By Jorge Cirett
During the 47th week of the year (November 19th to November 26th, 2023), companies working in Mexico posted 22 news releases. Four companies reported exploration advances on their properties, three companies released Q3 2023 reports, one on metallurgical test results and one more on new concentrate production. One company announced the repurchase of part of its shares, one a financing round, one an incentive warrant program and one more the payment of dividends. One company released drilling results from a past producing mine, and one other filed a technical report on its property. One company reported on the acquisition of additional land adjacent to its mining operations, and two more on the appointment of directors. ON MEXICO ISSUES, the country has attracted US$2,737 M of direct foreign investment on mining this year. ON EXPLORATION, in Sonora, Aztec Minerals has completed seven RC holes at Cervantes; Colibri Resource and Silver Spruce updated on project work at Diamante. In Chihuahua, Kootenay Silver released results from three holes at Columba. In Zacatecas, Radius Gold presented the results of the last drill hole at Tropico. ON MINING, Impact Silver, Bear Creek Mining and Guanajuato Silver presented Q3 2023 production results. Luca Mining presented results from metallurgical tests at Campo Morado. Golden Minerals begun to produce gold-bearing pyrite concentrates at Velardeña. ON FINANCING, Teck Resources intends to repurchase up to 7.8% of its shares. Oroco Resource launched a financing round for up to $2.5 M. Heliostar Metals is encouraging the early exercise of share purchase warrants. Alamos Gold declared a quarterly dividend. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Silver Storm released results from drilling at La Parrilla past-producing mine in Durango. Sonoran Desert filed a technical report on the Cuatro Hermanos property in Sonora. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Coeur Mining signed a purchase agreement with Fresnillo PLC to acquire mining concessions adjacent to its mining operations at Palmarejo in Chihuahua. Osisko Development and Orla Mining announced the appointment of directors. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, no relevant news.
ON MEXICO ISSUES
- According to information from the Economy Secretariat (Secretaría de Economía) Mexico has attracted US$2,737 M of direct foreign investment on mining this year, and US$9,089 M during the first five years of the present administration.
- According to Camimex, in a note published on El Economista, three companies control 80% of mining production by Mexican enterprises: Grupo Mexico, Fresnillo PLC and Peñoles.
- Radius Gold Inc. provided results from the last of hole of the 1,300 m diamond drilling program at the Tropico project in Zacatecas. Highlighted intervals comprise 9.02 m @ 0.11 gpt Au; 1.53 m @ 0.33 gpt Au; 4.58 m @ 0.22 gpt Au; 19.82 m @ 0.15 gpt Au. “Drilling defined a large gold mineralized breccia body that starts at surface and to date defined 250m down dip….. The drilling encountered wide zones of classic low sulphidation epithermal alteration, high level chalcedonic silica, banded stockwork and massive quartz veining, and breccias with gold mineralization, but not significant high grade mineralization”.
- Aztec Minerals Corp. announced the completion of the first seven holes of the current drilling program at Cervantes, in Sonora. The eleven-hole reverse circulation drilling program envisages 1,650 m of which 963 m have already been completed in the California zone, while step-out drilling is to focus in expansion. Results are pending. “The gold mineralization is characterized by oxidized and unoxidized stockwork veinlets of A, B, and C types and disseminated sulfide sites, with silicification and phyllic alterations. Potassic alteration is present in places and is associated with mineralization as well”.
- Colibri Resource Corp. and JV partner Silver Spruce Resources Inc. report the discovery of Au-Ag showings on the Diamante property in Sonora. Recent work in the property includes geological mapping, evaluation and sampling of historical showings, collection and assaying of 49 stream sediment samples and 60 outcrop samples. New mineralized showings in the northern and southern parts of the concession returned assays of 3.52 gpt Au, 121 gpt Ag; 0.122 gpt Au, 197 gpt Ag; 0.818 gpt Au, 5 gpt Ag; 0.749 gpt Au, 2 gpt Ag; 3.34 gpt Au, 20 gpt Ag. The Diamante property exhibits characteristics of “epithermal low to intermediate sulfidation Ag-Au (Pb-Zn), high sulfidation Au-Cu, and potential transition zones within and peripheral to porphyry style Au-Cu mineralization”.
- Kootenay Silver Inc. announced results from three additional drill holes at its Columba project in Chihuahua. The drill program envisages 3,000 m on 12 to 15 holes to extend known mineralization on the “D” vein target area. Highlighted core length intervals comprise 29 m @ 208 gpt Ag, 0.2% Pb, 0.5% Zn (including 9.67 m @ 510 gpt Ag, 0.2 gpt Au, 0.5% Pb, 1.0% Zn; which includes 2.37 m 1,142 gpt Ag, 0.1 gpt Au, 0.9% Pb, 2.5% Zn), 10.1 m @ 152 gpt Ag, 0.2% Pb, 0.4% Zn; 3.1 m @ 308 gpt Ag, 0.1% Pb, 0.3% Zn (including 1.56 m @ 532 gpt Ag, 0.2% Pb, 0.4% Zn). “Columba hosts an extensive network of intermediate-style epithermal quartz, carbonate +/- barite veins aligned into two broadly cross-cutting orientations. Fieldwork to date has identified numerous mineralized structures across the project measuring up to 4 kilometres in length.”
- Luca Mining Corp. announced results from its optimization program at the Campo Morado mine in Guerrero. A bulk concentrate is being produced with greater than 70% Cu recovery, up from the historical 35-40% recovery range. “Overall zinc recovery is expected to increase from 76% to 86% and the final concentrate grade increases from 46% to 56% zinc over the next 12 months…. Ausenco have conducted a range of laboratory testing, initially of zinc circuit feed samples, to study the potential for improved zinc circuit stage recoveries. With a series of changes to reagents and other operational parameters in flotation in the plant, overall zinc recovery increased from 75% to 82% and the final concentrate grade from 45% to 51% zinc”. Additional work is being conducted to produce clean and higher-grade Cu and Pb concentrates.
- Golden Minerals Co. has begun producing gold-bearing pyrite flotation concentrate from its Velardeña properties in Durango. “The Company is processing material that has been stockpiled at Velardeña since the mines last operated in 2015”. Recent favorable market terms for Au bearing pyrite/arsenopyrite concentrate are now economic to process and sell.
- Impact Silver Corp. announced its financial and operating results for the third quarter 2023. At Zacualpan, in Estado de Mexico, throughput was 37.2 K tonnes @ 162 gpt Ag. At Plomosas, in Chihuahua, Impact has completed the final steps to get back online the 200 tpd zinc mine. “Exploration potential at Plomosas is exceptional with only 600m of the 6-kilometre-long structure assessed”. The company invested $3.8 M in exploration expenditures and mining assets, with a cash position at quarter-end of $8.9 M and working capital of $8.7 M.
- Bear Creek Mining Corp. reported results for Q3 2023. At the Mercedes mine in Sonora, 123.5 K tonnes were mined @ 2.79 gpt Au, with 126.2 K tonnes processed averaging 2.40 gpt Au, recovering 93.4% Au to produce 9,155 Oz Au, 33.7 K Oz Ag. During the period the company entered into a restructuring agreement with Equinox Gold Corp. to convert a $26 M current liability into a non-current obligation by issuing a convertible promissory note at a competitive interest rate. A second restructuring agreement was signed with Sandstorm Gold Ltd. to reduce near-term Au and Ag stream delivery obligations and refinance and extend debt. A C$9.5 M private placement was completed also during the period. Mining methods have been changed to sub-level caving at the San Martin deposit and sub-level stoping at the Marianas deposit. Average mining costs have decreased from $80.84 per tonne mined to $68.37 during the year (15% decrease). The Mercedes structural trend has contributed with “over 580,000 ounces of gold to the mine’s historical production since 2011”. Production from the San Martin deposit increased from 400 tpd to almost 600 tpd during Q3 and is expected to reach 800 tpd during Q4 2023.
- Guanajuato Silver Company Ltd. released financial and operating results for Q3 2023. Consolidated production from Valenciana and El Cubo mines in Guanajuato and from Topia in Durango comprises 134.9 K tonnes mined, 132.5 K tonnes milled, to produce 425.5 K Oz Ag, 3,441 Oz Au, 935.8 K Lb Pb, 857.7 K Lb Zn, or 787.1 K Oz AgEq at cash cost $20.79 per Oz AgEq and an AISC of $26.22 per Oz AgEq.
- Sailfish Royalty Corp. announced operating and financial results for Q3 2023. No information was provided on the Gavilanes property in Durango, Sailfish’s only significant exploration property in Mexico.
- Teck Resources Ltd. is to establish a normal course issuer bid to purchase up to 40 M Class B shares from November 2023 to November 2024, representing 7.8% of the outstanding Class B shares, or 7.9% of the public float, as at November 15, 2023. “Teck is making the normal course issuer bid because it believes that the market price of its Class B Shares may, from time to time, not reflect their underlying value and that the share buy-back program may provide value by reducing the number of shares outstanding at attractive prices. All repurchased shares will be cancelled” (San Nicolas, Zacatecas).
- Oroco Resource Corp. announced a non-brokered private placement to raise gross proceeds of up to $2.5 M (Santo Tomas, Sinaloa).
- Heliostar Metals Ltd. updated on its incentive warrant program designed to encourage the early exercise of share purchase warrants. To date, holders of 14.37 M outstanding warrants have committed to participate in the warrant incentive program, which if exercised would result in gross proceeds of $4.6 M (Ana Paula, Guerrero).
- Alamos Gold Inc. declared a quarterly dividend of US$0.025 per common share. Alamos has paid dividends for 14 consecutive years, during which time $324 M has been returned to shareholders through dividends and share buybacks, including $40 M thus far in 2023 (Mulatos, Sonora).
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
- Silver Storm Mining Ltd. released results from two more holes at La Parrilla, in Durango. Highlighted core length intervals comprise 0.82 m @ 419 gpt Ag, 0.53 gpt Au, 0.09% Cu, 12.3% Pb, 10.7% Zn; 0.44 m @ 200 gpt Ag, 0.19 gpt Au, 0.10% Cu, 6.6% Pb, 8.8% Zn; 1.77 m @ 25 gpt Ag, 4.07 gpt Au, 0.06% Cu, 0.1% Pb; 2.28 m @ 67 gpt Ag, 0.04 gpt Au, 0.02 % Cu, 3.1% Pb, 3.2% Zn; 8.72 m @ 125 gpt Ag, 0.04 gpt Au, 0.06% Cu, 2.4% Pb, 4.8% Zn; 1.05 m @ 322 gpt Ag, 0.16 gpt Au, 0.07% Cu, 9.5% Pb, 15.8% Zn. One of these high-grade intercepts is 97 m below the last mine development, while another high-grade replacement zone was identified. An unusual tourmaline breccia pipe was intersected, returning 1.77 m @ 4.07 gpt Au. “Drill results from the Quebradillas mine have enhanced our understanding and confidence that the La Parrilla Mine can be brought back online. In 2024, Silver Storm will proceed with technical studies targeting the re-establishment of mining operations in 2025.”
- Sonoran Desert Corp. filed the NI 43-101 compliant technical report on the Cuatro Hermanos project in Sonora. The Mineoro Explorations LLC produced report states mineralization is of Porphyry Cu-Mo style associated to a porphyry intrusive complex hosted in an andesitic volcanic sequence, with Cu-Mo mineralization forming subvertical orebodies related to magmatic breccias and possibly tabular bodies of more than 3 Km along strike. Modelling suggests the Main and West zones might be connected, and that deeper drilling is needed. Recommended activities include relogging of core and RC drilling chips from the 2007-2008 campaigns, check assays on 10% of the pulps, drilling the West zone at 100 m spacing, deeper drilling, twinning of some holes, RC drilling and column leach test on the South Conglomerates (Exotic Cu target), begin metallurgical testing of oxides and sulfides, tie surface access agreements and commence permitting for drilling.
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- Coeur Mining Inc. signed a purchase agreement with Fresnillo PLC to acquire mining concessions adjacent to the Palmarejo complex in Chihuahua. The concessions comprise 2,833 ha, including the southeast extension of the Independencia and Nacion deposits, currently being mined at the Palmarejo property, and to the northeast a concession that surrounds “multiple targets containing mineralization and historic resources that were added through the 2015 acquisition of Paramount Gold and Silver. The terms of the transaction include a $10 M payment upon closing, an additional $10 M one year after closing and an additional $5 M two years after closing. The concessions will be subject to a royalty payment of $25 per Oz for each new Oz AuEq of resource discovered between 450 K and 2 M Oz AuEq.
- Osisko Gold Royalties Ltd. announced Mr. Sean Roosen resigned as a director in order to focus on his role as CEO and Chair of the Board of Directors of Osisko Development Corp. (San Antonio, Sonora).
- Orla Mining. Ltd. appointed Mr. Rob Krcmarov as an independent director of the company (Camino rojo, Zacatecas).
ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
- No Relevant News.
On the image below: Quartz-specularite vein in a Sonoran Desert project. Picture by Jorge Cirett.