During the 18th week of the year (May 1st to May 7th, 2017), at least 29 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico. ON MEXICO ISSUES, no relevant news this week. ON EXPLORATION, In Sonora Alix released metallurgical tests results from its Elektra lithium property, San Marco is preparing to drill Chunibas, while confirming the presence of a porphyry copper system at project 1068, and Aztec informed that is likely to drill its Cervantes property on the same State. In Zacatecas Canasil disclosed high grade drill results from La Esperanza, Galore commenced a drill program at Dos Santos and Zenith disclosed advance on its lithium properties. ON MINING, Ten companies presented first quarter 2017 financial results: Marlin Gold, Santacruz Silver, Primero Mining, Gold Resource, Torex Gold, Endeavour Silver, McEwen Mining, Alamos Gold, Great Panther and First Majestic. ON FINANCING, Three companies, Evrim Resources, Aztec Minerals and Almaden Minerals presented information on financing rounds for $4.2 M, C$4.02 M and $15 M respectively. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Consolidated Zinc presented an activities report on its Plomosas property in Chihuahua, and Alamos Gold released information on exploration on the Mulatos district in Sonora, with a hefty budget. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Fortuna Silver presented an update on its MTCO and disclosed it is soon to comply with the regulatory agencies requested paperwork. Southern Silver entered into an agreement with La Cuesta to buy two properties adjacent to its Cerro Las Minas property in Durango.
ON MEXICO ISSUES
- No relevant news this week
- Alix Resources Corp. announced preliminary metallurgical tests released by its JV partner Lithium Australia ML, from the Agua Fria prospect, part of its Elektra project in Sonora. Preliminary sulphuric acid shaker tests were carried out at room temperature for a period of four hours, with Lithium extraction attaining up to 85%.
- Zenith Minerals Ltd. is exploring its three lithium properties in Zacatecas, funded by partner Bradda Head Ltd. Surface sampling has been completed, with results pending, on the Zacatecas Li brine properties.
- San Marco Resources Inc. informed that field work on its 1068 project has confirmed and expanded the size potential of a porphyry copper system. The work that included geological and alteration mapping, stream sediment and rock chip sampling, and petrographic samples increased the phyllic alteration zone to 1,000 x 450 m, with an internal zone of strong phyllic stockwork in the volcanic rock lithocap. The drilling application is in process and surface rights access have been secured over the main targets.
- Canasil Resources Inc. disclosed assay results for three drill holes at its La Esperanza project in Zacatecas. True width (TW) intercepts include 1,87 m @ 231 g/t Ag, 1.2% Zn, 1.4% Pb; 11.23 m @ 0.74 g/t Au, 219 g/t Ag, 0.9% Zn, 0.4% Pb; 2.07 m @ 261 g/t Ag, 2.1% Zn, 0.9% Pb; 2.75 m @ 2.76 g/t Au, 552 g/t Ag, 1.1% Zn, 0.6% Pb; 1.51 m @ 0.39 g/t Au, 256 g/t Ag, 1.7% Zn, 0.7% Pb. The vein system is open in all directions, and the mineralization intercepted is interpreted as part of the upper part of the system.
- Aztec Minerals Corp. expects to drill test the California target of its Cervantes property in Sonora, after the rainy season late this summer.
- San Marco Resources Inc. is preparing to drill its Chunibas project in Sonora. The Chunibas targets are a series of high-grade gold bearing veins hosted in intrusive rocks. There are five main vein zones: Santa Rosa, Argentina, Santa Fe, Guasima, and Western, which comprise a corridor 750 m wide and 1.5 km long. Grades of up to 46 g/t Au have been obtained from the one to two metre-wide structures.
- Galore Resources Inc. commenced a 3,500 m diamond drill program at its Dos Santos property in Zacatecas. The first drill hole began testing the main fault/vein system prevalent on Galore’s San Jose claim.
- Marlin Gold Mining Ltd. presented financial results for 2016, which include total assets for C$102.2 M, and total liabilities of C$73.3 M for a total of 28.83 M Equity.
- Santacruz Silver Mining Ltd. reported financial and operating results for 2016. During the year Santacruz restructured its silver loan agreement with JMET LLC and divested from the San Felipe and El Gachi projects in Sonora, in order to reduce debt obligations. The company processed 42,746 tonnes of ore to produce 200.1 K Oz AgEq, at cash cost $23.97 per AgEq Oz, and AISC $26.15 per AgEq Oz. The company continues with its operations at Veta Grande, Zacatecas, working on the Guadalupana, Garcia and the Choros mines, while the Rosario mill in San Luis Potosi is processing ore from the Cinco Estrellas mine.
- Primero Mining Corp. reported first quarter 2017 results, including figures from its San Dimas property in Durango. The San Dimas mine was subject to an unionized strike that left only 45 working days on the quarter, but the new work agreement sets better terms for more competitive operations. Total production was 10,118 Oz Au, 0.62 M Oz Ag, at cash cost $827 and AISC of $1,335. The mine expects to produce between 90 K and 100 K Oz AuEq during 2017. At March 31, 2017, the company had $30.6 M in cash and $15 M available under its line of credit.
- Gold Resource Corp. presented Q1 2017 results. At its El Aguila operations in Oaxaca 101.3 K tonnes were milled at a rate of 1,206 tpd, and an average grade of 2.42 g/t Au, 143 g/t Ag, 0.28% Cu, 1.16 % Pb, 3.07% Zn. Recoveries were 86% Au; 92% Ag, 78% Cu, 76% Pb, 85% Zn, to achieve the production of 6,747 Oz Au, 427.9 K Oz Ag, 220 tonnes Cu, 927 tonnes Pb, 2,149 tonnes Zn. Total cash cost was $980 per Au-AgEq Oz before by-product credits, $263 Au-AgEq Oz after by-product credits and all-in sustaining cost of $920 per “precious metal gold equivalent ounce sold” (??).
- Torex Gold Resources Inc. disclosed production and financial results for Q1 2017. 941 K tonnes were processed @ 2.49 g/t Au, and a recovery rate of 85% to produce 70,887 Oz Au at $671 cash cost and AISC $923 per Au Oz. During the period a maiden underground resource was announced, containing 324 K inferred and 89 K indicated Au Oz. The cash balance at the end of March was $108.5 M (of which $14.6 M is restricted).
- Endeavour Silver released Q1 2017 financial results, with the production of 1.08 M Oz Ag, 11,724 Oz Au at cash cost $7.81 per Ag Oz and all-in sustaining cost of $18.24 per Ag Oz net of gold credits. During the period high grade results were disclosed for Terronera, in Jalisco, the decision to develop the El Cubo mine in Guanajuato was taken and announced a robust PFS on the Terronera project. Cash and cash equivalents stand at $70.5 M at the end of the period (Guanacevi, Durango; El Cubo and Bolañitos, Guanajuato).
- McEwen Mining Inc. reported financial results for Q1 2017, including figures from its El Gallo property in Sinaloa, where 9,730 Oz Au, 722.8 K Oz Ag were produced at cash cost $564 per AuEq Oz and AISC $668 per AuEq Oz co-product. At the end of the period cash and cash equivalents stood at $55.1 M.
- Alamos Gold Inc. presented its financial and operational results for the first quarter of 2017, including figures from its Mexican operations. At Mulatos and El Chanate in Sonora 40 K and 15.8 K Oz Au were produced at cash cost $920 and $1,144 per Au Oz, and all-in sustaining cost $920, $1,187 per Au Oz respectively. At Mulatos 1.8 M tonnes of ore were mined in the open pit, 1.89 M tonnes of waste were moved (Waste to ore ratio 1.04), 1.69 M tonnes were crushed and stacked @ 0.86 g/t Au, while 35.7 K tonnes @ 8.88 g/t Au were mined from underground operations and milled. The recovery rate stood at 70%. At El Chanate 906 K tonnes of ore were mined, 7.56 M tonnes of waste moved (Waste to ore ratio 7.34), 747.9 K tonnes @ 0.53 g/t Au were crushed and staked on the heaps. The waste to ore ratio is higher than usual due to a scheduled pit pushback that will extend into the second quarter. Cash and cash equivalents stand at $479.2 M at the end of the period.
- Great Panther Silver Ltd. reported first quarter 2017 financial results. From its operations at Topia, Durango, and San Ignacio and the Guanajuato mine complex in Guanajuato, 82.6 K tonnes were milled, producing 366.4 K Oz Ag, 5,178 Oz Au at cash cost $10.99 per AgEq Oz, and AISC $19.10 per AgEq Oz. At Topia, the company is struggling to comply with one of the SEMERANT (environmental agency) requirements, with the continuity of operations at risk. Cash and short-term deposits stand at $53.2 M at the end of the period.
- First Majestic Silver Corp. announced Q1 2017 financial results. During the period 822.3 K tonnes were milled, to produce 2.7 M Oz Ag, or 4.27 M Oz AgEq at cash cost $6.68 and all-in sustaining cost $12.21. At the end of such period cash and cash equivalents stood at $127.6 M.
- Evrim Resources Corp. has further increased its private placement to raise gross proceeds of $4.2 M (Ermitaño, Sonora, Cerro Cascaron, Chihuahua).
- Aztec Minerals Corp. completed its IPO, for total gross proceeds of C$4.02 M (Cervantes, Sonora).
- Almaden Minerals Ltd. entered into an agreement to raise, in a private placement basis, up to $15 M (Ixtaca, Puebla).
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
- Consolidated Zinc Ltd. presented a quarterly update on activities at its Plomosas property in Chihuahua. A scoping study is in progress, which includes the assessment on the possibility to re-start the mine, targeting a 200-400 tonnes per day (tpd) operation. Exploration efforts have shown new areas of mineralization, as the underground Tres Amigos South, and Carola South areas, with 40 samples averaging 20% combined Pb-Zn, and surface exploration includes the drilling of the Tres Amigos North zone.
- Alamos Gold Inc. presented exploration and development activities for the first quarter 2017, including information from its Mexican properties. In Sonora, development continues at La Yaqui, where $5.3 M were spent during the period and further $7.0 are to be spent to complete construction of the mine that is expected to produce 25 K Oz Au per year. At La Yaqui Grande also 9,227 m of drilling in 46 holes were collared, with many results still pending. The exploration budget for the Mulatos district is of $17 M, now focusing beyond La Yaqui and Cerro Pelon, as new targets emerge, including Los Bajios, La Yaqui Norte, El Refugio, El Halcon and El Carricito.
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- Fortuna Silver Mines Inc. provided an update on the ongoing regulatory review of the Company’s 2015 annual filings by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the management cease trade order (MCTO) it is subject to. Fortuna reported that the “SEC has verbally communicated it will accept the Company’s use of inferred resources for the calculation of depletion expense, provided that the Company includes additional disclosure regarding these calculations”. It anticipates it will file the needed documents in the coming weeks, not later than May 30, 2017.
- Southern Silver Exploration Corp. acquired claims adjacent to the SW of its Cerro Las Minitas project in Durango. The claim package comprises two concessions, Biznagas and Los Lenchos, contiguous to the SW to Southern Silver’s concessions. Southern Silver has agreed to make to La Cuesta International Inc. “periodic payments on a semi-annual basis accelerating from $5,000 to $25,000 over a ninety-six month period and a 1% NSR with such periodic payments being credited to NSR payments. Subsequent to payment of $5,000,000 in NSR payments the royalty is reduced to 0.5%. All monetary references are to U. S. dollars.”
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On the picture below, Potassic feldspar alteration in diorite with quartz-barite veinlets, Central Chiapas. Photo by Jorge Cirett.