By Jorge Cirett
During the 46th week of the year (November 11th to November 17th, 2019), at least 23 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico. ON MEXICO ISSUES, mining investments in Mexico decreased from 8 billion dollars in 2018 to 5 billion dollars in 2019. Camimex held a fiscal seminar in Queretaro. Almaden Minerals published a letter on indigenous population around the Ixtaca project in Puebla. Promperú organized in Hermosillo, Sonora, a Commercial Mission of suppliers to mining in Peru. The top ten silver miners in Mexico produced 39.8 M Oz in the third quarter 2019. The mining industry in Mexico has been subject in the past few years of regulatory hurdles that are having a negative effect in investment in the sector, the last one being the decision by SEMARNAT not to authorize the MIA on the Ixtaca project in Puebla until there is a resolution on a legal suit on a piece of land no longer held by the company running the project. ON EXPLORATION, in Sonora, Evrim updated on exploration of the El Llanito del Nogal property; Magna Gold reported assay results from four more holes at Mercedes. In Sinaloa, Vizsla Resources released high-grade results from rock channel sampling at Panuco. ON MINING, Premier Gold, Golden Minerals, Starcore International, Americas Gold and Silver, Sierra Metals, Odyssey Marine Exploration and Fortuna Silver presented third quarter 2019 results. Consolidated Zinc and Industrias Peñoles signed an offtake agreement on zinc concentrate. ON FINANCING, Tamino Minerals informed on trading volumes. Mexican Gold received TSX approval for the listing of 50 M warrants from a previous financing. Colibri Resources entered into a loan agreement with Agnico Eagle for $300 K. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Defiance Silver is to start a two-phase technical program at San Acacio, Zacatecas. Endeavour Silver reported positive drill results on recently acquired El Curso concession within its Guanaceví property. Peñoles is to invest $70 M at its processing facilities in Torreon. SilverCrest released high-grade results from drilling at the Babi Vista vein at Las Chispas, in Sonora. Bacanora Lithium updated on project development on its Sonora project. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Evrim signed an agreement with San Marco Resources to acquire the Suanse property in Sonora. Colibri Resources extended an agreement with Agnico Eagle on the disposal of Colibri’s share on the Pitaya project in Sonora. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY. Peñoles is conducting courses for children and adults at its Torreon community center. Ternium is organizing health festivals in Nuevo Leon, Coahuila, Jalisco, Michoacan, Puebla and San Luis Potosi. Argonaut sponsored the third edition of the La Colorada race, within the pit benches at the mine in Sonora. The “Doctor Vagón” itinerant health clinic sponsored by Grupo Mexico provided service to 550 persons in Gomez Palacio, Durango. La Brisa mining company provided cleaning equipment to the Topia community in Durango. Peñoles mining units source 35% of its energy requirements by removable sources, and expects to reach 100% by 2028.
ON MEXICO ISSUES
- During 2019 investments in the mining sector are to reach five billion (5 mil millones) dollars, according to Francisco Quiroga, Subsecretary of Mining. That’s a decrease from the eight billion (8 mil millones) invested in 2018.
- Camimex organized the Seminario Fiscal de la Industria Minera in Queretaro. Camimex compromise is complete on its involvement on the “mesa de diálogo” (dialogue meetings) with the federal government, where proposals to incentivize investment are to be exposed, checking on subjects like the fiscal situation, regulatory environment and security. The head of Camimex, Karen Flores, explained that on the Fraser Institute study Mexico is number 71 of 83 jurisdictions on the fiscal regime. Camimex is for the 100 percent deduction of exploration expenses, and the establishment of pacts of fiscal stability on a 15 to 20 year time frame, as is Peru, Chile and Argentina. In a comparative study, Mexico has the heaviest fiscal load among peers like the US (Arizona), Canada (Ontario), Peru and Chile.
- Minera Gorrión (Almaden) published a letter on indigenous population around the Ixtaca project in Puebla. Although indigenous persons inhabit the area, there is not such an indigenous community within the area of influence of the project. The company stresses the misinformation produced by some activists groups with total impunity, and reaffirms its confidence on institutions and the rule of law.
- Promperú organized in Hermosillo, Sonora, its II Commercial Mission of Suppliers to Mining in Peru. Several conferences were presented by members of the mining communities and governments of both countries.
- The top 10 silver mining companies in Mexico had a solid third quarter. During the period these companies produced 39.8 M Oz, compared with 39.0 M Oz produced on the same quarter a year ago. The top producer is Industrias Peñoles, with 15.3 M Oz almost 40% of that amount and 2.2 M Oz less than the same quarter 2018 (Fresnillo, Saucito, San julian, Sabinas). Newmont was the second largest producer with 7.4 M Oz produced at Peñasquito. Other large producers comprise Southern Copper with 3.9 M Oz (undisclosed units), Pan American with 3.6 M Oz (La Colorada), First Majestic (Santa Elena, San Dimas, among others), Coeur Mining with 1.7 M Oz (Palmarejo), Fortuna Silver with 1.7 M Oz Ag (San José), Minera Frisco 1.1 M Oz (El Coronel, San Felipe, Tayahua, San Francisco del Oro, Concheño and Ocampo), Endeavour Silver 900 K Oz (El Cubo, Bolañitos, Guanceví, and El Compás) and Agnico Eagle 800 K Oz (Pinos Altos).
- Alberto Aguilar, a respected columnist in business circles, elaborated on the hurdles the mining industry is going through with the current federal administration (it fell 3.7% on the third quarter, 2019). Among the issues mentioned is the contraction in mineral production as a result of the imposition of new taxes on mining in 2014, the investment of only 5 billion dollars in 2019 (8 billion in 2018), no concessions have been granted in 2019 and the recurrent illegal blockades without sign of easing. The latest hurdle thrown at the industry is the resolution by SEMARNAT (the Mexican environmental agency) that the Manifestation on Environmental Impact (MIA) for the Ixtaca project in Puebla was not to be granted until a legal suit on a claim no longer held by Minera Gorrion (Almaden Minerals) reaches a resolution. Exploration expenses so far have been $40 M dollars and another $117 M are still to be spent, along with $1.1 B (One billion) to be invested in eleven years (GPM Note.- The head of SEMARNAT, Victor Toledo, is known for its public and vocal anti-mining stance).
- Vizsla Resources Corp. released high-grade channel sampling at its Panuco property in Sinaloa. The sampling locations are widespread within the property and the highlighted results comprise: 0.9 m @ 1,860 gpt Ag, 14.55 gpt Au at the Napoleon vein; 0.5 m @ 1,900 gpt Ag, 29.30 gpt Au at the San Antonio-Cordon de Oro vein; 3.6 m @ 691 gpt Ag, 7.00 gpt Au at the San Carlos-Animas vein; 5.95 m @ 584 gpt Ag, 3.97 gpt Au. Veins in the project have lengths of up to 2.8 km, with known ore shoots of up to 500 m in length.
- Evrim Resources Corp. updated the description on its El Llanito del Nogal property in Sonora. The Suanse porphyry target, is a 1 Km by 600 m area of propylitic to potassic alteration. Soil sampling outlined a 600 m by 500 m Cu anomaly (>100 ppm) in areas of sheeted quartz-chalcopyrite-chlorite-magnetite veins. A ground magnetic survey outlined a donut-shaped anomaly 400 m in diameter and roughly coincident with the soil anomaly. The soil and magnetic anomalies extend northward onto the Suanse claim (see deals section below) where strong argillic, advanced argillic along with vuggy and massive quartz alteration are interpreted as a partially eroded lithocap.
- Magna Gold Corp. reported assay results on the last four RC holes drilled at the La Lamosa target on its Mercedes project in Sonora. Highlighted intervals comprise: 38.10 m @ 0.67 gpt Au, 13.2 gpt Ag (including 6.10 m @ 1.43 gpt Au, 42.9 gpt Ag); 28.96 m @ 0.76 gpt Au, 8.9 gpt Ag (including 7.62 m @ 1.06 gpt Au, 9.3 gpt Ag); 21.34 m @ 1.61 gpt Au, 2.2 gpt Ag (including 3.05 m @ 6.99 gpt Au, 3.9 gpt Ag); 21.34 m @ 1.21 gpt Au, 11.8 gpt Ag (including 3.05 m @ 4.26 gpt Au). Other targets to follow up include the 600 m long La Lamosa East projection, the Mina de Oro 300 m by 150 m silicified/argillized andesite and rhyodacite, the Salto Colorado breccia 400 m by 150 m in size and Noche Buena, forming a prominent ridge in a 900 m by 800 m area with tourmaline breccias.
- Premier Gold Mines Ltd. Reported operating results for the third quarter 2019, including figures from its operations in Mexico. At Mercedes, in Sonora, 159.4 K tonnes were milled @ 2.94 gpt Au, 22.6 gpt Ag, recovering 95.9% Au, 32.3% Ag to produce 14,481 Oz Au, 37.5 K Oz Ag at co-product cash cost $1,095 per Oz Au, and co-product AISC $1,354 Oz Au.
- Golden Minerals Co. announced financial results for the third quarter 2019. The company had revenue of US$1.9 M and a net operating margin of $1.3 M related to the lease of the Velardeña oxide plant to Hecla Mining Co.. By the end of the period the company had cash and cash equivalents of $2.9 M. During October an agreement was achieved with Magellan Gold Corp. to option a 100% interest in the Santa Maria and Las Marias exploration properties in Chihuahua.
- Consolidated Zinc Ltd. signed and offtake agreement with Industrias Peñoles S.A. de C.V. for zinc concentrate produced from the Plomosas mine to December 2020, with an option to be extended for a further two years.
- Starcore International Mines Ltd. released production results from its San Martin mine in Queretaro for the three months ended on October 31, 2019. During the period 54.1 K tonnes were milled @ 1.78 gpt Au, 34.2 gpt Ag, with a recovery of 87.35% Au, 52.27% Ag to produce 3,050 Oz AuEq.
- Americas Gold and Silver Corp. reported consolidated and operational results for Q3 2019, with undisclosed figures from its Mexican operations (Cosalá, Sinaloa).
- Sierra Metals Inc. reported third quarter 2019 results, including information from its Mexican operations. The company is approaching is production target of 4,250 tpd at Bolivar and 1,200 tpd at Cusi, both in Chihuahua. Bolivar’s cash cost per CuEq Lb was $1.40, and the AISC $2.53. Cusi’s cash cost was $18.77 and AISC $24.60. During the period 9,923 m were drilled from the surface at Bolivar, and 3,220 m within the Cusi mine. At the end of the period cash and cash equivalents were $40.1 M, with a net debt of $50.9 M.
- Odyssey Marine Exploration Inc. reported results for the third quarter 2019. Net loss for the period was $4.2 M due to several non-recurring items (Exploraciones Oceánicas project, Baja California Sur).
- Fortuna Silver Mines Inc. reported third quarter results for 2019, including figures from its Mexican operations. At San José, in Oaxaca, 268 K tonnes were milled at a rate of 3,046 tpd and a grade of 219 gpt Ag, 1.40 gpt Au, recovering 91% Ag, 91% Au to produce 1.7 M Oz Ag and 10,942 Oz Au at cash cost $7.70 per Oz AgEq and an AISC of $10.80 per Oz AgEq.
- Tamino Minerals Inc. informed that during the third week of September the company traded 145 M shares with a volume of US $1.1 M and a price per share appreciation of US$0.01” (El Volcan, Sonora).
- Mexican Gold Corp. has received TSX Venture Exchange approval for the listing of 50 M warrants from the non-brokered private placement announced in past July.
- Colibri Resource Corp. has entered into a loan agreement with Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. For proceeds of US$300 K. The loan has a 2 year term at a 10% interest rate and proceeds are to be used on the Evelyin project in Sonora.
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
- Defiance Silver Corp. is to start a two-phase technical program at its San Acacio property in Zacatecas. The program envisages evaluating the San Acacio resource at depth and brownfield targets on the Veta Grande system.
- Endeavour Silver Corp. reported positive initial drill results for El Curso property, adjacent to Endeavour’s Guanaceví mine in Durango. The property includes the Santacruz vein, which is between two Endeavour’s developments. Drilling highlights comprise true width (tw) intervals: 5.2 m @ 0.75 gpt Au, 465 gpt Ag; 2.6 m @ 1.23 gpt Au, 558 gpt Ag; 2.1 m @ 2.51 gpt Au, 935 gpt Ag; 2.5 m @ 0.40 gpt Au, 204 gpt Ag; 5.1 m @ 3.07 gpt Au, 1,182 gpt Ag (including 0.5 m @ 15.22 gpt Au, 5,372 gpt Ag); 4.3 m @ 2.2 gpt Au, 1,021 gpt Ag; 2.7 m @ 1.37 gpt Au, 355 gpt Ag; 6.2 m @ 1.70 gpt Au, 635 gpt Ag.
- Industrias Peñoles S.A.B de C.V. is to invest US$70 M in its Met-Mex installations (in Torreon, Coahuila) to better the silver recovery in zinc concentrates. In 2018, the company commissioned a US$327 M modification on the plant that avoids the generation of additional sulphuric acid by direct concentrate leaching instead of roasting, augmenting the capacity from 240 K to 360 K tonnes of zinc.
- SilverCrest Metals Inc. announced expansion drill results from the Babi Vista vein in the Babicanora area of the Las Chispas project in Sonora. The highlighted true width (tw) intervals from these 17 holes comprise: 2.3 m @ 2.27 gpt Au, 215 gpt Ag; 0.4 m @ 3.55 gpt Au, 385 gpt Ag; 0.9 m @ 4.86 gpt Au, 600 gpt Ag; 0.4 m @ 1.10 gpt Au, 187 gpt Ag; 0.6 m @ 1.09 gpt Au, 92 gpt Ag; 2.0 m @ 1.84 gpt Au, 433 gpt Au, 1.2 m @ 2.56 gpt Au, 296 gpt Ag; 8.8 m @ 7.36 gpt Au, 584 gpt Ag (including 0.3 m @ 120.50 gpt Au, 9,510 gpt Ag; 0.7 m @ 18.15 gpt Au, 1,495 gpt Ag); 6.6 m @ 3.37 gpt Au, 250 gpt Ag (including 0.4 m @ 32.70 gpt Au, 2,940 gpt Ag). So far the high-grade footprint is 150 m along the strike of the vein and 200 m to depth, open in most directions, averaging 2.2 m @ 4.70 gpt Au, 401 gpt Ag.
- Bacanora Lithium plc. updated on project activities at its Sonora Lithium project. Final design work for the mine site, infrastructure, concentrator and kiln sections of the processing plant is in progress. Detailed engineering plans for the design of the front-end concentrator and mechanical processing is underway, as well as the pyrometallurgical engineering, while the hydrometallurgical plant, including the production of the final battery grade lithium product will be engineered by Ganfeng.
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- Evrim Resources Corp. signed an agreement with San Marco Resources to acquire the Suanse property in Sonora. The 1,115 hectares property is within Evrim’s Llano del Nogal claim. Evrim can acquire 100% interest in the project by making total cash payments of $75 K and granting San Marco a 1% royalty half of which can be repurchased for $1 M. Cash payments are: $25 K on signing, $25 K on signing a JV or partnership with third parties and $25 K upon completion of 1,000 m of drilling.
- Colibri Resource Corp. granted a two-year extension to its agreement with Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd., allowing Agnico to exclusively explore opportunities to dispose of Colibri’s working interest in its JV on the 5,564 hectares Pitaya project in Sonora.
ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
- The Peñoles Community Center (Centro Comunitario Peñoles) in Torreon, Coahuila, is conducting courses for children and adults, including English, music, drawing, tae kwon do, tae chi and modern dance and dance for weight reduction.
- Ternium organizes the Health Festivals (Ferias de La Salud) in Nuevo Leon, Coahuila, Colima, Jalisco, Michoacan, Puebla and San Luis Potosi, in coordination with several organizations and government institutions. Each year almost 6,000 persons receive this benefit, including cost-free diverse medical examinations (like sight, Papanicolau, mamographies) and flu shots.
- The La Colorada race was held in Sonora for the third time. The race sponsored by Argonaut Gold was attended by hundreds of runners on the benches of La Colorada mine.
- The technical school Roberto Rocca (partly supported by Ternium) is to represent Mexico in the World’s Educative Robotics Tournament, to be held in Shanghai, China.
- The “Doctor Vagón” program sponsored by the Grupo Mexico Foundation (a train adapted for medical services) was four days at Gomez Palacio, Durango, with the aid of the local municipality. During that time 2,200 services were provided to the 550 persons that registered to the effect.
- In Topia, Durango, Minera La Brisa supported the municipality providing cleaning equipment.
- Industrias Mineras Peñoles announced that to 2018 up to 35% of the energy requirements at its mining units is fulfilled by renewable energy sources. The company is striving to reach at least a 50% in 2020 and to be completely reliant on renewable energy sources by 2028.
Content like what you have just read can be seen at https://gambusinoprospector.com/ and at LinkedIn’s Mexico Mineral Exploration Group.
On the image below: Gold recovered by artisanal methods from orogenic style quartz veins in Oaxaca.. Picture by Jorge Cirett.