The property shows a porphyry Cu-Mo in an intrusive complex and Au-Ag-Cu-Pb-Zn veins. Intrusion hosted bulk tonnage coppers is exposed on the lower elevations, with sericitic breccias bearing Mo-rich stockworks a little bit above and peripheral to these, Au-Cu-Pb-Zn veins occur with propylitic, argillic and sericitic alteration on host rocks. At EL Placer Sur, veins historically mined on narrow widths are showing wider spans in trenches, like 10.65 m @ 2.08 gpt Au, 38 gpt Ag, 638 ppm Cu, 2.9% Pb, 3.5% Zn; 5 m @ 3.37 gpt Au, 3 gpt Ag.
- Radius Gold Inc. released high-grade results from drilling by Pan American Silver Corp. of the California target at the Amalia project in Chihuahua. “The California vein breccia system has been mapped for 2.8km” with 3,814 m of drilling limited to 1km. Reported intervals include 6.20 m @ 93 gpt Ag, 0.43 gpt Au; 27.30 m @ 90 gpt Ag, 0.26 gpt Au; 50.40 m @ 50 gpt Ag, 0.05 gpt Au; 3.95 m @ 487 gpt Ag, 2.15 gpt Au; 17.15 m @ 35 gpt Ag, 0.07 gpt Au; 1.75 m @ 578 gpt Ag, 0.27 gpt Au; 11.20 m @ 379 gpt Ag, 1.26 gpt Au; 26.90 m @ 353 gpt Ag, 2.59 gpt Au (including 7.50 m @ 976 gpt Ag, 7.38 gpt Au); 11.15 m @ 99 gpt Ag, 0.64 gpt Au.
- Reyna Silver Corp. reported initial results for its 13-hole drilling program at Guigui, in Chihuahua. “The program was designed to narrow down the location of the probable source intrusion for the Santa Eulalia District- Mexico’s largest known Carbonate Replacement Deposit (CRD)”. Two holes cut a 200 m thick rhyolitic intrusion, starting at 1,309 m of depth, previously unknown in the district, with extensive high-grade mineralization at its base. The highlighted interval comprises 54.90 m @ 23 gpt Ag, 0.67% Pb, 1.86% Zn, including 15.80 m @ 60 gpt Ag, 2.19% Pb, 5.85% Zn. The epidote skarn present shows textural evidence for multiple stages of formation that point to repeated pulses of mineralization related to a possible multi-phase intrusive center (Note by Editor.- Congratulations to Peter Megaw, who has been relentlessly pursuing this beast for several
- Sierra Madre Gold and Silver Ltd. released results from assaying of 319 reconnaissance surface samples at La Tigra, Nayarit. The samples average 0.48 gpt Au, with 10% of the total returning more than 1 gpt Au and a peak of 18.2 gpt Au.
- Colibri Resource Corp. updated on preparations for drilling at Evelyn in Sonora. Current work includes geological mapping and sampling, as well as construction of drill access roads and pads. The incoming reverse circulation program of up to 10,000 m will be based on the surface distribution of higher-grade assay results coincident with magnetic gradients and lineaments, as well as mapped structures.
- Fortuna Silver Mines Inc. informed the company filed with SEMARNAT (Environmental regulator) an application to extend by ten years the term of the environmental impact authorization (EIA) on its San Jose mine in Oaxaca. SEMARNAT has failed to resolve timely on the application, and Fortuna has obtained a provisional injunction from a federal court that allows the continued operation of the San Jose mine beyond the expiry date of the EIA. The company is seeking “an additional injunction to permit the continued operation of the San Jose Mine until the extension to the EIA is granted”.
- Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. presented Q3 2021 results, including figures from its Mexican operations. At Pinos Altos, in Chihuahua, 444 K tonnes were processed at a rate of 4,826 tonnes per day (tpd), averaging 2.40 gpt Au, to produce 32,402 Oz Au at production cash cost $1,156 per Oz Au and total cash cost of $854 per Oz Au. At Creston Mascota, residual leaching produced 2,988 Oz Au at $593 per Oz Au and total cost of $486 per Oz Au. At La India, in Sonora, 1.23 M tonnes were processed at a rate of 13,402 tpd and a grade of 0.62 gpt Au, to produce 17,124 Oz Au at a production cost of $931 per Oz Au and a total cash cost of $971 pr Oz Au.
- Altaley Mining Corp. provided preliminary production results for the quarter ending on September 30, 2021. At Campo Morado in Guerrero, 163.7 K tonnes were milled @ 1.2 gpt Au, 129 gpt Ag, 1.1% Pb, 4.5% Zn, recovering 22% Au, 46% Ag, 31% Pb, 74% Zn to produce 11.8 K tonnes of Zn concentrate and 2.7 K tonnes of Pb concentrate.
- Guanajuato Silver Company Ltd. announced the first shipment of Au-Ag concentrate from El Cubo mill in Guanajuato. Approximately 75 tonnes of concentrate produced on the recently refurbished processing plant, averaging 200 Oz Ag per tonne and 2 Oz Au per tonne.
- Alamos Gold Inc. presented its third quarter 2021 production report, including figures from its Mexican operations. At Mulatos, in Sonora, 744.8 K tonnes of ore and 1.675 M tonnes of waste were moved, with 1.58 M tonnes stacked @ 1.08 gpt Au, containing 54,999 Oz Au with a recovery rate of 49% Au to produce 26,700 Oz Au. A further 6.3 M tonnes of waste were moved at La Yaqui Grande pit, as part of pre-stripping. Production was significantly impacted by an above-average rainy season.
- Coeur Mining Inc. reported third quarter financial results including figures from its operation in Mexico. At Palmarejo in Chihuahua, 517.4 K tonnes were milled @ 1.55 gpt Au, 120 gpt Ag, recovering 93.7% Au, 85.5% Ag to produce 24,254 Oz Au, 1.7 M Oz Ag. La Preciosa deposit in Durango was sold to Avino Silver & Gold Mines Ltd. for a total potential consideration between 58.8 M and $93.4 M plus two royalties.
- Gold Resource Corp. reported Q3 2021 results. At the Don David mine in Oaxaca, 155.5 K tonnes were milled @ 1.26 gpt Au, 68 gpt Ag, 0.40% Cu, 1.9% Pb, 5.0% Zn, to produce 4,728 Oz Au, 324.6 K Oz Ag, 428 tonnes Cu, 2,157 tonnes Pb, 5,538 tonnes Zn.
- Fresnillo PLC reported production of 12.7 M Oz Ag in the third quarter of 2021. The company maintains the 2021 guidance between 53.5 M Oz Ag and 59.5 M Oz Ag.
- No Relevant News.
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
- Sonoro Gold Corp. intends to resume drilling at the Cerro Caliche project in Sonora, with a 10,000 m reverse circulation (RC) drilling campaign. The drilling is to proceed alongside the proposed development of 15,000 tonnes per day (tpd) heap leach mining operation. The six-month program is to focus in expanding oxide gold mineralization and some potential high-grade targets in a total of 12 zones, with holes averaging 100-110 m in depth.
- Barksdale Resources Corp. released good drill results from the current 5,000m program at its San Javier project in Sonora. Results from the Cerro Verde zone testing gaps between historically known mineralization intercepted 38.5 m @ 0.38% Cu, 0.38 gpt Au and 51 m @ 0.32% Cu, 0.29 gpt Au in one hole, with a 27 m 1.97 gpt Au interval partially overlapping with these two zones. Another hole intercepted 105 m @ 0.63% Cu, 0.40 gpt Au, including 15 m @ 1.01% Cu; 9 m @ 1.57% Cu, 2.20 gpt Au; with a 18 m @ 1.77 gpt Au, 0.97% Cu interval partially overlapping and an independent 21 m @ 0.55 gpt Au interval. To date 24 diamond drill holes have been completed, of which the first four were drilled partially or completely in PQ size (for metallurgical studies), and the rest as HQ size.
- SilverCrest Metals Inc. advised project construction continues on schedule and budget at its Las Chispas property in Sonora. Well-advanced or completed areas comprise the plant detailed engineering, process plant construction, electrical powerline (81 Km) construction, bridge construction, confined camp construction, access road construction, underground development, underground infrastructure and stockpile growth, dry stack tailings facility and assay lab construction.
- Excellon Resources Inc. presented results from underground drilling at Platosa, in Durango. Highlighted core-length intervals comprise 7.5 m @ 648 gpt Ag, 2.6% Pb, 1.4% Zn; 2.2 m @ 2,160 gpt Ag, 24.6% Pb, 7.2% Zn; 0.5 m @ 4,451 gpt Ag, 8.8% Pb, 12.2% Zn, 0.2 gpt Au; 3.4 m @ 501 gpt Ag, 5.8% Pb, 4.4% Zn; 0.9 m @ 1,310 gpt Ag, 9.8% Pb, 4.2% Zn, 0.1 gpt Au; 1.4 m @ 585 gpt Ag, 4.5% Pb, 3.0% Zn; 3.4 m @ 766 gpt Ag, 4.7% Pb, 3.5% Zn; 1.5 m @ 445 gpt Ag, 3.9% Pb, 7.4% Zn; 2.7 m @ 523 gpt Ag, 3.5% Pb, 8.5% Zn; 1.9 m @ 748 gpt Ag, 4.0% Pb, 12.8% Zn.
- Silver Dollar Resources Inc. is relogging and resampling select historical drill core, along with targeted surface sampling and mapping to refine drill locations for its incoming drilling program at La Joya, Durango.
- Southern Silver Exploration Corp. updated its mineral resource estimate on Cerro Las Minitas project in Durango. Indicated sulfide mineral resources stand at 12.32 M tonnes @ 106 gpt Ag, 0.07 gpt Au, 1.3 % Pb, 3.3% Zn, 0.16% Cu (347 gpt AgEq) containing 42.1 M Oz Ag, 28 K Oz Au, 358 M Lb Pb, 895 M Lb Zn, 44 M Lb Cu (137.3 M Oz AgEq) and inferred sulfide resources at 19.6 M tonnes @ 117 gpt Ag, 0.12 gpt Au, 1.2% Pb, 2.3% Zn, 0.23% Cu (314 gpt AgEq), containing 73.6 M Oz Ag, 78 K Oz Au, 500 M Lb Pb, 1,009 M Lb Zn, 98 M Lb Cu (197.7 M Oz AgEq).
- GoGold Resources Inc. released the results of four drill holes from the El Favor East zone at its Los Ricos North project in Jalisco. Highlighted core-length results comprise 10.1 m @ 0.14 gpt Au, 42 gpt Ag; 27.5 m @ 0.04 gpt Au, 40 gpt Ag; 22.0 m @ 0.45 gpt Au, 151 gpt Ag (including 1.3 m @ 4.16 gpt Au, 827 gpt Ag); 20.0 m @ 0.37 gpt Au, 122 gpt Ag; 4.8 m @ 0.28 gpt Au, 107 gpt Ag; 1.4 m @ 0.40 gpt Au, 29 gpt Ag; 1.3 m @ 0.15 gpt Au, 60 gpt Ag; 12.1 m @ 0.32 gpt Au, 89 gpt Ag (including 1.3 m @ 1.94 gpt Au, 348 gpt Ag). The new drilling extended El Favor East for another 150 m.
- Orex Minerals Inc. announced that the joint venture company which is 55% Fresnillo and 45% Orex received results from the first mineral resource estimate at the Coneto project in Durango. A total of 38,515 m of drilling in 106 diamond holes were used to calculate 5.32 M tonnes @ 1.67 gpt Au, 112 gpt Ag (3.15 gpt AuEq) containing 286 K Oz Au, 19.1 M Oz Ag (538 K Oz AuEq) in inferred resources.
- Mag Silver Corp. reported 2021 third quarter production of underground development material from the Juanicipio project (56% Fresnillo PLC/44% Mag Silver). During the period 57.1 K tonnes were processed to produce 667.5 K Oz Ag, 1,107 Oz Au. “Construction of the Juanicipio processing plant continues to make good progress, with the focus now on transitioning from construction to commissioning activities”.
- Sonoro Gold Corp. filed a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) of the Cerro Caliche project in Sonora. The report envisages a Pre-Tax NPV (5%) of US$6.7 M and an IRR of 52.7% with a price of US$1,750 per Oz Au; 7 years of life of mine producing an average of 45.7 K Oz Au for a total of 325 K Oz Au; recoveries of 74% Au and 27% Ag; AISC of US$1,351 per Oz Au; 349 K Oz Au measured and indicated resources at 0.41 gpt Au and 71 K Oz Au of inferred resources at 0.40 gpt Au.
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- Advance Gold Corp. filed a patent application to extract lithium and potassium from clay and fine sand salars. The company intends to use this environmentally friendly method from its properties in central Mexico. The method uses water and an electrical process to obtain a solution of Li and K that can produce a high-grade concentrate from which Li and K extracted using organic compounds.
- Avino Silver & Gold Mines Ltd. acquired the La Preciosa project in Durango from Coeur Mining Inc. through the purchase of the shares of holding companies. La Preciosa is neighboring to the Avino mine, with operational synergies due to its location. Furthermore, metallurgical testing of ore achieved 80% Au and 60% gold recovery using flotation methods currently used at Avino’s mill facilities. La Preciosa holds 99 Moz Ag, 189 K Oz Au in indicated resources and 21 M Oz Ag, 35 K Oz Au in inferred resources. Avino agreed to pay a cash consideration of $15 M on closing and $5 M a year after closing, and issue 14 M shares (~12% of Avino stock will be owned by Coeur). A contingent cash consideration of $8.75 M will be paid within one year of commencement of mining. “Coeur will retain ownership of a 1.25% net smelter return royalty on the Gloria and Abundancia areas of La Preciosa, and a 2.00% gross value royalty on all areas of La Preciosa other than the Gloria and Abundancia areas”.
ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
- Fresnillo PLC informed on health campaigns in Zacatecas.
On the image below: Calc-sodic alteration along epidote veinlets in intrusive rocks on a project in the Sonoran Desert. Picture by Jorge Cirett.