El atractivo de México para la inversión en el sector minero perdió brillo en el último año afectado por la inseguridad que prevalece en el país y la incertidumbre sobre su sistema legal y por su régimen fiscal, según mostró la última encuesta anual del Instituto Fraser sobre atractivo a la inversión en el sector minera.
En el indicador de atractividad de la inversión, México bajó al sitio 44 desde el 50 que ocupó del año anterior y en el Índice de Percepción de Políticas (IPP), México cayó al sitio 49 desde el 53 un año antes.
CIUDAD DE MÉXICO (Expansión) –
El fisco mexicano y empresas mineras de Canadá sostienen una mesa de diálogo para resolver el caso de 360 millones de dólares (mdd) retenidos en devoluciones de impuestos a seis mineras canadienses que operan en México.
José Antonio Meade, secretario de Hacienda en México y Bill Morneau, ministro de Finanzas en Canadá, señalaron en conferencia de prensa conjunta, que la situación se resuelve a través del diálogo y a partir del marco jurídico, con el objetivo de que el caso no tenga repercusiones en las inversiones canadienses en territorio mexicano.
“Hay una mesa de diálogo de cada empresa con el Servicio de Administración Tributaria (SAT). Como cualquier otro contribuyente se brinda atención, hay un análisis para ir resolviendo diferencias dentro del marco jurídico”, dijo Meade.
Ciudad de México.- Los Diputados del PRI por Sonora presentaron ante el pleno de la Cámara de Diputados la iniciativa propuesta por la Gobernadora Claudia Pavlovich, que busca deducir gastos en exploración minera con la adición de un párrafo al artículo 33 de la Ley del Impuesto Sobre la Renta; en tribuna, el Diputado Ulises Cristópulos, destacó que la Gobernadora Pavlovich está comprometida con el impulso al desarrollo económico de Sonora y México, por ello propone darle un empuje al crecimiento de la industria minera a través del restablecimiento de la deducibilidad de los gastos pre operativos de exploración.
During the 10th week of the year (March 6th to March 12th, 2017), at least 22 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico. ON EXPLORATION, Chesapeake presented an update on regional exploration in Durango and Sinaloa. ON MINING, McEwen, Timmins Gold, US Antimony and Odyssey Marine Exploration presented 2016 results. Consolidated Zinc presented drilling and rockchip sample results ON FINANCING, Four companies announced financial news, with Leagold raising C$175 M; Telson obtaining a US$2 M credit line; Alix raising $248.5 K and McEwen on a share repurchase plan. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, McEwen announced a well-funded exploration budget for its properties in Sinaloa; Mag Silver disclosed a probable increase on the projected processing plant at Valdecañas by its JV partner, Mexus advances toward production in Sonora and Sierra Metals informed of fairly good drilling results from a brownfield zone in Chihuahua. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Avino Silver announced the death of founder and CEO for more than 30 years, Louis Wolfin, a pioneer of Canadian mining investments in Mexico; Radius Silver sold a property in Oaxaca; Santacruz Silver amended an agreement with Hochschild; finally, Colibri shares on the TSX remain halted.
- Chesapeake Gold Corp. has identified four precious and base metals projects with district scale potential in the more than 85,000 hectares held by the company. At Yarely, Sinaloa, three target areas have been defined on a 70,000 hectare land package assembled by staking and acquisition. At Yarely North 12 veins ranging up to 12 m in width have been traced for an average length of 650 m, with rock samples returning 2 m @ 19.5 g/t Au, 505 g/t Ag; 11 m @ 1.1 g/t Au, 42, g/t Ag, 8 m @ 1.6 g/t Au, 33 g/t Ag; 3 m @ 1.1 g/t Au, 805 g/t Ag. At Yarely Central the mineralized zone measures 1.5 by 2.0 Km, with several wide zones of quartz stockwork and disseminated polymetallic mineralization, with trench samples returning 14 m @ 1.5 g/t Au, 143 g/t Ag; 93 m @ 17 g/t Ag; 36 m @ 0.7 g/t Au, 26 g/t Ag. At Yarely South preliminary sampling has returned up to 83 g/t Ag, 2.9% Cu, 0.12% Mo. At El Paso in Sinaloa, extensive exoskarn and intrusive hosted quartz stockworks are present, with channel samples returning 69 m @ 2.2 g/t Au, 8 g/t Ag, 1.1% Zn; 50 m @ 0.6 g/t Au, 12 g/t Ag. At Nicole, in Durango, quartz breccia veins transition at depth to dissemination and stockwork. On the veins, channel samples returned 7 m @ 3.1 g/t Au, 238 g/t Ag, 0.3% Zn; 3 m @ 12 g/t Au, 450 g/t Ag; while lower in the system sampling has returned 30 m @ 1.2 g/t Au, 29 g/t Ag, 1.5% Zn; 30 m @ 0.7 g/t Au, 19 g/t Ag, 0.7% Zn. At San Javier, in Durango, sampling on a 4 km long quartz stockwork has returned 60 m @71 g/t Ag, 0.6% Pb; 28 m @ 158 g/t Ag, 0.3% Pb; while another 3 km long structurally associated breccia has returned 48 m @ 1.0 g/t Au.
- McEwen Mining Inc. reported financial results for 2016, including figures for its El Gallo mine in Sinaloa, where 54,929 Oz Au, 25,336 Oz Ag were produced at an average grade for the ore of 2.14 g/t Au. The 2017 guidance for the unit is 49,700 Oz Au, 24,000 Oz Ag, at cash cost $760 and AISC $900 per AuEq Oz. As of the end of 2016 the company had 58.8 M in cash, investments and precious metals, and no debt.
- United States Antimony Corp. announced that it has successfully transitioned from custom smelting antimony concentrates at the Madero, Coahuila, plant to its own mine production. Antimony production in January was 159 K pounds and 185.8 K pounds in February. The company expects to ramp up production form Wadley (San Luis Potosi), Soyatal (Queretaro) and Guadalupe. During 2016 US Antimony produced 2.9 M pounds Sb, 604 Oz Au, 38.1 K Oz Ag.
- Timmins Gold Corp. announced financial results 2016, producing 100,322 Oz Au at cash cost $734 and all-in sustaining cost of $853 per gold ounce. The company ended the year with $33.9 M in cash and working capital of $37.8 M.
- Consolidated Zinc Ltd. released rock sample results from the Tres Amigos North zone, and resource drilling results at its Plomosas project in Chihuahua. The results from seven continuous rock samples range from 21.4% to 24.8% Zn+Pb, including up to 19.2% Zn, 11.6% Pb and 38 g/t Ag. Resource definition drilling results include 1.3 m @ 4.5% Zn, 1.7% Pb, 15 g/t Ag; 4.7 m @ 11.6% Zn, 6.7% Pb, 31 g/t Ag; 3.95 m @ 3.8% Zn, 0.1% Pb, 1 g/t Ag.
- Odyssey Marine Exploration Inc. reported full year results for 2016, with a net loss of $6.3 M. Its seabed phosphate San Diego Project off the coast of Baja California has not yet been awarded the environmental permit needed, Odyssey expects to obtain the said permit in 2017.
- McEwen Mining Inc. plans to repurchase up to 5.4% of its outstanding common stock (up to $15 M). During 2015 and 2016 $1.8 M and 0.6 M were repurchased respectively.
- Alix Resources Corp. completed the second and final tranche of a non-brokered flow through private placement, for gross proceeds of $248.5 K.
- Telson Resources Inc. has secured a $2 M line of credit for leasing underground and surface mining equipment for mine development at its Tahuehueto project in Durango. The surface area rights to install the processing plant in Tepehuanes have been secured.
- Leagold Mining Corp. completed its previously announced offering for aggregate gross proceeds of C$175 M. The net proceeds from the offering will be used to fund a portion of the purchase price of the Los Filos mine in Guerrero from Goldcorp Inc.
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
- McEwen Inc. has budgeted $6 M for El Gallo silver project in Sinaloa, $3 M in exploration and $3 M in development.
- Mag Silver Corp. disclosed that its JV partner (Fresnillo PLC) in the Valdecañas project in Zacatecas is considering to increase the planned processing plant capacity from 2,650 tonnes per day (tpd) to 4,000 tpd, reflecting the latest drill intercepts in the deeper zone. Permitting on the new design has already commenced, and formal approval by Frenillo’s Board is to come on the next three to four months. A 20,000 meters drill program for 2017 has still to be approved by the JV Technical Committee.
- Mexus Gold US. has completed the testing of the leach circuit. Testing and calibration of chemical treatment equipment is underway before the leaching process begins.
- Sierra Metals Inc. delivered drilling results from La Sidra vein and Bolivar West, at its Bolivar mine site in Chihuahua. At La Sidra Ag-Au mineralization currently extends over 500 m in length and 300 m in depth, and is open along strike and depth, while at Bolivar drilling proceeds at the skarn ore area and geophysics targets. At La Sidra, drill length intercepts include 3.75 m @ 0.7 g/t Au, 717 g/t Ag, 0.4% Pb, 1.3% Zn; 9.75 m @ 4.0 g/t Au, 390 g/t Ag, 1.9% Pb, 5.0% Zn; 5.7 m @ 1.8 g/t Au, 91 g/t Ag, 0.7% Pb, 1.8% Zn; 1.75 m @ 3.9 g/t Au, 537 g/t Ag, 1.2% Pb, 1.7% Zn. At Bolivar intercepts include 9.15 m @ 69 g/t Ag, 2.3% Cu, 2% Zn; 7.35 m @ 42 g/t Ag, 1.3% Cu, 1.4% Zn; 12.6 m @ 133 g/t Ag, 1.4% Cu, 0.7% Zn; 6.0 m @ 1.4 g/t Au, 42 g/t Ag, 1.4% Cu.
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- Avino Silver & Golod Mines Ltd. announced the death of founder and CEO for more than 30 years, Louis Wolfin, at the age of 85. Mister Wolfin founded Avino in 1968, and the Avino mine went into production in 1974. Avino Silver Gold Mines Ltd. was one of the first Canadian companies to invest in the mining industry in Mexico, more than 20 years before the opening of the industry for full foreign investment in the country.
- Radius Gold Inc. reached an agreement for the sale of its Tlacolula property in Oaxaca to Fortuna Silver Mines Inc. As an amendment to a previous contract, Fortuna acquires 100% interest in the property by issuing Radius 250 K shares of Fortuna and granting a 2% NSR royalty. Fortuna will retain the right to purchase 1% of the royalty by paying Radius US$1.5 M.
- Santacruz Silver Mining Ltd. completed the amended agreement with Hochschild by issuing 13.4 M shares of the company, in consideration for the restructuring of the payment there-under.
- Colibri Resource Corp. announced trading in its shares remains halted pending filing and review of documentation by Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada, regarding the acquisition of Canadian Gold Resources.
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, Cerro Lanza in Chiapas, a Tertiary volcanic neck poking through Mesozoic sedimentary rocks. Photo by Jorge Cirett.
During the first week of December at least twenty press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico, including two third quarter reports. ON MEXICO ISSUES, China is already the third biggest foreign player in Mexico. ON EXPLORATION, a PFS was completed on a property in Durango, while in Chihuahua a drilling campaign continues and another one is on the planning stage. In Sonora results from a drilling campaign on a gold property were released, as were surface rock chip results from one Li property. In Hidalgo a property was staked, showing interesting initial rock chip sample results, whereas in San Luis Potosi and Zacatecas assay results were released for a Li property. ON MINING, construction of a heap leach processing plant has begun in a project in Sonora, while in Sinaloa the high grade output was increased in one property, and development work continues in another one. In Queretaro a flotation mill continues with production tests. ON FINANCING, A C$10 M bought deal financing was completed by a company. ON RESOURCES, a technical report with a maiden resource was filed at SEDAR, and a PFS was completed on another, both from properties in Durango. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, the saga for the control of a property in Sinaloa continues, a property was optioned and one more sold, both in Sonora. A company is applying to be listed in USA and a second payment has been made on the option to earn interest on a tailings property in Durango.
ON MEXICO ISSUES
- Mexico sets its eyes in China for investment in mineral resources. China is already the third most active foreign player in the Mexican mining sector, according to Mario Cantu, General Coordinator of Mining at the Ministry of Economy. The Ministry of Economy is currently setting up a taskforce in a bid to streamline the process of permit approvals that clarify the requirements for purchasing and renting mining concessions.
- Telson Resources Inc. announced the completion of a pre-feasibility study (PFS) on its Tahuehueto property in Durango. The report states a proven mineral reserve of 3.3 M tonnes @ 3.4 g/t Au, 41 g/t Ag, 0.31% Cu, 1.1% Pb and 2.0% Zn, to be mined mainly by underground cut and fill method at a 790 tpd rate, with a mine life of 21 years. The reserves contain 356 K Oz Au, 4.38 M Oz Ag, 25 M Lbs Cu, 85.7 M Lbs Pb, and 161.3 M Lbs Zn.
- Levon Resources Ltd. intends to proceed next year with a drilling program on its Cordero project in Chihuahua, once the silver price moves up in a “sustained and positive way.” The program will target the center of the pit resource, in a claim acquired after the resource was delineated.
- Alix Resources Corp. reported more lithium-rich clay layers identified at its Electra project in Sonora. Assays from 31 samples returned 10 samples over 1,000 ppm Li. Clay layers are traced for approximately 4.5 km, over a surface up to 800 m in width.
- Kootenay Silver Inc. continues the drilling campaign on its La Cigarra project, in Chihuahua. Samples from six more holes have been sent for assaying, and drilling is now continuing on the La Soledad structure, where a breccia zone can attain eight meters in width.
- Prospero Silver Corp. staked a 4,690 ha mining concession in a high level epithermal vein system 85 km NW from Pachuca, in Hidalgo. The La Florida vein system is over 3.5 km long, with eight out of 22 samples returning 0.1 – 0.5 g/t Au and 1.4 – 11.1 g/t Ag, up to 525 ppm As, up to 6 ppm Hg and up to 6,860 ppm Sb. An additional structure, at least one kilometer long, returned on the only two samples 0.6, 0.61 g/t Au; 2, 2, g/t Ag; 1,595, 1,945 ppm As; and 1.7, 2.1 ppm Hg.
- Alset Energy Corp. released assay results for 30 samples collected by the previous owner of the company, for three of the salars: La Salada, Santa Clara and Caligüey. The results run from 340 to 1,680 ppm Li, a bit lower than the previous assay results of 411 to 2,590 ppm Li. Potassium values range from 1.57% to 4.78%. Studies on x-ray diffraction show none to very small amounts of smectite, which points to Li not being inside the clay structure and an easier extraction.
- Millrock Resources Inc. completed a ten hole 1,990 m drilling program at Los Chinos project in Sonora. The property is under a JV with Centerra, where the company can earn a 70% interest by funding US$5 M. Three target areas were tested; El Camino, La Tinaja and Pitalla zones. The best intersections were 4 m @ 0.69 g/t Au and 6.3 m @ 0.18 g/t Au.
- Corex Gold Corp. has begun construction of its heap-leach Santana project in Sonora. The initial step involves forming two heaps, one with jaw-crushed material and the other with fine crushed, to test metallurgical recoveries.
- Marlin Gold Mining Ltd. crushed 127.5 K tonnes of ore @ 5.26 g/t Au during November at its La Trinidad mine in Sinaloa. During the same period 21,567 Oz Au were stacked on the heaps, and 279 Oz Au recovered daily. Cash cost is estimated to be below $400 per gold ounce for the month.
- United States Antimony Corp. continues production testing with an alkaline leach plant in Guanajuato, to process material from its Los Juarez mine in Queretaro. The two options under consideration are to use the flotation mill and the alkaline leach circuit, or to use the flotation mill, alkaline leach circuit, and the cyanide leach plant for the mill tailings. To date tests have shown recoveries of 50%, 70% and 70% for Au, Ag and Sb respectively under the first option, and 90%, 90% and 70% for Au, Ag and Sb respectively under the second option.
- Americas Silver Corp. continues with the primary ramp development at its San Rafael project in Sinaloa, which is expected to reach commercial production in Q3 2017. The ramp is now 25 % complete, the electrical substation has been energized and water storage facilities have been constructed.
- DynaResource Inc. processed 5,075 tons of feed material @ 11.38 g/t Au grade at its pilot mill in its San Jose de Gracia property in Sinaloa. The pilot mill facility averaged 182 tpd output.
- SilverCrest Metals Inc. completed a CA$10 M bought deal financing (Las Chispas, Sonora).
- Orex Minerals Inc. filed on SEDAR a technical report for the first inferred resource estimate of the Sandra Escobar project in Durango. Utilizing 59 drill holes and a 45 g/t Ag cut-off base case, the inferred resource estimate yielded 9.8 M tonnes @ 106 g/t Ag, for a total of 33.3 M Oz Ag.
- Telson Resources Inc. announced the completion of a pre-feasibility study (PFS) on its Tahuehueto property in Durango. The reserves contain 356 K Oz Au, 4.38 M Oz Ag, 25 M Lbs Cu, 85.7 M Lbs Pb, and 161.3 M Lbs Zn. The total resource (inclusive of mineral reserves) includes 6.1 M tonnes @ 2.1 g/t Au, 48 g/t Ag, 0.375 Cu, 1.36% Pb, 2.25% Zn on the measured and indicated categories, and 3.5 M tonnes @ 1.5 g/t Au, 41.6 g/t Ag, 0.32% Cu, 1.33% Pb, 2.21% Zn on the inferred category, for total contained metal amounts of 634 K Oz Au, 12.6 M Oz Ag, 61.8 M Lb Cu, 265.3 M Lb Pb and 483.9 M Lb Zn.
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- Dyna Resource de Mexico S.A. de C.V. has seized assets of Goldgroup Resources Inc. as part of a US$48 M damages award. A lien was approved upon stock certificates in the name of Goldgroup Resources Inc.
- Riverside Resources Inc. signed an option agreement with Silver Viper Minerals Corp. on its Clemente project in Sonora. Silver Viper can earn a 100% on the project by staged payments on five years to sum $750 K, delivering 2 M shares and investing $4 M during the life of the option, Riverside will retain a 2% NSR, same that can be bought for $4 M.
- Americas Silver Corp. has initiated the process to become listed on the NYSE MKT, and is to undergo a voting for a needed share consolidation in the procedure.
- Santacruz Silver Mining Ltd. has entered into an agreement with a private Mexican company based in Hermosillo (the “Hermosillo Group”) to sell 100% of its interest in the San Felipe project in Sonora. The deal involves a cash consideration of US$15 M, in three installments, with the final one on February 15, 2017.
- MX Gold Corp. has paid the second installment of $750 K in its agreement to gain 50% interest on the Magistral del Oro tailings project in Durango. Two more $750 K payments are to be made before January 19, 2017, to earn that 50% interest. The tailings have an historical (non 43-101 compliant) estimate of 1.25 M tonnes @ 2.06 g/t Au.
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, flow banding on a rhyodacitic dome, Zacatecas Altiplano. The flow bands are a few millimeters thick.
Despite the vast unexplored potential of Mexico’s metal and mineral deposits, foreign investment in the sector has long been dominated by two countries. Of the 267 foreign mining enterprises registered on the Mexican Geological Survey (SGM), 173 are from Canada and 44 are from the US. While bilateral relations with the former go from strength to strength, the isolationist rhetoric coming from the latter’s President Elect is tempting Mexican policy-makers to look elsewhere in the search for foreign investment. And it seems they have identified China as their number one target.
“We are putting massive efforts into diversifying our sources of foreign investment, and China represents a huge window of opportunity for us,” Mario Alfonso Cantú, General Coordinator of Mining at the Ministry of Economy, told Mexico Mining Review in June 2016. “We have already visited the country on numerous occasions to hold talks with two multi billion-dollar private equity funds that see Mexico as a bright star in their Latin America portfolio.”
Los directores de dos de las empresas mineras más importantes del país, expresaron su desacuerdo y preocupación ante el impuesto para empresas contaminantes que pretende aplicar el gobierno de Zacatecas.
Los titulares de Peñoles y de Fresnillo PLC dudan de la legalidad del nuevo gravamen estatal, además de que –afirman- quita competitividad y amenaza con provocar la cancelación de nuevas inversiones.
“Trataremos de convencer al gobierno de Zacatecas de que un nuevo impuesto no es el camino a seguir”, expresó Octavio Alvídrez Ortega, director de Fresnillo PLC, la cual tiene las dos minas que más plata producen en el país: “El Saucito” y “Fresnillo”.
Opinó que a través de la generación de empleos y el crecimiento de la derrama económica, las minas pueden contribuir más con el desarrollo de Zacatecas que a través de una carga fiscal adicional.
Mencionó que en los últimos cinco años se ha sufrido la baja en los precios de los metales, a lo que se sumó el impuesto minero que las empresas del sector pagan desde hace dos años.
En todos los flujos de Inversión Extranjera Directa (IED) captada por México de 1999 a junio del 2016, la participación de Canadá fue de 45.2% y, con base en este dato, las empresas canadienses pidieron que el gobierno de México se interese más por este sector y por las sinergias bilaterales que pueden darse.
México es un destino estratégico para las empresas mineras de Canadá. De toda la IED dirigida por este último país a la economía mexicana en los últimos 18 años, 42% se canalizó al sector minero, en su gran mayoría a la extracción de metales preciosos.
“Este año ha habido una mejora en los precios del oro, entonces uno puede esperar mayores inversiones en México. En este contexto, lo que México debe cuidar es su competitividad frente a otros países, en temas fiscales y de seguridad jurídica”, dijo Michael Harvey, director de Asuntos Corporativos y Seguridad de Goldcorp Latinoamérica.
La carta es un atento llamado a valorar los proyectos mineros que se desarrollan en México por parte de Canadá, en marcando el gran potencial del país para el desarrollo minero, “tiene enorme capacidad geológica pero necesita de capitales para desarrollar plenamente este potencial”.
De igual forma se hace mención de los esfuerzos y la participación que tiene México en los proyectos e instituciones que unifican el interés por el impulso y correcto desempeño del sector. No obstante, los inversionistas canadienses han presentado una “pérdida de confianza en la industria minera” debido a:
“Debilidad del Estado de Derecho y falta de apoyo de las instituciones mexicanas cuando las situaciones afectan a nuestras empresas.” Esto con relación a los bloqueos relazados por transportistas en la Minera Peñasquito en los pasados meses de septiembre y octubre.
Despite upbeat results from companies operating in the country, official data released early this year shows that silver output in Mexico, the world’s largest producer of the precious metal, has dropped over the past two years.
Like much of the rest of the world, the country’s mining industry saw very few new mines opening up in the period, marked by a sharp drop in commodity prices. Companies that were already operating, in turn, placed emphasis on cost-reduction and improving capital management.
But there are strong signs of wheels turning in Mexico’s mining industry thanks to the ongoing price rally experienced by many of the key metals the country mines —silver, gold and zinc.