The Mining and Exploration News in Mexico: Highlights on the Third Week of May, 2020.

Phyllic alteration

By Miguel A Heredia

During the twenty one week of the year (May 18th to May 24th, 2020), at least 36 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico, with twelve commenting on Mexican issues, six disclosing deals and corporate issues, five discussing on social issues, four informing on exploration results, three communicating production and financial results, three announcing financing rounds, and three reporting on resources and developments.  ON MEXICO ISSUES, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the Mexican mining sector decreased last year according to government data.  Mexico deemed mining an essential activity, allowing companies to resume production activities. The Undersecretary of Mining, Francisco Quiroga, agreed with the Union Labour leaders on the strategy to guarantee a safe return to the mining operations in the country.  A protocol for reopening companies was defined and only the Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS) can approve it or rejected it. Mining companies with operations in Chihuahua signed a letter of commitment before the State Government and the Government of Mexico, to follow the instructions on health and safety at work during the phase of resumption of operations in the so-called “new normality”. Excellon Resources and the FRENTE Metallurgical Mining Union reached some agreements to continue operating the La Platosa mine in Durango. Industrias Peñoles announced the shutdown of its Francisco I Madero Zinc mine in Zacatecas due to difficult mining conditions and low metal prices. ON EXPLORATION, In Sonora, Tocvan and its partner Colibri announced exciting new targets on its Pilar project. In Chihuahua, Kootenay released drill results from the first six of ten holes completed to date at its Columba project. In Sinaloa, Vizsla restarted its exploration and drilling program at its Panuco project.  ON MINING, Mag Silver reported Q1, 2020 financial results (Juanicipio project, Zacatecas). Mexus reported additional gold sales from production at its Santa Elena mine in Sonora. McEwen reported full year 2019 production results from its El Gallo mine in Sinaloa. ON FINANCING, Magna Gold announced a non-brokered private placement to raise gross proceeds of up to $7M (Mercedes project, Son).  Discovery Metals announced that it intends to complete a non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of up to CAD $25M (Cordero project, Chihuahua).  Mithril announced that its rights issue for capital raising has closed with strong support for both shareholder entitlements and additional shortfall shares (Copalquin project, Durango).      ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Endeavour reported drill results from fourteen holes collared at its Bolaños mine in Guanajuato, eight of which intersected high-grade mineralization in the Melladito Vein. Mag Silver provided an update on its Juanicipio project in Zacatecas. VanGold announced plans to conduct a 1,000 tonnes bulk sample from its Pinguino project in Guanajuato. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Alamos Gold reported results of its annual general meeting of shareholders (Mulatos mine, Sonora). Argonaut shareholders and Alio securityholders approved merger to create North American diversified Intermediate gold producer (El Castillo mine, Durango). Equinox announced results of its annual general meeting of shareholders (Los Filos mine, Guerrero). Defiance extended its option agreement on its San Acacio project in Zacatecas to 2023. Silver Tiger (former Oceanus Resources) commenced trading under the symbol “SLVR” (El Tigre project, Sonora). Sierra Metals appointed its new CEO (Bolivar mine, Chihuahua). ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, The Grupo Mexico Foundation donated 5,000 molecular tests for COVID-19, and will be distributing 450,000 protection kits in Mexico City as well as in the states of Mexico, Jalisco and Nuevo Leon. Minera Gorrión, subsidiary of Almaden Minerals and in charge of developing the Ixtaca mine project, in the north of Puebla, donated 1,000 disinfecting gels and 2,000 masks to the Ixtacamaxtitlán Community Hospital, in charge of leading efforts against the epidemic in the region. Minera Media Luna (Torex Gold), will donate MXP $2M to launch a hospital in Iguala, Guerrero, which will exclusively treat patients with COVID-19. Consorcio Minero Peña Colorada S.A. de C.V. , donated MXP $500K to the Integral Development of the Family (DIF)  of Colima State to allocate it to the Emergent Food Attention Program implemented by the government.

ON MEXICO ISSUES

  • Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the Mexican mining sector, decreased last year, according to government data. Net FDI in 2019 was USD $592M, down from almost USD $ 650M in 2018, according to data published by the economy ministry. The 2019 figure is the lowest compared to previous years. Spending peaked at USD $ 5.44B in 2013. The industry leaders see a general decline in investment in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mining companies intend to restart operations in June 1, 2020, as part of a gradual reopening of the economy under which the sector has acquired essential status.
  • Mexico, deemed mining an essential activity, allowing companies to resume production activities, six weeks after asking all non-essential business to temporarily close in response to the COVId-19 pandemic. Argonaut, Azure, Compañía Real del Monte, Premier, Newmont, Alamos Gold, Great panther, among others, are some of the mining companies which will be starting activities at its mine operations.
  • The Undersecretary of Mining, Francisco Quiroga, agreed with the Union Labour leaders on the strategy to guarantee a safe return to the mining operations in the country, once the reactivation of this sector was allowed. The mining sector generates 370K direct jobs and 2.3M of indirect jobs throughout the country, which generates benefits for workers and employees. Mining represents an essential sector because it supplies raw materials to practically all industries. On the other hand, Francisco Quiroga has been very active working with mining companies to define, along with the Secretary of Health, Jorge Alcocer Varela, the protocols for a safe reopening in 249 mining municipalities.
  • A protocol for reopening companies was defined by the authorities. Companies must have the authorization of the Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS) to restart activities, after remain closed due to the CIVID-19. According to the Technical Guidelines for Health Safety in the Workplace, published this Monday by the Ministry of the Economy (SE), the IMSS will have 72 hours to approve or reject the request.
  • Mining companies with operations in Chihuahua, signed a letter of commitment before the State Government (Governor Javier Corral) and the Government of Mexico (Undersecretary of Mining Francisco Quiroga), to follow the instructions on health and safety at work during the phase of resumption of operations in the so-called “new normality”. Francisco Quiroga added that to close the circle of prevention, the mining industry will be trained in the management of the different equipment that will be put into operation to comply with the protocols set by the State Health Council.
  • Excellon Resources Inc., and the FRENTE Metallurgical Mining Union, reached some agreements to continue operating the La Platosa mine in the Bermejillo community, located in the Mapimí municipality, Durango. It highlights a cut of around 20% in personnel and a technical strike for the next 60 days as the company develops the restructuring process. The official assured that the liquidations of the personnel who will be dismissed will be 100% and in accordance with the provisions of the law, in addition to reaching an agreement with the union so that, while the technical strike is carried out, only 50% of their salary will be paid to the rest of the workers who, due to the pandemic caused by the COVID-19, are in domiciliary protection.
  • Industrias Peñoles S.A.B. de C.V., announced the shutdown of its Francisco I Madero Zinc mine in Zacatecas, due to difficult mining conditions and low metal prices. It stated that it has begun laying off unionized workers in the mine unit and also trying to reassign to others workers and contractors to other mine units. The Francisco I Madero mine started operations in 2001. Peñoles processed in 2019, over 2.3M tonnes to produce 93M Lb Zn and 19.9M Lb Pb.

ON EXPLORATION

  • Tocvan Ventures Corp, and its partner Colibri Resources Corporation, announced new exciting targets generated by an IP survey on its Pilar project in Sonora. “According to the survey data, the Main Zone and the North Hill Zone may be connected and, if confirmed, would be renamed as a mineralization trend. Results also indicate the potential of the northeast-southwest structures connecting the 4-Trench Zone to the Main Zone, Tocvan said”. Geophysical results will be combined with additional surveys to better define drill targets for a phase 2 drilling campaign.
  • Kootenay Silver Inc., released drill results from six of ten holes completed to date at its Columba project in Chihuahua, as part of its 2020 drilling program. Significant drill intersections were encountered in hole CDH-20-045 with 239 g/t Ag, 0.08% Pb, and 0.4% Zn over 4.3m, including 350 g/t Ag, 0.1% Pb, and 0.5% Zn over 2.5m, and including 456 g/t Ag, 0.2% Pb and 0.6% Zn over 1.5m in the F Vein, and 208 g/t Ag, 0.1% Pb, and 0.2% Zn over 3m, including 974 g/t Ag, 0.03% Pb, and 0.3% Zn over 0.5m in a footwall vein; hole CDH-20-046 with 264 g/t Ag, 0.06% Pb, and 0.1%Zn over 6.8m, including 553 g/t Ag, 0.1% Pb, and 0.2% Zn over 2.9m, including 911 g/t Ag, 0.2% Pb, and 0.2% Zn over 1.4m, including 1,585 g/t Ag, 0.3% Pb, and 0.3% Zn over 0.6m, and 689 g/t Ag, 0.2% Pb, and 0.3% Zn over 0.5m, and 219 g/t Ag, 0.04% Pb, and 0.1% Zn over 5m, all in the F Vein; hole CDH-20-047 with 166 g/t Ag, 0.2% Pb, and 0.5% Zn over 15.65m, including 351 g/t Ag, 0.4% Pb, and 1% Zn over 5.97m, including 400 g/t Ag, 0.45% Pb, and 1.2% Zn over 4.97m, including 782 g/t Ag, 1.1% Pb, 3.6% Zn over 1.05, including 305 g/t Ag, 0.1% Pb, and 0.3% Zn over 1.15m, including 219 g/t Ag, 0.4% Pb, and 0.7% Zn over 1.1m, including 432 g/t Ag, 0.5% Pb, and 1% Zn over 0.97m; and hole CDH-20-042 with 115 g/t Ag over 0.3m in a hangingwall of a quartz vein, and 86 g/t Ag 0.02% Pb, and 0.1% Zn over 13m, including 111 g/t Ag, 0.03% Pb, and 0.1% Zn over 5.9m, in the F Vein. These holes tested the F Vein structure along 400 meters of strike length with holes 42 to 45 focusing on gaps in the 2019 drill program, while holes 46 and 47 were step outs along strike.
  • Vizsla Resources Corp., restarted its exploration and recommenced its 14,500m drilling programs at its Panuco project in Sinaloa. Vizsla has tested only five of the initially twenty targets and will continue with two drill rigs to ensure the remaining 10,861m of planned drilling is completed in the 2020 calendar year.

ON MINING

  • Mag Silver Corp., reported Q1, 2020 financial results. It estimated the pre-operative initial capital now at USD $440M as of January, 2018. The company also reported a development expenditure of approximately USD $153.5M (company therefore estimates approximately $286,584 of remaining initial capital on a 100% basis as at March 31, 2020), and an existing cash and other working capital as at March 31, 2020 of USD $6.8M and USD $13.2M respectively (Juanicipio project, Zacatecas).
  • Mexus Gold , reported addition gold sales from production at its Santa Elena mine in Sonora. It sold 47.5Oz Au on May 7th and was processing an additional 45 Oz Au the week of May 18th. Mexus announced that the sales of gold for the month of May are expected to exceed 120 Oz Au.
  • McEwen Mining Inc., reported full year 2019 production results from its El Gallo mine in Sinaloa. It produced 2,700 Oz AuEq (GEO) from residual leaching of the heap leach pad. Beginning with Q42019, the company has ceased relying on, and disclosing, cash costs and AISC per GEO as key metrics for El Gallo mine. Residual leaching will continue for as long as incremental revenue exceeds incremental costs.

ON FINANCING

  • Magna Gold Corp., announced a non-brokered private placement to raise gross proceeds of up to $7M. Net proceeds will be used for working capital purposes in connection with the company´s existing projects (Mercedes project, Sonora).
  • Discovery Metals Corp., announced that it intends to close a non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of up to CAD $25M. Net proceeds will be used primarily to continue the exploration programs at its Cordero and Coahuila projects in Chihuahua and Coahuila respectively.
  • Mithril Resources Limited, announced that its rights issue for capital raising has closed with strong support for both shareholder entitlements and additional shortfall shares. The company was required to raise a minimum of $1.5M under the rights issue as a condition precedent of the transaction with Sun Minerals Pty Ltd. Fund raised will be used to advance exploration at its Copalquin project in Durango, following completion of the acquisition of Sun Minerals.

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

  • Endeavour Silver Corp., reported drill results from fourteen holes collared at its Bolaños mine in Guanajuato, eight of which intersected high-grade mineralization over minable widths in the Melladito Vein. Significant drill intersections were encountered in hole BN27 with 24.3 g/t Au and 787 g/t Ag (3,217 g/t AgEq) over a true width (TW) of 1.5m, including 91.8 g/t Au and 2,200 g/t Ag (11,380 g/t AgEq) over a true width of 0.20m; hole BN31 with 12.48 g/t Au and 50 g/t Ag (1,298 g/t AgEq) over a TW of 1.1m, including 50.8 g/t Au and 191 g/t Ag (5,271 g/t AgEq) over a TW of 0.2m; and hole BN32 with 7.37 g/t Au and 170 g/t Ag (907 g/t AgEq) over a TW of 2.7m, including 9.47 g/t Au and 327 g/t Ag (1,274 g/t AgEq) over a TW of 0.6m.”The eight drill holes outline a new mineralized zone 100 m long by 200 m deep, open in all directions. It could connect with the historic high-grade San Ramon mine workings immediately west of and the San Pablo mine workings immediately east of the drill holes. This part of the Melladito vein was not previously explored and represents an exciting new area for resource estimation and mine development”.
  • Mag Silver Corp., provided an update on its Juanicipio project in Zacatecas. Highlights include that a detailed engineering is near completion and earthmoving and foundation preparation is well advanced for the construction of the 4,000 tpd beneficiation plant; SAG and Ball mills, flotation cells, all associated vessels, thickeners and ancillary process equipment are now secured on site, progress made with the construction of the flotation plant and infrastructure, and underground development at Juanicipio has now approached 27 km (or 16.9 miles) and is focused on three sub-vertical ramps that descend alongside the mineralization and alongside the conveyor ramp to surface at plant site.
  • VanGold Mining Corp., announced plans to conduct a 1,000 tonnes bulk sample from its Pinguino project in Guanajuato. It entered in an agreement with Endeavour Silver and will be sending the bulk sample to Endeavour’s Bolañitos mill, located approximately 28kmfrom El Pinguico project. “By conducting this large test, the Company will gain valuable metallurgical and precious metal recovery information pertaining to the mineralized material on the El Pinguico property.

ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

  • Alamos Gold Inc., announced results of its annual general meeting of shareholders. It also appointed and compensated executives and auditor´s remuneration (Mulatos mine, Sonora).
  • Argonaut Gold Inc., shareholders and Alio Gold Inc. securityholders, approved merger to create North American diversified intermediate gold producer. On closing of the transaction, Argonaut and Alio shareholders will own approximately 76% and 24% of the merged company, respectively, on an issued share basis. The merged company will continue as Argonaut Gold with the ticker symbol AR on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX). (El Castillo mine, Durango).
  • Equinox Gold Corp., announced results of its annual general meeting of shareholders. It also appointed auditors and approved executive´s compensation (Los Filos mine, Guerrero).
  • Defiance Silver Corp., announced that it has successfully negotiated with the project vendor its option agreement on its san Acacio project in Zacatecas. The project vendor has agreed to extend the option agreement terms by three years from September 27, 2020 to September, 27, 2023. “Defiance will now be making quarterly payments, over three years, to the property vendor totaling USD $2,278,189, with the final option payment of USD $2,407,461 due September 27, 2023. In accordance with the original agreement, the vendor retains a 2.5% NSR which may be purchased for USD $2,500,000. Should the agreement be terminated prior to September 27, 2023 a break fee equal to 5% of the outstanding option balance shall be paid to the property vendor”.
  • Silver Tiger Metals Inc., (former Oceanus Resources), commenced trading under the trading symbols “SLVR” on the TSXV. There was no change in the share capital of the company. Certificates representing common shares of the company will not be affected by the name and symbol change and will not need to be exchanged (El Tigre project, Sonora).
  • Sierra Metals Inc., announced the appointment of its new CEO effective immediately (Bolivar mine, Chihuahua).

ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

  • The Grupo Mexico Foundation, donated 5,000 molecular test for the detection of COVID-19 to be applied to patients from all over the state of Chihuahua. Governor of Chihuahua State, Javier Corral, stated that it will allow reducing the time of diagnosis and extending timely attention to the population. In addition, it also will donate 450,000 protection kits to be distributed in Mexico City as well as in the states of Mexico, Jalisco and Nuevo Leon. The kits are personal and contain supplies such as masks, gowns, hats, shoe covers, KN45 masks, gloves, goggles and everything necessary to promote the comprehensive protection of health personnel in hospitals.
  • Minera Gorrión (MG), subsidiary of Almaden Minerals Ltd., and in charge of developing the Ixtaca mine project, in the north of Puebla, donated 1,000 disinfecting gels and 2,000 masks to the Ixtacamaxtitlán Community Hospital, in charge of leading efforts against the epidemic in the region. On the other hand, 1,440 liters of gel and 4,800 face masks were distributed among 15 Rural Medical Units of the IMSS and 9 Health Houses of the Ministry of Health in the municipality. Likewise, MG delivered 1,300 liters of gel and 2,000 covers mouths to the Central Warehouse of Health Services in the state of Puebla to support the efforts led by the Puebla government to counteract the spread of the disease in the state.
  • Minera Media Luna (Torex Gold Resources Inc.), donated MXP $2M to launch a hospital in Iguala, Guerrero, which will exclusively treat patients with COVID-19. The hospital will be soon in operation and will also serve people from Taxco, Huitzuco, Tepecoacuilco and Cocula affected by the coronavirus.
  • Consorcio Minero Peña Colorada S.A. de C.V., donated MXP $500K to the Integral Development of the Family (DIF) of Colima State, to allocate it to the Emergent Food Attention Program, implemented by its government.

 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 in a porphyry Cu system in a prospect in Oaxaca, Mexico.  Photo by Miguel A Heredia.

 

The Mining and Exploration News in Mexico: Highlights on the First Week of May, 2020.

Bladed calcite in an epithermal vein system

By Miguel A Heredia

During the nineteen week of the year (May 4th to May 10th, 2020), at least 45 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico, with eleven communicating production and financial results, seven announcing financing rounds, seven disclosing deals and corporate issues, six reporting on resources and developments, six discussing issues on social responsibility, five commenting on Mexican issues, and three informing on exploration results.  ON MEXICO ISSUES, Americas Gold and Silver reported that its Cosalá operation in Sinaloa continue to be illegally occupied. The General Direction of Mines announced that all mining procedures were suspended until May 30, 2020. Peñoles concluded the construction of its Capela mine in Guerrero with a total investment of USD $334M, of which USD $83.9M were exercised in 2019. Gold mining companies in Mexico are preparing for a solid second semester. ON EXPLORATION, In Sonora, Ridgestone announced that it has completed the first three holes of its ongoing 1,500m drill program at its Rebeico Au-Cu project and Aztec provided an updated 2020 strategic plan and outlook on its Cervantes project. In Chihuahua, Radius reported rock chip sampling results from its recently acquired Plata Verde project.   ON MINING, Avino, Endeavour, GoGold, Gold Resource, Golden Minerals, Great Panther, Hecla, Newmont, Pan American, Premier, and Torex reported production and financial results from their Mexican mining operations. ON FINANCING, Americas Gold and Silver entered in a bought deal public offering for net proceeds of approximately CAD $25M (Cosalá mine, Sinaloa). Fortuna Silver announced proposed amendments to financial covenants contained in its USD $150M credit facility (San Jose mine, Oaxaca). GR Silver entered firstly into a bought deal brokered private placement to raise aggregate gross proceeds of $6,021,000, and later the company upsized it to $8.1M (San Marcial and Plomosas projects, Sinaloa). Minaurum announced a private offering to raise up to CAD $5M (Alamos Silver project, Sonora).    Mithril announced that it is conducting a capital raising by way of a non-renounceable rights issue to shareholders for a minimum gross proceeds of A $1.5M and a maximum of A $2.46M (Copalquin project, Durango). Magna Gold entered into an amendment to include the closing of a non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of a minimum of $1.8M and a maximum of $2M (San Francisco mine, Sonora).   ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Discovery Metals released results from eight diamond drill holes collared at its Cordero project in Chihuahua. GR Silver announced historical drilling results from its Plomosas Silver project and provided an update on its ongoing exploration program at its San Marcial project, both located in Sinaloa. Golden Minerals completed PEA´s for its Rodeo and Velardeña projects in Durango. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Agnico announced election of directors during its annual and special meeting of shareholders (Pinos Altos, Chihuahua). Alio Gold completed the sale of its San Francisco mine in Sonora to Magna Gold. Argonaut and Alio received positive recommendations of its proposed merger announced on March 30, 2020 (El Castillo mine, Durango). Azucar Minerals granted stock options to certain directors, employees and consultants (El Cobre project, Veracruz). Xtierra received TSXV conditional approval for the acquisition of Minera Portree (Bilbao project, Zacatecas). Pan American Silver released its 2019 sustainability report (La Colorada mine, Zacatecas). ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, Chihuahua Mining Cluster donated MXP $200M to the Mexican Red Cross. Esperanza Silver de México (Alamos Gold), delivered protective overalls to doctors and nurses at the IMSS Regional hospital 1 in Cuernavaca. First Majestic delivered pantries to five Ejidos from the Municipality of Ocampo, Coahuila. Fresnillo plc joined donated medical equipment to hospitals in Sonora. Grupo Mexico, in coordination with the Torreón City Council, delivered 300 pantries and disinfectant products to residents of a neighborhood near its Met-Mex Peñoles metallurgical plant. Minera San Julian (Fresnillo plc), will provide mask to the Municipality of San Julian, Chihuahua. Aura Minerals, in coordination with the municipal authorities of Concepción Del Oro Zacatecas, has helped to implement measures designed to support the communities in this difficult time. Compañia Minera Pangea (McEwen Mining) donated cleaning kits to 109 families of seven communities near of its El Gallo mine in Sinaloa.

ON MEXICO ISSUES

  • Americas Gold and Silver, reported that its Cosalá operation in Sinaloa continue to be illegally occupied and stated that “while the company cannot negotiate with the self-interested representatives of this illegal action, it is optimistic that a legal a legitimate labour representative for its workers will be identified, and the mine will be in a position to re-open after any COVID-19 restrictions are lifted”.
  • The General Direction of Mines, announced that all the mining procedures were suspended until May 30, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemia. “For the foregoing, the holders of mining concessions are informed that the obligation to present the report during May to verify the execution of the exploration or exploitation works, in the terms of articles 27, fraction I, 28, 29, 30 and 31 of the Mining Law, and 63 to 66 of its regulations, the term for its presentation is suspended, until May 30, 2020”. The deadline for receipt of the report will be now from June 01, 2020 to June 30, 2020. This postponement was published in the Official Gazette of the Federation and is based on article 28 of the Federal Law of Administrative Procedure.
  • Peñoles Group, finalized the construction of its Capela mine in Guerrero with a total investment of USD $334M, of which USD $83.9M were exercised in 2019. This new unit has a grinding and processing capacity of 4,500 tons of ore per day, to produce an annual average of 4.7M Oz Ag, 89.6M Lb Zn, 19.3M Lb Pb, and 15.7M Lb Cu contained in Pb, Zn, and Cu. It will also generate a total of 650 jobs.
  • Gold Mining companies in Mexico, are preparing to reactivate their activities after quarantines applied by the government to achieve profitable production amid the multi-year records that commodity prices have broken. The timing and success of reactivations will largely depend on the evolution of the pandemic. As operations could resume in May, the mines are in good shape to take advantage of healthy yellow metal prices, although social distancing measures are likely to affect productivity and costs.

ON EXPLORATION

  • Ridgestone Mining Inc., announced that it has completed 435.7m on the first three holes of the ongoing 10 holes, 1,500m diamond core drilling program at its Rebeico Au-Cu project in Sonora. The three first holes were collared at the New York Zone where high grade Au-Cu mineralization has been sampled on surface. All holes present visible sulphide mineralization. Assay results are pending and will be released when available.
  • Aztec Minerals Corp., provided an updated 2020 strategic plan and outlook on its Cervantes project in Sonora. During Q2, 2020 the company plans to finalize the JV agreement with Kootenay Silver, finalize the interpretation of 3-D geophysics conducted in 2019, and advance exploration on near surface oxide Au mineralization and deeper porphyry sulphide Au-Cu targets. In Q3, 2020, Aztec plans to extend detail mapping and sampling of the Purisima West, Estrella, Jacobo, Brazil, and other targets at its Cervantes project, and plan and obtain permits for phase 2 drilling program on its California and Purisima targets. In Q4, 2020 the plan is to commence phase 2 drilling program on these two targets.
  • Radius Gold Inc., reported results of 35 rock chip samples collected at its recently acquired Plata Verde project in Chihuahua. Highlights include 142g/t Ag over 64m at Mina Mojonera, including 350 g/t Ag over 12m. “At Plata Verde, Ag mineralization occurs as massive to crustiform banded barite calcite with Ag chlorides, sulphosalt minerals and native Ag infilling and cementing fractures and breccia within a basaltic/andesite extrusive volcanic”. At Mina Real, located 150m south of Mina Mojonera, 75 rock chip samples were collected from the walls and remaining pillars with Ag grades varying from 8 and 730 g/t Ag, with an average grade of 276 g/t Ag. Minas Mojonera and Real define a zone of Ag mineralization approximately 550m long by 200m wide, with the south portion apparently displaced by a large fault, and largely covered by post-mineral rhyolite ignimbrites. Radius is planning to run an airborne magnetic survey to help define the extension of the host rocks under cover.

ON MINING

  • Avino Silver & Gold Mines Ltd., released Q1, 2020 production and financial results from its Avino mine in Durango. It processed 164,096 tonnes of 0.4 g/t Au, 57 g/t Ag, and 0.57% Cu to produce 1,531 Oz Au, 267K Oz Ag and 1.8M Lb Cu (684K Oz AgEq), with metallurgical recoveries of 73%, 89%, and 86% respectively, at cash cost of USD $9.83, and AISC of USD $14.88 per Oz AgEq payable.  The company reported revenues of USD $7.12M, mine operation income of USD $843K, cash of $6.7M, working capital of USD $1075M, an EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA of USD $372K  and USD $391K respectively.
  • Endeavour Silver Corp., presented consolidated production and financial results from its Guanacevi mine in Durango, Bolañitos mine in Guanajuato, and El Compas mine in Zacatecas. Endeavour produced 857.7K Oz Ag and 8,476 Oz Au for 1.5M Oz AgEq at an 80:1 Ag: Au ratio or 1.8M Oz AgEq at 110:1 ratio. Cash cost of $7.85 and AISC of $18.38 per Oz payable Ag, both net of Au credits. The company reported an income of $21.9M from the sale of 665.5K Oz Ag and 7,454 Oz Au at average realized prices of $15.33 per Oz Ag and $1,633 per Oz Au.
  • GoGold Resources Inc., reported Q1, 2020 production and financial results from its Parral Tailings project, Chihuahua. It processed 367K tonnes to produced 601K Oz AgEq, at cash cost of USD $12.33 and AISC of USD $15.10 per Oz AgEq. GoGold reported an income of $USD $8.6M, and cash of USD $19.1M.
  • Gold Resource Corporation, announced Q1, 2020 production and financial results from its Oaxaca mining unit, Oaxaca. The company milled 174.5K tonnes to produce 6,450 Oz Au, 402.5K Oz Ag, 1.1M Lb Cu, 5.6M Lb Pb, and 13.1M Lb Zn, at cash cost of $918 and AISC of $1,229 per Oz AuEq sold.
  • Golden Minerals Company, announced its financial results for the period Q1, 2020. The company reported revenue of USD $1.2M and net operating margin of USD $0.6M related to the lease of its oxide plant. It also reported cash and cash equivalents balance of USD $ 2.2M.
  • Great Panther Mining Limited, released Q1, 2020 consolidated production and financial results from its Topia, Durango and Guanajuato mine complex, Guanajuato. The company milled 68,965 tonnes of 318 g/t AgEq.
  • Hecla Mining Company, reported Q1, 2020 production and financial results from its San Sebastian mine in Durango. Hecla produced 346,625 Oz Ag and 2,802 Oz Au, at cash cost of $6.91 and AISC of $9.59 per Oz Ag produced.
  • Newmont Corporation, produced 87K Oz Au at AISC of $769 per Oz Au sold, or 288K Oz AuEq at AISC of $841 per Oz AuEq sold.
  • Pan American Silver Corp., presented Q1, 2020 production and financial results from its La Colorada mine in Zacatecas and Dolores mine in Chihuahua. At La Colorada, Zacatecas the company produced 1.6M Oz Ag and 1.1K Oz Au, at cash cost of USD $7.23 and AISC of USD $9.98 per Oz Ag produced. At Dolores, Chihuahua it produced 1.23M Oz Ag and 27.1K Oz Au, at AISC of USD $23.29 per Oz produced.
  • Premier Gold Mines Limited, released Q1, 2020 production and financial results from its Mercedes mine in Sonora. Premier milled 162,408 tonnes of 2.4 g/t Au and 27 g/t Ag to produce 11,587 Oz Au and 52.2K Oz Ag, with metallurgical recoveries of 93.9% and 37.1% respectively, at cash cost of USD $1,282 and AISC of 1,883 per Oz Au per Oz Au sold.
  • Torex Gold Resources Inc., reported Q1, 2020 production and financial results from its El Limon Guajes mining complex in Guerrero. It produced 108.5K Oz Au at cash cost of $794 and AISC of $975 per Oz Au sold. Torex reported an EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA of $39.4M and 67.4M respectively, and cash flow from operations of $29.5M.

ON FINANCING

  • Americas Gold and Silver Corporation, announced a bought deal public offering for gross proceeds of approximately CAD $25M (Cosalá mine, Sinaloa).
  • Fortuna Silver Mines Inc., provided an update to amend the financial covenants contained in its USD $150M credit facility. The credit facility requires the company to maintain a total debt to EBITDA ratio of not greater than3:1. As of the financial year ended December 31, 2019, the total debt to EBITDA ratio was 1.7:1. Fortuna has entered into discussions with its senior lenders under the credit facility, and obtained agreement in principle to amend the financial covenants. The amendment to the credit facility is subject to the completion of definitive documentation between the parties (San Jose mine, Oaxaca).
  • GR Silver Mining Ltd., entered into a bought deal brokered private placement with a syndicate of underwriters for aggregate gross proceeds of $6,021,000. The company also granted the underwriters an option to purchase more stock for additional gross proceeds of $903,150. Later on, the company upsized it to $8.1M (San Marcial and Plomosas projects, Sinaloa).
  • Minaurum Gold Inc., announced a private offering to raise gross proceed up to CAD $5M. Net proceeds will be used for the exploration of its Alamos Silver project in Sonora and for working capital purposes.
  • Mithril Resources Limited, announced that it is conducting a capital raising by way of a non-renounceable rights issue to shareholders for a minimum gross proceeds of A $1.5M and a maximum of A $2.46M. Net proceeds will be used primarily to advance exploration at its Copalquin project in Durango.
  • Magna Gold Corp., entered into an amendment to include the closing of a non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of a minimum of $1.8M and a maximum of $2M. Net proceeds will be used for the acquisition of, and for working capital purposes in connection with the San Francisco mine, Sonora.

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

  • Discovery Metals Corp., released results from eight diamond drill holes collared at its Cordero project in Chihuahua. Goal of these holes was to define and extend the higher-grade mineralized footprint to the NE and SW of the Pozo de Plata zone. Significant drill intersections were encountered in hole C20-319 with 0.1 g/t Au, 70 g/t Ag, 1.5% Pb, and 1.9% Zn (207 g/t AgEq) over a width of 168.8m, including 0.2 g/t Au, 103 g/t Ag, 2.2% Pb, and 4.4% Zn (378 g/t AgEq) over 27.7m; and hole C20-317 with 0.22 g/t Au, 90 g/t Ag, 0.9% Pb, and 0.5% Zn (159 g/t AgEq) over 79m. 48 holes totaling 17,500 m have been completed to date at Cordero to understand the high-grade footprint. Assays from 16 holes are pending. All holes have been drilled roughly perpendicular to the main structural north-east trend of higher-grade mineralization.
  • GR Silver Mining Ltd., announced historical drilling results from its Plomosas Silver project and provided an update on its ongoing exploration program at its San Marcial project, both located in Sinaloa. At Plomosas, in San Juan Area, highlights include hole LRD-46 with 0.13 g/t Au, 198 g/t Ag, 1.7% Pb, and 0.5% Pb (261 g/t AgEq) over a true width (TW) of 6.4m, including 0.13 g/t Au, 404 g/t Ag, 0.7% Pb, and 0.3% Zn (444 g/t AgEq) over a TW of 3m; hole LRD-54 with 0.4 g/t Au, 821 g/t Ag, 7.4% Pb, and 4.5% Zn (1,304 g/t AgEq) over a TW of 2m; hole SJD-17 with 0.43 g/t Au, 521 g/t Ag, 4.6% Pb, and 1.6% Zn (705 g/t AgEq) over a TW of 1.9m; and hole SJD-10 with 0.8 g/t Au, 574 g/t Ag, 1.6% Pb, and 0.7% Zn (675 g/t AgEq) over a TW of 2.7m. “GR Silver Mining continues its review and validation of more than 500 surface and underground drill holes on all six zones, aiming to confirm additional multiple vein systems hosted in a set of regional high angle fault zones and shallow dipping younger regional faults”. At San Marcial project, it obtained positive initial Au results from channel sampling at two new targets including 28.94 g/t Au and 143 g/t Ag over 0.2m, and 6.81 g/t Au over 0.2m. It also completed the work to widen 170m an existing tunnel to reach the breccia-hosted high-grade mineralization. GR also commented that with all the accumulated data generated it has generated at least eight drill-ready targets to test.
  • Golden Minerals Company, completed PEA´s for its Rodeo and Velardeña projects in Durango. At Rodeo, the PEA shows a pre-tax NPV (8% discount rate) of USD $24.4M with a low start-up cost of USD $1.5M. Pending receipt of mining permits, mining and processing is planning for Q1, 2021. At Velardeña, the PEA shows a pre-tax NPV (8% discount rate) of USD $85.9M based on incorporating bio-oxidation processing as the key to achieving robust project economics. No development decision has been made with regard to this project.

ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

  • Agnico Eagle Mines Limited, announced the election of directors during its annual and special meeting of shareholders (Pinos Altos, Chihuahua).
  • Alio Gold Inc., completed the sale of its San Francisco Mine in Sonora to Magna Gold Corp. Under the terms of the agreement, Timmins GoldCorp Mexico S.A. de C.V., a subsidiary of Alio Gold, received 9.74M of common shares of Magna and will receive USD $5M in cash (or a 1% NSR royalty in respect of the San Francisco Mine, if the cash payment is not made by Magna) within twelve months.
  • Argonaut Gold Inc., and Alio Gold Inc., received positive recommendations of its proposed merger announced on March 30, 2020. Argonaut and Alio shareholders of record at the close of business on March 30, 2020 and April 14, 2020 respectively are eligible to vote their common shares (El Castillo mine, Durango).
  • Azucar Minerals Ltd., announced it has granted stock options to certain directors, employees and consultants of the company to purchase an aggregate 425K common shares at a price of $0.11 per share (El Cobre project, Veracruz).
  • Xtierra Inc., received conditional approval for the acquisition of 87.99% interest of Minera Portree de Zacatecas S.A. de C.V. , for the amount of CAD $56K in cash less a deposit of CAD $26K previously paid, the remaining CAD $30K is payable in installments subject to certain milestones, and the issue to the vendor of 2M common shares of the company at a deemed value of CAD $0.05 per share. The TSXV has provided conditional approval of the acquisition which requires completion of legal documentation in Mexico (Bilbao project, Zacatecas).
  • Pan American Silver Corp., released its 2019 sustainability report, which includes details on Pan American’s environmental, social, governance (“ESG”), and health and safety performance.

ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

  • The Chihuahua Mining Cluster, donated MXP $200M to the Mexican Red Cross, which will be used to acquire the paramedics ´personal protection equipment to face the COVID-19 pandemic. The president of the Chihuahua Mining Cluster recognized the commitment of all mining units and suppliers belonging to the cluster for showing solidarity with its employees and with the communities, and declared that the mining industry has had to fight against the onslaught of the pandemic, since despite not having been considered an essential industry and being forced to close all its operations.
  • Esperanza Silver de México (Alamos Gold), delivered protective overalls to doctors and nurses at the IMSS Regional hospital 1 in Cuernavaca. This action was in addition to the previous delivery of KN95 masks and gloves that the mining company carried out at the Regional 1 hospitals of the IMSS, the ISSSTE Family Clinic in Cuernavaca, the Regional of Temixco and José G. Parres de Cuernavaca.
  • First Majestic Silver Corp., through its personnel of La Encantada mine in Coahuila, delivered pantries to five Ejidos from the Municipality of Ocampo. Personnel of the company prepared packages with items from the basic food basket that were delivered to the peasant families, house by house, in support of the health contingency by COVID-19. The local authorities appreciated the help of the mining company and other companies and social organizations that have brought support and health and humanitarian aid to the inhabitants of Ocampo.
  • Fresnillo plc, donated 2,000 covers, 40 gallons of disinfectant gel and 400 N95 masks to the hospitals of Zone No. 8 of the IMSS and General of the State of Sonora, in the city of Caborca, in support and recognition of the hard work carried out by the staff of these institutions.
  • Grupo Peñoles, in coordination with the Torreón City Council, donated 300 pantries and disinfectant products, for the benefit of residents of the Vicente Guerrero neighborhood, Torreón, near its Met-Mex Peñoles metallurgical plant.
  • Minera San Julián (Fresnillo plc), will provide mask to the Municipality of San Julian, Chihuahua. The production of mouth masks will be in charge of a community company in the town of Yerbitas, which was hired by Minera San Julián to contribute to the support of sanitary guidelines to face the COVID-19 pandemic. The mining company is also helping to generate employment and strengthen the local economy.
  • Aura Minerals Inc., in coordination with the Municipal Authorities of Concepción del Oro Zacatecas, has helped to implement measures designed to support the communities in this difficult time such as screening checkpoint for all those entering the city, contracting the local workforce to produce additional face masks for ongoing essential activities, providing canteens, transportation vehicles and health questionnaires, facilitating temperature scanning and the use of screening checkpoints, hiring additional medical personnel and supplying COVID-19 test kits.
  • Compañia Minera Pangea (McEwen Mining), donated cleaning kits to 109 families (354 persons) of seven communities near of its El Gallo mine in Sinaloa.

 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, bladed calcite in a low sulphidation epithermal vein system in a prospect in Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Miguel A Heredia.

The Mining and Exploration News in Mexico: Highlights on the First Week of April, 2020

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By Jorge Cirett

Amidst the Coronavirus widespread suspension of activities, including mining and exploration, decreed by the Mexican government, a record number of press releases was issued. During the 14th week of the year (March 30th to April 5th, 2020), at least 57 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico, of which 20 were on how companies were dealing with the situation. ON MEXICO ISSUES, a national decree by the federal government suspended all non-essential activities, which include mining and exploration, until the end of April. The DGM (Mining Regulator) is to manage everything through electronic channels during the Coronavirus contingency (in practical terms, do not expect anything done during this period of time). Previous to the federal government decree, the Sonoran government ordered the stoppage of all work on the mines on the State. Mexico is well poised for a substantial growth in lead and zinc production in 2020 (although the work suspension on mines might prevent it).  ON EXPLORATION, in Sonora, Silver Viper released more drilling results on El Rubi zone of its La Virgina project. Tocvan Ventures commenced geophysical and soil survey programs at its Pilar project. In Chihuahua, Discovery Metals and Kootenay Silver announced the suspension of activities at its Cordero and Columba projects respectively. In Sinaloa, Kootenay Silver announced the suspension of activities at El Copalito. Advance Gold released drilling information on its Tabaqueña project.  ON MINING, Mag Silver, Excellon Resources and Odyssey Marine Exploration presented 2019 results. First Majestic plans to invest $46 M in capital expenditures at its Santa Elena project. GoGold completed the commissioning of a SART palnt at its Parral tailings facilities. Equinox plans to produce 170 K – 190 K Oz Au during 2020 at Los Filos, Guerrero, and invest a total of $75 M. ON FINANCING, Orla Mining closed a bought deal for C$75 M. Mithrill is to conduct a rights issue for share holders in Australia and New Zealand to raise $2.45 M. Southern Silver announced the exercise of 2015 and 2016 warrants and options, raising $1.25 M. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, First Majestic updated the mineral resource estimate on seven of its Mexican properties. Sierra Metals updated the mineral resource estimate on Bolivar, Chihuahua. Prime Mining produced a new resource estimate for its Los Reyes project in Sinaloa. Mag Silver has to obtain funding, or see its 44% JV participation in the Juanicipio project (Zacatecas) dwindle. Great Panther filed two technical reports on the Guanajuato mine complex. Bacanora Lithium granted a contract to GRES on the Sonora Lithium project. Golden Minerals presented a new PEA for its Velardeña properties. GR Silver Mining released underground channel results from the Plomosas project in in Sinaloa. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, GR Silver completed the acquisition of the Plomosas project in Sinaloa. Argonaut Gold and Alio Gold are merging. Orex Minerals and Pan American Silver are forming a JV on the Sandra project in Durango. Riverside is going ahead with the Peñoles project (Durango) spin-off. Mithrill Resources informed on the acquisition of Sun Minerals. Southern Silver entered into an agreement with Monarch Minerals to purchase a mineral concession adjacent to Cerro Las Minas project in Durango. Oroco Resources amended disclosures on the Santo Tomas project technical report. Odyssey Marine Exploration continues with the arbitration process for its offshore phosphate project in Baja California Sur. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY. Newmont GoldCorp Peñasquito donated 500 COVID-19 tests and delivered thousands of cleansing packages in the communities near the Peñasquito mine in Zacatecas..

ON MEXICO ISSUES

  • Mining halted in Mexico. A national decree by the Mexican federal government suspended all non-essential activities for 30 days on the wake of the fight on the propagation of the coronavirus. Mining is not considered essential thus all operations are due to shut down.
  • Mexico is well positioned for increased lead and zinc production, BNamericas. Supported by expected continued work at Newmont’s Peñasquito mine, Southern Copper’s San Martin mine and Peñoles operations, the lead and zinc Mexican production is poised to grow in 2020. Lead production could increase 27.8% to 194.9 K tonnes, with the expected production of 90.7 K tonnes at Peñasquito. Zinc production could increase 27% to 633.2 K tonnes, with its expected production of 192.8 K tonnes. Both zinc and lead face extremely low prices, with zinc at US$0.85/Lb and lead close to US$0.75/Lb.
  • To reduce coronavirus contagion risks, the Dirección General de Minas (DGM) initiated a protocol to process requests and information only through electronic media, for the time that the contingency lasts (in practical terms, the already slow pace of proceedings at the DGM is coming to halt for the time being).
  • The Mining Fund served its purpose at Jiapaz, Zacatecas, where solar panels were installed to power the water system on La Martinica de Guadalupe neighborhood.
  • The Sonora government issued orders to stop all non-essential activities, including mining, as a mean to reduce the propagation speed of the COVID-19 pandemic in the state.
  • Mining companies that presented press releases on Coronavirus related suspension of activities: Argonaut Gold, Sierra Metals, Pan American Silver, Premier Gold Mines, Equinox Gold, GoGold Resources, Gold Resource, Excellon Resources, Endeavour Silver, Azucar Minerals, Avino Silver & Gold Mines, Agnico Eagle Mines, Almaden Minerals, Alamos Gold, Fortuna Silver, Mithrill Resources, Vizsla Resources, Torex Gold, Great Panther, and Golden Minerals.

ON EXPLORATION

  • Silver Viper Minerals Corp. released drilling results at its La Virginia project in Sonora. The Rubi zone strike length increased by 100 m, to a total of 400 m, where a total of 6,103 m in 20 holes have been collared; a further 852 m in four holes were drilled at the Macho Libre target. The results for the last nine holes are still pending. Highlighted true width intervals comprise: 1.42 m @ 156 gpt Ag, 1.79 gpt Au; 2.84 m @ 249 gpt Ag, 1.55 gpt Au (including 0.36 m @ 1,584 gpt Ag, 5.56 gpt Au); 17.04 m @ 28 gpt Ag, 0.69 gpt Au; 1.07 m @ 52 gpt Ag, 1.27 gpt Au; 1.07 m @ 124 gpt Ag, 3.32 gpt Au; 4.26 m @ 38 gpt Ag, 0.64 gpt Au; 6.04 m @ 74 gpt Ag, 0.99 gpt Au (including 1.78 m @ 187 gpt Ag, 2.48 gpt Au. The company recently completed a 4,800-hectare; 718 line-km helicopter borne magnetic-radiometric geophysical survey centered on El Rubi zone.
  • Discovery Metals Corp. announced the temporarily suspension of all exploration activities at its Mexican operations due to the COVID-19 risks. “Discovery has already completed 48 holes totaling 17,500 metres of its planned 30,000 – 35,000 metre Phase 1 drill program. The Company will provide ongoing exploration updates for the 34 drill holes not previously press released once results have been received and validated”. Discovery had a cash balance of CAD$24 M by the end of 2019 (Cordero, Chihuahua).
  • Tocvan Ventures Corp. announced the commencement of the 2020 field program at the Pilar project in Sonora. The focus is to expand the known areas of mineralization, gain a better understanding of structural controls, identify mineralization targets and define drill targets. A multiple-task (?) geophysical survey is underway concurrently with a close-spaced soil sampling program. These surveys will be followed up with structural refining, XRF survey across the property and reviewing historical drill holes.
  • Kootenay Silver Inc. temporarily suspended the current drill programs at its Columba (Chihuahua) and Copalito (Sinaloa) projects, to reduce the propagation risks of the Coronavirus.
  • Advance Gold Corp. released information on drilling at its Tabasqueña project in Zacatecas. One hole was abandoned because of challenging drilling conditions; a second hole intercepted a black slate with small sulphide lenses 0.3 cm to 1 cm in thickness, this unit explains the chargeability anomaly detected by the geophysical survey. The best intercept was 1.25 m @ 2.79% Pb; the third hole also intersected the sulphide bearing black slate unit, assays pending. Teck’ San Nicolas VMS project is 11 kilometers East of Tabasqueña.

ON MINING

  • First Majestic Silver Corp. plans to invest US$46.3 M in capital expenditures at its Santa Elena mine in Sonora. Exploration, the installation of an autogenous mill, exploration and development of the Ermitaño West, mine access preparation and prefeasibility studies are among the use of the funds involved.
  • GoGold Resources Inc. reported the completion of commissioning of the SART plant at its Parral Tailings facility in Chihuahua. “The main economic drivers are the recovery of a high-grade saleable copper sulfide product, the re-generation of cyanide, which is the largest single operating cost at Parral, and improve the leaching efficiency of the heap”. GoGold reduced the need to purchase cyanide by $200 K in March.
  • Excellon Resources Inc. reports 2019 annual and Q4 financial results. At Platosa, in Durango, 19.8 K tonnes @ 435 gpt Ag, 4.84% Pb, 6.39% Zn were processed, recovering 91.7% Ag, 80.2% Pb, 76.5% Zn to produce 259.2 K Oz Ag, 1.69 M Lb Pb, 2.06 M Lb Zn during the quarter. For the full year 75.2 K tonnes @ 409 gpt Ag, 4.75% Pb, 6.82% Zn were processed , recovering 89.9% Ag, 79.2% Pb. 77.7% Zn to produce 1.05 M Oz Ag, 6.1 M Lb Pb, 8.4 M Lb Zn, or 1.93 M Oz AgEq.
  • Odyssey Marine Exploration Inc. reported results for the full year 2019.
  • Equinox Gold Corp. provided production guidance for 2020, including figures from its operations in Mexico. At the Los Filos mine in Guerrero, production is set to range between 170 K to 190 K Oz Au, at an AISC of $1,000 to $1,050 per Oz Au, sustaining capital of $24 M and Non-sustaining capital of $51 M. “The Company is advancing an expansion of the Los Filos mine complex including enlarging the Los Filos open pit, developing a second underground mine (Bermejal), adding a new open pit (Guadalupe) and constructing a new carbon in leach (“CIL”) plant to process higher-grade ore…….. Equinox Gold has budgeted a total capital spend of $75 million at Los Filos during 2020. Non-sustaining capital of $51 million relates primarily to the expansion project and includes $20 million for pre-stripping of the Guadalupe open pit and $23 million allocated to Bermejal underground development”.

ON FINANCING

  • Newmont Corp. has announced expiration and final results of the tender offers for its 3.5% senior notes due 2022 and Goldcorp’s 3.7% notes due 2023. (Peñasquito, Zacatecas).
  • Mithrill Resources Ltd. will be conducting a pro-rata non-renounceable rights issue to allow shareholders, of ordinary shares with a registered address in Australia or New Zealand, to apply for one share for every ordinary share held, to raise $2.45 M (Copalquin, Durango).
  • Southern Silver Exploration Corp. informed recent warrant and option exercised during the current fiscal period. Warrants and options issued in 2015 and 2016 were exercised for $1.25 M in gross profits (Cerro La Mina, Durango).
  • Orla Mining Ltd. closed its previously announced bought deal financing with a syndicate of underwriters led by Stifel GMP and including Desjardins Capital Markets, Paradigm Capital and Cormark Securities Inc. for aggregate gross proceeds of C$75 M.

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

  • First Majestic Silver Corp. updated mineral reserve and mineral resource estimates for the San Dimas (Durango), Santa Elena (Sonora) and La Encantada (Coahuila) producing mines, as well as from its San Martín (Jalisco), La Parrilla (Durango), Del Toro (Zacatecas) and La Guitarra (Estado de Mexico) properties.

First Majestic Reserves and Resources 2019

  • Sierra Metals Inc. updated mineral reserve and mineral resource estimates for its Bolivar mine in Chihuahua. Mineral reserves decreased by 2.5 M tonnes on mining depletion from 2017, but measured, indicated and inferred resources have significantly grown.

Bolívar Reserves and Resources to 201911

  • Mag Silver Reported 2019 annual results. Development of the Juanicipio mine (Zacatecas) and processing plant continue, with the plant expected to commence commissioning in mid-2021. Underground development is ongoing, exceeding now 26 Km. Remaining pre-operative initial capital is estimated at $305 M, although this figure can be reduced by cash in hand of the operator of the JV (Fresnillo 56%, Mag 44%) and expected cash flow from mineralized material extracted and processed at the Fresnillo’s mine facilities commencing in mid-2020. “The Company needs to raise additional capital in the future in order to meet its full share of initial capital required to develop the Juanicipio Project. Mag does not generate operating cash flow at this time to fund such obligations, and accordingly, future liquidity will depend upon its ability to arrange debt or additional equity financings. The Company is currently evaluating several proposals. The inability of MAG to fund its 44% share of cash calls would result in dilution of its ownership interest in Minera Juanicipio in accordance with the shareholders’ agreement”. At the end of the year Mag had $71.86 M including cash and cash equivalents of $72.36 M AuEq.
  • Great Panther Mining Ltd. filed two technical reports regarding the Guanajuato mine complex. “The reports are titled “NI 43- 101 Mineral Resource Update Technical Report on the Guanajuato Mine Complex, San Ignacio Mine, Guanajuato State, Mexico”, dated March 17, 2020, and “NI 43-101 Mineral Resource Update Technical Report on the Guanajuato Mine Complex, Guanajuato Mine, Guanajuato State, Mexico”, dated March 27, 2020”.
  • SilverCrest Metals Inc. released protocols to minimize exposure to coronavirus, in order to decrease the risk to employees, contractors, families and communities near Las Chispas project in Sonora.
  • Evrim Resources Corp. updated the resource on the Ermitaño project in Sonora, of which it holds a 2% NSR. Property owner First Majestic Silver Corp. announced a 15% increase in grade and a 345% increase in contained AgEq ounces in the indicated resources compared to the previous estimate. The indicated resources are 2.1 M tonnes @ 4.59 gpt Au, 70 gpt Ag, containing 311 K Oz Au and 4.73 M Oz Ag; the inferred resources stand at 3.73 M tonnes @ 3.08 gpt Au, 58 gpt Ag, containing 370 K Oz Au, 6.98 M Oz Ag.
  • Bacanora Lithium. Announced the granting of a contract to GR Engineering Services for engineering, acquisition and construction services on the Sonora lithium project.
  • Prime Mining Corp. released a new resource estimate for its Los Reyes project (formerly Guadalupe de Los Reyes) in Sinaloa. The pit constrained resources range from 19.75 M tonnes @ 1.31 gpt AuEq measured and indicated resources (M&I) containing 833.1 K Oz AuEq and 7.1 M tonnes @ 1.14 gpt AuEq in inferred resources containing 261.1 K Oz AuEq at a 0.22 gpt AuEq cutoff; to 5.91 M tonnes @ 2.72 gpt AuEq M&I resources and 1.68 M tonnes @ 2.59 gpt AuEq containing 516.2 K Oz AuEq and 140.5 K Oz AuEq respectively, at a cutoff grade of 1.0 gpt AuEq. The pit strip ratio is calculated as 4.6 to 1 waste to ore in six separate pits.
  • Golden Minerals Co. announced positive results from the updated mineral resource estimate and preliminary economic assessment (PEA) for its Velardeña properties in Durango. The PEA states a pre-tax net present value of $85.9 M at an 8% discount rate, an internal rate of return of 138.6%, pre-production capital cost of $10.27 M, post production and working capital $15.93 M and a life of mine of 10 years to produce 10.2 M Oz Ag, 119 K Oz Au. The resource estimate including sulfide and oxide ore comprises 1.35 M tonnes @ 307 gpt Ag, 4.92 gpt Au, 1.54% Pb, 1.78% Zn in measured and indicated resources, containing, 13.34 M Oz Ag, 214 K Oz Au, 45.8 M Lb Pb, 53 M Lb Zn; and 1.76 M tonnes @ 354 gpt Ag, 4.73 gpt Au, 1.72% Pb, 1.86% Zn, containing 20.1 M Oz Ag, 268 K Oz Au, 67.1 M Lb Pb, 72.3 M Lb Zn.
  • GR Silver Mining Ltd. released assay results from initial underground channel sampling from the San Juan workings at the Plomosas Silver project. San Juan is one of six priority areas with underground development not yet exploited by previous owners. Some of the highlighted composites comprise 2.1 m @ 0.30 gpt Au, 552 gpt Ag, 0.7% Pb, 1.0% Zn (including 0.40 m @ 1.2 gpt Au, 3,003 gpt Ag, 2.9% Pb, 3.1% Zn); 5.0 m @ 0.28 gpt Au, 816 gpt Ag, 0.9% Pb, 0.5 % Zn; 2.0 m @ 0.51 gpt Au, 1,145 gpt Ag, 0.9% Pb, 0.4% Zn; 2.8 m @ 0.42 gpt Au, 482 gpt Ag, 0.4% Pb, 0.4% Zn; 9.3 m @ 0.13 gpt Au, 346 gpt Ag, 0.7% Pb, 1.0% Zn; 3.0 m @ 0.11 gpt Au, 485 gpt Ag, 0.2% Pb, 0.3% Zn.

ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

  • GR Silver Mining Ltd. Has completed the acquisition of the Plomosas silver project in Sinaloa, from First Majestic Silver Corp. .GR Silver paid CDN$100 K, granted First Majestic a 2% NSR, of which half could be bought for US$1 M, and issued First Majestic 17.1 M shares of GR Silver. The project comes with six areas at the drilling/resource stage, with 563 drill holes totalling over 100,000 m of core drilling and the mining infrastructure of the Plomosas mine, that produced over 2.5 M tonnes of Pb-Zn-Ag ore.
  • Argonaut Gold Inc. and Alio Gold Inc. have entered into a definitive agreement for an at-market merger whereby Argonaut will acquire all of Alio shares. The transaction creates an intermediate producer with four operations rendering 235 K Oz AuEq per year from four mines and presence in Mexico, Canada and USA, and a pipeline that includes Ana Paula (Guerrero), Cerro del Gallo (Guanajuato) and Magino (Canada).
  • Orex Minerals Inc. entered into an agreement to form a JV with Pan American Silver Corp. to explore and develop the Sandra (formerly Sandra Escobar) project in Durango. Orex and Pan American will own a 40% and 60% interest in the JV.
  • Riverside Resources Inc. has received requisite shareholder approval for the spin-out of the Peñoles Project (Durango) to its shareholders. “Once the Arrangement becomes effective, Riverside shareholders will own shares in two public companies: Capitan, which will focus on the development of the Peñoles Project, and Riverside, which will continue to generate prospective mineral properties”.
  • Mithhrill Resources Ltd. Informed on the proposed acquisition of Sun Minerals Pty Ltd., which holds an option to earn up to 100% interest on the Copalquin project in Durango. Due diligence was completed, a formal share agreement for the acquisition of all issued share capital of Sun Minerals was executed and shareholder approval received. On view of recent market developments, Mithrill and Sun Minerals agreed that Mithrill is to raise a minimum of A$1.5 M.
  • Southern Silver Exploration Corp. entered into an agreement with Monarch Minerals Inc. to purchase the El Sol mineral concession in Durango, near the Sothern Silver and Electrum Global Holdings L.P. Cerro Las Minas JV project. The purchase will not form a part of the Cerro Las Minitas JV. Acquisition cost is $US300 K payable in three equal installments on signature, 12 and 18 months, with the vendor retaining a 2% NSR that can be bought by Southern Silver at any time for US$1 M.
  • Oroco Resource Corp. wishes to clarify and amend its disclosures with respect to its Santo Tomas project in Sinaloa. “The BCSC reviewed the Company’s October, 2019 and March, 2020 corporate presentations (the “Presentations”) and its current technical report dated August 22, 2019 and titled “Technical Report Geology, Mineralization, and Exploration of the Santo Tomas Cu-(Mo-Au-Ag) Porphyry Deposit Sinaloa, Mexico” authored by D. A. Bridge, P. Geol.” (the “Report”). Both the current Presentation and the Report have been removed from the Company’s website pending revision. The disclosure issues in the Presentations and the Report with respect to National Instrument 43-101 (the “Instrument”) and Form 43-101F1 are summarized in the following discussion”.
  • Odyssey Marine Exploration Inc. has launched a NAFTA arbitration process on its “Exploraciones Oceánicas” phosphate project off the Pacific coast of Baja California Sur. “The Arbitral Tribunal, consisting of three international arbitrators well-versed in international investment treaties, has been constituted and the parties are now in the process of finalizing the arbitration schedule and procedures with the Tribunal……..“We intend to continue to work diligently and in good faith with Mexico’s current administration to achieve an equitable resolution of this dispute and to help Mexico provide fertilizer to its farmers, but we are prepared to proceed with the full NAFTA arbitration process if necessary, and have recently received increased litigation funding specifically to support this case”. The Exploraciones Oceánicas project contains an estimated 588 M tonnes of phosphate, at a depth of 70-90 m, lying 25 to 40 km from the coast, with almost no overburden.

ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

  • Newmont Goldcorp donates 500 COVID-19 tests in Zacatecas. The donation amounts to more than $2 M pesos.
  • Newmont Peñasquito delivered 3,000 cleansing packages, in the communities near the Peñasquito mine in Zacatecas, amidst the fight against the spread of the Coronavirus. The packages are to be delivered in and by local health institutions.

Content like what you have just read can be seen at https://gambusinoprospector.com/ and at LinkedIn’s Mexico Mineral Exploration Group.

On the image below: Hematite-goethite stained quartz vein in an orogenic gold system, Oaxaca. Picture by Jorge Cirett.

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The Mining and Exploration News in Mexico: Highlights on the Fourth Week of March, 2020.

 

Colloform-banded quartz vein

By Miguel A Heredia

During the thirteen week of the year (March 23th to March 29th, 2020), at least 28 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico, with seven commenting on Mexican issues, six disclosing deals and corporate issues, five informing on exploration results, four announcing financial rounds, four discussing issues on social responsibility, one communicating production and financial results, and one reporting on resources and developments.  ON MEXICO ISSUES, Fortuna Silver reported on March 24, 2020, an illegal road blockade on its San Jose mine in Oaxaca but fortunately on March 25, 2020 the company announced it had been lifted and the mine operations were resumed again. La Herradura mine (owned by Fresnillo plc), in the north of Sonora, is an example of how women have inserted themselves into industries historically dominated by men. Several mining companies operating in Mexico have implemented a series of measures to safeguard the health of their workers, in the face of the advance of the COVID-19 pandemic. Azure, Capstone, Evrim, and Premier Gold were some of the companies which reacted on the COVID-19 pandemic.  ON EXPLORATION, In Sonora, Azure reported a new Cu discovery at its Alacrán project and Ridgestone commenced a drilling program at its Rebeico project. In Chihuahua, Radius provided an update of its Amalia project. In Durango, Golden Tag announced the authorization from SEMARNAT to drill up to twenty one holes at its San Diego project.  In Jalisco, GoGold announced drilling results from eight holes collared at its Los Ricos project. ON MINING, Mexus announced operating cost lower than expected and confirmed positive cash flow obtained (Santa Elena mine, Sonora). ON FINANCING, Equinox Gold and Leagold received notice from Pacific Road Resources Fund to acquire 461,947 Equinox common shares for proceeds to the company of $2,854,832 and $9,278,209 aggregate principal amount of 5-years convertible notes (Los Filos mine, Guerrero). Orla announced bought deal financing for gross proceeds of CAD $75,030,000 (Camino Rojo project, Zacatecas).  VVC closed the first tranche of a non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of CAD $951,560 (Kaity project, Chihuahua). Gold Resource declared March monthly dividend to its shareholders (El Aguila mine, Oaxaca).  ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Fortuna Silver updated mineral resource and mineral reserve as of December 31, 2019 for its San Jose mine, Oaxaca. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Alamos Gold filed its annual information form and 2019 annual report (Mulatos mine, Sonora). GoGold announced results from its annual general meeting of shareholders (Los Ricos project, Jalisco). McEwen reported that it has fallen below the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) continued listing requirement related to the price of its common stock (El Gallo mine, Sinaloa). Orla Mining announced Layback agreement with Fresnillo Plc (Camino Rojo project, Zacatecas). Evrim reported that it has terminated the option agreement with Harvest Gold on its Cerro Cascaron project in Chihuahua.   Radius entered into an option agreement to acquire, from a local concessionaire, 100% interest in the Plata Verde property in Chihuahua. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, Argonaut Gold confirmed its commitment to the environment, performing and promoting good ecological practices in Sonora and Durango. Minera Autlán informed about their commitments regarding the responsible and sustainable Water Management. Grupo México reported that it will advance the delivery of a hospital in Juchitán, Oaxaca, to support efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in the country. Representatives of the mining company Media Luna (Torex Gold) expressed their solidarity with the problem that the country is suffering due to the Coronavirus pandemic and donated mouthwash and antibacterial gel to the Guerrero health system (El Limón-Guajes mine complex, Guerrero).

ON MEXICO ISSUES

  • Fortuna Silver Mines Inc., reported on March 24, 2020, an illegal road blockade on its San Jose mine in Oaxaca by a group of individuals to protest the action taken by the Electoral Tribunal of the State of Oaxaca in revoking his appointment as major. Fortunately, the company announced the next day that it has been lifted, and the mine operation was resumed.
  • La Herradura mine(owned by Fresnillo plc), in the north of Sonora, is an example of how women have inserted themselves into industries historically dominated by men. There is still a long way to go in gender equality in industries such as mining, but there are examples that this is possible. For the mining industry, women’s work has given good results in cases such as La Herradura. For their part, women workers see mining as an opportunity to earn a living wage with opportunities for job growth. It may not be the first image that comes to mind, but women miners are a reality in Mexico.
  • Several mining companies operating in Mexico, have implemented a series of measures to safeguard the health of their workers, in the face of the advance of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Azure Minerals Limited, suspended all field exploration and drilling at the company´s project, and suspended the trial processing program of high-grade ore from Oposura with the bulk concentrates bagged into bulker bags which have been stored in the Company’s warehouse, and Implemented required policies and procedures which include “no travel”, “no congregating in groups”, “social distancing” and “working from home”.
  • Capstone Mining Corp., reported that its priority is to ensure the health and safety of their people, and stated that until now, COVID-19 has not impacted production or concentrate shipments at its Cozamin mine in Zacatecas.
  • Evrim Resources Corp., took the decision to send all his employees to work remotely to keep them safe and healthy.
  • Premier Gold Mines Limited, announced that its Mercedes mine in Sonora has not been materially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The company is focused on protect their employees from the coronavirus outbreak. It has introduced company-wide health and safety protocols and has implemented controls and safety procedures at each site.

ON EXPLORATION

  • Azure Minerals Limited, reported, within its El Alacrán project, a new Cu discovery called Gregors by doing RC drill-testing a buried VTEM geophysical anomaly coincident with a 100m by 100m outcrop of breccia and gossan. Significant drill intersections were encountered in hole GGC-02 with 0.68% Cu over 30m, including 2.3% over 6m, and hole GGC-003 with 0.96% Cu over 18m, including 7.03% Cu over 1.5m. Azure is undertaking a detailed data review and interpretation plus initial mineralogical and metallurgical studies to assess potential and assist with planning a follow-up drill program. Additionally, the company also reported a single hole collared at San Simon mine located 700m away from its Loma Bonita resource area, which returned 2 g/t Au and 64 g/t Ag over 21m, including 3.35 g/t Au over 6.0m. Further drilling to test the vuggy silica mineralized zone, which is interpreted to extend further to the east and south beneath the Cerro San Simon hill, will be undertaken in the next drill program.
  • Ridgestone Mining Inc., announced the commencement of a 1,500m drilling program in 10 holes at its newly discovered Au-Cu bearing New Year zone at its Rebeico project in Sonora. This first phase drilling program will be focused on testing at depth the high grade Au-Cu mineralization discovered in 2019 with surface sampling which returned up to 12.95 g/t Au and 0.65% Cu, testing the southern portion of the nearby Alaska Vein south of the hole 18REB10 which intersected 36.10 g/t Au over 1.5m, and also test the potential junction of the >New Year zone with the southern part of the Alaska vein.
  • Radius Gold Inc., provided an update for its Amalia project in Chihuahua. Highlights include the development of its El Cuervo target, located 3.8km southeast of the current drilled area of san Pedro, where up to 40m wide of silicification, breccias and veining with strong Au and Ag geochemistry has been mapped and sampled over a length of 750m. Radius also reported that a drill permit is in progress for a fourth phase of drilling at its Amalia project. The fourth phase of drilling will consists of 9 deep holes to test down dip and lateral extension of the high grade Au-Ag mineralization defined at san Pedro area.
  • Golden Tag Resources Ltd., announced the authorization from SEMARNAT to drill up to twenty one holes at its San Diego project in Durango. The company plans to conduct a 2,000m drilling program in eight holes to test the near-surface continuity of mineralization identified in previous drilling programs at the Trovador-MS and El Jal-Arroyo Zone target areas.
  • GoGold Resources Inc., reported drilling results from eight holes collared at its Los Ricos project in Jalisco, including three at San Juan and five in the Main Area. Significant drill intersections were encountered in hole LRGG-20-115 (Main Area) with 0.61 g/t Au and 153 g/t Ag (2.65 g/t AuEq or 203 g/t AgEq) over 19.5m, including 1.17 g/t Au and 281 g/t Ag (4.93 g/t AuEq or 370 g/t AgEq) over 9.6m; and hole LrGG-20-119 (Main Area) with 0.91 g/t Au and 135 g/t Ag (2.71 g/t AuEq or 203 g/t AgEq) over 26.4m, including 1.6 g/t Au and 196 g/t Ag (4.21 g/t AuEq or 316 g/t AgEq) over 12.6m.

ON MINING

  • Mexus Gold US, announced it is producing Au at a cost of USD $376/Oz and confirmed it is operating at a positive cash flow. Mexus is planning to produce 10 Oz Au per day within 60 days (Santa Elena mine, Sonora).

ON FINANCING

  • Equinox Gold Corp. and Leagold Mining Corporation,  received notice from Pacific Road Resources Fund to acquire 461,947 Equinox common shares for proceeds to the company of $2,854,832 and $9,278,209aggregate principal amount of 5-years convertible notes. The Company intends to use the proceeds from the shares and notes for general corporate and working capital purposes (Los Filos mine, Guerrero).
  • Orla Mining Ltd., announced a bought deal for gross proceeds of CAD $75,030,000. The company also granted an over-allotment option to purchase up to an additional 5.49M common shares at the offering price. If this option is exercised in full, an additional CAD $11,254,500 in net proceeds will be raised. At the end, the total aggregate gross proceeds of the offering will be CAD $86,284,500. Net proceeds will be used for exploration and development of its Camino Rojo project in Zacatecas.
  • VVC Exploration Corporation, closed the first tranche of a non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of CAD $951,560. Net proceeds will be used to develop its Katya project in Chihuahua, including costs associated with various permits, metallurgical bench testing of the copper mineralization, and investigation, evaluation and implementation of the Gloria Pilot Mining Project.
  • Gold Resource Corporation, declared March monthly dividend of one-third of a cent per common share to its shareholders (El Aguila mine, Oaxaca).

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

  • Fortuna Silver Mines Inc., updated mineral resource and mineral reserve as of December 31, 2019 at its San Jose mine, Oaxaca. Proven reserves are 232,000 tonnes of 2.12 g/t Au and 311 g/t to contain 16K Oz Au and 2.3M Oz Ag, and Probable reserves are 3, 704,000 tonnes of 1.58 g/t Au and 239 g/t Ag to contain 188K Oz Au and 28.5M Oz Ag. Total proven + probable reserves are 3,936,000 tonnes of 1.61 g/t Au and 243 g/t Ag to contain 204K Oz Au and 30.8M Oz Ag. It also reported that has measured resources of 17,000 tonnes of 0.8 g/t Au and 104 g/t Ag to contain 1K Oz Au and 0.1M Oz Ag, and Indicated resources of 538,000 tonnes of 0.7 g/t Au and 105 g/t Ag to contain 12K Oz Au and 1.8M Oz Ag. Measured + Inferred resources are 555,000 tonnes of 0.7 g/t Au and 105 g/t Ag to contain 13K Oz Au and 1.9M Oz Ag. In addition it reported inferred resources of 3,889,000 tonnes of 0.96 g/t Au and 131 g/t Ag to contain 120K Oz Au and 16.3M Oz Ag. (Mineral Resources are exclusive of Mineral Reserves).

ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

  • Alamos Gold Inc., filed its annual information form and 2019 annual report, including its audited financial statement for the year ended December 31, 2019 (Mulatos mine, Sonora).
  • GoGold Resources Inc., announced results from its annual general meeting of shareholders (Los Ricos project, Jalisco).
  • McEwen Mining Inc., reported that it has fallen below the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) continued listing requirement related to the price of its common stock. The NYSE requires that the average closing price of a listed company’s common stock be above US$1.00 per share, calculated over a period of 30 consecutive trading days (El Gallo mine, Sinaloa).
  • Orla Mining Ltd., announced a non-binding layback letter agreement with Fresnillo Plc., to extend its Camino Rojo oxide pit onto part of Fresnillo´s mineral concession. Under the terms of the agreement, Orla will pay Fresnillo a total cash consideration of USD $62.8M: USD $10M due upon the execution of the definitive layback agreement; USD $15M due Orla having received all funding and permits required for construction and development or July 1st, 2020; USD $15M due no later than 12 months following the commencement of commercial production or December 1st, 2022; USD $22.8M due no later than 24 months following the commencement of commercial production or December 1st, 2023; the amounts for the third and fourth payments shall bear an interest of 5% per annum from July1, 2020 until the date of payment. (Camino Rojo project, Zacatecas).
  • Evrim Resources Corp. and Harvest Gold Corporation, announced the termination of its option agreement on Cerro Cascaron project in Chihuahua. Evrim is seeking a new partner to continue the exploration of this mining property.
  • Radius Gold Inc., entered into an option agreement with a local concessionaire, to acquire 100% interest in the 300 Has Plata Verde property in Chihuahua by making staged payments totaling over four years USD $880K with the final payment equal to USD $400K at the end of year four. An USD $8K signing payment has already been paid. The owner retains a 1% NSR which Radius can buy back for USD $1M. “Plata Verde, silver mineralization occurs as massive to crustiform banded barite calcite with silver chlorides, sulphosalt minerals and native silver infilling and cementing fractures and breccia within a basaltic/andesite extrusive volcanic. The basaltic/andesite host occurs at the base of the Upper Rhyolitic Volcanics of the Northern Sierra Madre. In general the host volcanics and associated silver mineralization is covered by the overlying rhyolitic ignimbrites and is only exposed along the length of a small creek”. Initial prospecting rock chips by Radius geologists have returned silver grades between 5 and 1,070 g/t Ag.

ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

  • Argonaut Gold Inc., confirmed its commitment to the environment, performing and promoting good ecological practices in Sonora and Durango, such as recycling all material used in its operations, confining all dangerous resources, increasing the use of renewable energy, preserving the flora and fauna species, taking care of air quality and generating new alternatives to help capture water in the aquifers, etc. The company offered 664 talks in its operation units in Sonora and Durango during 2019 to foster its commitment to the environment.
  • Minera Autlán SAB de CV., informed about their commitments regarding the responsible and sustainable management of Water. Autlán promotes responsible water consumption in all its mining units. This consists of reusing as much water as possible, in order to satisfy the greatest number of operations and guarantee the sustainability of the environment. The trend is to continue reducing the amounts used, making resource management much more effective through treatment processes.
  • Grupo México , reported that it will advance the delivery of a hospital in Juchitán, Oaxaca, to support efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in the country. The hospital, with a constructed area of ​​6,800 square meters and a planned capacity of more than 60 beds, was designed to meet the specific requirements of the citizens of the municipalities of Juchitán de Zaragoza, Santo Domingo de Tehuantepec, Matías Romero and Salina Cruz, who were among the most affected in the region after the 2017 earthquakes.
  • Representatives of the mining company Media Luna (Torex Gold), expressed their solidarity with the problem that the country is suffering due to the Coronavirus pandemic and donated to the health system of Guerrero state, 3,500 covers mouths and more than 1,000 liters of antibacterial gel due to the shortage of these products across the country.

 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 colloform-banded quartz vein in a low-sulphidation epithermal system in Zacatecas, Mexico.  Photo by Miguel A Heredia.

The Mining and Exploration News in Mexico: Highlights on the Third Week of March, 2020

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By Jorge Cirett

During the 12th week of the year (March 16th to March 22nd, 2020), at least 30 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico. ON MEXICO ISSUES, Javier Corral, Chihuahua’s governor proposed the Major’s National Association they take part on the current constitutional controversy about the use of the Mining Fund. Mining companies around Mexico and the Camimex prepare for the Coronavirus by cancelling meetings, fairs and gatherings, and promote precautionary measures among its personnel, contractors and communities The AIMMGM convention in Chihuahua, the AMSAC convention in Cananea, and the Discoveries Conference in Guadalajara were to be held at the end of April, but have been re-scheduled due to the Coronavirus effects to later dates on July, August and September. ON EXPLORATION, in Baja California, One World Lithium has obtained the drilling, environmental and occupancy permits to commence drilling on the southern part of the project. In Sonora, Colibri announced the completion of phase 1 drilling at Evelyn. In Chihuahua Century Metals and Reyna Silver are to continue the exploration of the Guigui project near Santa Eulalia.  ON MINING, Starcore filed the results of the last quarter. Mexus Gold continues leaching in Sonora. Avino Silver, Torex gold, McEwen Mining, Impact Silver, Great Panther, Excellon, Argonaut Gold, GoGold Resources, Endeavour Silver, Equinox Gold and Fortuna Silver informed on the measures taken to protect their business, people and communities from the effects of the Coronavirus epidemic. ON FINANCING, Silver Spruce entered into debt settlement agreements for $350 K. First Majestic intends to repurchase up to 10 M shares. SilverCrest Metals received notice from National Bank Financial to terminate their agreement to purchase up to $9.1 M shares. Almaden Minerals amended its private placement to reflect current market conditions. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Prime Mining informed on recent work at its Guadalupe de Los Reyes project in Sinaloa, and how it might impact on the next resource estimation.  ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Century Metals provided an update on the acquisition of Reyna Silver (and its Guigui project in Chihuahua). Riverside Resources informed on its capitalization, business and current BHP strategic funding. Excellon Resources continues on the acquisition path of Otis Gold. Hecla Mining informed on current hedges to deflect the turmoil on the metals market.  ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY. Minera Media Luna informed on a community campaign to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on neighboring villages to its operations.

ON MEXICO ISSUES

  • Javier Corral, Chihuahua’s governor, proposed on the Executive Committee of the Major’s National Association (Asociación Nacional de Alcaldes) that they take part on the constitutional controversy promoted by the Chihuahua government to rescue the Mining Fund from the Federal government.
  • Mining Companies across Mexico prepare for the Coronavirus, Grupo Mexico, Agnico Eagle, Alamos Gold, Fresnillo PLC and Minera El Boleo are among the companies that have installed policies aimed to reduce the chances of infection among its employees, workers and contractors, including the cancellation of fairs and meetings, as well as work from home programs and access control programs at its installations.
  • The AIMMGM convention in Chihuahua to be held on 21-24 April has been changed to 20-24 July, aiming to reduce the Coronavirus spread on the population. On the same grounds the AMSAC (Asociación de Mineros de Sonora) that was to be held on 29 April-1 has been postponed to 3-4 September.
  • The Discoveries Mining Conference to be held in Guadalajara in late April has been postponed, on the same venue, to 10-12 August 2010.
  • CAMIMEX (Cámara Minera de México) informed it is reducing all non-essential activities and avoiding in-person meetings, although maintaining the offices open to facilitate operations. The organism makes a strong plea to companies and the general population to follow all the preventive measures possible.

ON EXPLORATION

  • Colibri Resource Corp. announced the completion of the phase 1 drilling program at its Evelyn project in Sonora. Five holes were collared in the program that measured 815.6 m in total.
  • Century Metals Inc. and Reyna Silver Corp. are engaged on a merger that intends to advance the 4,554 ha Guigui project in the Santa Eulalia district in Chihuahua. Studies on the project for the last 25 years include detailed geologic mapping and sampling, gravimetrics, ground magnetics, CSAMT (Controlled Source Audio Magneto-Tellurics), NSAMT (Natural Source Audio Magneto-Tellurics), Airborne ZTEM/magnetics, satellite hyperspectral and definition of drilling targets. The planned budget for 10,000 m for compiling and re-processing all prior work and 10,000 m of diamond drilling is $2.44 M.
  • One World Lithium Inc. announced that drilling, environmental, and occupancy permits have been approved to drill two key locations at the south end of the Salar del Diablo Property in Baja California. The proposed exploration holes are located 50 km south of the previous drill holes in the north portion of the property. Mike Rosko of Montgomery Associates has recommended these locations, as “there is evidence of historic and currently active hydrothermal activity in the south and that hydrothermal activity can be a source of lithium such as in the Lithium Triangle in Chile and Argentina”.

ON MINING

  • Starcore International Mines Ltd. filed the results for the Q3 ended on 31 January, 2020. At the company’s San Martin mine in Queretaro, 58.3 K tonnes were milled @ 1.84 gpt Au, 30.1 gpt Ag, recovering 90.1% Au, 50.9% Ag, to produce 3.1 K Oz Au, 29.6 K Oz Ag during the quarter; on the year 301.9 K tonnes were milled @ 1.63 gpt Au, 39.6 gpt Ag, recovering 86.2% Au, 58.4% Ag, to produce 13.7 K Oz Au, 224.5 K Oz Ag (16.4 K Oz AuEq), at cash cost $1,061 per Oz AuEq.
  • Mexus Gold US. continues gold production at its Santa Elena mine in Sonora (Not to mistake for First Majestic’s Santa Elena mine, also in Sonora).
  • Avino Silver & Gold Mines Ltd. reported that there is not been impact on day to day operations at the Avino mine in Durango. The company restricted entrance to external visitors and no-one at the mine-site has tested positive for the COVID-19. Two medical doctors are monitoring and educating the labour force and employees daily.
  • Torex Gold Resources Inc. announced that to date the company had no known or suspected cases of COVID-19 infection at the El Limón – Guajes operations in Guerrero. “At the operation, we have stopped international travelers from coming to site. Social distancing efforts at site are being implemented, which includes isolating delivery drivers. Aggressive cleaning of communal areas has also been ramped up. Education initiatives on infection prevention have been extended to the surrounding communities”.
  • McEwen Mining Inc. reported fourth quarter and full year 2019 results, including figures from its Mexican operations. Production from residual leaching at El Gallo, in Sinaloa, was 2,490 Oz Au Eq for the quarter and 16,333 Oz Au for the year.
  • Impact Silver Corp. informed operations continue as the Coronavirus situation is monitored daily. “In conjunction with local authorities we are actively disseminating information on COVID-19 precautionary measures to our employees and their families. We will continue to monitor their health and for signs of early symptoms of the virus on a regular basis to ensure safety of our staff” (Zacualpan, Estado de Mexico).
  • Great Panther Mining Ltd. announced that it has been closely monitoring the latest developments of the novel Coronavirus COVID-19. “All operations and offices have implemented travel restrictions, supervision, monitoring and response plans to reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure and outbreak” (Topia, Durango).
  • Excellon Resources Inc. informed the company is in regular contact with local health authorities at its Platosa (Durango) and Miguel Auza (Zacatecas) operations, and continue to monitor global trends on the Coronavirus pandemia. Among other measures “we have restricted site access to essential personnel and essential suppliers. We are conducting health screening at the gate and have provided our security and health personnel with additional protective measures. We have increased the frequency of workplace cleaning and disinfection, including transport vehicles, and have also increased the number of hand sanitizer stations across the work sites. We have implemented social distancing by doubling the number of buses transporting employees to site, significantly modifying food provision services and increasing office space for administration staff, as well as preparing to adjust our existing work-from-home policies as conditions dictate”.
  • Argonaut Gold. Has implemented protocols to minimize the risks of COVID-19 virus, both to employees and business. “At each site, Argonaut is following government health protocols, has implemented additional protocols and is closely monitoring the situation with local health authorities” (La Colorada, Sonora).
  • GoGold Resources Inc. informed that “The constantly changing COVID-19 situation is unprecedented and for many is a time filled with uncertainty. We’d like to ensure our shareholders that operations at Parral and Los Ricos continue as normal as we monitor the situation” (Parral, Chihuahua; Los Ricos, Jalisco).
  • Endeavour Silver Corp. has implemented plans to minimize the risks of the COVID-19 virus both to the employees and to the business. “At each site, Endeavour is following government health protocols and is closely monitoring the situation with local health authorities. The Company has posted health advisories to educate employees about the COVID-19 symptoms, best practices to avoid catching the virus, and procedures to follow if symptoms are experienced” (El Compas, Zacatecas).
  • Fortuna Silver Mines Ltd. has been monitoring the effects of the spread of the Coronavirus, particularly in the jurisdictions that host its mining operations. The company “has placed its Health Safety Security and Environmental Committee in permanent session and is continually assessing the related health and safety risks to the Company’s personnel and contractors at its operations and offices. Preventative measures implemented at our offices and mines include: restrictions on travel, enhanced communication on prevention of contagion and viral effects, increased hygiene initiatives, monitoring personnel and visitors at our sites for symptoms of COVID-19, identification of personnel in high risk categories, reducing mine site personnel to a minimum level essential for continued operations and limiting visitors to those whose visits are considered critical” (San José, Oaxaca).
  • Equinox Gold Corp. “is closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and has taken precautionary measures at its mine sites and offices to help protect the safety of the Company’s workforce and local communities” (Los Filos, Guerrero).

ON FINANCING

  • Silver Spruce Resources Inc. has entered into debt settlements with several creditors and one officer and director to settle $350 K. Under the terms of the debt settlement agreements 7 M shares were issued (Pino de Plata, Chihuahua).
  • First Majestic Silver Corp. board has approved the extension of its share repurchase program over the next year, period on which the company aims to re-purchase up to 10 M shares (San Dimas, Durango; Santa Elena, Sonora).
  • SilverCrest Metals Inc. received notice from National Bank Financial Inc. purporting to terminate its obligations pursuant to an agreement whereby NBF had asked for and agreed to purchase on a “bought deal” basis 9.1 M common shares at price of $8.25 per common share, based on the “disaster out” clause of the agreement. “SilverCrest intends to pursue its legal remedies against NBF for breach of NBF’s obligations under the terms of the Agreement” (Las Chispas, Sonora).
  • Almaden Minerals Ltd. amended its private placement in order to reflect current market conditions. The purchase price for units has been reduced from $0.41 to $0.37 and the exercise price for warrants from $0.65 to $0.50, while the offering size has been increased from 4.9 M to 5.4 M units (Ixtaca, Puebla).

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

  • Prime Mining Corp. informed recent work at its Guadalupe de Los Reyes project in Sinaloa hints to the potential of linking resources. Recent new trenches and road cuts sampling indicate mineralization linkage between the Zapote North and Zapote South orebodies. “Independent engineers are currently assessing and calculating a new resource model, which is now expected to be updated by the end of Q1 2020”. The historic resource is 530 K Oz Au, 10 M Oz Ag, established for Vista Gold in 2013.

ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

  • Century Metals Inc. provided an update on the acquisition of all the shares of Reyna Silver Corp. (which owns the Guigui project in Chihuahua). Century is to consolidate to its shares to 5.35 M, both companies are to undertake private placements and Century will issue shares to Reyna Silver’s shareholders and warrants to the holders of warrants, and Century will issue shares to Mag Silver Corp., which is to hold 19.9% of the consolidated shares. Century and Reyna are raising up to $6.8 M in conjunction with the acquisition through concurrent financings. To date, Reyna has raised $5.06 M and Century $1.49 M. The Acquisition is a reverse takeover, and the definitive agreement is expected to be settled before the end of March 2020.
  • Riverside Resources Inc. provided an update on its operations. Currently the company has more than C$2 M in cash, no debt, 63 M shares outstanding and posted to receive $1 M from BHP in May, as part of a generative copper exploration strategic funding agreement. The company also holds marketable securities worth over C$1 M and has retained NSR’s on previously partnered projects. By the end of the month Riverside will have a vote to spin-out the Peñoles project in Durango.
  • Excellon Resources Inc. and Otis Gold Corp., announced that they have filed a joint circular in connection with the acquisition by Excellon of all the shares of Otis, pursuant to a plan of arrangement under the Business Corporations Act of British Columbia (Platosa, Durango).
  • Hecla Mining Co. provided a summary of the activities undertaken to protect its business, employees and local communities from COVID-19. Among the actions taken, contracts have been secured for $16 per Oz Ag for the second quarter, and $1,450 and $1,650 per Oz Au for the second and third quarter respectively. The company has implemented and followed recommended health and hygiene protocols, restricted mine site staff to essential personnel and contractors, stockpiled critical mining supplies (up to six months’ worth in some cases) to protect against possible future supply disruptions (San Sebastian, Durango).

ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

  • Minera Media Luna has a community campaign to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus in the region of the Limon-Guajes mine in Guerrero. The campaign includes an informative preventive health circle inward and outward of the mining complex, into the communities of Acalmantlila, Nuevo Balsas, Real de Limón, La Fundición and Atzcala, among others.

Content like what you have just read can be seen at https://gambusinoprospector.com/ and at LinkedIn’s Mexico Mineral Exploration Group.

On the image below: potassic feldspar alteration in a meta granitoid in Oaxaca, picture by Jorge Cirett.

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The Mining and Exploration News in Mexico: Highlights on the Second Week of March, 2020.

phreatic breccia

By Miguel A Heredia

During the eleventh week of the year (March 9th to March 15th, 2020), at least 21 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico, with four commenting on Mexican issues, three announcing financial rounds, three informing on exploration results, three communicating production and financial results, three disclosing deals and corporate issues, three discussing issues on social responsibility, and two reporting on resources and developments.  ON MEXICO ISSUES, A local Deputy of Durango State celebrated the investment of USD $100M in the mining sector. Michoacán State breaks the mining slowdown cycle, and Fe extraction grows 8% and climbs to second place. A series of Mexican mining projects have changed ownership in recent weeks as Au and Ag prices rise. In the last five years, the female workforce in the mining sector has grown by an average of 14-15%, according to Karen Flores, General Director of the Mining Chamber of Mexico (Camimex). ON EXPLORATION, In Sinaloa, Vizsla reported drilling results from its Panuco project. In Zacatecas, Alien announced its program development for its Mexican projects. In Jalisco, GoGold released drilling results from 11 holes collared at its Los Ricos project. ON MINING, Americas Gold and Silver reported full year 2019 production and financial results (Cosala mine, Sinaloa). Santacruz suspended milling operations at its Veta Grande mine in Zacatecas. Fortuna Silver reported full year 2019 production and financial results from its San Jose mine in Oaxaca. ON FINANCING, Almaden announced a non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of up to $2M (Ixtaca project, Puebla). SilverCrest announced a bought deal financing for gross proceeds of CAD $75M (Las Chispas project, Sonora). Mexus sold some Au produced at its Santa Elena mine in Sonora.  ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Great Panther updated mineral resource estimate at its Guanajuato Mine Complex in Guanajuato and provided an update on its Topia mine operation in Durango. SilverCrest reported infill drilling results from its Las Chispas project in Sonora. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Equinox and Leagold completed merger to create premier Americas gold producer (Los Filos, Guerrero). Pan American filed its 2019 audited annual financial statement and annual information form (La Colorada mine, Zacatecas). Premier appointed a new member to its board of Directors (Mercedes mine, Sonora). ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, Almaden opened a local water reservoir in the community of Zacatepec, nearby its Ixtaca project in Puebla.  Argonaut gave scholarship number 3,000 to a student of La Colorada, Sonora. Minera San Xavier (New Gold Inc.), improves the public lighting system in Cerro de San Pedro, San Luis Potosi.

ON MEXICO ISSUES

  • A local Deputy of Durango State, celebrated the investment of USD $100M in the mining sector. It means greater economic development and especially the generation of a large number of well-paid jobs. For this reason, the Deputy said, it is necessary for the federal government to develop a state mining policy, as it is currently done in Durango that allows recovering the international competitiveness that characterized Mexico during the first decade of this millennium.
  • Michoacan State, breaks the mining slowdown cycle, and Fe extraction grows 8% and climbs to second place. According to the Economic Information Bank, the entity totaled 2.6M tonnes in 2019, which meant an increase of 8% with respect to the 2.4M tonnes reported during 2018.
  • A series of Mexican mining projects, have changed ownership in recent weeks as Au and Ag prices rise. For instance, Magna Gold acquired the San Francisco mine in Sonora from Alio Gold and is evaluating partnership opportunities to advance its suspended Ana Paula project in Guerrero; GR Silver Mining acquired Plomosas in Sinaloa from First Majestic; GoGold recently acquired 5 concessions around its Los Ricos project in Jalisco; and Fresnillo plc exercised an option to acquire the Naranjillo property in Guanajuato from Plata Latina. These latest agreements show that Mexico continues to generate a decent level of interest in mergers and acquisitions.
  • Karen Flores, General Director of the Mining Chamber of Mexico (Camimex), announced that In the last five years, the female workforce in the mining sector has grown by an average of 14-15%. Currently, 60 thousand women work in this industry in the country, which represents 16% of the total of its workers. In 2019, 3,153 new places were generated for them.

ON EXPLORATION

  • Vizsla Resources Corp., reported drilling results from its Panuco project in Sinaloa. Significant interception were encountered in hole AMS-20-06 with 1.25 g/t Au and 264 g/t Ag (364 g/t AgEq) over 3.55m, including 2.54 g/t Au and 474 g/t Ag (677 g/t AgEq) over a width of 1.3m; and hole AMS-20-04 with 2.45 g/t Au, 45 g/t Ag, 1.2% Pb, and 3.0% Zn (404 g/t AgEq) over 2.6m. These drilling results are the first set from an aggressive program of 14,500m that will continue throughout 2020.
  • Alien Metals Limited, announced its program development for its Mexican projects. The company has planned a detail exploration drilling program and has submitted applications for drill permits at its Los Campos and San Celso projects in Zacatecas. At its Donovan 2 Cu-Au VMS target in Zacatecas, it also is planning a ground magnetic survey to generate follow-up work and drill targets.
  • GoGold Resources Inc., released drilling results from eleven holes collared at its Los Ricos project in Jalisco: two at San Juan and nine at the Main area. Significant drill intersections were encountered in hole LRGG-20-106 (San Juan Area) with 1.35 g/t Au and 118 g/t Ag (2.92 g/t AuEq or 219 g/t AgEq) over a width of 21m, including 2.83 g/t Au and 217 g/t Ag and (5.73 g/t Au or 430 g/t AgEq) over a width of 9.5m; hole LRGG-20-102 (Main Area) with 1.05 g/t Au and 156 g/t Ag (3.13 g/t AuEq or 235 g/t AgEq) over a width of 10.7m; and hole LRGG-20-101 (San Juan Area) with 0.54 g/t Au and 116 g/t Ag (2.08 g/t AuEq or 156 g/t AgEq) over a width of 33.8m, including 2.0 g/t Au and 467 g/t Ag (8.22 g/t AuEq or 617 g/t AgEq) over a width of 5m.

ON MINING

  • Americas Gold and Silver Corporation, reported full year 2019 production and financial results. Consolidated results indicate a total ore processed of 701.8K tonnes of 70 g/t Ag, 2.1% Pb, 3.4% Zn to produce 1.16M Oz Ag, 26.2M Lb Pb, and 43.3M Lb Zn, with a cash cost of $4.61 per Oz Ag and AISC of $12.71 per Oz Ag. The company reported revenues of $58.4M and a net loss of $34.2M. The Cosala mine in Sinaloa successfully executed its production plans for the year 2019, increasing mill tonnage to over 1,750 tonnes per day, and increasing production of precious and by-product metals.
  • Santacruz Silver Mining Ltd., suspended milling operations at its Veta Grande mine in Zacatecas for approximately six months to facilitate plant and new tailings storage facility upgrades.
  • Fortuna Silver Mines Inc., reported Q4 and full year 2019 production and financial results from its San Jose mine in Oaxaca. During the period Q4, 2019, it milled 273,066 tonnes of 249 g/t Ag and 1.5 g/t Au, recovering 91% for both metals to produce 2M Oz Ag and 12K Oz Au, at cash cost of $6.8 per Oz AgEq and AISC of $10.5 per Oz AgEq. For the full 2019 year, the company milled 1,068,722 tonnes of 252 g/t Ag and 1.57 g/t Au, recovering 91% for both metals, to produce 7.9M Oz Ag and 48.9K Oz Au, at cash cost of $6.70 per Oz AgEq and AISC of $9.8 per Oz AgEq.

ON FINANCING

  • Almaden Minerals Ltd., announced a proposed non-brokered private placement to raise gross proceeds of up to $2M. Net proceeds will be used for permitting activities related to its Ixtaca project in Puebla, and for general corporate purposes. Closing of the offering is anticipated to be on or about March 26, 2020.
  • SilverCrest Metals Inc., announced a bought deal financing for gross proceeds of CAD $75M. Net proceeds will be used to continue the exploration and development of its Las Chispas project in Sonora and for general working capital and administrative purposes.
  • Mexus Gold US, sold 16.5 out of 125 Oz Au produced at its Santa Elena mine in Sonora, at a price of USD $1,600 per Oz. Additional sales will be occurring shortly.

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

  • Great Panther Mining Limited, updated mineral resource estimate at its Guanajuato Mine Complex in Guanajuato. At Guanajuato mine, measured + indicated resources are 343,736 tonnes of 204 g/t Ag and 1.69 g/t Au to contain 2.25M Oz Ag and 8.7K Oz Au (3.75M Oz AgEq at a grade of 339 g/t AgEq). Inferred resources are 208,608 tonnes of 168 g/t Ag and 2.32 g/t Au to contain 1.13M Oz Ag and 15.6K Oz Au (2.37M Oz AgEq at a grade of 354 g(t AgEq). At San Ignacio mine, measured + indicated resources are 386,417 tonnes of 159 g/t A and 3.03 g/t Au to contain 1.97M Oz Ag and 37.6K Oz Au (4.98M Oz AgEq at a grade of 401 g/t AgEq). Inferred resources are 501,870 tonnes of 149 g/t Ag and 2.69 g/t Au to contain 2.4M Oz Ag and 43.4K Oz Au (5.88M Oz AgEq at a grade of 364 g/t AgEq). In addition, the company reported that it has temporarily ceased tailing deposition at its Topia mine in Durango. Great Panther is in the process of permitting a Phase III of a tailings storage facility (TSF) site. Meanwhile, it is reviewing alternatives to store tailings (permanent or transitionary) until phase III TSF is permitted. The company expects it is obtained in the within the next 3 or 6 months.
  • SilverCrest Metals Inc., reported infill drilling results from its Las Chispas project in Sonora. Highlights include hole UBV19-30 with 81.6 g/t Au and 6,619 g/t Ag (12,740 g/t AgEq) over a true width of 2.1m; hole BV20-22 with 101.45 g/t Au and 5,413 g/t Ag (13,022 g/t AgEq) over a true width of 1.1m; and hole BV20-18 with 45.8 g/t Au and 2,396 g/t Ag (5,831 g/t AgEq) over a true width of 1.6m. The drilling results have nearly doubled the size of the high-grade footprint for the Babi Vista Vein in the Babicanora Area.

ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

  • Equinox Gold Corp., and Leagold Mining Corporation, completed merger to become in one of the world´s top gold producing companies. The concurrent USD $670M debt and equity financings associated with the merger have also been completed (Los Filos mine, Guerrero).
  • Pan American Silver Corp., filed its 2019 audited annual financial statement and annual information form (La Colorada mine, Zacatecas).
  • Premier Gold Mines Limited, appointed a new member to its board of Directors (Mercedes mine, Sonora).

ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

  • Almaden Minerals Ltd., along with the Federal Government Water Authority (CONAGUA), opened a local water reservoir in the community of Zacatepec, nearby its Ixtaca project in Puebla. This water reservoir will be used for irrigation to boost the current harvests of the community.
  • Argonaut Gold Inc., gave the scholarship number 3,000 to a student of la Colorada, Sonora. In this community, the company has maintained an academic scholarship program since 2011. The General Manager of the La Colorada mine assured that the company’s commitment is fulfilled in coherence with the vision of social responsibility where the education of children and young people is a priority.
  • Minera San Xavier (New Gold Inc.), has invested heavily in the infrastructure of the municipality of Cerro de San Pedro, as part of the social actions contemplated in its Comprehensive, Inclusive and Participatory Mine Closure Plan. The company is improving the public lighting system in Cerro de San Pedro, San Luis Potosi, with solar luminaries, which have a positive impact on public safety and tourist activities. These solar luminaries count with great potential for energy savings, reducing electricity consumption and maintenance costs, without compromising the quality of lighting services.

 

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 phreatic breccia in an epithermal hot spring prospect in Guanajuato, Mexico.  Photo by Miguel A Heredia.

The Mining and Exploration News in Mexico: Highlights on the First Week of March, 2020

IMG_4731

By Jorge Cirett

During the 10th week of the year (March 2nd to March 8th, 2020), at least 25 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico. ON MEXICO ISSUES, several companies are interested exploring for lithium in Zacatecas-San Luis Potosí. Grupo Mexico plans to invest 78% more in 2020. Several mining companies are to invest more than $200 M in exploration in Mexico. The year 2019 was not good for the mining industry in the country, with an overall decrease in production. Durango’s governor announced mining investments for $100 M. The Peñasquito mine is expected to produce 1.6 M Oz AuEq per year for the next five years. The Industria Nacional de Autopartes (INA) is promoting the installation of a lithium battery plant. The Future of the Mexican Mining Industry seminar was held during the PDAC convention in Toronto, Canada.  Peñoles is to switch to LP gas its diesel truck fleet at one of its mines in Sonora (Milpillas?). ON EXPLORATION, in Durango, Chesapeake Gold optioned the Duraznito project, near the San Dimas mine. In Veracruz, Azucar Minerals released more drill results from its El Cobre project.  ON MINING, US Antimony reported the successful startup of the Los Juarez production facilities in Queretaro and Guanajuato. Mexus Gold announced small scale heap leach gold production at its Santa Elena mine in Sonora. Bacanora Lithium presented financial results for the last six months of 2019. Gold Resource presented production figures for 2019. Fresnillo PLC and Premier Gold Mines released financial results for 2019. ON FINANCING, One World Lithium announced the amendment of the terms on a number of  purchase warrants previously issued by the company. Consolidated Zinc entered into unsecured loan facilities with CZL major shareholders. Premier Gold closed its public offering, for gross proceeds of $38 M. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Mag Silver released results from last year’s 28-hole program with over 33,000 m of drilling, including some exciting intercepts. Gold Resource Corp. updated annual reserve estimates for the Oaxaca Mining Unit. Aura Minerals provided mineral reserve and resource estimates to the end of 2019 for the Aranzazu mine in Zacatecas. SilverCrest released metallurgical test results for its Las Chispas project in Sonora.  ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Mithril Resources is acquiring the company that controls the Copalquin project in Durango. Oroco Resource closed the acquisition of Altamura Copper, furthering its interest on the Santo Tomás project in Sinaloa. Magna Gold is acquiring Alio Gold’s San Francisco mine in Sonora. Sable Resources appointed Ruben Padilla as CEO. Equinox Gold and Leagold Mining received approval for its merger. GR Silver Mining and First Majestic signed a binding agreement on the sale to GR of the Plomosas property in Sinaloa. Prime mining signed a long-term surface agreement on its Guadalupe de Los Reyes project in Sinaloa. Cheaspeake gold optioned the El Duraznito project in Durango. Fortuna Silver is involved in legal proceeding regarding a royalty on one of its mining concessions. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY. Peñasquito  received two awards by Infonavit for its excellent compliance on payments.

ON MEXICO ISSUES

  • Claudia Pavlovich, Sonora’s governor, praised the work women realize in the State, while on a trip visiting mining communities, like Turicachi, Nacozari de García and Cumpas, where she realized various activities.
  • Gustavo Puentes, Secretary of Economic Development, announced several companies are interested in investing in lithium exploration in the border between San Luis Potosi and Zacatecas.
  • Camimex (Cámara Minera de México) supports women collaborators that unite on the movement #UnDíaSinNosotras (One day without us) that is trying to eradicate genre violence.
  • The inauguration of Mexican Stand on the Prospectors and Developers of Canada Convention (PDAC) in Toronto counted with the participation of Graeme Clark, Canada’s ambassador in Mexico, Juan José Gómez Camacho, Mexico’s ambassador in Canada, Francisco Quiroga, subsecretary of Mining, José rosas Aispuro, Durngo’s governor and Salvador García, president of the Asociación de Ingenieros de Minas, Metalurgistas y Geólogos de México (AIMMGM). The Mexico stand was possible due to the support of the AIMMGM, Peñoles, Minera Media Luna, Newmont, Alamos Gold, Endeaavour Silver, Asociación de Mineros de Sonora, Construplan, Detector Exploraciones, SSR Mining Pitarrilla, Santacruz Silver Mining, Starcore, International Mines, MacClean, Diesel Cargo, Accendo Banco, ROD General Contractor and Ecodrill, as the Mexican government no longer supports international promotion.
  • Grupo Mexico plans to invest 78% more in 2020. On mining the budget is US$1,217 M to produce 1.12 M tonnes Cu, further US$367 M to invest in transport and US$412 M in the infrastructure division.
  • Mining industry companies are to invest more than US$200 M in exploration in Mexico during 2020. Torex Gold plans to invest US$13 M in the Media Luna project; Fresnillo will invest over US$135 M in exploration in Chile, Peru and Mexico; First Majestic Silver will invest US$28 M in San Dimas, Durango and Santa Elena, Sonora; Pan American Silver is to invest more than US$37 M at Dolores in Chihuahua and La Colorada in Zacatecas.
  • Mining did not have a good year in Mexico in 2019. Mining is ongoing in 25 States, produces 8.1% of the industrial GNP and had a 5.1% contraction as result of the policies of the actual Federal Government. Since December of 2018 no new mineral concession titles have been granted, and the environmental regulator, SEMARNAT has delivered just one Environmental Impact Report (Manifestación de Impacto Ambiental, or MIA). In Puebla, a local court maintains a suspension of work on El Gorrión mine (Ixtaca) based on a legal complaint by a communal group (ejido) on a mineral concession the company no longer has. The Cosalá mine in Sinaloa is paralyzed by a conflict between unions masterminded by Morena’s senator Napoleon Gómez Urrutia, reminiscent of the conflict suffered by Torex Gold a few months ago under the same terms. The projected investments for US$5,343 M were not achieved, with the projected real figure likely to be around 60%, and exploration at 36% of the expected. Coming interactions of the industry with the Environmental regulator the sub secretary of mining, Francisco Quiroga and Alfonso Romo are to try to better the condition of the industry.
  • The governor of Durango, José Rosas Aispuro announced at the PDAC convention in Toronto, the investment of US$100 M in the mining sector during 2020 in the State.
  • The Peñasquito mine in Zacatecas is the biggest gold mine in Mexico, the second largest for silver and one of the biggest producers of zinc and lead. The mine is expected to produce 1.6 M Oz AuEq per year during the next five years. The company is striving to reduce costs and optimize the operation.
  • The Industria Nacional de Autopartes (INA) promotes the installation of a battery plant based on lithium, to take advantage of the natural resources and the industrial prowess of the country. Bacanora Lithium plans to invest US$420 M on the installation of a processing plant in Bacadehuachi, Sonora, in order to produce 17 K tonnes a year. About 85% of the lithium producers are in Asia, and USA produces 20% of the batteries. The nearness to the USA and sea ports are other advantages for project owned by Bacanora Lithium.
  • During December 2019 mining grew by 0.9% thanks to the push given by a raise of 19.1% in lead production. For the year, mining decreased 1.5%, while lead production grew 13.3%. Los Gatos, in Chihuahua; Minera Capela in Guerrero; San Martin and Peñasquito in Zacatecas and production by Fresnillo aided in the growth seen by the bluish gray metal. Production rates from other metals show increments and decrements to the following tenor During December: Gypsum +14.4%, zinc +8.8%, silver +7.8%, sulphur +5.2%, coke -25.8%, iron pellets -7.3%, coal -5.2%, gold -2.2%, copper -0-8%. For the year: Overall -1.5%, gold -10.2%, silver +1.1%, copper +4.8%, zinc +7.0%, lead +13.3%, iron pellets -0.5%, coke -16.0%, Sulphur -14.7%, fluorite -5.0%, coal -2.0%, gypsum -0.6%. The trend reflects years of decreasing investment in mining, although some new developments might increase the production on lead, zinc, silver and copper.
  • The Future of the Mexican Mining Industry seminar was held during the PDAC convention in Toronto, Canada. Four environmentally focused conferences opened the seminar in which a dialogue table was set with the Mining Sub Secretary Francisco Quiroga, several governors, union leaders, mining company executives, financial analysts and congressmen.
  • Lithium exploration projects in Mexico: There are more than 20 lithium exploration projects in the country, most within Sonora, Zacatecas, San Luis Potosí, Baja California and Coahuila. The most advanced is Bacanora Lithium’s Sonora project in Bacadehuachi, but other interesting properties are comprised by OrganiMax’s Salar La Salada in Zacatecas, and Salar Santa Clara and Salar Caliguey in San Luis Potosí; Litio Infinito’s project in Sonora, adjacent to the ground held by Bacanora Lithium and One World Lithium’s Salar del Diablo project in Baja California.
  • Industrias Peñoles intends to change the fuel used by its mining trucks fleet in a mine in Sonora. The change involves modifying the trucks to run on LP gas instead of diesel (Milpillas mine?).

ON EXPLORATION

  • Chesapeake Gold Corp. announced it has an option to acquire El Duraznito project in Durango, which is 18 Km East of First Majestic’s San Dimas mine. Mineralization is represented by quartz veins and quartz bearing breccias along 1,500 m of longitude and 300 m vertically. Those structures are parallel to the San Dimas veins, and appear to be also of epithermal low sulfidation character. A series of rock chip samples on sub-parallel quartz bearing breccias have returned 45 m @ 1.6 gpt Au, 16 gpt Ag; 30 m @ 3.9 gpt Au, 48 gpt Ag; 23 m @ 1.8 gpt Au, 58 gpt Ag; 15 m @ 3.1 gpt Au, 24 gpt Ag. Channel samples on quartz veins returned 10 m @ 4.8 gpt Au, 464 gpt Ag; 2.5 m @ 3.9 gpt Au, 756 gpt Ag; 2.5 m @ 9.7 gpt Au, 343 gpt Ag; 3.0 m @ 2.8 gpt Au, 113 gpt Ag.
  • Azucar Minerals Ltd. released results from its ongoing program at El Cobre project in Veracruz. Core length intercepts released include: 158.0 m @ 0.64 gpt Au, 0.26% Cu (including 19.6 m @ 0.83 gpt Au, 0.28% Cu); 71.7 m @ 0.16 gpt Au, 0.12% Cu (including 17.7 m @ 0.04 gpt Au, 0.38% Cu); 179.5 m @ 0.20 gpt Au, 0.22% Cu (including 39.95 m @ 0.15 gpt Au, 0.63% Cu and 17.55 m @ 0.48 gpt Au, 0.32% Cu); 112.2 m @ 0.36 gpt Au, 0.26% Cu; 442.2 m @ 0.44 gpt Au, 0.23% Cu (including 158.0 m @ 0.64 gpt Au, 0.26% Cu); 197.5 m @ 0.32 gpt Au, 0.24% Cu (including 16 .0 m @ 0.25 gpt Au, 0.81% Cu); 193.5 m @ 0.27 gpt Au, 0.14% Cu.

ON MINING

  • United States Antimony Corp. reported the successful start up of the Los Juarez Au and Ag production at Los Juarez, Queretaro. Detailed mapping delineated jasperoid silica-rich mineralized pipes over an E-W strike length of three kilometres, and a maximum width of one kilometre. Highlighted individual 1.0-1.5 m assays on drill holes range from trace to 25 gpt Au, 13 to 451 gpt Ag and 0.08 to 1.19% Sb. With a mean grade of 1.09 gpt Au, 102 gpt Ag, 0.65% Sb, and recovery rates of 90% Au, 85% Ag, 70% Sb. The ore is being treated by flotation mill, flotation mill and caustic leach and flotation mill tailings and cyanide leach.
  • Mexus Gold US. Announced it is now producing gold daily at its Santa Elena mine in Sonora (not to mistake with First Majestic’s Santa Elena mine, also in Sonora). Mexus plans to produce 5 to 7 Oz Au daily, and then increase to 10 Oz Au per day by the end of the month.
  • Bacanora Lithium Plc. provided financial results for the second half of 2019. During the period Bacanora concluded an investment and offtake agreement with Ganfeng Lithium Co, Ltd., raised UK$14.4 M and retained a US$150 M conditional senior debt facility. Engineering work has continued, while full development capital for construction is being pursued.
  • Gold Resource Corp. presented production figures for last year, including figures from its Oaxaca mining unit. During the year, 29,435 Oz Au, 1.72 M Oz Ag, 1,859 tonnes Cu, 2,286 tonnes Pb, 5,734 tonnes Zn were produced. Apporting to that production, 629 .9 K tonnes were milled @ 1.73 gpt Au, 82 gpt Ag, 0.38%Cu, 1.88% Pb, 4.64% Zn at the Arista mine, part of the Oaxaca Mining Unit.
  • Fresnillo Plc. announced financial results for the year 2019. Silver and gold production diminished 11.6% and 5.1% respectively during the period. Total silver production was 47.4 M Oz, with most of such production coming from Saucito (15.9 M Oz Ag), Fresnillo (24.8 M Oz Ag), San Julián DOB (7.4 M Oz Ag), Ciénega (5.3 M Oz Ag) and San Julián veins (4.2 M Oz Ag). A total of 848 K Oz Au were produced, mostly from Herradura (496 K Oz Au), Noche Buena (105 K Oz Au), Saucito (72 K Oz Au), San Julián veins (62 K Oz Au), Ciénega (62 K Oz Au), Fresnillo (46 K Oz Au). The company also produced 49 K tonnes of lead, from Saucito (19.7 K tonnes Pb), Fresnillo (19.5 K tonnes Pb), Ciénega (4.4 K tonnes Pb ), San Julián (5.4 K tonnes Pb), and 78.6 K tonnes of zinc from Fresnillo (26.3 K tonnes Zn), Saucito (25.6 K tonnes Zn), San Julián (19 K tonnes Zn), Ciénega (7.6 K tonnes Zn). Cash cost per silver ounce varied between ($0.2) and $7 per Oz Ag on the different mining units, and gold between $818.6 and $847.8 per Oz Au.
  • Premier Gold Mines Ltd. released operating results for the quarter ending on December of 2019 and full year 2019 results, including figures from its Mexican operations. At the Mercedes mine in Sonora, 667.7 K tonnes were mined @ 2.91 gpt Au, 26 gpt Ag, recovering 95.8% Au, 34.0% Ag, to produce 59,901 Oz Au, 191.3 K Oz Ag. Co-product cash cost was $1,034 per Oz, and co-product AISC $1,263 per Oz Au. For the full year total capital expenditures were $18.8 M, focusing on underground mine infrastructure and development, as well as exploration and replacement of old mining equipment.

ON FINANCING

  • One World Lithium Inc. announced the amendment of the terms of 14.5 M outstanding common share purchase warrants, previously issued by the company (Salar del Diablo, Baja California).
  • Consolidated Zinc Ltd. entered into unsecured loan facilities with CZL major shareholders, the Copulos and Retzos Groups. The loan facilities are for A$400 K at an interest rate of 10% per annum, repayable by the end of June 2021 (Plomosas, Chihuahua).
  • Alamos Gold Inc. declared a quarterly dividend of US$0.015 per common share and introduced a dividend reinvestment and share purchase plan (Mulatos, Sonora).
  • Premier Gold Mines Ltd. closed its previously announced public offering for gross proceeds of $38 M, paying a 5% cash commission, with a reduced 2.5% cash commission on the Orion purchase (check note for further details) (Mercedes, Sonora).

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

  • Mag Silver Corp. announced results from the 2019 28-hole program with 33,864 m of drilling on the Juanicipio JV property in Zacatecas. The latest exploration results confirm and expand the wide, high-grade mineralization in the Valdecañas Deep zone and the Anticipada vein, as well as confirming and expanding the Venada vein, and the discovery of the NE trending Valentina and Venadas II veins through drilling and development. Exceptional true width intercepts comprise: 5.7 m @ 3,884 gpt Ag, 8.4 gpt Au, 6.5% Pb, 9.7% Zn, 0.3% Cu; 21.1 m @ 129 gpt Ag, 1.7 gpt Au, 3.5% Pb, 7.8% Zn, 0.2% Cu; 21.2 m @ 147 gpt Ag, 1.2 gpt Au, 3.9% Pb, 8.8% Zn, 0.3% Cu; 1.0 m @ 187 gpt Ag, 10.6 gpt Au, 1.3% Pb, 4.4% Zn; 2.5 M @ 918 gpt Ag, 1.8 gpt Au; 1.2 m @ 279 gpt Ag, 0.7 gpt Au; 0.7 m 1,216 gpt Ag, 3.6 gpt Au.

Gold Resource Corp. updated annual reserve estimates, including figures for its Mexican operations. At the Oaxaca Mining Unit that comprises the Arista and the Mirador mine, 2.83 M tonnes @ 1.97 gpt Au, 122 gpt Ag contain 179,300 Oz Au and 11.1 M Oz Ag in proven and probable reserves.Gold Resource Reserve table 20192Gold Resource Corp Resource table 20191

  • Aura Minerals Inc. provided mineral reserves and resources estimates to the end of 2019, including figures for its Aranzazu mine in Zacatecas.Aranzazu Reserves 20191
  • SilverCrest Metals Inc. released metallurgical test results with increased precious metals recoveries at Las Chispas property in Sonora. After nine months of intensive metallurgical tests involving all veins, the results show an increase on recoveries to 96.1% Au and 93.9% Ag. The design criteria envisages a single stage crushing, a sag mill single stage, gravity recovery of 40% to 50% precious metals, leach recovery for gravity concentrate on a 96 hours leach circuit and leach recovery for gravity tails on 96 hours leach circuit.

ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

  • Mithril Resources Ltd. presented the 2019 end of year report. The most significant event is the ongoing acquisition of Sun Minerals Pty Ltd., which holds an option on the Copalquin project in Durango. The said acquisition is expected to be completed during the present quarter, with field work and drilling to be undertaken shortly after, as the statutory permits have already been obtained.
  • Oroco Resource Corp. closed the acquisition of the balance of the ownership of Altamura Copper Corp., giving the company 100% control of the Santo Tomás porphyry copper project in Sinaloa. The Company holds a 56.7% interest in 1,172.9 ha core concessions of the project, and may increase the interest up to an 81% interest with an investment of up to CAD$30 M. Oroco also holds a 77.5% interest in 7,807.9 ha of mineral concessions surrounding and adjacent to the core concessions.
  • Alio Gold Inc. entered into a definitive share purchase agreement to sell Molimentales del Noroeste S.A. de C.V., which owns 100% interest on the San Francisco mine in Sonora, with Magna Gold Corp.. Under the agreement Alio Gold will receive 9.74 M shares of Magna and an additional $5M in cash a year from the closing.
  • Sable Resources Ltd. announced the appointment of Dr Ruben Padilla to the position of company president & CEO (Margarita, Chihuahua).
  • Equinox Gold Corp. and Leagold Mining Corp. received the clearance decision “from the Comisión Federal de Competencia Económica (“COFECE”) with respect to the pending merger between Equinox Gold and Leagold. COFECE approval was the final government agency approval required before completing the merger, which is anticipated to occur in the second week of March” (Los Filos, Guerrero).
  • GR Silver Mining Ltd. announced the signing of the definitive binding share purchase agreement to acquire all the shares of Minera La Rastra S.A. de C.V. from First Majestic Silver Corp., and the ownership of the Plomosas Silver project in Sinaloa. The 8,515 ha project includes the old Plomosas mine, four targets at the drill/resource stage and 16 exploration targets and and exploration database with more than 500 historical drill holes.
  • Prime Mining Corp. signed a long-term surface access agreement on its Guadalupe de Los Reyes property in Sinaloa. The agreement signed with the Ejido Tasajera, envisions an initial 15-year term that can be extended for another 15 years. Under the terms of the agreement US$38.3 K were paid on signature, with a following payment of US$20K on year four and US$30 K on year five. If construction begins prior to the fifth year, the annual payment increases to US$30 K, and the payment under commercial production to US$200 K.
  • Chesapeake Gold Corp. announced it has an option to acquire El Duraznito project in Durango, which is 18 Km East of First Majestic’s San Dimas mine. Chesapeake is to pay US$228 K in instalments to two concession owners for three years to gain a 60% participation at El Duraznito, and US$500 K to obtain an additional 20%. At the start of commercial production Chesapeake is to make a final payment of US$550 K to the vendors.
  • Fortuna Silver Mines, Inc. Provided an update on the status of the legal proceedings related to a disputed royalty on one of its extracting mining concessions at the San Jose mine in Oaxaca. Fortuna initiated legal proceedings against the Dirección General de Minas (DGM) to contest the procedure taken by the DGM to cancel one of its mining concessions if the disputed royalty plus VAT is not paid before March 15, 2020. A permanent stay of execution (amparo) was granted, but the final ruling might take months and the company might be required to pay the disputed royalty.

ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

  • INFONAVIT executives from the Zacatecas Direction provided the Peñasquito mine with two awards for its excellent compliance with the payments of dues to the housing fund of its workers.

Content like what you have just read can be seen at https://gambusinoprospector.com/ and at LinkedIn’s Mexico Mineral Exploration Group.

On the image below: Hydrothermal breccia sealed by silica in a thermal spring in Baja California, picture by Jorge Cirett.

IMG_4731

The Mining and Exploration News in Mexico: Highlights on the Fourth Week of February, 2020.

Mn-Silica breccia hosted in ignimbritic rhyolites

By Miguel A Heredia

During the ninth week of the year (February 24th to March 1st, 2020), at least 33 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico, with seven announcing financial rounds, seven commenting on Mexican issues, five informing on exploration results, five reporting on resources and developments, four communicating production and financial results, four disclosing deals and corporate issues, and one discussing issues on social responsibility.  ON MEXICO ISSUES, Majors are called to receive the Mining Fund.  The Technical Committee of the Federal Mining Fund allocated resources for 16 projects in the states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango and Guerrero.  The Municipalities of Aquiles Serdán and Ocampo in the state of Chihuahua will receive MXP $18.6M from the Mining Fund. The President of Mexico, Andres Manuel López Obrador, was requested by workers of Minera Cosalá to end the illegal strike that affects that mine site. Oaxaca’s mining potential could be profiled as one of the most important in Mexico. The official spokesperson of Esperanza Silver de Mexico stated that the company will comply 100% with Mexican standards not only with the community of Tetlama, but throughout the Municipality of Temixco, Morelos. In recent years, Mexico has registered the suspension of dozens of mining projects, whose assets have been victims of price volatility, licensing obstacles, adverse political factors, and community opposition. ON EXPLORATION, In Sonora, Colibri announced the commencement of its initial 5-holes diamond drilling program at its Evelyn project, and Silver Viper released drilling results from its El Rubi project. In Durango, Chesapeake provided an update on the exploration program at its Crisy and San Javier prospects located in the vicinity of its Metates project. In Jalisco, GoGold released drilling results from nine holes collared at its Los Ricos project. In the State of Mexico, Impact Silver reported sampling results from its Chapanial project. ON MINING, Telson provided an update on its mine operation at Campo Morado, Guerrero. Argonaut, Avino, and Golden Minerals reported Q4 and full year 2019 production and financial results from their Mexican operations. ON FINANCING, Aztec announced the re-pricing of a package of stock options of the company (Cervantes project, Sonora).  GoGold closed a bought deal offering for gross proceeds of approximately CAD $25M (Los Ricos project, Jalisco). Santacruz closed the first tranche of a non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of CAD $734,150 (Veta Grande, Zacatecas). Ridgestone closed the final tranche of its private placement financing for gross proceeds of $339,549.90 (Rebeico project, Sonora). Gold Resource declared its February 2020 monthly dividend to its shareholders (Arista mine, Oaxaca). Minera Alamos received approval from its shareholders for final phase of its Santana, Sonora project financing for CAD $5M. Riverside announced the spin-out of its Peñoles project in Durango.  ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, First Majestic released infill drilling results from it’s the Ermitaño project in Sonora. Prime Mining reported surface trenching, road cuts, and adits sampling results from its Los Reyes project in Sinaloa. Sonoro announced its plan to expand its drilling program at its Cerro Caliche project in Sonora. Fresnillo and its JV partner Mag Silver provided an update on its Juanicipio project in Zacatecas.  ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Radius Gold and pan American Silver included Palmillas property within the Amalia JV project in Chihuahua. Oroco informed that its Board of Directors has approved the Altamura Copper Corp acquisition (Santo Tomas project, Sinaloa). Silver Spruce announced management changes and appointed its new President, CEO and Director (Pino de Plata project, Chihuahua). Fresnillo plc exercised its option to purchase Plata Latina´s Naranjillo property in Guanajuato. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, Grupo Peñoles and UNAM conducted a Health Day in Zacatecas.

ON MEXICO ISSUES

  • Majors of 23 of the 38 Municipalities of Coahuila state are called to receive the Mining Fund. An urgent request was made to 23 Majors of Municipalities benefited with resources from the Mining Fund in order to make this benefit effective. To achieve this objective, the projects in which the resources will be applied must be presented.
  • The Director of the Mining Fund of the Secretariat of Economy, María del Socorro Gómez Leyja, indicated that the Technical Committee of the Federal Mining Fund allocated resources for 16 projects in the states of Chihuahua (MXP $ 18.6M), Coahuila (MXP $ 3.1M), Durango (MXP $ 7.6M) and Guerrero (MXP $ 4.6M).
  • MXP $18.6M from the Mining Fund was allocated to Chihuahua. The Municipalities of Aquiles Serdán and Ocampo in the state of Chihuahua, will have resources from the Mining Fund that will be used for paving, dome, well and water network, thanks to the approval by the Technical Committee of the Mining Fund.
  • The President of Mexico, Andres Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) was requested by workers of Minera Cosalá to end the illegal strike that affects that mine site. The same workers, said to AMLO that the leader of its Union affiliated with the CTM, negotiated the collective work contract with the company Minera Cosalá SA de CV, and determined that the operation was normal and there were no irregularities on the part of the company. However, workers close to the senator of the Morena party and mining leader Napoleón Gómez Urrutia, asked the company for salaries higher than normal. They mentioned that the mine has been working since 2003 and they have a safe job for at least six more years, in excellent working conditions and that their only desire is to work, regardless of which Union won the collective agreement.
  • Oaxaca´s mining potential, according to specialists, government and private capital, could be profiled as one of the most important in Mexico, to generating jobs and strengthening the regional economy of indigenous communities. Currently the state has not been explored outside the mining districts and known mineralized areas, but contains promising areas for Au, Ag, Cu, Pb, Zn, Sb, and non-metallic minerals such as micas, zeolites, marble, travertine, and granite among others. Data from some civil organizations indicate that Oaxaca’s mining production represents 0.72% of the total national value, with Ag first, second Au and third Pb.
  • Ricardo Sierra Oteiza, official spokesperson of the Esperanza project in Morelos State, said that through the new model of social end environmentally responsible mining, the company Esperanza Silver de Mexico will comply 100% with Mexican standards not only with the community of Tetlama, but throughout the Municipality of Temixco, Morelos. In addition, he stressed that there will be an investment of over USD $400M in the 10 years that the company plans to carry out work in the state.
  • In recent years, Mexico has registered the suspension of dozens of mining projects, whose assets have been victims of price volatility, licensing obstacles, adverse political factors, and community opposition. BNamericas accounts for 59 Mexican projects suspended in its database, compared to 95 active projects. Of the 11 suspended projects for which financial information is available, combined capital expenditure totals USD $ 2.4B.This compares to 42 active projects whose combined capital expenditure amounts to USD $ 14.2B. The greater projections for Au and Ag, along with political changes at the state level, have improved the prospects for the resumption of some of the suspended projects. However, the depressed prices of Cu and Zn and not minor problems with obtaining permits and other legal aspects continue to put important obstacles on others. Some of the largest suspended projects are La Verde in Michoacan, Sierra Mojada in Coahuila, Angangueo in Michoacan, Ixtaca in Puebla, Ana Paula in Guerrero and Esperanza in Morelos. Other suspended projects are Monterde in Sonora, Caballo Blanco in Veracruz, San Antonio, Baja California Sur, and La Bolsa in Sonora.

ON EXPLORATION

  • Colibri Resource Corporation, announced the commencement of its maiden drill program at its Evelyn project in Sonora. The initial 5-diamond holes drilling program will be focused on two mineralized corridors named Cerro Rojo and El Sahuaro and is expected to be completed in three weeks.
  • Silver Viper Minerals Corp., provided drilling results from its El Rubi project in Sonora. All holes encountered mineralized zones, with several significant interceptions in hole LV20-217 with 4.45 g/t Au and 401 g/t Ag (10.18 g/t AuEq or 713 g/t AgEq) over a true width of 4.56m, including 15.55 g/t Au and 1,436 g/t Ag (36.06 g/t AuEq or 2,524 g/t AgEq) over a true width of 1.14m; 1.79 g/t Au and 91 g/t Ag (3.1 g/t AuEq or 217 g/t AgEq) over a true width of 7.41m, including 7.49 g/t Au and 586 g/t Ag (15.86 g/t AuEq or 1,110 g/t AgEq) over a true width of 0.57m; and 2.05 g/t Au and 46 g/t Ag (2.70 g/t AuEq or 189 g/t AgEq) over a true width of 6.27m, including 8.44 g/t Au and 201 g/t Ag (11.3 g/t AuEq or 791 g/t AgEq) over a true width of 1.14m. Hole LV20-218 also intersected several mineralized zones with 5.82 g/t Au and 530 g/t Ag (13.39 g/t AuEq or 937 g/t AgEq) over a true width of 1.89m, including 14.4 g/t Au and 1,253 g/t Ag (32.3 g/t AuEq or 2,261 g/t AgEq) over a true width of 0.63m; 9.15 g/t Au and 569 g/t Ag (17.28 g/t AuEq or 1,210 g/t AgEq) over a true width of 5.04m, including 22.63 g/t Au and 1,431 g/t Ag (43.08 g/t AuEq or 3,015 g/t AgEq) over a true width of 1.89m. The El Rubi mineralized structure has now been intercepted on seven sections for a total 300m of strike extent.
  • Chesapeake Gold Corp., provided an update on the exploration program at its Crisy and San Javier prospects, located 15Km south and 12 km southeast respectively from its Metates project in Durango. These both projects cover several zones of Au-Ag mineralization along regional, deep-seated northwest-trending fault zones, associated with intermediate intrusive rocks that have altered the enclosing sedimentary rocks over an area more than 15 km in diameter. At Crisy, Chesapeake competed 4 trenches totaling 350m in length and returned 1.1 g/t Au and 10 g/t Ag over 57m; 1 g/t Au and 10 g7t Ag over 11m; 1.1 g/t Au and 33 g/t Ag over 12m; and 2.2  g/t Au and 29 g/t Ag over 7m. In addition, an initial 15km IP survey is underway over the trenched area at Crisy and preliminary results correlate well with the Au-Ag mineralization and suggest that the outcropping quartz bx zone extend to over 200m depth. It also indicates that the anomaly is continues along strike and remains open. The IP survey also defined a large NW-SE trending high chargeability anomaly about 200m to the SW of the bulldozer trenching. The IP survey indicates a more than 500m long by 500m wide on which limited sampling has returned 1.2 g/t Au over 4m wide, and 1 g/t Au and 13 g/t Ag over 5m wide. Four Km to the NW of the area of bulldozer trenching, multiple quartz structures within a corridor over 800m long by 200ms wide and with 150m of vertical extent were identified returning 1 g/t Au over 9m wide; 0.8 g/t Au over 12m; and 3.1 g/t Au and 10 g(/t Ag over 1.3m wide. Regional exploration has now identified several distinct target areas hosting quartz veins, bx and local stockwork along the 7 kilometer long hydrothermal system at Crisy. At San Javier, the company identified a 1.2km long, high-grade Au-Ag quartz vein structures over 300m in elevation. Channel sampling on these structures  returned encouraging results as 9.6 g/t Au and 143 g/t Ag over 2.8m; 3.3 g/t Au and 391 g/t Ag over 1m; 2.3 g/t Au and 18 g/t Ag over 1.4m; and 2.1 g/t Au and 113 g/t Ag over 1m. Trenching and IP survey is being carried out on San Javier to test the potential for disseminated Au hosted in highly altered intrusive rocks.
  • GoGold Resources Inc., presented drill results from nine holes collared at its Los Ricos project in Jalisco. Significant drill intersections were encountered in hole LRGG-20-100 with 1.51 g/t Au and 204 g/t Ag (4.23 g/t AuEq or 317 g/t AgEq) over 17.3m, including 6.56 g/t AuEq or 492 g/t AgEq over 6.9m; hole LRGG-20-98 with 1.78 g/t Au and 319 g/t Ag (452 g/t AgEq) over 7.5m; and hole LRGG-20-93 with 1.27 g/t Au and 113 g/t Ag (2.78 g/t AuEq or 208 g/t AgEq) over 19m. GoGold is undertaking two drilling and exploration projects at its Los Ricos property: the South Project began in March 2019 and includes the ‘Main’ area, which is focused on drilling around a number of historical mines including El Abra, El Troce, San Juan, and Rascadero. The South Project also includes the Cerro Colorado and Las Lamas targets. The North Project was launched this month and includes the Monte del Favor, Salomon, La Trini, and Mololoa targets.
  • Impact Silver Corp., reported channel sampling results from its Chapanial project, located 1.7Km to the north along the projection of the La Faly vein system. Significant sampling results include 97.5 g/t Au, 98 g/t Ag, 0.25% Pb, and 0.10% Zn over a true wide (TW) of 0.8m; 18.25 g/t Au, 75 g/t Ag, 0.3% Pb, and 0.08% Zn over a TW of 0.20m; 8.98 g/t Au, 105 g/t Ag, 5.4% Pb, and 0.1% Zn over a TW of 0.3m, and 8.53 g/t Au, 498 g/t Ag, 0.1% Pb, and 0.04% Zn over a TW of 0.4m. The vein at El Chapanial area is hosted in interbedded shales and volcanics and is associated with a major fault structure which hosts a sulphide bearing polymictic breccia up to 8m in width.

ON MINING

  • Telson Resources Corporation, provided an update on its mine operation at Campo Morado in Guerrero, which was brought back into production last January 26, 2020. Since the re-start through to February 22, 2020, the company has milled 40,839 tonnes to produce approximately 3,151 tonnes of Zn concentrate with grades of 46.3% Zn, 498 g/t Ag, and 0.90g/t Au, and 636 tonnes of Pb concentrate with grades of 21.7% Pb, 4.55% Cu, 636 g/t Ag, and 3.66 g/t Au. Average recoveries achieved are 71.7% Zn, 32.2% Pb, 45.4% Ag, and 13.1% Au.
  • Argonaut Gold Inc., reported Q4 and full year 2019 production and financial results from its Mexican operations. It also provided 2020 production and cost guidance. At its El Castillo mine in Durango, Argonaut mined in Q4 2019, 1,890,000 tonnes of 0.52 g/t Au to produce 13.6K Oz Au and 21K Oz Ag (13.9K Oz GEOs), at a cash cost of USD $1,264 per Oz Au sold. For the full year, it mined 8,914,000 tonnes of 0.41 g/t Au to produce 65.1K Oz Au and 102.3K Oz Ag (66.5K GEOs), at a cash cost of USD $1,030 per Oz Au sold. For the Q4, 2019, the company mined 2,460,000 tonnes of 0.35 g/t Au at its San Agustin mine in Durango to produce 19.86K Oz Au and 85.45K Oz Ag (21K GEOs) at a cash cost of USD $829 per Oz Au sold. For the full year, it mined 8,453,000 tonnes of 0.38 g/t Au to produce 61.8K Oz Au and 219.5K  Oz Ag (64.77K GEOs), at a cash cost of USD $842 per Oz Au sold. At its La Colorada mine in Sonora, during the period Q4 2019, the company produced 1,115,000 of 0.49 g/t Au to produce 12.14K Oz Au and 35.86K Oz (12.62 GEOs) at a cash cost of USD $879 per Oz Au sold. For the full year 2019, it mined 4,676,000 tonnes of 0.51 g/t Au to produce 53.8K Oz Au and 159.7K Oz Ag (55.71 GEOs) at a cash cost of USD $884 per Oz Au sold. Argonaut also provide a 2020 production and cost guidance and plans to produce at El Castillo Complex between 115-120K GEOs at a cash cost of USD $900-1,000 per Oz Au sold, and between 60-65K GEOs at a cash cost of USD $900-1,000 per Oz Au sold. Argonaut plans to invest between USD $40-$50M (USD $12-16M at El Castillo Complex, USD $17-20 at La Colorada, and the rest between  Magino & Cerro del Gallo).
  • Avino Silver & Gold Mines Ltd., reported Q4 and full year 2019 production and financial results from its Avino mine in Durango. In Q4 2019, the company processed 107,310 tonnes from its Avino mine of 51 g/t Ag, 0.64 g/t Au, and 0.62% Cu, recovering 87%, 76%, and 89% respectively to produce 153.6K Oz Ag, 1,676 Oz Au, and 1.29M Lb Cu, for a total of 495.5K Oz AgEq. From its San Gonzalo mine, it processed 2,908 tonnes of 53 g/t Ag and 0.38 g/t Au, recovering 78% and 72% respectively, to produce 4,106 Oz Ag and 26 Oz Au for a total of 6,964 Oz AgEq. From its Historic Above Ground Stockpile, Avino processed 78,218 tonnes of 51 g/t Ag, 0.25 g/t Au, and 0.18% Cu, recovering 50%, 53%, and 31% respectively, to produce  63K Oz Ag, 330 Oz Au, and 96K Lb Cu for a total of 106.2K Oz AgEq. For the full year 2019, the company processed from its Avino mine, 427,147 tonnes of 44 g/t Ag, 0.45 g/t Au, and 0.46% Cu, recovering 85%, 73%, and 86% respectively, to produce  3K Oz Ag, 4,473 Oz Au, and 4.56M Lb Cu for a total of 1.66M Oz AgEq. From its San Gonzalo mine, it processed 56,179 tonnes of 118 g/t Ag and 0.46 g/t Au, recovering 69% and 66%, to produce 153.4K Oz Ag and 580 Oz Au for a total of 215.1K Oz AgEq. From its Historic Above Ground Stockpile, the company processed 306,334 tonnes of 55 g/t Ag, 0.36 g/t Au, and 0.18% Cu, recovering 54%, 53%, and 35% respectively, to produce 295.2K Oz Ag, 1,859 Oz Au, and 407K Lb Cu, for a total of 525.8K Oz AgEq.
  • Golden Minerals Company, reported full year 2019 results from its Mexican operations. It reported revenue of USD $7.7M and a net operating margin of USD $5.3M in 2019. Expenditures during 2019 totalized USD $11.4M and a cash and equivalents balance of USD $4.6M. Cash inflows during 2019 totaled USD $12.7M.

ON FINANCING

  • Aztec Minerals Corp., announced the re-pricing of 200K stock options of the company from $0.25 to $0.12 per common share, and a total of 1,950,000 stock options of the company from $0.35 to $0.105 per common share (Cervantes project, Sonora).
  • GoGold Resources Inc., closed a bought deal offering for gross proceeds of approximately CAD $25M. Net proceeds will be used to fund additional exploration on its Los Ricos project, Jalisco, and particularly at the Monte del Favor target, and for corporate development, and general corporate purposes.
  • Santacruz Silver Mining Ltd., closed the first tranche of a non-brokered CAD $3M private placement to raise gross proceeds of CAD $734,150. Net proceeds will be used for general working capital and for corporate purposes (Veta Grande project, Zacatecas).
  • Ridgestone Mining Inc., closed the final tranche of a private placement financing for gross proceeds of $339,549.90. Net proceeds will be used for ongoing working capital requirements relating to its Rebeico project in Sonora. In total, the company raised gross proceeds of $1,051,801.95in the financing. Ridgestone also announced that it has entered into shares for debt settlement for the aggregate amount of $105K due to Leede for consulting services fees accrued pursuant to a consulting agreement between Ridgestone and Leede dated Nov 1, 2019.
  • Gold Resource Corporation, declared its February 2020 monthly dividend of one third of a cent per common share to its shareholders (Arista mine, Oaxaca).
  • Minera Alamos Inc., received approval from its shareholders for final phase of its Santana, Sonora project financing for CAD $5M. It is working on completing final documentation for execution no later than the end of Q1 2020.
  • Riverside Resources Inc., announced that its board of directors approved a spin-out of its Peñoles project in Durango to its shareholders by way of a share capital reorganization effected through a stationary plan of arrangement. Peñoles property is wholly owned by its subsidiary Capitan Mining Inc. Under the arrangement, Riverside will distribute the common shares of Capitan to Riverside´s shareholders.

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

  • First Majestic Silver Corp., released infill drilling results from it’s the Ermitaño project, located 4km away from the company´s producing Santa Elena mine in Sonora. Drilling highlights include the following drill intersections: hole EW-19-67 with 12.84 g/t Au and 46 g/t Ag (1,106 g/t AgEq) over 10.8m; hole EW-19-74 with 9.46 g/t Au and 383 g/t Ag (1,164 g/t AgEq) over 6.4m; hole EW-19-85 with 31.63 g/t Au and 459 g/t Ag (3,068 g/t AgEq) over 2.4m; hole EW-19-91 with 11.61 g/t Au and 45 g/t Ag (1,003 g/t AgEq) over 13m; hole EW-19-103 with 16.37 g/t Au and 111 g/t Ag (1,462 g/t AgEq) over 7.7m; hole EW-19-111 with 17.98 g/t Au and 79 g/t Ag (1,562 g/t AgEq) over 4.5m; and hole EW-19-113 with 14.22 g/t Au and 130 g/t Ag (1,302 g/t AgEq) over 9.1m. Next month, the company expects to present an updated resource estimate for it’s the Ermitaño project. First Majestic is planning to drill 15,000m in 50 drill holes for resource expansion. It is also working on several engineering studies for detailed mine design and initial production. It expects to complete 3,800m of underground development in 2020, to reach the mineralized area and prepare five production levels.
  • Prime Mining Corporation, presented surface trenching, road cuts and adits sampling results from the El Zapote South and El Zapote North target areas within its Los Reyes project in Sinaloa. Significant sampling results are 6.75 g/t Au and 58 g/t Ag over 39m, including 9.88 g/t Au and 62 g/t Ag over 18m; 7.76 g/t Au and 80 g/t Ag over 12m, including 48.3 g/t Au and 117 g/t Ag over 1.5m; 6.21 g/t Au and 697 g/t Ag over 7.5m, including 14.4 g/t Au and 1,875 g/t Ag over 1.5m. This sampling is part of the initial phase of exploration designed to better map the surface expression of the mineralized structures and integrate the results into a new resource model, currently underway.
  • Sonoro Metals Corp., announced the plan to complete the assessment of 17 zones of Au mineralization identified at its Cerro Caliche project in Sonora, with the purpose of increase the current 201K Oz AuEq resource. The compnay plans to carry out a combined RC and core drill program in several phases for up to 50,000m. Phase III of this program will commence in March and will consists of 10,000m of drilling. In Phase I and II, a total of 10,328m were drilled in 96 holes.
  • Fresnillo plc and its JV partner Mag Silver, provided an update on its Juanicipio project in Zacatecas. Mine construction at Juanicipio project is well underway, detailed engineering is nearing completion, and all major process equipment has been purchased and received on site. Over 25Km of underground development has been completed to date. Pre-operative CAPEX has increased by 11.4% from USD $395M to USD $440M. Production is expected to start in mid-2020 with initial production stopes to be processed at the Fresnillo beneficiation plant from June 2020 pending completion of the Juanicipio plant. Total average annual anticipated production has been estimated in 11.7M Oz Ag, 43.5K Oz Au, with an initial life of mine (based on Indicated Resources only) of 12 years. Additional years of production expected to be supported by the current Inferred Resources, which are being converted into the Indicated category. Further exploration opportunities exist in the JV license area with potential to scale-up operations in the future.  Commissioning of the flotation plant will be underway mid-2021. Exploration is ongoing on the property with the intention to increase the deeper resources and targeting new veins.

ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

  • Radius Gold Inc., declared that Pan American Silver Corp., has elected to exercise a right to include the 800 Has Palmillas property to its Amalia JV project in Chihuahua. Palmillas contains multiple exploration targets, including high grade Au-Ag mineralization, 1.8km away and along strike on the San Pedro Zone.
  • Oroco Resource Corp., informed that its Board of Directors approved the acquisition of 100% interest of Altamura Copper Corp. Closing of the acquisition is expected to occur on March 02, 2020. Oroco has to issue 39.8M shares of the company to Altamura shareholders. Oroco also confirmed the appointment of its new President effective on March 01, 2020.
  • Silver Spruce Resources Inc., announced management changes and appointed its new President, CEO, and Director, effective March 01, 2020 (Pino de Plata project, Chihuahua).
  • Fresnillo plc, exercised its option to purchase Plata Latina´s Naranjillo property in Guanajuato. The Naranjillo Project is a grassroots epithermal Ag-Au discovery made by the Company in 2012 and is located in the Mexican Silver Belt, approximately 35 km southeast of the Guanajuato mining district. The transaction and transfer of the property was closed on February 24, 2020.

ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

  • Minera Madero (Grupo Peñoles) and National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), conducted a Health day in Zacatecas. At least one thousand people will benefit from the Fourth Health Day, opened this week by Grupo Peñoles and the UNAM. Minera Madero, as a host company, made its facilities available to serve the residents of the communities of Francisco I. Madero, Noria de Gringos, El Maguey, Rancho Nuevo, San Antonio de los Negros, Cieneguillas, Morelos and the Ejido Morelos in specialties such as dentistry, optometry and psychology.

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 Mn-silica Bx in an epithermal system prospect in Chihuahua, Mexico.  Photo by Miguel A Heredia.

The Mining and Exploration News in Mexico: Highlights on the Third Week of February, 2020

IMG_1740 (2)

By Jorge Cirett

During the 8th week of the year (February 17th to February 23rd, 2020), at least 35 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico. ON MEXICO ISSUES, the Sonora Economy Secretariat remarked that several investments are to strengthen the mining industry in 2020. Camimex pointed that mining companies are to invest more than US$200 M in exploration during 2020. Grupo Mexico is to return to the government the mining concession on which the disaster struck Pasta de Conchos mine is located. Camimex is to pursue its “zero accidents” goal. ON EXPLORATION, in Sonora, Colibri Resources has received the permit to drill at the Evelyn project; Riverside Resources reported on field work and sampling at Los Cuarentas; Aloro received a new drilling permit for its Los Venados project. In Chihuahua, Kootenay Silver commenced the phase II drilling program at its Columba project. In Durango, Commander Resources reported on a geophysical survey at Pedro’s project. In Zacatecas, Excellon Resources informed on the exploration status of its Evolución project. In Guanajuato, Vangold secured land access and land use permits on its El Pinguico project. In Jalisco, GoGold Resources launched a second exploration project at Los Ricos District in Jalisco: Monte El Favor.  ON MINING, Starcore International, Americas Gold and Silver,  Torex Gold, First Majestic Silver, Pan American Silver and Fortuna Silver reported Q4 and full year 2019 financial and/or production results. ON FINANCING, Hecla Mining is to redeem $475 M of 7.25% senior notes. Canuc Resources, San Marco Resources and Ridgestone Mining closed various stages of non-brokered private placements for $850 K, C$784.8 K and $715.2 K, respectively. Kootenay Silver is now on the 2020 TSX Venture 50tm. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Golden Minerals announced promising results from metallurgical test work on concentrates from its Velardeña property. Excellon informed on exploration results on its Platosa mine in Durango. SilverCrest Metals announced a new discovery of a high-grade zone on another vein of the Babicanora area of its Las Chispas property in Sonora. Coeur Mining and Alamos Gold reported mineral reserves and resources to the end of 2019, including figures from Palmarejo (Chihuahua) and the Mulatos District (Sonora), respectively. Goldplay Exploration provided an update on drilling at San Marcial, Sinaloa. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Tamino Minerals filed a law suit against an individual, in Sonora. Telson informed on the resignation of its CEO, Jose Antonio Berlanga, and the appointment of Ralph Shearing as interim CEO. Sonoro financing discussions were interrupted by the Coronavirus outbreak in China. Mexican Gold and New Found Gold terminated their binding agreement for the acquisition of New Found Gold. GoGold entered into an agreement to acquire The Monte del Favor project in the Los Ricos District in Jalisco. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY. Fresnillo PLC supports three teams in a robotic regional fair. Grupo Mexico supports social and infrastructure projects in Sombrerete, Zacatecas, with over 300 activities that benefit 3,00 inhabitants. Fresnillo PLC and Frisco are among the companies that integrate the Environmental Protection Club in Zacatecas.).

ON MEXICO ISSUES

  • Jorge Vidal, head of Sonora’s Secretaría de Economía (Economy Secretariat), stated that several investments are to strengthen the mining industry during 2020 in Sonora. He pointed that the investment by Bacanora minerals in the lithium project in Bacadehuachi is one of these, and another one is the investment of the Buenavista zinc project in Cananea, which is to generate 500 jobs with the investment of MXN$350 M pesos (US$18.8 M).
  • Mining companies are to invest more than US$200 M in exploration in 2020. Fresnillo is to reduce its exploration budget to US$135.1 M, from US$150 M on 2019, with about half of those funds to be used in the conversion of resources to reserves. Pan American Silver focuses on brownfield exploration with a budget of US$20 M for the year, on which La Colorada Skarn is to see a 44,000 m drilling program. First Majestic has an exploration budget of US$28.2 M, to be spent in San Dimas (Durango), Santa Elena (Sonora), La Encantada(Coahuila), La Parrilla (Durango) and Del Toro (Zacatecas). Torex Gold is to conduct an infill drilling program that will cost US$13 M on its Media Luna project (Guerrero). Agnico Eagle is to spend US$33.9 M in exploration during 2020, highlighting the funding of the Santa Gertrudis project in Sonora with US$10.4 M and a 42,000 m drilling program at its Pinos Altos mine in Chihuahua.
  • Grupo Mexico is to return to the government the mining concession on which the Pasta de Conchos mine is located. The move is in response to the presidential request to facilitate the retrieval of the remains of over 65 miners deceased in 2006 on the mine located in Coahuila.
  • The Cámara Minera de México (Camimex) vowed to pursue the “zero accidents” goal, pointing that in 2018 the associated companies reported an accident rate of 1.63, which is 3.7% lower than in 2017, and below the national average of 2.04 registered by the Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social (IMSS).

ON EXPLORATION

  • Excellon Resources Inc. informed on exploration of its 45,000 hectares Evolución property in Zacatecas. Highlights include the expansion of the Lechuzas zone along strike and down dip, and broad intersections of Ag-Pb-Zn, like: 18.7 m @ 27 gpt Ag, 0.8% Pb, 1.1% Zn, 0.1 gpt Au (103 gpt AgEq), including 2.0 m @ 105 gpt Ag, 3.5% Pb, 4.2% Zn, 0.3 gpt Au (416 gpt AgEq); 1.5 m @ 290 gpt Ag, 6.9% Pb, 5.9% Zn, 0.2 gpt Au (779 gpt AgEq); 4.5 m @ 51 gpt Ag, 1.9% Pb, 2.9% Zn, 0.1 gpt Au (244 gpt AgEq); 3.3 m @ 55 gpt Ag, 1.1% Pb, 1.9% Zn (172 gpt Ag). Excellon plans to incorporate all recent work into an updated mineral resource estimate for the project.
  • Kootenay Silver Inc. has commenced a 7,000 m phase II core drilling program at its Columba project in Chihuahua. The follow up drilling will focus on the results of last year’s 41-hole, 6,853 m program which targeted six different veins on the property. Highlighted results from that program comprise: 1.15 m @ 775 gpt Ag; 4.83 m @ 230 gpt Ag; 2.90 m @ 519 gpt Ag; 11.0 m @ 133 gpt Ag (including 5.0 m @ 245 gpt Ag); 2.1 m @ 699 gpt Ag; 1.75 m @ 755 gpt Ag, 1.16 gpt Au; 6.25 m @ 244 gpt Ag; 11.5 m @ 415 gpt Ag (including 4.0 m @ 721 gpt Ag); 4.63 m @ 301 gpt Ag; 39.9 m @ 159 gpt Ag (including 7.45 m @ 650 gpt Ag).
  • Colibri Resource Corp. informed it has received the required drilling permits for its Evelyn project in Sonora. Drill pad construction and other required infrastructure are to commence immediately, followed by drilling.
  • Commander Resources Ltd. reported results from a 70 line-km induced polarization survey (IP) at the Pedro’s project in Durango. The 1,750 ha project was acquired in 2006 from Bearing Resources Ltd. Hematite stained silica rich ridges of angular chalcedony fragments and silicified sedimentary rocks within an angular coarse breccia comprise the outcrops within the Ahuichila conglomerate, within a soil anomaly 4 Km by 1 km and rock chip samples of up to 2.3 gpt Au. Past drilling focused on a Carlin target intercepted up to 10.5 m @ 0.51 gpt Au in oxidized silicified conglomerate.
  • Vangold Mining Corp. has secured a surface land access agreement, and a surface land use agreement for its El Pinguico mine in Guanajuato. The 15-year land access agreement was signed with the Ejido Calderones, providing a short access route to the project, whereas the land use permit was signed with a local land owner for 89.6 hectares.
  • Riverside Resources Inc. reported on field work and sampling at its Los Cuarentas project in Sonora. Selective rock sampling from dumps, float, channel and rock chips returned five of sixteen samples with more than 5 gpt Au: 25.7 gpt Au, 4 gpt Ag; 10.2 gpt Au, 9 gpt Ag; 6.8 gpt Au, 65.1 gpt Ag, 6.27 gpt Au, 120 gpt Ag; 5.3 gpt Au, 6 gpt Ag; 5.1 gpt Au, 75 gpt Ag. Three primary targets have been identified for a prospective drill program in 2020: Santa Rosalia, Santa Rosalia Sur and El Sombrero.
  • GoGold Resources Inc. launched a second exploration project located on the Los Ricos District, called Monte del Favor, in Jalisco. Gogold now owns 35 concessions covering 22,493 hectares in a 35 km trend. The new concessions come with a legacy database of 50 drill holes with highlighted intercepts of: 24.4 m @ 6.4 gpt Au, 1,629 gpt Ag; 28.3 m @ 3.1 gpt Au, 150 gpt Ag; 6.1 m @ 1.1 gpt Au, 201 gpt Ag; 6.1 m @ 2.8 gpt Au, 174 gpt Ag; 20.3 m @ 0.4 gpt Au, 225 gpt Ag.
  • Aloro Mining Corp. informed a new drilling permit has been granted by SEMARANT (The Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources) for its Los Venados project in Sonora. The permit granted the drilling of 15 holes and the construction of up to 3.38 Km of drill roads. Drilling is to focus in the south area of the project, where a hole cut 32 m of blind strong silicic alteration with brecciated vuggy silica an sulfides, with 7.6 m @ 1.13 gpt Au, 32 gpt Ag.

ON MINING

  • Starcore International Mines Ltd. released production results for the quarter ending on January 31, 2020. In its San Martin mine in Queretaro, 58.3 K tonnes were milled @ 1.84 gpt Au, 30 gpt Ag, recovering 90.1% Au, 50.9% Ag, to produce 3,425 Oz AuEq.
  • Americas Gold and Silver Corp. presented production figures from 2019 and guidance for 2020 of its mining operations, including figures from its Cosalá property in Sinaloa. At Cosalá, 613.8 K tonnes were processed @ 50 gpt Ag, to produce 572 K Oz Ag, 43.3 M Lb Zn and 16.4 M Lb Pb, or 4.68 M Oz AgEq, at cash cost ($18.31) and AISC ($10.90) per Oz Ag produced. Improved access to the Upper Zone at the San Rafael mine will tap higher silver grades in 2020.
  • Torex Gold Resources Inc. reported fourth quarter and fill year 2019 financial and operating results. For the last quarter of 2019, Torex Gold produced 121,151 Oz Au at its El Limón-Guajes mine in Guerrero, at cash cost $617 per Oz and all-in sustaining cost of $767 per Oz, generating EBITDA of $102.2 M and repaying $82.5 M of debt during the period. For the year, Torex produced 454,811 Oz Au at cash cost of $619 per Oz and an AISC of $805 per Oz Au, generating EBITDA of $330.3 M and repaying $164.4 M of debt. Total debt now stands at $174.9 M, while cash at hand is $161.8 M. The Media Luna project resource estimate was updated to 2.24 M Oz AuEq at a grade of 5.5 gpt Au in the indicated category and 4.23 M Oz AuEq at 4.23 gpt Au in the inferred category.
  • First Majestic Silver Corp. announced financial results for the Q4 and year 2019. During the quarter 626.6 K tonnes were processed to produce 3.35 M Oz Ag, 33,176 Oz Au, 0.9 M Lb Pb, or 6.23 M Oz AgEq at cash cost $3.37 per Oz and an AISC of $12.25 per Oz. The production figures for the year are in the table below. The company ended 2019 with cash and cash equivalents of $169 M. First Majestic production 20191
  • Pan American Silver Corp. reported financial results for the year 2019, including figures from its Mexican operations. At La Colorada mine in Zacatecas 768.7 K tonnes were milled @ 361 gpt Ag, 3.10% Zn, 1.65% Pb to produce 8.2 M Oz Ag, 4.61 K Oz Au, 20.97 K tonnes Zn, 11.15 K tonnes Pb, at cash cost $4.30 and AISC of $5.00 (net of by-products). At Dolores, in Chihuahua, 6.78 M tonnes were place on the heaps @ 38 gpt Ag, 0.60 gpt Au, to produce 5.1 M Oz Ag, 117.6 K Oz Au at a cash cost of $3.09 and an AISC of $15.45.
  • Fortuna Silver Mines, Inc. provided 2020 production, cost and capital expenditure guidance for 2020, including figures for its Mexican operations. At San Jose, in Oaxaca, the company aims to produce between 6.6 and 7.3 M Oz Ag, and between 41 and 45 K Oz Au, at a cash cost of US$65.6 to US$72.5 per tonne, and an AISC between US$9.6 to US$11,7 per Oz AgEq. The plan is to process 1.06 M tonnes @ 223 gpt Ag, 1.39 gpt Au, with a capital investment of US$17.1 M, including US$12.2 M for sustaining capital expenditures and US$4.9 M for brownfields exploration programs which include 17,600 m of drilling.

ON FINANCING

  • Hecla Mining Co. announced its agreement to sell $475 M aggregate principal amount of 7.25% senior notes. The notes will mature in February 2028, with the company intending to use the net proceeds together with cash on hand to redeem all of its outstanding 6.875% senior notes due 2021. (San Sebastián, Durango).
  • Canuc Resources Corp. closed a non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of $850 K, with three officers of the company participating (San Javier, Sonora).
  • San Marco Resources Inc. closed its over-subscribed non-brokered placement, raising C$784.8 K (Espiritu, Sonora).
  • Ridgestone Mining Inc. closed the first tranche of the non-brokered private placement to raise $715.2 K on gross proceeds (Rebeico, Sonora).
  • Kootenay Silver Inc. has been recognized in the 2020 TSX Venture 50tm as one of the top 50 performing companies on the TSX Venture Exchange (Columba, Chihuahua).

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

  • Golden Minerals Co. announced promising results of metallurgical test work on pyrite-arsenopyrite flotation concentrates from its Velardeña properties in Durango. “Gold and silver recoveries of 91% and 92%, respectively, were obtained from cyanide leaching of the bio-oxidized concentrate samples. BIOX* achieved 93% oxidation on the concentrate sample in batch tests, which the Company believes should translate to a 5 to 6-day retention time in a commercial bio-oxidation plant”.
  • Excellon Resources Inc. informed on exploration results at its Platosa mine in Durango. Surface drilling of the NE-1S manto returned high-grade intersections, like 6.6 m @ 1,178 gpt Ag, 6.7% Pb, 8.4% Zn, 0.2 gpt Au. A large hydrothermal system was discovered 11 km from the Platosa mine at the Jaboncillo target, where drilling is aimed to start in the first half of 2020.
  • SilverCrest Metals Inc. announced a new discovery and additional drill results from the Babicanora Norte vein at its Las Chispas property in Sonora. The discovery drill hole intercepted 2.0 m (tw) @ 6,418 gpt AgEq on a faulted extension that received the name of Area 200, on the Babicanora Norte vein, which is now the highest-grade vein in the project. The initial high-grade footprint of this zone is 500 long by 125 m in height, on the vein that is now known for more than 2.0 km. The area 200 shows an average estimated true width (tw) of 1.5 m @ 16.11 gpt Au, 2,166 gpt Ag (3,375 gpt AgEq). Highlighted results for this press release comprise 1.4 m @ 90.22 gpt Au, 9,422 gpt Ag (16,189 gpt AgEq); 2.4 m @ 45.71 gpt Au, 5,577 gpt Ag (9,006 gpt AgEq); 1.6 m @ 75.78 gpt Au, 7,662 gpt Ag (13,345 gpt AgEq).
  • Coeur Mining Inc. reported 2019 mineral reserves and resources, including figures from its Mexican operations. At Palmarejo, in Chihuahua, infill drilling helped replace mining depletion. Proven and probable reserves stand at 11.67 M short tonnes (st) @ 1.83 gpt Au, 135 gpt Ag; measured and indicated resources stand at 8.76 M st @ 1.49 gpt Au, 122 gpt Ag and inferred resources of 6.47 M st @ 1.77 gpt Au, 127 gpt Ag. These amount to 693 K Oz Au, 5.6 M Oz Ag as reserves, 425 K Oz Au, 34.5 M Oz Ag as measured and indicated resources and 367 K Oz Au, 26.3 M Oz Ag as inferred resources.
  • Minera Peña Colorada informed that the Peña Colorada mine in Colima received the visit of PROFEPA (Procuraduría Federal de Protección al Ambiente) and SEMARNAT (Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales) personnel to review the compliance of the company on the different permits it has received.
  • Alamos Gold Inc. Reported mineral reserves and resources to year end 2019, including figures from its Mexican Operations. Mineral reserves at Mulatos decreased by 154 K Oz to 1.56 M Oz, with mining depletion partially offset by an 81 K Oz increase at La Yaqui Grande. The exploration budget was increased to $7 M with 14,000 m of drilling planned around near mine targets as well as at La Yaqui Grande and El Carricito. A number of regional exploration targets were identified with the aid of a VTEM survey carried out in 2018.Alamos Gold Mineral Resources to 201911
  • Goldplay Exploration Ltd. provided an update on exploration and drilling of its San Marcial project in Sinaloa. The last holes of 2019 returned 28.7 m @ 92 gpt Ag, including 13.75 m @ 154 gpt Ag in the Faisanes target. At the Guacamayo target 0.60 m @ 138 gpt Ag, 0.56 gpt Au, confirm mineralization 30 m east of the current resource area. Due diligence has commenced on the potential acquisitions of the Plomosas (First Majestic Silver Corp.) and La Trinidad (Mako Mining Corp.).

ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

  • Tamino Minerals Inc. has filed a law suit against an individual in Sonora. (El Volcán, Sonora).
  • Newmont Corp. appointed Jim Cooper as General Manager of the Peñasquito unit in Zacatecas.
  • Telson Mining Corp. informed its Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board of Directors, Jose Antonio Berlanga, has resigned due to personal reasons. Mr. Ralph Shearing has been appointed as Interim Chief Executive Officer for the company (Campo Morado, Guerrero).
  • Sonoro Metals Corp. informed discussions regarding debt finance and engineering, procurement and construction contracts with China-based EPC companies has been postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak (Cerro Caliche, Sonora).
  • Mexican Gold Mining Corp. announced, along New Found Gold Corp., that they have mutually terminated the binding agreement to acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of NFGC (Las Minas, Veracruz).
  • GoGold Resources Inc. entered into an agreement to acquire a second project located on the Los Ricos District, called Monte del Favor, in Jalisco. The agreement is to acquire 49% of 5 concessions in consideration for US$225 K, and an option to acquire the remaining 51% by paying US$210 K on the second anniversary. The seller will retain 1% NSR on the property, which the company may repurchase by paying US$1 M.

ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

  • Fresnillo PLC supports science, technology and youthful innovation. As part of the regional robotic fair “FIRST” on the La Laguna region, Fresnillo is to support three teams. The sponsored teams are from Turuachi, Chihuahua, Ciénega de Nuestra Señora, Durango and Fresnillo, Zacatecas. One other team from Caborca, Sonora, is to participates in an international competition in Arizona.
  • Grupo Mexico supports social and infrastructure projects in Sombrerete, Zacatecas. Every year the company performs 300 activities that benefit 3,000 inhabitants. The social programs and productive activities take place in Sombrerete, San Martin, Villa Insurgentes, Ojo de Agua, Charco Blanco, Santa Rita and José de Félix communities. Also, a seed-capital program has financed 29 projects to benefit 20 schools.
  • Peñoles, Fresnillo PLC, and Grupo Frisco among the companies to integrate the Environment Protection Club in Zacatecas. More than 25 companies are to be members of this club, promoted by the State governor, and that will also have universities (Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Zacatecas and Instituto Politécnico Nacional), the Secretaría de Agua y Medio Ambiente and federal authorities as its memebers.

Content like what you have just read can be seen at https://gambusinoprospector.com/ and at LinkedIn’s Mexico Mineral Exploration Group.

On the image below: The old train bridge between Nacozari and the Pilares mine, in Sonora, picture by Jorge Cirett

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The Mining and Exploration News in Mexico: Highlights on the Fifth Week of January, 2020.

Sulphur crystals in an epithermal hot spring system

By Miguel A Heredia

During the fifth week of the year (January 27th to February 2nd, 2020), at least 33 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico, with nine discussing issues on social responsibility, eight disclosing deals and corporate issues, five communicating production results, four announcing financial rounds, three reporting on resources and developments, three informing on exploration results, and one commenting on Mexican issues.  ON MEXICO ISSUES, Jorge Vidal Ahumada, Minister of Economy of Sonora State, announced that more of USD $500M will be invested in Sonora in 2020.  ON EXPLORATION, In Sonora, Ridgestone reported high-grade rock sampling from its Rebeico project, and Azure provided a report of the activities carried out during the period Q4, 2019 at its Sara Alicia project. In Chihuahua, Consolidated Zinc identified a high-grade Au system nearby its Plomosas mine.  ON MINING, Excellon, and Santacruz announced Q4 and annual 2019 production results from their Mexican operations. Telson resumed full scale mining and milling operation at its Campo Morado mine in Guerrero. Mexus reported that additional material has been crushed and placed on the leach pad at its Santa Elena mine in Sonora.  Endeavour provided 2020 production and cost guidance for their Mexican mining operations.  ON FINANCING, Azure completed a $4M placement to conduct an aggressive exploration program on its Alacrán project in Sonora, and also announced that it received payments for MXP $16.5M from the Mexican Tax Office for the recovery of IVA (GST). Millrock announced its plan to conduct a non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of up to $1M (Batamote project, Sonora). Gold Resource declared January 2020 monthly dividend for its shareholders (Arista mine, Oaxaca).  Telson has been marketing a non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds for up to CAD $3M (Campo Morado mine, Guerrero).  ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Azure announced results from the activities performed at its Alacrán and Oposura project in Sonora in the period Q4, 2019. Great Panther announced 2019 exploration results and 2020 plans for its Mexican operations. Minera Alamos entered into a purchase agreement to acquire a crushing system for its Santana mine in Sonora. Endeavour updated 2019 mineral reserve and resource estimate for its three Au-Ag Mexican mines. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Bacanora Lithium announced results from its annual general meeting of shareholders (Bacanora project, Sonora). Plata Latina entered into an agreement with Electrum for its three Mexican properties (Vaquerias, Palo Alto, and La Joya). Minaurum signed an option to acquire 100% of the Aurifero Gold project in Sonora, expanding its land control in the Alamos mining district. Mexican Gold announced that it entered into a binding letter agreement to complete business combination with New Found Gold (Las Minas, Veracruz). Equinox Gold and Leagold shareholders approved merger to create a premier Americas Au producer (Los Filos mine, Guerrero). Minera Alamos entered into a purchase agreement to acquire a crushing system for its Santana mine in Sonora. Mithril announced results from their 2019 activities, which consisted mainly on the Sun Minerals acquisition and the exclusive option to acquire 100% of the Copalquin project in Durango. Fortuna provided an update on the status of disputed royalty in one of its extractive mining concessions in its San Jose mine in Oaxaca. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, The Mexican President, Luis Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) thanked Peñoles for joining the program “Youth Building the Future”. Governor of Sonora, Claudia Pavlovich Arellano, opened the Community House of Argonaut Gold Inc in La Colorada, Sonora. A labor agreement between the municipality of Guadalupe and Calvo, Chihuahua and Fresnillo plc (San Julian mining company) was signed to hire personnel to work at the mine. Fresnillo plc demonstrates Social Responsibility since it works on four strategic axes including education, health, capacity development, and environmental care. Grupo Mexico delivered seed capital in Nueva Rosita, Coahuila, and presented a large urban development project for San Luis Potosi. Minera Media Luna (Torex Gold) supported local communities nearby its Mexican mining operation in Guerrero with medical equipment. Minera Peñasquito (Newmont Goldcorp) delivered tractors and agricultural equipment to the inhabitants of the Ejido El Vergel in the municipality of Mazapil, Zacatecas. Newmont Goldcorp was recognized for its high social, environmental and corporate governance performance, which places it as a leader in the mining sector worldwide.

ON MEXICO ISSUES

  • The Minister of Economy of Sonora, Jorge Vidal Ahumada announced that more than USD $500M will be invested in Sonora in the mining sector in 2020.

ON EXPLORATION

  • Ridgestone Mining Inc., reported high-grade rock sampling results of 188 samples collected at its Rebeico project in Sonora in an area of 200m by 100m with widths between 1-3m. Highlights include up to 12.95 g/t Au, with 8 samples returning > 4 g/t Au, 30 samples returning > 1 g/t Au, and 33 samples returning between 0.1-1.0 g/t Au. It also reported that 73 samples returned >0.1% Cu, with 14 samples returning >0.4% Cu with a peak of 0.65% Cu. High Bi values associated with Au and Cu suggests a proximal intrusion-related mineralized system. Mineralization is hosted by brecciated andesite with variable amounts of gossan ± magnetite ± quartz, as well as chloritized and fractured andesites peripheral to the brecciated zones.
  • Azure Minerals Limited, provided a report of the activities carried out during the period Q4, 2019 at its Sara Alicia project in Sonora. It acquired 100% of the Sara Alicia II mining concession. Azure had acquired the original Sara Alicia mining concession in 2017 but also it was recognized that a second, adjoining mining concession named Sara Alicia II had been cancelled by the mining registry. After almost 2 years later, the Federal Appeal Court ruled the cancellation was invalid and title of the concession was restored to a local Mexican family who had owned both Sara Alicia mining concessions since the 1930s. For a consideration of USD $80K, a purchase agreement between the owners and Azure was executed and 100% ownership of the Sara Alicia II concession was transferred to Azure. With the control of the ground now confirmed, the company plans to conduct geological mapping, sampling and a geophysical survey in H1, 2020.
  • Consolidated Zinc Ltd, identified with regional exploration, a high-grade Au system located 3 -5Km NW of its Plomosas mine. Rock chip sampling at La Chona-Enrique and Potrero targets returned encouraging results with grades of 2.55 g/t Au; 4.77 g/t Au; 7.42 g/t Au; 27.5 g/t Au, and 61 g/t Au, and 2.19% Cu; 2.88% Cu, 2.91% Cu, and 4.06% Cu. La Chona-Enrique areas consist of narrow quartz-calcite-hematite veins with malachite from 0.3-1.2m wide, which have been interpreted to be mesothermal in origin. Potrero target consists of a dominant felsic intrusive that appears to be responsible of the brecciation and alteration of the host rock. Mapping and sampling of these target areas is ongoing in order to define drill targets.

ON MINING

  • Excellon Resources Inc., announced Q4 and annual 2019 production results from its Platosa mine in Durango. The company mined 19,622 tonnes and processed 19,828 tonnes of 435 g/t Ag, 4.8% Pb, and 6.4% Zn, recovering 91.7%, 80.2%, and 76.5% respectively to produce 259.3K Oz Ag, 1.7M Lb Pb, and 2M Lb Zn. During the full year, the company mined 74,876 tonnes and processed 75,247 tonnes of 497 g/t Ag, 4.8% Pb, and 6.9% Zn, recovering 89.9%, 79.4%, and 80.8% respectively, to produce 1.05M Oz Ag, 6.1M Lb Pb, and 8.4M Lb Zn.
  • Santacruz Silver Mining Ltd., reported Q4 and full year 2019 production and financial results from their Zimapan, Veta Grande and Rosario mining operations. During Q4, 2019, the company processed from its Zimapan mine in Hidalgo State, 161,071 tonnes of 72 g/t Ag, recovering 66.4%, to produce 248.6K Oz Ag, 1.56M Lb Pb, 5.8M Lb Zn, and 1.1M Lb Cu (996K Oz AgEq at a grade of 282 g/t AgEq). During the full year 2019, the company processed 243, 313 tonnes of 73 g/t Ag, recovering 69.9%, to produce 400K Oz Ag, 2.6M Lb Pb, 9.1M Lb Zn, and 1.8M Lb Cu (1.6M Oz AgEq at a grade of 284 g/t AgEq). From its Veta Grande mine in Zacatecas, it processed 36,111 tonnes of 102 g/t Ag, recovering 45%, to produce 53.6K Oz Ag, 116 Oz Au, 620K Lb Pb, and 1.2M Lb Zn (193.7K Oz AgEq at a grade of 297 g/t AgEq). During the full year 2019, it processed 149.9K tonnes of 105 g/t Ag, recovering 47.1%, to produce 237.7K Oz Ag, 457 Oz Au, 2.4M Lb Pb, and 4.4M Lb Zn (761K Oz AgEq at a grade of 286 g/t AgEq). During Q4,2019 Santacruz processed from its Rosario mine in San Luis Potosi, 22,972 tonnes of 64 g/t Ag, recovering 90.6%, to produce 43.1K Oz Ag, 163 Oz Au, 195K Lb Pb, and 849K Lb Zn (134.5K Oz AgEq at a grade of 214 g/t AgEq). During the full year 2019, it processed 76,088 tonnes of 65 g/t Ag, recovering 93.4%, to produce 149.7K Oz Ag, 642.9K Lb Pb, and 3M Lb Zn (465.6K Oz AgEq at a grade of 218 g/t AgEq).
  • Telson Mining Corporation, resumed full scale mining and milling operation at its Campo Morado mine in Guerrero. The initial production after resuming operations is for 1,750 tonnes per day but intending to increase it to 2,000 tonnes per day or more in the coming weeks.
  • Mexus Gold US, crushed and placed additional material from Don Julio vein on the heap leaching pad of its Santa Elena mine in Sonora. The Julio and Lucky Strike open pit keep expanding with 1.2-9 g/t Au and an overall average of 4 g/t Au.
  • Endeavour Silver Corp., provided 2020 production and cost guidance for its Mexican mining operations. The table below shows figures for each of its three Au-Ag mines in Mexico:

Endeavour also announced that it plans to spend $5.4M drilling 18,500m of core on brownfield projects, greenfield exploration and development of its mines and projects.

ON FINANCING

  • Azure Minerals Limited, completed a $4M placement to conduct an aggressive exploration program on its Alacrán project in Sonora. Gross proceeds will be used to perform drilling to increase mineral resources at its Bonita deposit, conduct greenfield exploration and target definition at its Alacrán project, and to restart metallurgical testwork on its Mesa de Plata and Loma Bonita deposits. The company also mentioned that it received payments for MXP $ 16.5M from the Mexican Tax Office for the recovery of IVA (GST).
  • Millrock Resources Inc., announced its plan to raise gross proceeds from a non-brokered private placement for up to $1M (Batamote project, Sonora). Gross proceeds will be used to advance exploration on their current projects as well as to generate new ones.
  • Gold Resource Corporation, declared January 2020 monthly dividend of one-third of a cent per common share for its shareholders (Arista mine, Oaxaca).
  • Telson Mining Corporation, has been marketing a non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds for up to CAD $3M. It has completed subscription agreements for total proceeds of approximately CAD $1.89M and is planning to conduct a first tranche initial closing on proceeds ones the TSX approve it (Campo Morado mine, Guerrero).

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

  •  Azure Minerals Limited, announced results from the activities performed at its Alacran and Oposura project in Sonora in the period Q4, 2019. At Alacrán, the company commenced an RC infill and expansion drilling program at its Loma Bonita deposit which is open for expansion in several directions. The goal is to increase the current Au and Ag resources which count for 32.2M Oz Ag and 150K Oz Au. To date, 10 RC holes have been collared and the most significant drill intersects are in hole MDPD-025 with 0.56 g/t Au and 27 g/t Ag over 29.6m: hole MDPD-035 with 0.37 g/t Au and 8 g/t Ag over 12.6m; and hole ALA-17-004 with 0.47 g/t Au and 27 g/t Ag over 63.0m. The company also reported channel sampling results of a road cutting in Loma Bonita which returned 3.6 g/t Au over continuous 35.5m wide, and several high grades results from the sampling of historical mine dumps located 11.5-2km S and SE of the Cerro El Alacrán porphyry hosted Cu-Au-Mo ore body. 21 samples were collected with 10 samples returning > 1 Kg Ag (average of 1.07Kg Ag/t), 17 samples with >1 g/t Au (average of 4.43 g/t Au), 10 samples returning over 1% Cu (average of 0.95% Cu), 12 samples returning > 10% Pb (average of 14.9% Pb), and 10 samples returning  over 10% Zn(average of 9.3% Zn). At Oposura, Azure continued to trial, asses and advance several processing for producing saleable bulk concentrate of 35% Zn, 20% Pb, and 140 g/t Ag, as well as to produce separate high grade Zn and Pb concentrates. It also is considering off-take options for direct shipping ore and bulk concentrates.
  • Great Panther Mining Limited, announced 2019 exploration results and provided 2020 plans for its Mexican mining operations. At San Ignacio mine, Guanajuato, the company drilled 7,535 m in 30 in-fill holes. Most significant drill intersections were encountered in hole ESI19-253 with 2.84 g/t Au and 125 g/t Ag (352 g/t AgEq) over a true width of 1.15m; hole ESI19-254 with 5.78 g/t Au and 6 g/t Ag (469 g/t AgEq) over a true width of 1.20m; hole ESI19-267 with 3.69 g/t Au and 191 g/t Ag (486 g/t AgEq) over a true width of 1.09m; hole ESI19-276 with 1.63 g/t Au and 292 g/t Ag (422 g/t AgEq) over a true width of 1.38m; and hole ESI19-277 with 20.53 g/t Au and 816 g/t Ag (2,458 g/t AgEq) over a true width of 0.59m. 2020 plans for San Ignacio will comprise up to 8,500m of in-fill drilling as well as to test additional exploration targets. An update of the mineral resource estimate will be presented in Q1, 2020. At its Guanajuato mine, the company took the decision to put on hold the production in 2019 in order to focus on finding higher grade resources. Great Panther drilled 126 in-fill holes for a total of 8,832 m., mainly underground. Additionally, the company geologists have re-mapped and sampled most accessible areas to develop multiple targets. Significant drill intersection were encountered in hole UGPM19-017 with 1.3 g/t Au and 364 g/t Ag (468 g/t AgEq) over a true width of 3.52m; hole UGPM19-020 with 3.93 g/t Au and 77 g/t Ag (398 g/t AgEq) over a true width of 5.63m: hole UGP-028 with 2.58 g/t Au and 1,042 g/t Ag (1,249 g/t AgEq) over a true width of 2.51m; hole UGDP19-002 with 3.16 g/t Au and 457 g/t Ag (710 g/t AgEq) over a true width of 5.89m; hole UGDP19-013 with 4.32 g/t Au and 863 g/t Ag (1,209 g/t AgEq) over a true width of 4.96m; hole SP19-003 with 3.97 g/t Au and 1,436 g/t Ag (1,754 g/t AgEq) over a true width of 3.53m; and hole UGV19-010 with 2.45 g/t Au and 472 g/t Ag (668 g/t AgEq) over a true width of 2.30m. The 2020 in-fill drilling program will consists of 14,400m focused on building mineral resources along the Veta Madre structure. An update of the Guanajuato mineral resource estimate will be released in Q1, 2020. At its Topia mine in Durango, the company drilled 25 in-fill holes for a total of 5,344 m to build mineral resources. Significant drill intersections were encountered in hole ST19-238 with 0.28 g/t Au, 5,507 g/t Ag, 25.2% Pb, and 6% Zn (6,966 g/t AgEq) over a true width of 0.31m; hole ST19-246 with 0.31 g/t Au, 2,768 g/t Ag, 5.2% Pb, and 1.6% Zn (3,112 g/t AgEq) over a true width of 0.33m; hole ST19-249 with 0.2 g/t Au, 4,840 g/t Ag, 26.8% Pb, and 9.9% Zn (6,582 g/t AgEq) over a true width of 0.1m; and hole ST19-251 with 0.25 g/t Au, 2,099 g/t Ag, 14.2% Pb, and 12% Zn (3,411 g/t AgEq) over a true width 0.17m. The 2020 drilling program will consists of 2,500m focus on building mineral resources. Great Panther plans to release an updated mineral resource estimate in July, 2020.
  • Minera Alamos Inc., entered into a purchase agreement with Mako Mining Corp, Marlin Gold Mining Ltd., and Oro Gold de México S.A. de C.V., to acquire a complete crushing, screening, and agglomeration system to facilitate future production growth at its Santana mine in Sonora.
  • Endeavour Silver Corp., updated 2019 mineral reserve and resource estimate for its three Au-Ag Mexican mines. Mineral reserves at December 31, 2019 are shown in the below table:

Mineral resources at December 31, 2019 are shown in the below tables:

Mineral resources are exclusive of and in addition to mineral reserves.

 ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

  • Bacanora Lithium plc, announced results from its annual general meeting of shareholders (Bacanora project, Sonora).
  • Plata Latina Minerals Corporation, entered into an agreement of assignment of mining concessions of its three Mexican properties with The Electrum Group. The three mining properties are Vaquerias, in Jalisco State which consists of two mining concessions totaling 4,411 Ha; Palo Alto, in Aguascalientes State, which comprises three mining concessions totaling 4,722 Ha; and La Joya, in Hidalgo State, which consists of one mining concession of 924 Ha. Electrum will pay USD $100K for each property, and will have exclusive rights for a period of four months to evaluate the three properties, commencing on January 20, 2020 and ending on May 20, 2020. Electrum has agreed to reimburse Plata Latina the remaining 2019 semi-semester mining duties on the three properties up to a maximum amount of USD $50K. It also will pay mining duties to cover the mining duties of the first semester 2020. Electrum has already commenced their due diligence on the properties, and will have the right to exercise its option to acquire any or all of the three properties.
  • Minaurum Gold Inc., signed a five-years option agreement to acquire 100% of the Aurifero Gold project in Sonora and expanding its land control in the Alamos mining district where its Alamos Silver project is located. “Aurifero contains a swarm of Au &-Ag-bearing epithermal veins within a NW/SE-trending zone measuring 3 km long and more than 400 m wide. Satellite imagery and ground reconnaissance geology indicate that the alteration signature is similarly widespread”. Several campaigns of shallow RC and core drilling have been conducted since the 1980s totaling over 8,000 metres, all of them averaging less than 100 m deep; the deepest reaching a vertical depth of 135 m from surface.  “There are currently a number of operators conducting small-scale mining on the project.  Under the option agreement, the miners are restricted to a maximum mining depth of 100 m”. Significant drill intercepts from historic drilling were encountered in hole DMDDH-01 with 18.37 g/t Au over 3.1m; hole 07-MN-10, with 3.12 g/t Au over 24.5m; hole CI-35 with 1.47 g/t Au over 48m; hole CI-09 with 3.65 g/t Au over 58m; and hole CI-34 with 2.42 g/t Au over 24m. The option agreement signed by Minaurum is in exchange for USD $2.7M for the 100% of a block of mining concessions which cover 1,198 Ha. The option does not include royalty.
  • Mexican Gold Corp., entered into a binding letter agreement to complete business combination with New Found Gold Corp. The resulting company will be very well capitalized and be focused on exploring and conduct multiple drilling campaigns on their properties and advance Las Minas project in Veracruz. Under the terms of the agreement, New Found is required to complete a minimum of CAD $10Mfinancing, and post-transaction, the company will have approximately CAD $19M in working capital.
  • Equinox Gold Corp., and Leagold Mining Corporation, shareholders approved merger to create a premier Americas Au producer. On closing of the transaction, Leagold will receive 0.331 of an Equinox Gold share for each Leagold share held. Current Equinox Gold and Leagold shareholders will own approximately 55% and 45% respectively of the merged company. Transaction is expected to close in February 2020, subject to approval of TSX and NYSE (Los Filos mine, Guerrero).
  • Minera Alamos Inc., entered into a purchase agreement with Mako Mining Corp, Marlin Gold Mining Ltd., and Oro Gold de México S.A. de C.V., to acquire a complete crushing, screening, and agglomeration system to facilitate future production growth at its Santana mine in Sonora. The purchase price of this agreement is for CAD $1.2M in staged payments. CAD $300K upon execution of the agreement, CAD $700K on the closing date (April 30, 2020 or such other date on or before September 30, 2020), and CAD $200K on the earlier date of the shipment of the equipment.
  • Mithril Resources Ltd., announced results from its 2019 activities, which consisted mostly on the Sun Minerals Pty Ltd acquisition and the exclusive option to acquire 100% interest in the Copalquin project in Durango. Due diligence has been completed and Mithril expects to complete the acquisition of Sun Minerals for the March 2020 quarter.
  • Fortuna Silver Mines Inc., provided an update on the status of a dispute royalty of 3% that a former owner of one of its extracting concessions in its San Jose mine in Oaxaca granted to the Mexican Geological Service (SGM). In 2018, the company, supported by legal opinions of three independent law firms, concluded that none royalty should be paid and commenced administrative and legal proceedings against the General Direction of Mines (GDM) in order to remove reference to the royalty on the title register. “Fortuna Silver has recently received notice from the GDM seeking to cancel the mining concession if the royalty, in the Mexican pesos equivalent of US$30 million plus VAT (being the amount of the claimed royalty from 2011 to 2019), is not paid before March 15, 2020. The company will be initiating legal proceedings to contest the cancellation procedure and also to stay the cancellation process. In the event that the company is unsuccessful in cancelling the action taken by the GDM or in obtaining a stay of execution, it may be required to pay, or post a bond or other security, up to the amount claimed, in order to preserve the mining concession. In that case the company would immediately thereafter proceed with dispute proceedings. If the company is required to pay the royalty or post security it will do so from available working capital”.

 ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

  • The Mexican President, Luis Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) thanked Peñoles, for joining the program “Youth Building the Future”, which guarantee the right to young people to study , work and be trained as good citizens. AMLO, along with the General Director of Peñoles, the Governor of Coahuila, and the Secretary of Labor gathered in Laguna Del Rey, Coahuila with 61 scholars in the frame of the celebration of the first anniversary of this program. Scholars thanked the support and the opportunity to receive training and after which they hope to get a job in Peñoles. Fernando Alaniz, General Director of Peñoles commented that this program is not only seen in the financial result sheet but also in the responsibility and commitment towards the community.
  • Governor of Sonora, Claudia Pavlovich Arellano, opened the Community House of Argonaut Gold Inc in la Colorada, where it will offer arts, music, drawing, painting, handicraft and confectionery workshops, as well as workshops of values, school for parents, addiction prevention and emotion management, all totally free for the population.
  • The municipality of Guadalupe y Calvo Chihuahua, Chihuahua and Fresnillo plc (San Julian mining company), signed a labour agreement to hire local personnel to work at the mine, based on their knowledge and qualifications. Local authorities commented that this is already a second stage of hiring, being 45 people placed in the previous one, so it is expected to place a good number of elements in this new stage.
  • Fresnillo plc, demonstrates Social Responsibility since it works on four strategic axes including education, health, capacity development, and environmental care. It has sustainability as its policy, as it is a company dedicated to the exploration, exploitation and benefit of minerals, and is committed to guaranteeing a safe and healthy place for its staff and its environment, establishing good relations with neighboring communities. In Education, 36 young people who study robotics have received support and advice, and approximately 2,600 children are being beneficiated with a program that foster the reading culture. In Health, more than 3,000 people from several communities were attended in 2019 without any cost. This social program will continue in 2020. In Capacity Development, in sports, Fresnillo has organized since 9 years ago, the 5Km race which started with 200 runners and now participate more than 2,000; it has a soccer academy, and a year ago, an agreement was signed with a professional soccer team (Santos Laguna) to grant 300 children and young people to be in the academy. The company also support in other sports such as baseball, basketball, etc.  In addition, more than 200 women from different communities are trained, who are taught courses in crafts, pastry, beauty culture, and sewing and are given the material. In addition, more than 40 people who have small businesses are trained. In Environment, Fresnillo plc takes care of the water and operates two waste water treatment plants. It also has two tree nurseries that give the year more than 70,000 trees of which a large part of them are planted in all the mines and others are donated to the community.
  • Grupo Mexico, delivered Seed Capital to inhabitants of Nueva Rosita, Coahuila, to learn a trade and improve the quality of life of people. Seed Capital is an initial financing method that aims to develop a business idea with growth possibilities and is delivered in kind. The company is providing seeds in projects that seek the growth of the communities where it has mining operations. Grupo Mexico also presented a large urban development project for San Luis Potosi. This project will generate 20,000 jobs and build 7,500 houses in an area of 470 Ha. It was also announced that the urbanization of the site where Industrial Minera Mexico operated will be a new development hub for 30,000 people and will have wind power road electricity supply and also includes the reforestation of 20,000 trees in the area. It will have shopping centers, universities, research centers and hospitals. This is the most ambitious urban project for San Luis Potosi in recent years and will start in this same 2020.
  • Minera Media Luna (Torex Gold), supported Nuevo Balsas and surrounding communities nearby its Mexican mining operations in Guerrero with high-tech medical equipment delivered to the NGO “Curando Mexico”.   This social program “Curando México” aims to offer the most vulnerable population an accessible high quality health service.
  • Minera Peñasquito (Newmont Goldcorp), invested MXP $9M and delivered tractors and agricultural equipment to the inhabitants of the El Vergel Ejido, located in the municipality of Mazapil, Zacatecas. This project began three years ago, however, with the delivery of seven tractors and agricultural equipment, such as threshing machines and harvesters, among others, a new stage will begin in the cultivation fields of the region. Other actions that were carried out were preparing farmland, operating wells, technifying the irrigation system, as well as providing the inhabitants of El Vergel with seeds to cultivate.
  • Newmont Goldcorp, was recognized for its high social, environmental and corporate governance performance, which places it as a leader in the mining sector worldwide. Newmont was recognized by 3 independent entities for their high managerial performance, social responsibility, and coordinated actions to combat climate change and the promotion of women in the workplace. Newmont scored high in a variety of dimensions, including quality management, social responsibility, long-term investment, personnel management and innovation.

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, sulphur crystals in an epithermal hot spring prospect in Guanajuato, Mexico.  Photo by Miguel A Heredia.