Vancouver, Canada – February 23, 2021 – Aztec Minerals Corp. (AZT: TSX-V, OTCQB: AZZTF) and Kootenay Silver Inc. have commenced the 2021 exploration program on the Cervantes Porphyry Gold-Copper Property in Sonora, Mexico. The exploration program was recently approved by the Management Committee overseeing the Cervantes Joint Venture between Aztec Minerals Corp (65%) and Kootenay Silver Inc (35%).
By Jorge Cirett
During the 7th week of the year (February 15th to February 21st, 2021), there were at least 42 press releases by companies working in Mexico. To note, nine companies posted exploration advances on their properties (with GoGold’s Casados discovery deemed the most significant), six presenting quarterly results, two informing on power cuts, six posting on financing or share options, nine on project development and two on corporate issues. ON MEXICO ISSUES, the Mexican mining sector is dealing with several (government induced) challenges and great opportunities. The Nuevo Leon State government intends to push its mining sector. Camimex points out the goal of the energy bill should be to promote the reduction of the electricity cost. ON EXPLORATION, in Sonora, Tarachi Gold released drilling results from the San Javier concession; Tocvan Ventures initiated the next exploration campaign at Pilar. In Chihuahua, Radius Gold released drilling results from the Amalia project; Silver Spruce is to carry a LidDar survey at Pino de Plata; Mammoth Resources released observations by independent consultants on its Tenoriba property. In Sinaloa, Prismo Metals presented drilling results on Palos Verdes; Vizsla Silver informed seven rigs are now churning at Panuco; Brigadier Gold released drilling results from its Picachos project. In Jalisco, Stroud Resources informed on the approval of its drilling permit for Santo Domingo, Hostotipaquillo. ON MINING, Starcore International, Pan American Silver, Golden Minerals, Hecla Mining, Newmont, and First Majestic released quarterly and full year 2020 reports. Excellon and Gatos Silver informed on work affected by the power cuts in the north of the country. ON FINANCING, SGold79 Mines and Vizsla Silver granted options to directors, officers and employees; Consolidated Zinc, Orogen Royalties, Van Gold Mining and Brigadier Gold informed on their financing rounds. Heliostar Metals qualified to trade on the OTCQX Best Market. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Avino Silver will drill 12,000 m on the Avino property. Sonoro Gold released results from 24 holes at Cerro Caliche. VanGold released positive results from the PEA on El Cubo and El Pinguico in Zacatecas. McEwen Mining filed the FS on the Fenix project. GoGold Resources made a discovery at Los Ricos North. Coeur Mining released the 2020 resource estimate for Palmarejo. Capitan Mining released drilling results from the Peñoles project. Golden Tag released results from drilling at San Diego, Velardeña. GR Silver Mining reported drilling results from Plomosas. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Azure Minerals is divesting its Mexican portfolio. Premier Gold shareholders had to vote in February 19 on the arrangement with Equinox Gold. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, Minera Media Luna is to make a large investment during the next three years at the Media Luna project in Guerrero, with a significant impact in the communities of the area.
ON MEXICO ISSUES
- The Mexican Mining Sector is dealing with several challenges and great opportunities, according to mining companies executives. The outright denial to grant mining concessions, the lack of a medium term regulatory view, security issues, the blockage by SEMARNAT of several projects, the lack of clarity and rules and lagging paperwork have to be weighed against the great mineral potential of the country, and its qualified workforce.
- The Nuevo Leon State government seeks to foster the mining activity on the southern part of the state. Nuevo Leon has significant deposits of barite, clays, limestone, dolostone, gypsum, phosphorite and talc, among other minerals.
- Camimex (Cámara Minera de México) pointed out that the goal of an energy bill should be to promote the reduction of the electricity cost, not to favor any given company. With the introduction of the auto supply figure a few years ago mining companies saw the electricity cost go down from US$0.12-$0.13 Kw/hr to US$0.065 Kw/hr, while those that rely on the government supplied electricity pay US$0.08 and $0.09 Kw/hr. Miners in Perú and Chile pay US$0.06 Kw/hr and those in USA and Canada US$0.04 Kw/hr and US$0.02 Kw/hr respectively.
- Newmont’s Peñasquito mine in Zacatecas produced 520 K ounces of gold and 934 K gold equivalent ounces in 2020. Production for 2021 is estimated at 660 K ounces of gold and 1.12 M gold equivalent ounces.
- Radius Gold Inc. reported results from its phase four drilling program operated by Pan American Silver Corp. at its Amalia project in Chihuahua. Highlighted true width results comprise 6.5 m @ 0.59 gpt Au, 151 gpt Ag; 0.60 m @ 1.48 gpt Au, 475 gpt Ag; 5.0 m @ 1.73 gpt Au, 70 gpt Ag; 5.5 m @ 0.93 gpt Au, 99 gpt Ag. The high-grade San Pedro ore shoot has been defined for 410 meters down-dip.
- Tarachi Gold Corp. released assay results from the first nine diamond holes completed on the San Javier concession, at its Tarachi project in Sonora. Highlighted core-length intervals comprise 3.0 m @ 1.58 gpt Au, 1.0 m @ 1.80 gpt Au, 1.0 m @ 6.08 gpt Au, 14.4 m @ 0.21 gpt Au; 9.0 m @ 0.61 gpt Au; 4.0 m @ 0.86 gpt Au, 2.6 m @ 1.52 gpt Au, 2.0 m @ 11.90 gpt Au (including 1.0 m @ 21.10 gpt Au); 12.0 m @ 0.63 gpt Au; 5.6 m @ 5.39 gpt Au; 1.0 m @ 15.70 gpt Au; 17.0 m @ 0.62 gpt Au; 10.6 m @ 1.6 gpt Au. “the gold mineralization is situated along open brittle structures containing over 20 percent sulphides, mainly pyrite with minor quartz veining/veinlets”.
- Prismo Metals Inc. presented results from its initial five-hole 573 m diamond drilling program at its Palos Verdes project in Sinaloa. The program was designed to test for mineralization continuity to depth and along strike to previous reconnaissance drilling. Highlighted true width results comprise 3.2 m @ 0.13 gpt Au, 69 gpt Ag, 0.14% Cu, 0.1% Pb, 0.3% Zn; 2.5 m @ 0.24 gpt Au, 17 gpt Ag, 0.09% Cu, 0.2% Pb, 0.6% Zn; 1.3 m @ 0.73 gpt Au, 38 gpt Ag, 0.19% Cu, 0.6% Pb, 3.9% Zn; 0.9 m @ 0.03 gpt Au, 6 gpt Ag, 0.06% Cu, nil Pb, 1.4% Zn.
- Silver Spruce Resources Inc. has contracted Eagle Mapping Ltd. to carry out a LiDar survey on the Pino de Plata property in Chihuahua. The survey is to produce an orthorectified color aerial photography and an accurate digital elevation model (DEM).
- Vizsla Silver Corp. announced the arrival of two drill rigs to its Panuco property in Sinaloa. With these, a total of seven rigs is now operating in Panuco. The company completed over 28,000 m of drilling last year and plans to complete more than 40,000 m in the first half of 2021.
- Brigadier Gold Ltd. provided results from its diamond drill and underground sampling programs at Picachos, Sinaloa. Drill core length highlighted true width (TW) intervals comprise 30 m @ 1.27 gpt Au, 212 gpt Ag; 3.5 m @ 1.07 gpt Au, 18 gpt Ag, 0.39% Cu, 0.15% Zn; 6.4 m @ 0.15% Zn; 10.8 m @ 0.22% Zn; 1.6 m @ 5.08 gpt Au, 35 gpt Ag, 1.90% Cu, 0.22% Zn; 183.5 m @ 0.21 gpt Au, 2 gpt Ag, 0.19% Pb, 0.37% Zn (including 0.9 m @ 10.65 gpt Au and 1.0 m @ 6.26 gpt Au, 0.54% Pb, 0.28% Zn). Highlighted trench TW intervals comprise 0.4 m @ 49.60 gpt Au, 31 gpt Ag, 0.34% Pb, 0.37% Zn; 0.8 m @ 9.70 gpt Au, 0.52% Pb, 0.32% Zn; 2.6 m @ 2.32 gpt Au, 0.14% Zn; 1.0 m @ 20.14 gpt Au, 36 gpt Ag, 0.14% Cu, 0.74% Pb, 2.51% Zn; 2.0 m @ 11.55 gpt Au, 0.12% Cu, 0.23% Pb, 0.47% Zn; 0.7 m @ 7.95 gpt Au, 43 gpt Ag, 3.26% Cu, 0.22% Pb; 0.5 m @ 109.14 gpt Au, 20 gpt Ag; 4.5 m @ 2.56 gpt Au, 4 gpt Ag, 0.19% Cu, 0.64% Pb, 0.86% Zn; 1.2 m @ 23.45 gpt Au, 6 gpt Ag, 0.19% Pb, 0.12% Zn “Of the 28 holes drilled to date, fourteen (1704 metres) were drilled to test the San Agustín Vein, 10 holes (1029 metres) tested surface exploration targets defined by trenching, 2 holes (168 metres) tested under the historic San Antonio Mine and one hole tested under the historic La Gloria Mine”. A second drill rig is being added for the commencement of the phase two drilling campaign.
- Stroud Resources Ltd. informed the drill permit application has been approved for its Santo Domingo property in Hostotipaquillo, Jalisco. The first phase consists of 12 drill holes, and a second phase comprises 38 holes to expand the mineral resources. “Stroud’s exploration of the two main mineralized zones has drilled through many of the workings. These zones; La Rayas and Guadalupe, are a series of banded to breccia style epithermal quartz carbonate vein systems represented with miargyrite, galena, sphalerite, argentite and native silver and gold. La Rayas is 30 to 35 metres wide and Guadalupe is 15 to 30 metres wide. Both are parallel structures with greater than a 700-metre strike length and about 300 metre depth”.
- Mammoth Resources Corp. released observations by independent consultants on its Tenoriba property in Chihuahua. According to them the mineralization in the area is of epithermal high sulfidation type and occurring near the angular unconformity between the Lower and Upper Volcanic Groups. A thorough 2-year exploration program was recommended to evaluate the main prospect areas and to address areas that have to date seen little or no work.
- Tocvan Ventures Corp. announced the start of the next phase of exploration at El Pilar in Sonora. The planned work is to include mapping and sampling of key target areas across the project. The property is interpreted as a structurally controlled low-sulfidation epithermal system in andesitic and rhyolitic volcanic rocks.
- Excellon Resources Inc. informed it is looking for alternative energy sources for its Platosa mine in Durango. The energy utilised by the company is generated with natural gas, and it has seen its price multiplied up to a hundred times due to the intense cold wave in Texas. The price increase is expected to be a short-term event.
- Starcore International Mines Ltd. announced production results for the third quarter ended January 31, 2021. At its San Martin mine in Queretaro, 57.3 K tonnes were milled @ 1.66 gpt Au, 22.9 gpt Ag, recovering 88.8% and 57.1% respectively to produce 3,063 Oz AuEq. A 6,000 m drill program has been implemented on the northwestern and eastern parts of the mine, matched with a development program of approximately 1,200 meters to cover both zones under exploration.
- Mexus Gold US. continues mining at its Santa Elena project in Sonora. After a slowdown due to a Covid outbreak, operations are now gaining pace.
- Pan American Silver Corp. reported audited financial results for 2020 and the Q4 of the same year, including some figures from its Mexican operations. At La Colorada, in Zacatecas, 1.19 M Oz Ag, 800 Oz Au were produced in Q4 and 5.02 M Oz Ag, 3,500 Oz Au during the year. At Dolores, in Chihuahua, 0.76 M Oz Ag, 30,500 Oz Au were produced in Q4 and 5.02 M Oz Ag, 98,000 Oz Au during the year. Cash cost and AISC per Ag Oz for the year stood at $6.99 and $10.80 for La Colorada and ($2.48) and $6.17 for Dolores.
- Golden Minerals Co. released financial results for 2020. During the year the Rodeo open pit in Durango was started, with ore to be processed at the Velardeña oxide mill and an expected production between 12 K and 14 K Oz Au for 2021. In Yoquivo, Chihuahua, several new veins were discovered. The lease of the Velardeña mill to Hecla was terminated in November 2020, gathering $5.6 M in revenue. The Santa María property was farmed out for $4 M, whilst the Velardeña mine and sulfide mill might restart late in 2021. Cash and cash equivalents of $9.7 M by the end of the period.
- Hecla Mining Co. presented 2020 results, including some figures from its Mexican operations. At San Sebastian, in Durango, 1.0 M Oz Ag, 7,223 Oz Au were produced in the year (0.2 M Oz Ag, 1,159 Oz Au in Q4), with the mill operating at 474 tpd when in production. Also in San Sebastian, El Tigre and El Bronco veins that were discovered under thick soil cover in 2020, can be up to 8.5 m in width and extend for more than 1.6 km. The best true width intercepts are 2.90 m @ 1,384 gpt Ag, 6.84 gpt Au for El Bronco vein and 1.07 m @ 504 gpt Ag, 2.80 gpt Au for El Tigre vein.
- Newmont Corp. announced Q4 and full year 2020 results, including figures from its Peñasquito operations in Zacatecas. During the quarter 201 K Oz Au and 246 K Oz AuEq were sold at an AISC of $746 and $795 per Oz respectively. For the year, 512 K Oz Au were produced and 934 K Oz AuEq at an AISC of $806 and $828 per Oz respectively. For 2021 production from Peñasquito is expected to reach 660 K Oz Au and 1,120 K Oz AuEq.
- First Majestic Silver Corp. released its financial results for the fourth quarter and year 2020. For the year, 2.21 M tonnes were processed to produce 11.6 M Oz Ag, 20.38 M Oz AgEq at a cash cost of $5.09 per Oz Ag and an AISC of $13.92 per Oz AgE.
- Gatos Silver Inc. reported electricity from Mexico’s national power grid supplying its Cerro Los Gatos mine in Chihuahua has been restricted, due to recent severe winter storms in Texas. The project facilities have power generators capable of sustaining the mine and field camp operations, but not the processing plant; underground mining will continue at a reduced rate and a planned shutdown for the processing plant will be completed during this temporary power restriction.
- SGold79 Mines Ltd. granted 500 K common shares to Mr. Paul Carrelo, the newly appointed independent director (Higo Blanco, Oaxaca).
- Consolidated Zinc Ltd. informed there are firm commitments to raise A$2.55 M in gross proceeds. The funds are required to relieve short term cashflow pressure due to operational issues at third-party processing facilities since November 2020. (Plomosas, Chihuahua).
- Orogen Royalties Inc. cancelled the previously announced private placement (royalties in Ermitaño, Sonora).
- VanGold Mining Corp. has further expanded its non-brokered private placement financing for gross proceeds of $16.95 M (El Cubo, Guanajuato).
- Heliostar Metals Ltd. announced it has qualified to trade on the OTCQX Best Market, upgrading from the OTCQB Venture Market (La Lola, Sonora).
- Vizsla Silver Corp. granted 2.14 M options to directors, officers, employees and consultants (Panuco, Sinaloa).
- Brigadier Gold Ltd. announced a non-brokered private placement financing to raise up to $1 M.
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
- Avino Silver and Gold Mines Ltd. has a 12,000 meters drilling program for its 1,104 hectares Avino property in Durango. Of these, 2,000 meters are planned on El Trompo vein, 3,000 meters on the Santiago vein, 2,500 meters on the Avino ET area and 4,500 meters on the Avino West area. Other areas that area to see investment include a dry stack tailings and improvements on circuit 4. Capital expenditures are expected to be between $6 to $8 M.
- Vangold Mining Corp. announced positive results from the preliminary economic assessment (PEA) for the combined El Cubo and El Pinguico project in Guanajuato. There are 718.6 K tonnes @ 160 gpt Ag, 1.90 gpt Au containing 7.2 M Oz AgEq as indicated resources and 1.45 M tonnes @ 214 gpt Ag, 2.78 gpt Au containing 20.4 M Oz AgEq as inferred resources. “On an after-tax basis, the Combined Project generates a Base Case NPV (5%) of $32.9 M and an IRR of 105%, excluding El Cubo acquisition costs. Using commodity prices of $22.41/oz Ag and $1756/oz Au, which are +15% above the Base Case (yet still lower than current spot prices), the after-tax NPV(5%) is $79.0 M and the IRR is 344%”.
- Sonoro Gold Corp. released assay results from 24 holes at its Cerro Caliche project in Sonora. Some of the highlighted core length intervals comprise 6.10 m @ 0.73 gpt Au, 18 gpt Ag; 7.62 m @ 3.09 gpt Au, 7 gpt Ag; 4.57 m @ 0.75 gpt Au, 1 gpt Ag; 6.10 m @ 0.78 gpt Au, 1 gpt Ag; 3.04 m @ 1.15 gpt Au, 1 gpt Ag; 3.05 m @ 2.32 gpt Au 2 gpt Ag. The Buena Suerte zone strike length is now 900 m long, and continuous mineralization has been confirmed along 2 kilometers of the El Rincón-Veta de Oro-Abejas vein and stockwork. A new zone, Bellotoso, has been identified, with a 2 kilometers strike length.
- McEwen Mining Inc. filed the feasibility study (FS) on the Fenix project, Sinaloa. The report envisions a 9.5-year mine life with after-tax IRR of 28% using $1,500/Oz gold and $17/Oz silver. Average annual production is projected at 26 K Oz Au in Phase 1 and 4.5 M Oz AgEq in Phase 2.
- GoGold Resources Inc. released results of nine diamond drill holes from the Casados deposit in the Los Ricos North project. Limited historical mining averaged 1.5 m in width at the Casados vein, but the present drilling intercepted mineralized widths over 20 m, and a second vein, also greater than 20 m in width. Highlighted core length intervals comprise 6.4 m @ 0.19 gpt Au, 42 gpt Ag; 6.9 m @ 0.24 gpt Au, 44 gpt Ag; 56.5 m @ 0.37 gpt Au, 144 gpt Ag; 22.5 m @ 0.32 gpt Au, 97 gpt Ag (including 4.9 m @ 1.05 gpt Au, 307 gpt Ag); 27.5 m @ 0.48 gpt Au, 214 gpt Ag (including 1.3 m @ 4.67 gpt Au, 2,390 gpt Ag); 59.9 m @ 0.30 gpt Au, 84 gpt Ag; 20.3 m @ 0.51 gpt Au, 143 gpt Ag; 22.5 m @ 0.29 gpt Au, 84 gpt Ag; 53.3 m @ 0.40 gpt Au, 99 gpt Ag; 21.4 m @ 0.63 gpt Au, 136 gpt Ag; 21.3 m @ 0.34 gpt Au, 104 gpt Ag; 19.3 m @ 0.42 gpt Au, 135 gpt Ag.
- Coeur Mining Inc. reported its 2020 mineral reserves and resources, including figures from its operations in Mexico. At Palmarejo in Chihuahua, 68,850 m were drilled in 180 holes across 11 targets. Highlighted results include 6.9 m @ 4.3 gpt Au, 151 gpt Ag; 5.2 m @ 6.4 gpt Au, 179 gpt Ag at the La Patria zone; 3.4 m @ 2.8 gpt Au, 525 gpt Ag at the Bavisa zone and 6.8 m @ 9.7 gpt Au, 640 gpt Ag; 11.2 m @ 6.1 gpt Au, 430 gpt Ag; 6.0 m @ 9.1 gpt Au, 568 gpt Ag on the Hidalgo zone.
- Capitan Mining Inc. reported results from the last two holes of its 2020 drill campaign at Peñoles, in Durango. Highlighted core length intercepts comprise 64 m @ 0.50 gpt Au, 7 gpt Ag (including 13.7 m @ 0.93 gpt Au, 7 gpt Ag); 21.3 m @ 0.25 gpt Au; 15.2 m @ 0.25 gpt Au; 42.7 m @ 0.17 gpt Au, 35.1 m @ 0.31 gpt Au; 35.1 m @ 0.21 gpt Au, 4 gpt Ag. The Hanging Wall zone has been confirmed and delineated for over 600 m.
- Golden Tag Resources Ltd. released results from its ongoing 4,500 m drilling program at the San Diego property in Durango. The infill sampling of historic holes highlighted core intercept results comprising 9.36 m @ 0.03 gpt Au, 51 gpt Ag, 0.26% Pb, 0.23% Zn; 50.52 m @ 0.03 gpt Au, 25 gpt Ag, 0.24% Pb, 0.29% Zn; 175.30 m @ 0.09 gpt Au, 30 gpt Ag, 0.64% Pb, 0.55% Zn (including 48.41 m @ 0.12 gpt Au, 34 gpt Ag, 0.69% Pb, 0.80% Zn and 27.30 m @ 0.16 gpt Au, 58 gpt Ag, 1.30% Pb, 0.76% Zn) in one hole; 50.05 m @ 0.04 gpt Au, 0.43% Pb, 0.41% Zn; 9.90 m @ 0.06 gpt Au, 19 gpt Ag, 0.51% Pb, 0.37% Zn; 298 m @ 0.03 gpt Au, 30 gpt Ag, 0.67% Pb, 0.70% Zn.
- GR Silver Mining Ltd. reported results from the current drilling program in the San Juan area of its Plomosas project in Sinaloa. Highlighted core length intercepts comprise 2.5 m @ 2,195 gpt Ag, 1.12 gpt Au, 0.3% Cu; 8.8 m @ 87 gpt Ag, 0.31 gpt Au, 0.8% Pb, 1.9% Zn; 1.1 m @ 244 gpt Ag, 0.53 gpt Au, 1.0% Pb, 2.1% Zn, 0.4% Cu; 22 m @ 70 gpt Ag, 0.15 gpt Au, 0.3% Pb, 0.3% Zn; 15.0 m @ 42 gpt Ag, 0.10 gpt Au, 0.3% Pb, 0.2% Zn; 3.4 m @ 578 gpt Ag, 0.20 gpt Au, 0.5% Pb, 1.3% Zn; 8.7 m @ 0.4% Zn; 18.3 m @ 2 gpt Ag, 0.06 gpt Au, 0.1% Pb, 0.7% Zn. These drilling results continue to define high-grade epithermal mineralization in the San Juan area and towards the nearby San Francisco vein.
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- Azure Minerals Ltd. announced it is looking to divest its Mexican properties portfolio. The company “has commenced a strategic review of its precious metals and base metals projects in Mexico, including the 100%-owned Alacrán silver-gold-copper and Oposura zinc-lead-silver projects”.
- Premier Gold Mines Ltd. reminded its shareholders of the meeting that was to be held on February 19th to vote on the arrangement between Premier Gold and Equinox Gold Corp. regarding the acquisition of the company (Mercedes, Sonora).
ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
- Minera Media Luna announced an investment of 12 billion pesos (12 thousand million pesos, or US$600 M) in the next three years at its Media Luna project in Guerrero. Currently, at its Limon-Guajes mine 70% of the 900 employees and 1,300 contractors are from the state. It was also stated that about 40% of its workforce is composed by women.
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: Quartz vein on the old Mazatlán-Durango road, geologist Guillermo Contreras for scale. Picture by Jorge Cirett.
By Miguel A Heredia
During the second week of the year (February 08th to February 14th, 2021), at least 28 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico and 11 news published by the media, with nine disclosing deals and corporate issues, six announcing financial rounds, six reporting on resources and development of their mine operations, six commenting on Mexican issues, five informing on exploration results, five discussing social issues, and two communicating production and financial results. ON MEXICO ISSUES, Environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) criteria are a key factor in Accendo Banco’s investments in Mexico’s mining sector, according to its CEO, Javier Reyes. Mining in Mexico registered a 19.5% rebound during October, 2020, according to the Monthly Indicator of Industrial Activity by Federal Entity (IMAIEF) released by the Institute National Statistics and Geography (INEGI). Tatiana Clouthier, head of the Secretariat of Economy declared that mining in Mexico must become a sustainable activity that prioritizes three issues: economic, human and nature. The energy policies that the federal government is following are already affecting the development of projects for the self-supply of energy by the mining sector. Experts detailed the main challenges that the Mexican mining sector will face in 2021, the year in which the industry is expected to play a leading role in the economic reactivation after confinements. Almost a year of delay accumulates the USD $60M of Chinese investment to construct the industrial park at Guadalupe, Zacatecas. ON EXPLORATION, In Sonora, Canuc commenced a drill program at its San Javier project, Carlyle and Riverside initiated a phase one drilling program at its Cecilia project, Tocvan and Colibri reported drill results from its El Pilar project, and Minaurum released results from its phase II drilling program conducted at its Alamo Silver project. ON MINING, Equinox provided 2021 guidance and outlined growth and investment plan (Los Filos mine, Guerrero). GoGold reported Q4, 2020 production and financial results from its Parral Tailings project in Chihuahua. ON FINANCING, Bacanora announced that 106,995,885 New Ordinary Shares were admitted to trading on London Stock Exchange market (Sonora Lithium project, Sonora). Silver Tiger announced that it entered into a CAD $20M bought deal financing (El Tigre, Sonora). Comet raised $1M in strategic investor placement (Santa Teresa project, Baja California). Orogen announced a private placement for gross proceeds of $2.7M (Ermitaño property, Sonora). Prospero Silver announced a consolidation of its common shares (Pachuca SE property, Hidalgo). SilverCrest entered into a bought deal financing agreement for aggregate gross proceeds of USD $120M (Las Chispas project, Sonora). ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Bacanora commenced initial site activities at its Sonora Lithium project in Sonora. Excellon provided an update on ongoing exploration at its Platosa mine in Durango. GR Silver released underground and surface drilling results from its Plomosas project in Sinaloa. Newmont reported 2020 mineral reserves and resources for its Peñasquito mine in Zacatecas. Orla filed updated FS on its Camino Rojo Oxide project in Zacatecas. Southern Silver released drill results from its Cerro Las Minitas project in Durango. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Carlyle announced that it has now met its first-year exploration commitments of its option agreement with Riverside Resources to acquire 100% of the Cecilia Gold-Silver project. Fabled granted an aggregate of 350K stock options to certain consultants, to acquire one common share of Fabled at an exercise price of $0.22 per common share until September 1, 2021 (Santa Maria project, Chihuahua). Fortuna announced management changes (San Jose mine, Oaxaca). Gold Resource announced the appointment of a new member to its Board of Directors (Arista mine, Oaxaca). Gold79announced the appointment of a new member to its Board of Directors and granted him with 500K common shares at a price of $0.10 per share and expire on February 12, 2031 (Taviche project, Oaxaca). Orogen announced that its current President and Chief Executive Officer has been appointed to the Board of Directors (Ermitaño project, Sonora). Premier announced that two independent adviser firms have recommended that holders of Premier´s common shares and options approve the proposed acquisition of Equinox (Mercedes mine, Sonora). Tarachi Gold signed a purchase agreement with Manto Resources to acquire the Magistral del Oro mill and tailings project in Durango. Vizsla announced it will change its name to Vizsla Silver Corp (Panuco project, Sinaloa). ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, Coanzamex (GoGold) supported the Municipal Shelter of Parral, Chihuahua with blankets. Fresnillo plc organized literary caravan and delivered books to children from rural communities. Peñoles signed an alliance with the UNAM Foundation so that medical fellows serve the communities near its operating units in Durango, State of Mexico, Guerrero and Zacatecas. Peñoles encourages the presence of women in the areas of science, innovation and technological development. Santa Elena Mine (First Majestic) in connection with the Sonora A.C. Mining Cluster are carrying out a support program for merchants in the Banámichi and Río Sonora region.
ON MEXICO ISSUES
- Environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) criteria are a key factor in Accendo Banco’s investments in Mexico’s mining sector, according to its CEO, Javier Reyes. Investment deals recently advanced by the bank include a proposed USD $12M loan to finance construction of Telson Mining’s Tahuehueto gold mine in Durango. Candelaria Mining also signed a USD $9M loan agreement with Accendo in June 2020 for the construction of its Pinos gold project in Zacatecas. Lastly, Accendo signed a strategic alliance with Vancouver-based Empress Royalty in August last year. The agreement aims to acquire royalties, cash flows and other investments in Mexico’s mining sector.
- Mining in Mexico, registered a 19.5% rebound during October, 2020 according to the Monthly Indicator of Industrial Activity by Federal Entity (IMAIEF), released by the Institute National Statistics and Geography (INEGI).
- Tatiana Clouthier, head of the Secretariat of Economy declared that mining in Mexico must become a sustainable activity that prioritizes three issues: economic, human and nature. On the other hand, Clouthier highlighted the work that mining companies of all levels have done to accelerate the economic reactivation of the country. “The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) that is generated through mining is about 3.2% and we are pleased to see that these numbers can continue to move in favor of the economy and Mexican families,” she said. “In the Ministry of Economy we have already invited large, medium and small companies and associations that are linked to this issue to be able to find solutions, to be able, within the framework of the law, to activate what we have to activate for this task it can be managed better and it can yield better results in favor of our country”, she assured.
- The energy policies that the federal government is following are already affecting the development of projects for the self-supply of energy by the mining sector. According to data from the Mexico Mining Chamber (CAMIMEX), electricity for this industry is 33% and up to 350% more expensive compared to other countries, which increases its production costs. That is why the mining companies have decided to invest and develop electricity generation projects, which range from combined cycle plants to solar or wind farms. Despite this, many of these plans have been affected by current policies on energy and the action of regulatory bodies, such as the Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE), which reduced the granting of permits to a minimum. President of CAMIMEX assured in recent days that half of the energy consumed by the mining industry is under the self-supply model.
- Experts detailed the main challenges that the Mexican mining sector will face in 2021, the year in which the industry is expected to play a leading role in the economic reactivation after confinements. The main problems for the sector are the current health complications associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, a series of directly or indirectly legislative proposals with potential negative impacts on the mining sector such as the direct initiatives to try to raise taxes at the state of federal level or indirect initiatives as the elimination of the outsourcing or initiatives of the electricity industry. Deputies of Mexico received in January a proposal from a legislator of the ruling party Morena aimed at reviewing the fees paid for mining concessions. It proposed replacing per hectare fees with potentially much higher charges linked to production. Another problem is the “profound ignorance” of the importance of the mining industry.
- Almost a year of delay accumulates the USD $60M of Chinese investment to construct the industrial park at Guadalupe, Zacatecas. This delay has been caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Canuc Resources Corporation, commenced a drill program at its San Javier project. The program will be focused on testing geophysical anomalies and mineralized breccia and stockwork zones as reported previously.
- Carlyle Commodities Corp. and Riverside Resources Inc., initiated a six drill holes, phase one program at its Cecilia project designed to test down to roughly 250m in depth over the Cerro Magallanes rhyolitic dome. The drill program will commence to test the San Jose structure where sampling returned values up to 48.3 g/t Au over 0.75m at surface.
- Tocvan Ventures Corp. and Colibri Resource Corporation reported drill results from its phase one drilling program performed at its El Pilar project in Sonora, which consisted of nine RC holes for a total of 1,505m. Significant drill intercepts were encountered in hole JES-20-32 with 1.6 g/t Au over 94.6m, including 10.8 g/t Au and 38 g/t Ag over 9.2m; hole JES-20-33 with 1.1 g/t Au over 41.2m, including 6 g/t Au and 12 g/t Ag over 3.1m; and hole JES-20-36 with 2.5 g/t Au and 73 g/t Ag over 24.4m, including 6.3 g/t Au and 192 g/t Ag over 9.2m, including 33.4 g/t Au and 1,090 g/t Ag over 1.5m.
- Minaurum Gold Inc., released results from its phase II drilling program conducted at its Alamo Silver project. “Drilling at the Europa-Guadalupe target outlined a prospective south-west (“SW”) plunging silver shoot along with the potential for additional high-grade mineralization to the north and south of the area drilled. At the Promontorio target, drilling returned high-grade mineralization in excess of 100m below historical workings, indicating the potential for two SW-plunging silver shoots”. At Europa-Guadalupe Zone, Significant drill intercepts were encountered in hole AL20-054 with 342 g/t Ag, 0.76% Cu, and 1% Zn over 3.85m, including 1,185 g/t Ag, 2.19% Cu, and 1.2% Zn over 0.8m; and hole AL20-050 with 196 g/t Ag, 0.26% Cu, 0.35% Pb, and 1.1% Zn over 3.25m, including 784 g/t Ag, 1.05% Cu, and 2.5% Zn over 0.55m. At Promontorio Zone, hole AL20-064 intersected 528 g/t Ag, 0.8 g/t Au, 0.83% Cu, 2.4% Pb, and 1.5% Zn over 3.7m, including 1,203 g/t Ag, 2.45 g/t Au, 1.4% Cu, 5.1% Pb, and 2.8% Zn over 1.05m; and hole AL20-069 with 161 g/t Ag, 0.5 g/t Au, 0.24% Cu, 2.15% Pb, and 5.9% Zn over 4m, including 327 g/t Ag, 0.9 g/t Au, 0.23% Cu, 2.5% Pb, and 6.6% Zn over 1m. At San Jose Zone, hole AL20-066 encountered 314 g/t Ag, 0.27% Cu, 0.2% Pb, and 0.2% Zn over 4.45m, and hole AL20-075 with 460 g/t Ag, 0.15% Cu, 0.5% Pb, and 0.85% Zn over 2.15m. At Travesia Zone, hole AL20-077 intersected 210 g/t Ag, 0.59% Cu, 1.3% Pb, and 1.3% Zn over 4.4m, including 355 g/t Ag, 0.7 g/t Au, 1.02% Cu, 4.6% Pb, and 3.2% Zn over 0.9m.
- Equinox Gold Corp., provided 2021 guidance and outlined growth and investment plan. It expects to produce 170K-190K Oz Au from its Los Filos mine in Guerrero at cash and AISC of USD $1,125-1,200 and USD $1,330-1,390 respectively. The company has planned a total sustaining and non-sustaining capital spend of USD $133M for the year.
- GoGold Resources Inc., reported Q4, 2020 production and financial results from its Parral Tailings project in Chihuahua. The company produced 298.6KOz Ag, 3,632 Oz Au and 280K Lb Cu (614.15K Oz AgEq) at cash and AISC of USD $12.27 and USD $15.19 per Oz Ag sold. GoGold reported revenue of USD $14,078M, a net income of USD $4.23M, and a cash flow from operation of USD $5.86M.
- Bacanora Lithium plc., announced that 106,995,885 New Ordinary Shares were admitted to trading on the London Stock Exchange market (Sonora Lithium project, Sonora).
- Silver Tiger Metals Inc., announced that it entered into a CAD $20M bought deal financing with Sprott Capital Partners LP. Net proceeds will be used to fund continued exploration at its El Tigre project in Sonora, as well as for general working capital and business development purposes.
- Comet Resources Ltd., announced that it raised $1M in strategic investor placement. Part of the raised funds will be used to support exploration activities at its (Santa Teresa project in Baja California.
- Orogen Royalties Inc., announced a private placement for gross proceeds of $2.7M (Ermitaño property, Sonora).
- Prospero Silver Corp., announced a consolidation of its common shares on the basis of one new post-consolidation common share for every three pre-consolidation common shares effective as of February 11, 2021. There will be no name change or trading symbol change in conjunction with the consolidation (Pachuca SE property, Hidalgo).
- SilverCrest Metals Inc., entered into a bought deal financing agreement for aggregate gross proceeds of USD $120M. Net proceeds of the offering will be used to expand resources and reserves at its Las Chispas project in Sonora through further drilling, to optimize the mine and processing plant design, to explore regional targets, and for general working capital purposes.
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
- Bacanora Lithium plc., commenced initial site activities at its Sonora Lithium project in Sonora. Bacanora engaged a local specialist ecological service company to rescue and remove surface vegetation and topsoil in the area proposed for the construction of the processing plant. The company is also upgrading the main access road for providing access to heavy equipment to commence the bulk site earthworks later in the year.
- Excellon Resources Inc., provided an update on ongoing exploration at its Platosa mine in Durango. The company is drilling regional targets such as Jaboncillo and the PDN areas, as well as drilling the Platosa extensions and Platosa Underground to support resource definition and expansion. At Jaboncillo zone, located 11 km north of Platosa mine, Excellon identified in a previous drilling campaign a 1.2km length gossans mineralization. The current drilling program is targeting the source of these gossans and the existence of massive sulphides. At PDN zone, located 2 km north of Platosa mine, it is testing a large 800m by 60m target generated with multiple sets of geophysical data, surface mapping and sampling. This target is interpreted as a deeper skarn related to the Rincon del Caido skarn discovered in 2012 where a previous drill intercept encountered 132 g/t Ag, 3.1% Pb, 1.7% Zn, and 0.075 g/t Au (278 g/t AgEq) over 55.5m. At the 10-20 target, the company has been conducting drilling surface to add mineralization over approximately 300m of strike with a vertical extent of 30-40m. This zone has potential to significantly increase the current 800m by 600m mineralized footprint of the Platosa mine. At Platosa mine, Excellon is conducting underground drilling to define mineralization ahead of mine development and add mineralized inventory in areas not adequately tested by surface drilling. This underground drilling program follows up on previous drilling of the Pierna and NE-1 mantos and depth extensions of the 623 and NE-1S mantos.
- GR Silver Mining Ltd., released underground and surface drilling results from its Plomosas project in Sinaloa. Significant mineralization was encountered in hole PLI-20-05 with 2.63 g/t Au, 39 g/t Ag, 0.2% Cu, 0.2% Pb, and 0.1% Zn over 4m, including 8.95 g/t Au, 136 g/t Ag,0.4% Cu, 0.6% Pb, and 0.1% Zn (1,101 g/t AgEq) over 1.0m, and other deeper intersection of 2.77 g/t Au, 25 g/t Ag, 0.2% Cu, 0.2% Pb, and 0.6% Zn over 9.2m, including 19.95 g/t Au, 227 g/t Ag, 1% Cu, 1.3% Pb, and 4.7% Zn (2,507 g/t AgEq) over 0.20m; and hole PLI17-32 with 1.37 g/t Au, 68 g/t Ag, 0.1% Cu, 0.4% Pb, and 0.1% Zn (245 g/t AgEq) over 10.6m. “The underground drilling program is targeting high-grade Ag-Au epithermal mineralization and bulk tonnage-style polymetallic mineralization in the Plomosas Mine Area, with the objective to delineate high margin precious and base metals mineralization for planned resource estimation”.
- Newmont Corporation reported 2020 mineral reserves and resources for its Peñasquito and Noche Buena mines. Figures are shown in the tables below:
(Resources are reported exclusive of reserves)
- Orla Mining Ltd., filed updated FS on its Camino Rojo Oxide project in Zacatecas. Highlights include a total ore to leach pad of 67.4M tonnes of 0.73 g/t Au and 14 g/t Ag for a total of 1.59M Oz Au and 31.5M Oz Ag at metallurgical recoveries of 62% and 20% respectively to recover 980K Oz Au and 6.19M Oz Ag. The mine life of Camino Rojo has been estimated in 10.4 years with a throughput rate of 18,000 tonnes per day for an annual production of 94K Oz Au, at a cash and AISC cost of USD $490 and USD $543 per Oz Au respectively. The FS reported a Pre-Tax and NVP (5% discount rate) of USD $668M, Pre-Tax IRR of 82%, an After-Tax and NVP (5% discount rate) of USD $542M,and an After-Tax IRR of %62%, for a payback time of 1.5 years.
- Southern Silver Exploration Corp., released drill results from its Cerro Las Minitas project in Durango. The company intersected bonanza grades at La Bocona Chimney in hole 20CLM-131 with 1,072 g/t Ag, 18.8% Pb, and 7.5% Zn (2,040 g/t AgEq or 51.7% ZnEq) over a true width (TW) of 8m, which includes subintervals of 3,180 g/t Ag, 58.8% Pb, and 2.3% Zn over a TW of 0.6m, and 2,340 g/t Ag, 35.9% Pb, and 1.6% Zn over a TW of 0.8m. Additional mineralized intervals intersected further down-hole include 121 g/t Ag, 2.5% Pb, and 2.5% Zn (311 g/t AgEq or 7.9% ZnEq) over a TW of 8.5m, including 413 g/t Ag, 8.7% Pb, and 9.3% Zn (1,103 g/t AgEq or 28% ZnEq) over a TW of 1.6m, including 59 g/t Ag, 0.6 g/t Au, an 3.7% Cu (489 g/t AgEq) over a TW of 0.5m. Additional assays results were also received from the Muralla and the South Skarn targets located 500m away of the Mina La Bocona. Significant drill intercepts were encountered in hole 20CLM-134 with 205 g/t Ag, 0.16 g/t Au, 4% Pb, and 0.9% Zn (377 g/t AgEq or 9.5% ZnEq) over a TW of 4.1m, including 575 g/t Ag, 0.05 g/t Au, 9.9% Pb, and 2.2% Zn (972 g/t AgEq or 24.7% ZnEq) over a TW of 0.6m in the Muralla target; hole 20CLM-126 with 95 g/t Ag, 0.7% Pb, and 1.2% Zn (174 g/t AgEq or 4.4% ZnEq), including 398 g/t Ag, 0.16 g/t Au, 2.7% Pb, and 4% Zn (679 g/t AgEq or 17.2% ZnEq) over a TW of 0.7min the South Target Zone, and hole 20CLM-130 with 327 g/t Ag, 5.6% Pb, and 11.5% Zn (960 g/t AgEq or 24.4% ZnEq) over a TW of 1m in the South Target Zone.
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- Carlyle Commodities Corp., announced that it has now met its first-year exploration commitments of its Option Agreement with Riverside Resources to acquire 100% of the Cecilia Gold-Silver project, by having advanced at least CAD $750K for exploration expenditures.
- Fabled Silver Gold Corp., granted an aggregate of 350K stock options to certain consultants, to acquire one common share of Fabled at an exercise price of $0.22 per common share until September 1, 2021 (Santa Maria project, Chihuahua).
- Fortuna Silver Mines Inc., announced the resignation of its Director and Chair of the Board, and the appointment of its replacement (San Jose mine, Oaxaca).
- Gold Resource Corporation announced the appointment of a new member to its Board of Directors (Arista mine, Oaxaca).
- Gold79 Mines Ltd., announced the appointment of a new member to its Board of Directors and granted him 500K common shares at a price of $0.10 per share and expires on February 12, 2031 (Taviche project, Oaxaca).
- Orogen Royalties Inc., announced that its current President and Chief Executive Officer has been appointed to the Board of Directors (Ermitaño project, Sonora).
- Premier Gold Mines Limited announced that two independent adviser firms have recommended that holders of Premier´s common shares and options approve the proposed acquisition of Equinox Gold Corp. (Mercedes mine, Sonora).
- Tarachi Gold Corp., signed a purchase agreement with Manto Resources SA de CV to acquire the Magistral del Oro mill and tailings project in Durango. Magistral project consists of a 1,000 tons per day (TPD) Merrill-Crow tailings reprocessing plant and tailing disposal facility, and access to an estimated 1.3M tonnes of tailings with a historic average grade of between 2.06 g/t Au and 2.11 g/t Au. In order to acquire the property, Tarachi has to issue 4M of its common shares, grant Manto with a 15% net profits royalty on the estimated 1.3M tonnes of tailings material expected to be processed and reimburse Manto for USD $1,179,500 of cash outlays, and will satisfy certain obligations of Manto by paying a total of USD $1,111,000 plus any Mexican value add tax (IVA) and issuing 1,685,916 common shares within 90 days of closing. Manto will be entitled to the following staged bonus payments: an additional 4M common shares 60 days after the closing date, 4M common shares 180 days after the closing date, 4M of common shares 365 days after the closing date, USD $500K in cash following 6 months of commercial production at Magistral, USD $500K in cash following 12 months of commercial production at Magistral, upon the company earning USD $15M in revenue from Magistral, the company will pay Manto USD $1M. Finally, a finder´s fee of 1M common shares will be issued to Spirit Exploration Corp.
- Vizsla Resources Corp., announced it will change its name to Vizsla Silver Corp. The name change is expected to be effective on February 9, 2021 (Panuco project, Sinaloa).
ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
- Coanzamex (GoGold Resources Inc.) delivered blankets to the Parral Municipality Shelter. Major of Parral thanked the spirit of solidarity that has characterized the mining company that has operated in Parral, Chihuahua for several years.
- Fresnillo plc organized literary caravan and delivered 10,000 books to children and adolescents from 23 communities in Caborca, Sonora. It should be mentioned that Fresnillo plc, in alliance with the IBBY México organization, encourages children’s reading through the “Picando Letras” program, which has been implemented for some time more than 8 years and, to date, approximately more than 2,500 infants and adolescents have participated in the various actions.
- Industrias Peñoles SAB de CV signed an alliance with the UNAM Foundation so that medical fellows serve the communities near its operating units Durango, State of Mexico, Guerrero and Zacatecas. For more than 10 years, Peñoles has carried out Health Days to the communities near its operations, to provide free medical care to its neighbors. To give continuity to preventive health programs among the population with fewer resources, Peñoles ratified an agreement with the UNAM Foundation whereby eight social service providers of the University will provide medical care to the communities surrounding the Velardeña, Sabinas, Tizapa, and Capela mines.
- Industrias Peñoles SAB de CV encourages the presence of women in the areas of science, innovation and technological development. Its General Director, Rafael Rebollar, points out that, fortunately, more women are joining the different mining processes, contributing their talent and skills. The Central Laboratory and the Center for Research and Technological Development (CIDT) of Peñoles stand out, with 35 women who carry out functions key to mining and metallurgical processes. Thus, Peñoles reiterates its commitment to society by integrating more women scientists in the industry, through programs that expand their knowledge and allow them to innovate in the processes, which contributes to strengthening the activity mining and make it more sustainable.
- Santa Elena Mine (First Majestic) in connection with the Sonora A.C. Mining Cluster are carrying out a support program for local merchants in the Banámichi and Río Sonora region. Through a workshop, they seek to provide the necessary tools to promote the economic reactivation of businesses and overcome the barriers of the pandemic using new digital marketing tool to offer its products and services. This training was offered in virtual mode where the last session was completed in person, ending with the delivery of recognitions to the participants.
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, a quartz hydrothermal breccia in a low sulphidation epithermal system in a prospect in Durango, Mexico. Photo by Miguel A Heredia., Mexico.
By Jorge Cirett
During the 5th week of the year (February 1st to February 7th, 2021), there were at least 47 press releases by companies working in Mexico. To note, seven companies posted exploration advances on their properties, five more informed on various mining items, seven posted on financing or share options, eleven on project development and nine more on corporate issues. ON MEXICO ISSUES, mining production fell 3.1% in Mexico to November 2020, although some metals and States saw an increase. Some projects with development funding include, Las Chispas, San Antonio (both in Sonora) and Avino in Durango. ON EXPLORATION, in Baja California, Comet Resources updated on exploration at its Santa Teresa project. In Sonora, Silver Spruce is to conduct an airborne Lidar survey over its Mezquite and Jackie properties. In Chihuahua, Radius Gold conducted a geophysical survey at Plata Verde; Reyna Silver released high-grade results from trench and rock chip samples at its Batopilas project. In Zacatecas, Alien Metals is to map and sample a new area on its San Celso project. Advance Gold released drill results from Tabasqueña. ON MINING, Santacruz Silver presented quarterly and full year 2020 reports. Golden Minerals poured the first gold at Rodeo. Excellon Resources released high-grade results from exploration and expansion drilling at Platosa. McEwen Mining presented its production guidance for 2021. ON FINANCING, Silver Dollar, Sonoro Gold and Solaris Resources informed on issues related to their shares; Mammoth Resources, Plymouth Realty and Bacanora Lithium announced the closing/opening of financing rounds for $688 K, $7.4 M and $65 M respectively (and $31 M more on Bacanora Lithium shares bought by Ganfeng); Prospero Silver is consolidating shares 3 to 1. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Silver Tiger Metals discovered a new mineralized zone at its El Tigre project. Gold Resource released high-grade underground drilling results from its Don David mine. Silver Dollar completed a reinterpretation of the model at La Joya while selecting new targets. Impact Silver bought a surface drill rig and an underground drill rig to use at Zacualpan. Endeavour Silver updated mineral resource estimates for Guanaceví, Bolañitos, El Compas, Terronera, El Cubo, Guadalupe y Calvo, and Parral properties. Fabled Silver released drill results from Santa María. GoGold informed on drilling results at the La Trini deposit at its Los Ricos North project. Sailfish Royalty described the Gavilanes project. Xtierra released high-grade drilling results on the Victor vein at the Bilbao project. Azucar Minerals released results from one drill hole at the Porvenir zone of the El Cobre project. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Endeavour Silver optioned The Guadalupe y Calvo project to Ridgestone Mining. Mako Mining informed on the sale of La Trinidad to GR Silver Mining. Silvercorp Metals acquired La Yesca project in Nayarit. Bacanora Lithium informed Ganfeng increased its position in Bacanora to 28.88% with the acquisition of US$31 M in shares. SilverCrest Metals released a positive FS for Las Chispas. Almaden Minerals provided a scope on the advancement of the Ixtaca project, given the refusal of development by the permitting authority. Magna Gold announced exploration activities have commenced at Margarita, a second stage of drilling is planned at La Pima and mapping and a geophysical survey are planned for Q4 at Los Muertos. Orla Mining updated on exploration activities on its 163,000 hectares land package. Plymouth Royalty is to acquire the Peñasco Quemado, Pluton and La Frazada projects from Silver One. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, Grupo Mexico and Minera Peñasquito informed on actions that benefit the communities.
ON MEXICO ISSUES
- Mining production in Mexico has fallen 3.1% during January to November of 2020, compared with the same period a year before. Gold, zinc and silver production grew by 3.8%, 3.4% and 1.2% respectively, but production in several other commodities fell, like iron pellets (25.9%), coking coal (21.3%), sulphur (15.1%), lead (13.7%), copper (7.3%), gypsum (5.1%).
- Mexican projects that have received funding for development include Las Chispas in Sonora (SilverCrest, US$120 M), San Antonio in Sonora (Osisko, US$53.5 M) and Avino in Durango (Avino Silver, US$25 M).
- Mining companies with significant exploration budgets in Mexico include First Majestic Silver, with US$27.6 M, Pan American Silver with US$42 M (not all in Mexico), Fortuna Silver with US$10 M, Alamos Gold with US$9 M, Endeavour Silver with US$8.4 M, Capstone Mining with US$5.0 M.
- The Gold production in Chihuahua increased 15% in 2020. In November of last year 1,713 kilograms of gold were extracted, only behind Sonora (3,120 Kg) and Guerrero (1,998 kg).
- Vizsla Resources Corp. provided results from eight new holes at the Napoleon prospect of the Panuco project in Sinaloa. Highlighted true width results comprise 86 gpt Ag, 18.45 gpt Au, 1.3% Pb, 3.4% Zn (1,909 gpt AgEq), including 0.43 m @ 307 gpt Ag, 101.0 gpt Au, 2.9% Pb, 10.5% Zn (10,019 gpt AgEq); 6.0 m @ 63 gpt Ag, 1.54 gpt Au, 0.2% Pb, 1.2% Zn (237 gpt AgEq), including 1.45 m @ 216 gpt Ag, 5.80 gpt Au, 0.3% Pb, 3.9% Zn.
- Advance Gold Corp. released information on drilling at its Tabasqueña project in Zacatecas. Highlighted core length intervals comprise 0.40 m @ 0.04 gpt Au, 41 gpt Ag, 2.0% Pb, 2.9% Zn and 0.20 m @ 0.79 gpt Au, 32 gpt Ag, 2.5% Pb, 3.8% Zn.
- Comet Resources Ltd. provided an update on the Santa Teresa project in Baja California. Comprehensive mapping of historical drill collars, shafts and artisanal workings was conducted, with mapping identifying numerous narrow vein structures at surface. A strong association between pyrrhotite and gold has been noted.
- Radius Gold Inc. published the results of recent geophysical surveys at its Plata Verde project in Chihuahua. “New IP/Resistivity sections show significant structural zones extending to depth directly below the known large scale historic silver mines”. Radius is now targeting extensions and repetitions of the shallow dipping breccias, stockworks and disseminations within the historic mines, as well as the sub-vertical feeder zones interpreted below.
- Alien Metals Ltd. informed mapping and sampling is to take place at the Nueva Andromeda claim, adjacent to its San Celso project in Zacatecas. The environmental drilling permit is being awaited.
- Reyna Silver Corp. released high-grade results from its surface and trench sampling program at its Batopilas project in Chihuahua. Based on ASTER satellite image analysis and structural mapping, 258 trench, rock chip and soil samples were collected. Two new veins were found, one with native silver, typical of Batopilas, and the first gold rich vein in the property. High-resolution hyperspectral imagery shows distinctive alteration mineralogy that coincides with the new and the known veins with additional anomalies. Highlighted channel silver results comprise 42,306 gpt, 18.078 gpt, 6,320 gpt, 2,880 gpt, 2,060 gpt, 1,510 gpt, 989 gpt, 841 gpt, 405 gpt, 400 gpt 310 gpt and two soil samples returning 662 gpt and 305 gpt Ag. Highlighted channel sample gold results comprise 21.40 gpt, 18.35 gpt, 18.30 gpt, 16.90 gpt, 15.40 gpt, 15.20 gpt, 12.90 gpt, 12.40 gpt, 7.82 gpt, 3.77 gpt, 3.24 gpt, 2.03 gpt, 1.03 gpt, 1.02 gpt.
- Silver Spruce Resources Inc. signed an airborne Lidar survey contract on its El Mezquite and Jackie properties in Sonora. The survey will produce a high resolution digital elevation and surface models topographic map and an orthorectified color aerial photography.
- Golden Minerals Co. reported the first gold pour from its Rodeo project in Durango. The pour occurred nearly three weeks after the first loads of material were trucked from the Rodeo site to the company’s Velardeña oxide plant for processing.
- Excellon Resources Inc. released assay results from underground drilling at its Platosa mine in Durango. Relevant exploration and expansion results include core length intervals of 4.2 m @ 741 gpt Ag, 7.5% Pb, 4.8% Zn (including 2.0 m @ 1,153 gpt Ag, 12.3% Pb, 6.1% Zn, 1.7 gpt Au); 2.4 m @ 728 gpt Ag, 21.2% Pb, 17.8% Zn. Some current definition and infill drilling comprise: 2.4 m @ 441 gpt Ag, 6.4% Pb, 10.6% Zn; 2.8 m @ 181 gpt Ag, 5.0% Pb, 6.5% Zn; 2.4 m @ 728 gpt Ag, 21.2% Pb, 17.8% Zn; 4.2 m @ 267 gpt Ag, 7.1% Pb, 14.5% Zn; 4.2 m @ 585 gpt Ag, 3.4% Pb, 3.3% Zn; 4.2 m @ 741 gpt Ag, 7.5% Pb, 4.8% Zn, 0.9 gpt Au.
- Mexus Gols US. continues to haul and crush mineralized material to be laid on section 2 of the leach pad at its Santa Elena mine in Sonora.
- McEwen Mining Inc. presented its production guidance for 2021, including from its Mexican operations. At El Gallo, in Sinaloa, the residual leaching operations are expected to produce between 4,500 and 5,900 Oz AuEq. The feasibility study for the Fenix Au-Ag project in Sinaloa was presented recently, with a 51% after-tax IRR, $90.8 M NPV@8% and a 2.9 years payback, with average annual production of 26 K Oz Au in phase 1 and 4.2 M Oz Ag in phase 2.
- Santacruz Silver Mining Ltd. released production results for the Q4 and full year 2020. During the quarter, at Zimapan in Hidalgo 180 K tonnes were processed @ 76 gpt Ag, 0.62% Pb, 2.20% Zn, 0.32% Cu, recovering 67.4% Ag, to produce 297.5 K Oz Ag, 948 tonnes Pb, 2,711 tonnes Zn, 402 tonnes Cu. At Rosario in San Luis Potosí, 21.6 K tonnes were processed @ 71 gpt Ag, 0.18 gpt Au, 0.38% Pb, 1.40% Zn, recovering 87.5% Ag, to produce 43.3 K Oz Ag, 77 Oz Au, 73 tonnes Pb, 244 tonnes Zn. At Veta Grande in Zacatecas, no processing took place during the quarter. For the full year, the company produced 340.9 K Oz Ag, 77 Oz Au, 1,022 tonnes Pb, 2,954 tonnes Zn, 402 tonnes Cu (1 M Oz AgEq).
- Silver Dollar Resources Inc. announced its common shares are now eligible for “settlement through the Depository Trust Company (“DTC”), a subsidiary of the Depository Trust & Clearing Corp. that manages the electronic clearing and settlement of publicly-traded companies in the United States” (La Joya, Durango).
- Mammoth Resources Corp. was recently granted conditional approval by the TSX Venture Exchange to close its previously oversubscribed $688.5 K gross proceeds private placement financing (Tenoriba, Chihuahua).
- Plymouth Realty Capital Corp. intends to undertake a non-brokered private financing for gross proceeds of $2 M. Plymouth previously closed a brokered private placement for $7.4 M in proceeds (Peñasco Quemado, Sonora).
- Prospero Silver Corp. is proposing to consolidate its outstanding common shares on the basis of three to one. “There are currently 5,747,189 Shares issued and outstanding. Following the Consolidation, there will be approximately 1,915,729 Shares issued and outstanding, subject to treatment of fractional post-Consolidation Shares” (Pachuca Southeast, Hidalgo).
- Sonoro Gold Corp. has granted incentive stock options to certain directors, officers and consultants of the company to purchase an aggregate of 535 K common shares. (Cerro Caliche, Sonora).
- Solaris Resources Inc. announced that its common shares have been approved for listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange (La Verde, Michoacan).
- Bacanora Lithium PLC made a share placement representing US$65 M in gross proceeds (Sonora Lithium, Sonora).
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
- Discovery Metals Corp. announced the expansion of the higher-grade bulk-tonnage domain at is Cordero project in Chihuahua. Results from 13 diamond drill holes were released, highlighting the next core length intervals: 131.6 m @ 48 gpt Ag, 0.09 gpt Au, 0.5% Pb, 1.1% Zn (118 gpt AgEq) including 37.1 m @ 119 gpt Ag, 0.22 gpt Au, 1.0% Pb, 1.2% Zn (223 gpt AgEq); 85.6 m @ 53 gpt Ag, 0.05 gpt Au, 1.4% Pb, 1.7% Zn (175 gpt AgEq) including 39.9 m @ 93 gpt Ag, 0.08 gpt Au, 2.4% Pb, 3.0% Zn (308 gpt AgEq); 126.1 m @ 40 gpt Ag, 0.10 gpt Au, 0.4% Pb, 1.0% Zn (103 gpt AgEq); 57.6 m @ 41 gpt Ag, 0.11 gpt Au, 0.3% Pb, 1.8% Zn (134 gpt Ag). Drilling has extended the “strike extent of the higher-grade bulk tonnage domain by approximately 300 m along strike across an estimated lateral extent of approximately 400 m”.
- Silver Tiger Metals Inc. informed on the discovery of a new mineralized zone on the footwall of the Sooy vein at El Tigre, Sonora. Highlighted core length results comprise 22.2 m @ 1.12 gpt Au, 177 gpt Ag, 0.23% Cu, 1.4% Pb, 2.0% Zn (382 gpt AgEq) including 11.75 m @ 2.02 gpt Au, 305 gpt Ag, 0.39% Cu, 2.3% Pb, 3.6% Zn, which include 6.95 m @ 3.34 gpt Au, 345 gpt Ag, 0.33% Cu, 2.0% Pb, 3.4% Zn. “The decision by the technical team to continue drilling 50 meters past the targeted Sooy Vein has been rewarded by the discovery of a wide zone of high grade mineralization totally unlike the quartz vein ore previously mined at El Tigre”.
- Gold Resource Corp. released good underground drilling results from its Don David mine in Oaxaca. Highlighted core length intervals comprise 10.85 m @ 9.12 gpt Au, 179 gpt Ag, 0.58% Cu, 3.5% Pb, 7.0% Zn; 11.83 m @ 17.45 gpt Au, 99 gpt Ag, 0.78% Cu, 3.7% Pb, 6.3% Zn; 9.97 m @ 4.43 gpt Au, 88 gpt Ag, 0.35% Cu, 0.8% Pb, 3.2% Zn; 5.87 m @ 1.51 gpt Au, 871 gpt Ag, 0.15% Cu, 0.5% Pb, 1.0% Zn; 3.85 m @ 1.66 gpt Au, 1,046 gpt Ag, 0.14% Cu, 0.3% Pb, 0.4% Zn; 7.06 m @ 0.71 gpt Au, 286 gpt Ag; 9.20 m @ 0.47 gpt Au, 283 gpt Ag.
- Silver Dollar Resources Inc. completed the compilation and reinterpretation of historical exploration data on the La Joya project in Durango. Additional targets have been defined by similarities in skarn mineralization to La Colorada recent discovery in nearby Zacatecas, and a study in fault kinematics, geophysical interpretation and the elaboration of a 3D geological and mineralization model.
- Impact Silver Corp. purchased two core drill rigs to accelerate exploration on its Zacualpan property in Estado de Mexico. The company has started a 10,000 meters drill program utilizing a used underground rig already in its possession, a new surface rig and a new underground rig. Multiple targets on both extensions of current mining areas are to be tested, as well as new exploration targets on the San Ramon, Guadalupe, Mina Grande, Cuchara, Manto America and Alacran areas.
- Endeavour Silver Corp. updated mineral reserve and resources estimates for its properties. Mineral reserves stand at 48.6 M Oz Ag, 472 K Oz Au (86.3 M Oz AgEq), measured and indicated resources at 25.9 M Oz Ag, 222.5 K Oz Au (43.7 M Oz AgEq) and inferred resources at 64.4 M Oz Ag, 283.8 K Oz Au, (87.1 M Oz AgEq).
- Fabled Silver Gold Corp. released results from the second drill hole of the 8,000 meters campaign at its Santa María project in Chihuahua. Highlighted core length intercepts comprise 6.0 m @ 0.54 gpt Au, 324 gpt Ag including 3.30 m @ 0.90 gpt Au, 561 gpt Ag which includes 1.10 m @ 0.74 gpt Au, 822 gpt Ag and 1.10 m @ 1.06 gpt Au, 621 gpt Ag.
- GoGold Resources Inc. announced results of drilling at La Trini in Los Ricos North property. Highlighted core length intercepts comprise 11.4 m @ 97 gpt Ag, 0.05 gpt Au, including 0.8 m @ 1,214 gpt Ag, 0.25 gpt Au; 8.5 m @ 197 gpt Ag, 0.08 gpt Au, including 2.3 m @ 506 gpt Ag, 0.08 gpt Au; 23.5 m @ 64 gpt Ag, 0.81 gpt Au, including 2.8 m @ 283 gpt Ag, 3.30 gpt Au. To date, the results of 96 drill holes at La Trini have been released.
- Sailfish Royalty Corp. updated on the Gavilanes project in Durango. The 13,594 hectares low-sulfidation epithermal project is 25 km east from First Majestic’s San Dimas property. Historic indicated resources comprise 953 K tonnes @ 165 gpt Ag, 0.09 gpt Au, 0.06% Cu, 0.42% Pb, 0.41% Zn (200 gpt AgEq) whereas inferred resources include 5.4 M tonnes @ 125 gpt Ag, 0.12 gpt Au, 0.4% Pb, 0.34% Zn (163 gpt AgEq).
- Xtierra Inc. released results from drilling at the Victor vein on its Bilbao property in Zacatecas. Highlighted true-width intervals in one hole comprise 3.80 m @ 59 gpt Ag, 2.0% Pb, 1.3% Zn, 0.14% Cu; 8.98 m @ 90 gpt Ag, 3.4% Pb, 3.2% Zn, 0.20% Cu, including 2.09 m @ 175 gpt Ag, 6.1% Pb, 0.7% Zn, 0.58% Cu; 4.15 m @ 131 gpt Ag, 6.0% Pb, 8.5% Zn, 0.18% Cu;1.10 m @ 126 gpt Ag, 6.1% Pb, 3.8% Zn, 0.68% Cu. Another hole returned 1.84 m @ 101 gpt Ag, 6.2% Pb, 2.7% Zn, 0.21% Cu; 3.48 m @ 28 gpt Ag, 1.7% Pb, 0.8% Zn, 0.06% Cu.
- Azucar Minerals Ltd. released results from one more drill hole at the Porvenir zone of the El Cobre project in Veracruz. Highlighted core length intervals comprise 65.0 m @ 0.26 gpt Au, 0.14% Cu, including 10.0 m @ 0.54 gpt Au, 0.29% Cu; a second interval of 25.5 m @ 0.52 gpt Au, 0.30% Cu. “. Drilling planned for the Porvenir Zone has been completed and future drilling on the project will be planned based on a geologic review currently underway and the receipt of outstanding assay results. In the meantime a surface field work program is planned to better define several targets prior to drill testing”.
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- Endeavour Silver Corp. has granted an option to purchase a 100% interest in its Guadalupe y Calvo project in Chihuahua to Ridgestone Mining Inc.. Under the agreement Ridgestone has to pay over four years US$1.5 M in cash and US$1.75 M in shares, plus US$0.75 M in exploration expenses for a total commitment of US$4 M. Endeavour will retain a 2% NSR, with an option by which Ridgestone could buy back the 2% NSR for US$2 M prior to commencement of commercial production.
- Mako Mining Corp. informed a definitive agreement has been executed with GR Silver Mining Ltd. on the sale of its subsidiary Marlin Gold Mining Ltd., which owns the La Trinidad mine facilities in Sinaloa, currently being reclaimed. The deal includes nine mining concessions covering 104,094.5 hectares adjacent to GR Silver’s properties. Mako will receive US$50 K in cash, a 1% NSR and the reversal of US$9.35 M in unpaid concession taxes. The 1% NSR can be bought at any time for US$2 M.
- Silvercorp Metals Inc. has acquired 100% interest in the La Yesca project in Nayarit. The 4,700 hectares project has previous geological mapping, stream sediment and soil surveys and 7,649 meters of drilling in 25 widely spaced holes. Highlighted trench sample results comprise 25.6 m @ 420 gpt Ag, 14.3 m @ 389 gpt Ag, 47.6 m @ 295 gpt Ag and 32.9 m @ 161 gpt Ag, all with combined Pb+Zn credits of up to 3.7%. Highlighted core length intercepts comprise 3.3 m @ 744 gpt Ag, 0.1% Pb, 1.4% Zn; 10.0 m @ 977 gpt Ag, 0.2% Pb, 0.6% Zn; 6.5 m @ 725 gpt Ag, 0.5% Pb, 1.8% Zn; 5.9 m @ 293 gpt Ag, 0.2% Pb, 1.4% Zn; 2.4 m @ 823 gpt Ag, 0.3% Pb, 4.0% Zn; 3.0 m @ 718 gpt Ag, 0.2% Pb, 3.34% Zn; 17.0 m @ 252 gpt Ag, 0.8% Pb, 2.1% Zn. Silvercorp obtained control of the project by acquiring the holding company with a cash payment of US$9.25 M in cash and a 45% interest in the managing company shares to the vendors. “A “discovery payment” of up to $30 million calculated on the basis of US$0.20 per ounce of silver resources as defined by National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects (“NI 43-101”), is payable by New Infini to the Vendors subject to certain permitting considerations”.
- Bacanora Lithium PLC. announced that its partner Ganfeng Lithium Co. Ltd. signed a joint venture agreement “in connection with its investment in SLL (“JVA”) following the exercise of its option to increase its stake in SLL from 22.5% to 50% (the “Option”). Completion of the JVA remains conditional upon certain approvals and consents from authorities in the People’s Republic of China”. On a second press release Bacanora informed Ganfeng’s intention to increase its holding in Bacanora, subscribing for gross proceeds of US$31 M. On completion of their investment, Ganfeng will have an ownership level of 28.88%. (Sonora Lithium project, Sonora).
- SilverCrest Metals Inc. disclosed positive results from a feasibility study for the Las Chispas project in Sonora. The study envisages a 1,250 tpd operation with an initial mine life of 8.5 years, with a base case NPV(5%) of $486.3 M, IRR of 52% and a payback period of one year. An average AISC of $7.07 per Oz AgEq for seven years is among the lowest quartile AISC globally.
- Almaden Minerals Ltd. provided an update on its intentions for advancing the Ixtaca project in Puebla. Late last year the company was informed that the initial environmental impact assessment on the project did not receive approval from the Mexican federal permitting authority, Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (SEMERNAT).” Almaden remains convinced that the Ixtaca project can be a showcase for modern, responsible mineral development in Mexico. The Company intends to work towards submitting a revised MIA which incorporates additional data presently available to the Company as well as data to be gathered in further field studies”.
- Magna Gold Corp. announced exploration activities have commenced on its Margarita project in Chihuahua. Magna plans to re-log 5,097 meters of HQ drill core from 35 drill holes, re-sample and sample vein and vein extensions and compile sections and long sections based on the previous drilling. “Magna has contracted topographic map work on the property, as well as the acquisition of Aster satellite images, in preparation for field mapping at Margarita. A survey crew will locate the Margarita drillhole collars to confirm existing data. Field work at Margarita is scheduled to commence in Q1, which will be used to plan a drill campaign that will commence by Q3 2021. The drill campaign will include infill, confirmation and exploration drilling and will be targeted in areas between and down dip from existing drilling”. A second, 2,000 meters phase of drilling is planned in Q3 at La Pima, in Sonora. The drilling is to focus on breccias hosted in limestone. At Los Muertos, also in Sonora, soil and rock chip sampling as well as geology mapping and an induced polarization survey are planned to commence on Q4 2021.
- Orla Mining Ltd. updated the exploration status of its 163,000 hectares in Mexican properties. A 6,000 meters core drilling program is underway within the Camino Rojo deposit in Zacatecas, and a 5,212 RC drilling campaign was completed in the neighboring Las Miserias, San Tiburcio and Guanamero targets. Nine trenches were excavated at the Las Miserias target, for a total of 140 meters. A directional drilling programmed commenced in Q4 2020 on the down plunge extension of the sulfide zone on the Camino Rojo deposit. A 2,500 meters core drilling program on Fresnillo’s property and integration of the geological resource models with Fresnillo’s drill data (In December 2020 Orla completed a layback agreement with Fresnillo PLC that will allow Orla to expand the Camino Rojo oxide pit onto part of the adjacent Fresnillo’s mining concession. A US$4 M budget has been allocated for these exploration campaigns.
- Plymouth Realty Capital Corp. received conditional acceptance from the TSX Venture Exchange on its qualifying transaction whereby Plymouth will acquire the Peñasco Quemado (Sonora), Pluton (Durango) and La Frazada (Nayarit) projects from Silver One Resources Inc.. Plymouth is to pay Silver One $6 M in cash and shares as follows: 1.25 M in cash and 4.375 M shares on the closing of the transaction, $750 K in cash 18 months onwards and $500 K in cash 24 months after the closing.
ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
- Grupo Mexico’s La Caridad power plant received the certificate “Great Place to Work”.
- Minera Peñasquito donated medical equipment to the state government in Zacatecas.
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: Quartz vein from a low sulfidation epithermal system in Sinaloa. Picture by Jorge Cirett.
By Miguel A Heredia
During the fourth week of the year (January 25th to January 31st, 2021), at least 43 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico and 9 news published by the media, with twelve informing on exploration results, ten disclosing deals and corporate issues, nine announcing financial rounds, seven reporting on resources and development of their mine operations, six commenting on Mexican issues, five communicating production and financial results, and three discussing social issues. ON MEXICO ISSUES, Odyssey has been notified that the First Memorial filed in September 2020 in its pending North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) case against Mexico has now been published by the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Mexico is the mining market with the highest tax burden compared to Canada, Chile, Peru, and the United States. Fernando Alanís, president of the Mining Chamber of Mexico (CAMIMEX) declared that Mexico captured USD $2.5 B of investment in the mining sector in 2020, its lowest level in the last 13 years. Ministry of Economic Development and Labor of Guerrero State seeks to recover jobs at Minera Media Luna (Torex Gold). The Mining Chamber of Mexico (CAMIMEX) presented its first Sustainability Report 2020. Businessmen from the mining and energy sector joined in the proposal to put a limit on the participation of workers in company profits (PTU) and to link them to productivity. ON EXPLORATION, In Sonora, Carlyle and Riverside announced the start of its first drilling program by early February at its Cecilia project and Aztec Minerals and its JV partner Kootenay announced plans for a two-phase exploration program at its Cervantes project. In Chihuahua, Mammoth commenced its 2021 field exploration program at its Tenoriba project, Consolidated Zinc reported exploration results from Potrero and Don Lucas targets, and Golden Minerals discovered new vein at its Yoquivo project. In Sinaloa, Vizsla released drill results from eighth holes collared at the Papayo prospect at its Panuco project, and Mithril provided an update on the exploration activities performed during the period Q4, 2020 at its Copalquin project. In Jalisco, GoGold announced a new discovery at El Orito in its Los Ricos North project. In Veracruz, Azucar Minerals provided an update on drilling activities at its El Cobre project. ON MINING, Consolidated Zinc reported Q4, 2020 production results from its Plomosas mine in Chihuahua. Endeavour reported 2021 production and cost guidance for their Mexican operations. Fresnillo plc reported Q4, 2020 from their Mexican operations. Gold Resource announced Q4, and full year 2020 production results from its Oaxaca Mining Unit in Oaxaca. Mag Silver reported Q4, 2020 production results from its Juanicipio project in Zacatecas. ON FINANCING, Argonaut announced a $23M bought-deal public offering (El Castillo mine, Durango). VanGold increased its previously announced non-brokered private placement financing to $14.55M (El Pinguico project, Guanajuato). Americas Gold and Silver closed its previously announced bought deal financing for aggregate gross proceeds of CAD $33.9M (Cosala mine, Sinaloa). Gainey announced that it has arranged a non brokered private placement for gross proceeds of up to CAD $500K (El Colomo, Nayarit). Mithril raised A $5M through a share placement (Copalquin project, Durango). Elementals Royalties announced that its common shares are now eligible for electronic clearing and settlement (Mercedes mine, Sonora). Gold Resource declared January 2021 monthly dividend (Oaxaca Mining Unit, Oaxaca). Ridgestone closed the remaining tranche of its previously announced non-broken private placement for gross proceeds of $695K (Rebeico project, Sonora). ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Fabled presented initial diamond drill results from its Santa Maria project in Chihuahua. Capstone announced an updated technical report for its Cozamin mine in Zacatecas. Comet provided an updated Q4, 2020 activities report (Santa Teresa project, Baja California). Oroco reported significant 3D IP survey results at its Santo Tomas project in Sinaloa. VanGold commenced a 12-14 drill holes program at its Pinguico project in Guanajuato. Minera Alamos provided a construction update at its Santana project in Sonora. Great Panther announced an update on exploration strategy and programs for 2021 (Topia mine, Durango). ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Mexican Gold engaged JDS Energy & Mining Inc., for a PEA at its Las Minas project in Veracruz. Canuc doubled its land position at San Javier project in Sonora. Magna Gold appointed its new CFO (San Francisco mine, Sonora). Defiance Silver entered into an option agreement to double its land position at its Tepal project in Michoacan. Vizsla announced strengthening of its senior management team and board (Panuco project, Sinaloa). First Majestic responded to market activity (San Dimas property, Durango). Mexican Gold appointed two new members as technical advisors (Las Minas project, Veracruz). Discovery Metals named to the 2021 OTCQX Best 50 (Cordero project, Chihuahua). Gainey provided an update on its Mexican projects and corporate activities (El Colomo project, Nayarit). Orex announced board changes and a grant of options (Sandra project, Durango). Magna Gold provided a letter to all of its shareholders in which it explained the strategy used to grow the company through strategic acquisitions and targeted exploration to evolve from a junior exploration company to an intermediate gold producer in Mexico (San Francisco mine, Sonora). ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, Fresnillo plc strengthens education in times of pandemic. Peñoles reaffirms its commitment to promoting education through the implementation of academic programs that seek to develop skills and tools so that children and young people in Mexico aspire to a better future. The companies Autlán, Grupo México, Industrias Peñoles, Newmont-Peñasquito, Fresnillo plc and Coeur Mining participate in water management projects that were highlighted by the Mexican Mining Chamber (CAMIMEX) in its 2020 sustainability report.
ON MEXICO ISSUES
- Odyssey Marine Exploration Inc., has been notified that the First Memorial filed in September 2020 in its pending North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) case against Mexico has now been published by the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). The $2.3 billion claim against Mexico under NAFTA relates to the unlawful denial of the environmental permit for subsidiary Exploraciones Oceanicas’ (ExO’s) offshore phosphate project.
- Mexico is the mining market with the highest tax burden compared to Canada, Chile, Peru, and the United States, the main competing countries on the continent in terms of mining, according to the Mexican Mining Chamber (CAMIMEX). Mining faces heavy tax burden making the sector less competitive.
- Fernando Alanís, president of the Mining Chamber of Mexico (CAMIMEX) declared that Mexico captured USD $2.5 B of investment in the mining sector in 2020, its lowest level in the last 13 years. Mexico is a mining power globally. In 2019 it ranked among the top 10 positions in the world production of 17 minerals, including first in silver, second in fluorite, third in celestite and wollastonite, sixth in zinc, seventh in salt, eighth copper and ninth in gold, among others. Mining stands out as an activity that generates jobs, investments, foreign exchange, infrastructure, regional value chains, local consumption and contribution to social development. In 2019, the mining-metallurgical Gross Domestic Product (GDP) represented 8.1% of the industrial GDP and 2.3% of the national GDP.
- Ministry of Economic Development and Labor of Guerrero state seeks to recover jobs at Minera Media Luna. The investment of USD $500M in the mining activity by Torex Gold in the municipality of Cocula, the creation of commercialization spaces through virtual stores on the Mercado Libre platform and the linking of credit institutions with small and Guerrerenses micro companies are some of the strategies that are implemented to recover more than 15 thousand formal jobs that were lost during 2020 in Guerrero.
- The Mining Chamber of Mexico (CAMIMEX) presented its first Sustainability Report 2020. The publication is divided into three chapters, corresponding to good practices in mining in the social, environmental and economic spheres. Highlighted that the companies affiliated to CAMIMEX represent 90% of the value of the industry, and have a presence in 696 communities, in 24 states of the Mexican Republic. Regarding the regulations to which mining projects are subject to operate, mentioned a total of 1,077 rules, laws, norms, guidelines and agreements, in matters of labor competition, health, environment, fiscal, agrarian, etc. regarding some of the taxes paid by the mining, Fernando Alanís indicated that in 2019 a total of MXP $39,017M was contributed, for concepts such as ISR, surface rights, and new rights, and that the amount rose to MXP $ 131,016M in a period of four years. In 2019, mining companies invested MXP $ 1,056M in social development (in addition to the MXP $3,496M raised that year for the Mining Fund), managing to directly benefit more than one and a half million people.
- Businessmen from the mining and energy sector joined in the proposal to put a limit on the participation of workers in company profits (PTU) and to link them to productivity. Fernando Alanís Ortega, president of the Mining Chamber of Mexico, highlighted that “continuing to manage PTU as a percentage of profit is essentially to consider it as if it would be an additional tax burden and it reduces our competitiveness. ”He proposed“to find how to relate the PTU to productivity factors”, so that it is the result of the effort and not of metal prices, as is currently the case.
- Carlyle Commodities Corp. and Riverside Resources Inc., announced the start of its first drilling program by early February at its Cecilia project. Riverside as operator of the JV has designed six holes to test the un-drilled San Jose structure on the Cerro Magallanes where rock sampling returned up to 48.3 g/t Au over 0.75m. The San Jose target is one of the five major targets identified at the Cerro Magallanes rhyolitic dome.
- Aztec Minerals Corp., and its JV partner Kootenay Silver Inc, announced plans for a CAD $1.3M, two-phase exploration program at its Cervantes project in Sonora. The JV plans to start a phase 1, CAD $85K program of soil and rock sampling and geological mapping during Q1, 2021 to extend the 100m by 100m geological and geochemical grid to the north, west and east boundaries of the property, and subject to phase 1 results and available funds, initiate a phase 2, CAD $1.05M drill program in Q3, 2021 consisting of 5,000m RC program in 22 holes, to test four main target: California, California North, Jasper, and Purisima East.
- Vizsla Resources Corp., released drill results from eighth holes collared at the Papayo prospect at its Panuco project in Sinaloa. These drill results have expanded the Papayo zone over 120m o the south where it remains open. Significant drill intercepts were encountered in hole NP-20-50 with 198 g/t Ag, 0.96 g/t Au, 1.4% Pb, and 4.5% Zn (413 g/t AgEq) over 1.91m of true width (TW), including 478 g/t Ag, 2.19 g/t Au, 3.7% Pb, and 11.7% Zn (1,009 g/t AgEq) over a TW of 0.69m, and hole NP-20-36 with 144 g/t Ag, 1.21 g/t Au, 0.7% Pb, and 2.4% Zn (321 g/t AgEq) over a TW of 2.46m.
- Mithril Resources Ltd., provided an update on the exploration activities performed during the period Q4, 2020 at its Copalquin project in Sinaloa. The company informed that it has completed its maiden drill program of 7,188m of diamond core drilling. Results of the drilling confirmed that El Refugio-El Comets target is part of a large gold-silver epithermal system characterized by extensive surface alteration and rhyolite dome intrusions. The very high grade La Soledad and Leon veins intercepted at the start of the program are also part of this larger epithermal system. Drilling extension at depth and along strike is a key feature of the exploration for 2021.
- Mammoth Resources Corp., commenced its 2021 field exploration program at its Tenoriba project. The company is currently installing the grid for the infill IP/Mag geophysics survey which is expected to begin in early-mid February. This geophysics survey will assist in 3D modeling of surface and subsurface features to generate drill hole locations and design a drill program scheduled to commence towards the end of the current quarter.
- Consolidated Zinc Ltd., reported exploration results from the Potrero and Don Lucas targets during Q4, 2020. The company continued the regional mapping and sampling of the mineralized structures identified previously. A total of 67 samples were taken of which 48 samples collected at Potreros- Don Lucas targets returned discouraging results downgrading the prospectivity for economic gold mineralization. Results from 19 samples, including 10 from the Enrique and La Chona areas remain pending and will be released once they are available.
- Golden Minerals Company, announced results from its recent 3,400m, 15-hole drill campaign and discovered new vein at its Yoquivo project in Chihuahua. Significant drill intercepts were encountered in hole YQ-20-001 collared at Pertenencia Vein with 2.34 g/t Au and 190 g/t Ag (364 g/t AgEq) over 4.2m, including 5.69 g/t Au and 223 g/t Ag (650 g/t AgEq) over 1.3m; hole YQ-20-002 collared at Pertenencia Vein with 0.45 g/t Au and 150 g/t Ag (184 g/t AgEq) over 1.9m, including 1.14 g/t Au and 423 g/t Ag (509 g/t AgEq) over 0.6m; hole YQ-20-006 collared at Esperanza Vein with 1.77 g/t Au and 49 g/t Ag (190 g/t AgEq) over 3.6m, including 5 g/t Au and 118 g/t Ag (524 g/t AgEq) over 1m; hole YQ-20-010 collared at New Vein with 1.9 g/t Au and 135 g/t Ag (278 g/t AgEq) over 5.4m, including 15.4 g/t Au and 1,150 g/t Ag (2,305 g/t AgEq) over 0.2m; and hole YQ-20-011 collared at New Vein with 1.3 g/t Au and 225 g/t Ag (323 g/t AgEq) over 12.3m, including 4.2 g/t Au and 734 g/t Ag (1,049 g/t AgEq) over 3m. The company plans to follow with a second phase drill program which could start in the next few months.
- GoGold Resources Inc., released results from six initials drill holes and announced a new discovery at El Orito in its Los Ricos North project in Jalisco. Significant drill intercepts were encountered in hole LRGO-20-002 with 76 g/t Ag, 0.06 g/t Au, 0.16% Cu, 3% Pb, and 0.14% Zn (171 g/t AgEq) over 63.4m, including 170 g/t Ag, 0.1 g/t Au, 0.29% Cu, 7.5% Pb, and 0.07% Zn (384 g/t AgEq) over 23m, including 267 g/t Ag, 0.23 g/t Au, 0.22% Cu, 11.5% Pb, and 0.07% Zn (579 g/t AgEq) over 5.3m, including 320 g/t Ag, 0.11 g/t Au, 0.15% Cu, 14.4% Pb, and 0.08% Zn (686 g/t AgEq) over 6.7m; and hole LRGO-20-005 with 49 g/t Ag, 0.05 g/t Au, 0.45% Cu, 3% Pb, and 4.7% Zn (323 g/t AgEq) over 43m, including 85 g/t Ag, 0.11 g/t Au, 0.83% Cu, 4.8% Pb, and 7.6% Zn (538 g/t AgEq) over 14.3m. The known strike length of the El Orito – El Favor structure is now approaching 2,500m and is still open in both directions.
- Azucar Minerals Ltd., provided an update on drilling activities at its El Cobre project in Veracruz. The company completed hole EC-20-108 at El Primo target, and announced that the deeper part intersected mostly propylitically altered intrusive rocks. Azucar also has moved the drill to Porvenir area and has completed two holes there and a third one is in progress. The company intends to continue exploration at the Primo, Porvenir, and Villa Rica targets in an effort to further delineate resource potential at the project beyond that contained in the initial Norte Zone resource estimate.
- Consolidated Zinc Ltd., reported Q4, 2020 production and financial results from its Plomosas mine in Chihuahua. The company mined 7,910 tonnes with a further 2,891 tonnes mined and stockpiled underground due to poor haul truck availability for a total of 10801 tonnes grading 14.5% Zn, 8% Pb, and 50 g/t Ag from which, 6,842 tonnes of 14.3% Zn, 8% Pb, and 50 g/t Ag were processed to produce 423 tonnes of Zn concentrate and 45 tonnes of Pb concentrate, at a cash cost of $1.02 per Lb Zn produced and a cash cost of $1.05 per Lb Zn sold.
- Endeavour Silver Corp., reported 2021 production and cost guidance for its three silver-gold mines in Mexico, the Guanacevi mine in Durango, the Bolañitos mine in Guanajuato and the El Compas mine in Zacatecas. The table below shows 2021 production and cost guidance for their Mexican operations:
- Fresnillo plc reported Q4, 2020 from their Mexican operations. At Fresnillo mine, Zacatecas, the company processed 590,499 tonnes of 190 g/t Ag, 0.71 g/t Au, 1.1% Pb, and 2.2% Zn to produce 3.2M Oz Ag, 9,485 Oz Au, 11.58M Lb Pb, and 19.95M Lb Zn. At Saucito mine, Zacatecas, the company processed 671,429 tonnes of 195 g/t Ag, 1.4 g/t Au, 1.65% Pb, and 2.95% Zn to produce 3.4M Oz Ag, 23.2K Oz Au, 20.6M Lb Pb, and 30.95M Lb Zn. At its Pyrite Plant, Fresnillo processed 47,860 tonnes of 172 g/t Ag and 1.64 g/t Au to produce 194K Oz Ag and 820 Oz Au. At Cienega mine, Durango, Fresnillo processed 334,977 tonnes of 1.36 g/t Au, 139 g/t Ag, 0.6% Pb, and 1.1% Zn to produce 13.6K Oz Au, 1.3M Oz Ag, 2.95M Lb Pb, and 4.58M Lb Zn. At San Julian mine (Veins), Chihuahua-Durango border, the company processed 315,863 tonnes of 1.58 g/t Au and 103 g/t Ag to produce 15.1K Oz Au and 965K Oz Ag, while at San Julian mine (Disseminated Ore Body) it processed 572,962 tonnes of 0.09 g/t Au, 172 g/t Ag, 0.5% Pb, and 1.3% Zn to produce 925 Oz Au, 2.76M Oz Ag, 4.49M Lb Pb, and 12.95M Lb Zn. At Herradura mine, Sonora, the company processed 6,875,196 of 0.76 g/t Au and 1.5 g/t Ag to produce 134.4K Oz Au and 231K Oz Ag. At Noche Buena mine, Sonora, Fresnillo processed 1,638,305 tonnes of 0.5 g/t Au and 0.84 g/t Ag to produce 17.7K Oz Au and 9K Oz Ag.
- Gold Resource Corporation, announced Q4, and full year 2020 production results from its Oaxaca Mining Unit in Oaxaca. The company produced in Q4, 2020 a total of 6,854 Oz Au and 276.9K Oz Ag for a full year production during 2020 of 20,473 Oz Au and 1.19M Oz Ag. Preliminary annual base metal production included approximately 3.5M Lb Cu, 17M Lb Pb, and 43.4M Lb Zn.
- Mag Silver Corp., reported Q4, 2020 production results from its Juanicipio project in Zacatecas. The company processed 30,397 tonnes to produce 230K Oz Ag and 443 Oz Au.
- Argonaut Gold Inc., announced a $23M bought-deal public offering of flow-through common shares (El Castillo mine, Durango).
- VanGold Mining Corp., increased its previously announced non-brokered private placement financing to $14.55M (El Pinguico project, Guanajuato).
- Americas Gold and Silver Corporation closed its previously announced bought deal financing for aggregate gross proceeds of CAD $33.9M. Part of the gross proceeds will be used for care and maintenance at the company´s Cosala operation mine in Sinaloa, as well as for general corporate and administrative expenses, repayment of outstanding debt obligations, and working capital.
- Gainey Capital Corp., announced that it has arranged a non brokered private placement for gross proceeds of up to CAD $500K. The company plans to use the gross proceeds for due diligence on potential mineral concessions the company is currently looking, as well as for general working capital (El Colomo, Nayarit).
- Mithril Resources Ltd., raised A $5M through a share placement. Now, the company is fully funded to continue the drilling program of over 10,000m at its Copalquin project in Durango.
- Elementals Royalties Corp., announced that its common shares are now eligible for electronic clearing and settlement through the Depository Trust Company. Elemental’s common shares will continue to trade under the ticker symbol “ELEMF” on the OTC Markets. (Mercedes mine, Sonora).
- Gold Resource Corporation declared its monthly dividend of one-third of a cent per common share for January 2021 payable on February 23, 2021 to shareholders (Oaxaca Mining Unit, Oaxaca).
- Ridgestone Mining Inc., closed the last tranche of its previously announced non-broken private placement for gross proceeds of $695K (Rebeico project, Sonora).
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
- Fabled Silver Gold Corp., presented initial diamond drill results from the ongoing 8,000m drill program to be performed at its Santa Maria project in Chihuahua. The company has completed four holes for a total of 1,017m. Assays are still pending for holes SM 2020-02 to SM 2020-04 and the fifth holes is in progress. The first hole (SM 2020-01) returned significant results with 0.18 g/t Au and 44 g/t Ag over 68.6m, including 0.35 g/t Au and 106 g/t Ag over 20m, including 0.27 g/t Au and 146 g/t Ag over 2m, including 1.09 g/t Au and 238 g/t Ag over 1.60m, and including 0.34 g/t Au and 151 g/t Ag over 1.90m.
- Capstone Mining Corp., announced an updated technical report for its Cozamin mine in Zacatecas, and extends mine life to 2031. Proven + probable mineral reserves increased by 39% to 14.1M tonnes grading 1.77% Cu, 44 g/t Ag, 0.54% Zn, and 0.21% Pb for a total of 551.16M Lb Cu, 20.18M Oz Ag, 169.76M Lb Zn, and 63.9M Lb Pb contained, and measured and indicated mineral resources increased by 10% to 29.7M tonnes of grading 1.52% Cu, 44 g/t Ag, 1.1% Zn, and 0.32% Pb for a total of 994.28M Lb Cu, 41.5M Oz Ag, 720.9M Lb Zn, and 209.4M Lb Pb contained, and inferred resources of 13.87M tonnes grading 0.54% Cu, 39 g/t Ag, 2.23% Zn, and 0.74% Pb for a total of 165.34M Lb Cu, 17.4M Oz Ag, 681.2M Lb Zn, and 227.1M Lb Pb contained. The new reserve mine plan is projected to produce 512M Lb Cu and 16M Oz Ag over the next 10 years.
- Comet Resources Limited, provided the Q4, 2020 activities report. The company was focused on setting up a field office as well as on the engagement of local geological consultants to move towards its initial drilling program in 2021. Comet completed a field mapping and sampling program in Q4, 2020, to support planning for and locations of initial drilling program. The plan is to get drill permits in Q1, 2021 and begins the initial drilling program by late in Q1, or early Q2, 2021. As announced on October 13, 2020, the JORC inferred mineral resource estimate for the Santa Teresa project was for 369K tonnes of 7.47 g/t Au for a total of 88.6K Oz Au contained.
- Oroco Resource Corp., reported significant 3D IP survey results at its Santo Tomas project in Sinaloa. The survey is now approximately 80% complete, and Oroco has received preliminary inversion data for all stations surveyed to date. The preliminary inversion model has successfully mapped the resistivity and chargeability characteristics along a swath 2.1km wide by 4.3 km along strike over the South Zone, North Zone and part of the Brasiles Zone.
- VanGold Mining Corp., commenced a 12-14 drill holes program and will be conducted underground, within old workings at the historic El Pinguico mine in Guanajuato.
- Minera Alamos Inc., provided a construction update at its Santana project in Sonora as it advances toward the commencement of mining. The company reported that the leach solution ponds are now fully lined and ready for operations, the plant foundations have been completed and all previously fabricated plant structures have been delivered to site in preparation for final installation that is now underway, The majority of the civil works for the heap leach pad area have been completed and the installation of the pad liner has commenced this week, and the crushing system previously acquired for potential future expansions at Santana is in transit from the U.S. to the Company’s staging facilities in Ciudad Obregón, Sonora.
- Great Panther Mining Limited announced an update on exploration strategy and programs for 2021 (Topia mine, Durango). At San Ignacio, Guanajuato, Great Panther plans to perform a 5,000m in-fill surface drilling program along the Purisima veins south of the development of the San Pedro ramp, deeper in the Purisima / Purisima alto vein system and continue testing for Au-Ag mineralization along 1.1km of Purisima vein north from the old San Ignacio shaft. At Guanajuato mine, Guanajuato, the company will continue the geological mapping and sampling in accessible parts of the historical mining areas(now, near to be completed) and will be followed by a 10,000m of underground drilling along the north side of Valenciana, between Valenciana and Cata, and in the Pozos , Promontorio, and Guanajuatito areas. At Topia mine, Durango, 5,000m of surface drilling are planned focused on defining new mineral resources in six areas along the strike and down-dip extents of present mining efforts.
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- Mexican Gold Mining Cop., engaged JDS Energy & Mining Inc., for a PEA at its Las Minas project in Veracruz. The PEA is expected to be completed in Q2, 2021.
- Canuc Resources Corporation, doubled its land position at San Javier project in Sonora by signing a purchase agreement for five claims comprising 416.9 hectares. To date, Canuc has accumulated a ground position 833.1 contiguous hectares.
- Magna Gold Corp., appointed its new CFO (San Francisco mine, Sonora).
- Defiance Silver Corp., entered into an option agreement to acquire 1,915 hectares surrounding its Tepal project in Michoacan. As a result, Defiance has doubled its land position at the project. The company has agreed to pay the annual concession fees until a production decision has been made, upon which Deﬁance will pay the vendor USD $2 M for 100% ownership of the mining concessions.
- Vizsla Resources Corp., announced strengthening of its senior management team and board with the promotions of its Technical Director and VP of Technical Services, and the appointment of its Country Manager (Panuco project, Sinaloa).
- First Majestic Silver Corp., confirmed that it is not aware of any material, undisclosed information related to the Company that would account for the recent increase in the market price and level of trading volume of its ordinary shares (San Dimas property, Durango).
- Mexican Gold Mining Corp., appointed two new members as technical advisors to assist the company as it moves Las Minas project, Veracruz towards a PEA.
- Discovery Metals Corp., named to the 2021 OTCQX Best 50, a ranking of top performing companies traded on the OTCQX Best Market last year. (Cordero project, Chihuahua).
- Gainey Capital Corp., provided an update on its Mexican projects and corporate activities. The company took the decision to not continue with the option on the Las Margaritas project in Durango. The El Colomo project, Nayarit will continue to be the flagship project of the company.
- Orex Minerals Inc., announced the resignation of one member of the board and the appointment of its new Director. Orex also granted 3.55M incentive stock options to directors, officers, and consultants (Sandra project, Durango).
- Magna Gold Corp., provided a letter to all of its shareholders in which it explained the strategy used to grow the company through strategic acquisitions and targeted exploration to evolve from a junior exploration company to an intermediate gold producer in Mexico. Since the Company’s inception in 2017, it has returned 10x to the Company’s shareholders (San Francisco mine, Sonora).
ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
- Fresnillo plc strengthens education in times of pandemic. Fresnillo plc has joined efforts in favor of education, training and development for the lives of thousands of young people, to boost their professional, economic and social growth.
- Peñoles reaffirms its commitment to promoting education through the implementation of academic programs that seek to develop skills and tools so that children and young people in Mexico aspire to a better future. Peñoles has academic initiatives with a focus on reading, science, technology, human development, sports and culture for different educational levels.
- The companies Autlán, Grupo México, Industrias Peñoles, Newmont-Peñasquito, Fresnillo plc and Coeur Mining participate in water management projects that were highlighted by the Mexican Mining Chamber (CAMIMEX) in its 2020 sustainability report.
On the picture above, stibiconite in a low sulphidation epithermal system in a prospect in Durango, Mexico. Photo by Miguel A Heredia., Mexico
By Jorge Cirett
During the 3rd week of the year (January 18th to January 24th, 2021), there were at least 41 press releases by companies working in Mexico. To note, six companies posted exploration advances on their properties, eight more released quarterly and full year results, six posted on financing or share options, nine on project development and four more on corporate issues, including two company name changes. ON MEXICO ISSUES, several Mexican projects saw significant investment in 2020. World exploration reduced its pace in 2020, with a total of US$8.33 B, of which 21% were spent in Latin America. ON EXPLORATION, in Sonora, Silver Spruce is starting exploration at Jackie; Heliostar is to commence exploration at La Lola, Oso Negro and Cumaro. In Chihuahua, Radius Gold reported drill results from Amalia; Kootenay Silver released results from drilling at Columba. In Sinaloa, Vizsla Resources updated drill results from Panuco; Brigadier Gold released results from drill holes at Picachos. ON MINING, Sierra Metals, Pan American Silver, Hecla Mining, Gatos Silver, Argonaut Gold, Fortuna Silver, Premier Gold and First Majestic presented quarterly and full year 2020 reports. ON FINANCING, Candente Gold and Impact Silver granted stock options. Mexican Gold closed a private placement for $1.4 M. VanGold Mining expanded its placement to $12.6 M. Mammoth Resources increased its financing round to $688.5 K. Sierra Metals made a clarification on its shares. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Gatos Silver is to start exploration on its extensive land package this year. Discovery Metals intends to perform 65,000 m of drilling at its Cordero project. Osisko Development informed on the work to develop its San Antonio Gold project in Sonora. Sonoro Gold reported the remaining assays from its 2020 drilling campaign at Cerro Caliche. First Majestic updated on the development of the Ermitaño project, 4 km from its Santa Elena mine. GoGold Resources released the results of a PEA on the Los Ricos South project. Silver Tiger discovered a new high-grade zone on the Benjamin vein at El Tigre. Mexican Gold released the final assays from its 2020 drill program at Las Minas. Southern Silver Exploration released drill results from Cerro Las Minitas. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Candente Gold changed name to Xali Gold Corp.. Megastar Development changed name to Madoro Metals Corp.. Tocvan Ventures added Rodrigo Calles as Exploration and Corporate Development Manager. Minaurum Gold amended an agreement with an underlying royalty holder. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, Fresnillo PLC, Industrias Peñoles and Minera San Xavier informed on actions that benefit the communities.
ON MEXICO ISSUES
- Camimex (Camara minera de México) informed on several projects that are to have significant investments in 2021. Juanicipio in Zacatecas, US$440 M; Los Filos expansion in Guerrero, US$213 M; Fresnillo’s Pyrites Plant in Zacatecas, US$155 M; Camino Rojo in Zacatecas, US$134 M; Tahuehueto in Durango, US$32.2 M; Santana in Sonora, US$7.55 M. Other significant projects for the near future include Las Chispas in Sonora, with US$100 M and Buenavista Zinc in Sonora, US$413 M.
- The world exploration investment during 2020 reached US$8.328 billions (US$8,328 millones), according to Cochilco. That is 10% less than the US$9.285 billion spent in 2019. Twenty five percent of that amount, US$2.05 billion, were invested in Latin America, of which 21% correspond to investment sunk in Mexico (behind Chile, with 22% and ahead of Perú, with 18%).
- Silver Spruce Resources. is commencing the phase 1 of exploration at the Jackie project in Sonora. The program comprises prospecting, rock, soil and stream sediment sampling, initial geological mapping and collection of structural data.
- Vizsla Resources Corp. provided results from ten more holes on the Napoleon prospect at the Panuco project in Sinaloa. Highlighted true-width (tw) intervals comprise 11.02 m @ 180 gpt Ag, 2.27 gpt Au, 0.44% Pb, 1.31% Zn (422 gpt AgEq), including 1.09 m @ 975 gpt Ag, 13.88 gpt Au, 1.63% Pb, 5.83% Zn (2,383 gpt AgEq); 3.54 m @ 181 gpt Ag, 3.75 gpt Au, 0.59% Pb, 1.52% Zn (569 gpt AgEq); 3.23 m @ 262 gpt Ag, 2.57 gpt Au, 1.26% Pb, 2.0% Zn (562 gpt AgEq).
- Brigadier Gold Ltd. advanced drill and surface sampling results from its Picachos property in Sinaloa. Highlighted core length intervals comprise 3 m @ 9.49 gpt Au, 24 gpt Ag; 3 m @ 6.24 gpt Au, 79 gpt Ag; 3.5 m @ 7.03 gpt Au, 110 gpt Ag; 2.5 m @ 6.75 gpt Au, 44 gpt Ag. Surface rock chip-channel sampling returned 5 m @ 4.89 gpt Au, 67 gpt; 10 m @ 1.85 gpt Au, 4 gpt Ag; 1 m @ 0.1 gpt Au, 347 gpt Ag; 0.8 m @ 44.1 gpt Au, 47 gpt Ag; 1.2 m @ 5.25 gpt Au, 74 gpt Ag; 1.6 m @ 1.9 gpt Au, 98 gpt Ag. Brigadier states that results so far indicate a primary vein system over seven kilometers with robust mineralization.
- Radius Gold Inc. reported results from its phase four diamond drill program at the Amalia Au-Ag, project in Chihuahua. Five drill holes have been completed in the current program, for a total of 2,035 m. A hole aimed within the high grade San Pedro shoot intercepted 23.1 m @ 6.8 gpt Au, 321 gpt Ag, with an estimated true width (tw) of 14.5 m, including 6.25 m (3.5 m tw) @ 18.34 gpt Au, 813 gpt Ag.
- Kootenay Silver Inc. announced results from the final 17 core holes completed on its phase II drill program which totaled 9,114 m at its Columba project in Chihuahua. Highlighted core length results comprise 79 m @ 58 gpt Ag (including 10.1 m @ 152 gpt Ag and 3.1 m @ 325 gpt Ag); 3.78 m @ 170 gpt Ag; 27.75 m @ 40 gpt Ag; 94.06 m @ 40 gpt Ag (including 7.0 m @ 97 gpt Ag); 9.05 m @ 179 gpt Ag (including 5.35 m @ 290 gpt Ag); 1.58 m @ 525 gpt Ag; 70.5 m @ 112 gpt Ag (including 9.0 m @ 691 gpt Ag and 4.6 m @ 1,186 gpt Ag); 25 m @ 47 gpt Ag (including 7 m @ 126 gpt Ag and 2.45 m @ 208 gpt Ag.
- Heliostar Metals Ltd. plans to start an exploration program of its Mexican projects in Sonora next month. Drilling at La Lola should commence on February, focusing on the 5 km long La Barra vein. Mapping and sampling will be completed at Oso Negro and Cumaro projects in February and March. Oso Negro is a large project with outcropping veins, while Cumaro is part of the Picacho district.
- Sierra Metals Inc. reported production results for Q4 2020, including figures from its Mexican operations. At Bolívar, in Chihuahua, 383.6 K tonnes were processed at a rate of 4,384 tonnes per day (tpd) and a grade of 0.79% Cu, 14.5 gpt Ag, 0.25 gpt Au, recovering 88.21% Cu, 83.44% Ag, 64.41% Au, to produce 5.87 M Lb Cu, 149 K Oz Ag, 2,017 Oz Au. For the year total production of 24.54 M Lb Cu was recorded. At Cusi, in Chihuahua, 82.7 K tonnes were processed during the period at a rate of 945 tpd and a grade of 160.62 gpt Ag, 0.19 gpt Au, 0.28% Pb, recovering 80.37% Ag, 46.73% Au, 82.79% Pb, to produce 343 K Oz Ag, 234 Oz Au, 590 K Lb Pb. For the year, a total of 890 K Oz Ag, 619 Oz Au, 1.37 M Lb Pb were produced.
- Consolidated Zinc Ltd. executed an agreement with Industrias Peñoles S.A. de C.V. “to reduce the transport costs/allowances of Plomosas concentrate delivered and sold to Penoles under an extended offtake agreement for the sale of 100% of the Plomosas zinc concentrate” (Plomosas, Chihuahua).
- Capstone Mining Corp. is working on a technical report that is to include an updated mineral resource and a prefeasibility study to increase the vein rate recovery at its Cozamin mine in Zacatecas. “The $45 to $50 million project will commence this year and when in operation, targeted for Q1 2023, will allow for maximizing the extraction of high-grade ore. It will also improve environmental performance given 60% of our tailings will be sent underground and the remaining tailings will employ best practice dry-stack technology…. The 2021 budget for brownfield exploration is $5 million and $4 million for greenfield exploration in Mexico and Brazil”.
- Pan American Silver Corp. released preliminary production results for the fourth quarter of 2020, including figures from its Mexican operations. At La Colorada, Zacatecas, 1.18 M Oz Ag were produced, while at Dolores, in Chihuahua, production reached 764 K Oz Ag. For 2021 the company aims to produce 7.16 – 7.44 M Oz Ag, 4.0 – 4.2 K Oz Au at La Colorada, and 2.73 – 2.97 M Oz Ag, 160.8 – 179.3 K Oz Au at Dolores, Chihuahua.
- Hecla Mining Co. released preliminary production for 2020, including figures from its Mexican operations. At San Sebastian, Durango, “1.0 million ounces of silver and 7,223 ounces of gold were produced. For the fourth quarter, 0.2 million ounces of silver and 1,159 ounces of gold were produced. Mining was completed in the third quarter and milling completed in the fourth quarter of 2020. The mill operated at an average of 474 tpd when in production. The Company continues to explore this highly prospective land package and will evaluate further mining based on exploration results”.
- Gatos Silver Inc. achieved 2,324 tonnes per day operation of its Cerro Los Gatos mine in Chihuahua. By the end of 2020 mine development had reached just under 16,000 m of development. During 2020 Gatos Silver produced 4.2 M OZ Ag, 34.2 M Lb Zn, 27.4 M Lb Pb and 4,900 Oz Au, in Ag, Zn and Pb concentrates.
- Argonaut Gold Inc. announced production results for the fourth quarter and full-year 2020, including figures from its Mexican operations. At El Castillo, in Durango, 12,568 Oz AuEq were produced in the quarter, 46,182 Oz AuEq in the year. At San Agustín, Durango, 18,622 Oz AuEq were produced in the quarter, 63,866 Oz AuEq in the year. At La Colorada, in Sonora, 11,294 Oz AuEq were produced in the last quarter, and 47,064 in the year.
- Fortuna Silver Mines Inc. reported production results for the fourth quarter and full year 2020, including figures from its Mexican operations. During the quarter in San José, Oaxaca, 272.1 K tonnes were milled at a rate of 3,024 tpd and a grade of 206 gpt Ag, 1.26 gpt Au, recovering 91.42% Ag, 91.27% Au, to produce 1.65 M Oz Ag, 10,095 Oz Au. For the full year 934.4 K tonnes were milled at a rate of 2,647 tpd and a grade of 224 gpt Ag, 1.38 gpt Au, recovering 91.52% Ag, 91.34% Au, to produce 6.16 M Oz Ag, 37,805 Oz Au.
- Premier Gold Mines Ltd. released fourth quarter and full year 2020 results, including figures from its operations in Mexico. At Mercedes, Sonora. During the last quarter 11,185 Oz Au, 65,735 Oz Ag were produced, which added up to the production of 34,955 Oz Au, 167,917 Oz Ag in the year.
- First Majestic Silver Corp. announced Q4 and full year 2020 results from its Mexican mines. For the Full year, San Dimas, in Durango, produced 6.4 M Oz Ag, 71,598 Oz Au, or 12.67 M Oz AgEq; Santa Elena, in Sonora, produced 1.7 M Oz Ag, 28,242 Oz Au, or 4.18 M Oz Ag Eq; La Encantada, in Coahuila, produced 3.50 M Oz Ag, 241 Oz Au, or 3.53 M Oz Ag. Last quarter production results can be seen in the table below.
- Mexus Gold US. informed it is moving 600 tonnes per day to the crushing plant at its San Elena mine in Sonora (Not to mistake for First Majestic’s Santa Elena mine, also in Sonora). Leaching continues to produce about 3 Oz per day, which is expected to double by February.
- Candente Gold Corp. announced the granting of 3.2 M stock options to directors, senior officers, employees and consultants of the company (El Oro, Estado de Mexico).
- Mexican Gold Mining Corp. closed its non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of $1.4 M. The press release presented a lengthy explanation of a “related party transaction” involving Palisades Goldcorp Ltd. (Las Minas, Veracruz).
- VanGold Mining Corp. expanded the size of its non-brokered private placement financing previously announced, to $12.6 M in gross proceeds (El Pinguico, Guanajuato).
- Impact Silver Corp. granted 2.11 M stock options to directors, officers and employees (Real de Zacualpan, Estado de Mexico).
- Mammoth Resources Corp. is increasing the amount of the recently announced private placement, for total gross proceeds of $688.5 (Tenoriba, Chihuahua).
- Sierra Metals Inc. “refers to the announcement earlier today by Arias Resource Capital Fund L.P. (“ARCF I”) regarding its distribution of an aggregate of 52,721,964 common shares of the Company from ARCF I to underlying limited partners (the “Distribution”) which was made in connection with the winding-up and dissolution of ARCF I. In view of the ongoing strategic review process announced by Sierra on January 8, 2021, the Company confirms that the strategic review process continues to have the full support of its Board of Directors, management team, Arias Resource Capital Fund II L.P. (now the Company’s largest shareholder) and Arias Resource Capital Fund II (Mexico) L.P” (Cusi and Bolivar mines, Chihuahua).
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
- Gatos Silver Inc. commenced in December 2020 a 27,000 meter exploration program at its Cerro Los Gatos property in Chihuahua, to convert 3.2 M tonnes of inferred resources to measured and indicated categories, and to discover resources to the SE and NW of the deposit. Gatos Silver “intends to reactivate Los Gatos District exploration in early 2021, starting with the Esther resource located four kilometers from CLG. During the first quarter of 2021, Gatos Silver will begin a 5,400-meter exploration program on its wholly-owned Santa Valeria project”.
- Discovery Metals Corp. intends to perform 65,000 meters of diamond drilling in 2021 at its Cordero project in Chihuahua. The aim is to produce a PEA with a resource update of the bulk tonnage mineralization and complete the initial testing of the high-grade veins with 20,0000 meters, and drill 46,000 meters more for bulk-tonnage mineralization resource upgrade and expansion, resource definition of the high-grade veins and initial scout drilling on the property.
- Osisko Development Corp. informed its San Antonio Gold project in Sonora has an initial resource estimate of 27.6 M tonnes grading 1.18 g/t Au for 1 M Oz Au in the inferred category. Osisko is currently targeting development of a scenario for initial annual production of 50 K to 70 K Oz with additional near-term potential from reprocessing the 1.3 M tonnes stockpile located on site. The company also entered into an agreement to purchase a semiportable crushing plant for the project with capacity of 15 K tpd, with a jaw crusher, cone crushers and the related screening and material handling equipment. “The equipment is in good condition and currently stored in Nevada, USA and will be transported to the project in the next quarter”.
- Sonoro Gold Corp. reported the remaining assays from it 2020 drilling campaign at Cerro Caliche, Sonora. “The 2021 drilling program is currently underway with approximately 50 additional RC and core holes expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter”. Core length intercepts comprise 8.4 m @ 0.72 gpt Au; 7.2 m @ 0.60 gpt Au; 6.0 m @ 0.88 gpt Au at El Colorado zone, 3.9 m @ 0.36 gpt Au and 3.9 m @ 0.23 gpt Au in one hole at the Guadalupe zone, 9.3 m @ 0.72 gpt Au; 15 m @ 0.50 gpt Au at the Cabeza Blanca zone, 16.25 m @ 0.74 gpt Au. “The latest assays further support the Company’s consideration of the viability for a bulk mining heap-leach development proposal with a conceptual throughput of up to 20,000 tonnes per day”.
- First Majestic Silver Corp. updated on the Ermitaño project, located only 4 km east from its Santa Elena mine in Sonora. Approximately 72,270 m of drilling have been completed since 2016 to define the current indicated resource of 4.7 M Oz Ag, 311 K Oz Au at an average grade of 70 gpt Ag, 4.59 gpt Au, and an inferred resource of 7.0 M Oz Ag and 370 K Oz Au averaging 58 gpt Ag, 3.08 gpt Au. “In 2021, the Company has budgeted a total of $42.1 million to be invested at Ermitaño and expects to begin initial test block mining by mid-2021 to assess the geotechnical conditions, subject to delineation drilling results, and extract approximately 30,000 to 60,000 tonnes of material to be used for industrial metallurgical testing”.
- GoGold Resources Inc. released results of its preliminary economic assessment (PEA) at Los Ricos South project in Jalisco. The report includes an after tax NPV (5% discount rate) of US$296 M, with an after tax IRR of 46% on an 11 year mine life to produce 69.6 M Oz AgEq; initial capital costs of $125 M and average LOM costs of $8.65 per Oz AgEq and all-sustaining costs of $11.35 per Oz AgEq. Approximately two thirds of the production would be from open pit mining, and one third from underground mining.
- Silver Tiger Metals Inc. announced the discovery of a new zone of high-grade Au-Ag mineralization at its El Tigre project in Sonora. Core length intercepts comprise 5.5 m @ 726 gpt Ag, 0.08 gpt Au, including 3.0 m @ 1,303 gpt Ag,0.09 gpt Au; 0.5 m @ 625 gpt Ag, 0.12 gpt Au; 0.5 m @ 474 gpt Ag, 0.13 gpt Au. These intercepts are from the newly discovered Benjamín vein, 900 m to the north of the El Tigre historic workings.
- Mexican Gold Mining Corp. released the final assay results from the 2020 drill program covering 10,221 m in 65 holes at its Las Minas project in Veracruz. Highlighted core length intercepts comprise 18 m @ 2.45 gpt Au, 0.6% Cu; 21 m @ 9.32 gpt Au, 0.33% Cu; 28.3 m @ 1.48 gpt Au, 0.36% Cu; 15 m @ 2.42 gpt Au, 0.22% Cu; 10 m @ 1.23 gpt Au, 0.61% Cu; 10 m @ 2.09 gpt Au, 0.96% Cu; 10 m @ 1.72 gpt Au, 0.54% Cu, 52 m @ 1.5 gpt Au, 1.1% Cu; 12 m @ 2.55 gpt Au, 1.18% Cu; 7.8 m @ 1.05 gpt Au, 0.51% Cu; 8.4 m @ 1.03 gpt Au, 0.22% Cu; 9 m @ 0.99 gpt Au, 0.94% Cu; 14 m @ 1.08 gpt Au, 0.96% Cu; 10 m @ 0.54 gpt Au, 0.63% Cu; 2 m @ 1.7 gpt Au, 2.33% Cu; 1.8 m @ 3.62 gpt Au, 4.63% Cu. Areas with highlighted intercepts include El Dorado, the West Dike Contact and the East Dike Contact.
- Southern Silver Exploration Corp. reported “further intervals of gold-enriched oxide and sulphide mineralization in step out drilling as well as a significant downhole extension of earlier reported high-grade, silver enriched polymetallic sulphide mineralization” at the Mina La Bocona zone of its Cerro Las Minitas project in Durango. Highlighted true width intercepts comprise 26.5 m @ 0.37 gpt Au, 26 gpt Ag of shallow oxide mineralization and 6.1 m @ 162 gpt Ag, 0.57 gpt Au, 3.2% Pb, 1.3% Zn, that correlates with the deeper sulfide mineralization in one hole; 6.1 m @ 344 gpt Ag, 0.59 gpt Au, 5.7% Pb, 3.9% Zn; 1.4 m @ 520 gpt Ag, 0.34 gpt Au, 10.6% Pb, 9.8% Zn; 5.0 m @ 364 gpt Ag, 0.3 gpt Au, 7.0% Pb, 1.8% Zn. 1.4 m @ 1,070 gpt Ag, 0.09 gpt Au, 23.3% Pb, 3.2% Zn.
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- Candente Gold Corp. announced the name change to Xali Gold Corp. has taken place (El Oro, Estado de Mexico).
- Tocvan Ventures Corp. announced Rodrigo Calles-Montijo has been appointed to the Board of Directors and management team as Exploration and Corporate Development Manager, Mexico (Pilar, Sonora).
- Minaurum Gold Inc. “is pleased to announce that it has entered into an agreement with its underlying Royalty Holder (“RH”) on the Biricu Project (“Biricu”) located in the Guerrero Gold Belt (“GGB”), Mexico. Minaurum has been provided with both a limited time option to repurchase a portion of the NSR along with eliminating the outstanding Bankable Feasibility Study payment on Biricu in exchange for issuing 100,000 common shares to RH”. The Biricu project is on the southeastern projection of the Guerrero Gold Belt and is underlain by the same Cretaceous sedimentary rocks and Laramide intrusive rocks.
- Megastar Development Corp. announced that its board of directors approved a name change to Madoro Metals Corp., subject to approval from the TSX Venture Exchange (Yautepec and Magadalena, Oaxaca).
ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
- Industrias Peñoles informed on the donations, equipment provided and activities executed in the Torreon-Gomez Palacio area (La Laguna) to aid with the Coronavirus pandemic in 2020.
- Fresnillo PLC provides 1,500 liters of diesel fuel monthly to the firefighters department in Caborca, Sonora.
- Minera San Xavier has commenced the remediation of historic mining liabilities in Cerro San Pedro, San Luis Potosí. The liabilities were generated by mining by Asarco between 1930 and 1950. Since 2016 140 K tonnes of material have been moved from Patio Victoria to the installations of the mine, which is now closed.
- Fresnillo PLC signed an agreement with the Fresnillo municipality to provide resources to aid the communities of Mexico Nuevo and Carrillo, in Zacatecas.
- Peñoles informed its Museo de Los Metales (Metals Museum) continues with an intense program of online activities.
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 Quartz vein stockwork on andesite from a project in Sinaloa. Picture by Jorge Cirett.
By Jorge Cirett
During the 1st week of the year (January 4th to January 10th, 2020), at least 27 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico. To note, four companies posted exploration advances on their properties, and six more posted news on resources and development. Sierra Metals Corp’s Cusi and Bolivar mines are up for grabs. ON MEXICO ISSUES, a reduction of mineral production is expected for 2020 due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Camimex pointed on the lack of clarity on the distribution of the mining royalties. At least six companies plan to start mining operations in this year. ON EXPLORATION, in Sonora, Aztec Minerals updated its exploration status at Cervantes; Mojave Gold updated on exploration at its Sonora Gold project, where at least two structures tens of meters in width run for kilometers; Canuc Resources is using results from a magnetic survey for targeting. In Chihuahua, Mammoth Resources has received the permit for drilling at Tenoriba. ON MINING, Endeavour Silver, Aura Minerals and Torex Gold presented Q4 2020 production results. Mexus Gold US continues to stack ore at its Santa Elena mine. Sierra Metals presented a PEA that doubles the processing capacity at its Cusi mine. ON FINANCING, Ridgestone Mining increased its private placement to $2.32 M. SilverCrest Metals entered into a credit agreement for US$76.5 M. Fabled Silver and Silver Wolf Exploration granted stock options. Silver Dollar Resources made a clarification requested by the OTC Market. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, GR Silver Mining reported good drilling results at the Plomosas mine, in the Plomosas project, Sinaloa. Sonoro Gold reported drilling results from Cerro Caliche, Sonora. Discovery Metals released drilling results from two vein trends at Cordero, Chihuahua. Prime Mining updated on exploration at Los Reyes, Sinaloa. Fabled Silver Gold informed on surface sampling at Santa María, Chihuahua. GoGold released results from drilling at El Favor, on its Los Ricos North project, Jalisco. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Argonaut Gold and AP Mining have amended the agreement for the previously announced sale of the Ana Paula project to AP Mining. Minaurum Gold entered into an option agreement with Fortuna Silver on the Taviche property in Oaxaca, agreement by which Fortuna can gain up to 80% interest on the project. Sierra Metals is evaluating the sale of its assets, a merger or business combination. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, Fresnillo, the Chihuahua Mining Cluster and Grupo Mexico informed on actions that benefit society.
ON MEXICO ISSUES
- Camimex (Camara minera de México) sees the mining production to decrease in 2020 due to the pandemic. The decrease is expected to reach 10% for gold, 6 to 6.3% for silver and lead, 3% for copper and 25% for iron.
- Camimex pointed on the lack of clarity on the distribution of the mining royalties. According to the previous rules the resources funded infrastructure on communities across mining regions. After de federal government changed the rules, it is not clear now how these resources are distributed. Mining companies paid US$196 M (3,990 million pesos) in royalties in 2019.
- Companies aspiring to start new mines in 2021 include: Mag Silver (Juanicipio, Zacatecas), Orla Mining (Camino Rojo, Zacatecas), Minera Alamos (Santa, Sonora), Golden Minerals (Rodeo, Durango), VanGold Mining (Pinguico and El Cubo, Guanajuato), Sonora Gold (Cerro Caliche, Sonora) and Candelaria Mining (Pinos, Zacatecas).
- Aztec Minerals Corp. informed that during 2020 formed a 65/35 joint venture with Kootenay Silver on the Cervantes project, Sonora. Also during the year an additional IP-resistivity survey was performed to define new targets; geological mapping, geochemical sampling and geophysical surveying have identified 11 targets in total, of which 7 are in preparation for drilling. Aztec intends to extend detailed geologic, structural, and alteration mapping and sampling at the Purisima West, Estrella, Jacobo, Brazil, and other targets at Cervantes, and plan and permit a phase 1 reverse circulation drilling program on the California and Purisima targets.
- Mojave Gold Corp. updated on work done during December of 2020 at its Sonora Gold project in Sonora. A 261 sample stream sediment survey was carried out in the 6,000 hectares property, and detailed geological mapping and rock chip sampling was carried out on the Caracahui and Sonora Cooper areas, including underground mapping on the latter. The Sonora Cooper West/Las Llantas structure has been observed to be over 3 km in length, reaching widths of over 70 m. “In total, mineralized structures in the western part of the project area have been observed to extend more than 8.5 kilometers in cumulative length…. The Sonora Cooper mineralized area contains large structures often reaching over 70m in width, that were mapped in detail for over 500m along strike. Additionally, detailed underground mapping was completed over 605m length in the Sonora Cooper adit and over a 260m length of the Guadalupe adit. A total of 160 rock chip samples were collected from the underground workings”.
- Mammoth Resources Corp. announced SEMARNAT (Mexican environmental agency) has approved the drill permit application on its Tenoriba property in Chihuahua. Mammoth is planning to start a drilling campaign before the end of the first quarter.
- Canuc Resources Corp. received results from a drone supported magnetic survey at its San Javier project in Sonora. Three large magnetic high features (1,000 by 600 m, 800 by 600 m, 600 by 600m) were identified. “Detailed processing of the data suggests that there are stronger magnetic features within the larger target areas which may represent areas of higher-grade mineralization. Canuc is now carrying out detailed ground magnetic surveys on these targets and is scheduled to begin drilling in the next few weeks”.
- Mexus Gold US. released an update of mining operations at its Santa Elena mine in Sonora (not to mistake for First Majestic’s Santa Elena mine, also in Sonora). The company is stacking material from a shear zone grading 0.9 gpt to 1.2 gpt Au.
- Sierra Metals Inc. filed a NI 43-101 independent technical report for a doubling of output at its Cusi mine in Chihuahua. The preliminary economic assessment (PEA) highlights include an after tax Net Present Value (NPV) of US$81 M at an 8% discount rate, at a long term silver price of US$20/Oz. The project envisages increasing the production from 1,200 tonnes per day (tpd) to 2,400 tpd @ 127.2 gpt Ag, 0.12 gpt Au, 0.48% Zn, 0.34% Pb, with a 13 year mine life and recoverable 33.4 M Oz Ag.
- Endeavour Silver Corp. reported the highest quarterly production in the last two years from its mines in Mexico. Total production in the quarter was 237.4 K tonnes mined at a rate of 2,580 tpd @ 169 gpt Ag, 1.90 gpt Au, recovering 86.8% Ag, 87% Au, to produce 1.12 M Oz Ag, 12,586 Oz Au.
- Torex Gold Resources Inc. reported Q4 production for 2020. At its Limon-Guajes mine in Guerrero, 12,560 tpd were processed, with 1,300 tpd mined from underground and 18,360 tpd mined from open pit with a waste to ore strip ratio of 6.2, to produce 130,640 Oz Au in the quarter. In the year, 11,370 tpd were processed to produce 430,480 Oz Au.
- Aura Minerals Inc. released preliminary production reports for the fourth quarter of 2020. In the period the Aranzazu mine in Zacatecas produced 19,073 Oz AuEq, which added up to the 65,497 Oz AuEq for the full year. During December 89.1 K tonnes were processed, and the company intends to increase processing to 100 K tonnes per month during the second half of 2021.
- SilverCrest Metals Inc. entered into a credit agreement with an affiliate of RK Mine Finance to provide a secured project financing facility for a total of US$120 M for funding the construction at Las Chispas, Sonora. Concurrently SilverCrest has entered into a fixed price engineering, procurement and construction contract with Ausenco Engineering Canada Inc. with a lump sum turnkey price of US$76.5 M that is to include construction of a 1,250 tonne per day process plant at Las Chispas.
- Fabled Silver Gold Corp. granted 200,000 stock options to a consultant of the company (Santa María, Chihuahua).
- Silver Dollar Resources Inc. was requested by the OTC Markets Group Inc. to issue a statement about promotional activity concerning its common stock. OTC Markets questioned about “two promotional newsletter emails published by CrushTheStreet.com (“CTS”) and Wealth Research Group (“WRG”) discussing the emerging bull market for commodities, particularly silver, and citing the Company in both publications… The Company has been advised by OTC Markets that OTC Markets takes the position that aspects of the statements were overly promotional. The Company wishes to caution readers that these statements are speculative in nature” (La Joya, Durango).
- Silver Wolf Exploration Ltd. granted incentive stock options for the purchase of 1 M shares to directors, officers, consultants, and employees of the Company (Ana María and Laberinto, Durango).
- Ridgestone Mining Inc. increased the previously announced private placement from $1.9 M to $2.32 M, for additional gross proceeds of $420 K (Rebeico, Sonora).
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
- GR Silver Mining Ltd. reported good underground drilling results from the Plomosas mine area at its Plomosas project in Sinaloa. “The mineralization is represented by thick intercepts of Au-Ag-Pb-Zn-Cu mineralization hosted in a series of hydrothermal breccias”. The highlighted results comprise 83 m @ 2.52 gpt Au, 33 gpt Ag, 0.9% Pb, 2.9% Zn, 0.3% Cu (420 gpt AgEq), including 4.0 m @ 9.35 gpt Au, 38 gpt Ag, 0.4% Pb, 10.5% Zn, 0.3% Cu (1,319 gpt AgEq) and 11.0 m @ 9.41 gpt Au, 135 gpt Ag, 5.7% Pb, 9.8% Zn, 0.5% Cu (1,596 gpt AgEq).
- Sonoro Gold Corp. reported favourable results from eight reverse circulation drill holes at its Cerro Caliche project in Sonora. At the Buena Suerte target, highlighted intercepts comprise 3.0 m @ 1.48 gpt Au; 7.6 m @ 1.32 gpt Au, 12.2 m @ 0.86 gpt Au; 12.2 m @ 0.69 gpt Au; 27.44 m @ 1.17 gpt Au (including 3.0 m @ 4.70 gpt Au); 12.2 m @ 0.50 gpt Au. Highlighted intercepts from the Japoneses target include 22.9 m @ 0.57 gpt Au; 10.7 m @ 0.45 gpt Au; 13.7 m @ 0.60 gpt Au; 10.7 m @ 0.40 gpt Au, 12.2 m @ 0.36 gpt Au; 4.6 m @ 0.41 gpt Au; 27.44 m @ 1.17 gpt Au; 12.2 m @ 0.50 gpt Au.
- Discovery Metals Corp. released results from 10 diamond drill holes targeting the Parcionera and Josefina vein trends at its Cordero project in Chihuahua. Highlighted intercepts comprise 4.4 m @ 246 gpt Ag, 0.39 gpt Au, 6.5% Pb, 0.4% Zn (524 gpt AgEq); 0.5 m @ 665 gpt Ag, 0.58 gpt Au, 13.8% Pb, 13.7% Zn (1,765 gpt Ag) on the Parcionera vein trend and 3.3 m @ 196 gpt Ag, 0.17 gpt Au, 5.6% Pb, 4.9% Zn (612 gpt AgEq); 1.6 m @ 20 gpt Ag, 0.11 gpt Au, 0.3% Pb, 1.8% Zn at the Josefina vein trend.
- Prime Mining Corp. provided a year-end update on its Los Reyes project in Sinaloa. “The ongoing work includes field mapping, trench sampling, rock alteration analysis and interpretation and re-logging of historic diamond drill core…. Re-logging of several existing diamond drill core holes also identified that adularia, a crystalline mineral, containing high-grade gold and silver locally with visible gold, is associated with nearby altered rock types. The adularia appears to be vertically zoned”. The project is a district scale low sulfidation epithermal mineralizing system on which more than US$20 million have been spent over 25 years.
- Fabled Silver Gold Corp. completed the sampling program to evaluate the IP geophysical anomalies on the Santa María property in Chihuahua. The sampling returned silver anomalous results over two geophysical anomalies. Eleven first priority anomalies have been delineated, generally in an east-west direction.
- GoGold Resources Inc. released drilling results from El Favor deposit at its Los Ricos North property in Jalisco. Highlighted core length results comprise 30.2 m @ 0.18 gpt Au, 63 gpt Ag (1.03 gpt AuEq), including 8.6 m @ 0.28 gpt Au, 146 gpt Ag (2.23 gpt AuEq); 5.6 m @ 0.55 gpt Au, 287 gpt Ag (4.37 gpt Au), including 1.7 m @ 1.7 gpt Au, 834 gpt Ag (12.83 gpt AuEq); 70.5 m @ 0.15 gpt Au, 50 gpt Ag (0.82 gpt AuEq), including 9.7 m @ 0.55 gpt Au, 199 gpt Ag (3.20 gpt AuEq); 15.3 m @ 0.30 gpt Au, 151 gpt Ag (2.31 gpt AuEq); 12.8 m @ 0.30 gpt Au, 126 gpt Ag (1.99 gpt AuEq), including 3.3 m @ 0.89 gpt Au, 302 gpt Ag (4.91 gpt AuEq); 41.1 m @ 0.24 gpt Au, 76 gpt Ag (1.24 gpt AuEq); 21.0 m @ 0.11 gpt Au, 74 gpt Ag (1.10 gpt AuEq); 27.0 m @ 0.97 gpt Au, 113 gpt Ag (2.47 gpt AuEq); 11.0 m @ 0.28 gpt Au, 160 gpt Ag (2.40 gpt AuEq); 52.1 m @ 0.69 gpt Au, 254 gpt Ag (4.08 gpt AuEq); 11.6 m @ 0.43 gpt Au, 148 gpt Ag; 32.5 m @ 0.32 gpt Au, 63 gpt Ag (1.15 gpt AuEq).
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- Argonaut Gold Inc. and AP Mining “have amended the agreement for the previously announced sale of the Ana Paula project to AP Mining (see press release dated September 11, 2020) to allow more time to meet the regulatory and government approvals required for closing. In connection with the amendment, AP Mining has agreed to pay an additional US$1.0 million at 15 months from the closing date and to reimburse all of Argonaut’s costs incurred associated with the Ana Paula project incurred between January 1, 2021 and the closing of the transaction. Closing continues to be subject to financing and receipt of all necessary approvals, which is expected in the first quarter of 2021” (Ana Paula, Guerrero).
- Minaurum Gold Inc. entered into an option agreement with Fortuna Silver Mines Inc. pursuant to which Fortuna can earn up to an 80% interest in Minaurum’s Taviche silver project in Oaxaca. Fortuna can earn an initial 60% by making cash payments totalling $450 K and incurring in US$4 M in work expenditures over three years. Fortuna can earn an additional 20% interest “by funding Minaurum ‘s acquisition by way of option exercise of the remaining 20% interest”. The cash installments to make comprise US$75 K upon signing, US$100 K on the first anniversary, US$125 K on the second anniversary and US$150 K on the third anniversary. Drilling by previous operators of the project returned up to 34.12 m @ 262 gpt Ag and 8.35 m @ 2.05 gpt Au.
- Sierra Metals Inc. announced that “its Board of Directors, supported by its management team and with the full support of Arias Resource Capital Fund L.P., Arias Resource Capital Fund II L.P. (the Company’s two largest shareholders) and Arias Resource Capital Fund II (Mexico) L.P., has commenced a process to explore and evaluate potential strategic alternatives focused on maximizing shareholder value. These alternatives could include, among other things, the sale of part or all of the Company, a sale of some of the assets of the Company, a merger or other business combination with another party, or other strategic transactions” (Cusi and Bolivar mines, Chihuahua).
ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
- Minera Fresnillo donated computing equipment in Caborca, Sonora.
- The Chihuahua Mining Cluster president, Pablo Mendez Alvídrez stated that the industry will aid with the acquisition of the Covid-19 vaccine, once it is on sale by pharmacies, for its distribution on mining communities.
- The Grupo Mexico Foundation delivered a significant amount of protective equipment for health care personnel
On the image below: Quartz veining from a project in San Luis Potosí. Picture by Jorge Cirett.
By Miguel A Heredia
During the fifty three week of the year (December 28th to January 03rd, 2021), at least 9 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico and 2 news published by the media, with three announcing financial rounds, two disclosing deals and corporate issues, two reporting on resources and development of their mine operations, two commenting Mexican issues, one informing on exploration results, and one discussing social issues. ON MEXICO ISSUES, The economic impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has left in the country has not affected mining companies they grew 50% their market value in the Mexican Stock Exchange. Four mining projects will start operations in Zacatecas in 2021. ON EXPLORATION, In Zacatecas, Advance Gold released drill results from three holes collared at its Tabasquena project. ON MINING, no relevant information. ON FINANCING, Gold Resource declared December 2020 monthly dividend (Arista mine, Oaxaca). Mexican Gold announced a non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of $1.4M (Las Minas project, Veracruz). Silver Dollar closed a non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of $560K (La Joya project, Durango). ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, McEwen presented results of a positive Feasibility Study (FS) for its 100% owned Fenix project in Sinaloa. GoGold provided an outlook for 2021 (Los Ricos project, Jalisco). ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Megastar announced results of its 2020 annual general meeting for shareholders (Yautepec property, Oaxaca). GR Silver and Mako amended an agreement in which the first would acquire 100% of the issued and outstanding shares of Marlin Gold Mining Ltd from Mako. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, Gold Resource reported a fatality at its Arista mine in Oaxaca.
ON MEXICO ISSUES
- The economic impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has left in the country, has not affected mining companies since they grew 50% their market value in the Mexican Stock Exchange (BMV). For comparison purposes, at the beginning of the year, the stock market value of the four largest mining companies in the country (Grupo Mexico, Industrias Peñoles, Minera Frisco and Autlan) on the BMV was MXP $524.5 billion and currently stands at around MXP $796.5 billion, according to the stock market data. The foregoing contrasts with the general mining panorama, since according to the Mexican Mining Chamber, it is estimated that investment in exploration will register an annual decrease of approximately 25%, thus reaching its worst level in 14 years. The foregoing, according to the agency, is the result of the pandemic, but also of the lack of certainty on the part of the government, higher tax burdens and delays or denial of permits, since 84 mining projects were postponed last year.
- Four mining projects will start operations in Zacatecas in 2021: Camino Rojo, from Orla Mining; Distrito Pinos, from Candelaria Mining, San Nicolás from Teck Resources Limited, and Juanicipio, from Grupo Peñoles.
- Advance Gold Corp., released drill results from three holes collared at its Tabasquena project in Zacatecas. Significant drill intersects were encountered in hole AGT-18 with 139 g/t Ag over 4.5m, including 240 g/t Ag over 2.3m; hole AGT-19 with 172 g/t Ag over 1.45m, including 383 g(t Ag over 0.8m, and hole AGT-20 with 40 g/t Ag over 1.2m. The drill program will continue to test a 3,500m long continuous high chargeability induced polarization anomaly.
- No relevant information.
- Gold Resource Corporation, declared December 2020 monthly dividend and paid one-third of a cent per common share to shareholders (Arista mine, Oaxaca).
- Mexican Gold Mining Corp., announced a non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of $1.4M (Las Minas project, Veracruz).
- Silver Dollar Resources Inc., closed a non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of $560K. First Majestic Silver Corp., subscribed for 200,000 shares or $280,000 of the Offering Net proceeds will be used to fund exploration and development work on its projects (La Joya project, Durango).
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
- McEwen Mining Inc., announced positive results of a Feasibility Study (FS) of its 100% owned Fenix project in Sinaloa. The FS envisions a 9.5 year mine life, and involves two sceneries. Scenery 1 with an after tax IRR of 28% using $1,500/ Oz Au and $17/ Oz Ag; an after tax NPV (8% discount) of $32M; an after tax payback period of 3.2 years, and an average after tax cash flow per year of full production of $12M. Scenery 2 with an after tax IRR of $55% using $1,900/Oz Au and $25/ Oz Ag; an after tax NPV (8% discount) of $98M; an after tax payback period of 2.8 years and an average after tax cash flow per year of production of $25M. The Fenix FS development involves two phases: Phase 1 (years 1-6) with an average annual gold production of 26K Oz Au, $42M initial capex, and cash and AISC costs of $1,035 and $1,042 per Oz Au produced respectively; and phase 2 (years 7-9.5) with an average annual silver production of 4.2M Oz AgEq, $24M incremental capex in year 6, and cash and AISC costs of $14.20 and $14.28 per Oz AgEq produced respectively. Measured and indicated (M+I) resources for the Fenix project are 10M tonnes of 1.6 g/t Ag and 0.59 g/t Au for a total of 518K Oz Ag and 190K Oz Au, and Inferred resources of 0.1M tonnes of 1.64 g/t Ag and 0.66 g/t Au for a total of 7K Oz Ag and 3K Oz Au. For El Gallo Silver, M+I resources are 4.5M tonnes of 133 g/t Ag and 0.12 g/t Au for a total of 19M Oz Ag and 18K Oz Au, and Inferred resources of 0.1M tonnes of 129 g/t Ag and 0.14 g/t Au for a total of 286K Oz Ag and 0.3K Oz Au. M+I combined resources are 14.5M tonnes of 42 g/t Ag and 0.45 g/t Au for a total of 19.5M Oz Ag and 208K Oz Au and Inferred resources of 0.2M tonnes of 46 g/t Ag and 0.48 g/t Au for a total of 293K Oz Ag and 3K Oz Au. The company also reported proven + probable reserves of 10.1M tonnes for the Fenix project with grades of 1.g g/t Ag and 0.58 g/t Au for a total of 517K Oz Ag and 190K Oz Au; proven + probable reserves of 4.4M tonnes for the El Gallo Silver project with grades of 133 g/t Ag and 0.12 g/t Au for a total of 18.7M Oz Ag and 17K Oz Ag. Proven + probable combined reserves are 14.5M tonnes of 41 g/t Ag and 0.44 g/t Au for a total of 19.2M Oz Ag and 207K Oz Au.
- GoGold Resources Inc., provided an outlook for 2021 and plans to deliver a PEA at Los Ricos South in January; to conduct an aggressive 10,000m drill program at Los Ricos North to test 10 of the more than 100 targets identified to date; and deliver an initial mineral resource at Los Ricos North in the summer of 2021.
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- Megastar Development Corp., announced results of its 2020 annual general meeting for shareholders (Yautepec property, Oaxaca).
- GR Silver Mining Ltd., and Mako Mining Corp., amended an agreement in which the first would acquire 100% of the issued and outstanding shares of Marlin Gold Mining Ltd., and to enter into a definitive agreement on or before December 31, 2020.
ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
- Gold Resource Corporation reported a fatality at its Arista mine in Oaxaca. The incident involved a light vehicle in an unauthorized and inactive area of the Arista underground mine. The Company is working with authorities in an ongoing investigation to establish the exact cause of the accident.
On the picture above, a hydrothermal breccia in a prospect in Durango, Mexico. Photo by Miguel A Heredia.
By Jorge Cirett
During the 52nd week of the year (December 21st to December 27th, 2020), at least 28 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico. To note, six companies posted exploration advances on their properties, six more made announcements related to their shares, three more released resource related news and five more on deals/corporate matters. ON MEXICO ISSUES, the Covid pandemic has not dented mining company’s performance on the BMV. The illegal blockade on Los Filos mine, Guerrero, has been lifted (without great help from the authorities). ON EXPLORATION, in Sonora, Tocvan Ventures informed the RC drilling program has been completed at its Pilar project. In Chihuahua, Radius Gold informed on the status of its Amalia and Plata Verde projects; Mammoth Resources informed it has signed a surface agreement with two ejidos at Tenoriba. In Sinaloa, Mithril Resources released drilling results from Los Reyes, Copalquin. In Nayarit and Jalisco, Candente Gold is studying and permitting the Cocula and El Dorado projects, as well as a processing plant. ON MINING, Golden Minerals has commenced mining at Rodeo, in Durango. Equinox Gold informed the illegal blockade on the Los Filos projects has been lifted. ON FINANCING, Orla mining is now listed on the NYSE. Consolidated Zinc consolidated its shares on a 15 to 1 basis. Azucar Minerals granted stock options to directors, employees and consultants for $465 K. Reyna Silver issued $299 K in shares to five directors and officers. VanGold Mining and Canuc Resources announced financing rounds for C$7.5 M and $300 K respectively. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Sonora Gold is assessing to increase the capacity of the planned heap leach operation at Cerro Caliche, in Sonora, to 20,000 tdp. Sierra Metals filed a NI-43-101 report updating the resource base on its Cusi mine, in Chihuahua. Minera Alamos filed on SEDAR the technical report and mineral resource estimate for the Cerro de Oro project, Zacatecas. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, VanGold Mining signed the acquisition of El Cubo mine and El Cubo mine complex in Guanajuato with Endeavour Silver. Almaden Minerals received notification from SEMARNAT that its permit application to develop the Ixtaca project in Puebla has been rejected. Maverix Metals informed on the acquisition of royalties from the Camino Rojo project in Zacatecas and the Cristina project in Chihuahua, as well as the sale of a royalty on the Yecora project in Sonora. Odyssey Marine Exploration informed it has gained more financial support for its litigation against the Mexican government for its refusal to concede a mining permit on its “Exploraciones Oceánicas” offshore phosphate project in Baja California Sur. Elemental Royalties informed it holds a 1% NSR on the Mercedes mine, Sonora, which is owned by Equinox Gold. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, Peñoles has been supporting soccer tournaments since 2011.
ON MEXICO ISSUES
- The Covid pandemic has not dented mining company’s performance on the BMV (Bolsa Mexicana de Valores). At the beginning of the year the four biggest companies in the BMV (Grupo Mexico, Peñoles, Frisco and Autlán) were worth $524,500 million pesos, and now these are valued in $796,500 million pesos (US$39.5 billion), a 51.8% increase. These gains contrast with the expected decline of 25% in exploration, partly die to the pandemic, partly also due to the lack of certitude on government policies, delays or denials of permitting (see note on Almaden) and a greater tax burden.
- Radius Gold Inc. informed on the exploration status of its projects in Mexico. At Amalia, in Chihuahua, Radius’s joint venture partner, Pan American Silver Corp. is funding and operating the phase 4 drill campaign, of which 1,838 m in 4 holes have been completed. At Plata Verde, also in Chihuahua, orientation induced polarization and ground magnetic surveys are being conducted. The target mineralized breccias occur under less than 100 m of volcanic cover rocks, and the geophysical surveys are planned to aid drill targeting.
- Mammoth Resources Corp. announced the second of two ejidos (community held surface land) voted in favor of a two-year surface agreement for exploration at its Tenoriba project in Chihuahua. During “the term of the agreements the Company will be making contributions towards a number of community benefit programs and looks forward to reporting on these contributions. Mammoth will also be providing assistance to a number of the most vulnerable inhabitants of both ejidos”.
- Mithril Resources Ltd. released good drilling results from Los Reyes target at Los Reyes project in Durango (not to mistake for Prime Mining’s Los Reyes project in Sinaloa). Highlighted core length intercepts comprise 2.22 m @ 32.35 gpt Au, 185 gpt Ag; 0.70 m @ 9.3 gpt Au, 125 gpt Ag; 1.20 m @ 2.05 gpt Au, 85 gpt Ag in one hole and 3.0 m @ 2.86 gpt Au, 84 gpt Ag (including 0.6 m @ 9.79 gpt Au, 165 gpt Ag) in other. Drilling is to recommence in early January 2021 at El Refugio target, whereas soil sampling is programmed for El Refugio West, La Soledad West, El Indio and Zaragoza prospects in January-February 2021.
- Prismo Metals Inc. completed its 2020 drilling campaign at Palos Verdes, Sinaloa. A total of 436.8 m were drilled in four holes, and a fifth hole is to be completed in January 2021. The holes intercepted wide zones of discrete quartz veins in andesite with quartz and stockwork quartz veining, local pyrite and sphalerite. Results pending.
- Tocvan Ventures Corp. informed on the completion of its campaign of reverse circulation drilling at its Pilar project, Sonora. A total of 1,505 m were drilled in nine holes, with results expected in early 2021.
- Candente Gold Corp. announced that technical experts have been engaged for permitting and deposit modelling for the El Dorado (Nayarit) and Cocula (Jalisco) projects and for permitting of the San Dieguito de Arriba (Nayarit) plant.
- Golden Minerals Corp. announced it has begun mining at its Rodeo property, Durango. Material over 3.0 gpt Au is to be transported in January to Golden’s Velardeña 200 tpd mill. A second ball mill is to be installed to increase the processing capacity to 450 tpd.
- Equinox Gold Corp. reported that “the blockade by members of the Carrizalillo community at the Company’s Los Filos Mine in Mexico has been removed and access to the mine has been restored. Representatives from Los Filos continue to meet regularly with community leaders to reach consensus on the remaining items related to benefits provided under the Carrizalillo social collaboration agreement”.
- Orla Mining Ltd. is now listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Orla’s addition to the exchange is classified as a “dual listing without capital raise”. (Camino Rojo, Zacatecas).
- Consolidated Zinc Ltd. informed the 1 to 15 consolidation of the company securities is now complete (Plomosas, Chihuahua).
- Azucar Minerals Ltd. has granted stock options to certain directors, employees, and consultants of the company to purchase 465 K common shares in the capital of Azucar (El Cobre, Veracruz).
- VanGold Mining Corp. announced a part and parcel non-brokered private placement financing for gross proceeds of C$7.5 M (El Cubo, Guanajuato).
- Canuc Resources Corp. announced the closing of a non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of $300 K (San Javier Silver-Gold, Sonora).
- Reyna Silver Corp. issued $299 K of its common shares toward partial annual compensation to five directors and officers of the Company (Guigui, Chihuahua).
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
- Sonora Gold Corp. informed on the expansion of several mineralized zones at its Cerro Caliche property in Sonora. Based on these results Sonoro is assessing the viability of a heap leach mining operation with an increased capacity form 8,000 to 20,000 tonnes per day. Highlighted core length intervals comprise 11.7 m @ 0.92 gpt Au; 11.25 m @ 1.08 gpt Au; 8.45 m @ 1.4 gpt Au; 5.7 m @ 1.25 gpt Au in the El Colorado zone, and 13.72 m @ 0.47 gpt Au; 15.24 m @ 0.40 gpt Au; 21.33 m @ 0.47 gpt Au; 25.91 m @ 0.42 gpt Au at Los Japoneses.
- Sierra Metals Inc. filed a NI 43-101 report updating the resource base on its Cusi mine, in Chihuahua. Measured and indicated resources now consist of 5.36 M tonnes @ 182 gpt Ag, 0.12 gpt Au, 0.49% Pb, 0.58% Zn (215 gpt AgEq), and inferred resources of 4.89 M tonnes @ 146 gpt Ag, 0.18 gpt Au, 0.43% Pb, 0.69% Zn (183 gpt AgEq). (Note.- this should amount to close to 55 M Oz Ag, not counting other metals credits).
- Minera Alamos Inc. filed on SEDAR the technical report and mineral resource estimate for the Cerro de Oro project, Zacatecas. The inferred mineral resource on oxide ore is 48 M tonnes @ 0.41 gpt Au, containing 630 K Oz Au.
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- VanGold Mining Inc. signed a binding letter agreement with Endeavour Silver Corp. to acquire the El Cubo mill and mill complex, in Guanajuato, 8 km from its El Pinguico property. El Cubo complex includes two underground operating mines (in care and maintenance) and a 1,500 tpd flotation plant. VanGold intends to restart the mill at approximately 750 tpd “using mineralized material from its surface and underground stockpiles at its El Pinguico project as a significant portion of its estimated throughput for the first 36 months of operation”. El Cubo has measured, indicated and inferred resources of 2.4 M Oz Ag and 28.2 K Oz Au.
- Almaden Minerals Ltd. Has received notification from the Mexican federal permitting authority, Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (SEMARNAT) that the company’s initial environmental permit application (MIA) in respect of the Ixtaca project has not received approval. Almaden originally submitted the MIA in early 2019. The SEMARNAT resolution cites insufficient information regarding the impacts of open pit mining on the environment, local and regional area. “The Company is continuing its review of SEMARNAT’s response to the MIA and is evaluating its alternatives which include the re-submittal of a revised MIA, continuing dialogue, and legal options”.
- Maverix Metals Inc. informed on some royalties included in the Newmont Corporation royalty portfolio acquired in October 29, 2020. Orla Mining Ltd. elected not to exercise its ROFR (Right Of First Refusal) on the 2.0% net smelter return royalty of oxide and transitional ore production from the Camino Rojo project located in Zacatecas; Orla expects the first gold pour in the second half of 2021. Criscora, S.A. de C.V., a wholly owned subsidiary of TCP1 Corporation, will acquire the 1.0% NSR royalty on the Yecora project located in Sonora, for a cash payment of $1.5 M, which Maverix will receive. The ROFR on the Cristina project located in Chihuahua, was not exercised and Maverix will acquire the 2.0% NSR royalty.
- Odyssey Marine Exploration Inc. has secured up to an additional $10 M to support its pending North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) claim against Mexico. The NAFTA claim relates to the “unlawful denial of the environmental permit for subsidiary Exploraciones Oceanicas’ (ExO’s) offshore phosphate project” in Baja California Sur. The project, said to be one of the largest and highest quality phosphate sands deposits in the world, is subject to a $2.36 billion claim against Mexico under NAFTA.
- Elemental Royalties Corp. disclosed it owns a 1% Net Smelter Returns (“NSR”) royalty on Premier’s Mercedes Mine, a key asset in the Premier portfolio, which becomes payable to Elemental from July 28, 2022 following a time hurdle. Premier Gold Mines Ltd. was recently acquired by Equinox Gold Corp.
ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
- Peñoles has been supporting soccer tournaments since 2011 with the installation of the “Copa Santos Peñoles”. The last edition of the tournament (2019) counted with the participation of 288 teams.
On the image below: Quartz vein stockwork from a project in San Luis Potosí. Picture by Jorge Cirett.
By Miguel A Heredia
During the fifty one week of the year (December 14th to December 20th, 2020), at least 22 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico and 4 news published by the media, with seven disclosing deals and corporate issues, five communicating production and financial results, four informing on exploration results, three announcing financial rounds, two discussing social issues, two reporting on resources and development of their mine operations, and two commenting on Mexican issues. ON MEXICO ISSUES, Great Panther restarted operations at its Topia mine in Durango, after experiencing contagious of COVID-19 among the workforce. The Chihuahua Mining Cluster appointed its new board president. The Association of Miners of Sonora (AMSAC) decided to extend the current board for one year. ON EXPLORATION, In Baja California Norte, Comet announced that a drilling program will commence in 2021 at its Santa Teresa project. In Sonora, Silver Viper released drill results from its El Rubi project. In Chihuahua, Monarca Minerals announced its intention to conduct an initial 5,000m of drilling at its San Jose project. In Sinaloa, Vizsla released surface and underground sampling results from its Panuco project. ON MINING, GoGold presented Q3, 2020 production and financial results from its Parral Tailing operation in Chihuahua. Prime reported Q2, 2020 financial results. ON FINANCING, Silver Dollar granted stock options to its directors, officers, and consultants (La Joya property, Durango). Gatos Silver provided an update and announced inclusion in the Russell 2000 Index, as well as in the VanEck Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (GDXJ) (Los Gatos, Chihuahua). ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Southern Silver reported drill results from its Cerro Las Minitas property in Durango. Capitan Mining released RC drill results from three holes collared at its Peñoles project in Durango. Gatos Silver commenced a 58,000m infill and extensional drilling program at its Cerro Los Gatos deposit in Chihuahua. GR reported drill results from 2 holes collared at its Plomosas property in Sinaloa. Fabled started an 8,000m drilling program at its Santa Maria project in Chihuahua. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Aztec Minerals and Kootenay entered into a JV option agreement for the Cervantes project in Sonora. Defiance acquired option to purchase royalty at the Tepal property in Michoacan. Pan American appointed a new member to its board of directors (La Colorada, Zacatecas). Equinox announced friendly acquisition of Premier Gold (Mercedes Mine, Sonora). Canuc appointed a new special adviser to the company (San Javier property, Sonora). Santacruz reached an agreement with Peñoles to extend the Zimapan Mine lease until June 30, 2021. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, Minera Media Luna, a subsidiary of Torex Gold invested MXP $1.8M to improve the Nuevo Balsas Health Center. Grupo Mexico donated eight thousand plants in Colima.
ON MEXICO ISSUES
- Great Panther Mining Limited, restarted operations at its Topia mine in Durango, after have experienced contagious of COVID-19 among the workforce. Mining resumed on December 17 and the plant is expected to begin processing ore on December 21.
- The Chihuahua Mining Cluster appointed its new board president. This event was joined by the special presence of the state leadership of the Association of Mining Engineers, Metallurgists and Geologists of Mexico; the direction of the Mining Chamber of Mexico; guild suppliers, as well as the new director of mining for the state government.
- The Association of Miners of Sonora (AMSAC) decided to extend the current board for one year as a result of the pandemic that paralyzed multiple activities in the sector.
- Comet Resources Limited announced that a drilling program will commence in 2021 at its Santa Teresa project in Baja California Norte. Comet has identified sources of water for the drilling program and has improved roads to the drill sites. It is also in the process of getting the drill permit to commence the drilling in 2021. In addition, Comet has engaged a local geological consultancy to assist them with all geological programs, including permitting for drilling.
- Silver Viper Minerals Corp., released drill results from its El Rubi project in Sonora. The most significant drill interval was encountered in hole LV20-283 with 0.72 g/t Au and 50 g/t Ag over a true width (TW) of 13.89m, including several intersection as 2.55 g/t Au and 226 g/t Ag over a TW of 0.64m, 3.26 g/t Au and 215 g/t Ag over a TW of 1.92m, 1.58 g/t Au and 108 g/t Ag over a TW of 3.84m, 4.38 g/t Au and 282 g/t Ag over a TW of 0.64m, 33.8 g/t Au and 67 g/t Ag over a TW of 1.6m, and 77.9 g/t Au and 133 g/t Ag over a TW of 1m. Silver Viper informed also that it has conducted initial bottle roll leach tests on four 500 g composites of mineralized material from El Rubi with extracting recoveries of 90-95% for Au and 62-76% for Ag. The company plans to conduct more detail test work.
- Monarca Minerals Inc., announced its intention to conduct an initial 5,000m of drilling at its San Jose project in Chihuahua. Monarca plans to drill 10 holes to test some IP targets to depths of up to 500m. Monarca is looking to sign a surface agreement with the local Ejido as well as to apply to obtain the drilling permit.
- Vizsla Resources Corp., released surface and underground sampling results from its Panuco project. Sampling highlights include 11.55 g/t Au and 2,091 g/t Ag (3,042 g/t AgEq) over a true width (TW) of 1m, and 6.7 g/t Au and 723 g/t Ag (1,304 g/t AgEq) over a TW of 1.2m at Agua Zarca target; 2.23 g/t Au and 264 g/t Ag (456 g/t AgEq) over a TW of 2.9 at El Batel target; 0.77 g/t Au and 315 g/t Ag (368 g/t AgEq) over a TW of 4.1m, including 1.28 g/t Au and 892 g/t Ag (958 g/t AgEq) over a TW of 1.3m at La Bomba target; and 0.67 g/t Au and 225 g/t Ag (275 g/t AgEq) over a TW of 10.5m, including 1.34 g/t Au and 371 g/t Ag (473 g/t AgEq) over a TW of 4m at Huaco target. These results will help to generate drill targets for 2021.
- GoGold Resources Inc., presented Q3, 2020 production and financial results from its Parral Tailing operation in Chihuahua. The company produced 605,723 Oz AgEq at a cash and AISC of USD $11.97 and USD $14.31 per Oz AgEq respectively. GoGold reported revenue of USD $39.5M, a net income of USD $43.1M, and cash flow from operations before working capital changes of USD $5.5M, including free cash flow from Parral of USD $6.5M.
- Prime Mining Corp., announced Q2, 2020 financial results. The company reported a net loss of CAD $1,656,466, cash, cash equivalent and short-term investment of CAD $7,678,959, total current liabilities of CAD $655,545, total liabilities of CAD $1,668,247, and total shareholder´s equity of CAD $19,921,788 (Los Reyes project, Sinaloa).
- Silver Dollar Resources Inc., granted stock options to its directors, officers, and consultants to purchase up to 2.55M shares of the company. Shares are exercisable at $1.75 per share for five years (La Joya property, Durango).
- Gatos Silver Inc., provided an update and announced inclusion in the Russell 2000 Index small capitalization stocks index, effective December 2021. Gatos recently completed an IPO with gross proceeds of USD $173M resulting in the largest precious metals IPO since 2010 and the largest precious metals equity financing during 2020. The company also announced the inclusion in the VanEck Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (GDXJ) (Los Gatos property, Chihuahua).
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
- Southern Silver Exploration Corp., reported drill results from Mina La Bocona target area at its Cerro Las Minitas property in Durango. Significant drill intersects were encountered at hole 20CLM-125 with 1.41 g/t Au and 36 g/t Ag (201 g/t AgEq) over a 28.5m, including 5.1 g/t Au and 72 g/t Ag (552 g/t AgEq) over 2.8m, and a deeper intersection of 0.45 g/t Au, 421 g/t Ag, 5.5% Pb, and 1.9% Zn (704 g/t AgEq or 17.9% ZnEq) over 6.1m (true width of 4.0m), including 0.64 g/t Au, 1,420 g/t Ag, 16.8% Pb, and 00.6% Zn (2,012 g/t AgEq or 51% ZnEq) over 0.9m (true width of 0.6m). This drill result is part of a 10,000m, 2020-2021 core drilling program on the Cerro Las Minitas project. Two additional holes have been completed at Mina La Bocona target. Seven holes totaling 2,470 metres have now tested the Mina La Bocona target area with assays still pending from each hole.
- Capitan Mining Inc., released drill results from three holes collared at its Peñoles project in Durango. Significant drill intercepts were encountered in holes 20-CARC-12 with 0.63 g/t Au over 73.15m, including 0.91 g/t Au over 36.5m; hole 20-CARC-09 with 0.69 g/t Au and 21 g/t Ag over 64.01m, including 1.26 g/t Au over 13.72m; and hole 20-CARC-08 with 0.58 g/t Au over 48.77m, including 0.82 g/t Au and 16 g/t Ag over 28.96m.
- Gatos Silver Inc., commenced a 58,000m infill and extensional drilling program at its Cerro Los Gatos deposit in Chihuahua. The program is expected to cost USD $6.1M. Drilling has already begun with a program of 27,000m with an expected cost of USD $2.8M and is focused on definition and extension of the Cerro Los Gatos deposit. Completion of the program is anticipated by June 2021. A second program focused on expanding resources throughout the Los Gatos district is planned to initiate in early 2021.
- GR Silver Mining Ltd., reported drill results from 2 underground holes collared at its Plomosas property in Sinaloa. Hole PLI20-01 intersected 30 g/t Ag, 0.01 g/t Au, 1.3% Pb, and 2.8% Zn (254 g/t AgEq) over a true width (TW) of 16m, including 55 g/t Ag, 0.01 g/t Au, 4% Pb, and 8.3% Zn (424 g/t AgEq) over a TW of 4m; and hole PLI20-02 intersected 18 g/t Ag, 0.3 g/t Au, 1% Pb, and 1.7% Zn (130 g/t AgEq), including 107 g/t Ag, 1.7 g/t Au, 6.6% Pb, 9.6% Zn, and 0.2% Cu (778 g/t AgEq) over a TW of 4.2m. GR also reviewed and validated historical data from holes SD-62 and SD-67, confirming the presence of Au-Cu rich mineralization in other levels of the Plomosas Mine area. Hole SD-62 encountered 31 g/t Ag, 0.12 g/t Au, 0.8% Pb, 1.4% Zn, and 1.3% Cu (200 g/t AgEq) over a TW of 25.3m, while hole SD-63 intersected 115 g/t Ag, 1.04 g/t Au, 11.3% Pb, 5.4% Zn, and 0.7% Cu (800 g/t AgEq) over a TW of 6.1m.
- Fabled Silver Gold Corp., started an 8,000m drilling program at its Santa Maria project in Chihuahua to test 11 new IP anomalies identified during the first ever geophysical survey conducted at the property. A 3-D IP survey covered the entire property at 50m-line spacing and was 16 blocks in size with penetration to -500m minimum. In addition, 27km of ground magnetic was completed over the property resulting in the creation of several products such as total field, first derivate, reduce to pole, and 3D inversion magnetics. “Fabled’s management team strongly believes that the Santa Maria Property is an under-explored, high-grade silver-gold project with significant exploration potential to expand mineral resources and identify new discoveries”.
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- Aztec Minerals Corp., and Kootenay Silver Inc., entered into a JV option agreement for the Cervantes project in Sonora. Aztec has already completed its earn-in and exercised its option to acquire a 65% interest in the property. Now Aztec hold 65% interest in the property while Kootenay the remaining 35%. Both parties will keep their interest at Cervantes through share ownership in Aztec Minerals JV Corporation through its wholly owned subsidiary, Minera Azteca Dorado S.A. de C.V.
- Defiance Silver Corp., acquired option to purchase the 2.5% NSR of the Tepal property in Michoacan from Minera Tepal, over four years for a total consideration of USD $4.85M.
- Pan American Silver Corp., appointed a new member to its board of directors (La Colorada, Zacatecas).
- Equinox Gold Corp., announced it has entered into a definitive agreement with Premier Gold Mines Limited to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Premier. Premier will spin-out to its shareholders shares of a newly created US-focused gold production and development company to be called i-80 Gold Corp. On closing of the transaction, existing Equinox Gold and Premier shareholders will own approximately 84% and 16% of Equinox Gold, and Equinox Gold and existing shareholders of Premier will own 30% and 70% of i-80 Gold, respectively, on an issued share basis.
- Canuc Resources Corporation appointed a new special adviser to the company (San Javier property, Sonora).
- Santacruz Silver Mining Ltd., reached an agreement with Minera Cedros S.A.de C.V., a subsidiary of Industrias Peñoles S.A.B. de C.V. to extend the Zimapan Mine lease from December 31, 2020 to June 30, 2021.
ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
- Minera Media Luna, a subsidiary of Torex Gold invested MXP $1.8M to improve the Nuevo Balsas Health Center, which will serve close to four thousand inhabitants of communities such as Nuevo Balsas, San Nicolás, La Fundición, Real del Limón, Acalmantlila, Balsas Sur, San Luis and Tomixtlahuacán. This center seeks to provide decent medical care since the areas that are farthest from the municipal capitals are severely affected in their health services due to the conditions of difficult access and remoteness.
- Grupo Mexico donated eight thousand plants to the City Council and to the Integral Development of the Family (DIF) of Colima to reforest the public gardens of the rural communities contributing to improve the environment and quality of life of the families of the municipality of Colima.
On the picture above, a fault slickenside in a Mn-Fe occurrence in a prospect in Chihuahua, Mexico. Photo by Miguel A Heredia.