The Mining and Exploration News in Mexico; Highlights on the Second Week of May, 2022

The Mining and Exploration News in Mexico: Highlights on the Second Week of May, 2022

By Jorge Cirett

During the 19th week of the year (May 9th to May 15th, 2022), at least 24 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico. To note, only two companies posted exploration advances on their properties, sixteen (record on any given week) released first quarter 2022 reports, one updated on investments for 2022, one on a financing round, another one drawing from a credit facility and another one on cash dividends, three reported either drill results or updated on work in their advanced properties and one released its 2021 sustainability report. ON MEXICO ISSUES, the first seminary of “Future of Mexican Mining Investment” was held in Hermosillo, Sonora. On the inauguration by the state’s governor was made the announcement of Grupo Mexico funding the bill for arranging the domestic water supply issues of Cananea and Nacozari. The low water consumption by the mining industry was also stressed out, being only 0.9% of all water used nationwide and 2.1% in Sonora. Also mentioned were the lost places in the mining investment attractiveness index by the Fraser Institute, with deficiencies in the rule of law, red tape and insecurity among the reasons cited. ON EXPLORATION, in Sonora, Prismo Metals released rock sample results from its Los Pavitos project. In Nayarit, Sierra Metals released results from underground sampling and surface trench sampling at La Tigra. ON MINING, Impact Silver, Starcore International, Golden Minerals, SilverCrest Metals, Americas Gold and Silver, Endeavour Silver, GoGold Resources, Hecla Mining, Prime Mining, Sierra Metals, Argonaut Gold, First Majestic Silver, Great Panther Mining, Orla Mining, Capstone Copper and Santacruz Silver presented their Q1 2022 reports. Torex Gold updated on investments and work to come in 2022 in Guerrero. ON FINANCING, Guanajuato Silver Company drew US$7.5 M from a credit facility. Tocvan Ventures closed a financing round for $346.2 K. First Majestic declared a cash dividend.  ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Orla Mining informed on metallurgic tests at its Camino Rojo Sulfide project. Fabled Silver Gold reported the completion of planning of the phase 2 exploration drilling at its Santa Maria project in Chihuahua. Pan American Silver provided results for 43 drill holes at its La Colorada Skarn project in Zacatecas. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Endeavour Silver released its 2021 sustainability report.  ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, no relevant news.

ON MEXICO ISSUES

  • The director of mining in Sonora, Leonardo Taylor, informed mining activity only occupies the 0.12% of the State land, whereas cattle growing occupies 83%, agriculture 11.7%, industry 4.14% and aquaculture 0.21%. In Sonora mining uses 2.1% of the water consumed, Agriculture 38%, Communities 22% and 9.9% by industry. At a national level, mining uses only 0.9% of the water, while Sonora’s higher consumption rate at 2.1% is due to its large mining industry.
  • Sonora’s governor, Francisco Durazo inaugurated the first seminary “Future of Mexican Mining Investment” organized by the Asociación de Ingenieros de Minas, Metalurgistas y Geólogos de México (AIMMGM). He announced a 670 million pesos ($33.5 M) investment on the water supply for Cananea, and 50 million pesos ($2.5 M) for Nacozari, with the support of Grupo Mexico. Furthermore, Grupo Mexico’s fiscal address has been relocated to Sonora, where it is to pay taxes in the order of $150 to $200 million pesos ($7.5-$10 M) annually (this is a move that was being petitioned since the 1980’s).
  • On the First Seminary “Future of Mexican Mining Investment” by the AIMMGM, Jaime Gutierrez, president of Camimex (Cámara Minera de México) explained Mexico has gone back 14 positions in the Fraser’s Institute investment attraction index. The amount of delayed investment in mining in 2021 was US$959.7 M, part of it by the delays in obtaining permits from SEMARNAT. The industry invested US$4,246,000 in 2021, 15% less than programmed. Red tape, bureaucracy complacency, deficiencies in rule of law, lack of understanding of the mining industry and insecurity were among the reasons pointed out for the decline.
  • The Confederación de Trabajadores de México (CTM) announced that after negotiations with Grupo Mexico, an accord was reached to maintain the 10% of profits allocated to workers, and thus being unaffected by a recent change in the law that topped the payment to less than three months of salary. This agreement means each worker is to receive between 600 and 800 thousand pesos ($30K to $40K) this year.
  • According to Miner Deck, Pan American Silver drilled the second highest intercept of the week, with 14.55 m @ 1,092 gpt Ag.

ON EXPLORATION

  • Prismo Metals Inc. updated on initial exploration at the 5,300 ha Los Pavitos project, in Sonora. Three-quarters of the property have been mapped and sampled. Areas of interest at the moment are Santa Cruz, the Española-Las Auras-Ramadas intersection, the Española-San Jorge intersection, Santa Cruz-Cerro Blanco and Las Auras. Highlighted channel sample results comprise 0.8 m @ 0.44 gpt Au; 0.3 m @ 2.06 gpt Au, 16 gpt Ag, 0.1% Pb; 0.5 m @ 1.49 gpt Au, 9 gpt Ag, 0.1% Pb; 1.0 m @ 1.94 gpt Au, 16 gpt Ag; 2.0 m @ 0.95 gpt Au, 6 gpt Ag; 3.0 m @ 2.46 gpt Au, 0.1% Zn; dump @ 10.15 gpt Au, 21 gpt Ag, 0.4% Pb at Las Auras; 0.5 m @ 0.33 gpt Au; 1.5 m @ 0.15% Cu; 7.0 m @ 0.2% Cu at San Jorge; 0.5 m @ 0.66 gpt Au; 0.5 m @ 0.72 gpt Au at Oromuri; dump @ 4.47 gpt Au, 26 gpt Ag, 0.2% Pb; 1.0 m @ 28 gpt Au, 398 gpt Ag, 1.2% Pb; dump @ 0.65 gpt Au; 1.0 m @ 3.98 gpt Au, 8 gpt Ag; 2.0 m @ 1.35 gpt Au, 12 gpt Ag, 0.2% Pb; 7.0 m @ 12.25 gpt Au, 95 gpt Ag, 1.0% Pb, 0.1% Zn; 7.0 m @ 10.5 gpt Au, 86 gpt Ag, 0.8% Pb; 1.0 m @ 1.23 gpt Au, 14 gpt Ag; 2.0 m @ 2.42 gpt Au at Santa Cruz. “The presence of large northwesterly trending shear zones, quartz textures in veins and the association of gold with arsenic and bismuth supports the orogenic gold model…”.
  • Sierra Madre Gold and Silver Ltd. released results from underground channel samples and surface trench samples from its La Tigra project in Nayarit. Highlighted sample results from Level 200 of the historic El Tigre mine comprise 0.70 m @ 239 gpt Au, 30 gpt Ag; 0.55 m @ 24.40 gpt Au, 23 gpt Ag; 1.0 m @ 24.40 gpt Au, 21 gpt Ag, 0.70 m @ 18.15 gpt Au, 23 gpt Ag; 0.90 m @ 13.15 gpt Au, 17 gpt Ag; 1.30 m @ 10.70 gpt Au, 19 gpt Ag; 1.00 m @ 9.75 gpt Au, 43 gpt Ag; 0.85 m @ 8.04 gpt Au, 6 gpt Ag; 1.35 m @ 7.43 gpt Au, 8 gpt Ag; 1.10 m @ 6.86 gpt Au, 9 gpt Ag; 1.30 m @ 6.27 gpt Au, 13 gpt Ag. Highlighted trench results comprise 9.0 m @ 0.27 gpt Au; 11.5 m @ 0.35 gpt Au, 6 gpt Ag; 9.0 m @ 0.53 gpt Au; 8.9 m @ 3.27 gpt Au, 6 gpt Ag (including 2.7 m @ 6.74 gpt Au, 4 gpt Ag).

ON MINING

  • Impact Silver Corp. announced results for the first quarter 2022. During the period 36.1 K tonnes were milled to produce 162.9 K Oz Ag at Zacualpan, Estado de Mexico. Net working capital was $21.1 M and cash $19.1 M by the end of March.
  • Starcore International Mines Ltd. released production results for the fourth quarter ended April 30, 2022. During the quarter 55.4 K tonnes were milled @ 1.65 gpt Au, 27.1 gpt Ag, recovering 88.64% Au, 52.5% Ag, to produce 2,900 Oz AuEq.
  • Golden Minerals Co. provided first quarter 2022 results. During the period 527 tonnes per day (tpd) were processed @ 3.1 gpt Au, 11.6 gpt Ag, to produce 3,608 Oz Au, 13.9 K Oz Ag, at cash cost $1,164 per Oz Au. Cash and cash equivalents of $11.7 M by the end of the period.
  • SilverCrest Metals Inc. reported financial results for the first quarter of 2022. At the end of the quarter construction progress at Las Chispas, in Sonora, was 95.7%, with 2.0 km of underground development completed, for a total of 19.5 Km of underground development since 2019. “… the Company has committed $114.6 million (83.2%) of the $137.7 million Feasibility Study capital cost estimate and incurred $108.0 million”. At the end of the period the company held $152 M as cash and cash equivalents.
  • Americas Gold and Silver Corp. released results for the first quarter 2022, including information from its Mexican operations. At Cosalá, in Sinaloa, the first full quarter of operations after the resolution of the illegal blockade produced 127 K Oz Ag, 3.9 M Lb Pb, 9.6 M Lb Zn. “Cash costs per silver ounce and all‐in sustaining costs per silver ounce were negative $48.86 and negative $42.51, respectively, as the Cosalá Operations benefitted from strong zinc and lead prices”. Estimated production for 2022 is 0.7 to 0.9 M Oz Ag, 13-15 M Lb Pb, 36-40 M Lb Zn.
  • Endeavour Silver Corp. announced financial and operating results for the first quarter of 2022. During the period 1.31 M Oz Ag, 8,695 K Oz Au (2.0 M Oz AgEq) were produced. At Guanaceví, in Durango, 1.13 M Oz Ag, 3,477 Oz Au were produced at $14.61 per Oz AgEq, or $1,180 per Oz AuEq. At Bolañitos, in Guanajuato, 181.1 K Oz Ag, 5,218 Oz Au were produced at $16.52 per Oz AgEq or $1,335 per Oz Au. The Terronera project in Jalisco continues to advance, with a formal construction decision expected in the coming months. The closing of the Pitarrilla project acquisition in Durango is expected in the second quarter of 2022. A $46 M bought deal financing was completed in the first quarter.
  • GoGold Resources Inc. reported financial results for the second quarter of 2022, for the period ending on March 31, 2022. At the Parral tailings project in Chihuahua, 537 K Oz Ag were stacked, producing 186.5 K Oz Ag, 2,791 Oz Au, 125 tonnes Cu (456 K Oz AgEq) at an AISC of $18.12 per AgEq Oz. A bought deal financing was completed, for gross proceeds of $33.4 M. At Los Ricos, in Jalisco, 21,052 m were drilled in the period. The company held US$83.3 M by the end of March 2022.
  • Hecla Mining Co. provided first quarter 2022 results, including information from its Mexican properties. At San Sebastian, in Durango, core drilling targeted the deeper portions of the past producing veins with results including 0.45 m @ 152 gpt Ag, 2.0% Cu, 2.5% Pb, 5.3% Zn on the West Francine vein. At La Roca (in the district), “interpreted to be an area where an entire epithermal vein system is preserved”, several large vein zones up to 15.76 m in true width with anomalous silver grading up to 326 gpt, pointing to a deeper ore zone.
  • Prime Mining Corp. reported its operating and financial results for the first quarter of 2022. During the period the company has reported on expansion of the Noche Buena deposit, the increased length of the Z-T structure, new drilling at Guadalupe West, good results at Guadalupe East, and positive results from Zapote South. Prime is currently undertaking a 50,000 m phase 2 exploration drilling program.
  • Sierra Metals Inc. reported consolidated financial results for the first quarter of 2022, without including detailed figures from its Mexican operations. At Bolivar, in Chihuahua, 187.6 K tonnes were processed, producing at cash cost $4.55 per pound of CuEq and an AISC of $7.33. During the period 19,739 m were drilled from surface; additional exploration is to focus on Bolivar East and La Sidra areas. At Cusi, also in Chihuahua, cash cost per AgEq Oz was $19.94. Drilling on the period comprised 7,092 m of infill on the Santa Rosa de Lima vein and NE Trend.
  • Argonaut Gold Inc. announced its operating and financial results for the first quarter 2022. At El Castillo-San Agustin, in Durango, 4.3 M tonnes of ore and 4.85 M tonnes of waste were moved (50 K tpd at El Castillo, 53 K tpd at San Agustin), with ore placed at the pads grading 0.29 gpt Au, producing 29,832 Oz Au, 134.5 K Oz Ag, or 31,513 K Oz AuEq at cash cost $1,069 per Oz Au ($1,226 at El Castillo, $945 at San Agustin). At La Colorada, in Sonora, 1.12 M tonnes of ore, 5.3 M tonnes waste were moved at a 73 K tpd rate (4.74 waste to ore ratio), with 1.12 M tonnes crushed to leach pads averaging 0.45 gpt Au, producing 13,341 Oz Au, 35.4 K Oz Ag, or 13,783 Oz AuEq at $957 per Oz Au.
  • First Majestic Silver Corp. released financial results for the first quarter of 2021, including figures from its Mexican operations. At San Dimas, in Durango, 195.3 K tonnes were milled to produce 1.63 M Oz Ag, 18,528 Oz Au (3.08 M Oz AgEq) at cash cost $9.41 per Oz AgEq and an AISC of $12.98. At Santa Elena, in Sonora, 201.9 K tonnes were milled to produce 337.2 K Oz Ag, 19,556 Oz Au (1.87 M Oz AgEq) at cash cost $12.96 and an AISC of $16.31. At La Encantada, in Coahuila, 249.9 K tonnes were processed to produce 644 K Oz Ag, 100 Oz Au (651.9 K Oz AgEq) at cash cost $16.41 and an AISC of $19.31.
  • Great Panther Mining Ltd. announced financial results for the first quarter 2022, including non-detailed figures from its Mexican operations. At Topia, in Durango, 16.3 K tonnes were milled @ 425 gpt AgEq.
  • Orla Mining Ltd. presented results for the first quarter 2022. At the Camino Rojo Oxide mine in Zacatecas, production totaled 23,031 Oz Au during the period, mining at a rate of 15,917 tpd. Commercial production was declared on April 1, 2022. The cash balance at the end of March was $35.0 M.
  • Capstone Copper Corp. announced production and financial results for the first quarter 2022, with no detailed numbers on production by unit. At Cozamin in Zacatecas, mill throughput was 3,704 tpd @ 1.84% Cu to produce 5,900 tonnes Cu at cash cost $1.12 per Lb Cu.
  • Santacruz Silver Mining Inc. reported production results for Q1 2022. At Zimapan, in Hidalgo, 191.4 K tonnes were milled @ 69 gpt Ag, 0.72% Pb, 2.31% Zn, 0.29% Cu (192 gpt AgEq), recovering 72% Ag, to produce 307.4 K Oz Ag, 1,214 tonnes Pb, 3,380 tones Zn, 419 tonnes Cu. Development during the period was 2,765 m.  
  • Torex Gold Resources Inc. is to invest 35 M in exploration during 2022. This amount is in excess of the 848 M recently announced to be invested in the Media Luna project.  Torex produced 462,000 Oz Au in 2021 at El Limón Guajes mine in Guerrero. The company also stressed the fact that all its electricity is sourced by the CFE (government run company), thus ruling out any effect of recent energy controversies in the country.

ON FINANCING

  • Guanajuato Silver Company Ltd. has drawn down US$7.5 M from its silver and gold pre-payment facility with Swiss-based precious metals trading firm, OCIM Precious Metals S.A.. “A portion of the Pre-Payment Facility has been used to repay to OCIM the cash equivalent of six of the Company’s remaining nine monthly deliveries of silver and gold ounces due to OCIM under the Company’s existing loan agreement drawn on July 27, 2021 (El Cubo, Guanajuato).
  • Tocvan Ventures Corp. closed its previously announced non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of $346.2 K (Pilar, Sonora).
  • First Majestic Silver Corp. declared a cash dividend payment of $0.006 per common share (San Dimas, Durango).

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

  • Orla Mining Ltd. informed on metallurgic test results at its Camino Rojo Sulfide project in Zacatecas. The geometallurgical model highlighted five spatially distinct continuous zones within the 259 M tonnes @ 0.88 gpt Au, 0.07% Pb, 0.26% Zn sulfide deposit. Two of those zones of mineralization seem to be amenable to conventional carbon-in-leach processing, selective flotation may be used to produce a gold concentrate that can be treated using pressure oxidation and there is potential to produce a zinc concentrate. Continued work is in process to produce a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) study for the end of 2022.
  • Fabled Silver Gold Corp. reported the completion the planning of phase 2 exploration drilling at its Santa Maria project in Chihuahua. On the initial view of the project “this was a low sulfidation epithermal system deposit and contained two veins of interest. The Santa Maria and Santa Maria Dos veins ….. The veins thought to be the Santa Maria veins are in fact mineralized breccias at the contacts or within diorite dikes”. The information collected while drilling in 2021, the new structural interpretation and the Santa Maria signature and controls will be applied to explore on the rest of the property.
  • Pan American Silver Corp. provided results from 43 new infill and exploration holes totaling 38,460 m, all containing multiple skarn and breccia intercepts at the La Colorada skarn project in Zacatecas. Highlighted core length intervals comprise 233.70 m @ 44 gpt Ag, 0.15% Cu, 4.0% Pb, 5.0% Zn; 174.95 m @ 40 gpt Ag, 0.21% Cu, 0.2% Pb, 7.9% Zn; 154.00 m @ 57 gpt Ag, 0.08% Cu, 2.4% Pb, 4.4% Zn; 121.45 m @ 77 gpt Ag, 0.08% Cu, 2.0% Pb, 5.5% Zn; 32.90 m @ 104 gpt Ag, 0.09% Cu, 0.4% Pb, 3.4% Zn; 44.15 m @ 114 gpt Ag, 0.04% Cu, 3.1% Pb, 4.1% Zn; 16.55 m @ 122 gpt Ag, 0.11% Cu, 5.0% Pb, 9.1% Zn; 101.90 m @ 43 gpt Ag, 0.18 % Cu, 0.5% Pb, 6.6% Zn. 88.30 m @ 49 gpt Ag, 0.07% Cu, 1.5% Pb, 5.1% Zn; 35.35 m @ 83 gpt Ag, 0.03% Cu, 3.7% Pb, 2.1% Zn; 22.55 m @ 176 gpt Ag, 0.09% Cu, 3.3% Pb, 5.9% Zn; 117.10 m @ 64 gpt Ag, 0.06% Cu, 2.1% Pb, 3.2% Zn; 102.05 m @ 58 gpt Ag, 0.13% Cu, 1.4% Pb, 3.4% Zn. Mineralization has been expanded 120 m to the northwest, 150 m to the south and 80 m to the east. “Infill drilling in the central eastern part of the deposit confirmed continuous mineralization over a 400 metre-wide area”. The deposit remains open to the south, northwest, and at depth.

ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

  • Endeavour Silver Corp. released its 2021 sustainability report. The report highlights the work the company has done to increase the positive impact people and communities, elevating the environmental stewardship of the planet and leading a healthy long term business.

ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

  • No Relevant News.

On the image below: Deformed intrusive rock pervasively silicified, with weak specularite veinlets and quartz-Oxidized sulfide veinlets in northern Sonora. Picture by Jorge Cirett.

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