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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.