By Jorge Cirett
During the 32nd week of the year (August 6th to August 12th, 2018), at least 16 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico. Sable, Oroco, Millrock and One World Lithium updated on exploration advances. Hecla, Torex, Golden Minerals, Argonaut, Alio and Odyssey Marine Exploration released Q2 2018 reports. HarvestGold closed the final tranche of a financing round. Hecla, Alio and Consolidated Zinc reported advances on the development or exploration of their resource base. Three companies announced deals on projects, or company mergers. ON MEXICO ISSUES, The Mexican Core Shack now counts with displays from three properties in Chihuahua and two in Durango. The newly elected president of Mexico seems to have mining development as one of its 25 key projects. ON EXPLORATION, In Sonora, Millrock reported drill results from its Navidad project. In Chihuahua, Sable Resources released wide, high-grade silver intercepts from its Margarita property. In Sinaloa, Oroco received the title for a concession on the Santo Tomás district. In Baja California, One World Lithium is preparing to drill its Salar del Diablo project. ON MINING Hecla, Torex gold, Golden Minerals, Alio Gold, Argonaut and Odyssey Mineral Exploration released Q2 2018 reports. ON FINANCING, Harvest Gold closed the final tranche of its non-brokered private placement, accruing C$857 K in gross proceeds. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Hecla, Alio Gold and Consolidated Zinc reported on actions and programs to affect their resource estimates or development to mining. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Golden Reign and Marlin Gold reported on their merger agreement, Megastar closed a deal on three properties in Oaxaca and San Marco optioned the Chunibas project in Oaxaca to Antofagasta.
ON MEXICO ISSUES
- The Mexican Core Shack added images of drill core from Hecla’s San Sebastian project in Durango, at https://gambusinoprospector.com/mexican-core-shack/durango/san-sebastian/ . The Mexican Core Shack now displays three properties in Chihuahua and two in Durango.
- The newly elected president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, presented 25 priority projects for his coming tenure, one of which is mining development, on a meeting with the Colegio de Ingenieros Civiles de México (Civil Engineers Association of Mexico), the Unión Mexicana de Asociaciones de Ingenieros A.C. and the Engineering Faculty of the Universidad Autónoma de México (UNAM). Carlos Slim was among the cohort of industry leaders in the luncheon held at the Palacio de Minería (Mining Palace) in Mexico City. No details were exposed.
- Sable Resources Ltd. released results from a third drill hole on the Margarita vein of its Margarita property in Chihuahua (near Sunshine’s Los Gatos property). The most recent intercept confirms vein continuity over 500 m of longitude. The vein was intercepted 40 m from surface, returning 12.4 m @ 514 g/t AgEq (with Pb and Zn credits, no details released), including 4.10 m @ 902 g/t AgEq, which includes 1.0 m @ 1,048 g/t AgEq and 1.05 m @ 1,035 g/t AgEq. Other five holes have been finished, with similar vein textures having been intersected across similar widths down to a depth of 100 m from surface.
- Oroco Resources Corp. announced that the Papago 17 concession in Sinaloa has been granted by the government, and the company is now to register its 77.5% interest (got on a deal with a private owner) in the Mexican Public Registry of Mining. The 213 ha Papago 17 concession lies south from the Santo Tomás porphyry copper project, and contains quartz monzonite dikes and hornfelsed andesite.
- Millrock Resources Inc. reported second phase drilling results from its Navidad project in Sonora. The program focused on targets identified by soil and rock sampling, geophysical surveys and trenching, as well as the Crossover and El Cobre prospects. In total 2,969 m in 14 holes were drilled. Highlighted core length intercepts include 3.9 m @ 1.78 g/t Au; 12.5 m @ 1.14 g/t Au; 8.0 m @ 0.46 g/t Au; 6.3 m @ 0.39 g/t Au, 3.3 m @ 3.84 g/t Au; 8.7 m @ 0.43 g/t Au, 9.0 m @ 0.39 g/t Au; 5.5 m @ 0.72 g/t Au; 8.5 m @ 0.39 g/t Au; 2.6 m @ 1.73 g/t Au; 6.3 m @ 0.43 g/t Au; 7.9 m @ 2.34 g/t Au; 6.0 m @ 0.45 g/t Au; 17.4 m @ 1.61 g/t Au; 9.2 m @ 0.71 g/t Au.
- One World Lithium Inc. has accepted the Lithium Partnership’s final report summarizing pre-drilling programs for its Salar del Diablo project in Baja California. Eleven drill hole locations have been selected to test the three geophysical anomalies and two geochemical targets. One World intends to commence drilling on the latter part of October 2018.
- Hecla Mining Co. reported second quarter 2018 results, including figures from its San Sebastian project in Durango, where 559,647 Oz Ag, 3,872 Oz Au were produced during the period. The mill operated at an average of 415 tpd (tons per day). Cash cost was $9.79 per Ag Oz and AISC $17.15 per Ag Oz, reflecting the higher cost of transitioning from open pit to underground mining. “A reduction in per ounce costs is expected in the second half of the year as underground production continues to ramp up”.
- Torex Gold Inc. reported its financial results for the second quarter 2018. Mine production at Limon-Guajes totaled 7.15 Mt (tonnes), averaging 78,629 tpd (tonnes per day) of which 1.28 Mt was ore processed at 11,140 tpd. Mined ore averaged 2.45 g/t Au and processed ore 2.86 g/t Au, for the production of 78,796 Oz Au, with 87% Au recovery in the period and cash cost of $680 per Oz Au and AISC of $1,017 per Oz Au. Cash held at the end of the period was $117.9 M.
- Golden Minerals Co. announced financial results for the second quarter 2018. During the quarter Golden reported final drill results from the Santa Maria project (Chihuahua) 2017-2018 drill program and announced the preparation of an updated technical report and preliminary economic assessment (PEA). In August 2018, Golden entered into a non-binding letter of intent with The Electrum Group LLC upon which Electrum is to purchase Golden’s remaining interest in the Celaya property in Guanajuato for a payment of $3 M. Cash and cash equivalents stood at $2.5 M at the end of the period.
- Argonaut Gold Inc. released financial results for the second quarter 2018. During the period the company produced 38,441 GEOs (Gold equivalent ounces) at cash cost $704 per Oz Au and AISC of $832 per Oz Au. At El Castillo, in Durango, 2.22 Mt (tonnes) of waste, and 2.15 Mt (tonnes) were moved, with 2.12 Mt ore @ 0.37 g/t Au crushed to the pads to produce 10,079 Oz Au, 8,111 Oz Ag at cash cost $992 per Au Oz. At San Agustin in Durango, 618 Kt of waste, 1.85 Mt of ore were moved, with 1.88 Mt of ore @ 0.36 g/t Au crushed to the pads to produce 15,528 Oz Au, 55,781 Oz Ag. At La Colorada, in Sonora, 1.81 Mt of waste, 1.06 Mt of ore were moved (32 K tpd), with 1.14 Mt of ore @ 0.36 g/t Au crushed to leach pads to produce 11,503 Oz Au, 29,360 Oz Ag at cash cost $833. “The Company expects the third quarter 2018 will see lower production due to the lower grades stacked on the leach pad during the second quarter 2018 and also expects higher costs during the third quarter 2018 associated with drilling, blasting and hauling costs for normal state operations”.” While the Company’s explosives permit has been reinstated at La Colorada, the legal action brought against the Secretary of National Defense and the Municipality of La Colorada continues through the Judiciary court process”.
- Alio Gold Inc. reported second quarter 2018 results. The San Francisco mine in Sonora produced 14,466 Oz Au, 7,661 Oz Ag at by-product cash cost $950 per Oz Au, while AISC was $1,172 per Oz Au. The Company is reducing stripping and focuses mining on more profitable ounces to maintain cash neutral operations. As a result of the reduced stripping, the ”production guidance of 90,000 to 100,000 ounces of gold for 2018 will not be met.” At Ana Paula in Guerrero, all development work including the construction of the underground decline, the completion of the feasibility study and further exploration have been temporarily suspended as result of the recent decline in the gold price.
- Odyssey Marine Exploration Inc. reported second quarter 2018 results. “Odyssey holds a controlling interest in Oceanica Resources, S. de R.L., and ExO, a subsidiary of Oceanica. ExO controls exclusive 50-year mining permits in an area in Mexican waters that contains a large amount of phosphate mineralized material”.” On March 21, 2018, the 11-judge panel of the Superior Court of the Federal Court of Administrative Justice in Mexico ruled unanimously in favor of ExO, nullifying the original denial of the environmental permit application.“ (Don Diego, Pacific Ocean cost of Baja California Sur)
- Harvest Gold Corp. closed a fourth and final tranche of its non-brokered private placement to raise CDN$200 K for a total of CDN$857 K gross proceeds. “The Company paid finder’s fees of 8% cash and 8% warrants to Canaccord Genuity Corp. on certain funds”. Harvest delivered $700 K to Evrim Resources Corp. to fund the Cerro Cascaron project (in Chihuahua) drill program of up to 3,000 m, beginning the third week of September.
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
- Hecla Mining Co. reported on brownfield exploration on its mining units, including on the San Sebastian project in Durango, where it continues to expand high-grade polymetallic zones on the Middle and Francine veins. Additional oxide mineralization is being defined along the Professor and East Francine veins. On the Francine vein mineralization has been traced for over 360 m on surface, and over 240 at depth, but once incorporated the newly defined East Francine vein the total strike length of continuous mineralization along the Francine Vein exceeds 2,400 m and can be traced to a depth of over 600 m. Proven and probable reserves stand at 398 K tons @ 3.42 g/t Au, 432 g/t Ag, containing 43,000 Oz Au, 5.52 M Oz Ag and Measured and Indicated resources of 1.5 M tons @ 2.25 g/t Au, 186 g/t Ag, 2.9% Pb, 3.8% Zn, 1.7% Cu, containing 103,000 Oz Au, 8.8 M Oz Ag, 15,520 tons Pb, 20,350 tons Zn, 9,020 tons Cu.
- Alio Gold Inc. informed on the update of mineral reserve estimates at its San Francisco mine in Sonora. “Mining depletion of Mineral Reserves was partly offset by expansion of the reserves in Phases 6 through 9 of the San Francisco Pit. Total proven and probable mineral reserves totaled 854,472 ounces of gold (55.5 million tonnes at 0.49 g/t) as of July 1, 2018, an approximate decrease of 74,228 ounces of gold or 8% from April 1, 2017.”
- Consolidated Zinc Ltd. informed on its plan to start pilot plant production at its Plomosas project in Chihuahua. The mining scoping studies focus on sulfide mineralization of the updated resource, starting with a 20,400 tonnes indicated resource @ 13.8% Zn, 2.4% Pb. The capital cost is expected to be low, including plant refurbishment and tailings dam upgrade.
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- Golden Reign Resources Ltd. and Marlin Gold Mining Ltd. Entered into a definitive agreement to combine businesses and amend stream agreement with Sailfish Royalty Corp. Golden Reign will acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of Marlin and satisfaction of all closing conditions of the business combination by way of plan of arrangement. As a condition to closing the Transaction, Sailfish has agreed to restructure its existing gold stream on San Albino (La Trinidad, Sinaloa).
- Megastar Development Corp. closed the transaction to acquire 100% interest on the Rama de Oro, Magdalena and Yautepec projects in Oaxaca. Megastar paid USD$45 K and issued 1.5 M common shares to Minera Zalamera S.A. de C.V., as contemplated in the option agreement. “Furthermore, Mr. David M. Jones, president of Minera Zalamera, has been appointed to the board of directors of Megastar.”
- San Marco Resources Inc. signed an earn-in agreement with Antofagasta plc on the Chunibas project, located in Sonora. Antofagasta can acquire a 70% interest in the project by spending US$8 M in exploration, and making cash payments on the aggregate of US$200 K over a period of 4 years. A firm commitment of US$700 K will be used primarily for an initial drill program, including $100 K of reimbursement to San Marco of recent exploration expenditures. “The Project consists of stratiform, volcanic hosted coppersilver mineralization, similar to several ore deposits in northern Chile and is a style of mineralisation not previously discovered in Mexico.”
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, open cut in one of the structures of the Pozos District, Guanajuato. Picture by Jorge Cirett.