By Jorge Cirett
During the 5th week of the year (January 31st to February 6th, 2022), at least 16 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico. To note, three companies posted exploration advances on their properties, three released Q4 and full year 2021 reports, one granted share options and two completed private placements, six reported on project development and one on a property deal. ON MEXICO ISSUES, Mexico’s president said that a state controlled company is to be the sole lithium miner in the country. Fortuna Silver is demanding from the government to respect and confirm an already issued environmental permit for the San Jose mine in Oaxaca. ON EXPLORATION, in Sonora, Benjamin Hill Mining commenced a maiden drill program at its Sonora Gold property; Tocvan Ventures released surface sample results. In Durango, Southern Empire Resources updated on drilling at the Pedro project. ON MINING, Consolidated Zinc and Santacruz Silver Mining presented operating results for Q4 and full year 2021. Guanajuato Silver Company presented results for November and December 2021. ON FINANCING, Defiance Silver granted options to directors and officers. Benjamin Hill Mining and Barksdale Resources closed their private placements for $2.1 M and US$1.75 M respectively. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Defiance Silver continues drilling at its Zacatecas project. GR Silver Mining released drill results from San Marcial, on its Plomosas project in Sinaloa. Discovery Silver is to drill 55,000 m during 2022 at its Cordero project in Chihuahua. GoGold Resources released drill results from El Favor East at Los Ricos North in Jalisco. Candelaria Mining received the drilling permit for Pinos, Zacatecas, and submitted the dilling permit for Caballo Blanco, in Veracruz. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Commander Resources presented the deal on which its Pedro property in Durango was optioned to Southern Empire Resources. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, no relevant news.
ON MEXICO ISSUES
- Mexico’s president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, on his daily conference while speaking on the proposed energy bill that includes the nationalization of the (non-existent) lithium industry, said that the Mexican government is to create a company for lithium extraction. With an anti-neoliberalist overtone and speaking of sovereignty, he affirmed lithium is owned by the Mexican people, and that no foreign countries are to have it.
- Fortuna Silver Mines Inc. received in December 17, 2021, a 12 year extension on its environmental impact authorization for the San Jose Mine in Oaxaca. On January 28, 2022 received a notice form SEMARNAT stating a typographical mistake, by which the term of the permit would be reduced from twelve to two years. Minera Cuzcatan (Fortuna’s subsidiary) “has initiated legal proceedings in the Federal Court to challenge and revoke said typographical error and to reconfirm the 12 year extension period granted by SEMARNAT in December 2021”.
- Benjamin Hill Mining Corp. announced the commencement of the maiden drill program at its Sonora Gold property in Sonora. The drill rig is currently working on the fourth of 34 planned holes on the Sonora Copper, Caracahui, El Fierro and La Salada areas. A 10,000 m induced polarization and resistivity geophysical survey covers the Sonora Copper, El Fierro, Caracahui, El Crestado, El Tanque, Las Antenas and La Salada areas. Benjamin Hill Mining paid a posthumous tribute to its Special Advisor David Jones: “He shared his knowledge and experience freely to the profession and to society, with honest exuberance to advance the development of economic projects, boosting local economies in the Americas and the around the world. Some of his projects have become mines that have positively impacted our world, socially and economically, proving himself one of the best economic geologists of modern times”.
- Tocvan Ventures Corp. released surface sample results from its Pilar project in Sonora. Of 59 samples, 21 returned over 0.5 gpt Au, defining several new areas to be drilled. The Main Zone was expanded with up to 9.2 gpt Au, 279 gpt Ag in a silicified quartz vein breccia, the 4-T Trend was extended to the southeast with values of up to 6.6 gpt Au, 433 gpt Ag and a new vein corridor over 200 m long is highlighted by samples of up to 523 gpt Ag, 1.3 gpt Au and additional mineralization 300 m to the south returned up to 3.1 gpt Au, 27 gpt Ag.
- Southern Empire Resources Corp. updated on drilling of the Pedro project in Durango. Three holes have been completed totaling 421 m, and a fourth is in progress. Core review “suggests zones of up to 70 m of moderately silicified, limestone dominated conglomerate with zones of up to 20 m (core length) exhibiting disseminated and vein controlled arsenical minerals including orpiment and realgar”. Historical drilling by Newmont produced intervals of up to 5.55 m @ 0.59 gpt Au.
- Consolidated Zinc Ltd. presented its Q4 2021 report. At its Plomosas mine in Chihuahua, 3,140 tonnes were mined, 5,099 tonnes brought to the surface and 4,592 tonnes processed, grading 13.4% Zn, 7.1% Pb, 41 gpt Ag, recovering 77.1 % Zn, 37.8% Pb, to produce 377 tonnes Zn, 112 tonnes Pb in concentrate. The mining rate was affected by the flooding of stopes related to failures on pumping and generator equipments. “Access to the under-water stopes should be re-established during February 2022”. The company continues with the exploration of the Mina Mexico and the Juarez mine prospects within the project area.
- Guanajuato Silver Company Ltd. presented production numbers on the last two months of 2021 and exploration highlights at El Cubo and Pinguico properties in Guanajuato. During November and December 2021, 238 K Oz AgEq were produced, resulting from the mining of 76 K tonnes from El Cubo and the El Pinguico above ground stockpile, of which 33 K tonnes were milled in December. Metallurgical recoveries for material from Pinguico averaged 74% Au, 72% Ag. The company completed 6,800 m of drilling at El Pinguico and El Cubo, and plans to complete over 22,000 m in 2022.
- Santacruz Silver Mining Ltd. reported operating results for Q4, 2021. At Zimapan, in Hidalgo, 192.9 K tonnes were processed @ 76 gpt Ag, 0.6% Pb, 2.26% Zn, 0.35% Cu (or 184 gpt AgEq), recovering 67.2% Ag, to produce 318.4 K Oz Ag, 1,012 tonnes Pb, 3,442 tonnes Zn, 488 tonnes Cu (or 842 K Oz AgEq), to reach 691.4 K Oz Ag, 3,659 tonnes Pb, 12,101 tonnes Zn, 1,820 tonnes Cu (or 3.11 M Oz AgEq) in the year. At the Rosario mine in San Luis Potosi, operations were suspended in Q3, 2021, resulting on an annual processing of 39 K tonnes @ 53 gpt Ag, 0.17 gpt Au, 0.29% Pb, 1.46% Zn, recovering 79% Ag, to produce 52.3 K Oz Ag, 132 Oz Au, 88 tonnes Pb, 417 tonnes Zn (or 107.7 K Oz AgEq).
- Defiance Silver Corp. granted incentive stock options to certain directors and officers covering 1.76 M common shares (Zacatecas project, Zacatecas).
- Benjamin Hill Mining Corp. completed the over-subscribed private placement announced on December 17, 2021, for gross proceeds of $2.1 M (Sonora Gold project, Sonora).
- Barksdale Resources Corp. closed the previously announced non-brokered private placement of US$1.75 M.
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
- Defiance Silver Corp. has recommenced drilling at the Zacatecas project in Zacatecas. The general exploration program in 2022 will focus on testing prospective regional targets at Lucita, Tahuares, and Veta Grande. Over 3,000 m of drilling have been completed on the Lucita land package, and 4,500 m of drilling are planned on Tahuares and the central Lucita land package. “Results from the 2020-2021 phase of drilling in the Veta Grande resource area successfully demonstrated the down-dip and lateral continuity of the mineralized Veta Grande vein system below the current resource estimate”.
- GR Silver Mining Ltd. released good drilling results from the San Marcial area of the Plomosas project in Sinaloa. Highlighted true width intercepts comprise 29.1 m @ 299 gpt Ag, 0.04 gpt Ag, 0.2% Pb, 0.4% Zn (including 5.0 m @ 614 gpt Ag, 0.02 gpt Au, 0.2% Pb, 0.2% Zn); 1.6 m @ 1,091 gpt Ag, 0.06 gpt Au, 1.4% Pb, 1.8% Zn; 13.0 m @ 58 gpt Ag, 0.08 gpt Au, 0.1% Pb, 0.3% Zn. “Large sections of the mineralized body are hosted by brecciated rock units above the main San Marcial Breccia body …….. related to late-stage quartz-calcite-sulphide veining which post-dates the San Marcial Breccia”. These intercepts are 420 m below the surface and 170 m down dip from the current resource.
- Discovery Silver Corp. outlined the 2022 work program and budget for its Cordero project in Chihuahua. The company plans to drill 55,000 meters in 2022, of which 25,000 m are to be in the reserve-resource definition and engineering of the prefeasibility study, 14,000 m on resource growth and 16,000 m in the initial drill testing of five new targets within the property: Sanson, Dos Mil Diez, Molina del Viento, Porfido Norte and La Perla.
- GoGold Resources Corp. released results from six holes sunk at El Favor East within the Los Ricos North project in Jalisco. Highlighted core-length intervals comprise 10.5 m @ 0.05 gpt Au, 72.3 gpt Ag; 3.4 m @ 0.68 gpt Au, 101 gpt Ag; 26.3 m @ 0.43 gpt Au, 107 gpt Ag (including 12.4 m @ 0.79 gpt Au, 184 gpt Ag); 25.7 m @ 1.55 gpt Au, 776 gpt Ag (including 4.3 m @ 8.65 gpt Au, 4,164 gpt Ag); 5.1 m @ 0.17 gpt Au, 69 gpt Ag; 8.1 m @ 0.46 gpt Au, 90 gpt Ag; 3.7 m @ 0.34 gpt Au, 158 gpt Ag; 63.6 m @ 0.23 gpt Au, 109 gpt Ag (including 2.9 m @ 2.36 gpt Au, 1,109 gpt Ag.
- Candelaria Mining Corp. received the permit for its infill drilling program at Pinos, Zacatecas. “The drilling will seek to validate recently updated structural interpretations of the distribution of higher-grade mineralization, together with some additional holes in other high-grade veins in different parts of the mineralized system”.
- Candelaria Mining Corp. submitted in late December 2021 a drill permit application for its Caballo Blanco project in Veracruz. “This initial Phase 1 drilling program will comprise approximately 7,000m and provide the first tests of each of the high priority targets within the highly prospective gold-copper epithermal / porphyry district. A second phase will then build upon these results, and also include resource expansion drilling at the most advanced PEA-level project within the region, La Paila”. Candelaria expects to drill between 14,000 and 15,000 m during 2022.
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- Commander Resources Ltd. provided an update on drilling (above, on the exploration bullets) of the Pedro project which is being explored by partner Southern Empire Resources Corp. in Durango. Southern Empire is earning a 100% interest for $700 K staged over four payments in three years and 100 K shares, with work expenditures of $1.5 M. Commander is to retain a 2% NSR royalty with no buy-back clause.
ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
- No Relevant News.
On the image below: Quartz veining in deformed intrusive rocks in the Sonoran desert. Picture by Jorge Cirett.