By Jorge Cirett
During the 46th week of the year (November 19th to November 25th, 2018), at least 22 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico. Radius, Prize Mining, Silver Viper, Riverside and Golden Minerals released advances in exploration. Sierra Metals, Mag Silver, Leagold and Starcore released quarterly reports. Telson released news on metallurgy. No financing was reported this week. Odyssey and Minera Alamos reported on advances at its properties, while Leagold presented an updated resource base. Pan American Silver and Tahoe agreed on Tahoe’s acquisition by PAS. Golden Minerals acquired a property. ON MEXICO ISSUES, CAMIMEX released figures on copper production in Mexico. ON EXPLORATION, In Sonora, Silver Viper released interesting results from the Virginia project in Sonora. Riverside informed on four new targets at its Cecilia project. In Chihuahua, Golden Minerals released rock sampling results from its Navegantes project. Radius finished drilling at the Amalia project, results pending. In Coahuila, Prize Mining released drill results from the Manto Negro project. ON MINING, Sierra Metals, Mag Silver, Leagold Mining and Starcore presented quarterly reports. Telson is investing on metallurgical studies at its Campo Morado mine in Guerrero. ON FINANCING, No relevant news. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Odyssey Marine Exploration updated on the Don Diego project offshore Baja California Sur. Minera Alamos presented mapping and sampling results on the Divisadero zone of its Santana project in Sonora. Leagold announced a significant increase in open pit reserves at its Los Filos mine in Guerrero. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Goldplay lost its director, Laura Diaz, as she has been appointed as General Director of Mines in Mexico. Pan American Silver entered into an agreement to acquire Tahoe Resources. Golden Minerals optioned the Navegantes property in Chihuahua.
ON MEXICO ISSUES
- According to CAMIMEX (in a note from opportimes) copper production in Mexico has been stable. During 2017 the world´s copper production was 19.7 M tonnes, a 2% decrease from 2016. Mexico produced 742 K tonnes of copper in 2017, against 766 K tonnes produced in 2016, a 3.1% decrement. Sonora produces over 84% of the country’s total, with Zacatecas and San Luis Potosi following suit. Coming additions to production include El Boleo in Baja California Sur, which is to double its production to 28.5 tonnes; Media Luna in Guerrero is to add 21 K tonnes in 2022 and El Pilar project in Sonora could add 36 K tonnes in 2020.
- Radius Gold Inc. completed drilling at its Amalia project in Chihuahua. Nine holes, for a total of 1,909 m were diamond drilled in a program funded by Pan American Silver under a JV. The Campamento, Guadalupe, San Pedro and Dulces Nombres targets were tested across a strike length of 1.8 Km “following the trace of a large regional fault and associated surficial epithermal gold and silver mineralization”. Results pending.
- Prize Mining Corp. released results from the first four holes at the Manto Negro stratiform copper project in Coahuila. Core length drill intersections comprise 4.40 m @ 1.02% Cu, 28 g/t Ag; 3.55 m @ 1.69% Cu, 28 g/t Ag at El Granizo; 4.10 m @ 0.88% Cu, 49 g/t Ag; 3.40 m @ 1.58% Cu, 122 g/t Ag at El Pilar Grande. At El Rincon, 1.6 Km north from El Pilar Grande, rock channel sampling averaged 3.41 m @ 2.13% Cu, 63 g/t Ag.
- Silver Viper Minerals Corp. released the first batch of analyses from its initial drilling program at La Virginia project, in Sonora. Results have been received for five of the eight holes from which samples were submitted, with relevant intervals comprising: 9.70 m @ 1.20 g/t Au, 58 g/t Ag (2.03 g/t AuEq), including 2.72 m @ 3.34 g/t Au, 133 g/t Ag (5.24 g/t AuEq); 12.6 m @ 1.04 g/t Au, 79 g/t Ag (2.17 g/t AuEq), including 3.85 m @ 1.88 g/t Au, 152 g/t Ag (4.05 g/t AuEq); 0.7 m @ 2.25 g/t Au, 49 g/t Ag (2.95 g/t AuEq); 8.50 m @ 1.26 g/t Au, 55 g/t Ag (2.05 g/t AuEq) including 1.89 m @ 2.43 g/t Au, 81 g/t Ag (3.58 g/t AuEq); 0.94 m @ 0.96 g/t Au, 49 g/t Ag (1.66 g/t AuEq). The reported holes were collared on Las Huatas zone, with the first two testing parallel veins to the main trend, whereas the last three tested the previously identified main trend, generally intercepting mineralization at expected depths, widths and grades. “The intercepts are characteristic of previous hits on the project, where gold and silver bearing quartz veining/stockwork/breccia fill is often hosted in close proximity to the fractured contact between andesites of the lower volcanic succession and pre-mineral dacite dykes. Mineralization is hosted by both lithologies with the intervals often exhibiting strong silica overprint”.
- Riverside Resources Inc. informed rock sampling and mapping defined four new targets at its Cecilia project in Sonora. The recent work was conducted on a 50 square km area, checking on previous soil sampling results. The Casa de Piedra, Los Llanos, Cruz and Cruz II targets were outlined, forming structural corridors up to 2 km long of quartz veins (locally banded, locally bearing calcite), anastomosing quartz veins, veins and quartz stockworks that can be up to 30 m in width and locally up 100 m in width. Alteration assemblages in these zones include sericite, silica, kaolinite and buddingtonite. All these areas display anomalous gold values, of up to 2.6 g/t Au.
- Golden Minerals Co. released rock sampling results from its recently optioned Navegantes project in Chihuahua. Navegantes covers two vein systems, Navegantes and San Pedro‐San Francisco) as well as a number of smaller subsidiary veins, with mineralization occurring as iron oxides within quartz veins ranging up to 2 m in width and 800 m in length. Highlighted samples comprise 1.0 m @ 1,585 g/t Ag; 1.45 m @ 759 g/t Ag; 1.1 m @ 639 g/t Au; 2.1 m @ 472 g/t Ag.
- Sierra Metals Inc. presented its third quarter 2018 financial report. The company, that has two mines in Mexico and one in Peru, saw its EBITDA reduced 3% in a yearly basis to $18.8 M, due to the decrease in metal prices. At the end of the period, Sierra’s net debt was $30.7 M, and its cash and cash equivalents $30.7 M. At Bolivar in Chihuahua, quarter on quarter production was affected by heavy rains, but year on year production was still increased, with the goal of achieving 3,600 tonnes per day (tpd) in Q1 2019. At Cusi, in Chihuahua, the mill continues to run at the 650 tpd capacity. The additional mill being installed will increase capacity to 1,200 tpd early in 2019. Cash cost per CuEq Lb was $1.68 and AISC $2.35 per CuEq Lb at Bolivar, while at Cusi cash cost was $14.11 per AgEq Oz and AISC $19.08 per AgEq Oz. Surface drilling at Bolivar was 8,332 m, while 2,176 m were drilled from the underground mine. At Cusi, 6,569 m were drilled from the surface.
- Mag Silver Corp. released its Q3 2018 financial results. At Juanicipio, in Zacatecas, over 16 km of underground development have been achieved, 32% of which was realized on the last nine months. Mag advanced $8.47 M to Minera Juanicipio to fund its 44% share of ongoing development. Fresnillo has reiterated production is to start by mid-2020. Exploration during the quarter completed 48 holes, for 46,060 m of drilling focused to convert inferred resources to indicated, and to trace the Deep Zone laterally and to depth. The company ended the period with cash and cash equivalents of $141.8 M.
- Leagold Mining Corp. reported 2018 third quarter operating and financial results. At Los Filos in Guerrero, production totaled 42,617 Oz at AISC of $1,060 per AuOz by mining 7.4 M tonnes from the open pit at a grade of 0.65 g/t Au, and 172 K tonnes @ 6.26 g/t Au.
- Starcore International Mines Ltd. reported production results for its second quarter of fiscal 2019 at its San Martin mine in Queretaro. During the quarter (ended October 31st), 81.4 K tonnes were milled @ 1.4 g/t Au, 43.5 g/t Ag, recovering 86.9% Au, 58.7% Ag, to produce 4,050 AuEq Oz. The Altiplano processing facility was put on maintenance and the sale of the asset is being considered.
- Telson Mining Corp. announced its intention to retain Glencore Technology to test its patented metallurgical approach to increase zinc recoveries and zinc concentrate grade at its Campo Morado mine in Guerrero.
- No Relevant News.
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
- Odyssey Marine Exploration Inc. commented on its Q3 2018 report that a plea has been presented at the Tribunal Federal de Justicia Administrativa to oblige SEMERANAT (the Mexican environmental agency) to produce the requested environmental permit on the Don Diego offshore phosphate project in Baja California Sur.
- Minera Alamos Inc. reported that mapping and surface sampling on the new Divisadero porphyry discovery at its Santana project, in Sonora. The work delineated a 200 x 300 m surface expression (still open) of the 95.7 m @ 0.85 g/t Au, 9.8 g/t Ag, 0.33% Cu drill intercept of porphyry style mineralization of a previous press release. Over 50% of 66 rock samples collected assayed between 0.1 and 2.2 g/t Au, with mineralization appearing to remain open under thin soil cover to the north and south. The Divisadero zone is 200 m north of the Nicho Norte breccia pipe.
- Leagold Mining Corp. announced a significant increase in open pit mineral reserves at its Los Filos mine in Guerrero. Proven and probable reserves grew 122% compared with the 351 K Oz Au of December 2017, to reach 780 K Oz Au, contained in 40.5 M tonnes @ 0.60 g/t Au.
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- Goldplay Exploration Ltd. congratulated “its director, Ms. Laura Cristina Diaz Nieves, on her appointment as the next General Director of Mines in Mexico. As a result of this appointment, Ms. Diaz Nieves is required to relinquish her position as director of the Company at the end of this month” (San Marcial, Sinaloa).
- Pan American Silver Corp. and Tahoe Resources Inc. entered into a definitive agreement for Pan American to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Tahoe, creating the world’s premier silver mining company. “Tahoe shareholders may elect to receive US$3.40 in cash or 0.2403 Pan American shares for each Tahoe share, subject in each case to pro-ration based on a maximum cash consideration of US$275 million and a maximum number of Pan American shares issued of 56.0 million, totaling US$1,067 million (the “Base Purchase Price”). The Base Purchase Price represents a premium of 34.9% to Tahoe’s volume weighted average price (“VWAP”) for the 20-day period ending on November 13, 2018……. At closing, existing Pan American and Tahoe shareholders will own approximately 73% and 27% of Pan American, respectively” (La Colorada, Zacatecas; El Escobal, Guatemala).
- Golden Minerals Co. announced the acquisition of the 521 hectares, covered by six concessions, Navegantes property in Chihuahua. Golden holds an option to purchase six concessions totaling 521 hectares by paying $0.4M over three years.
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On the image above, magnetic biotite book from a porphyritic intrusive rock, attached to a field magnet in Jalisco. Picture by Jorge Cirett.