By Miguel A Heredia
During the forty-three week of the year (October 21st to October 27th, 2019), at least 42 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico, with eleven disclosing deals and corporate issues, ten announcing financial rounds, seven commenting on Mexican issues, six informing on exploration results, three communicating production results, three reporting on resources and developments of their projects, and one discussing issues on social responsibility. ON MEXICO ISSUES, Napoleón Gómez Urrutia, a mining union leader and senator for the Morena party proposed to increase the taxes to mining concessions to levels of 20-30%. Fernando Alanís, president of the Cámara Minera de México (CAMIMEX), reported that 244 Canadian companies stopped investing in Mexico. At the AIMMGM Mining convention in Acapulco, the CONAGO (Conferencia Nacional de Gobernadores) and the federal government were at disagreement on the use of the Mining Fund. Camimex expects the “Mesa de Minería” (Mining Forum) is installed before year’s end. Newmont-Goldcorp re-started up production at its Peñasquito mine in Zacatecas. ON EXPLORATION, In Baja California Norte, One World Lithium announced the continuation and progress of the phase 3 drilling program at its Salar del Diablo project. In Sonora, Aloro mobilized crews to sample high grade Au veins on the northwest side of its Los Venados project, and Agnico Eagle provided an exploration update of its Santa Gertrudis project. In Chihuahua, Radius Gold and Pan American Silver commenced the phase 3 drilling program at its Amalia project. In Zacatecas, Galore reported the completion of 1,667.20m of core drilling at its Dos Santos project. In Jalisco, GoGold reported drill results from six new holes from its Los Ricos project. ON MINING, Agnico Eagle, Fresnillo, and Excellon reported Q3, 2019 production and financial results from their Mexican operations. ON FINANCING, Galore closed a first tranche of a private placement for gross proceeds of CAD $187K and implemented a shares for services agreement on its drill contract (Dos Santos project, Zacatecas). One World Lithium reported that its previously announced non-brokered private placement (Sept 05, 2019), will be replaced by a non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of $1M (Salar del Diablo project, Baja California Norte). VVC closed a non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of CAD $2M (Kaity project in Samalayuca, Chihuahua). Silver Viper closed a private placement financing to raise gross proceeds for $4M (La Virginia project, Sonora). Orla entered into a commitment letter for up to USD $125M project finance facility (Camino Rojo project, Zacatecas). Vista Gold received the third option payment from Prime Mining for the Guadalupe de Los Reyes property in Sinaloa. Newmont-Goldcorp declared a quarterly dividend of $0.14 per share of common stock (Peñasquito mine, Zacatecas). Gold Resource increased 100% its instituted annual dividend from $0.02 to $0.04 per common share (Arista mine, Oaxaca). ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Golden Minerals outlined progress at its Velardeña and Rodeo properties in Durango. Minera Peñoles informed that is to start operations at its Capela mine in Guerrero. Endeavour reported infill drill results from its Parral project in Chihuahua. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Alien Metals appointed Novum Securities Ltd as its joint corporate broker with immediate effect (San Celso project, Zacatecas). Defiance Silver appointed a couple of OreQuest consultants as technical advisors to work on its San Acacio project in Zacatecas. Impact granted stock options to directors, officers, and employees (Zacualpan mining district, State of Mexico). Oroco announced special general meeting of its shareholders to be held on December 19, 2019 (Santo Tomas project, Sinaloa). Vangold announced changes on its board of Directors and appointed its corporate secretary (El Pinguino mine, Guanajuato). Tamino Minerals was invited to list on the Mexican Stock Exchange (El Volcan project, Sonora). Torex responded a recent letter to its shareholders and stakeholders (Limon-Guajes, Guerrero). Sonoro advanced discussions with China-based companies to develop and finance its Cerro Caliche project in Sonora. Magellan entered into an option agreement with Golden Minerals to acquire 100% interest in Santa Maria project in Chihuahua. Santacruz Silver appointed a new director to its Board (Veta Grande, Zacatecas). Ternium received from PROFEPA, the certification as a clean industry (Tecomán plant in Colima). ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, In Aconchi, Sonora, the Orquesta La Caridad from Grupo Mexico offered a concert to 250 attendees by 110 children and young people, the first on its Rio Sonora tour. Doctor Vagón, the Health Train of Fundación Grupo México, arrived in San Pedro, Coahuila from October 23 to 26 to give medical attention to the residents of the municipality.
ON MEXICO ISSUES
- Napoleón Gómez Urrutia, a mining union lider and senator by Morena proposed to increase the taxes to mining concessions to levels of 20 to 30%, sustaining that countries like Peru, Bolivia or Chile are at those levels. That declaration was done while he was defending the federal government intention to use the Mining Fund to other means that what it was imposed for: helping develop mining communities. The leader of the Morena senators is to present an integral initiative for the mining sector. Why don’t we raise the taxes to mining, to the rights on mineral exploitation, to the mining concessions taxes?, asked Gómez Urrutia. Ricardo Monreal, a presidential hopeful considered the proposal to be correct, and asked for its formalization.
- Fernando Alanís, Camimex (Cámara Minera de México) president said that 244 Canadian companies stopped investing in Mexico. Camimex is fighting for the 100% deductibility of exploration expenses, as it is a strong deterrent on exploration investment, where the most risk of the industry is concentrated.
- At the AIMMGM Mining convention in Acapulco, the CONAGO (Conferencia Nacional de Gobernadores) and the federal government were at disagreement on the use of the Mining Fund. While the governors fight for the said funds to remain on the states and municipalities, the federal government proposed that 85% of the resources are directed to the Secretaria de Educación Pública (SEP), by reforming the Ley Federal de Derechos (Federal Law on Duties) starting on 2020. The federal proposal allows full discretionally use of the where the funds are used, even in areas where no mining is conducted. In 2018 alone, $3,840 M pesos (about US$202 M) were accrued on the Mining Fund.
- Camimex expects the “Mesa de Minería” (Mining Forum) is installed before year’s end, and can start to work with the federal government, so the mining sector is heard and doubts and misunderstandings can be cleared. Subjects to address include the social, the environment, regulation of the investment compromise, and the fiscal issues. Camimex stressed the mining in Mexico pays about 46 percent in taxes.
- Newmont-Goldcorp, re-started up production at its Peñasquito mine in Zacatecas, following the lifting of the illegal blockade on October 8, 2019. “With the support of the State and Federal governments, including an ongoing police presence, the Company has commenced an approximately 10-dayprocess of bringing back the operation to full production”.
- One World Lithium Inc., announced the continuation of the phase 3 drilling program at its Salar del Diablo project in Baja California Norte. Four boreholes are planned for a total of 2,400 meters (about 8,000 feet) of exploration drilling. The company reported that the first borehole reached a depth of 220m. Target depths of up to 600 meters are expected to be achieved.
- Aloro Mining Corp., is to sample high-grade gold veins on the northwest of the Los Venados property in Sonora. In this area lies a 3.5 km vein system up to 400 m in width that has been partially mapped. Results from early sampling have results of up to 32 g/t Au and 49 g/t Ag.
- Agnico Eagle Mines Limited, provided an update of the exploration program carried out at its Santa Gertrudis project in Sonora. Drilling at Santa Gertrudis has extended the Amelia deposit in the Trinidad zone to 800m strike length, with highlight intercepts of 6.4 g/t Au over 7m and 9.6 g/t Au over 6m.
- Radius Gold Inc., and Pan American Silver Corp., commenced the phase 3 drilling program at its Amalia project in Chihuahua. Pan American is now operating the project and expects to drill a minimum 2,500m of core drilling.
- Galore Resources Inc., reported the completion of 1.667.20m of core drilling at its Dos Santos project in Zacatecas. Drilling results are still pending to be released.
- GoGold Resources Inc., reported results from six new diamond drill holes including four from the San Juan zone, the first step out hole testing the El Troce area, and one from the Main area at its Los Ricos project in Jalisco. At San Juan, hole LRGG-19-050 intersected 0.39 g/t Au and 76 g/t Ag (1.41 g/t AuEq) over 45.3m, including 1.01 g/t Au and 242 g/t Ag (4.23 g/t AuEq) over 6.2m,and hole LRGG-19-051 intersected 0.4 g/t Au and 86 g/t Ag (1.55 g/t AuEq) over 24m. At El Troce, hole LRGG-19-053 intersected 1.53 g/t Au and 164 g/t Ag (3.72 g/t AuEq) over 10.1m, including 5.22 g/t Au and 489 g/t Ag (11.75 g/t AuEq) over 2.8m. At the Main area, hole LRGG-19-055 intersected 0.58 g/t Au and 75 g/t Ag (1.59 g/t AuEq) over 14.4m.
- Agnico Eagle Mines Limited, reported Q3, 2019 production and financial results from their Mexican operations. At Pinos Altos mine, Chihuahua, it processed 519K tonnes of 2.22 g/t Au to produce 34.8K Oz Au at a total cash cost of USD $745 per Oz Au produced. At Creston Mascota mine in Chihuahua, the company processed 284K tonnes of 0.78 g/t Au to produce 9,596 Oz Au at a total cash cost of USD $668 per Oz Au produced. At La India mine, Sonora, Agnico processed 1.1M tonnes of 0.77 g/t Au to produce 18.4K Oz Au at a total cash cost of USD $872 per Oz Au produced.
- Fresnillo plc, presented Q3 2019 production results from their Mexican operations. Consolidated production results for the Q3, 2019 reached 13.3M Oz Ag (including Silverstream for 659K Oz Ag), 209.7K Oz Au, 34.9M Lb Pb, and 56.8M Lb Zn. At Fresnillo mine, Zacatecas, the company processed 648,646 tonnes of 183 g/t Ag, 0.99 g/t Au, 1.24% Pb, and 2.14% Zn, to produce 3.4M Oz Ag, 15.6K Oz Au, 15.8M Lb Pb, and 22.9M Lb Zn. At Saucito mine, Zacatecas, it processed 703K tonnes of 207 g/t Ag, 1.22 g/t Au, 0.84% Pb, and 1.38% Zn, to produce 4M Oz Ag, 21K Oz Au, 11M Lb Pb, and 14.9M Lb Zn. At Pyrites Plant, Fresnillo processed 38,572 tonnes of 314 g/t Ag and 2.44 g/t Au, to produce 285K Oz Ag and 954 Oz Au. At Cienega mine, Durango, it processed 335,493 tonnes of 1.78 g/t Au, 151 g/t Ag, 0.81% Pb, and 1.35% Zn, to produce 17.8K Oz Au, 1.4M Oz Ag, 4.1M Lb Pb, and 6.2M Lb Zn. At San Julian mine in Chihuahua-Durango border, the company processed 321,798 tonnes of 1.39 g/t Au and 108 g/t Ag, to produce 13,711 Oz Au and 1M Oz Ag from veins, and 559,693 tonnes of 0.07 g/t Au, 130 g/t Ag, 0.41% Pb, and 1.35% Zn, to produce 523 Oz Au, 2M Oz Ag, 4M Lb Pb, and 12.8M LB Zn from the disseminated ore body. At the Herradura mine, Sonora, Fresnillo processed 5,591,746 tonnes of 0.71 g/t Au and 3 g/t Ag, to produce 102,439 Oz Au and 412K Oz Ag. At the Noche Buena mine, Sonora, it processed 3,215,167 tonnes for a total volume hauled of 11,447,273 tonnes with grades of 0.58 g/t Au and 0.25 g/t Ag to produce 37,570 Oz Au and 14K Oz Ag.
- Excellon Resources Inc., announced Q3, 2019 production results from its Platosas mine, Durango. Excellon milled and processed 17,235 tonnes of 512 g/t Ag, 4.4% Pb, and 6% Zn to produce 257.5K Oz Ag, 1.3M Lb Pb, and 1.65M Lb Zn, with metallurgical recoveries of 87.2%, 77.7%, and 76.5% respectively.
- Galore Resources Inc., closed a first tranche of a private placement for gross proceeds of CAD $187K.The company also implemented a cash + shares for services agreement with COMEFIN S DE RL DE CV, to conduct the diamond core drilling programs at Galore’s 100% owned El Alamo and Los Gemelos projects (Dos Santo project, Zacatecas).
- One World Lithium Inc., reported that its previously announced non-brokered private placement (Sept 05, 2019), will be replaced by a non-brokered private placement of unsecured convertible notes for gross proceeds of $1M (Salar del Diablo project, Baja California Norte).
- VVC Exploration Corporation, closed a non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of CAD $2M. The proceeds of the Financing will be used for exploration and development on the Kaity Property in Mexico, including diamond drilling, land use permits and associated costs, metallurgical bench testing of the copper mineralization, and investigation, evaluation and implementation of the Gloria Pilot Mining Project (Kaity project in Samalayuca, Chihuahua).
- Silver Viper Minerals Corp., closed a private placement financing to raise gross proceeds for $4M. Net proceeds will be used to continue exploration and development of its La Virginia Au-Ag in Sonora and for general corporate and working capital purposes.
- Orla Mining Ltd., entered into a commitment letter with Trinity Capital Partners Corporation, with respect to a secured project finance facility of USD $125M for the development of its Camino Rojo project in Zacatecas.
- Vista GoldCorp., received the third $1.5M option payment from Prime Mining Corporation for the Guadalupe de Los Reyes project in Sinaloa.
- Newmont-Goldcorp, declared a quarterly dividend of $0.14 per share of common stock, payable on December 27, 2019 to holders of record at the close of business on December 5, 2019.
- Gold Resource Corporation, announced it has increased 100% its instituted annual dividend from $0.02 to $0.04 per common share. This increases the monthly dividend to one-third of a cent per common share for October 2019 payable on November 25, 2019 to shareholders of record as of November 12, 2019 (Arista mine, Oaxaca).
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
- Golden Minerals Co. informed it is working on a new PEA on its Velardeña properties in Durango, to reflect better metal prices and new metallurgical processes. At Rodeo, also in Durango, Golden plans to initiate a small drilling program to provide better definition on its 46 K Oz Au resource. At Yoquivo, in Chihuahua, Golden has the permits to initiate a drill program to test several epithermal veins early in 2020.
- Minera Peñoles informed that is to start operations at its Capela mine in Guerrero. The Capela mine is a US$340 M investment that is to generate 1,000 direct jobs and at least 1,400 indirect ones. Mining generates more than 10 thousand direct jobs and 50 thousand indirect jobs, making it the second most relevant economic activity in the state.
- Endeavour Silver Corp., reported infill drill results from 10 underground holes collared on the Veta Colorada vein at its Parral project in Chihuahua. Every hole intersected strong Ag mineralization below the lowest mine level. Recent drilling highlights include 308 g/t Ag over 11.6 m true width n hole VCU-16. “Several drill holes intersected two mineralized zones, the Veta Colorada and the HW Veta Colorada in the hanging wall, with a total true width of mineralization up to 16.5 m in hole VCU-17, with 226 g/t Ag over 7.6m true width, including 593 g/t Ag over 0.5m true width, and 254 g/t Ag over 8.9m true width, including 1,355 g/t Ag over 0.5m true width”.
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- Alien Metals Ltd., appointed Novum Securities Ltd as its joint corporate broker with immediate effect (San Celso project, Zacatecas).
- Defiance Silver Corp., appointed a couple of OreQuest consultants as technical advisors to execute the ongoing exploration program at its san Acacio project in Zacatecas.
- Impact Silver Corp., granted stock options to directors, officers, and employees for the purchase of 2M shares in its capital at the above market price of $0.36 per share (Zacualpan mining district, State of Mexico).
- Oroco Resources Corp., announced that its special general meeting for shareholders will be held on December 19, 2019 to consider and vote on a resolution to approve the Company’s option to acquire Altamura Copper Corp.(Santo Tomas project, Sinaloa).
- Vangold Mining Gold, informed about changes on its Board of Directors and expanded the role in the company of its CFO to become in its corporate secretary (El Pinguico mine, Guanajuato).
- Tamino Minerals, has been invited to list on the Mexican Stock Exchange. If Tamino can achieve the listing, it may have a solution to combat its shortage of investment capital and advance their exploration projects (El Volcan, Sonora).
- Torex Gold Resources Inc, responded a recent letter to its shareholders and stakeholders to confirm its long-term strategy to develop a sustainable, multi-asset, mining business by executing operationally to generate strong free cash flow from its Limon-Guajes mine in Guerrero, de-risking and bringing Media Luna project, Guerrero into production, and delivering the full potential of its innovative Muckahi Mining System to the benefit of all Torex shareholders.
- Sonoro Metals Corp., continued advancing its discussions with China-based engineering, procurement and construction companies regarding plans to develop and finance a proposed heap leach pilot operation for its Cerro Caliche project in Sonora.
- Magellan Gold Corp., entered into an option agreement with Golden Minerals Company to acquire 100% interest in the Santa Maria project in Chihuahua by making a cash payment of USD $1M to Golden at closing, and pay Golden a 6.5% NSR based royalty from all production until a total of USD $3M has been paid under the royalty agreement, the royalty is then reduced to a 3.0% NSR based royalty for the balance of the property life.
- Santacruz Silver Mining Ltd., appointed a new director to its Board (Veta Grande, Zacatecas).
- Ternium, received from PROFEPA, a certification as a clean industry for the 6th consecutive year, established by the Mexican Standard, NMX-AA-162-SCFI 2012, Regulation of the General Law of Ecological Balance and the Protection of the Environment in matters of Self-Regulation and Environmental Audits. The certification was granted to the Alzada pelletizing plant and Tecomán station, both located in Colima.
ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
- In Aconchi, Sonora, the Orquesta La Caridad from Grupo Mexico offered a concert to 250 attendees by 110 children and young people from Nacozari, the first on its Rio Sonora tour.
- Doctor Vagón, the Health Train of Fundación Grupo México, arrived in San Pedro, Coahuila from October 23 to 26 to give medical attention to the residents of the municipality. The Health Train will offer general consultations, dermatology, pediatrics, dentistry, chiropractic and physical rehabilitation, Comprehensive service for women (mastography, colposcopy), comprehensive diabetic patient clinic, comprehensive service for women, nutrition, psychology, optometry, family planning, geriatrics, audiometry, laboratory tests and cabinet studies, all for free.
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On the picture above, barite crystals in a rhyolite tuff from a prospect in Chihuahua, Mexico. Photo by Miguel A Heredia.