By Miguel A Heredia During the 30th week of the year (July 24th to July 30th, 2023), at least 15 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico, and 3 news published by the media, with five communicating production and financial results, four commenting on Mexican issues, three reporting resources and development of their properties, two disclosing deals and corporate issues, two informing on exploration results, and , two announcing financing issues, ON MEXICO ISSUES, Minera Autlan’s revenues in Q2, 2023 fell 51% due to the drop in manganese prices. Grupo Mexico obtained an increase of 37% of its net profits in Q2, 2023 due to the rise in copper prices. Several countries have requested a 10-year moratorium or pause on the exploitation of marine mining, as there is little information about the damage it could cause. Prismo, Silver Tiger and Reyna Gold reported the best drilling intercepts in Mexico on the fourth week of July, 2023. ON EXPLORATION, In Sonora, Reyna Gold released results from the first ten holes for a total of 1,328m of planned 5,500m from phase 2 drilling at its La Gloria project. In Sinaloa, Prismo reported results from seven holes drilled at its Palos Verdes project, in the Panuco mining district. ON MINING, Sierra Metals reported Q2, 2023 production and financial results from its Mexican operations. Mag Silver reported Q2, 2023 production results from its Juanicipio Mine in Zacatecas (56% / 44% Fresnillo plc and Mag respectively). Alamos Gold presented Q2 and H1 production and financial results from its Mulatos Mine in Sonora. Gold Resource announced Q2, 2023 production and financial results from its Don David Gold Mine in Oaxaca. Agnico reported Q2, and H1, 2023 production and financial results from their Pinos Altos and La India mines in Chihuahua and Sonora respectively. ON FINANCING, Bear Creek closed its previously announced non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of CAD $8.2M (Mercedes Mine, Sonora). Excellon announced agreement to extend maturity of convertible debentures (La Negra Mine, Queretaro). ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Silver Tiger released drill results from its ongoing program at El Tigre project in Sonora. Torex provided a Q3, 2023 update on its Media Luna project in Guerrero. SilverCrest provided notice of updated technical report (Las Chispas Mine, Sonora). ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Fortuna announced that it will release its unaudited financial statements and Management Discussions & Analysis (MD&A) for the second quarter 2023 on Wednesday, August 9, 2023, after the market closes (San Jose Mine, Oaxaca). Tocvan acquired 100% interest in Pilar expansion area project in Sonora. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, Fortuna Silver published its fifth annual sustainability report (San Jose Mine, Oaxaca).
ON MEXICO ISSUE
- Minera Autlan’s revenues in Q2, 2023 fell due to the drop in manganese prices. During the Q2, 2023 the revenues of the Autlán mining company totaled USD $85.8M, that is, they had a loss of 51.2% in relation to the USD $175.7M obtained during the same period of 2022. In addition, between April and June 2023, its operating flow had a 92.9% drop, losing USD $66.4M. In its ﬁnancial report issued to the Mexican Stock Exchange (BMV), the company explained that said loss was the result of different factors, one of them the drop in the prices of products such as manganese, for the production of manganese ferroalloys, as well as in the inputs for the production of steel. The mining company reported a net loss of USD $20M, which is added to the USD $11.8M lost in the first quarter of this year, thus totaling net losses of USD $31.8M in the first half of the year.
- Grupo Mexico reported a net profit of USD $840M, which represented an increase of 37.5% compared to the USD $611M reported during the same period of the former year. In addition to the profits, the company owned by Germán Larrea had an increase in its operating flow of 14.6% to a value of USD $1,628M, that is, USD $227M more than in the second quarter of the previous year. In addition to the gains in its net profit and in its operating ﬂow, the conglomerate that operates three divisions (Minera México, Grupo México Transportes and Grupo México Infraestructura), indicated that its revenues during Q2, 2023 amounted to USD $3,453M, which represented a growth of 7.8% compared to the USDS $3,203 that it reached in the same period of the previous year. Finally, it explained that, in the second quarter of the year, 79.2% of its income came from copper, 9.9% from molybdenum, 4% from silver, 2.8% from zinc, and the rest from income from gold and other byproducts.
- Several countries including Brazil and Costa Rica, have requested a 10-year moratorium or pause on the exploitation of marine mining, as there is little information about the damage it could cause. The debate in the Assembly allows the 168 Member States of the International Seabed Authority (ISA), not just the 36 Council members, to express their views on this issue and formulate a general policy for the protection of the marine environment. At the Council meeting, governments and delegations from countries such as Norway, Mexico, the United Kingdom, China and Nauru continued to push for the mining code to be adopted as soon as possible. On the seabed, as far as is known, are 96% of the cobalt reserves, 84% of the nickel and 79% of the manganese, which are now crucial for the manufacture of batteries, wind generators and photovoltaic panels.
- Prismo Metals Inc., Silver Tiger Metals Inc., and Reyna Silver Corp., reported the best drilling intercepts in Mexico on the fourth week of July, 2023. Details are shown in the table below:
- Reyna Gold Corp., released results from the first ten holes for a total of 1,328m of planned 5,500m from phase 2 drilling at its La Gloria project in Sonora at La Republicana Zone. Drilling highlights include hole LG-23-39 with 1.09 g/t Au over 21.1m, including 14.20 g/t Au, 49 g/t Ag, and 0.32% Pb over 1m, including 1.67 g/t Au, 20 g/t Ag, and 0.3% Pb over 1m, including 1.20 g/t Au over 1m, including 1.77 g/t Au, 20 g/t Ag, and 0.5% Cu over 0.5m, including 9.14 g/t Au and 79 g/t Ag over 0.5m; hole LG-23-32 with 0.96 g/t Au over 19.90m, including 4 g/t Au and 23 g/t Ag over 1m, including 2.04 g/t Au and 20 g/t Ag over 0.75m, including 12.25 g/t Au, 123 g/t Ag, and 0.3% Pb over 0.90m; and hole LG-23-40 with 0.76 g/t Au over 19.05m, including 3.68 g/t Au over 3.85m, including 1.79 g/t Au and 17 g/t Ag over 0.55m, including 9.28 g/t Au, 96 g/t Ag, 0.5% Pb, and 0.3% Zn over 0.50m, including 19.55 g/t Au, 161 g/t Ag, 1.26% Cu, and 0.1% Zn over 0.35m, including 1.38 g/t Au, 14 g/t Ag, 0.1% Pb, and 0.2% Zn over 0.60m. “Two initial holes into Western Zone targeting a large Induced Polarization anomaly produced long intersections of anomalies of zinc and molybdenum with high levels of sulfides (pyrite, pyrrhotite, and chalcopyrite) and multiple gold intersections correlated with bismuth, adding to the evidence of potential proximity to a mineralized porphyry system”.
- Prismo Metals Inc., reported results from seven holes drilled at its Palos Verdes project, in the Panuco mining district in Sinaloa. Drilling highlights include hole PV-23-25 with 1.36 g/t Au, 384 g/t Ag, 0.11% Cu, 0.1% Pb, and 0.3% Zn (512 g/t AgEq) over 0.3m, plus 38.2 g/t Au, 1,157 g/t Ag, 0.08% Cu, 0.06% Pb, and 0.1% Zn (4,311 g/t AgEq) over 1.35m, including 102 g/t Au, 3,100 g/t Ag, 0.2% Cu, 0.2% Pb, and 0.3% Zn (11,520 g/t AgEq) over 0.5m; hole PV-23-24 with 0.87 g/t Au, 43 g/t Ag, 0.07% Cu, 0.04% Pb, and 1.46% Zn (178 g/t AgEq) over 2m, including 1.84 g/t Au, 95 g/t Ag, 0.05% Cu, 0.05% Pb, and 1.3% Zn (302 g/t AgEq) over 0.84m, plus 3.3 g/t Au, 32 g/t Ag, 0.14% Cu, 0.4% Pb, and 1.6% Zn (384 g/t AgEq) over 1.83m, including 11.90 g/t Au, 60 g/t Ag, 0.2% Cu, 0.7% Pb, and 3.9% Zn (1,234 g/t AgEq) over 0.49m.; and hole PV-23-20 with 1.58 g/t Au, 0.01% Pb, and 0.01% Zn (189 g/t AgEq) over 0.9m, plus 0.21 g/t Au, 53 g/t Ag, and 0.01% Zn (71 g/t AgEq) over 0.20m.
- Sierra Metals Inc., reported Q2, 2023 production and financial results from its Mexican operations. At Bolivar Mine, Chihuahua, the company processed 405,987 tonnes of 0.92% Cu, 20 g/t Ag, and 0.42% Au with metallurgical recoveries of 92.92%, 80.45%, and 66.38% respectively, to produce 7.65M Lb Cu, 207K Oz Ag, and 3,678 Oz Au (10.72M Lb CuEq). At Cusi Mine, Chihuahua, Sierra Metals processed 51,750 tonnes of 160 g/t Ag, 0.14 g/t Au, and 0.33% Pb with ,metallurgical recoveries of 81.67%, 58.06%, and 86.54% to produce 217K Oz Ag, 131 Oz Au, and 326K Lb Pb (241K Oz AgEq). In both cases, CuEq and AgEq were calculated at realized prices of USD $3.99/Lb Cu, USD $24.17/Oz Ag, USD $1,977/Oz Au, and USD $0.96/Lb Pb.
- Mag Silver Corp., reported Q2, 2023 production results from its Juanicipio Mine in Zacatecas (56% / 44% Fresnillo plc and Mag respectively). The project operator (Fresnillo plc) processed 377,018 tonnes with an average grade of 498 g/t Ag to produce 5.27M Oz Ag, 10.6K Oz Au, 7.62M Lb Pb, and 12.14M Lb Zn.
- Alamos Gold Inc., presented Q2 and H1 production and financial results from its Mulatos Mine in Sonora. During the period Q2, 2023, the company produced 60.3K Oz Au and sold 60.2K Oz Au for a cost of sales of USD $70.9M. The company reported a cost of sales for Oz Au of USD $1,178 per Oz Au sold, a total cash cost and AISC of USD $847 and USD $894 respectively per Oz Au sold, and a capital expenditures (sustaining, growth and capitalized expenditures) of USD $6.5M. For the period H1, 2023, Alamos has produced 110.8K Oz Au and sold 113.5K Oz Au for a cost of sales of USD $133.3M. The company reported a cost of sales for Oz Au of USD $1,175 per Oz Au sold, a total cash cost and AISC of USD $843 and USD $903 respectively per Oz Au sold, and a capital expenditures (sustaining, growth and capitalized expenditures) of USD $9.2M. The company also provided its 2023 outlook. It plans to produce 175K-185K Oz Au at a total cash and AISC of USD $900-950 and USD $950-1,000 respectively per Oz Au sold; and capital expenditures (sustaining, growth and capitalized expenditures) of USD $19-24M.
- Gold Resource Corporation announced Q2, 2023 production and financial results from its Don David Gold Mine in Oaxaca. The company milled 113,510 tonnes of 1.59 g/t Au, 86 g/t Ag, 0.37% Cu, 1.6% Pb, and 3.7% Zn to produce 4,637 Oz Au, 289.8K Oz Ag, 748.2K Lb Cu, 3.1M Lb Pb, and 8M Lb Zn and sold 4,287 Oz Au, 274.2K Oz Ag, 732.5K Lb Cu, 2.95M Lb Pb, and 7.03M Lb Zn at realized prices of USD $2,010 per Oz Au, USD $24.03 per Oz Ag, USD $8,397 per tonne of Cu, USD $2,153 per tonne of Pb, and USD $2,485 per tonne of Zn. Total cash cost and AISC were USD $1,333 and USD $1,900 per Oz Au sold respectively. Year to date highlight include a total of 10.8K Oz Au sold and 569K Oz Ag sold, with a working capital of USD $20.8M at June 30, 2023.
- Agnico Eagle Mines Limited reported Q2, and H1, 2023 production and financial results from their Pinos Altos and La India mines in Chihuahua and Sonora respectively. At Pinos Altos, Chihuahua, Agnico milled 401K tonnes in Q2, 2023 with an average grade of 1.82 g/t Au to produce 22,159 Oz Au at a production cost of USD $87 per tonne, a production cost per Oz Au produced of USD $1,566, and a total cash cost of USDS $1,282 per Oz Au produced. Year to date, Agnico has produced 765K tonnes with an average grade of 1.97 g/t Au to produce 46,293 Oz Au at a production cost of USD $88 per tonne, a production cost per Oz Au produced of USD $1,461, and a total cash cost of USDS $1,196 per Oz Au produced. At La India, Sonora, the company milled 880K tonnes in Q2, 2023 with an average grade of 0.74 g/t Au to produce 17,833 Oz Au at a production cost of USD $27 per tonne, a production cost per Oz Au produced of USD $1,326 and a total cash cost of USDS $1,385 per Oz Au produced. Year to date, Agnico has produced 1.54M tonnes with an average grade of 0.72 g/t Au to produce 34,154 Oz Au at a production cost of USD $28 per tonne, a production cost per Oz Au produced of USD $1,281, and a total cash cost of USDS $1,348 per Oz Au produced. Open pit mining and crusher operations are expected to be concluded in the Q4, 2023.
- Bear Creek Mining Corporation closed its previously announced non-brokered private placement. A total of 16.725M of shares were sold at a price of CAD $0.49 per common share for gross proceeds of CAD $8.2M. Net proceeds will be used for exploration and production improvements at its Mercedes Mine in Sonora, and for general corporate purposes.
- Excellon Resources Inc., announced agreement to extend maturity of convertible. The company entered into a binding agreement with holders of greater than 662/3% of its outstanding 5.75% secured convertible debentures in the aggregate principal amount of CAD $17.91M to extend the maturity date of the Convertible Debentures by 367 days from July 30, 2023 to July 31, 2024 (La Negra Mine, Querétaro).
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
- Silver Tiger Metals Inc., released drill results from its ongoing program at El Tigre project in Sonora. Hole ET-23-463 intersected 0.95 g/t Au, 2 g/t Ag, 0.01% Pb, and 0.01% Zn (73 g/t AgEq) over 36m on the Open Pit Gold Zone, including 2.79 g/t Au, 2 g/t Ag, 0.01% Pb, and 0.01% Zn (212 g/t AgEq) over 6.4m, including 7.18 g/t Au, 5 g/t Ag, 0.01% Pb, and 0.01% Zn (544 g/t AgEq) over 1.5m, plus 0.13 g/t Au, 610 g/t Ag, 0.61% Cu, 0.4% Pb, and 0.7% Zn (711 g/t AgEq) over 9.9m on the Sulphide Zone, including 0.18 g/t, 827 g/t Ag, 0.83% Cu, 0.6% Pb, and 0.9% Zn (963 g/t AgEq) over 6.2m, including 0.19 g/t Au, 1,431 g/t Ag, 2.08% Cu, 0.5% Pb, and 1.7% Zn (1,713 g/t AgEq) over 0.7m, including 0.14 g/t Au, 1,089 g/t Ag, 1.01% Cu, 1.0% Pb, and 1.5% Zn (1,269 g/t AgEq) over 2.7m, including 0.14 g/t Au, 1,166 g/t Ag, 1.04% Cu, 0.8% Pb, and 0.5% Zn (1,3131 g/t AgEq) over 2m, plus 0.17 g/t Au, 213 g/T Ag, 0.24% Cu, 1.7% Pb, and 1.4% Zn (335 g/t AgEq) over 4m on Elk Tigre Vein Zone, including 0.18 g/t Au, 243 g/t Ag, 0.27% Cu, 2 % Pb, and 1.6% Zn (385 g/t AgEq) over 3.2m; and hole ET-23-464 with 0.04 g/t Au, 63 g/t Ag, 0.08% Cu, 0.2% Pb, and 0.03% Zn (80 g/t AgEq) over 3m on the HW Gold Zone, including 0.04 g/t Au, 167 g/t Ag, 0.18% Cu, 0.6% Pb, and 0.06% Zn (204 g/t AgEq) over 0.7m, plus 0.07 g/t Au, 31 g/t Ag, 0.13% Cu, 0.5% Pb, and 0.4% Zn (72 g/t AgEq) over 12m, including 0.08 g/t Au, g9 g/t Ag, 0.09% Cu, 0.7% Pb, and 1.2% Zn (140 g/t AgEq) over 3m, plus 0.33 g/t Au, 43 g/t Ag, 0.03% Cu, 1.7% Pb, and 11.6% Zn (496 g/t AgEq) over 6.7m on the Sulphide Zone, including 0.21 g/t Au, 39 g/t Ag, 0.04% Cu, 2.6% Pb, and 24.6% Zn (936 g/t AgEq) over 0.7m, plus 0.26 g/t Au, 14 g/t Ag, 0.02% Cu, 0.7% Pb, and 0.7% Zn (64 g/t AgEq) over 3.1m. The company plans further drilling to the north and south of the Sulphide Zone to expand this area of known mineralization.
- Torex Gold Resources Inc., provided a Q3, 2023 update on its Media Luna project in Guerrero. The company reported that development activities continue to advance with the project remaining in budget and on schedule, with 35% complete across engineering, procurement, underground development, and surface construction. With USD $143.6M of expenditures incurred through H1 and the quarterly spend rate expected to increase further, full year guided expenditures are trending towards the lower end of the guided range of $390M to $440M. As of June 30th, 45% of upfront project expenditures had been committed or incurred. The Guajes Tunnel has advanced 4,500 metres with breakthrough on track for early Q1 2024, if not earlier. At South Portal Lower, the main spiral ramp was completed post-quarter end and the primary tunnel has advanced 2,075 metres. Civil works on both sides of the Balsas River continued during the quarter, and concrete installation will commence as the site-wide concrete contractor is selected. “With development activities tracking to plan, robust financial liquidity, and strong ongoing cash flow from El Limón Guajes, we are well positioned physically and financially to deliver Media Luna on time and on budget, with first concentrate production in Q4 2024 and commercial production in early 2025.”
- SilverCrest Metals Inc., provided notice of updated technical report (Las Chispas Mine, Sonora). The company announced that it will release results from its updated Technical Report on Monday, July 31, 2023 after market close.
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- Fortuna Silver Mines Inc., announced that it will release its unaudited financial statements and Management Discussions & Analysis (MD&A) for the second quarter 2023 on Wednesday, August 9, 2023, after the market closes (San Jose Mine, Oaxaca).
- Tocvan Ventures Corp., entered into a binding letter of intent with a private title owner for the 100% acquisition of 2,172.7 ha immediately adjacent and north of its Pilar Gold-Silver Project Sonora, Mexico. Prior to closing a definitive agreement, the acquisition is subject to a 60-day due diligence period effective July 25, 2023. Terms of the agreement include a cash payment of USD $4M and USD $2.5M in common shares which should be issued over the 5-year term of the agreement. A total minimum work commitment of USD $1 million USD is considered over the agreement. The title owner will retain a 2% NSR on the properties acquired. After the initial 5-year term the company can elect to extend the agreement an additional 10 years by starting advanced royalty payments or purchase full title ownership through an additional cash payment of USD $500K. On Closing of a Definitive Agreement, an initial payment of USD $250K will be made.
ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
- Fortuna Silver Mines Inc., published its fifth annual sustainability report, which details the Company´s performance on key environmental, social, and governance (ESG) indicators during 2022. Highlights include that 75% of the directors are independent, 37.5% of the directors are female; there are 5,233 full-time workers, including 2,174 direct employees, from which 16.84% of all employees are female and19.15% of management positions are female; USD $5.64M were spent on community-related investments; 41.85% of employees come from local communities, and 7.71% of suppliers sourced from local communities; 50% of the operating mines are compliant with ISO 14001; 63% of water used is recycled: and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensity of 17.94 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2eq) emitted per thousand tonnes of processed ore. (San Jose Mine, Oaxaca).
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, a diatreme breccia in a project in Durango, Mexico. Photo by Miguel A Heredia.
Many companies had good silver intercepts from drilling properties in Mexico during the second quarter of 2023. Three of these enterprises had results in the tens of thousands gpt*m, representing intercepts tens of meters long in the hundreds of ppm silver. GoGold Resources results from Los Ricos South in Jalisco are specially impressive, with its 50.0 m @ 780 gpt Ag and 31.0 m @ 1,064 gpt Ag representing over 30 thousand gpt*m.
Pan American’s intercepts from La Colorada Skarn in Zacatecas are also really good, even more as these are part of a polymetallic system that is growing into a world-class deposit. At El Tigre, in Sonora, Silver Tiger’s high grade silver results are not from the famous veins of the district, but from a sulfide rich zone in the contact between the granitic basement and the overlying volcanic package, near the structures.
Overall, structurally controlled intermediate sulfidation systems (Los Ricos South, El Tigre, Panuco, San Marcial, Zacatecas District, Avino, Santo Domingo Hostotipaquillo, San Ignacio, Don David and Los Reyes) dominate the picture on silver rich drilling intercepts, with less of a handful of skarn (La Colorada Skarn), porphyry copper (Alacrán, La Adelita) and complex systems (Cordero.- Skarn, replacement, intermediate sulfidation epithermal).