By Miguel A Heredia
During the 8th week of the year (February 20th to February 26th, 2023), at least 23 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico, with ten reporting resources and developments of their properties, six communicating production and financial results, two informing on exploration results, two commenting on Mexican issues, one disclosing deals and corporate issues, one announcing financing issues, and one discussing social issues. ON MEXICO ISSUES, Almaden regretted the decision of Mexico´s Ministry of Economy to deny the two mineral title applications which were first made by Almaden in 2002 and 2008, and which in turn led to the grant of mineral titles in 2003 and 2009, respectively. GoGold, Bear Creek, GR Silver, and Guanajuato Silver reported the best drilling intercepts in Mexico on the fourth week of February, 2023. ON EXPLORATION, In Sonora, Tocvan released results from surface channel sampling of selected area for a bulk sample at its Pilar project. In Coahuila, Monumental Minerals provided an update and defined drill targets at its Jemi Heavy Earth Rare Element project. ON MINING, Coeur reported Q4 and full year 2022 production and financial results from its Palmarejo mine in Chihuahua. Starcore announced Q3, 2023 production results from its San Martin mine in Queretaro. Equinox provided 2023 guidance for its Los Filos mine in Guerrero. Bear Creek announced 2023 production guidance for its Mercedes mine in Mexico. Gatos Silver released 2023 production and cost guidance for its Cerro Los Gatos mine in Chihuahua. First Majestic reported Q4 and full year 2022 production and financial results from their Mexican mine operations. ON FINANCING, Silver Tiger closed its previously announced bought deal offering for gross proceeds of approximately CAD $18M (El Tigre project, Sonora). ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, GoGold reported additional drilling results from Los Ricos South, within the Eagle and Main Deposits in Jalisco. Guanajuato Silver announced drill results from its San Ignacio mine in Guanajuato. Alamos Gold reported Mineral Reserves and Resources for the year-ended 2022 at its Mulatos project, Sonora. Bear Creek released results of recent drilling from its Marianas and Rey de Oro deposits at its Mercedes mine in Sonora. Chesapeake announced updated Minera Resource Estimate for its world class Metates deposit in Durango. Minera Alamos informed the commencement of drilling at its Santana project in Sonora. GR Silver reported underground drilling results from 35 holes drilled as part of the 2022 infill and exploratory drilling program conducted at its Plomosas project in Sinaloa. Silver Dollar identified five new mineralized target areas at its la Joya project in Durango. Regency Silver announced that two follow-up holes down-dip were completed at its Dios Padre project in Sonora. Vizsla provided a year-end 2022 summary of its activities carried out at its flagship Panuco project in Sinaloa. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Minera Alamos granted stock options to its management team, Board of Directors, and certain consultants (Santana project, Sonora). ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, Almaden signed a cooperation agreement with the Ejido Santa Maria Zotoltepec, the ejido located closest to its Ixtaca project in Puebla.
ON MEXICO ISSUE
- Almaden Minerals Ltd., regretted the decision of Mexico´s Ministry of Economy to deny the two mineral title applications which were first made by Almaden in 2002 and 2008, and which in turn led to the grant of mineral titles in 2003 and 2009, respectively. These mineral titles underpin the Ixtaca deposit which was discovered by Almaden in 2010. As previously reported, these mineral titles were reduced to application status as a result of an early 2022 decision of Mexico’s Supreme Court of Justice (SCJN). Almaden believes that this action by the Secretariat of Economy is inconsistent with the Mexican Mining Law, the SCJN decision, and international law. The Company expects to submit arguments challenging the Secretariat of Economy’s submissions to the District Court within the next few days.
- GoGold Resources Inc., Bear Creek Mining Corporation, GR Silver Mining Ltd, and Guanajuato Silver Company Ltd reported the best drilling intercepts in Mexico on the fourth week of February, 2023. Details are shown in the table below:
- Tocvan Ventures Corp., released results from surface channel sampling of selected area from an up to 1,000 tonnes of oxide-gold bulk sample at its Pilar project in Sonora. Channel sampling was completed every 5m perpendicular to exposed mineralization and alteration at surface along the Main Zone and 4-T trends. Eight locations were sampled to test varying levels of exposed mineralization, all eight trench locations returned anomalous gold and silver values. Highlights include TR-2023-001 where seven samples over a 35m trend returned an average grade of 2.2 g/t Au and 14 g/t Ag, ranging from 8.3 g/t Au to 0.1 g/t Au; TR-2023-002 where five samples over a 20m trend returned an average grade of 2.8 g/t Au and 9 g/t Ag, ranging from 7.1 g/t Au to 0.7 g/t Au; and TR-23-007 where five samples along a 25m trend returned an average grade of 2.2 g/t Au and 30 g/t Ag ranging from 7.3 g/t Au to 0.1 g/t Au. “Bulk Sample material will be extracted and prepared for processing by heap-leach method at a private mining operation less than 25km to the west of Pilar”.
- Monumental Minerals Corp., provided an update and defined drill targets at its Jemi heavy earth rare element project, located in Coahuila State. The exploration program carried out by the exploration team of the company consisted of detailed mapping and rock sampling, regional stream sediment sampling, ground radiometric geophysical surveys, and lithogeochemical sampling. The exploration effort has been focused on the Jemi dikes and Veladora Norte areas, which host peralkaline intrusion related REE mineralization. “Of the 188 samples with assay results, over one third (76 samples) returned values greater than 0.15% total rare earth oxide (TREO), including 5 samples that returned values greater than 1.0% TREO to a maximum value of 2.4% TREO. The average TREO for all samples is 0.21%, and a minimum value of 9 parts per million (ppm), which was returned in an iron-oxide/calcite vein”. This rock sampling has defined a series of high priority drill targets.
- Coeur Mining Inc., reported Q4 and full year 2022 production and financial results from its Palmarejo mine in Chihuahua. On Q4, 2022 the company milled 554,247 tonnes of 1.59 g/t Au and 98 g/t Ag with metallurgical recoveries of 92.4% and 85% respectively to produce approximately 26K Oz Au and 1.49M Oz Ag. It sold 25.2K Oz Au and 1.49M Oz Ag at an average realized price of USD $1,519 per Oz Au and USD $21.10 per Oz Ag. Coeur reported metal sales of USD $69.5.4M; cost applicable to sales (CAS) of USD $47.1M; adjusted CAS per Oz Au of USD $1,027 and adjusted CAS per Oz Ag of USD $14.23; exploration expense of USD $1.5M; cash flow from operating activities of USD $18.9M; total capital expenditures of USD $8.1M; and free cash flow of USD $10.8M. On the full year 2022, Coeur milled approximately 2.2M tonnes of 1.65 g/t Au and 113 g/t Ag with metallurgical recoveries of 92.1% and 84.2% respectively to produce approximately 106.8K Oz Au and 6.71M Oz Ag. It sold 107.1K Oz Au and 6.7M Oz Ag at an average realized price of USD $1,471 per Oz Au and USD $21.78 per Oz Ag. Coeur reported metal sales of USD $303.4M; cost applicable to sales (CAS) of USD $1822.6M; adjusted CAS per Oz Au of USD $883 and adjusted CAS per Oz Ag of USD $13.05; exploration expense of USD $6.6M; cash flow from operating activities of USD $88.4M; total capital expenditures of USD $42.6M; and free cash flow of USD $45.8M.
- Starcore International Mines Ltd., announced Q3, 2023 production results from its san martin mine in Queretaro. The company milled 58,562 tonnes of 1.29 g/t Au and 9 g/t Ag with metallurgical recoveries of 85.24% and 48.95% respectively to produce 2,182 Oz AuEq.
- Equinox Gold Corp., provided 2023 guidance for its Los Filos mine in Guerrero. The company expects to produce between 160K-180K Oz Au at cash and all includes sustaining cost of USD $1,460-USD $1,620 and USD $1,680-USD $1,865 per Oz Au produced respectively; and a sustaining cost of USD $40M.
- Bear Creek Mining Corporation announced 2023 production guidance for its Mercedes mine in Mexico. The company expects to produce 65K-75K Oz Au and 210K-243K Oz Ag during 2023 at an average cash cost per Oz Au in the range of $830-$890 , and all in sustaining cost of $1,120-$1,290 per Oz Au.
- Gatos Silver Inc., released 2023 production and cost guidance for its Cerro Los Gatos mine in Chihuahua. The company expects to produce between 7.4-8.2M Oz Ag, 57-63M Lb Zn in Zn concentrates, 36-40M Lb Pb in Pb concentrates, and 5.4-6.2K Oz Au in Pb concentrates (or 12.4-13.8M Oz AgEq). All in sustaining cost for silver production and silver equivalent production has been estimated in USD $11-13 and USD $15.50-17.50 per Oz payable respectively. Gatos Silver also estimated sustaining capital expenditures at USD $45M; and exploration and definition drilling expenditures at USD $13M, including drilling of the south-east deep zone and district exploration.
- First Majestic Silver Corp., reported Q4 and full year 2022 production and financial results from their Mexican mine operations. The tables below show figures by mine for the period Q4 and full year 2022:
- Silver Tiger Metals Inc., closed its previously announced bought deal offering of 58.1M of common shares at a price of CADS $0.31 per share for gross proceeds of approximately CAD $18M. Gross proceeds will be used to continue advancement of its El Tigre mine in Sonora, and for general corporate purposes.
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
- GoGold Resources Inc., reported additional drilling results from Los Ricos South, within the Eagle and Main Deposits in Jalisco. Drilling highlights include hole LRGAG-22-110 on the Eagle Deposits with 1.43 g/t Au and 43 g/t Ag (2 g/t AuEq or 150 g/t AgEq) over 62.4m, including 4.57 g/t Au and 71 g/t Ag (5.52 g/t AuEq or 414 g/t AgEq) over 16m, including 17.05 g/t Au and 189 g/t Ag (19.57 g/t AuEq or 1,468 g/t AgEq) over 1.4m; hole LRGAG-22-113 on the Eagle Deposit with 3.29 g/t Au and 358 g/t Ag (8.06 g/t AuEq or 605 g/t AgEq), including 20.05 g/t Au and 2,000 g/t Ag (46.72 g/t AuEq or 3,504 g/t AgEq) over 1.8m, including 40 g/t Au and 3,490 g/t Ag (86.53 g/t AuEq or 6,490 g/t AgEq) over 0.8m, plus 2.32 g/t Au and 58 g/t Ag (3.09 g/t AuEq or 232 g/t AgEq) over 29.5m, including 5.20 g/t Au and 72 g/t Ag (6.16 g/t AuEq or 462 g/t AgEq) over 12.3m, including 21.10 g/t Au and 170 g/t Ag (23.37 g/t AuEq or 1,752 g/t AgEq) over 1m; hole LRGAG-22-115 on the Eagle Deposit with 1.44 g/t Au and 75 g/t Ag (2.45 g/t AuEq or 183 g/t AgEq) over 31.5m, including 3.38 g/t Au and 147 g/t Ag (5.34 g/t AuEq or 400 g/t AgEq) over 11m, including 12.85 g/t Au and 64 g/t Ag (13.70 g/t AuEq or 1,028 g/t AgEq) over 1; and hole LRGAG-22-227 on the Main Deposit with 1.28 g/t Au and 105 g/t Ag (2.68 g/t AuEq or 201 g/t AgEq) over 29m, including 4.84 g/t Au and 352 g/t Ag (9.54 g/t AuEq or 715 g/t AgEq) over 6.3m, including 24 g/t Au and 335 g/t Ag (28.47 g/t AuEq or 2,135 g/t AgEq) over 0.7m. The Eagle Deposit adjoins the Main Deposit and represents a northern extension of the previously defined Mineral Resource Estimate in the Los Ricos South PEA.
- Guanajuato Silver Company Ltd., announced drill results from its San Ignacio mine in Guanajuato. Drilling highlights include hole UGSI22-005, the best drill hole the company has drilled at any of its mines acquired from Great Panther, with 5.11 g/t Au and 810 g/t Ag (1,219 g/t AgEq) over a true width (TW) of 4.92m, including 25.84 g/t Au and 4,914 g/t Ag (6,981 g/t AgEq) over a TW of 0.42m, including 28.23 g/t Au and 1,693 g/t Ag (3,951 g/t AgEq) over a TW of 0.42m. This significant drill result on the Melladito vein will be followed up with additional drill holes attempting to follow the down dip extension of the vein within the Company’s 2023 drill campaign. In addition, the company is in the midst of driving a 400m access ramp from Melladito to the analogous Purisima vein, which offers the potential for expanded production at San Ignacio mine. Guanajuato Silver also confirmed that it will provide an updated mineral resource estimate which is expected to be completed by Q3, 2023.
- Alamos Gold Inc., reported Mineral Reserves and Resources for the year-ended 2022 at its Mulatos project, Sonora. The company reported Proven + Probable Mineral Reserves of 26,734,000 tons with an average grade of 1.95 g/t Au for a total of 1,679,000 Oz Au contained. Alamos Gold also announced Measured + Indicated Mineral Resources (exclusive of Mineral Reserves) for 10,302,000 tonnes of 2.52 g/t Au for a total of 502K Oz Au contained, and Inferred Resources for 1,774,000 tonnes of 1.27 g/t Au for a total of 72K Oz Au contained. In addition, the company has budgeted a total of USD $17M for exploration in 2023. This budget comprises 16,000m of surface exploration drilling at Puerto del Aire, Gap Victor, and Estrella Zones, and 34,000m for regional exploration on high priority targets, including Halcon, Halcon West, Carricito, Bajios, and Jaspe.
- Bear Creek Mining Corporation released results of recent underground drilling from its Marianas and Rey de Oro deposits at its Mercedes mine in Sonora. Drilling highlights (reported in true widths) include hole UG-MR22-105 collared on Marianas Deposit with 5.68 g/t Au and 6 g/t Ag over 2.8m, plus 12.43 g/t Au and 12 g/t Ag over 2.8m; hole UG- MR22-106 on Mariana Deposit with 41 g/t Au and 24 g/t Ag over 0.8m; hole UG-MAR22-113 on Mariana Deposit with 8.47 g/t Au and 32 g/t Ag over 3m, plus 5.02 g/t Au and 7 g/t Ag over 3m; hole UG-RDO23-075 collared on Rey de Oro Deposit with 10.23 g/t Au and 182 g/t Ag over 3.5m; hole UG-RDO22-077 on Rey de Oro Deposit with 15.35 g/t Au and 109 g/t Ag over 1.03m; and hole M22-934D on GAP Deposit with 6.47 g/t Au and 58 g/t Ag over 2.2m. “The Marianas and GAP drilling represent step-outs from the existing underground mining operations along the main Mercedes vein zone. The Rey de Oro drilling represents extensions downdip and along strike of the existing reserves and underground operations”.
- Chesapeake Gold Corp., announced updated Minera Resource Estimate (MRE) for its world class Metates deposit in Durango. The updated MRE incorporates an additional 23 holes drilled by Chesapeake and has an effective date of January 28, 2023. It include Measured + Indicated Resources for 921.2M tonnes with average grades of 0.57 g/t Au and 14 g/t Ag for a total of 16.77M Oz Au and 423.2M Oz Ag contained, and Inferred Resources for 139.5M tonnes with average grades of 0.47 g/t Au and 13 g/t Ag for a total of 2.13M Oz Au and 59 M Oz Ag contained. “This updated MRE together with on-going metallurgical work will form the basis of a new Pre-Feasibility Study”.
- Minera Alamos Inc., informed the commencement of drilling at its Santana project in Sonora. The company plans to drill a number of gold bearing breccia pipes in the cluster that comprise the Santana project. Some of these priority targets such as Zata and Benjamin Hill have never been drilled before. Over 10,000m of drilling in up to 80 holes have been planned by the company`s exploration team to drill-test the targets.
- GR Silver Mining Ltd., reported underground drilling results from 35 holes drilled as part of the 2022 infill and exploratory drilling program conducted at its Plomosas project in Sinaloa. Drilling highlights ( reported in true widths) include hole PLIP22-30 with 69 g/t Ag, 2.67 g/t Au, 0.1% Pb, 0.2% Zn, and 0.2% Cu (353 g/t AgEq) over 14.1m, including 227 g/t Ag, 5.39 g/t Au, 0.3% Pb, 0.6% Zn, and 0.4% Cu (808 g/t AgEq) over 1.6m, including 219 g/t Ag, 40.18 g/t Au, 0.3% Pb, and 1% Cu (4,075 g/t AgEq) over 0.6m; hole PLIP22-52 with 2 g/t Ag and 1.91 g/t Au (182 g/t AgEq) over 8.1m, including 33 g/t Ag and 64.5 g/t Au (6,033 g/t AgEq) over 0.2M; hole PLIP22-29 with 55 g/t Ag, 1.01 g/t Au, 3.1% Pb, 4.8% Zn, and 0.2% Cu (441 g/t AgEq) over 21.7m, including 299 g/t Ag, 5.42 g/t Au, 1.8% Pb, 9.7% Zn, and 0.6% Cu (1,291 g/t AgEq) over 2.8m; hole PLIP22-35 with 20 g/t Ag, 1.8 g/t Au, 0.5% Pb, 1.5% Zn, and 0.3% Cu (221 g/t AgEq) over 14.2m, including 44 g/t Ag, 1.1 g/t Au, 10.4% Pb, 15.3% Pb, and 0.3% Cu (1,059 g/t AgEq) over 0.2m, including 46 g/t Ag, 6.09 g/t Au, 2.7% Pb, 8.4% Pb, and 0.8% Cu (1,105 g/t AgEq) over 0.8m; and hole PLIP22-42 with 30 g/t Ag, 0.76 g/t Au, 7.9% Pb, 7.9% Zn, and 0.3% Cu (669 g/t AgEq) over 8.3m, including 49 g/t Ag, 0.41 g/t Au, 7.8% Pb, 10.9% Zn, and 1.1% Cu (846 g/t AgEq) over 0.9m, including 50 g/t Ag, 1.97 g/t Au, 19.7 g/t Pb, 15.6% Zn, and 0.3% Cu (1,422 g/t AgEq) over 2.7m.
- Silver Dollar Resources Inc., identified five new mineralized target areas at its la Joya project in Durango. These areas are located in the unexplored portion of the property and were outlined during the last exploration campaign which consisted of geological mapping and sampling. The Verde and Hueco Areas were partially drilled by a previous operator, while Dyke North, Dyke South, and South-East Areas never have been drill tested before.
- Regency Silver Corp., announced that two follow-up holes down-dip from REG-22-01 were completed at its Dios Padre project in Sonora. Hole REG-22-01 intersected 6.84 g/t Au, 22 g/t Ag, and 0.88% Cu over 35.8m, including 13.97 g/t Au, 50 g/t Ag, and 1.11% Cu over 9.8m. Hole REG-23-14 encountered 32m of pyrite-specularite-chalcopyrite supported breccia from approximately 454-486m within a broader zone of disseminated and vein hosted mineralization approximately 25m down dip from REG-22-01, while hole REG-23-15 intersected 120m of specularite-pyrite-chalcopyrite supported breccia from approximately 400-520m within a broader zone of disseminated and vein hosted mineralization approximately 85m down-dip from REG-22-01 and about 62m down-dip from REG-23-14.
- Vizsla Silver Corp., provided a year-end 2022 summary of its activities carried out at its flagship Panuco project in Sinaloa, and outlined the goals for 2023. During Q1, 2022 the company announced its initial mineral resource estimate (MRE) centered on the western portion of the Panuco district. In 2022, Vizsla completed over 121,000m of additional drilling to conclude in an updated MRE on January 2023, with a significant increase in gold and silver as well as in the overall grade. The company also discovered other near-surface, high-grade structures, demonstrating the growth potential outboard of the known resource boundaries. “For 2023, our focus is on incremental expansion and de-risking of the current resource base. With a fully funded +90,000m drill program utilizing seven drill rigs, we plan to update the current Panuco resource estimate in the second half of 2023, which will be followed in due course by an initial Preliminary Economic Assessment”.
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- Minera Alamos Inc., granted stock options to its management team, Board of Directors, and certain consultants. The Board of Directors approved the issuance of a total of 2.25M options at an exercise price of $0.51, and 6.9M at an exercise price of $0.45. All the options will expire in 5 years and vest 50% on the first anniversary of their grant and 50% on the second anniversary (Santana project, Sonora).
ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
- Almaden Minerals Ltd., signed a cooperation agreement with the Ejido Santa Maria Zotoltepec, the ejido located closest to its Ixtaca project in Puebla, to support an agro-technological package aimed at sustainable plan nutrition and soil enrichment.
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, an outcrop of a flow banded rhyolite in a low-sulphidation epithermal veins prospect in Sonora Mexico. Photo by Miguel A Heredia.