By Miguel A Heredia
During the 40th week of the year (October 02nd to October 08th, 2023), at least 20 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico, and 6 news published by the media, with nine commenting on Mexican issues, five disclosing deals and corporate issues, four reporting resources and developments of their properties, four informing on exploration results, two announcing financing issues, and two reporting production results. ON MEXICO ISSUES, Pan American suspended temporarily operations at its Colorada Mine in Zacatecas due to security concern. Grupo México declared that the Sonora River was successfully remedied, while the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) presented a document stating that the presence of contaminating elements persists in the Sonora River basin after the Grupo Mexico spill in August 2014. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said on Wednesday, October 4, 2023, that in about 15 days he hopes to have a proposal for action on the notorious case of a chemical spill from a mine owned by the giant Grupo México into a river in the north of the country in 2014. Mine Workers Union of Peñasquito Mine in Zacatecas, the Mexico´s largest gold mine, accepted operator Newmont Corp´s proposal to end a 4 month stop on Thursday night, October 5, 2023. Gold and silver mining companies listed in the United States and Canada stock markets suffered the decline in precious metals in the international market, due to the strength of the dollar, among other reasons. Chesapeake and Defiance Silver reported the best drilling intercepts in Mexico on the first week of October, 2023. ON EXPLORATION, In Coahuila, Monumental reported final results of its maiden drilling program at its Jemi heavy rare earth element project. In Sinaloa, Chesapeake reported a new gold discovery at its Lucy project. In Zacatecas, Radius provided an update of its drilling program at its Tropico project. In Oaxaca, Vortex excavated manually six trenches, totalling 188m and collected 117 samples at its Riqueza Minera project. ON MINING, Fortuna reported Q3, 2023 production results from its San Jose Mine, Oaxaca. Guanajuato Silver provided an operations update of their four silver producing mines (El Cubo, Valenciana, and San Ignacio Mines in Guanajuato, and Topia Mine in Durango). ON FINANCING, Excellon completed the extension of the maturity date of its 5.75% secured convertible debentures from July 30, 2023 to July 31, 2024 (La Negra Mine, Queretaro). Bear Creek closed its previously announced bought deal financing for gross proceeds of CAD $9.5M (Mercedes Mine, Sonora). ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Defiance announced that new sampling of historical drill holes has identified high grade mineralization in wide widths in previously unrecognized zones at the San Acacio project area in Zacatecas. Heliostar reported 80.4% average gold recovery from seven composites representative of the High Grade Panel at its Ana Paula project in Guerrero. Minera Alamos reported maiden Mineral Resource Estimate for its Santana project, Sonora. Tocvan identified several target areas through its due diligence field work completes at its Pilar project in Sonora. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Impact Silver announced that its shares are now trading in the USA on the OTCQB market (Zacualpan project, State of Mexico). Sierra Madre reported that its common shares are now eligible for electronic clearing and settlement through the Depository Trust Company (DTC) in the United States (La Guitarra Mine, State of Mexico). Goldgroup announced the appointment of its new CEO (Cerro Prieto Mine, Sonora). Orex signed a non-binding letter of intent to acquire 100% of the Valenciana property in Zacatecas. Radius completed the issuance of 500K common shares to Bruce Smith (Tropico project, Zacatecas). ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, No relevant news.
ON MEXICO ISSUE
- Pan American Silver Corp., suspended temporarily operations at its Colorada Mine in Zacatecas due to security concern. The company experienced an armed robbery of two trailers of concentrate. Fortunately, there were no physical injuries to the personnel. Pan American decided to suspend operations, project work, and exploration at La Colorada to protect the safety and security of the personnel.
- Grupo México S.A.B. de C.V., declared that the Sonora River was successfully remedied, while the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) presented a document stating that the presence of contaminating elements persists in the Sonora River basin after the Grupo Mexico spill in August 2014. In a statement, Grupo México pointed out that “The supposed findings of the sampling presented last week lack any causal link with the event that occurred in 2014. They fail to point out other current sources of contamination such as illegal mining, the discharge of untreated blackberries and the prolonged accumulation of residues of agricultural fertilizers and insecticides. The results released in recent days contradict those that CONAGUA and COFEPRIS have made public over time, which are supported by laboratories accredited by the Mexican Accreditation Entity (EMA) and endorsed by various institutions.” Grupo México argues that for five years after the accident, water monitoring was carried out in 35 sampling stations and 33 wells, in addition to bio-monitoring that included analyzes of exposure to metals, plant toxicity, genetics in invertebrates and flora. The document presented by the mining company states that “scientific evidence supports that the remediation of the Sonora River is recognized as successful and fully in accordance with the law,” and that the Sonora River region has been affected by continuous disinformation campaigns, arising with Political purposes.
- President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said on Wednesday, October 4, 2023, that in about 15 days he hopes to have a proposal for action on the notorious case of a chemical spill from a mine owned by the giant Grupo México into a river in the north of the country in 2014. Last week, the environmental authority presented an opinion in which it concluded that the firm’s remediation efforts had not been sufficient and that the Sonora River continued to show the presence of contaminants nine years after the incident. On Wednesday, however, tycoon Germán Larrea’s company said the remediation was “successful.” At the time, the company was fined and had to create a trust to repair the damages. The president added that it seemed that the resources had not only been insufficient but also that their use had not been transparent.
- Mine Workers Union of Peñasquito Mine in Zacatecas, the Mexico´s largest gold mine, accepted operator Newmont Corp´s proposal to end a 4 month stop on Thursday night, October 5, 2023. Mine Workers Union stated in a statement that as part of the agreement, workers at the Peñasquito mine will receive 8% more pay for each shift, and the increase will be retroactive to August 1, 2023. Each of the around 2,000 unionized workers will also receive an equal share of a total of MXN $152M (USD $8.3 M). The dispute over profit sharing related to 2022 will be decided by Mexico’s tax agency, while workers will receive 10% of profits for 2023 as long as the company makes a net profit in its income, according to the statement.
- Gold and silver mining companies listed in the United States and Canada stock markets suffered the decline in precious metals in the international market, due to the strength of the dollar, among other reasons. The shares of the Mexican mining company Industrias Peñoles fell almost 5% this Monday, losing MXP $3,975M in capitalization on the Mexican Stock Exchange (BMV). In fact, the session hit a one-year low. Peñoles shares fell 4.87%, to MXP $195.45 each, making it the second station that lost the most in the session on the BMV. Its Fresnillo subsidiary listed on the London Stock Exchange lost 2.94%, to 5.35 pounds per share. Earlier in the day, Peñoles’ stock on the BMV reached a minimum of MXP $190.40, its lowest level since September 30, 2022. The American companies Newmont and Royal Gold fell 3.82 and 3.25%, in that order, on Wall Street, while the Canadian companies Wheaton Precious Metals and Pan American Silver fell 3.92 and 5.25%, respectively, on the Toronto Stock Exchange. In Mexico, the other three mining companies listed on the Stock Exchange (Grupo México, Compañía Minera Autlán and Frisco) did not present losses in their shares, because their income depends to a lesser extent on precious metals.
- Chesapeake Gold Corp., and Defiance Silver Corp., reported the best drilling intercepts in Mexico on the first week of October, 2023. Details are shown in the table below:
ON EXPLORATION Monumental Minerals Corp., reported final results of its maiden drilling program at its Jemi heavy rare earth element (REE) project in Coahuila, which commenced on the Veladora North and South prospect areas. “Of the 2000 m drilled, 186 m of core (124 samples) returned anomalous REE concentrations. These samples contained total rare earth oxides (TREO1) results greater than 500 parts per million (ppm), with a maximum of 2018 ppm, and a mean and standard deviation of 717 and 282 ppm (respectively). Heavy rare earth oxides (HREO2) are also highest in these samples with a maximum of 517 ppm, and a mean and standard deviation of 164 ppm and 98 ppm (respectively). Anomalous TREO1 and HREO2 values were observed in every drill hole except JV-23-08 and JV-23-10”. Table below shows La Veladora significant assay results:
- Chesapeake Gold Corp., reported a new gold discovery at its Lucy project, Sinaloa. The company completed 14 holes in the 2023 campaign for a total of approximately 1,710 m drilled. Drilling highlights include hole LU23-06 with 6.11 g/t Au over 24m; hole LU23-09 with 2.57 g/t Au over 30m, including 3.12 g/t Au over 24m; hole LU23-10 with 1.95 g/t Au over 21m, including 3.3 g/t Au over 9m; and hole LU23-13 with 3.95 g/t Au over 24m, including 5.44 g/t Au over 12m.
- Radius Gold Inc., provided an update of its drilling program at its Tropico project, Zacatecas. As previously reported, hole TDD-001 planned for 300m to intercept Tropico target, encountered difficult ground conditions at 56m in a large brecciated fault zone. “This hole intercepted from 19m to 56m, intense altered clay, silicification, variable zones of hydrothermal breccia and sets of stockwork veinlets with banded silica veins. Assay results from 18 samples returned 29m at 0.34 g/t gold from 24m downhole with the final sample returning 0.6 g/t Au. Diamond drill hole TDD-002 was collared 25m west of TDD-001 and drilled at -55° directly under TDD- 001 using larger diameter PQ core. The hole is still in progress. Below 25m of soil cover the hole intersected a 45m zone of epithermal alteration (similar to TDD-001) with clay, variable silicification, brecciation and zones of veinlets with occasional banded vein textures”. “Diamond drill hole TDD-003 was collared on the west of the Tropico breccia and drilled east at -65° to scissor holes 1 and 2 at depth. TDD-003 was collared in silicified crackle breccia and has to date intersected 80m of variably clay altered, silicified, and brecciated sediment. Significantly at 69m depth the hole intersected a 13m zone of white banded massive epithermal veining and breccia. The hole is still in progress”.
- Vortex Metals Inc., reported that it is focused on the Rhyolite Dome area at its Riqueza Minera project in Oaxaca, and has moved westward toward the copper-bearing gossans of the Laminas zone, which may represent a Cu-rich stringer zone in the footwall of a VMS deposit. The company has excavated manually six trenches, totalling 188m, in which has identified broad exposures of iron- and manganese-rich exhalite horizons, silicified rhyolite flows and altered metasediments. Vortex has collected 117 samples and sampling results are anticipated to arrive in October.
- Fortuna Silver Mines Inc., reported Q3, 2023 production results from its San Jose Mine in Oaxaca. The company milled 247,542 tonnes of 189 g/t Ag and 1.14 g/t Au with metallurgical recoveries of 91.31% and 90.71% respectively, to produce 8,205 Oz Au and 1.37M Oz Ag. The San Jose Mine plans to deliver annual silver production within the guidance range of between 5.3 to 5.8M Oz Ag.
- Guanajuato Silver Company Ltd., provided an operations update of their four silver producing mines: El Cubo, Valenciana, and San Ignacio Mines in Guanajuato, and Topia Mine in Durango. “Since commercial restart at Valenciana Mine Complex in January 2023, steady production improvements, aided by the refurbishment of both the Cata shaft and a new underground locomotive system, have enabled the company to achieve production at the Cata Mill averaging over 20,000 tonnes per month from material sourced from Valenciana and San Ignacio”. “El Cubo operation is now milling at the rate of approximately 22,000 tonnes per month; this rate represents approximately half of the total capacity at the mill”. “The Company, in conjunction with the Secretaría Del Trabajo (the Federal Ministry of Labour), have been working to improve safety and security conditions at the mine in response to the unfortunate fatality that occurred in August 2023”. “The mineralized systems currently being mined at Topia are extraordinarily high grade yet are associated with higher extraction costs because of the narrow nature of the vein structures. With the goal of improving profitability at Topia, the Company intends to dramatically transform its operations through the exclusive use of local mine contactors”. The Company now anticipates that full year AgEq 2023 production will range from 3.4M to 3.6M Oz.
- Excellon Resources Inc., completed the extension of the maturity date of its 5.75% secured convertible debentures from July 30, 2023 to July 31, 2024. In consideration for the extension, the company has issued 6,888,458 common shares of the company priced at CAD $0.156 per common share to the holders of the debentures in satisfaction of an extension fee in an amount equal to 6% of the aggregate principal amount of the debentures at the time of announcement (La Negra Mine, Queretaro).
- Bear Creek Mining Corporation closed its previously announced bought deal financing. The company issued a total of 27.2M units at a price of CAD $0.35 per unit for gross proceeds of CAD $9.5M. Each unit is comprised of one common share of the company and one common share purchase warrant of the company. Each warrant will be exercisable to acquire one common share at an exercise price of CAD $0.42 per warrant share until October 5, 2028. Net proceeds will be used to support additional development work at its Mercedes Mine in Sonora, to expand on recent positive underground drill results, and for general working capital purposes, including CADS $3M intended to be used to reduce Mercedes ´trade payables to a normalized level over the next two quarters.
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
- Defiance Silver Corp., announced that new sampling of historical drill holes has identified high grade mineralization in wide widths in previously unrecognized zones at the San Acacio project area in Zacatecas. Significant drill intercepts were encountered in holes SAD-15-05 with 98 g/t Ag, 0.1 g/t Au, 0.01% Pb, and 0.03% Zn (107 g/t AgEq) over 1m, plus 91 g/t Ag, 0.15 g/t Au, 0.08% Pb, and 0.3% Zn (114 g/t AgEq) over 4.65m, including 308 g/t Ag, 0.06 g/t Au, 0.05% Pb, and 0.2% Zn (319 g/t AgEq) over 0.85m, plus 153 g/t Ag, 0.02 g/t Au, 0.05% Pb, and 0.1% Zn (161 g/t AgEq) over 2.72m; hole SAD-15-07 with 235 g/t Ag, 0.3 g/t Au, 0.07% Pb, and 0.16% Zn (267 g/t AgEq) over 1.12m, 89 g/t Ag, 0.16 g/t Au, 0.13% Pb, and 0.51% Zn (123 g/t AgEq) over 3.77m, including 283 g/t Ag, 0.26 g/t Au, 0.12% Pb, and 0.52% Zn (324 g/t AgEq) over 0.84m; hole SAD-17-14 with 129 g/t Ag, 0.25 g/t Au, 0.06% Pb, and 0.18% Zn (157 g/t AgEq) over 6.83m, including 319 g/t Ag, 0.59 g/t Au, 0.08% Pb, and 0.22% Zn (376 g/t AgEq) over 2.3m, including 1,180 g/t Ag, 2.23 g/t Au, 0.07% Pb, and 0.18% Zn (1,369 g/t AgEq) over 0.35m; hole SAD-17-15 with 155 g/t Ag, 0.02g/t Au, 0.06% Pb, and 0.14% Zn (162 g/t AgEq) over 36.7m, including 200 g/t Ag, 0.02g/t Au, 0.07% Pb, and 0.19% Zn (210 g/t AgEq) over 16.85m, including 279 g/t Ag, 0.03 g/t Au, 0.12% Pb, and 0.32% Zn (296 g/t AgEq) over 6.81m, including 595 g/t Ag, 0.07g/t Au, 0.27% Pb, and 0.65% Zn (629 g/t AgEq) over 2.82m; including 854 g/t Ag, 0.06g/t Au, 0.28% Pb, and 0.27% Zn (876 g/t AgEq) over 1.38m, including 285 g/t Ag, 0.02g/t Au, 0.05% Pb, and 0.17% Zn (294 g/t AgEq) over 3.18m, including 138 g/t Ag, 0.02g/t Au, 0.07% Pb, and 0.11% Zn (145 g/t AgEq) over 15m, including 228 g/t Ag, 0.03g/t Au, 0.14% Pb, and 0.19% Zn (241 g/t AgEq) over 6.59m, including 435 g/t Ag, 0.06g/t Au, 0.28% Pb, and 0.37% Zn (460 g/t AgEq) over 3m; and hole SAD-17-16 with 192 g/t Ag, 0.1g/t Au, 0.02% Pb, and 0.05% Zn (202 g/t AgEq) over 2.31m, including 810 g/t Ag, 0.44 g/t Au, 0.07% Pb, and 0.1% Zn (851 g/t AgEq) over 0.35m.
- Heliostar Metals Ltd., reported 80.4% average gold recovery from seven composites representative of the High Grade Panel at its Ana Paula project in Guerrero. Metallurgical process is based on a conventional 75 micron grind size and Carbon-in-Leach (CIL) flowsheet. Highlights of the metallurgical testwork include that gold recoveries range from 74.6 – 88.1% for these samples; gravity testwork suggests that greater than 31% of the gold may be gravity recoverable; and it confirms the company’s interpretation that recoveries from high-grade gold mineralization can utilize simpler, lower cost, conventional milling processes.
- Minera Alamos Inc., reported maiden Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) for its Santana project, Sonora. The table below shows the MRE by zone for the Santana project:
- Tocvan Ventures Corp., identified several high priority target areas with historic workings and silicified breccias through its due diligence field work completes at its Pilar project in Sonora. Surface samples collected during due diligence of the area have been sent to the lab and assays are pending.
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- Impact Silver Corp., announced that its shares are now trading in the USA on the OTCQB market under the symbol “ISVLF”. The Company’s shares also continue to trade in Canada on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol “IPT” (Zacualpan project, State of Mexico).
- Sierra Madre Gold and Silver Ltd., reported that its common shares are now eligible for electronic clearing and settlement through the Depository Trust Company (DTC) in the United States. Sierra Madre’s shares started trading on the OTCQX® Best Market this summer (La Guitarra Mine, State of Mexico).
- Goldgroup Mining Inc., announced the appointment of its new CEO, effective October 1, 2023. The previous Interim CEO, will continue as the Company’s Chief Financial Officer. (Cerro Prieto Mine, Sonora).
- Orex Minerals Inc., signed a non-binding letter of intent (LOI) with Exploraciones El Cairo S.R.L. de C.V., to acquire 100% of the Valenciana property in Zacatecas. Since the LOI is non-binding, the negotiation of a definitive agreement is underway at this time, and such definitive agreement is expected to include a four months due diligence period, scaled option payments, and an area of influence and a 2% NSR on the original concessions, plus a 0.5% NSR on adjacent properties obtained from third party concession holders within the area of influence. “The Valenciana Property hosts high-grade epithermal gold and silver veins, with base metals of lead and zinc, in Cretaceous sedimentary units and Tertiary rhyolitic and monzonitic intrusive rocks. It is located on the Mesa Central within the prolific “Silver Trend” of Mexico”.
- Radius Gold Inc., completed the issuance of 500K common shares at a deemed price of $0.24 per share, for a total deemed value of $120K to Bruce Smith, in part for his ongoing leadership as the Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer (Tropico project, Zacatecas).
ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
- No relevant news.
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, diatreme breccia related to a flow banded rhyolite dome in a locality in Durango, Mexico. Photo by Miguel A Heredia.