By Jorge Cirett
During the 8th week of the year (February 19th to February 25th, 2018), at least 26 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico, with five companies reporting quarterly and/or full year 2017 results. ON MEXICO ISSUES, no relevant news. ON EXPLORATION, In Sonora, Azure is to continue drilling its Sara Alicia Au-Co-Zn project; Evrim described the Sarape low sulfidation project. ON MINING, five companies, Starcore, Osisko Gold Royalties, Alio Gold, Argonaut Gold and Great Panther presented production results for the quarter and/or full year 2017. ON FINANCING, Torex Gold announced an over-allotment of shares, taking the gross proceeds of its last offering to C$63.32 M. Evrim is accelerating the exercise of warrants that could add to up to $2.94 M. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Pan American, Avino Silver and Alamos Gold presented resource estimate updates for its operating units to the end of 2017. Southern Silver Exploration presented an updated mineral resource estimate for its Cerro Las Minitas property in Durango. Endeavour presented an update on development of its El Compas project in Zacatecas. Silver Bull disclosed drill results from its Sierra Mojada property in Coahuila. Almaden Minerals released more infill drill results from its Tuligtic project in Puebla. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Leagold announced the proposed take-over of Brio Gold, which owns a mine in Brazil. Bacanora Minerals is in the paperwork to move from the Canadian TSX to the British AIM stock exchange. Coeur Mining signed a LOI with Evrim on the acquisition of the El Sarape project in Sonora. Oroco Resource acquired interest on three concessions surrounding the Santo Tomas deposit in Sinaloa.
ON MEXICO ISSUES
- Azure Minerals Ltd. intends to resume drilling within two weeks at the Sara Alicia project in Sonora. The mineralized zone consists of carbonate rocks intruded by a porphyry, forming a skarn horizon hosting massive and semi-massive sulfides with Au-Co grades. The mineralized body has a strong magnetic signature, extending for 300 m by 150 m and modelling of the magnetic data indicates a considerable vertical extent. The best intercept from the previous drilling was 26.2 m @ 9.5 g/t Au, 1.26% Co.
- Evrim Resources Corp. described the Sarape project in Sonora, recently optioned to Coeur Mining Inc. There are two major veins, The Sarape vein is 6 km long and up to 12 m in width, while the Chiltepin vein measures 2.6 km in length and up to 3 m in width. The western part of both veins contains barren white quartz and calcite veins, whereas the eastern portion is composed by a separate phase of low temperature, tan green quartz that consistently assays from 0.10 to 0.36 g/t Au, peaking at 3.6 g/t Au. Neither vein has been drilled.
- Starcore International Mines Ltd. released production results for Q3 2018, ended on January 31, 2018. During the period 65.6 K tonnes were milled @ 1.23 g/t Au, 16 g/t Ag, producing 2,405 AuEq Oz at its San Martin mine in Queretaro. Recoveries stood at 83.7% Au, 53.3% Ag. The Altiplano facility in Matehuala, San Luis Potosi, received 176 tonnes of concentrate containing about 222 Oz Au, 35,634 Oz Ag, and sold 269 Oz Au, 23,561 Oz Ag.
- Osisko Gold Royalties Ltd. presented Q4 2017 and full year 2017 results. While not presenting numbers, it reports an offtake agreement on production from Gogold’s Parral project in Chihuahua.
- Alio Gold Inc. provided its fourth quarter and year end 2017 results. During the year the San Francisco mine in Sonora produced 83,211 Oz Au, 38,911 Oz Ag, with 16,067 Oz Au, 7,873 Oz Ag produced during the fourth quarter 2017. At the Ana Paula project in Guerrero, Alio invested $17.3 M, with work ongoing for the definitive feasibility study (FS). Cash and cash equivalents by the end of 2017 amounted to $51.6 M, while working capital was $61.7 M.
- Argonaut Gold Inc. announced its financial and operating results for the fourth quarter and full year 2017. At El Castillo in Durango, during the year 8.14 Mt (tonnes) of ore,10.4 Mt of waste were moved, for a 51 K tonnes per day (tpd) rate, with the ore grading 0.36 g/t Au to produce 59,000 Oz Au at cash cost $1,015 per sold Au Oz. At San Agustin in Durango, since starting commercial production in October 1, 939 Kt of ore @ 0.5 g/t Au and 404 Kt of waste were moved for a 15 K tpd operation, to produce 10,302 Oz Au, 45,100 Oz Ag at cash cost $385 per Au Oz sold. At La Colorada in Sonora 18.87 Mt of ore @ 0.54 g/t Au and 23.35 Mt of waste were moved at a 64 K tpd rate to produce 50,796 Oz Au, 174,330 Oz Ag at cash cost of $691 per Oz Au sold. During the fourth quarter $2.8 M of income tax was recovered. For 2018 the company expects to produce 165 K to 180 K AuEq Oz.
- Great Panther Silver Ltd. reported financial results for 2017. Without disclosing production by unit, the Topia (Durango), San Ignacio (Guanajuato) and Guanajuato mine complex produced 1.98 M Oz Ag, 22,501 Oz Au at cash cost $5.76 per Ag Oz, cash cost of $12.11 per AgEq Oz and AISC of $15.07. Cash and short-term deposits at year-end were $56.9 M.
- Torex Gold Resources Inc. issued as an over-allotment an additional 130,500 common shares on the previously announced offering, augmenting the aggregate gross proceeds to C$63.32 M.
- Evrim Resources Corp. is accelerating the exercise date of the company’s common share purchase warrants date December 16, 2015. If all the remaining outstanding warrants were exercised, these would raise cash proceeds of $2.94 M.
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
- Endeavour Silver Corp. reported an update on development progress at El Compas project in Zacatecas. The plant refurbishment is 90% complete, mine power and mine portal infrastructure completed and only 100 m of development to reach the ore body. The plant design has been modified to increase capacity from 250 tonnes per day (tpd) to 325 tpd, with the mine plan expanded from 200 tpd to 250 tpd, with potential to go to 500 tpd. The improved operating metrics would take production to 1.175 M AuEq Oz per year, and needs an increase of only 13% on Capex.
- Pan American Silver Corp. updated mineral reserves and resources, including figures for its properties in Mexico. Globally Pan American mined 30.6 M contained Ag Oz of its silver reserves, but replaced 33.2 M contained Ag Oz, to end 2017 with 288.4 M contained Ag Oz.
- Silver Bull Resources Inc. released results of seven drill holes targeting the Sulfide Zone under the oxide resource at its Sierra Mojada project in Coahuila. Significant results comprise 2 m @ 70 g/t Ag, 0.25% Cu; 2 m @ 1,300 g/t Ag, 13.5% Zn, 3.9% Cu, 2.9% Pb; 4 m @ 10 g/t Ag, 4.3% Zn; 6 m @ 5.8% Zn, 0.47% Cu; 6 m @ 802 g/t Ag, 5.9% Zn, 3.3% Cu, 0.5% Pb.
- Avino Silver & Mines Ltd. completed an updated mineral resource estimate for the Avino property in Durango. This updated mineral resource estimate includes 34 drill holes that were completed during the drill programs from 2016 to 2017.
- Alamos Gold Inc. reported updated mineral reserves and resources as Dec 31, 2017, including figures from its Mexican operations. The company has 5.07 M Oz Au in mineral reserves and resources in its Mexican projects, according to the table below. A total of $13 M and 41,500 m of drilling has been budgeted at Mulatos for exploration in 2018, with focus on Carricito.
- Almaden Minerals Ltd. released drill results from the infill program at its Tuligtic project in Puebla. The holes were drilled beneath the proposed pit, which stresses the potential for expansion. Highlighted intervals comprise: 101.45 m @ 1.94 g/t Au, 13 g/t Ag, including 46.20 m @ 3.87 g/t Au, 15 g/t Ag, and 28.95 m @ 5.61 g/t Au, 20 g/t Ag, and 13.10 m @ 9.35 g/t Au, 25 g/t Ag; 53.90 m @ 0.48 g/t Au, 38 g/t Ag, including 12.00 m @ 3.60 g/t Au, 27 g/t Ag, and 5.00 m @ 7.91 g/t Au, 38 g/t Ag; 57.55 m @ 1.29 g/t Au, 23 g/t Ag, including 3.00 m @ 16.87 g/t Au, 38 g/t Ag.
- Southern Silver Exploration Corp. filed a NI-43-101 compliant technical report on a mineral resource estimate for its Cerro Las Minitas project in Durango. The indicated resource on the Blind Zone, El Sol, Las Victorias and the Skarn Front zones add up to 10.13 Mt @ 102 g/t Ag, 0.10 g/t Au, 1.4% Pb, 3.6% Zn, 0.15% Cu, containing 33.35 M Oz Ag, 34 K Oz Au, 319 M Lb Pb, 813 M Lb Zn, 33 M Lb Cu. The inferred resource in the Blind, El Sol and Skarn Front zones add another 8.68 Mt @ 74 g/t Ag, 0.04 g/t Au, 0.7% Zn, 4.5% Zn, 0.15% Cu, containing 20.72 M Oz Ag, 12 K Oz Au, 131 M Lb Pb, 870 M Lb Zn, 29 M Lb Cu. The four separate mineral deposits form sets of sub-parallel steeply dipping mineralized zones extending more than 1,000 m along strike and up to 600 m depth.
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- Leagold Mining Corp. announced the proposed take-over bid on Brio Gold Inc. by Leagold will now be completed on a Brio board supported basis. “The total consideration to be paid by Leagold in exchange for all of the issued and outstanding Brio shares is approximately US$279M….”. The combined entity is expected to produce between 420,000 and 475,000 oz of gold in 2018 Brio’s shareholder meeting is expected to be held in April 2018 (Los Filos, Guerrero).
- Bacanora Minerals Ltd. entered into an arrangement agreement to facilitate the Company’s proposed reorganization to effect a re-domicile to the United Kingdom as Bacanora UK on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange. Upon listing Bacanora UK, Bacanora Canada intends to delist from the Toronto Stock Exchange.
- Evrim Resources Corp. signed a letter of intent (LOI) with Coeur Mining Inc. on the Sarape epithermal Au-Ag project in Sonora. The transaction involves a US$100 K in cash upon signing a definitive agreement, a first-year commitment of US$500 K in exploration. Once those terms are completed Coeur can earn-in a 51% interest by producing a NI-43-101 preliminary economic analysis (PEA) on a minimum inferred resource of 1 M Oz AuEq. Coeur can elect to earn-in an additional 39% by delivering a NI-43-101 feasibility study (FS) on a minimum measured and indicated resource of 1 M Oz AuEq. From this point Coeur will pay US$100K per year until mining and construction permits are received, at which point Evrim can elect to participate on the JV with a 20% interest, or convert that interest to a 3% NSR, of which one third can be purchased by Evrim for US$2.0 M. Evrim will be the operator up to completion of the PEA, after which Coeur shall be the operator.
- Oroco Resource Corp. acquired a 77.5% interest on La China II and Amp. Santo Tomás Reduccion 1 mineral concessions from Santo Tomas Metals S.A. de C.V., and a 77.5% interest in an application for the Papago 17 application from Ubaldo Trevizo Ledezma, in Sinaloa. The three properties add to 6,978 ha and abut and surround the Santo Tomás copper porphyry. Oroco acquired its interest on La China II by the payment of CDN$6,700 and its interest on AMP Santo Tomas Reduccion 1 with the payment of CDN$33,400. The latter concession has been cancelled, but it is deemed to be recoverable to good standing. The Papgo 17 concession interest was acquired by the payment of CDN$6,700 and the issuance of 2 M shares. All three concessions are subject to a 2% NSR. Oroco also holds a 13.6% and an option to acquire a further 6.4% equity interest in Altamura Copper Corp., a British company that acquired the Santo Tomas concessions, and is in negotiations to acquire the remaining Altamura shares (Note for clarity.-Altamura has an ownership legal dispute with a third party on the Santo Tomas concessions, where the known deposit is).
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On the picture below, section on the San Rafael Mine, as seen at the museum of El Oro mining district in Estado de Mexico.