By Jorge Cirett
During the 16th week of the year (April 15th to April 21st, 2019), at least 28 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico. ON MEXICO ISSUES, a lower court in Puebla ruled Mexico’s mineral title system unconstitutional based on consultation not being required before issuing the title. Inhabitants of San Antonio, Baja California Sur, manifested in support for the construction of the San Antonio mine. ON EXPLORATION, In Sonora, Aztec Gold delineated several new targets using geophysics at Cervantes; San Marcos disclosed explorations plans for its properties in the year. In Jalisco, GoGold released interesting results from drilling at Los Ricos. ON MINING, Avino Silver, Sierra Metals, First Majestic, Gold Resource and Hecla disclosed production results for Q1 2019.
Fresnillo PLC presented its annual report 2018. ON FINANCING, Ridgestone Mining, Oroco and Camrova raised $1.12 M; 800 K and 12 K respectively. Sonoro and Minaurum granted options to consultants and directors. Minaurum was named to the Venture 50tm. Sierra Metals entered into an automatic purchase plan. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Goldplay reported channel sample results from a new zone at its San Marcial project in Sinaloa. SilverCrest Metals released good metallurgical results from its Las Chispas property in Sonora. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Newmont Goldcorp Corp. has been delivered. Consolidated Zinc presented notice of its annual general meeting. Aura completed the sale of 80% interest of its Taviche project to Minaurum.
ON MEXICO ISSUES
- Almaden Minerals Ltd. informed that “a lower court in Puebla State has ruled that Mexico’s mineral title system is unconstitutional because consultation is not required before the granting of mineral title………..This ruling can be appealed by both the Government of Mexico and Almaden. The Company believes that this lawsuit is part of a broad effort by special interest groups to change the mining law and there are other similar actions active across Mexico”. Almaden stated that no communities within the company’s current mining concessions on its Ixtaca project in Puebla are party to this lawsuit.
- Fresnillo PLC. Presented its 2018 annual report. It is here recommended to all interested in the mining business in Mexico to take a look to the report (http://www.fresnilloplc.com/media/412015/fres-30452-annual-report-2018-web.pdf), especially on the section “Managing our risks”. In the said section, the risks of participating in the industry in Mexico are assessed, including those of metal prices, potential actions by the government, access to land, security, public perception against mining, safety, union relations, exploration, project performance, cyber security, environmental incidents and human resources. Although the report had in mind Fresnillo’s particular situation as one of the largest Mexican mining conglomerates, many parts of the evaluation concern risks that affect all mining enterprises in the country.
- Some 500 inhabitants of San Antonio, in Baja California Sur, gathered in support of Argonaut Gold’s San Antonio mining project in their locality.
- Aztec Minerals Corp. and Kootenay Silver Inc. informed that interpretation of a recent magnetic and radiometric survey produced multiple porphyry copper targets on the Cervantes property in Sonora. “Cervantes has multiple porphyry cells aligned along a northeast-southwest orientation, manifested as high-level alteration footprints related to intrusive bodies. There are also prominent northwest-southeast trending magnetic anomalies found to be associated with strong alteration, gold-copper mineralization, and intrusive rocks.”
- GoGold Resources Inc. disclosed the results from the first two diamond holes on its Los Ricos property in Jalisco. The two diamond drill holes twinned previous RC perforations, replicating the mineralized zones, with 35.5 m @ 1.24 gpt Au, 285 gpt Ag and 27.6 m @ 1.56 gpt Au, 159 gpt Ag. The holes are part of a 10,000 m diamond drill program focused on following the high grade ore shoot down dip below the historical RC drilling.
- San Marco Resources Inc. plans for 2019 in Sonora include target delineation at Espiritu Santo and 1068 properties, follow-up of underexplored areas at the Chunibas project, extensive participation on lotteries of released ground by the government, evaluation of multiple property acquisitions and ongoing partnership discussions of existing assets.
- Avino Silver & Gold Mines Ltd. released production results from its Avino property in Durango for 2019’s first quarter. During the period production came from three sources: Avino mine, San Gonzalo mine and historic stockpiles. At Avino, 100.9 K tonnes were milled @ 41 g/t Ag, 0.48 gpt Au, 0.49% Cu, recovering 84% Ag, 71% Au, 87% Cu. At San Gonzalo (which is nearing the end of its mine life) 17.9 K tonnes were milled @ 188 gpt Ag, 0.54 gpt Au, recovering 65% Ag, 61% Au. From historic stockpiles 78.8 K tonnes were milled @ 61 gpt Ag, 0.40 gpt Au, 0.21% Cu, recovering 55%, Ag, 52% Au, 29% Cu. Total production was 1,813 Oz Au, 268.4 K Oz Ag, 1.06 M Lb Cu, or 615 K Oz AgEq.
- Sierra Metals Inc. reported first quarter 2019 results, including figures from its Mexican mines. The Bolivar mine in Chihuahua processed 263.2 K tonnes (~3,008 tpd, targeting 3,600 tpd for Q2 2019)) grading 0.81% Cu, 19.5 gpt Ag, 0.19 gpt Au, recovering 82.2% Cu, 79.1% Ag, 67.9% Au to produce 3.87 M Lb Cu, 130 K Oz Ag, 1,100 Oz Au (or 5.08 MLb CuEq). At the Cusi mine, also in Chihuahua, 71.3 K tonnes were processed @ 105 gpt Ag, 0.15 gpt Au, 0.3% Pb, 0.3% Zn, recovering 79.5% Ag, 37.5% Au, 75.2% Pb to produce 192 K Oz Ag, 133 Au Oz, 349 K Lb Pb, no Zn.
- Fresnillo PLC. Filed its annual report 2018. During the year Fresnillo produced 61.8 M Oz Ag, 922 K Oz Au, holding resources of 2.2 billion Oz Ag and 39.1 M Oz Au. At Fresnillo, in Zacatecas, 2.44 M tonnes were milled @ 214 gpt Ag to produce 15.1 M Oz Ag, 42,290 Oz Au, 19,619 tonnes Pb, 31,094 tonnes Zn. At Saucito, in Zacatecas, 2.79 M tonnes were milled @ 257 gpt Ag, 1.25 gpt Au to produce 19.78 M Oz Ag, 86,092 Oz Au, 22,662 tonnes Pb, 29,506 tonnes Zn, while the Pyrites Plant processed 131.8 K tonnes @ 393 gpt Ag, 2.8 gpt Au to produce 977 K Oz Ag, 3,556 Oz Au. At San Julian, in Chihuahua, 1.27 M tonnes were processed from the veins @144.1 gpt Ag, 2.0 gpt Au, to produce 5.43 M Oz Ag, 79,218 Oz Au. 2.22 M tonnes were processed from the disseminated orebody @ 154 gpt Ag, 0.1 gpt Au, 0.4% Pb, 1.4% Zn, to produce 9.2 M Oz Ag, 3,125 Oz Au, 6,101 tonnes Pb, 22,027 tonnes Zn. At Cienega, in Durango, 1.32 M tonnes were milled @ 164 gpt Ag, 1.65 g/t Au to produce 6 M Oz Ag, 66,869 Oz Au, 4,799 tonnes Pb, 5,892 tonnes Zn. At Herradura, in Sonora, 22.15 M tonnes @ 0.76 gpt Au were deposited on the heaps to produce 474,168 Oz Au, 1.52 M Oz Ag, at cash cost $504 per Au Oz (total volume hauled, 124 M tonnes). At Nochebuena, in Sonora, 18.2 M tonnes were deposited on the heaps @ 0.52 gpt Au to produce 167.2 K Oz Au, 52 K Oz Ag, at cash cost $735.4 per Oz Au (total volume hauled, 80.3 M tonnes). The company had $580.7 M as cash and cash equivalents by the end of the year.
First Majestic Silver Corp. produced 6.3 AgEq Oz during the first quarter of 2019. During the period 831.2 K tonnes of ore were milled @ 150 gpt Ag, 1.26 gpt Au, with recoveries of 83% Ag, 96% Au, to produce 3.33 M Oz Ag, 32,037 Oz Au, 2.66 M Lb Pb, 1.26 M Lb Zn. The ore had averages and recoveries of 287 gpt Ag, 4.18 gpt Au (93% Ag, 96% Au) at San Dimas, Durango; 121 gpt Ag, 1.87 gpt Au (89% Ag, 95% Au) at Santa Elena, Sonora; 126 gpt Ag (66% Ag) at La Encantada, Coahuila; 187 gpt Ag, 0.58 gpt Au (89% Ag, 93% Au)at San Martin, Jalisco; 54 gpt Ag, 1.8% Pb, 1.6% Zn (75% Ag by flotation, 62% Ag by cyanidation, 69% Pb, 48% Zn) at La Parrilla, Durango; 114 gpt Ag, 2.1% Pb (74% Ag, 0.7 M Lb Pb)at Del Toro, Zacatecas.
- Gold Resource Corp. reported preliminary production results for the first quarter 2019. The Oaxaca Mining Unit (El Aguila, Arista, Switchback) produced 6,538 Au Oz, 364.6 K Oz Ag, 433 tonnes Cu, 2,153 tonnes Pb, 5,838 tonnes Zn. “The Company maintains its 2019 Oaxaca Mining Unit Annual Outlook of 27,000 gold ounces and 1,700,000 silver ounces, plus or minus 10%”.
- Hecla Mining Co. announced preliminary production results for the first quarter of 2019. At San Sebastian, in Durango, the mill operated at 494 tpd to produce 0.4 M Oz Ag, 3,530 Oz Au. “A review of sulfide ore continues, including a bulk sample to test the capabilities of the third-party plant and the suitability of long-hole stoping for the ore body, with results expected by the fourth quarter of 2019.”
- Ridgestone Mining Inc. completed its previously announced private placement financing, for gross proceeds of $1.12 M. The company paid 6% ($43.2 K) cash and 309 K compensation warrants. Also, 72.2 K bonus shares were issued to a director of the company, under a loan agreement (Rebeico, Sonora).
- Sierra Metals Inc. entered into an automatic purchase plan with its designated broker (Cusi and Bolivar, Chihuahua).
- Sonoro Metals Corp. granted 100 K incentive options to a director of the company. These options vest immediately and are exercisable at a price of $0.18 per share (Cerro Caliche, Sonora).
- Minaurum Gold Inc. has been named to the TSX Venture Exchange Venture 50tm , the annual ranking of Canada’s top 50 emerging publicly traded companies across five industry sectors. Minaurum also granted 3.35 M common share stock options to directors, officers and consultants. The options are exercisable at a price of $0.45 for a period of 10 years from the issue date. The company also granted consultants 275 k options exercisable at a price of $0.45 for a period of five years. Ten percent vest immediately, and another 15% each semiannually (Alamos, Sonora).
- Oroco Resources Corp. closed a non-brokered private placement financing, raising $800 K in gross proceeds. No finder’s fee was paid (Santo Tomas, Sinaloa).
- Camrova Resources Inc. closed the second tranche of the previously announced private placement, for proceeds of $12 K, bringing the total combined proceeds to $66 K. The third and final tranche of the Private Placement is expected to close in early May (Boleo, Baja California Sur).
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
- Goldplay Exploration Ltd. reported channel sample results from a new zone at its San Marcial project in Sinaloa. The Nava zone, 500 long by 100 m wide, is extensively altered and hosts low sulphidation quartz veining and stockwork mineralization. Channel samples from the zone returned assays ranging from 1.04 gpt Au to up to 10.0 gpt Au.
- SilverCrest Metals Inc. announced positive metallurgical results for Las Chispas project, in Sonora. “A total of 445 kg was selected from 51 core holes and nine underground samples to compile 15 different samples, based on geo-metallurgical domains which were combined into three master composites. These composites utilized 210 kilograms of mass representing a variety of grades (low, medium and high) of 500 to 2000 gpt AgEq expected during conceptual operation”. The new metallurgical tests show estimated recoveries of 98.4% to 98.9% Au and 91.4% to 94.8% Ag, using conventional methods comprised of gravity concentration and intensive leaching followed by gravity tails standard leaching.
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- Newmont Mining Corp. announced that it has extended the previously announced offers to exchange all outstanding notes issued by Goldcorp Inc. for up to two billion dollars aggregate principal amount of new notes to be issued by Newmont, as part of the proposed arrangement on which Newmont acquires all outstaning shares of Goldcorp (Peñasquito, Zacatecas).
- Consolidated Zinc Ltd. presented its notice of annual general meeting for the annual general meeting of shareholders to be held on 23 May 2019 (Plomosas, Chihuahua).
- Aura Resources Inc. announced the completion of the sale of an 80% interest in its East Taviche project in Oaxaca, to Minaurum Gold Inc.. Minaurum issued 100 K common shares to Aura and paid 39.4 K on closing; additionally, Minaurum is to issue further 100 K shares on receipt of the pertinent drilling permits. The remaining 20% can be acquired by Minaurum paying CDN$1 M.
- Newmont Goldcorp Corp. announced the successful conclusion of its transaction combining Newmont Mining Corp. and Goldcorp Inc. to form the world’s leading gold business. The company targets six to seven million ounces of steady gold production over a decades-long time horizon (Peñasquito, Zacatecas).
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, glory hole developed on Inguaran, Michoacan. Picture by Jorge Cirett.