By Miguel A Heredia
During the twenty three week of the year (June 1st to June 7th, 2020), at least 49 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico, with fifteen commenting on Mexican issues, twelve communicating resumptions, production and financial results, six announcing financial rounds, five discussing on social issues, five reporting on resources and developments, three disclosing deals and corporate issues, and three informing on exploration results. ON MEXICO ISSUES, The Undersecretary of Mining and the state Governors declared that the resumption of the mining activities in the first week of June has been successful. Francisco Quiroga, the Undersecretary of Mining, stated that the mining sector will sustain part of the national economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic. The Mexican government, in a very unfortunate statement, declared that it is analyzing the possibility to disappear the Undersecretariat of Mining. Fernando Alanís, president of the Mexican Mining Chamber (Camimex), stated that Mexico’s mining production would drop 17% this year due to coronavirus pandemic. The deputy of the PRI, Carlos Pavón Campos, will present a proposal requesting that the Mining Fund returns to be used in accordance to its original objective. Esperanza Silver de México (Alamos Gold Inc.) announced that it expects to create hundreds of direct + indirect jobs if they open its Esperanza mine in Morelos. According to Fernando Alanis, president of the Mining Chamber of Mexico (CAMIMEX), mining companies plan to invest USD $4B in 2020. Resuming of the mining activities in Oaxaca will activate 10,000 jobs. ON EXPLORATION, In Sinaloa, Vizsla recommenced drilling at its Panuco project. In Zacatecas, Advance Gold provided an exploration update on its Tabasqueña project. In Jalisco, GoGold resumed drilling at its Los Ricos project. ON MINING, Several mining, such as GoGold, Great Panther, Avino, Argonaut, Impact Silver, Pan American Silver, Telson, Excellon, and Sierra Metals among others, announced the restart of their Mexican mining operations after receiving approval of the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS). Mexus Gold reported its May 2020 production results from its Santa Elena mine in Sonora. US Antimony reported its Sb and zeolite production for the month of May 2020. Excellon presented Q1 2020 production and financial results (La Platosa, Durango). ON FINANCING, Advance Gold announced a non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of up to $300K (Tabasqueña project, Zacatecas). Discovery Metals closed the first tranche of a CAD $35M non brokered private placement, for aggregates proceeds of CAD $17.1M (Cordero project, Chihuahua). Magna Gold closed its previously announced non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of $7M (San Francisco mine, Sonora). Silver Viper closed its previously brokered private placement for gross proceeds of CAD $5.12M (La Virginia project, Sonora). Alamos Gold declared quarterly dividends of USD $0.015 per common share (Mulatos mine, Sonora). Pan American Silver announced the closing of its overnight marketed secondary offering of common shares of Maverix Metals Inc., in which it raised gross proceeds of USD $45.54M (La Colorada mine, Zacatecas). ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, VanGold concluded its +1,000 tonnes bulk sample and metallurgical test of mineral material from its Pinguino project in Guanajuato. Premier announced an update on its delineation core drilling program at its Mercedes mine in Sonora. US Antimony reported that a thickener circuit is being constructed on site at its Puerto Blanco mill in Guanajuato. Endeavour released new high grade Au-Ag drill results from its Guanacevi mine in Durango. Golden Minerals President & CEO spoke about its Velardeña and Rodeo projects in Durango and its intention to bring them into production in 2021. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Canuc postponed the filing of its interim consolidated financial statement and management´s discussion and analysis for the period ended March 31, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic (San Javier project, Sonora). San Marco granted stock options to directors and officers (Chunibas project, Sonora). Newmont published its 2019 sustainability report (Peñasquito mine, Zacatecas). ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, Consorcio Minero Peña Colorada invested MXP $4M to refurbish health unit in Manzanillo, Colima. The Grupo Mexico Foundation delivered important donation to the Health Sector of Chihuahua and Sombrerete, Zacatecas. Minera Cuzcatlán (Fortuna Silver) donated medical ventilator, pantries, medicines and cleaning kits in Oaxaca. Minera San Julián (Fresnillo plc) delivered a mechanical ventilator and personal protection equipment to medical personnel of the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) of Parral, Chihuahua.
ON MEXICO ISSUES
- The Undersecretary of Mining and the state governments, declared that the resumption of the mining activities in the first week of June has been successful. Almost 90% of the companies in the sector are already on work, thanks to the support of Francisco Quiroga, the Undersecretary of Mining of the Ministry of Economy, who established agreements with Governors of the states and with the companies, so that they could return to work safely and without risk of COVID-19 infections. The remaining 10% of mining companies are preparing sanitary protocols to resume activities in the coming days.
- Francisco Quiroga, the Undersecretary of Mining, stated that the mining sector will sustain part of the national economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic. Activities derived from the mining industry serve to maintain various communities and even in some areas is the main source of economy. The mining sector is carrying out its reactivation of activities in a progressive way and with respect to health protocols. The sector has always worked with rigorous safety protocols to carry out its activities,
- The Mexican government, in a very unfortunate statement, declared that it is analyzing the possibility to disappear the Undersecretariat of Mining. The measure would be in complete contradiction to the recent recognition of mining as an essential sector that generates 2.6 million jobs, has an impact in 10 states of the country and represents around 3% of GDP. The president AMLO has suggested the imminent disappearance, conversion, or inclusion in another agency, in order to reduce public spending. It occurs just when the Undersecretary of Mining, Francisco Quiroga, reached agreements with Governors, and the mining companies and their representatives have worked hard in a coordinated way to implement the security protocols. Entrepreneurs in this area, both Mexican and foreign, consider that the disappearance of the Undersecretariat of Mining may be negative for a sector that represents around 8% of industrial GDP. The panorama is worrying, since it seems to show the little interest of the current administration to encourage the development of the mining sector. Mining companies and their representatives see this measure as a setback for the country´s development. AMLO stated that to date, none decision has been taken so far, and recognized that mining is a fundamental economic activity that generates many jobs in the case of Sonora, Chihuahua, Durango, and the rest of the mining states.
- Fernando Alanís, president of the Mexican Mining Chamber (Camimex), stated that Mexico’s mining production would drop 17% this year and the sector´s export could decrease by around 10% due to the cessation of operations to contain the spread of the coronavirus. He also said that although activities in the industry were beginning to resume and about half of the operating personnel had returned to work, exploration work remained suspended and anticipated that the pandemic would also have ended with some 71,000 indirect jobs in the local sector.
- The deputy of the PRI, Carlos Pavón Campos, will present a proposal in the Chamber of Deputies, requiring that the Mining Fund returns to carry out infrastructure works in the municipalities of the country where mining activity is performed, with the purpose of promoting the development of the communities, which was its original objective.
- Esperanza Silver de México (Alamos Gold Inc.), announced that it expects to create hundreds of direct + indirect jobs if they open its Esperanza mine in Morelos. Esperanza Silver, under the scheme of a “New Model of Social and Environmentally Responsible Mining” policy, wants to bring its project to the community of Tetlama to protect the environment and generate employment that is essential for the economic reactivation of the state due to the direct + indirect jobs that will be generated, the value chains and supplies that will be activated, and the generation of taxes that will favorably impact state and municipal public finances. The company has projected an estimated investment of USD $450M to bring into production its mining project.
- According to Fernando Alanis, president of the Mining Chamber of Mexico (CAMIMEX), mining companies plan to invest USD $4B in 2020, which represents 14% more than in 2019, despite the COVID-19 health crisis.
- Resuming of the mining activities in Oaxaca, will activate 10,000 jobs. The mining personnel will carry out all the health and training protocols to avoid COVID-19 infections, supervised by the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS).
- Vizsla Resources Corp., announced that it has re-commenced drilling at its Panuco project in Sinaloa. It had previously announced the return of its staff to the project on May 21, 2020 to execute its exploration program at its district-scale project.
- Advance Gold Corp., provided an update on its Tabasqueña project in Zacatecas. The CEO of the company stated that they have hit what appears to be a very large sulphide system with their recent drilling program collared into a 3.2Km continuous IP chargeability anomaly. These holes encountered promising grades in the stacked lenses of disseminated sulphides. Next step will be to drill the core of the system on the hinge zone of the IP chargeability anomaly, where it increases in width, to confirm the identified mineralization.
- GoGold Resources Inc., resumed drilling at its Los Ricos project in Jalisco. The Company is nearing completion of resource drilling at Los Ricos South for its upcoming 43-101 compliant resource calculation.
- Several mining companies, such as GoGold, Great Panther, Avino, Argonaut, Impact Silver, Pan American Silver, Telson, Excellon, and Sierra Metals, among others, announced the restart of their Mexican mining operations following a government order adding mining to the list of essential services, and after receiving approval from the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS).
- Mexus Gold US, reported May 2020 production results from its Santa Elena mine in Sonora. It produced 102 Oz Au. The company announced that it plans to produce 150 Oz Au in June 2020. The heap leach pad at the Santa Elena mine currently holds 18,000 tons of mineralized material. Head grades are estimated at 3 to 4 g/t Au.
- US Antimony Corporation, announced that it produced 108.9K Lb Sb and 1,129 tonnes of zeolites during the month of May 2020.
- Excellon Resources Inc., presented Q1 2020 production and financial results from its La Platosa mine in Durango. It processed 19,042 tonnes of 542 g/t Ag, 5.4% Pb and 6.8% Zn to produce 296.3K Oz Ag, 1.89M Lb Pb, and 2.1M Lb Zn (or 523.7K Oz AgEq) with metallurgical recoveries of 89.3%, 82.8%, and 74.9% respectively. Total cash and AISC of USD $15.35 and USD $26.52 per Oz Ag payable was reported respectively. The company had revenues of USD $6.6M, gross loss of USD $0.1M, cash and cash equivalents of USD $8.4M.
- Advance Gold Corp., announced a non-brokered private placement to raise gross proceeds for a maximum of $300K. Net proceeds will be used to advance its Tabasqueña project in Zacatecas and for general corporate purposes.
- Discovery Metals Corp., closed the first tranche of a CAD $35M non brokered private placement, for aggregates proceeds of CAD $17.1M. Discovery intends to close a further CAD$7,9M in subscriptions in a second tranche of the private placement, for an aggregate total of CAD $25M. Net proceeds of the first tranche will be used to fund their Cordero and Coahuila projects in Chihuahua and Coahuila states respectively, and for general working capital purposes.
- Magna Gold Corp., closed its previously announced non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of $7M. Gross proceeds will be used for working capital purposes in connection with their existing projects (San Francisco mine and Mercedes and San Judas projects, Sonora).
- Silver Viper Minerals Inc., closed its previously announced brokered private placement for gross proceeds of CAD $5.12M. A cash commission of CAD $218,770 was paid to the brokers, representing a 6% of the gross proceeds. Silver Viper will be used the net proceeds to fund the development of its Virginia project in Sonora, and for working capital and general corporate purposes.
- Alamos Gold Inc., declared quarterly dividends of USD $0.015 per common share. The company has paid dividends for 11 consecutive years during which time USD $173M has been returned to shareholders through dividends and share buybacks.
- Pan American Silver Corp., announced the closing of its overnight marketed secondary offering of common shares of Maverix Metals Inc., in which Pan American raised gross proceeds of USD $45.54M (La Colorada mine, Zacatecas).
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
- VanGold Mining , concluded its +1,000 tonnes bulk sample and metallurgical test of mineral material from its Pinguino project in Guanajuato. This bulk sample was sent to Endeavour’s Bolañitos mill, located approximately 28km from El Pinguico project. The company will report the results obtained once the information is received. On the other hand, crews are clearing the bottom of the El Pinguino shaft since approximately 30 m of debris has accumulated at the bottom. Once it is done, VanGold plans to sample the bottom of the underground stockpile in order to determine if the grades of Au and Ag obtained on the top of the stockpile extends to the bottom of it; inspecting the #7 Sangria adit since it may provide a potential safe and inexpensive haulage way to bring the underground material to surface; and sample the Colmillo stope since it was a high grade portion of the Pinguico mine during the period prior to its closure in 1913.
- Premier Gold Mines Limited, announced an update on its delineation core drilling program at its Mercedes mine in Sonora. The 2020 delineation drilling campaign is focused on expanding and confirming higher-grade mineralization in several areas including Marianas and Diluvio West. Highlights at Diluvio West include hole UG-DI20-096 with 6.1 g/t Au and 23 g/t Ag over 84.7m, and hole UG-DI20-095 with 6.38 g/t Au and 14 g/t Ag over 73.5m. At Marianas, good drill intersections were encountered at hole UG-MR20-056 with 11.67 g/t Au and 56g/t Ag over 5.2m and hole UG-MR20-059 with 9.74 g/t Au and 16 g/t Ag over 11.3m. Diluvio consists of a stockwork system that is divided into Diluvio Central, hosted in felsic volcanoclastic, and Diluvio West hosted in an andesite while Marianas represents the down-plunge extension of the main Mercedes mine trend.
- US Antimony Corporation, reported that a thickener circuit is being constructed on site at its Puerto Blanco mill in Guanajuato to increase the production rate and control the pulp density of ore to be processed. “The company is anxious to continue on the cyanide leach of the gold and silver Los Juarez ore now that they will have a thickener.”
- Endeavour Silver Corp., released drill results of 18 holes collared in the Santa Cruz vein on the El Curso property at its Guanacevi mine in Durango, of which 12 holes reported new high grade Au-Ag values over minable widths. Drilling highlights include hole UCM-27 with 3.25 g/t Au and 1,085 g/t Ag (1,410 g/t AgEq) over a true width (TW) of 10m; hole UCM-26 with 1.87 g/t Au and 762 g/t Ag (949 g/t AgEq) over a TW of 5.1m; and hole UCM-25 with 1.43 g/t Au and 986 g/t Ag (1,129 g/t AgEq) over a TW of 4.8m. This drilling program confirmed the extension of the P4 orebody, and now the extension measures 200 m long by 300 m deep, still open at depth, and discovered a new mineralized zone to the west of the P4 extension of 250 m long by 150 m deep, still open along strike and at depth.
- Golden Minerals Company President & CEO, spoke about its Velardeña and Rodeo projects in Durango and its intention to bring them into production in 2021. The company is currently generating revenue through the lease of its oxide mill in Mexico to Hecla Mining Company, and intends to bring into production its Rodeo open pit Au project in 2021 after the lease concludes with Hecla at the end of 2020. Rodeo, according to the PEA “is capable to provide almost USD $25M in after-tax cash flow in two years of production. The goal of the company is to use the cash generated from Rodeo to finance a potential startup for its Ag-Au Velardeña project. Velardeña’s 2020 PEA shows an USD $86M NPV”.
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- Canuc Resources Corporation, postponed the filing of its interim consolidated financial statement and management´s discussion and analysis for the period ended March 31, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic (San Javier project, Sonora).
- San Marco Resources Inc. granted stock options to directors and officers (Chunibas project, Sonora).
- Newmont Corporation, published its 2019 sustainability report, “Beyond the Mine”, a transparent and comprehensive disclosure of the Company’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance.
ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
- Consorcio Minero Peña Colorada S.A. de C.V., invested MXP $4M to reconvert a building attached to the Manzanillo General Hospital, providing it with medical equipment and furniture for 3 medical care modules and one more for the rest of medical personnel.
- The Grupo Mexico Foundation, delivered important donation to the Health Sector of Chihuahua, which consisted of five new mechanical ventilators, 15,000 medical equipment consisting of N-95 masks, disposable gowns, face masks, goggles, overalls, boot covers, respirators, aprons and gloves, as well as ultrasound equipment, portable X-rays and monitoring panels. The donation also included 25 non-invasive ventilators and 10,000 serological tests for COVID-19, which will allow detecting a greater number of people infected and have a broader overview of the behavior of the disease in the state. Additionally, Grupo México Foundation also joined the Chihuahua Food Program, by donating 650 pantries to support vulnerable groups in the municipalities of Aquiles Serdán and Santa Bárbara. In Sombrerete, Zacatecas, the Grupo Mexico Foundation also delivered more than 1,700 articles of medical supplies consisting of tyvek coveralls, N95 masks, face shields, disposable gowns and boot covers, and alcohol gel, and donated 700 pantries to the municipality of Sombrerete through the Municipal DIF to be distributed among the groups most at risk from this epidemic, as is the case of older adults in the Divine Providence Asylum that received 40 pantries with items from the basic food basket.
- Compañía Minera Cuzcatlán (Fortuna Silver Mines Inc., donated MXP $1.3M to the Business Contingent Exchange and the Medical Support Program promoted by the Oaxaca Ministry of Economy to buy an equipment for ventilation and respiratory monitoring in the Intensive care unit, and delivered more than 3,300 pantries, 3,400 family cleaning packages and 4,600 medicines to the population of San José del Progreso and communities close to the operation of the San José mining unit. It is estimated that these actions have benefited more than 7,000 Oaxacans.
- Minera San Julián (Fresnillo plc), delivered a mechanical ventilator equipment to the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) of Parral, Chihuahua and donated more than 2,000 pieces of personal protective equipment such as 50 tyvek suits, 200 N-95 face masks, 200 surgical fabric mouth masks, 600 mine-made mouth masks, 1,000 pairs of nitrile gloves and 50 safety glasses to employees of the health institution.
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, tight folds in an orogenic Au prospect in Michoacan, Mexico. Photo by Miguel A Heredia.