During the 39th week of the year (September 25th to October 1st, 2023), only 11 companies working in Mexico posted news releases (the weekly low record is nine, since 2015). One company reported exploration on one of its properties, while no news on mining were released. Five companies informed on the opening or closing of private placements, their assistance to investor conferences and/or the amendment of credit facilities. One company presented drilling results from one of its properties and one other an updated mineral resource estimation on one of its mines. The government cancelled nine mining concessions to one company in Sonora. One company updated on results of its annual general meeting and one other informed on modifications to streaming amendments. ON MEXICO ISSUES, the federal government is playing all tricks available on its hat to get the Sonora Lithium deposit under its control, expropriating mining concessions without calling it an expropriation, of what they see as a project with a potential large income revenue and a stepping stone on resources sovereignty. Camimex regards the cancellation infeasible while pointing that exploration expenditure has fallen 40% in recent years. A Labor Panel has been installed under T-MEC to review the US claim against Grupo Mexico in one of its mining units. ON EXPLORATION, In Chihuahua, Kootenay Silver informed four drill holes have been completed at Columba. ON MINING, no relevant news. ON FINANCING, Aztec Minerals closed the final tranche of a private placement for C$639 K, GR Silver was granted an extension for its financing placement, Regency Silver completed the first tranche of an upsized private placement. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Heliostar Metals reported drilling results from Ana Paula, in Guerrero. Guanajuato Silver presented an updated resource estimate for San Ignacio, in Guanajuato. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, the Mexican government cancelled nine mining concessions to Ganfeng’s Lithium in Sonora, in an unscrupulous bid to get its hands on the only defined lithium resource in Mexico. Southern Silver provided an update on results from its AGM. Bear Creek Mining presented two press releases to inform on changes on the two streaming agreements on the Mercedes mine production in Sonora. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, no relevant news.
ON MEXICO ISSUES
Camimex (Cámara Minera de México) regards the cancellation of Ganfenfg Lithium’s concessions in Sonora as not viable. Ganfeng was served in August with the cancellation notice by the government on grounds of lack of investment, which the company denies. The exploration expenditure in México has fallen close to 40% in the last seven years.
Ganfeng’s Lithium cancelation of claims in Sonora by the federal government will have to be dealt with in national courts, as Mexico and China do not count with a trade agreement.
Marath Bolaños, head of the Secretaría del Trabajo y Previsión Social (Labor Bureau) stated that the Labor Panel under the T-MEC has been formed, to review the controversy between the US government and Grupo Mexico’s San Martín mine in Zacatecas.
The president of Mexico indicated that its government is reviewing lithium mining concessions.
Kootenay Silver Inc. updated on drilling progress of their program at Columba, in Chihuahua. Four diamond holes have been completed of the expected 12-15 holes in the 3,000 m program. “Analyses are awaited, however visual confirmation of mineralization and veining typical of D-Vein has been reported by the logging geologists in the holes to date where modeling predicted. Veining and associated stockwork mineralization in drilled length in each hole was observed to measure approximately 5.0 m vein/ stockwork, 8.2 m vein and 23 m stockwork, 10 m vein and 26 m stockwork and 1.0 m vein, 3.0 m stockwork in holes CDH-23-136 through CDH-23-139 respectively”.
No Relevant News.
Aztec Minerals Corp. closed the second and final tranche of its non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of CAD$639.1 K. Aggregate gross proceeds from both tranches are CAD$1.55 M. Alamos Gold Inc. participated in the financing with $140.6 K (Cervantes, Sonora).
Capstone Copper Corp. amended its existing revolving credit facility to increase the aggregate commitments from $600 M to $700 M “and extend the maturity from May 2026 to September 2027. The Amended Credit Facility will bear interest on a sliding scale of adjusted term SOFR plus a margin of 2.000% to 2.875%”. Capstone cash and cash equivalents position by the end of June 2023 was $520 M (Cozamin, Zacatecas).
GR Silver Mining Ltd. was granted an extension by the TSX Venture Exchange to complete its non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of up to $1 M. A first tranche of $329 K in gross proceeds was closed on August 10, 2023 (Plomosas, Sinaloa).
Regency Silver Corp. completed the first tranche of a previously announced private placement, which has been upsized to C$1.75 M from C$1.5 M (Dios Padre, Sonora).
Vortex Metals Inc. will be participating in the 23rd Investment Conference organized by CM-Equity AG in Munich (Riqueza Marina, Oaxaca).
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
Heliostar Metals Ltd. reported drilling results from the Ana Paula project in Guerrero. These two infill holes are within the “High Grade Panel” at the deposit, and are the last that are to be included in the resource update planned for November 2023. Highlighted core length intercepts comprise 35.9 m @ 8.17 gpt Au (including (11.8 m @ 13.55 gpt Au); 83.6 m @ 8.57 gpt Au (including 63.0 m @ 10.41 gpt Au, which includes 12.0 m @ 18.36 gpt Au); 57.0 m @ 6.03 gpt Au (including 5.0 m @ 45.44 gpt Au); 14.6 m @ 32.98 gpt Au (or 18.60 gpt Au if assays cut to 100 gpt Au).
Guanajuato Silver Company Ltd. presented a new mineral resource estimate for its San Ignacio mine in Guanajuato. Measured and indicated resources comprise 790 K tonnes @ 123 gpt Ag, 2.10 gpt Au, containing 3.14 M Oz Ag, 53,000 Oz Au, and inferred resources of 2.17 M tonnes @ 127 gpt Ag, 2.27 gpt Au, containing 8.9 M Oz Ag, 158,000 Oz Au. “… an increase of 130% in the measured & indicated category and 283% in the inferred category.”
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
The Mexican government, through the Direccion General de Minas (DGM) cancelled nine mining concessions in Sonora to Ganfeng Lithium, including those where the largest (and so far, the only) lithium deposit in Mexico is located. The company was informed of the cancellation last August, with the government stating that the minimum investment required between 2017 and 2021 was not fulfilled and Ganfeng declaring its compliance above that limit. The company has already filed claims against the resolution at the Economy Secretariat (Secretaría de Economía). Note by editor. – This is one more issue between private capital and the Mexican government, with a president with a world vision from the 1970’s, where the State is to have a ruling fist on all economic activities, and the president a final saying on what is to be done or not.
Southern Silver Exploration Corp. provided a corporate update from the company’s annual meeting. During the meeting seven incumbent directors were elected and the chartered accountants reappointed. Lawrence Page, Robert Macdonald and Killian Ruby were reappointed as president, vice president exploration and chief financial officer respectively. (Cerro Las Minitas, Durango).
Bear Creek Mining Corp. made the final gold delivery pursuant to a gold pre-pay streaming agreement with Nomad Royalty Co. Ltd. which was assumed upon the acquisition of the Mercedes mine, in Sonora, in April 2022. As a result, over 300 additional ounces of gold produced at Mercedes per month will now be fully available for sale by the Company. A promissory with 1368445 B.C. Ltd. was amended to extend the maturity from the end of September 2023 to the end of November 2023.
Bear Creek Mining Corp. announced a restructuring of its current stream and debt obligations with Sandstorm Gold Ltd. to improve the Mercedes mine ability to produce free cash flow near term by reducing near-term Au and Ag stream delivery obligations and the refinancing and extensions of Bear Creek’s debt with Sandstorm. Sandstorm will refinance its US$22.5 M convertible debenture into a 5-year convertible promissory note at 7% per year and convertible into Bear Creek shares at C$0.73 per share. “Sandstorm has agreed to make up to US$8 million in additional credit” prior to the end of August 2024. Bear Creek has to complete an equity financing to raise at least CAD$9.5 M.
ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
No relevant news.
On the image below: Geologist Julio Carcamo on a silicified ridge in the Sonoran Desert. Picture by Jorge Cirett.
During the 37th week of the year (September 11th to September 17th, 2023), 21 companies working in Mexico posted news releases. Two companies reported exploration advances on their properties, and one company reported quarterly results. Six companies informed on the opening or closing of private placements, their assistance to investor conferences, the amendment of terms on subscriptions and information circulars. Five companies presented drilling results from their properties, one presented an updated mineral resource for its property, another two presented updated PEAs and three more updated on exploration activities on their projects. One company intends to change name and one other informed on litigation advances against the federal government. ON MEXICO ISSUES, no relevant news. ON EXPLORATION, In Oaxaca, Vortex Metals updated on exploration work in Zaachila. In Zacatecas, Radius Gold commenced drilling at Tropico. ON MINING, Starcore International Mines reported results for its first quarter 2023. ON FINANCING, Colibri Resource informed on the closing of a financing round for US$687 K. Sailfish Royalty declared a quarterly dividend. Fortuna Silver and Regency Silver are to attend investor conferences. Sierra Madre Gold and Silver amended the terms of subscription receipts. Bear Creek Mining updated on the convertible promissory notes for the payment of US$25 M on the acquisition of the Mercedes mine in Sonora. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Vizsla Silver reported drilling results from Panuco, in Sinaloa. Prime Mining announced expansion drilling results from Los Reyes, in Sinaloa. Silver Tiger Metals presented an updated mineral resource estimate for its El Tigre project in Sonora. GoGold Resources released the updated PEA on Los Ricos Sur project in Jalisco. Gold Resource updated on expansion and infill drilling at its Don David mine in Oaxaca. Alamos Gold released excellent drilling results from two target areas on its Mulatos property in Sonora. Sierra Madre Gold and Silver updated on exploration at recently acquired La Guitarra property in Estado de Mexico. Avino Silver & Gold Mines released results from deep drilling at Avino, in Durango. Orex Minerals informed on hyperspectral alteration studies being carried out at Coneto, in Durango. Golden Minerals filed an updated PEA for Velardeña, in Durango. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Golden Tag Resources intends to change name to Silver Storm Mining. Almaden Minerals reported the Mexican Federal Administrative Court granted a provisional injunction to Almaden, on its fight to get their mining concessions back into good standing. Argonaut Gold reached an agreement with four ejidos to operate for three more years at El Castillo and San Agustín properties in Durango. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, no relevant news.
ON MEXICO ISSUES
No Relevant News.
Radius Gold Inc. commenced drilling at its Tropico project in Zacatecas. The company envisages a 2,000 m drill program on the hot spring type sinter and breccia pipe system, targeting a “Fresnillo-style” mineralized system at depth, and near-surface bulk mineable gold mineralization on a 450 m by 250 m breccia pipe.
Vortex Metals Inc. completed the phase I geologic field program for the environmental study at Zaachila, in Oaxaca. “A total of 13 trenches have been excavated … across exposures of weakly metamorphosed Upper Jurassic sedimentary, volcanic and intrusive rocks where historical surface sampling identified copper mineralization. A total of 387 meters of trench have been cut yielding a total of 271 chip samples” with results pending. Copper mineralization has been observed as malachite, azurite, chalcopyrite and bornite, associated to silica-rich exhalite beds, as quartz-carbonate veinlets cutting silicified and chloritized meta-sediments and volcanics (green schist facies) and as bedded units in the metasediments. “In a few of the less oxidized exposures, sericite was widely observed”.
Starcore International Mines Ltd. reported results for its first quarter ended July 31, 2023. At the San Martín Mine in Querétaro, 57.7 K tonnes were milled, averaging 1.14 gpt Au, 14.4 gpt Ag, recovering 84.0% Au, 45.8% Ag, to produce 1,800 Oz Au, 12.3 K Oz Ag, at cash cost $2,158 per Oz AuEq. At the end of the period cash on hand was $5.7 M, and working capital $6.2 M. “Our quarterly production reflects our recent difficulties in reaching our higher-grade ore bodies or stopes….. We expect to achieve our targets over the remainder of the year as we are currently completing the development to the high-grade zones”.
Sailfish Royalty Corp. declared the company’s third quarterly dividend for 2023, in the amount of US$0.0125 per common share (Gavilanes, Durango).
Fortuna Silver Mines Inc.announced it is going to be present at the Gold Forum Americas in Colorado Springs, Colorado (USA), from September 17 to September 20, 2023 (San Jose, Oaxaca).
Regency Silver Corp. announced its chairman is to be present at the 2023 Kinvestor Days Virtual Conference on September 19, 2023 (Dios Padre, Sonora).
Colibri Resource Corp. closed a second and final tranche of its non-brokered private placement, for gross proceeds of US$200 K, which combined with the first tranche proceeds total US$687 K (Evelyn, Sonora).
Sierra Madre Gold and Silver Ltd. amended the terms of 5.12 M subscription receipts in order to extend the escrow release conditions and termination for an additional 30-day period (La Guitarra, Estado de México).
Bear Creek Mining Corp. updated on the convertible promissory note intended to be issued to defer a US$25 M current liability originally payable to a wholly-owned subsidiary of Equinox Gold Corp. and is issuing an amendment to its management information circular dated August 9, 2023. “The Company further announces that it has closed an unsecured and non-convertible demand loan (the “Loan”) from EquinoxGold in the amount of US$1.3 million, the proceeds of which will be used for working capital purposes and further optimization of the Mercedes Mine”. The amendment refers to an exemption of formal valuation requirement described on section 5.5(b) of Multilateral Instrument 61-101 – Protection of Minority Security Holders in Special Transactions (Mercedes, Sonora).
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
Vizsla Silver Corp. reported results from 13 new holes targeting the La Luisa vein on its Panuco project, in Sinaloa. Highlighted true-width intervals comprise 11.20 m @ 7.14 gpt Au, 229 gpt Ag 0.3% Pb, 1.6% Zn; 8.90 m @ 2.85 gpt Au, 61 gpt Ag, 0.1% Pb, 2.2% Zn (including 0.77 m @ 10.35 gpt Au, 98 gpt Ag, 0.4% Pb, 15.8% Zn); 7.70 m @ 1.90 gpt Au, 67 gpt Ag, 0.7% Pb, 0.3% Zn (including 0.54 m @ 12.35 gpt Au, 250 gpt Ag, 5.6% Pb, 10.4% Zn and 1.08 m @ 1.48 gpt Au, 171 gpt Ag, 1.6% Pb, 11.2% Zn); 5.00 m @ 2.49 gpt Au. 155 gpt Ag, 0.9% Pb, 4.5% Zn. 8.85 m @ 0.98 gpt Au, 67 gpt Ag, 0.1% Pb, 1.0% Zn; 1.16 m @ 1.12 gpt Au, 76 gpt Ag, 0.2% Pb, 14.9% Zn. To date Vizsla Silver has reported 33 holes from La Luisa outlining a mineralized footprint 700 m long, 400 m down dip and 3.07 m in width, averaging 175 gpt Ag, 3.40 gpt Au, 0.28 % Pb, 1.33 % Zn (or 449 gpt AgEq).
Prime Mining Corp. reported expansion drill results from Los Reyes project in Sinaloa. “This drilling targeted areas extending materially beyond the mineral resource envelope at the Z-T, Guadalupe and Central Zones” which are the ones with defined resources. Highlighted true width intervals comprise 20.50 m @ 3.16 gpt Au, 55 gpt Ag (including 4.0 m @ 9.71 gpt Au, 85 gpt Ag); 2.20 m @ 10.10 gpt Au, 264 gpt Ag (including 1.20 m @ 17.80 gpt Au, 437 gpt Ag); 0.95 m @ 18.20 gpt Au, 2,024 gpt Ag; 1.0 m @ 5.47 gpt Ag, 615 gpt Ag.
Silver Tiger Metals Inc. announced an updated Mineral Resource Estimate for its El Tigre project in Sonora. “A total of 482 drill holes (124,851 metres) and 3,160 surface and adit channel samples (6,473 metres) were used in the Mineral Resource Estimate”, which includes the South Zone In Pit, South Zone Out-of-Pit, North Zone Out-of-Pit, Vein (S & N) Total, Low Grade Stockpile and Tailings Zones. Indicated Resources comprise 46.4 M tonnes @ 0.39 gpt Au, 25 gpt Ag, 0.01% Cu, 0.03% Pb, 0.06% Zn, containing 575 K Oz Au, 37.2 M Oz Ag, 9.4 M Lb Cu, 35.5 M Lb Pb, 64.3 M Lb Zn. Inferred resources comprise 20.9 M tonnes @ 0.56 gpt Au, 78 gpt Ag, 0.04% Cu, 0.13% Pb, 0.22% Zn, containing 373 K Oz Au, 52.6 M Oz Ag, 18.1 M Lb Cu, 59.7 M Lb Pb, 103.4 M Lb Zn.
GoGold Resources Corp. released the updated preliminary economic assessment (PEA) and mineral resource estimate for its Los Ricos South project in Jalisco. The report foresees commodity prices of $23.75 per Oz Ag and $1,850 per Oz Au, an After-Tax (5%) net present value of US$458 M, an After-Tax IRR of 37%, and an 11-year mine life (LOM) producing 88 M Oz AgEq (47 M Oz Ag, 493 K Oz Au, 14 M Lb Cu), with initial capital costs of $148 M, expansion capital of $69 M and sustaining capital of $72 M during LOM, producing 8 M Oz AgEq per year at cash cost $8.15 per Oz AgEq and all-in sustaining costs of $9.02 per Oz AgEq. The new resource estimate envisages 11.1 M tonnes averaging 1.43 gpt Au, 151 gpt Ag, 0.11% Cu in the measured and indicated resources category and 1.4 M tonnes at 1.22 gpt Au, 120 gpt Ag, 0.28% Cu in the inferred category, containing 511 K Oz Au, 53.8 M Oz Ag, 27.3 M Lb Cu (1.26 Moz AuEq) and 54.1 K Oz Au, 5.3 M Oz Ag, 8.5 M Lb Cu (140.9 K Oz AuEq) respectively.
Gold Resource Corp. provided an update on expansion and infill diamond drilling on the Arista, Three sisters, Gloria and Switchback vein systems at its Don David mine in Oaxaca. Highlighted true width intervals comprise 5.63 m @ 1.87 gpt Au, 279 gpt Ag, 0.2% Cu, 0.9% Pb, 1.6% Zn; 6.49 m @ 1.33 gpt Au, 21 gpt Ag, 0.17% Cu, 0.4% Pb, 2.1% Zn; 6.13 m @ 0.32 gpt Au, 214 gpt Ag, 0.76% Cu, 4.3% Pb, 3.0% Zn; 4.87 m @ 0.09 gpt Au, 47 gpt Ag, 0.47% Cu, 1.1% Pb, 7.2% Zn; 2.49 m @ 0.96 gpt Au, 27 gpt Ag, 1.01% Cu, 1.1% Pb, 9.7% Zn; 3.46 m @ 0.24 gpt Au, 198 gpt Ag, 0.74% Cu, 0.6% Pb, 4.9% Zn; 6.33 m @ 0.14 gpt Au, 60 gpt Ag, 0.62% Cu, 0.1% Pb, 2.2% Zn; 2.62 m @ 1.93 gpt Au, 73 gpt Ag, 0.81% Cu, 1.6% Pb, 10.4% Zn; 6.56 m @ 1.06 gpt Au, 27 gpt Ag, 0.22% Cu, 0.7% Pb, 2.1% Zn; 6.49 m @ 0.11 gpt Au, 78 gpt Ag, 0.64% Cu, 1.5% Pb, 2.9% Zn. “Five underground diamond drill rigs are currently operating … more than 100 drill holes and 25,000 meters of core has been drilled year-to date in 2023…. These drill results will be incorporated into a 2023 resource estimate update”.
Alamos Gold Inc. released drilling results from the Puerto del Aire deposit and the Capulin target at its Mulatos property in Sonora. Puerto del Aire is a high-grade underground deposit adjacent to the Mulatos pit, not included in the mineral resources, and the Capulin target is four km east of the Mulatos pit. Highlighted true width core intervals comprise 7.05 m @ 41.46 gpt Au; 9.50 m @ 18.32 gpt Au; 9.45 m @ 13.62 gpt Au; 1.20 m @ 85.80 gpt Au; 17.60 m @ 5.58 gpt Au; 18.70 @3.30 gpt Au; 6.0 m @ 10.42 gpt Au; 15.10 m @ 3.86 gpt Au; 11.50 m @ 3.21 gpt Au; 9.45 m @ 3.84 gpt Au in Puerto del Aire, and core length intercepts of 120.85 m @ 2.73 gpt Au (including 29.05 m @ 9.31 gpt Au); 6.0 m @ 3.65 gpt Au; 8.80 m @ 0.99 gpt Au in the Capulin target. Three drill rigs are currently working on the Capulin target, two defining the limits of known mineralization and one testing along the 2 km long Capulin fault. The 2023 exploration budget has been increased to 24.5 M, including 50,000 m of drilling at Puerto del Aire and 24,000 m of drilling on several high priority targets including Refugio, Halcon West, Carricito, Bajios, and Cerro Pelon West.
Sierra Madre Gold and Silver Ltd. Updated on its exploration activities at the past producing La Guitarra mine in Estado de México. In February 2023 the company started a 2,000-scale geologic mapping program, delineating to date nearly 53 km of mineralized quartz veins, breccias and stockwork zones hosted in metasediments and andesites, with hundreds of old shafts, cross cuts, adits, and prospect pits having been located. “ The La Guitarra Mine is a permitted, past-producing underground mine which includes a 500 t/d processing facility that operated until mid-2018”.
Avino Silver & Gold Mines Ltd. released the results from four holes drilled on the deepest part of the Avino mine, in Durango. The known depth extent of the mineralization is of at least 750 m vertically, which is assessed as unusual for Mexican epithermal deposits. Highlighted true width intercepts comprise 44.40 m @ 0.21 gpt Au, 31 gpt Ag, 0.70% Cu (including 9.85 m @ 0.58 gpt Au, 42 gpt Ag, 1.10% Cu); 27.15 m @ 0.07 gpt Au, 36 gpt Ag, 0.39% Cu; 13.20 m @ 0.09 gpt Au, 59 gpt Ag, 0.47% Cu; 6.60 m @ 0.12 gpt Au, 27 gpt Ag, 0.92% Cu. “Four holes totalling 2,040 meters, were drilled below Level 17 in this drill campaign … The persistence of silver and copper grade continuity from surface down a plunge distance of over 1,100 metres with increasing copper grades supports the possibility of a deeper mineralized system which may be linked to a porphyry centre”.
Orex Minerals Inc. announced that hyperspectral alteration studies are now underway on the Coneto project in Durango, by JV partner Fresnillo PLC. “Both direct Corescan of selected drill core from silver and gold mineralized zones, plus a SpecTIR Survey covering district scale mapping, will be conducted. These methods aid in mineral identification through Short-Wave Infra-Red (SWIR) and Visible Near Infra-Red (VNIR) analysis”. The 4,800 hectares project displays low to intermediate sulfidation Au-Ag epithermal mineralization, with 38,613 m of drilling in 106 diamond holes.
Golden Minerals Co. filed an updated preliminary economic assessment (PEA) for the Velardeña property in Durango.
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
Golden Tag Resources Ltd. intends (subject to regulatory and shareholders approval) to change the company name from Golden Tag Resources Ltd. to Silver Storm Mining Inc. “(La Parrila, Durango).
Almaden Minerals Ltd. reported that the Mexican Federal Administrative Court granted a provisional injunction to Almaden “relating to the submission issued by Mexico’s Ministry of the Economy (“Economia”) to the district court (the “District Court”) which is overseeing the implementation of the February 2022 decision of Mexico’s Supreme Court (“SCJN”) requiring indigenous consultations prior to the granting of mineral titles to the Ixtaca project ……. It is expected that the Court will decide on the grant of a permanent injunction within the coming weeks, which if received would continue in effect until the Court has ruled on the revocation of the Economia Submission” (Ixtaca, Puebla).
Argonaut Gold Inc. reached an agreement with four local Ejidos to operate for three more years in the El Castillo and San Agustín properties in Durango.
ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
No relevant news.
On the image below: Silicified structure ridge on a project in the Sonoran Desert. Picture by Jorge Cirett.