Explotación minera en el mar, opción o pesadilla


La explotación minera de fondos oceánicos será pronto una realidad. Sus impactos ambientales están siendo intensamente evaluados por instituciones académicas y agencias internacionales, mientras la ingeniería avanza lo suficiente para colocarla como opción viable y rentable, en muchos casos, superior a la minería en tierra. Crece la escasez de minerales metálicos y no metálicos en yacimientos terrestres accesibles y de costo aceptable, mientras el reciclaje es insuficiente y la demanda aumenta exponencialmente por la industria electrónica y la fabricación de baterías para vehículos eléctricos. Níquel, cobalto, tungsteno, platino, rodio, manganeso y otros metales son indispensables para nuevas tecnologías electrónicas, y el fósforo es insumo vital para la manufactura de fertilizantes esenciales en la agricultura. El impacto ambiental de actividades mineras en tierra llega a ser devastador en cuanto a ecosistemas y paisajes, deforestación, y contaminación de aguas, suelos y atmósfera.

Highlights on the Fourth Week of November 2016, Mineral Exploration in Mexico

The fourth week of November marks the first anniversary of this post being published.

A year ago, the lack of a comprehensive and widely available abstract of Mexican mining and exploration news was noted. Giving that news releases from companies working in Mexico range from 10 to 40 in number on any given week, it is difficult for all industry professionals to keep track of all that is going on (imagine finding and reading 25 press releases every week for a year). We, at Gambusino Prospector de Mexico, decided to fill this gap, and this week marks the first anniversary. November of last year clearly was not the best of times in mining; if we speak in terms of cycles, 2015 was clearly in the low part of the graph, we just didn’t know if the bottom was nearby. The clear signs of a more optimistic market were seen in March and April of 2016, but we noted that in the third week of November, $35 M had been raised by six companies working in Mexico, that fact constituted a preliminary post, followed by the first “Highlights” on the fourth week of November, with $26.7 M in financing by three more companies. In hindsight, those were probably the signs of investors looking again into commodities for the first time in several years. A year later the outlook is now optimistic, even if not yet a boom, with metal prices recovering, and some mining companies having announced increases in their exploration budget in the mid part of the year. Two silver discoveries in Mexico reinforce the point; Mesa de Plata in Sonora (Azure Mining) and Sandra Escobar in Durango (Orex Gold-Canasil). We look forward to see this trend continuing to give shape to the next boom.

The fourth week of November marks the first anniversary of this post being published. During this week at least eleven press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico, including one third quarter report. ON MEXICO ISSUES, two large Mexican corporations protested against new proposed regulations in Zacatecas. ON EXPLORATION, drilling is focused on brown field high grade silver-gold targets in a property in Mexico State; results from drilling point to the discovery of a new orebody in a Chihuahua silver property, whereas in Sinaloa good results from RC drilling strengthen the case for a silver project. ON MINING, a company in Sonora decided to use a Merryl Crowe system in its project, one more reported third quarter results, and another one added new equipment to its plant in Zacatecas. ON FINANCING, one company completed a bought deal for US$10 M, while one more closed a convertible debenture financing of $1 M. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, A company entered into an agreement to extend an option on three mining concessions in Veracruz.


  • Peñoles and Fresnillo, two of the biggest Mexican mining companies, expressed their disagreement on a proposed new tax to enterprises that produce contamination in Zacatecas.


  • Impact Silver Corp. is focusing underground drilling on larger and higher grade targets at Guadalupe South and San Ramon extensions, on its Zacualpan mine in Mexico State. From surface, drilling is to test extensions of the Mirasol silver mine and San Patricio. San Patricio was discovered and partially drilled in 2007-2008, with results including 4.6 m @ 242 g/t Ag and 1.9 m @ 346 g/t Ag.
  • Kootenay Silver Inc. provided results from the first 11 holes on the RAM structure, on its La Cigarra project in Chihuahua. The Ram structure is 700 m to the west and south of the La Cigarra silver deposit, the drill program tested a 400 m strike length of the 3,800 m long structure. Most of the drill intercepts are shallow, and include: 18 m @ 89.9 g/t Ag, 6 m @ 166.5 g/t Ag, 16.5 m @ 58.8 g/t Ag, 31.1 m @ 27.6 g/t Ag and 14.7 m @ 56.4 g/t Ag.
  • Santana Minerals Ltd. announced RC drill results from the Mojardina Loop area of the Cuitaboca project in Sinaloa. Results include 35 m @ 221 g/t Ag, from surface, including 14 m @ 453 g/t Ag; 10 m @ 56 g/t Ag, 31 m @ 32 g/t Ag; 16 m @ 58 g/t Ag; 17 m @ 50 g/t Ag; 11 m @ 45 g/t Ag, 45 m @ 45 g/t Ag; 24 m @ 47 g/t Ag. The drill program continues now at the Jesus Maria breccia, and then to Mojardina South.


  • Mexus Gold US. and JV partner Ma Mar announced its intention to use a Merryl Crowe system to recover gold at its Santa Elena mine in Sonora (not to mistake with First Majestic’s Santa Elena mine, also in Sonora).
  • Impact Silver Corp. announced its financial and production results for the third quarter, 2016. Production on its Zacualpan property in Mexico State was 229 K Oz Ag, primarily from the Oscar Cuchara (42%), San Ramon Deeps (40%) and the Mirasol mines (18%). Cash position was $8.2 M at the end of the period.
  • Santacruz Silver Mining LTD. installed a 4 K tonnes/day lead thickener and filter press to its Veta Grande Mill in Zacatecas. Metal recoveries are now 70% and 88% for silver and lead respectively.


  • Avino Silver & Gold Mines Ltd. entered into an underwriting bought deal agreement, for gross proceeds of approximately US$10 M.
  • VVC Exploration Corp. announced the closing of a convertible debenture financing of approximately CA$1.38 M or US$1.04 M.


  • Source Exploration Corp. has entered into a definitive agreement to extend the option contract on three concessions on its Las Minas project in Veracruz. The term of the option agreement has been extended for one year for consideration of $180 K.

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, chalcedonic quartz veinlet in argillitized felsic tuff, interpreted as part of the upper levels of an epithermal system in Zacatecas.


Highlights on the first week of April 2016, Mineral Exploration in Mexico

On the first week of April, noteworthy news releases included only five announcements of results for the first quarter of the year. US Antimony, Capstone Mining, Endeavour Silver, Coeur Mining and GoGold Resources reported production from their mines in Queretaro, Zacatecas, Durango, Guanajuato and Chihuahua. To note and support is decision by Torex Gold of not falling for the covert extortion implicit in the illegal blockade of its Limon-Guajes mine in Guerrero, and temporarily shutting operations until the matter is resolved. As an industry we should now expect the state and federal governments to enforce the law. If there is any room for disagreement, it should be addressed by legal means, as in any civilized country. Cyprium Mining closed a round of financing, to be used for work in its Chihuahua properties.

On Financing

  • Cyprium Mining Corp. announced the closing of the first tranche of a private placement for gross proceeds of C$382 K dollars, to be used at its El Potosi property in Chihuahua.
  • Southern Silver Exploration Corp. announced the closing of a non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of $600 K dollars, to be used at its properties El Oro in New Mexico, USA and Cerro Las Minitas in Durango Sate, Mexico.

On Mining

  • Torex Gold Resources Inc. informed a temporary suspension of activities at its El Limon-Guajes mine, until further notice, due to an illegal blockade. The unsubstantiated claims can be easily refuted with environment monitoring data and the company decided to suspend operations until the authorities re-establish law and order.
  • US Antimony Corp. announced it has begun mill testing with material dug from the Reynaldo pit at its Los Juarez property in Queretaro.
  • Capstone Mining Corp. announced production results for the first quarter, including data from its Cozamin mine in Zacatecas, where it produced 3,660 tonnes of copper, 812 tonnes of zinc, 34 tonnes of lead and over 266 K Oz of silver. The production was achieved by processing 243,900 tonnes of ore at a rate of 2,680 t/day with grades of 1.59% Cu, 0.62% Zn, 0.07% Pb and 48 g/t Ag. Recoveries are 94.4% for copper, 53.3% for zinc, 18.8% for lead and 70.9% for silver. Their guideline for 2016 aims to cash cost of $1.50 per Cu pound and Fully-loaded All-In cost fo $2.10 per Cu pound, including by-product credits.
  • Endeavour Silver Corp. reported production results for its three silver mines in Mexico, Guanacevi in Durango, and Bolañitos and El Cubo in Guanajuato. The total production of 1.5 M Oz Ag and 15,960 Oz Au in the third quarter was obtained by processing over 400K tonnes of ore, according to the following table:Endeavour Silver Q1 2016 table1
  • Coeur Mining Inc. announced first quarter production of 933 K ounces of silver and 14,668 ounces of gold at its Palmarejo mine in Chihuahua. 215.6K tonnes were mined underground and 35.2K on the surface, with the former averaging 130.9 g/t Ag and 2.17 g/t Au, while the latter averages 130.0 g/t Ag and 1.24 g/t Au. Total production at Palmarejo for the quarter was 933K ounces of silver and 14.6K ounces of gold, with recoveries of over 89% and 92% for silver and gold respectively. Production guidance for 2016 is 3.8 – 4.3 million silver ounces and 67,000 – 72,000 gold ounces.
  • GoGold Resources Inc. produced 335K AgEq ounces during the first quarter of2016, with cash cost averaging $6.78 per AgEq ounce.

In the image below, mudslides at Cerro La Cotorra, Tenochtitlan, Chiapas, as seen after the 2003 hurricane season.

Mudslide, Cerro La Cotorra SE2