Mn-Fe/calcite fault-bx in rhyolitic tuffs.
By Miguel A Heredia
During the first week of the year (December 31st to January 05th, 2020), at least 19 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico, with six announcing financial rounds, three disclosing deals and corporate issues, three commenting on Mexican issues, two communicating production results, two reporting on resources and development of their projects, two discussing issues on social responsibility, and one informing on exploration results. ON MEXICO ISSUES, La Caridad mine in Sonora, one of the most precious jewels of the Mexican mining. Lithium can turn Mexico into the planet´s rechargeable battery. Mexico announced USD $4.65B in capital expenditure for new mining projects in 2020-2021. ON EXPLORATION, In Jalisco, GoGold filed a NI 43-101 Technical Report on its Los Ricos project. ON MINING, Telson reported some of the reactivation activities carried out at its Campo Morado mine in Guerrero to bring it back into production by mid January 2020. Newmont Goldcorp provided an outlook for the year 2020 on its Peñasquito mine in Zacatecas. ON FINANCING, Sonoro Metals received proceeds of $875K from the sale to Agnico of the 1% NSR on the Chipriona property in Sonora. First Mexican closed the third tranche of its private placement for gross proceeds of $95K (Guadalupe project, Sonora). Great Panther announced USD $10M concentrate prepayment (Guanajuato mine complex, Guanajuato). Telson announced its intention to conduct a non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of up to CAD $3M (Campo Morado mine, Guerrero). SilverCrest announced that SSR mining elected to exercise its SilverCrest equity participation with CAD $13.25M private placement (Las Chispas project, Sonora). ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Sierra Metals updated mineral resource estimate for its Bolivar mine in Chihuahua. Leagold announced expansion plans for its Los Filos mine in Guerrero. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Prospero sold its Mexican subsidiary Minera Fumarola S.A. de C.V. to an arm’s length purchaser, Aquatio S.A. de C.V. of Jalisco State, Mexico (Pachuca SE project, Hidalgo). Equinox Gold and Leagold mailed management information in order to approve business combination and create a premier Americas Au producer (Los Filos mine, Guerrero). Goldgroup provided a legal update on its dispute with DynaResources concerning the San Jose de Gracia mine in Sinaloa. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, Fresnillo plc created more than 9,000 jobs in 2019. Zacatecas students created a protective device for miners to reduce accidents.
ON MEXICO ISSUES
- La Caridad mine in Sonora, owned by the Grupo Mexico, is one of the most precious jewels of the Mexican mining. Its activity dates back to the pre-Hispanic era, but which had its greatest boom in the early twentieth century and that today is recognized in the history of our country as a factor of advancement and economic development for all Mexicans. Today it is the best integrated mine in the world, a mine where Cu is split and extracted for plate refinement. But this is not the only thing that is exploited in La Caridad, because large quantities of refined Au and Ag are also obtained, as well as Moly, a metal highly prized for its ability to create alloys with steel. But beyond its metallurgical production, La Caridad is also important for the entire region and the surrounding villages, as the mine generated multiple infrastructure works, thus generating a chain of well-being for its inhabitants. Developing new schools, cultural, sports facilities, housing, personnel transport systems and a supply network for workers, known as the “miner’s stores”, in addition to thousands of direct and indirect jobs.
- Lithium can turn Mexico, in the planet´s chargeable battery. After one of the biggest Li deposit was discovered in Sonora by Bacanora, a Canadian mining company. The technology industry has set its sights on the country with multiple requests from mining companies that want to exploit it, including Chinese corporations. Given this news, the head of the SEMARNAT, Victor Manuel Toledo, described the potential that this represents for Mexico in terms of tax collection and economic recovery, saying that worldwide Lithium has become “the new oil.” Bacanora, in collaboration with the Chinese Ganfeng already plans to raise at least USD $400M to request a license from the Mexican government for the exploitation of a Li quarry allegedly made up of 4.5 M tonnes of this element that has detected, which would later generate profits for these companies of at least USD $1B.
- Mexico announced USD 4.65B in capital expenditure for new mining projects in 2020-2021. A series of mining companies will commence to build various mining projects in Mexico in 2020. Minera Alamos, expects to initiate construction of its Santana-Los Verdes project in Sonora in Q1, 2020 with an investment of USD $7.55M, which includes the construction of a coal plant, platforms, ponds and various earthworks at the mine site. The complex should start producing in Q3, 2020. It also plans to begin construction of its la Fortuna mine in Durango at the end of 2020 at a total cost of USD $26.9M. Torex Gold Resources Inc., expects to start the construction of its Media Luna mine in Guerrero in Q1, 2021, with a capital expenditure of USD $482M. Media Luna has a capacity of 47M Lb Cu, 170K Oz Au, and 1.7M Oz Ag per year. Prime Mining Corp., plans to begin construction of its Los Reyes project in Sinaloa in June 2021 and end in December of the same year. The capital expenditure of the project is set as USD $89.5M and its capacity is 35K Oz Au and 253K Oz Ag per year, with a useful mine life of 11 years. VVC Exploration Corp., owns the USD $4B Samalayuca copper project in Chihuahua. Samalayuca, currently awaiting a construction decision, has an estimated useful mine life of 16 years. Southern Copper Corporation, is the owner of Mina Pilares in Sonora, which will produce Cu in concentrates to be processed in the La Caridad mine. Mina Pilares, currently awaiting a construction decision, should start producing in H2, 2021. Southern reported that it has already obtained environmental permits and is currently trying to acquire additional land.
- GoGold Resources Inc., filed a NI 43-101 Technical Report on its Los Ricos project in Jalisco. Work done by GoGold confirms that the drilling program continues to intersect wide zones of Au & Ag from surface to vertical depths of 300m. The Los Ricos deposit is still open along strike to the north and at depth. It also concludes that although high-grade portions of the vein have been mined out, the structures still have wide mineralized intervals potentially amenable to surface mining methods. A budget of USD $5.3M was proposed to continue the exploration work at Los Ricos project in Jalisco for the year 2020. The company also announced that plans to complete an NI 43-101 compliant Mineral Resource Estimate on Los Ricos in 2020.
- Telson Mining Corporation, reported some of the reactivation activities carried out at its Campo Morado mine in Guerrero to bring it back into production by mid January 2020. The company has already restored electrical power to the mine site, and personnel have commenced dewatering the mine. Access has been restored to the El largo Zone where there are approximately 50K tonnes of ore available to transport to the mill site that along with 20K tonnes of ore previously transported to the mill will be available for processing upon start-up. Personnel are also advancing on the process of checking, servicing, and repairing as necessary, all mill processing equipment, mobile mining equipment, underground mining equipment, ventilation systems and safety equipment, etc.
- Newmont Goldcorp, provided a 2020 outlook for its Peñasquito mine in Zacatecas. It plans to produce 575K Oz Au at a cash cost of $570 per Oz Au and AISC of $725 per Oz Au. In addition, the company plans to produce 30 M Oz Ag, 200M Lb Pb, and 425M Lb Zn, at a cash cost of $515 per Oz AuEq and AISC of $805 per Oz AuEq.
- Sonoro Metals Corp., received proceeds of $875K from the sale to Agnico of the 1% NSR on the Chipriona property, located in the Mulatos mining district in Sonora. The NSR originated from the sale of the Chipriona property to Agnico in December 2019 for the amount of $4M plus the NSR.
- First Mexican Gold Corp., closed the third tranche of its private placement for gross proceeds of $95K. In total, the company issued 20M shares for gross proceeds of $1M (Guadalupe project, Sonora).
- Great Panther Mining Limited, entered into a USD $10M prepayment agreement with the IXM Group for 100% of the Au-Ag concentrates produced from the Guanajuato mine complex in 2020 and 2021. The prepayment will be repaid on December 31, 2020 and will bear interest at an annual rate of 3-month USD LIBOR plus 5%.
- Telson Mining Corporation, announced its intention to conduct a non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of up to CAD $3M (Campo Morado mine, Guerrero).
- SilverCrest Metals Inc., announced that SSR Mining elected to exercise its shareholder participation right, pursuant to an agreement between the company and SSR Mining dated November 28, 2018. Accordingly, SSR Mining has agreed to purchase 1,819,074 shares of SilverCrest for aggregate proceeds of CAD $13.25M at the same price of CAD $7.28 as the bought deal public offering announced by SilverCrest on December 3, 2019. SSR entered into a transaction with a third party to divest of the 1,819,074 SilverCrest common shares to be acquired pursuant to the private placement at a price of CAD $8.45 per common share for a pre-tax gain of approximately CAD $2.1M. Net proceeds raised by SilverCrest will be used to continue exploration and development of its Las Chispas project in Sonora.
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
- Sierra Metals Inc., updated mineral resource estimate for its Bolivar mine in Chihuahua. This mineral resource update includes 13,698m of infill drilling and 41,553m of exploration drilling. Total indicated mineral resources are 11.63M tonnes of 0.95% Cu, 18 g/t Ag, and 0.24 g/t Au (or 1.16% CuEq) for a total of 244.3M Lb Cu, 6.8M Oz Ag, and 90.4K Oz Au (300.1M Lb CuEq). Total inferred mineral resources are 16.69M tonnes of 0.93% Cu, 17 g/t Ag, and 0.30 g/t Au (or 1.16% CuEq) for a total of 342.1M Lb Cu, 9M Oz Ag, and 162.7K Oz Au (428.1M Lb CuEq). Sierra Metals plans to update a PEA for the Bolivar mine which is expected to be released in Q3, 2020. Goal of the PEA is to increase tonnage throughput in excess of 5,000 tonnes per day, which is expected to be reached by the end of 2020.
- Leagold Mining Corporation, announced a USD $180M expansion plans for its Los Filos mine in Guerrero. Expansion began in July, with the final phase of development scheduled to conclude by end-2021. The Los Filos expansion will play a key role to consolidate the recently merged Equinox-Leagold combined company as a producer of 1M Oz Au per year in 2021, based on output from current mines in Brazil, Mexico and USA. This expansion will position Los Filos mine as one of the Mexico´s biggest Au mines, combining underground and open pit operations across the Los Filos, Bermejal and Guadalupe deposits. The expansion is expected to roughly double production at Los Filos in 2021 from around 200K Oz Au produced in 2019 to 400K Oz Au.
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- Prospero Silver Corp., sold its Mexican subsidiary Minera Fumarola S.A. de C.V. to an arm’s length purchaser, Aquatio S.A. de C.V. of Jalisco State, Mexico, for a cash purchase price of USD 5K, and assumption of all statutory liabilities and obligations of the subsidiary in Mexico, including property maintenance and abandonment, statutory employee severance, and tax obligations, estimated to aggregate to USD $95K.
- Equinox Gold Corp., and Leagold Mining Corporation, mailed management information to approve business combination to create a premier Americas Au producer. “Pursuant to the transaction, Leagold shareholders will receive 0.331 of an Equinox Gold share for each Leagold share held. At closing, existing Equinox Gold and Leagold shareholders will own approximately 55% and 45% of the combined company, respectively, on an issued share basis. The combined company will continue as Equinox Gold under the ticker symbol “EQX” on both the Toronto Stock Exchange and the NYSE American Stock Exchange” (Los Filos mine, Guerrero).
- Goldgroup Mining Inc., provided a legal update on its dispute with DynaResources concerning the San Jose de Gracia mine in Sinaloa. It is awaiting the written judgment of the 11th Federal Circuit Collegiate Court in Mexico to be published to assess its contents and reason for judgment. The Company will continue to pursue all legal avenues in Mexico to achieve a favorable resolution to the DynaUSA dispute. It also will continue the enforcement of the final judgment from the US District Court for the District of Colorado which confirmed the company´s previously announced favorable award in the arbitration against DynaUSA.
ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
- Fresnillo plc., generated more than 9,000 jobs in 2019. The company is making every effort to be competitive, to continue generating jobs for Fresnillo and generate economic benefits for the population.
- Zacatecas students, created a protective device for miners to detect risk of fatigue, heart rate and blood pressure. The intelligent device called EPIMIN is set inside the hard hat of the miners to detect fatigue of the miners, based on heart rate, blood pressure, and temperature, with the variable that, in case of presenting any irregularity, the device will issue a sensory alert to the user and will alert a monitoring center located on surface with the person in charge. “An investment in technology like this will allow mining companies to control work risks, anticipate them, prevent them and get to the longed for zero accidents.”
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 Mn-Fe/calcite fault-bx hosted in rhyolites in a prospect in Chihuahua, Mexico. Photo by Miguel A Heredia.