During the 3rd week of the year (16th to 22nd January, 2017) at least 28 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico, including six preliminary production reports for 2016. ON EXPLORATION, five companies presented exploration updates. In Sonora exciting high grade gold results from a drilling campaign were announced, also in Sonora another company is defining a zoned porphyry copper alteration center. In Durango the results for the first holes of a large campaign are being received, with some mineralization to show. In Zacatecas a more than 50 m long interval of core shows brecciation, quartz veining and presence of sulfides, in a step-out hole targeting a Ag-Pb-Zn vein, results are pending. In Coahuila work was done during 2016 to define steep structures that could define high grade orebodies. ON MINING, McEwen Mining, Argonaut Gold, Avino Silver, First Majestic, Sierra Metals and Primero Mining presented preliminary fourth quarter and full-year 2016 production figures, and Capstone presented its operational and capital guidance for 2017. ON FINANCING, One company reported the closing of the first tranche of a non-brokered private financing for $209 K. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, one company reported updated resource estimates for its three mines in Mexico. Another company presented infill and exploration drilling results on its advanced project in Puebla, while one other company presented a PEA on a copper-gold property. A Mexican company boasts the largest manganese reserves in North America. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, a JV has been formed in a silver discovery in Durango; a company with a project in Sinaloa has been approved to list on the NYSE and a property in Sonora has been acquired to bring it into production by a JV.
- Evrim Resources Corp. announced initial drill results from its Ermitaño project in Sonora provided by its exploration partner First Majestic Silver Corp. Results for four holes have been received, of a 947 meters drill program, including 18 m @ 11.4 g/t Au, 86 g/t Ag (including 3.3 m @ 34.6 g/t Au, 242 g/t Ag); 9.6 m @ 1.8 g/t Au, 24 g/t Ag; 13.2 m @ 1.1 g/t Au, 29 g/t Ag; 8.8 m @ 0.8 g/t Au. “The Ermitaño West zone …. consists of a network of low to intermediate sulphidation east-west trending epithermal veins and stockwork. The veining covers an area 1,200 metres long by 600 metres wide”.
- Silver Bull Resources Inc. presented a review of work done in 2016 at its Sierra Mojada property in Coahuila. The company completed a 590 line kilometer airborne magnetic geophysical survey, defining several deep structures coincident with old high grade silver and zinc mines, and some high grade intercepts on drilling. Drilling of 1,400 m on the fourth quarter, 2016, is to be followed by 1,400 m of drilling in the first quarter, 2017. Besides the silver mineralization, Silver Bull previously defined a measured and indicated resource of zinc oxide mineralization of 10 M tonnes @ 11% Zn. During 2017 the plan is to refine the metallurgy, needed for a preliminary economic assessment.
- Canasil Resources Inc. has completed the first hole of its current drilling campaign at its La Esperanza project in Zacatecas. This hole intersected an extended interval from 345 to 391 meters downhole, carrying banded quartz vein, veinlets and breccias hosted within volcanic rocks. Core is being logged and prepared for assaying; sphalerite, galena and chalcopyrite have been noted. The drill program is planned for 1,500 – 2,000 m of core drilling in four or five holes.
- San Marco Resources Inc. announced that geologic traverses, prospecting and rock chip sampling identified porphyritic intrusions along the NE contact of a batholith in target #1068 of its partnership with Globetrotters. Preliminary geologic mapping indicates a large zoned alteration system with a potassic (biotite-magnetite) core and a large phyllic (quartz-sericite) envelope.
- Southern Silver Exploration Corp. reported results from two holes of its 10,000 m drilling campaign at Cerro Las Minitas, Durango. The best intercept was 14.8 true width @ 39 g/t Ag, 0.1% Pb, 10.2% Zn. A second rig is being mobilized to the site to speed-up the program.
- McEwen Mining Inc. presented production results for 2016, which includes 55,266 AuEq Oz produced at its El Gallo mine in Sinaloa. At the end of the year the company has no debts and $36 M in cash, $21 M in precious metals and $7 M in marketable securities.
- Capstone Mining Corp. presented its operational and capital guidance for 2017. At Cozamin in Zacatecas, milled tonnes are expected to be lower, but at higher grade than in 2016, with 80% of ore coming from the narrow veined Mala Noche Footwall zone. “All-in cost includes the development costs reflective of the move from the main zone to the footwall zone.” During the year the potential to bring the existing zinc resource into the mine plan will be evaluated. The exploration budget for Cozamin is $5 M, which includes 30,000 m of primarily underground infill drilling aimed at increasing reserves.
- Argonaut Gold Inc. presented production figures for the fourth quarter and full year 2016. In the fourth quarter, at El Castillo in Durango 16,747 AuEq Oz were produced, and 17,637 AuEq Oz at La Colorada in Sonora. During 2016 El Castillo and La Colorada produced 62,766 and 59,331 AuEq Oz respectively, for a total of 122,097 AuEq Oz. At year end the company had $42 M in cash and $30 M available on an undrawn corporate revolver. For 2017 the company aims to produce 70-80 K AuEq Oz and 45-50 K AuEq Oz at El Castillo/San Agustin Complex and La Colorada respectively, at consolidated cash cost $675-$725 and AISC $910-$960.
- Avino Silver & Gold Mines Ltd. reported fourth quarter and full year 2016 production results from its Avino property in Durango. The consolidated production for the year was 1.612 M Oz Ag, 7,119 Oz Au and 4.2 M Lb Cu, for a total of 2.679 M Oz AgEq. During the fourth quarter 2016, at the Avino mine 101.6 K tonnes were milled @ 65 g/t Ag, 0.69 g/t Au, 0.37% Cu, with recoveries of 85% Ag, 69% Au and 91% Cu, producing 179.5 K Oz Ag, 1,540 Oz Au, 755,645 Lb Cu; while at the San Gonzalo mine 33.5 K tonnes were milled @ 262 g/t Ag, 1.16 g/t Au with recoveries of 85% Ag, 83% Au, producing 239.8 K Oz Ag, 1,041 Oz Au.
- First Majestic Silver Corp. presented production results for the full year and the fourth quarter 2016. During the period a total of 11.9 M Oz Ag, 62,436 Oz Au, 33.2 M Lb Pb and 10.6 M Lb Zn were produced. During the fourth quarter production in First Majestic’s five mines was as follows: At Santa Elena in Sonora, 257.8 K tonnes were processed (2,802 tpd) @ 89 g/t Ag (89% recovery) to produce 660.2 K Oz Ag, 11,430 Oz Au. At La Encantada in Coahuila, 235 K tonnes were processed (2,555 tpd) @ 132 g/t Ag (57% recovery) to produce 567.9 K Oz Ag, 22 Oz Au. At La Parrilla, Durango, 153.3 K tonnes were processed (1,666 tpd) @ 130 g/t Ag (78% recovery) to produce 497.4 K Oz Ag, 260 Oz Au, 1.85 M Lb Pb, 1.19 M Lb Zn. At Del Toro in Zacatecas, 82.7 K tonnes were processed (900 tpd) @ 157 g/t Ag (82% recovery) to produce 343.9 K Oz Ag, 70 Oz Au, 5.83 M Lb Pb. At San Martin, in Jalisco, 76.8 K tonnes were processed (835 tpd) @ 254 g/t Ag (81% recovery) to produce 510.4 K Oz Ag, 888 Oz Au. At La Guitarra in Mexico State, 38.4 k tonnes were processed (418 tpd) @ 246 g/t Ag (79% recovery) to produce 239.8 K Oz Ag, 2,073 Oz Au. The company aims to have an AISC $11.96 to $12.88 per silver ounce in 2017.
- Sierra Metals Inc. reported fourth quarter and full year 2016 production results, which includes figures on its Mexican operations. At Bolivar, in Chihuahua, 950.4 K tonnes were processed (2,715 tpd) @ 1.0% Cu, 16.7 g/t Ag, 0.19 g/t Au (recoveries of 81.7% Cu, 77.8% Ag, 50.5% Au) to produce 17.1 M Lb Cu, 440 K Oz Ag, 2,986 Oz Au. At Cusi, in Chihuahua, 186.9 K tonnes were processed (534 tpd) @ 171.8 g/t Ag, 0.26 g/t Au, 1.2% Pb, 1.1% Zn (recoveries of 71.7% Ag, 61.8% Au, 82.2% Pb, 37.7% Zn) to produce 740 K Oz Ag, 954 Oz Au, 4.1 M Lb Pb, 1.8 M Lb Zn. For 2017 Sierra Metals is aiming to produce with cash cost $1.08 and AISC $1.74 per copper equivalent pound at Bolivar, and cash cost $10.9, AISC $19.66 per silver equivalent ounce at Cusi.
- Primero Mining Corp. released preliminary fourth quarter and full year 2016 results, which includes figures on its Mexican operations. At San Dimas, in Durango, 28,282 Oz Au were produced in the fourth quarter; to achieve 113,968 Oz Au on the full year, at cash cost $856 and AISC $1,117 per gold equivalent ounce.
- Aura Silver Resources Inc. has closed the first tranche of its non-brokered private placement, for gross proceeds of $209 K (Taviche, Oaxaca).
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
- Endeavour Silver Corp. reported updated NI-43-101 gold and silver resource estimates for its three operating mines in Mexico, and restated the resource estimates for its exploration properties. On its Guanceví (Durango), Bolañitos (Guanajuato), El Cubo (Guanajuato), Terronera (Jalisco) and Guadalupe y Calvo (Chihuahua) properties, consolidated silver-gold proven and probable reserves amount to 10.55 M Oz Ag, 91,100 Oz Au; measured and Indicated resources to 59.14 M Oz Ag, 483,400 Oz Au and inferred resources to 32.41 M Oz Ag, 296,600 Oz Au. On its Guanaceví (Durango) and Parral (Chihuahua) properties, consolidated silver-gold-lead-zinc indicated resources amount to 5.01 M Oz Ag, 50,300 Oz Au and inferred resources to 4.73 M Oz Ag, 39,400 Oz Au.
- Almaden Minerals Ltd. released assay results from its exploration and development program at its Tuligtic project in Puebla. Results include intercepts like 8 .8 m @ 1.1 g/t Au, 51 g/t Ag; 34.2 m @ 1.1 g/t Au, 72 g/t Ag; 96 m @ 0.3 g/t Au, 41 g/t Ag; 38.6 m @ 1.1 g/t Au, 106 g/t Ag; 32.6 m @ 1.4 g/t Au, 44 g/t Ag; 105 m @ 1.2 g/t Au, 87 g/t Ag. Those intercepts confirm the existence of additional zones of veining immediately adjacent to the Ixtaca zone.
- Geologix Explorations Inc. announced the results of a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) report on its Tepal gold/copper project in Michoacan. According to the report (using prices of $1,250/Oz Au, $2.50/Lb Cu and $18 Oz Ag), with a strip ratio of 0.6 : 1 and a mine life of 9.8 years to process 142.9 M tonnes @ 0.33 g/t Au for oxide ore and 0.45 g/t Au, 0.21% Cu for sulfide ore, the mine would produce 766 K Oz Au and 308 M Lb Cu at a rate of 78,572 Oz Au and 31.6 M Lb Cu per year, life of mine average (LOM). Capital requirements are $214 M for pre-production, $86.7 M for LOM sustaining and closure; LOM cash cost calculated at $313 and AISC $ 396 per gold equivalent ounce.
- Mexus Gold US informed that ore is currently being loaded on the heap leach pad at its Santa Elena mine in Sonora. A larger crusher is being moved to the site to speed up the operation. Setup and install of the Merril Crowe recovery plant is now complete.
- Compañía Minera Autlán S.A.B. d C.V. has the largest ore reserves of metallurgical grade manganese in North America, amounting to 250 M tonnes of ore (no grade specified). The Molango district in Hidalgo covers 1,250 square kilometers, and according to the USGS de most important deposits of metallurgical grade manganese in North America are in this area.
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- Orex Minerals Inc. has earned 55% ownership interest in the Sandra Escobar project in Durango, by paying Canasil Resources Inc. CAD $500 K and spending more than USD $2 M in exploration at the 6,976 has project. A joint venture has been formed; same that will be managed by a joint committee. Orex had the option to earn an additional 10% by paying $500 K to Canasil, and spending further $2 M on the project, Orex has notified Canasil that it will not proceed with the second option.
- Americas Silver Corp. has been approved to list on the NYSE MKT stock exchange (Cosalá, Sinaloa).
- Mexus Gold US. acquired the mining concessions comprising the San Felix property in Sonora, for undisclosed payments and terms. The Company also announces the execution of an agreement with MarMar Holdings Inc. whereby each company owns a 50% share of the San Felix Project and designates MarMar as the operator.
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 below, orogenic gold quartz vein fragment recovered by a gambusino from a placer in the Ojos Negros district, Baja California. The fragment is about two centimeters long.