By Jorge Cirett
During the 43rd week of the year (October 24th to October 30th, 2022), 17 companies working in Mexico released news on their properties. Three companies posted exploration advances on their projects, three companies released Q3 2022 results, one company closed the first tranche of a private placement, one is newly trading at another Stock Exchange and one more expanded on the deferment of payment on the acquisition of a mine. Three companies presented Q3 2022 results. Six companies presented drilling results on their advanced properties. One Company is acquiring a large adjoining land package adjacent to its project and one more expanded on a legal suit regarding the illegal transfer of several of its mining concessions. ON MEXICO ISSUES, mining companies at the BMV are taking a pounding due to reduced production, inflation and lower metal prices. The AIMMGM is asking the government for increase security and raised the danger of explosives theft. ON EXPLORATION, in Sonora, Aztec Minerals released drilling results from its Cervantes project; Colibri Resource resumed exploration at Evelyn. In Nayarit, Angel Wing Metals updated on exploration at El Grande. ON MINING, Mag Silver, Agnico Eagle Mines and Alamos Gold released Q3 2022 production results. ON FINANCING, Capitan Mining closed the first tranche of its non-brokered private placement for $2.6 M gross proceeds. Guanajuato Silver Company is now on the Apex segment of the Aquis Stock Exchange. Bear Creek Mining reached an agreement to defer the payment of the Mercedes mine in Sonora for two years. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Prime Mining released drilling results from Los Reyes in Sinaloa. Oroco Resources presented assays from drilling at Sant Tomás, in Sinaloa. Silver Tiger presented results from drilling El Tigre and Sooy veins at El Tigre, in Sonora. Vizsla Silver reported results from 12 holes on La Luisa vein at its Panuco project in Sinaloa. Defiance Silver updated on the drill program at the Veta Grande vein system of the Zacatecas Silver project in Zacatecas. Silver Dollar reported the last assays from drilling of La Noria zone at La Joya project in Durango . ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Angel Wing Metals entered into a binding agreement to acquire a large land package adjacent to its El Grande project in Nayarit. Defiance Silver initiated a case “against the illegally and fraudulently transferred mineral concessions concerning its Tepal Project” in Michoacan. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, Agnico Eagle and Alamos Gold presented information on their social responsibility work and achievements at the corporate and community levels.
ON MEXICO ISSUES
- Mining companies in the BMV (Bolsa Mexicana de Valores) had a negative Q3 2022 due to inflation and lower metal prices. Grupo México reported a 34.7% year to year fall in Q3 2022 of EBITDA and a 24.4% decline in share price to a 6.6% reduction in copper production and a 18.6% drop in the red metal price. Total copper production was 256.3 K tonnes in the period. Industrias Peñoles EBITDA is 18.5% lower in the same period, as well as a 10.9% drop in the share price.
- The AIMMGM (Asociación de Mineros, Metalurgistas y Geólogos de México) asked for government intervention to increase security on their operations. States with the strongest mining tradition like Chihuahua, Estado de México, Guerrero, Guanajuato, Sonora and Zacatecas are among those with greater insecurity perception ratings. Companies in some states spend up to 2% of their total budget in security, and some companies have reported to the government their compliance with racketeering schemes to be able to operate. The risk posed by the increase in the theft of explosives was also raised.
- Aztec Minerals Corp. completed the phase 3 core drilling program at the Cervantes project in Sonora. Eleven core hole totaled 2,515.5 m of drilling at the California, California North and Jasper targets. Highlighted core length results comprise 9.0 m @ 1.72 gpt Au; 16.5 m @ 0.34 gpt Au; 26.7 m @ 0.54 gpt Au, 7.5 m @0.43 gpt Au; 46.5 m @ 0.44 gpt Au; 5.65 m @0.25 gpt Au. “… the gold mineralization appears to be widely distributed in disseminations, fractures and veinlets at high levels within in a Quartz-feldspar porphyry intrusive complex and related hydrothermal breccias”.
- Angel Wing Metals Inc. updated on the exploration program at El Grande project after the acquisition of the adjoining La Reyna land package in Nayarit (See Deals and Corporate Issues below). “The first phase of greenfield exploration has focused on the near surface low sulphidation exploration potential, starting with regional geological mapping and prospecting, structural and alteration mapping, outcrop chip and channel sampling rock sampling, and environmental baseline studies. Detailed mapping and sampling of selected targets are prioritised for grid soil and outcrop sampling programs and drilling…. An airborne geophysical survey is proposed with follow-up ground geophysics on selected targets pending receipt of permits. The results from this work will be used to design a Phase One 3,000 metre diamond drill program to commence in late Q4 2022 or Q1 2023, once updated drill permits including the newly acquired claims are received.
- Colibri Resource Corp. has resumed exploration at its Evelyn property in Sonora. Soil samples are currently being collected by geologists on site, and an application for drilling and trenching was submitted to SEMARNAT. One program of reverse circulation (RC) drilling comprises 2,000 m in five holes to test a chargeability and resistivity anomalies and a second program is to explore under alluvial cover, comprising several short, closely spaced holes to penetrate the alluvium and sample the top of the bedrock
- Mag Silver Corp. reported third quarter 2022 production from the Juanicipio project (56% Fresnillo PLC, 44% Mag Silver) in Zacatecas. On a 100% basis, 180.8 K tonnes of underground development and initial stopes were processed during the period, to produce 2.62 M Oz Ag, 5,422 Oz Au (Mag’s attributable 44% interest: 1.15 M OZ Ag, 2,386 Oz Au). “Mineralized material from Juanicipio continues to be processed through the nearby Saucito (70%) and Fresnillo beneficiation plants (30%) which are owned by Fresnillo PLC.
- Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. released third quarter results, including figures from its operations in Mexico. At Pinos altos, in Chihuahua, 378 K tonnes were processed at a rate of 4,109 tonnes per day (TPD), grading 1.98 gpt Au to produce 23,041 Oz Au at a production cost of $1,498 per OZ Au and total cash cost of $1,295 per Oz Au. Exploration drilling confirmed the existence of a high-grade block 100 m below the lowest production level at Pinos Altos, with a reported drill intercept of 11.6 m @ 3.1 gpt Au, 122 gpt Ag. At the Cubiro deposit under development, 9.2 m @ 3.3 gpt Au were intercepted in the western limits of the main Cubiro Corridor. At La India, in Sonora, 1.04 M tonnes were processed at a rate of 11,359 TPD, grading 0.72 gpt Au at a production cost of $1,246 per Oz Au and a total cash cost of $1,196 per Oz Au. “In the third quarter of 2022, the Main Zone pit was depleted and ore production transitioned to the La India and El Realito pits, resulting in higher gold grades and a higher stripping ratio”.
- Alamos Gold Inc. reported its financial results for the Q3 2022, including figures from its Mexican operations. At Mulatos, in Sonora, 42,700 Oz Au were produced at total cash cost $1,781 per Oz Au and mine site AISC of $1,137 per Oz Au, with a capital expenditure of $6.9 M. At the Mulatos mine 759.3 K tonnes were mined and 1.57 M tonnes of waste moved (2.07 waste to ore ratio), with 1.27 M tonnes stacked @ 0.75 gpt Au (30,916 Oz Au stacked, 56% Au recovery rate) and 14 K tonnes crushed per day. At La Yaqui Grande 739 K tonnes were mined, 5.3 M tonnes of waste moved, 794 .1 K tonnes @ 1.23 gpt Au were stacked (31,362 Oz Au stacked, 81% Au recovery) and 8.7 K tonnes crushed per day. “La Yaqui Grande is an open pit mine with an independent leach pad located approximately seven kilometres from the existing Mulatos operation…. La Yaqui Grande performed well in its first full quarter of operation, producing 25,300 ounces of gold”.
- Capitan Mining Inc. closed the first tranche of the previously announced $3.2 M non-brokered private placement for total proceeds of $2.6 M. The second tranche for total proceeds of $600 K is expected to close on or before the end of October (Cruz de Plata, Durango).
- Guanajuato Silver Company Ltd. completed its admission to the Apex segment of the Aquis Stock Exchange, whilst continuing to trade on the TSX Venture Exchange (El Cubo and Valenciana, Guanajuato).
- Bear Creek Mining Corp. reached a “heads of agreement” with Equinox Gold Corp. to amortize over a two-year period the payment of the final $25 M purchase price installment for the Mercedes mine in Sonora. The payment that was to be made on October 2022 has been converted in a promissory note maturing on October 2024, with monthly principal and interest payments commencing in February 2023, with an interest rate of 12.5% plus the greater of 2.5% or the 90-day average SOFR and monthly payments of US$500 K or 50% of free cash flow (Mercedes, Sonora).
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
- Prime Mining Corp. announced further phase 2 drill results from the Guadalupe area of the Los Reyes project in Sinaloa. Highlighted true width (TW) intercepts comprise 11.8m @ 2.7 gpt Au, 88 gpt Ag (including 2.2 m @ 27.9 gpt Au, 509 gpt Ag); 17.0 m @ 1.7 gpt Au, 59 gpt Ag (including 5.8 m @ 4.9 gpt Au, 176 gpt Ag); 12.2 m @ 1.7 gpt Au, 140 gpt Ag; 3.5 m @ 4.9 gpt Au, 614 gpt Ag (including 0.6 m @ 23.2 gpt Au, 2,550 gpt Ag); 1.9 m @ 6.08 gpt Au, 913 gpt Ag. “Reported intercepts are up to 100 m to the west, 240 m to the east, and 100 m below the 2020 pit-constrained resource”.
- Oroco Resource Corp. released assay results from an additional 2,668 m of drilling in the North zone and 1,456 m in the Brasiles zone of its Santo Tomás project in Sinaloa. Highlighted core length intervals comprise 195.2 m @ 0.41% Cu; 117.8 m @ 0.22% Cu; 132.0 m @0.40% Cu; 36.0 m @ 0.20% Cu; 106.1 m @ 0.31% Cu; 211.6 m @ 0.41% Cu; 133.0 m q 0.17% Cu; 159.6 m @ 0.32% Cu; 228.0 m @ 0.31% Cu. “The 2021-2022 North Zone drill program is continuing to confirm and expand the 2009 Gradeshell model of Cu >0.30%” in the 2019 technical report, with a total of 38 holes now completed on the North zone spanning 1,400 of strike length.
- Silver Tiger Metals Inc. presented results from drilling the El Tigre and Sooy veins at El Tigre project in Sonora. Highlighted core length intervals comprise 0.5 m @ 1.46 gpt Au, 1,320 gpt Ag; 5.4 m @ 220 gpt Ag; 10.7 m @ 120 gpt Ag (including 1.1 m @550 gpt Ag); 20.5 m @42 gpt Ag; 1.6 m @ 0.28 gpt Au, 528 gpt Ag; 0.5 m @ 991 gpt Ag; 5.9 m @ 0.10 gpt Au, 678 gpt Ag (including 1.0 m @0.37 gpt Au, 2,754 gpt Ag; 36.4 m @ 0.13 gpt Au, 42 gpt Ag; 3.1 m @211 gpt Ag; 9.4 m @ 0.19 gpt Au, 641 gpt Ag; “These next three wide consistently mineralized high grade holes confirm the new discovery in the El Tigre Vein we first reported in September 2022. Drilling continues on this exploration target under the unmined portion of the Historic El Tigre Mine as we follow this wide high grade along strike to the North.”
- Vizsla Silver Corp. reported results from 12 holes targeting the La Luisa vein, close to the Napoleon vein, at its Panuco project in Sinaloa. Highlighted true width intervals comprise 6.13 m @ 133 gpt Ag, 3.68 gpt Aum 0.2% Pb, 0.3% ZN (including 0.68 m @ 595 gpt Ag, 27.50 gpt Au, 0.5% Pb, 0.6% Zn); 2.59 m @ 197 gpt Ag, 4.60 gpt Au, 0.2% Pb, 0.4% Zn (including 0.57 m @ 596 gpt Ag, 18.50 gpt Au, 0.6% Pb, 0.9% Zn); 1.00 m @ 49 gpt Ag, 2.90 gpt Au, 0.2% Pb, 0.7% Zn; 3.44 m @ 77 gpt Ag, 1.11 gpt Au; La Luisa vein structure has been mapped for almost 1 Km hosted in rhyolite tuffs and “bears vein-textures indicative of being at higher-levels in the epithermal profile …… there exists the potential for increased grades and widths along strike and down plunge to the south”.
- Defiance Silver Corp. updated on the drill program at the Veta Grande vein system of the Zacatecas Silver project in Zacatecas. Highlighted core length results comprise 10.16 m @ 0.70 gpt Au, 121 gpt Ag, 0.7% Pb, 2.9% Zn (or 339 gpt AgEq, including 3.38 m @ 1.96 gpt Au, 345 gpt Ag, 2.2% Pb, 8.0% Zn, which includes 0.9 m @ 4.18 gpt Au, 868 gpt Ag, 4.6% Pb, 17.0% Zn); 2.0 m @ 0.51 gpt Au, 121 gpt Ag, 1.4% Pb, 4.8% Zn; 1.94 m @ 0.62 gpt Au, 29 gpt Ag, 0.4% Pb, 1.1% Zn; 2.19 m @ 0.29 gpt Au, 79 gpt Ag, 0.2% Zn. These results confirm the continuity of mineralization below the 2014 mineral resource. “The highest-grade silver mineralization at the San Acacio project is typically associated with honey-coloured sphalerite, argentiferous galena, variable silver sulfides and sulfosalts, and spatially correlated with amethyst”.
- Silver Dollar Resources Inc. reported final assays from phase II drilling at the Noria portion of the La Joya project in Durango. Highlighted core length results comprise 25.44 m @ 21 gpt Ag, 0.08 gpt Au, 0.17% Cu, 0.2% Zn; 3.86 m @ 72 gpt Ag, 0.11 gpt Au, 0.09% Cu, 0.5% Zn; 1.29 m @ 304 gpt Ag, 0.68 gpt Au, 1.8% Pb, 5.3% Zn; 2.88 m @ 52 gpt Ag, 0.14% Cu, 0.1% Pb, 0.5% Zn; 3.0 m @ 2.3% Zn; 1.50 m @ 20.60% Zn; 0.66 m @ 43 gpt Ag, 2.1% Pb, 5.8% Zn; 6.67 m @ 63 gpt Ag, 0.10 gpt Au, 0.18% Cu, 0.3% Pb, 1.0% Zn.
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- Angel Wing Metals Inc. entered into a binding agreement with a private entity to acquire 100% interest in the 102.87 square Km La Reyna property land package in six titled concessions adjoining the El Grande project, and cover the Aguila de Oro (Golden Eagle) mining district in Nayarit. Angel Wing Metals Is to make a total payment of US$700 K, of which US$150 K have been paid upon signing, US$150 K have been paid upon filing of the agreement at the Public Registry of Mining in Mexico (Registro Público de Minería), and US$400 K to be paid upon positive resolution on the agreement by the Public Registry of Mining. A further payment of US$50 K will be due upon the identification of each 1.0 M OZ Au in the measured and indicated categories of a mineral resource on a NI43-101 technical report, and a 1.5% net smelter return (NSR) royalty with Angel Wing Metals retaining the right of first refusal to purchase the royalty for US$2.0 M.
- Defiance Silver Corp. announced “that the case initiated against the illegally and fraudulently transferred mineral concessions concerning its Tepal Project” in Michoacán, has been admitted for trial by a District Court in Michoacán. The mineral concessions have to “stay” until the trial concludes and a final judgement is rendered. The Mexican Mining Public Registry has been informed. “Defiance has a substantial likelihood of success on the merits. Mexican Law, Mexican Precedents, and Mexican Courts are consistent in declaring null and void illegal transfers made fraudulently”.
ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
- Agnico Eagle Mexico was awarded 17th place among the Top 100 of the best companies to work for in Mexico by Great Place to Work®. La India mine in Sonora received the “Distinction of Socially Responsible Company” distinction “granted by the Mexican Center for Philanthropy (Centro Mexicano para la Filantropía) and the Foundation for Sustainability and Equity (Alianza por la Responsabilidad Social Empresarial en México) to recognize companies for their commitment to ensuring the well-being of employees, operating with superior business ethics, community outreach and environmental care and preservation”.
- Alamos Gold Inc. held information sessions on the company’s cyanide management practices with the communities of Yécora, El Trigo and Matarachi, Sonora, within the framework of the International Cyanide Management Code. An ambulance was donated to the Sahuaripa municipality, an online high school was established at Matarachi through an agreement with the Tec de Monterrey. Two freshwater pumping stations were set at Matarachi. New scholarship committees established in Matarachi, Sahuaripa and Yécora as part of the Company’s continued support for local students.
On the image below Late milky white quartz veinlets cross cutting previous quartz-specularite veining in the Sonoran Desert. Picture by Jorge Cirett.