By Jorge Cirett
During the 35th week of the year (August 29th to September 4th, 2022), at least 21 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico. Five companies posted exploration advances on their properties and three presented production results for the second quarter, while one more provided an operational update. One company sold a portfolio of royalties in Mexican properties, one declared a dividend and closed a $5 M concentrate pre-payment facility. On advanced properties, one company reported metallurgical results, one updated its resource base, one released PEA numbers and one more released drilling results. One company is looking for partners for its projects and one more informed on the completion of the bought of their flagship property. ON MEXICO ISSUES, the lithium government company is to be run by the son of one federal government executive in Sonora. The rescue effort on ten coal miners in Coahuila is changing to a recovery mission. ON EXPLORATION, in Sonora, Tocvan Ventures released drilling results from Pilar; Prismo Metals received the Lidar survey processed data on Los Pavitos. In Chihuahua, Radius Gold presented drilling results from Amalia. Kootenay Silver released drilling results from Columba. In Zacatecas, Zacatecas Silver reported drill results from El Cristo vein. ON MINING, Impact Silver, Santacruz Silver and Magna Gold financial/operational results for the second quarter 2022. Guanajuato Silver Company provided and operational update on Topia, San Ignacio and El Cubo and Valenciana complexes. ON FINANCING, Millrock Resources sold a portfolio of royalties in Mexican properties to Osisko Gold Royalties. Alamos Gold declared a quarterly dividen, Guanajuato Silver Company closed on a $5 M concentrate pre-payment facility. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Discovery Silver reported metallurgical results from its Cordero project in Chihuahua. Starcore International Mines updated on NI 43-101 complaint resources at its San Martin mine in Queretaro. Southern Silver Exploration released numbers on the recently completed PEA at its Cerro Las Minitas project in Durango. Capitan Mining reported drilling results from the Jesus Maria target at its Cruz de Plata project in Durango. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Mexus Gold US is seeking a partner for its Santa Elena property in Sonora. Minaurum Gold completed the acquisition of its Alamos Silver property in Sonora, with a final payment in cash and shares. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, Vizsla Silver released its environmental social and governance (ESG) initiative.
ON MEXICO ISSUES
- LitioMx. The federal government operation of its newly created Lithium Mining Company (LitioMx) is still hazy, but the possibility has been raised that private companies might participate, also that the current Sonora governor might be involved, and a director has been named, which happens to be a relative of the presidency representative in the State (Although eager to advertise its different way of doing things, this government is making a great effort to replicate the worst practices of past governments).
- Trapped Coal Miners. Blame put aside, the fate of the 10 trapped miners in Coahuila after the flooding of the coal mine on August 3 is almost defined, and the effort is now changing from rescue to body recovery, which might take months.
- Prismo Metals Inc. received results from the Lidar survey carried out at its 5,289 ha Los Pavitos project in Sonora. “Mineralization at Los Pavitos consists of quartz veins and stockworks hosted in metasediments, in shear zones and parallel to foliation and crossing foliation”.
- Tocvan Ventures Corp. released results from the four final holes drilled at its Pilar project in Sonora. Highlighted drill length intervals comprise 16.78 m @ 0.11 gpt Au; 18.30 m @ 0.24 gpt Au; 50.33 m @ 0.14 gpt Au, 10 gpt Ag (including 10.68 m @ 0.59 gpt Au, 40 gpt Ag); 21.35 m @ 0.13 gpt Au. “All four drill holes were drilled in new areas and intersected alteration and structures known to host gold-silver mineralization at Pilar”.
- Zacatecas Silver Corp. reported results from the completed phase one diamond drilling at El Cristo vein system in the Zacatecas Silver project in Zacatecas. Highlighted core length intervals comprise 2.1 m @ 204 gpt Ag; 9.0 m @ 149 gpt Ag; 0.53 m @ 200 gpt Ag, 0.34 gpt Au, 0.8% Pb, 0.8% Zn; 0.82 m @ 84 gpt Ag, 0.14 gpt Au, 11.8% Pb, 3.7% Zn; 0.85 m @ 45 gpt Ag, 0.82 gpt Au, 1.9% Pb, 2.4% Zn; 3.0 m @ 250 gpt Ag; 0.55 m @ 198 gpt Ag, 1.6 m @ 175 gpt Ag. “Drill holes targeted the near surface depth extension of the larger surface workings and/or the depth extension of veins around the deeper historical shaft. The 28 holes drilled to date by the Company have been scout holes also designed to test select veins over at least 2 km of strike extension”.
- Radius Gold Inc. reported results from three drill holes on El Cuervo target at the Amalia project in Chihuahua (Radius 35%, Pan American Silver 65%). Highlighted core length drill results comprise 17.00 m @ 438 gpt Ag, 0.80 gpt Au (including 2.0 m @ 3,182 gpt Ag, 4.49 gpt Au); 13.55 m @ 841 gpt Ag, 10.25 gpt Au (including 5.65 m @ 1,560 gpt Ag, 19.6 gpt Au). “Drilling at El Cuervo has defined mineralization similar to the Amalia structure, consisting of epithermal quartz veins, breccias and veinlets stockworks hosted within rhyolite volcanics along a major fault system. El Cuervo remains open to expansion along strike and to depth”.
- Kootenay Silver Inc. released another batch of results from its phase 4 drilling program at Columba, Chihuahua. Highlighted core length results comprise 3.90 m @ 574 gpt Ag, 0.2% Pb, 0.7% Zn (including 0.90 m @ 949 gpt Ag, 0.4% Pb, 1.1% Zn) in the D vein, and 17.00 m @ 95 gpt Ag, 0.1% Zn (including 2.05 m @ 221 gpt Ag, 0.2% Zn); 0.4 m @ 325 gpt Ag, 0.2% Pb, 0.6% Zn; 1.58 m @ 425 gpt Ag, 0.1% Pb, 0.3% Zn; 2.97 m @ 91 gpt Ag, 0.2% Zn; 1.63 m @ 2,330 gpt Ag, 0.8% Zn; 6.5 m @ 156 gpt Ag, 0.1% Pb, 0.1% Zn (including 1.05 m @ 769 gpt Ag, 0.5% Zn); 1.00 m @ 305 gpt Ag, 0.2% Pb, 0.2% Zn; 1.00 m @ 194 gpt Ag, 0.2% Pb, 0.2% Zn.
- Impact Silver Corp. announced financial and operating results for the second quarter 2022. At its Real de Zacualpan project in Estado de Mexico, 37.2 K tonnes averaging 159 gpt Ag were milled during the period, to sell 151.3 K Oz Ag. Impact has no long term debt and cash on hand stands at $18.4 M. Two underground and two surface rigs continue with the 20,000 meters drilling program for the year.
- Santacruz Silver Mining Ltd. reported its financial and operating results for the second quarter 2022. At Zimapan, in Hidalgo, 200 K tonnes were milled to produce 914.5 K Oz AgEq at $16.71 cash cost per Oz AgEq and an AISC of $20.64 per Oz AgEq.
- Magna Gold Corp. announced operating and financial results for the second quarter of 2022. At the San Francisco mine in Sonora 5.9 M tonnes were mined, of which 1.4 M tonnes averaging 0.39 gpt Au were placed on the heaps to produce 10,795 Oz Au. Cash at the end of the period was $1.4 M, while working capital was negative $35.4 M. “management believes it is prudent to preserve capital by reducing mining rates and secondary activities across the Company’s portfolio of assets……… the Company’s board and management determined that previously stated guidance for FY 2022 will be retracted and revised at a later date when a more accurate estimate of production impacts is known”.
- Guanajuato Silver Company Ltd. provided an operational update detailing the integration of El Cubo mine and milling complex with the recently acquired Topia (Durango) and San Ignacio (Guanajuato) mines from Great Panther Mining Ltd. and the San Ignacio mine and Valenciana mines complex (both in Guanajuato). At El Cubo, the development of a 150 m tunnel and ramp reduced the total haulage distance from 7.2 km to 2.5 km with a strong impact on the project economics. Mineral from the San Ignacio mine is being transported to El Cubo mill for processing, and is expected to provide 5 to 6 K tonnes of material per month to the end of the year. At the Valenciana Mines Complex opportunities are being reviewed to restart mining and to process the material at the Cata mill in 2023. At Topia, the sale of 99.2 dry tonnes of Pb-Zn-Au concentrate 97.7 dry tonnes of Zn-Ag concentrate has been reported since the completion of the acquisition.
- Millrock Resources Inc. sold a portfolio of royalties to Osisko Gold Royalties Ltd. with gross proceeds of $1.2 M. The Mexican properties involved include Santa Rosalía (Sonora), El Valle, El Pima (Sonora), Violeta and Guadalcazar (San Luis Potosi).
- Alamos Gold Inc. informed the company’s board of directors declared a quarterly dividend of US$0.025 per common share (Mulatos, Sonora).
- Guanajuato Silver Company Ltd. reported that in conjunction with the acquisition of the Topia mine in Durango and the Mine Complex in Guanajuato from Great Panther Mining Ltd., has closed a US$5 M concentrate pre-payment facility with Ocean Partners UK Ltd. “Interest on the loan will be calculated at 12-month LIBOR + 7.5%” (Guanajuato Mine Complex, Guanajuato).
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
- Discovery Silver Corp. reported results from the metallurgical test program on the pre-feasibility study (PFS) from its Cordero project in Chihuahua. Recoveries of 94-98% Ag, 89-97% Pb, 92-96% Zn were achieved on high grade samples of all major rock types, and recoveries of 83-92% Ag, 85-92% Pb, 81-89% Zn on medium grade samples of blended rock types. “Oxide-sulphide blend testwork establish oxide-specific recoveries of ~60% for silver, ~40% for lead and ~85% for zinc via flotation; co-processing oxide mineralized material via flotation eliminates the need for heap leach processing”.
- Starcore International Mines Ltd. released its updated NI 43-101 reserve and resource estimates for its San Martin mine in Querétaro. Proven and probable reserves stand at 1.35 M tonnes @ 1.74 gpt Au, 13 gpt Ag containing 75,353 Oz Au, 573 K Oz Ag, and indicated and inferred resources of 1.48 M tonnes @ 1.78 gpt Au, 14 gpt Ag, containing 160,352 Oz Au, 1.22 M Oz Ag. The exploration program for 2022 envisages 10,000 meters of diamond drilling near the current operations.
- Southern Silver Exploration Corp. reported results from its preliminary economic assessment (PEA) on its Cerro Las Minitas project in Durango. The study’s base case envisages an after-tax NPV5% of $349 M, an IRR of 17.9% with Ag at $21.95 per Oz, Cu at $3.78 per Lb, Pb at $0.94 per Lb, Zn at $1.33 per Lb. The indicated mineral resources included on the study comprise 12.3 M tonnes @ 106 gpt Ag, 0.16% Cu, 1.3% Pb, 3.3% Zn containing 42.1 M Oz Ag, 44 M Lb Cu, 358 M Lb Pb, 895 M Lb Zn, while inferred resources comprise 19.6 M tonnes @ 117 gpt Ag, 0.23% Cu, 1.2% Pb, 2,3% Zn, totaling 73.6 M Oz Ag, 98 M Lb Cu, 500 M Lb Pb, 1,009 M Lb Zn. Only sulfide mineralization was included in the study to produce Cu, Pb and zinc concentrates with the recoveries estimated at 91.6% Ag, 60% Cu, 88% Pb, 93% Zn.
- Capitan Mining Inc. reported exploration results from five reverse circulation holes at its Cruz de Plata project in Durango. “All drillholes were successful in intersecting Jesus Maria style mineralization, expanding the zone between 43m and 114m down-dip along section”. Highlighted drill length intervals comprise 3.0 m @ 52 gpt Ag, 0.10 gpt Au, 1.3% Pb, 3.4% Zn; 19.8 m @ 29 gpt Ag, 0.08 gpt Au, 0.4% Pb, 0.6% Zn; 13.7 m @ 69 gpt Ag, 0.17 gpt Au, 0.5% Pb, 1.0% Zn; 21.3 m @ 84 gpt Ag, 0.05 gpt Au, 0.6% Pb, 0.7% Zn (including 1.5 m @ 189 gpt Ag, 0.02 gpt Au; 2.3% Pb, 2.3% Zn.
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- Mexus Gold US. continues to seek the right partner for production and/or exploration of its Santa Elena property in Sonora (not to mistake for First Majestic’s Santa Elena mine, also in Sonora).
- Minaurum Gold Inc. announced the completion of the acquisition of 100% interest in the Alamos Silver project in Sonora. The 37,928-hectare property encompasses the historical 200 M Oz Ag Alamos district including 26 epithermal veins. Minaurum completed all work commitments and option payments and made a final compensation of C$300 K in cash and 443.6 K shares.
ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
- Vizsla Silver Corp. announced the continued progression on its environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives through safety, sustainability and commitment to communities.
On the image below: Banded Specularite-quartz-calcite vein in the Sonoran Desert. Picture by Jorge Cirett.