By Jorge Cirett
During the 45th week of the year (November 6th to November 12th, 2023), companies working in Mexico posted 29 news releases. Two companies reported exploration advances on their properties and twelve companies released Q3 2023 reports. Two companies informed on financing rounds, one on the granting of share options and one more on its share consolidation process. One company amended the terms on a property acquisition, one is reviewing its strategic options forward, one more is waiting for mining permits and two announced director’s appointments. ON MEXICO ISSUES, Ganfeng Lithium Company is trying to negotiate with the Mexican government the recent cancellation of its mining concessions in Sonora. ON EXPLORATION, In Chihuahua, Mammoth Resources presented metallurgical results from Tenoriba. In Zacatecas, Radius Gold presented drilling results from Tropico. ON MINING, Capstone Copper, Endeavour Silver, Gold Resource, Pan American Silver, Aura Minerals, Gatos Silver, Fortuna Silver, SilverCrest Metals, Coeur Mining, Avino Silver, Golden Minerals and MAG Silver presented Q3 2023 production results. ON FINANCING, Tocvan Ventures is to close a CAD$500 K financing round. Golden Minerals closed a US$4.2 M public offering. Minaurum Gold granted stock options to directors, officers and consultants. Kootenay Silver announced the consolidation of its shares. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Heliostar Metals reported drilling results from its Ana Paula project in Guerrero. Prime Mining reported on drilling at its Los Reyes project in Sinaloa. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Pantera Silver amended the terms on the acquisition of the Nuevo Taxco project in Guerrero. Bear Creek Mining announced the appointment of directors of the company. Gold Resource is reviewing its strategic alternatives, including the potential sale of the company. Minaurum Gold announced the appointment of Rubén Padilla to the board of directors. Osisko Development is waiting for mining permits at San Antonio, in Sonora. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, Argonaut Gold, SilverCrest Metals and Avino Silver presented information on their impact on communities.
ON MEXICO ISSUES
- Ganfeng Lithium Company is trying to negotiate with the Mexican government the recent cancellation of its mining concessions in Sonora.
- Radius Gold Inc. provided an update of drilling at its Tropico project in Zacatecas. The company completed an initial 1,300 m diamond drill program in eight holes, with assays received for the first seven holes. Drilling is planned to resume upon the receipt of remaining assays. Highlighted core length results comprise 29.18 m @ 0.34 gpt Au, 4 gpt Ag; 30.10 m @ 0.35 gpt Au, 3 gpt Ag; 44.20 m @ 0.28 gpt Au, 2 gpt Ag; 28.52 m @ 0.28 gpt Au, 3 gpt Ag; 36.25 m @ 0.55 gpt Au, 9 gpt Ag (including 7.52 m @ 1.40 gpt Au, 29 gpt Ag); 12.30 m @ 0.44 gpt Au, 3 gpt Ag. “The expected hydrothermal breccia pipe was not found vertically below the sinter as predicted by the geophysics, instead is rather un-expectedly dipping at 45o east and has now been defined under soil cover 200m to the east of the outcropping target”.
- Mammoth Resources Corp. announced results from bottle roll tests performed on three composite samples of assay reject sample material of drill holes from the Carneritos area of its Tenoriba property in Chihuahua. Results from oxide material reached 92% and 88% dissolution Au and 55% Ag in 12 hours and 94% and 91% Au, 59% Ag after 96 hours. Results for the oxidized-sulfide transition material reached 72% Au, 61% Ag in 12 hours and 75% Au, 64% Ag in 96 hours. “Based on the success from these initial bottle roll tests, Mammoth has commenced testing a coarser fraction of the oxidized and mixed oxidized-sulfide zone material and preliminary tests of a sulfide sample and looks forward to reporting on these results in the near future”.
- Capstone Copper Corp. reported financial results for Q3 2023, including figures from its Mexican operations. Of a consolidated production of 40.3 K tonnes Cu during the quarter, 5.9 K tonnes were produced at Cozamin, in Zacatecas, at $1.85 cash cost per Lb Cu. “Q3 2023 infill drilling at the Mala Noche Main Vein West Target was on hold while the development of the lower elevation mine cross-cut was completed. Infill drilling will recommence in early Q4 2023 to support an updated mineral resource estimate in 2024”.
- Endeavour Silver Corp. announced financial and operating results for Q3 2023. Consolidated production at the Bolañitos (Guanajuato) and Guanaceví (Durango) mines during the quarter of 1.46 M Oz Ag, 9,089 Oz Au (1.87 M Oz AgEq) at cash cost $17.94 per Oz Ag and ASIC of $24.10 per Oz Ag. “Cost metrics were significantly impacted by lower production at the Guanaceví mine and increased operating development resulting from mine sequencing changes required to focus on improved access and ventilation as well as plant maintenance required during the last week of September”. Cash position of $41 M and working capital of $75.9 M by the end of the period. During the quarter $23.4 M were raised, primarily to fund the Terronera mine construction.
- Gold Resource Corp. presented operational results for the year to date from its Don David mine in Oaxaca. A total of 14,777 Oz Au, 778 K Oz Ag, 8,772 tonnes Zn, 904 tonnes Cu, 3,681 tonnes Pb were produced on the year to date at total cash cost after co-product credits of $1,389 per Oz AuEq on the last quarter. At the quarters end the company had a cash balance of $6.7 M with no debt and working capital of $13.8 M.
- Pan American Silver Corp. reported results for the third quarter 2023, without disclosing production figures by project. The company produced 5.7 M Oz Ag, 244.2 K Oz Au, with a silver segment cash cost of $13.13 and an AISC of $18.19, to end the period with $832.1 M, inclusive of cash and investments of $386 M, a $750 M revolving line of credit and $809 M of total debt primarily related to the acquisition of Yamana. At La Colorada, in Zacatecas, “the Company invested $14.0 million of project capital in Q3 2023 to advance the La Colorada Skarn project, largely for exploration and the preliminary economic study underway, as well as advancing the excavation of the concrete-lined ventilation shaft”. The preliminary economic study for the project is to be released by year-end 2023.
- Aura Minerals Inc. filed consolidated financial statements for the period ended on September 30th 2023. Consolidated production from all its mines reached 64,875 Oz AuEq, of which 27,933 Oz AuEq were produced at Aranzazu, in Zacatecas. The AISC of consolidated production was $1,437 per Oz Au. Aura Minerals ended the quarter with a cash balance of $179 M and a net debt of $112.1 M.
- Gatos Silver Inc. announced third quarter 2023 financial and operating results. The company has a 70% interest in the Cerro Los Gatos mine in Chihuahua, which processed 268.3 K tonnes at a rate of 2,916 tpd, averaging 0.30 gpt Au, 285 gpt Ag, 1.84% Pb, 3.82% Zn, to produce 1.28 K Oz Au, 2.22 M Oz Ag, 9.5 M Lb Pb, 13.8 M Lb Zn, or 3.46 M Oz AgEq at co-product cash cost of $14.42 and a co-product AISC of $17.64 per Oz AgEq. As of October 31, 2023, the company had $57.7 M in cash, no debt and a $50 M revolving credit facility available.
- Fortuna Silver Mines Inc. reported financial and operating results for the third quarter 2023. The company consolidated production from its operations in several countries was 94,821 Oz Au, 1.68 M Oz Ag. At the San Jose mine in Oaxaca, 247.5 K tonnes were processed at a rate of 2,845 tpd, grading 189 gpt Ag, 1.14 gpt Au, recovering 91% Ag, 91% Au, to produce 1.37 M Oz Ag, 8,205 Oz Au, at a cash cost of $13.84 per Oz AgEq and an AISC of $18.04 per Oz AgEq. Infill drilling led to the discovery of the Yessi vein, a blind structure 200 m horizontally from existing underground infrastructure, with highlighted true width intercepts of 9.9 m @ 1,299 gpt AgEq and 5 m @ 621 gpt AgEq.
- SilverCrest Metals Inc. released its financial results for the third quarter of 2023 and expanded on October 2023 operational results from Las Chispas mine, in Sonora. During the period the company mined 83,800 tonnes, processing 114,500 tonnes at a daily rate of 1,245 tpd, averaging 4.35 gpt Au, 413 gpt Ag, recovering 98.3% Au, 98.1% Ag to produce 15,700 Oz Au, 1.49 M Oz Ag at cash cost $6.53 per Oz AgEq and an AISC of $12.23 per Oz AgEq. During the quarter 14,183 m of exploration drilling was completed, 83% in resource conversion and the rest in new vein targets, at a cost of $2.8 M. By the end of the Period SilverCrest held 70.0 M in cash and 11.7 M in bullion.
- Coeur Mining Inc. reported third quarter 2023 financial results including figures from its operations in Mexico. At Palmarejo, in Chihuahua, 501.7 K tonnes were milled, averaging 1.71 gpt Au, 114.1 gpt Ag, recovering 97.6% Au, 86.9% Ag to produce 26,870 Oz Au, 1.60 M Oz Ag at CAS of $917 per Oz Au and CAS of $15.56 per Oz Ag. “The focus of exploration has transitioned from primarily mapping and sampling to more intensive drilling from four rigs during the quarter compared to one rig in the previous quarter…. focused on finding the intersection of structures where there is potential for a higher-grade shoot”. During the period Palmarejo apported 34% of the gold and 69% of the silver produced by Coeur, at the lowest costs per ounce. Full-year production is expected be 100 to 112.5 K Oz Au, 6.5 to 7.5 M Oz Ag at Palmarejo. Coeur ended the quarter with $53 M in cash and $220 M available capacity under its $390 M revolving credit facility and $7 M of marketable securities.
- Avino Silver & Gold Mines Ltd. released consolidated financial results for the third quarter 2023. At the Avino mine in Durango, 154.5 K tonnes were milled to produce 237 K Oz Ag, 2,077 Oz Au, 1.14 M Lb Cu, or 591.2 K Oz AgEq at cash cost $16.90 per Oz AgEq. Recent deep drilling indicates that “The vein system continues to be open along strike and at depth”. At the end of the period Avino had $1.85 M in cash and $7.44 M in working capital.
- Golden Minerals Co. released financial results and business summary for the quarter ending on September 30, 2023. The company is working on “permitting, equipment readiness, arrangements with union staff, contract miners, plant operators and support personnel. The Velardeña mines last operated in November 2015”. Also during the period a PEA report for the Velardeña properties in Durango was filed. Mining activities were concluded at Rodeo, in Durango in June 2023, and continued processing stockpiled material until August, with the pouring of the last doré in September. At the end of the period Golden Minerals held $1.6 M in cash and no debt.
- MAG Silver Corp. announced unaudited financial results for Q3 2023. At Juanicipio (Fresnillo PLC 56% / MAG Silver 44%) in Zacatecas, 313.1 K tonnes were mined, 322.2 K tonnes processed @ 523 gpt Ag, 1.32 gpt Au, 1.33% Pb, 2.25% Zn, to produce 4.29 M Oz Ag, 7.76 K Oz Au, 7.69 M Lb Pb, 9.59 M Lb Zn at cash cost $4.68 per Oz Ag and an AISC of $9.19 per Oz Ag. The Juanicipio processing facility has achieved nameplate capacity, with Ag recovery above 88%. By the end of the period MAG held working capital of $55.1 M, including cash of $58.5 M and no long-term debt.
- Tocvan Ventures Corp. announced the incoming closing a non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of up to CAD$500 K (Pilar, Sonora).
- Golden Minerals Co. announced and closed during the week a public offering, raising US$4.2 M (Velardeña, Durango).
- Minaurum Gold Inc. granted 1.75 M common share stock options to directors, officers and consultants (Alamos Silver, Sonora).
- Kootenay Silver Inc. announced that the 10 to 1 consolidation of the outstanding common shares of the company will be made effective on November 14, 2023 (Columba, Chihuahua).
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
- Heliostar Metals Ltd. reported results from two diamond drill holes at the Parallel Panel target at the Ana Paula project in Guerrero. This target is 50 m north of the High Grade Panel, and was identified over the last few months. Highlighted core length intervals comprise 14.75 m @ 5.06 gpt Au (including 5.3 m @ 11.7 gpt Au); 18.1 m @ 2.3 gpt Au; 147.05 m @ 4.13 gpt Au (including 16 m @ 11.2 gpt Au and 7.0 m @ 14.5 gpt Au and 8.6 m @ 8.70 gpt Au). “The new holes demonstrate good continuity of width and grade within the Parallel Panel”.
- Prime Mining Corp. reported expansion drilling results from Los Reyes project in Sinaloa. Highlighted true width intervals comprise 20.10 m @ 2.11 gpt Au, 29 gpt Ag (including 6.30 m @ 5.74 gpt Au, 43 gpt Ag); 5.50 m @ 1.06 gpt Au, 73 gpt Ag (including 1.80 m @ 2.57 gpt Au, 79 gpt Ag); 4.45 m @ 1.04 gpt Au, 8 gpt Ag (including 1.00 m @ 3.26 gpt Au, 20 gpt Ag). “Today’s results, along with previously released holes in this area, have extended mineralization approximately 250m down-dip from the May 2023 resource pits”. There are now six rigs operating at Los Reyes, extending the high-grade Z-T area shoots at depth and along strike, expanding the two other resource areas and exploring new generative targets. “Prime has completed over 48,000 m of its planned 60,000 m 2023 drill program”.
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- Pantera Silver Corp. amended the terms of the Nuevo Taxco option agreement to acquire the 1,100-ha project in Guerrero. Under the new terms Pantera is to issue 1.5 M shares in lieu of making a final cash $150 K payment. A final 2 M shares payment will be due on October 30th, 2024 and under the amended terms the vendor has the option to accept the 2 M shares or $150 K cash plus 500 K shares. The final $800 K work commitment has been extended to be competed before the end of 2025.
- Bear Creek Mining Corp. announced the appointment of Ms. Sandra Daycock Ms. Susan Toews as directors of the company, and Mr. Brian Peer to the position of Chief Operating Officer (Mercedes, Sonora).
- Gold Resource Corp. presented a review of strategic alternatives. “Notwithstanding the technical successes …… in light of the continued challenges facing the Company, the Company’s Board of Directors has decided to initiate a formal review process, with the assistance of outside financial and legal advisors, to evaluate strategic alternatives for the Company. The comprehensive process will begin immediately and will evaluate a broad range of options to maximize shareholder value, including a potential sale of the Company”.
- Minaurum Gold Inc. announced the appointment of Dr. Ruben Padilla, PhD to the board of directors (Alamos Silver, Sonora).
- Osisko Development Corp. presented its third quarter 2023 report, with a few lines on the San Antonio project in Sonora. The company produced 13,591 Oz Au from the San Antonio heap leach since commencing processing of stockpiled inventory in Q1 2022. During Q3 production from the remaining stockpile inventory was completed, with no further production envisaged. “The Company awaits next steps from the government of Mexico with respect to the permitting process”.
ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
- Argonaut Gold Inc. released its 2022 Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Report and ESG strategy. For the first time released detailed energy and climate, water management, and biodiversity, with a water recycling rate of 91% on all its mines. Company-wide the Lost Time Injury Rate was lowered from 0.32 in 2021 to 0.07 in 2022. Zero operational disruptions due to labor or community issues.
- Silver Crest Metals Inc. signed “a collaboration agreement with Comisión Estatal del Agua (CEA) and the municipality of Arizpe to work on agriculture infrastructure, sewage system and water concessions for agricultural use for the local communities”.
- Avino Silver & Gold Mines Ltd. currently holds “448 direct jobs at the mine, which has increased substantially since the restart of operations in 2021, which typically translates to 3 times the number of indirect jobs for services, consultants and suppliers in the surrounding communities and the Durango area”.
On the image below: Geologist Julio Carcamo in a Sonoran Desert project. Picture by Jorge Cirett.