By Jorge Cirett
During the 19th week of the year (May 8th to May 14th, 2023), 19 companies working in Mexico posted news releases. Three companies informed on exploration on their properties, eight companies informed on Q1 2023 or full-year 2023 production/financial results, one company informed on the termination of an illegal blockade. One company announced the opening of a financing round. Assay results were released on an advanced property in Sinaloa, and a mill started test work in Nayarit. ON MEXICO ISSUES, Fitch Ratings warned on the impact of the new mining law, specially in exploration activities. ON EXPLORATION, in Sinaloa, Vizsla Silver reported drilling results from Panuco; Prismo Metals started drilling at Palos Verdes. In Jalisco, Stroud Resources provided a summary of the 2021-2022 drilling at Santo Domingo Hostotipaquillo. ON MINING, Endeavour Silver, GoGold Resources, Mag Silver, Avino Silver, Torex Gold, Pan American Silver, Golden Minerals, SilverCrest Metals released Q1 2023 production reports. Fortuna Silver informed on the termination of the illegal blockade at its San José mine in Oaxaca. ON FINANCING, Stroud Resources is to raise up to C$1.5 M. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Oroco Resource released assay results from its Santo Tomás project in Sinaloa. Xali Gold informed its optioned processing plant in Nayarit has begun test work. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, GR Silver updated on work at its Plomosas project in Sinaloa. Silver Valley informed on negotiations with the Mexican Lithium Agency pertaining a possible partnership involving the lithium component of its properties in Mexico. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, Zacatecas Silver continues to build its relationship with the Tetlama community in Morelos.
ON MEXICO ISSUES
- Fitch Ratings stressed that the new mining law is to have far-reach implications in the Mexican mining industry, as it is to slow the pace of exploration, shorten the concessions term and generate worries on the operational continuity, and also to revitalize community negotiations. Even as the details are still to be defined, exploration is the activity that will be hit the hardest, with exploration activities now to be conducted by the Servicio Geológico Mexicano (SGM) and later expanded by special collaboration agreements.
- Stroud Resources Ltd. provided a summary of the 2021-2022 drilling program at its Santo Domingo property in Hostotipaquillo, Jalisco. The program consisted of 9,936 m in 32 holes to explore the extent of known vein-hosted epithermal mineralization and to define additional parallel systems. Highlighted core length intervals comprise 1.55 m @ 624 gpt Ag; 47.70 m @ 0.18 gpt Au, 42 gpt Ag, 0.1% Pb, 0.4% Zn; 48.90 m @ 0.42 gpt Au, 41 gpt Ag; 68.35 m @ 0.18 gpt Au 66 gpt Ag; 34.70 m @ 1.23 gpt Au, 60 gpt Ag; 32.15 m @ 0.55 gpt Au, 106 gpt Ag; 36.80 m @ 0.23 gpt Au, 141 gpt Ag, 0.2% Pb, 2.0% Zn; 24.00 m @ 0.13 gpt Au, 105 gpt Ag; 14.70 m @ 0.78 gpt Au, 165 gpt Ag; 34.70 m @ 1.23 gpt Au, 60 gpt Ag, 0.6% Pb, 1.8% Zn; 35.45 m @ 0.17 gpt Au, 47 gpt Ag. “To date, the Santo Domingo Project has approximately 85 drill holes totalling 18,184 metres”.
- Vizsla Silver Corp. reported results from 16 expansion holes at its Panuco project in Sinaloa. These expansion holes targeted the Copala resource area, with highlighted true width intervals comprising 5.89 m @ 1,403 gpt Ag, 4.24 gpt Au (or 1,591 gpt AgEq); 4.90 m @ 345 gpt Ag, 1.12 gpt Au (or 396 gpt AgEq); 2.14 m @ 1,319 gpt Ag, 22.46 gpt Au (or 2,743 gpt AgEq); 1.45 m @ 789 gpt Ag, 5.13 gpt Au (or 1,080 gpt AgEq). “Ongoing drilling at Copala has now traced mineralization along ~1,250 metres of strike length and ~400 metres down dip…… Vizsla has to date completed 35,000 m of its planned 90,000 m 2023 drill program”.
- Prismo Metals Inc. has started the drilling program at its Palos Verde project in Sinaloa. The at least 2.500 m drilling is to test the 65% of the Palos Verdes structure that has not been drilled, along with some other veins that have been mapped. The company is trying to intercept large ore shoots as in the adjacent Panuco project (See above).
- Endeavour Silver Corp. announced its financial and operating results for Q1 2023. During the period 1.62 M Oz Ag, 9,342 Oz Au (or 2.4 M Oz AgEq) were produced at $11.12 per Oz Ag and an AISC of $20.16 per Oz Ag, net of gold credits. Cash position was $61.6 M at the end of the period, and working capital $92.8 M. The company is going ahead with the development of the Terronera project in Jalisco, with over $58 M invested to date
- GoGold Resources Inc. announced the financial results for Q1 2023. The company produced 173.7 K Oz Ag, 2,016 Oz Au, 143 tonnes Cu, at adjusted cash cost of $14.00 per Oz AgEq and adjusted AISC of $19.76 per Oz AgEq. Revenue was $7.6 M on the sale of 355.7 K Oz AgEq. Cash on hand is US$100.9 M (Parral tailings, Chihuahua).
- Mag Silver Corp. released unaudited financial results for Q1 2023. Concentrate production has commenced at the Juanicipio mine in Zacatecas (Fresnillo 56%, MAG 44%), containing 2 M Oz Ag, 5,291 Oz Au, 1,281 tonnes Pb, 1,656 tonnes Zn. MAG reported net income of $4.7 M, and closed a $42.6 M offering of shares and a $17.1 M private placement during the period.
- Fortuna Silver Mines Inc. reported that the illegal blockade at its San Jose Main in Oaxaca has been lifted. The company and union workers have reached an agreement to resume operations at the mine and processing plant which recommenced on May 10, 2023.
- Avino Silver & Gold Mines Ltd. released its consolidated financial results for the first quarter of 2023. During the period, the company milled 159.8 K tonnes at Avino, in Durango, to produce 234.3 K Oz Ag, 2,286 Oz Au, 1.4 M Lb Cu (678.2 K Oz AgEq), at cash cost of $14.22 per Oz AgEq and an AISC of $20.17 per Oz AgEq. Revenues of $9.8 M were impacted by timing of concentrate shipments, EBITDA was $0.3 M, cash provided by operating activities of $0.4 M. The dry-stack tailings facility is now complete and fully operational. The company is assessing the continuity of mineralization to depth, with mineralization extending at least 800 m downdip … “it appears that the Avino vein is getting richer in copper as we go deeper with a grade of 1.63% copper over 16.66 metres” intercepted at depth.
- Torex Gold Resources Inc. reported financial and operational results for Q1 2023. During the period the company produced 122,918 Oz Au at its El Limón-Guajes property in Guerrero, milling 13,073 tpd and mining form ELG underground. Cash cost was $709 per Oz Au and AISC of $1,079 per Oz Au. Reported income of $68.2 M and adjusted earnings of $50.3 M. The company has reserves of 38.6 M tonnes @ 2.91 gpt Au, 17.1 gpt Ag, 0.58% Cu at the Morelos Complex in Guerrero, 47.8 M tonnes @ 3.33 gpt Au, 22.6 gpt Ag, 0.80% Cu in measured and indicated resources and 15.8 M tonnes @ 2.49 gpt Au, 23 gpt Ag, 0.86% Cu in inferred resources. The quarter closed with net cash of $318.4 M.
- Pan American Silver Corp. reported unaudited results for the Q1 2023, without figures or specific news on its Mexican properties.
- Golden Minerals Co. released financial results for Q1 2023. Revenue was $4.2 M, net operating margin $0.2 M related to the Rodeo mine operations in Durango, where 2,081 Oz Au, 11,535 Oz Ag were produced. Golden is assessing the possibility of restarting the Velardeña property mining operations in Durango. During the period a maiden resource of 937 K tonnes @ 570 gpt Ag was announced on its Yoquivo property, in Chihuahua, and the return of the Santa Maria property, also in Chihuahua, by Fabled Silver. The company had $2.0 M in cash and cash equivalents by the end of the period.
- SilverCrest Metals Inc. announced its financial and operational results for the first quarter 2023. Undeground mining rates at Las Chispas, in Sonora, averaged 707 tonnes per day (tpd), processing 1,160 tpd with an estimated 40% of production feed sources from stockpiles. Grades averaged 4.06 gpt Au, 419 gpt Ag, recovering 97.5% Au, 91.0% Ag, to produce 13,300 Oz Au, 1.29 M Oz Ag (2.45 M Oz AgEq), at cash cost $6.57 per Oz AgEq and AISC of $11.45 per Oz AgEq. The company had revenue of $58.0 M, resulting in mine operating income of $35.6 M with net free cash flow of $19.3 M, ending the quarter with cash of $45.8 M and net cash of $21.0 M.
- Stroud Resources Ltd. announced a non-brokered private placement to raise up to C$1.5 M (Santo Domingo Hostotipaquillo, Jalisco).
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
- Oroco Resources Corp. released assay results for the last two drill holes of the 2021-2023 program, which test the North Zone of its Santo Tomás project in Sinaloa. Highlighted core length results comprise 185.4 m @ 0.27% Cu, 0.013 gpt Au, 1.1 gpt Ag; 228.5 m @ 0.43% Cu, 0.035 gpt Au, 2.52 gpt Ag in one hole and 387.4 m @ 0.45% Cu, 0.043 gpt Au, 3.0 gpt Ag; 39.0 m @ 0.26%, 0.012 gpt Au, 1.68 gpt Ag in the other. “The North Zone program comprises 47 diamond drill holes and 30,909 m of drilling”.
- Xali Gold Corp. advised that Minera Cinco Reales S.A. de C.V. has commenced work on the San Dieguito de Arriba plant in Nayarit. The company is planning to carry their first bulk sample test by the end of May. The company will be allowed to conduct the bulk test work while the environmental impact permit is authorized. “Xali Gold will have the right to receive 15% of the net profits from any mineral that is processed at the SDA Plant”.
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- GR Silver Mining Ltd. updated on work and plans for 2023 at its 43,187 ha. Plomosas project in Sinaloa. The property hosts intermediate to low sulfidation epithermal mineralization on the Plomosas, San Marcial and San Juan-La Colorada areas, on which a new resource estimate was filed early this month, based in 60,020 m of drilling in 424 holes. Indicated resources stand at 15 M tonnes @ 117 gpt Ag containing 55 M Oz Ag, or 179 gpt AgEq, containing 85 M Oz AgEq. Inferred resources stand at 9 M tonnes @ 78 gpt Ag, containing 22 M Oz Ag, or 171 gpt AgEq, holding 49 M Oz AgEq. A drill rig has been mobilized to the SE Area in San Marcial and a 12,500 m drilling exploration program has been recommended. On the cost reduction initiative, staff has been reduced by 38% and vehicles by 50%, “with executives taking reduced cash salaries and directors waiving cash fees.”
- Silver Valley Metals Corp. provided an update on its MexicCan Lithium-Potassium project in Zacatecas-San Luis Potosí. The company “has been in discussions with LitioMX, (the national lithium company of Mexico)” pertaining the possibility of forming a partnership for exploration and production on Silver Valley’s concessions. “The negotiation is focused solely on the lithium component of the multi-commodity deposit(s). This represents an inferred resource of 243,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) defined to date at surface to an average depth of only 5 metres”.
ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
- Zacatecas Silver Corp. continues to build on its relationship with the Tetlama community, on its Esperanza project in Morelos. “The Company continues to provide on-going social benefit support with programs currently implemented including: medical assistance, funerary compensation, educational scholarships, and the community forest fire fighting brigade”. The company is combining resources with the community nucleus for the construction of the first stage of a new community cemetery.
On the image below: Silicified breccia-vein ridge in a copper project in the Sonoran Desert. Picture by Jorge Cirett.