The Mining and Exploration News in Mexico: Highlights on the Fourth Week of December, 2021

By Jorge Cirett

During the 51st week of the year (December 20th to December 26th, 2021), at least 16 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico. To note, three companies posted exploration advances on their properties, one obtained an environmental permit to keep operating, three released financing/shares/stock exchange related news, while five companies posted on project development or resource definition and one more on a property sale. ON MEXICO ISSUES, the environmental permit needed to keep Fortuna Silver’s San José mine in operation was finally granted by SEMARNAT. ON EXPLORATION, In Sonora, Colibri Resources completed a 3,122 m RC drilling campaign at Evelyn; Silver Spruce is preparing to submit the environmental permit for El Mezquite. Southern Empire Resources initiated an air-borne magnetic and radiometric geophysical survey. ON MINING, Fortuna Silver Mines was granted the environmental permit to continue its operations at the San Jose mine in Oaxaca. The company had to sue SEMARNAT because the organism was not granting the permit although complaining with all regulations. In the end, not-public negotiations and technical reviews resulted in the permit being granted. ON FINANCING, Alamos Gold is to repurchase up to 30 M of its public shares. Prime Mining was added to the MVIS Global Junior Miners Index. Sonoro Gold closed its non-brokered placement for $3 M. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Almaden Minerals updated on its 2022 plans at Ixtaca; The environmental permit is being prepared for re-submittal as well as the human rights impact assessment (HRIA) report; A favorable outcome on a Supreme Court lawsuit is expected for H2 2022. Guanajuato Silver Co. provided drilling results for El Cubo and Pinguico in Guanajuato. Avino Silver & Gold Mines filed the mineral resource estimate for La Preciosa, in Durango. Silver Dollar Resources informed on the drilling of 1,134 m at its La Joya project in Durango. Azucar Minerals defined a large lithocap at a new target zone on its El Cobre project, Veracruz. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, GR Silver Mining sold El Salto and El Salto Sur mining concessions (covering 56,910 ha) to Grupo Minero Venturex, for past taxes and a 0.5% NSR. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, SilverCrest Metals, Peña Colorada and Industrias Peñoles informed on social measures for the betterment of communities near its operations.

ON MEXICO ISSUES

  • The Mexican environmental regulator (SEMARNAT) finally approved the environmental permit needed to keep Fortuna Silver’s San José mine (in Oaxaca) in operation. Thousands of workers and inhabitants of communities near the mine to be affected by the impending closure appreciate the outcome.

ON EXPLORATION

  • Colibri Resource Corp. completed 3,122 m of reverse circulation (RC) drilling in 22 holes at its Evelyin project in Sonora. The drill program, geological mapping and outcrop sampling were paused for the holidays.  “The Company will resume Phase I drilling at the El Sahuaro and Cerro Rojo targets, as well as other prioritized targets on the property in January, upon receipt and interpretation drill assay results”.
  • Southern Empire Resources Corp. initiated a high-resolution airborne magnetic and radiometric geophysical surveys at its Pedro project in Durango. The geophysical program comprises 384 line-km in 96 flight lines at 50 m spacing. In addition, a nine-hole 2,000 m drill core program is expected to start in January of 2022 in the 1,750 hectares mineral concession.
  • Silver Spruce Resources Inc. informed it is in the reviewing process for submission of the environmental report (Informe Preventivo) on its El Mezquite project in Sonora. The company intends to carry an additional phase of reverse circulation drilling with up to fourteen holes comprising 1,500 to 2,500 m in the 180 hectares project.

ON MINING

  • Fortuna Silver Mines Inc. informed the Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (SEMERNAT) granted a 12 year extension of the environmental impact authorization (abbreviated as MIA, in Spanish) at the San Jose mine in Oaxaca. SEMERNAT had previously denied the extension application and Fortuna had to appeal the decision. “After continued dialogue and technical evaluation, SEMARNAT confirmed operations at the San Jose Mine are conducted in accordance with all environmental obligations” and granted the extension on the existing MIA.

ON FINANCING

  • Alamos Gold Inc. filed for a normal course issuer bid permitting Alamos to purchase for cancellation up to 30 M class A common shares, representing 10% of the company’s public float of the common shares to date. “The price for any repurchased Common Shares will be the prevailing market price at the time of the purchase. All Common Shares purchased by Alamos will be cancelled“ (Mulatos, Sonora).
  • Prime Mining Corp. has been added to the MVIS Global Junior Miners Index as of December 17, 2021 (Los Reyes, Sinaloa).
  • Sonoro Gold Corp. announced the closing of its previously announced non-brokered placement for aggregate proceeds of $3 M. In total the company paid $47.4 K in finder’s fees and 263.4 K in non-transferable Finder’s warrants.

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

  • Almaden Minerals Ltd. presented its plans for 2022. The company is preparing the resubmittal of the environmental permit for the Ixtaca project in Puebla, documenting well beyond the legal and regulatory framework in Mexico for filing in H1 2022, as well as the human rights impact assessment (HRIA) report. Almaden expects a lawsuit at the Supreme Court of Justice of Mexico being used to dispute the constitutionality of the Mexican mineral title regime to be solved favorably, optimistically in H2 2022. Since the last press release in October 2021, three more drill holes have been completed in the South East Alteration zone target near Ixtaca, and “The geologic observations and complete assay data will be analysed and additional mineral studies will be conducted on the core in order to identify any geochemical or mineral vectors in order to plan follow-up work in this area”.
  • Guanajuato Silver Company Ltd. provided drilling results from the El Cubo and Pinguico in Guanajuato. At the Cebolletas and 1850 Stope true width (TW) highlighted intervals comprise 2.00 m @ 1.10 gpt Au, 85 gpt Ag; 0.45 m @ 4.33 gpt Au, 192 gpt Ag; 3.87 m @ 1.38 gpt Au, 124 gpt Ag; 1.40 m @ 0.37 gpt Au, 99 gpt Ag in drilling by GR Silver and 1.62 m @ 2.85 gpt Au, 179 gpt Ag; 2.60 m @ 1.12 gpt Au, 131 gpt Ag; 1.71 m @ 0.46 gpt Au, 152 gpt Ag in drilling by Endeavour Silver. At El Cubo Villapando highlighted TW intervals comprise 6.35 m @ 0.69 gpt Au, 65 gpt Ag; 1.57 m @ 0.88 gpt Au, 98 gpt Ag. At El Pinguico, highlighted TW intervals comprise 4.05 m @ 0.68 gpt Au, 62 gpt Ag; 1.00 m @ 1.50 gpt Au, 122 gpt Ag; 0.55 m @ 2.11 gpt Au, 505 gpt Ag; 1.65 m @ 2.45 gpt Au, 125 gpt Ag; 7.95 m @ 1.35 gpt Au, 39 gpt Ag; 0.75 m @ 8.81 gpt Au, 208 gpt Ag; 8.10 m @ 1.00 gpt Au, 93 gpt Ag; 0.55 m @ 1.91 gpt Au, 75 gpt Ag.
  • Avino Silver & Gold Mines Ltd. filed the mineral resource estimate report on the La Preciosa project in Durango, which the company is proposing to acquire. The indicated mineral resource estimate comprises 17.4 M tonnes @ 176 gpt Ag, 0.34 gpt Au (202 gpt AgEq), containing 99 M Oz Ag, 189 K Oz Au (113 M Oz AgEq), whereas the inferred mineral resource includes 4.4 M tonnes @ 151 gpt Ag, 0.25 gpt Au (170 gpt AgEq), containing 21 M Oz Ag, 35 K Oz Au (24 M Oz AgEq).
  • Silver Dollar Resources Inc. informed 1,134 m of drilling have been completed in five holes at its La Joya project in Durango. “The initial drilling program is focused on target development on the Noria portion of the La Joya property with an emphasis on testing for possible structural extensions of known mineralized zones”.
  • Azucar Minerals Ltd. defined a large area of lithocap alteration in a newly outlined target at El Cobre project in Veracruz.” The new spectral mineral mapping in this area ….. has further defined a strong alteration signature with clear zoning including a central diaspore-pyrophyllite-shallow alunite/dickite and concentric halos of paragonitic and muscovitic white mica and inner propylitic epidote halo”. A soil sampling program is being completed for spectral and geochemical analysis intending to identify vectors to focus a drill program.

ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

  • GR Silver Mining Ltd. announced the sale of El Salto and El Salto Sur non-core concessions, acquired from Mako Mining Corp. on March 2021, to the private Mexican company Grupo Minero Venturex S.A. de C.V.. The company received US$1 K, retaining a 0.5% NSR, and leaving Venturex responsible to pay all outstanding concession fees and related fines (Note by editor.- holding large titled mining concessions in Mexico is very expensive). In June GR Silver applied for the reduction of the surface of the 56,910 ha claims, but still has to receive the approval from the Dirección General de Minas (DGM).

ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

  • SilverCrest Metals inaugurated the Tetuachi bridge across the Sonora River in Arizpe, Sonora.
  • Peña Colorada donated material and equipment to the Biosfera Sierra de Manantlán.
  • Industrias Peñoles invested seven million pesos in the park Bosque Venustiano Carranza in Torreon, Coahuila.

On the image below: epidote filled fractures with calc-sodic halo and late quartz veinlet in a copper project in the Sonoran Desert. Picture by Jorge Cirett.

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