By Miguel A Heredia
During the 24th week of the year (June 12th to June 18th, 2023), at least 23 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico, and 1 news published by the media with nine disclosing deals and corporate issues, seven reporting resources and developments of their properties, three commenting on Mexican issues, two informing on exploration results, two announcing financing issues, and one discussing social issues. ON MEXICO ISSUES, United States asked Mexico to review a claim at a Grupo México mine in the center of the country for an alleged denial of labor rights. Newmont Corporation suspended operations at its Peñasquito mine, in Zacatecas, after the workers’ union announced the strike. Gold Resource, GR Silver and Heliostar reported the best drilling intercepts in Mexico on the third week of June, 2023. ON EXPLORATION, Prismo provided an updated on its exploration programs at Palos Verdes project in Sinaloa and Los Pavitos in Sonora. In Oaxaca, Vortex provided a comprehensive overview of the exploration work completed to date at its Zaachila project. ON MINING, No relevant news. ON FINANCING, Goldgroup announced proposed settlement of a loan obtained from Accendo Banco S.A (Cerro Prieto, Sonora). Silver Valley announced financing-early warrant exercise incentive program intended to encourage the early exercise of up to 12,897,114 outstanding warrants of the company (La Salada Salar, Zacatecas). ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Heliostar reported results from four holes drilled within and above the High-Grade Panel at the core of its Ana Paula project in Guerrero. Colibri and its JV partner Tocvan announced positive results from its ongoing bulk sample testing at the Pilar project in Sonora. GR Silver announced results of two additional step-out holes drilled at its San Marcial project in Sinaloa. Heliostar issued a press release to clarify certain of its previous disclosure regarding its Ana Paula project in Guerrero. Prime filed a technical report for its Los Reyes project in Sinaloa. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Colibri announced that it has been informed by its JV partner Agnico Eagle that the Pitaya Gold project in Sonora has been sold to a third party. Silver Dollar reported that it has terminated the exclusivity period signed with Canasil due to general market conditions. Endeavour announced the appointment of its new Vice President, Operations (Guanacevi mine, Durango). Santacruz reported that it shares will resume trading on Friday June 16, 2023 on the TSX Venture Exchange (Zimapan mine, Hidalgo). Golden Minerals appointed its new Executive Vice President (Rodeo mine, Durango). SilverCrest reported results from its annual general meeting of shareholders (Las Chispas Mine, Sonora). Kootenay declared that now it owns 100% of Columba property in Chihuahua after completing the final property payment. Gold Resource announced the resignation of one of its independent Directors of the Board of Directors (Don David Mine, Oaxaca). ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, SilverCrest released its inaugural 2022 Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Report (Las Chispas mine, Sonora).
ON MEXICO ISSUE
- United States asked Mexico to review a claim at a Grupo México mine in the center of the country for an alleged denial of labor rights, within the framework of the North American trade agreement, T-MEC, the US Department of Labor. The San Martín mine in Zacatecas owned by Industrial Minera México SA de CV, a subsidiary of the Americas Mining Corp. branch of Grupo México, has a labor complaint issued by the United States government, for denying workers the right to syndical freedom. The petition alleges the violation of the United Steelworkers and the National Union of Mining, Metallurgical, Steel and Similar Workers of the Republic of Mexico (Los Mineros)’ rights as a holder of the collective bargaining agreement at the San Martín mine and the hiring of workers to replace striking workers in violation of the collective bargaining agreement and Mexican law. The US government investigation revealed evidence of violations of the Los Mineros’ collective bargaining rights that warranted a request for review under the USMCA.
- Newmont Corporation suspended operations at its Peñasquito mine, in Zacatecas, after the workers’ union announced the strike. The reason for this conflict is a fight over a profit-sharing agreement, the miner said in a statement. Newmont added that at the end of May the company paid the workers the equivalent of 10 percent profits, in accordance with the Law. The Union notified the Company of a strike action demanding an increase in the uncapped profit sharing benefit provided for in the Collective Bargain Agreement (CBA) from 10 percent to 20 percent, representing a 100 percent increase. In response to the strike notice, Minera Peñasquito suspended operations in a safe and orderly manner. Essential activities related to safety, security and environmental monitoring and protection continue. This is the third labor dispute since Peñasquito was purchased by Newmont in 2019. Newmont remains willing to participate in conciliation meetings to reach a resolution in accordance with the CBA, and will continue to adhere to legal procedures, respecting the rights of all its employees, inviting the Union to engage in a constructive dialogue, and providing the authorities with all requested information.
- Gold Resource Corporation, GR Silver Mining Ltd., and Heliostar Metals Ltd., reported the best drilling intercepts in Mexico on the third week of June, 2023. Details are shown in the table below:
- Prismo Metals Inc., provided an updated on its exploration programs at Palos Verdes project in Sinaloa and Los Pavitos in Sonora. Highlights at Palos Verdes project in Sinaloa include an ongoing 2,500m drilling program; 5 holes have been completed for a total of 727m; samples from the three first holes have been submitted to the lab for analysis; and a rock chip sample from mapped veins returned an assay of 840 g/t AgEq (700 g/t Ag and1.68 g/t Au) over a sample width of 1m. Highlights at Los Pavitos project in Sonora include 295 meters of trenches constructed and sampled with assay results received for 96.7 meters; an interval of 0.44 g/t Au over 10m in trench ZSC9; high grade silver assays in surface sampling in northeast Santa Cruz area; and a 2,500m drill program to start by the end of June, 2023.
- Vortex Metals Inc., provided a comprehensive overview of the exploration work completed to date at its Zaachila project in Oaxaca. “The company is advancing towards the submission of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) to the Federal Environmental Office, The Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT), therefore fulfilling the Mexican government’s requirements for proposed drill targets. The company believes the EIA will be completed and submitted within the next 3 to 4 months, encompassing a refined definition of the drill targets at Zaachila. Following its successful submission, Vortex will focus on obtaining the drill program approval from the Mexican government”.
- No relevant news.
- Goldgroup Mining Inc., announced proposed settlement of a loan obtained from Accendo Banco S.A., Multiple Banking Institution in 2020. In June 2020, the Company’s subsidiary, Minas de Oroco Resources, S.A. de C.V. completed a definitive loan facility agreement with Accendo in the amount of USD $3M at a rate of 12% per annum with a final repayment date of 36 months from the date of the first disbursement. “The company guaranteed the Accendo Loan on behalf of Minas de Oroco. The amount currently outstanding under the Accendo Loan is approximately USD $185M. The debt underlying the Accendo Loan has been acquired by Minera Cerro Esperanza S.A de C.V. (MER), a wholly owned subsidiary of Calu Opportunity Fund LP (Calu). Calu is a shareholder and investor in the Company having acquired 1,177,500 Common Shares and having loaned the Company USD $2.16M (the Calu Loan). The Company will be seeking shareholder approval for the conversion of the Calu Loan into Common Shares of the Company at the Shareholders Meeting, which approval shall exclude any votes cast by Calu. MER contacted the Company on April 26, 2023 seeking repayment of the Accendo Loan. As the assets of Minas de Oroco are currently the only operating assets of the Company, the seizure of these assets would effectively place the Company into insolvency unless another arrangement was made. Further to discussions with MER, the Company is proposing to enter into a Settlement Agreement and an Exploitation and Option to Purchase Agreement, subject to approval of minority shareholders at the Meeting, pursuant to which the Company will deliver the assets of Minas de Oroco to MER in full satisfaction of the Accendo Loan and the Company is provided the right to operate the assets of Minas de Oroco and to purchase the assets in the future” (Cerro Prieto mine, Sonora).
- Silver Valley Metals Corp., announced financing-early warrant exercise incentive program intended to encourage the early exercise of up to 12,897,114 outstanding warrants of the company. The Eligible Warrants were issued by the Company pursuant to a private placement financing completed on January 3, 2023. The Eligible Warrants are exercisable to acquire one common share of the Company at a price of $0.15 per share, with 9,297,114 Eligible Warrants expiring November 17, 2024 and 3,600,000 Eligible Warrants expiring January 3, 2025 (La Salada Salar, Zacatecas).
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
- Heliostar Metals Ltd., reported results from four holes drilled within and above the High-Grade Panel at the core of its Ana Paula project in Guerrero. “This is the area of the deposit that Heliostar believes has the potential to increase grade significantly. This drill program will evaluate Ana Paula’s ability to host a high-margin, underground gold mine development opportunity”. Hole AP-23-293 encountered 6 g/t Au over 129.2m, including 13.4 g/t Au over 46m; hole AP-23-294 intersected 2.1 g/t Au over 67.2m, including 6.4 g/t Au over 13.95m; hole AP-23-295 encountered 2.6 g/t Au over 41.5m, including 4.9 g/t Au over 5.5m, plus 3.7 g/t Au over 8m; and hole AP-23-296 with 1.9 g/t Au over 26m, including 13.6 g/t Au over 2m.
- Colibri Resource Corporation and its JV partner Tocvan Ventures Corp., announced positive results from its ongoing bulk sample testing at the Pilar project in Sonora. Preliminary results from the leaching process ongoing confirm that the process is actively recovering gold and silver; gold and silver is reported in initial testing of carbon filters; and solution samples assayed at two separate certified labs confirm grade. Regarding the fine fraction samples (to be used for Gravity Recovery and Agitated Leach Test), the new samples range between 1.2 and 4.9 g/t Au, weighted mean of 2.1 g/t Au; the silver values range between 5 and 29 g/t Ag, weighted mean of 14.8 g/t Ag; leach study returned 95-99% recovery of gold, 73-79% recovery of silver; and metallic screen results show 12.4 to 14.1% of the gold is coarse (+140 mesh).
- GR Silver Mining Ltd., announced results of two additional step-out holes drilled at its San Marcial project in Sinaloa. Hole SMS23-03 intersected 111 g/t Ag, 0.01 g/t Au, 0.1% Pb, and 0.1% Zn over 17.3m, including 640 g/t Ag, and 0.03 g/t Au over 1.7m, plus 132 g/t Ag, 0.02 g/t Au, and 0.1% Zn over 6.3m, plus 134 g/t Ag, 0.11 g/t Au, 0.1% Pb, and 0.4% Zn over 35.3m. Hole SMS23-04 encountered 32 g/t Ag, 0.03 g/t Au, 0.1% Pb, and 0.1% Zn over 15m. “The wide silver intervals intersected in holes SMS23-03 and SMS23-04 continue to support the potential for extension of the wide mineralization geometry along strike. The drilling program, with two additional drill holes (for a total of six), aims to extend the footprint of the SE Area Discovery Zone for an additional 450 m along strike to the southeast, outside the Mineral Resource”.
- Heliostar Metals Ltd., issued a press release to clarify certain of its previous disclosure regarding its Ana Paula project in Guerrero. The Company previously disclosed statements which could constitute an economic analysis of its intended re-scoping of the Ana Paula Project. The Company wishes to retract the Disclosure. The Company has not completed an economic analysis on the re-scoping of the Ana Paula Project and the Disclosure is not supported by a technical report in compliance with National Instrument 43-101 – Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects. The Company advises readers not to rely on the Disclosure.
- Prime Mining Corp., filed a technical report for its Los Reyes project in Sinaloa, for the updated mineral resource estimate (MRE) reported on May 2, 2023. The addition of 100,000m of Prime drilling has doubled the current MRE compared to the April 2020 resource. The table below shows the updated open pit 2023 MRE:
The MRE has a high-grade open pit mill resource and a lower grade heap leach portion. The MRE includes drilling completed before December 31, 2022 from only the three main zones at Los Reyes: Guadalupe, Z-T and Central. This MRE does not include positive results from: Mariposa, Las Primas and Fresnillo. With ongoing drilling success, the Company believes there is significant potential to expand the MRE.
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- Colibri Resource Corporation announced that it has been informed by its JV partner Agnico Eagle Mining that the Pitaya Gold project in Sonora has been sold to a third party. In 2019, Colibri signed an agreement with Agnico to sell its 23% interest to Agnico or another buyer for a minimum of USD $500K. In 2020, Colibri was advanced USD $300K from Agnico which was secured by Colibri´s ownership of the JV company. Colibri will receive USD $500K from the sale less the outstanding loan principal and interest owed.
- Silver Dollar Resources Inc., reported that it has terminated the exclusivity period signed with Canasil Resources Inc., due to general market conditions. “The purpose of the Exclusivity Agreement was to give Silver Dollar the opportunity to review Canasil’s assets and consider a corporate merger. Termination of the exclusivity period does not affect the separate Option Agreement between the parties, whereby Silver Dollar can earn a 100% interest in Canasil’s Nora silver-gold property”. Pursuant to the agreements, Canasil now has 60 days to repay the $200K non-interest-bearing loan Silver Dollar provided in return for the exclusivity period and the Nora Option.
- Endeavour Silver Corp., announced the appointment of its new Vice President, Operations, to oversee the Company´s underground mining operations in Mexico (Guanacevi mine, Durango; Bolañitos mine, Guanajuato).
- Santacruz Silver Mining Ltd., reported that it shares will resume trading on Friday June 16, 2023 on the TSX Venture Exchange, following the cease trade order being lifted by the British Columbia Securities Commission and the Ontario Securities Commission on Friday June 9, 2023 (Zimapan mine, Hidalgo).
- Golden Minerals Company appointed its new Executive Vice President Pablo Castaños, who will be joining the company on July 1, 2023 (Rodeo mine, Durango).
- SilverCrest Metals Inc., reported results from its annual general meeting of shareholders. The company also announced that independent consultants are continuing to advance the Updated Technical Report. This work is progressing well, with the results from this study now expected to be released in July 2023 (Las Chispas Mine, Sonora).
- Kootenay Silver Inc., declared that now it owns 100% of Columba property in Chihuahua after completing the final property payment. The final payment of USD $215K was made and paid in cash on May 12, 2023. The company has paid a total of USD $3.29M in staged payments (of which USD $215K was paid in common shares of the Company, commencing November 2018 to earn 100% ownership. The vendor retains a 2% royalty of which 1% can be purchased by the Company for USD $750K.
ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
- SilverCrest Metals Inc., released its inaugural 2022 Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Report. The Company’s principal focus is its Las Chispas Operation located in Sonora, Mexico. “This report reflects Silver Crest’s dedication to creating a strong sustainability framework and provides stakeholders with a comprehensive overview of the Company’s ESG performance and goals”.
Content like what you have just read can be seen at https://gambusinoprospector.com/ and at LinkedIn’s Mexico Mineral Exploration Group.
On the picture above, phyllic alteration (quartz-sericite-pyrite) in an intrusive rock in a prospect in Tamaulipas, Mexico. Photo by Miguel A Heredia.