Vancouver, British Columbia–(Newsfile Corp. – January 16, 2020) – SilverCrest Metals Inc. (TSX: SIL) (NYSE American: SILV) (“SilverCrest” or the “Company”) is pleased to summarize its 2019 highlights and present its outlook for 2020. SilverCrest begins 2020 with a strong balance sheet with C$124 million in the bank and no debt. The Company also starts the year with a substantial backlog of exploration drill results to report in Q1, 2020. The Company is working to complete the Feasibility Study for a mine construction decision, to continue with an aggressive exploration program and accelerate development work on the Las Chispas Project (“Las Chispas”) in Sonora, Mexico.
By Jorge Cirett
During the 2nd week of the year (January 6th to January 12th, 2020), at least 34 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico. ON MEXICO ISSUES, The IPN is to offer Metallurgy Engineering at the Zacatecas campus. Conagua and Minera Peñasquito reached an agreement to promote the recovery of the Mazapil aquifer in Zacatecas. Some highlights on three major Mexican ore deposits were shared by Camimex: Metates, El Arco and La Verde. The Mexican president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador asserted the importance of mining in Mexico. In 2019 three Peñoles, Autlán and Frisco lost US$935 M in value on the stock exchange (BMV). Torex Gold and Leagold increased gold production on its mines in Guerrero. ON EXPLORATION, setting a weekly record, that we hope is a good omen for the industry in Mexico this year, eleven companies reported on exploration programs or results on their projects. In Sonora, Colibri disclosed surface sampling results from the Evelyin project; Tocvan and Colibri reported high Au and Ag values from the Pilar project near Suaqui Grande; Magna Gold released high grade Au results from surface mapping on several targets at the San Judas project. In Chihuahua, Kootenay Silver released high-grade Ag results from its Columba project. Sable Resources released low grade but widespread Au results from the Vinata project. In Sinaloa, Vizsla Resources started drilling at its Pánuco project. In Durango, Gainey Capital has had successful meetings and communication with the local communities at Las Margaritas project. In Jalisco, GoGold Resources released results from five more holes at Los Ricos. In Zacatecas, Pan American Silver is to continue the exploration, initial engineering and metallurgical tests at the La Colorada skarn ore deposit. Advance Gold commenced another drill hole at La Tabasqueña project. Alien Metals is submitting applications to drill its Los Campos and San Celso projects. ON MINING, US Antimony has begun production testing of the cyanide leach circuits at the Puerto Blanco mill in Guanajuato. Hecla Mining, Torex Gold, Leagold Mining and Endeavour Silver presented fourth quarter and full-year 2019 reports. Argonaut Gold informed its El Castillo mine in Durango is to cease operations in 2022. ON FINANCING, Silver Spruce closed the first tranche of a financing round. Agnico Eagle issued warrants in connection with the loan agreement with Orla Mining. Sierra Metals is to repurchase US$30 M of shares. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Prime Mining updated on work at Guadalupe de Los Reyes, in Sinaloa. Sierra Metals updated the mineral resource estimate for the Bolivar mine, in Chihuahua. Discovery Metals released some high-grade results from its current drill program at Cordero, Chihuahua, where it is aiming to enhance the high-grade component of the deposit. Azure Minerals recommenced RC drilling the Loma Bonita gold deposit at its Alacrán project in Sonora. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Goldplay signed a LOI with First Majestic to acquire the Plomosas property in Sinaloa. Goldplay is to change name to GR Silver Mining. Oroco Resource Corp. is now officially the owner of 56.7% net interest (that can be increased to 81%) on the core concessions of the Santo Tomás project in Sinaloa. The company also holds the rights to 77.5% of the concessions surrounding the said core. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY. Peñoles to aid on the reactivation of agriculture in Naica. Peñoles organizes a robot building contest in Torreón. Endeavour Silver summarized its sustainability work for 2019.
ON MEXICO ISSUES
- The Instituto Politécnico Nacional (IPN) is to offer the Metallurgy Engineering at its Zacatecas campus. Students are to spend one week of every month gaining experience on local mining units, from the third semester onward.
- Conagua (Water Use Agency) and Minera Peñasquito (Newmont Goldcorp) reached an agreement to promote the recovery of the Mazapil aquifer. The agreement was reached in negotiation tables with several parties. The company is to forfeit its rights to extract 5 M cubic meters of water. During 2020 and 2021 Minera Peñasquito will invest 100 M pesos (US$5.25 M) on water access, drainage and cleaning in town, as well to aid on the bettering of irrigation and promotion of water re-usage in agriculture. In 2023 the company will also cede another 4 M cubic meters of water.
- Highlights on three giant mining projects in Mexico: Metates, in Durango, holds reserves for 18.3 M Oz Au, 502 M Oz Ag, 4 B Lb Zn. Chesapeake’s 2016 pre-feasibility study (PFS) calls for a capital spending of $3.5 billion for a 90 K tonnes per day (tpd) operation, and a mine life of 27 years producing 445 K Oz Au. Sustained prices over $1,400 per gold ounce would help to kick start the operations. El Arco, in Baja California, is a giant copper deposit owned by Grupo Mexico. The deposit displays reserves of 2,700 M tonnes @ 0.4% Cu, 0.1 gpt Au. The deposit is to be mined by open pit, with concentrator and leaching operations to recover copper by electro winning, and is expected to produce 190 K tonnes Cu and 105 K Oz Au per year, once it is developed. La Verde, in Michoacan, owned by Solaris Resources and Teck, had a preliminary evaluation assessment (PEA) in 2018 with an investment of US$1.16 billion to produce 7.17 M tonnes of concentrate @ 26.7% Cu for 19 years, or 100 K tonnes Cu per year.
- The Mexican president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador asserted the importance of mining in Mexico, on the strengthening of the country’s economy and the strong employment generation. He pointed that the ministers of environment and health are looking into the Rio Sonora spill (2014) and its consequences on the area inhabitants.
- During 2019, mining companies like Industrias Peñoles, Autlán and Minera Frisco lost US$935 M in market cap on the Mexican Stock Exchange (Bolsa Mexicana de Valores, or BMV). The three companies saw a reduction on its operations, same that were reflected on its cash flow (EBITDA) and share price. During the year Peñoles lost US$861.4 M, Autlán US$39.8 M and Frisco US$34 M in value. On the other hand, Grupo Mexico registered an increment of US$4.617 billion on its value for the same period, due to good results on copper extraction and the expansion on its transport branch.
- Gold production increased in 2019 for Torex and Leagold in Guerrero. In 2019 Torex produced 454,810 Oz Au at its El Limon-Guajes mine in Guerrero, compared with 354,000 Oz Au produced in 2018. Leagold produced 200,856 Oz Au at its Los Filos mine, in the same region.
- Pan American Silver Corp. is planning to continue the exploration program, initial engineering and more metallurgical tests at the world class skarn mineralization discovered at La Colorada, Zacatecas. The inferred resources stand at 72.5 M tonnes @ 44 gpt Ag, 0.17% Cu, 2.0% Pb, 4.4% Zn, with the deposit open in several directions. In 2020 PAS is to drill 44,000 m to define and expand the inferred resources.
- Colibri Resource Corp. disclosed rock chip sample results from its Evelyn project in Sonora. Highlighted results include 0.75 m @ 14.45 gpt Au, 16 gpt Ag; 1.5 m @ 12.45 gpt Au, 3 gpt Ag; 1.5 m @ 8.6 gpt Au, 5 gpt Ag; chip samples @ 22.3 gpt Au, 28 gpt Ag; 40.1 gpt Au; 3.12 gpt Au at the Cerro Rojo corridor and 2.97 gpt Au; 0.5 gpt Au, 0.4 gpt Au, 0.46 gpt Au; 2.74 gpt Au, 73 gpt Ag at the El Sahuaro corridor. Colibri is now planing to pursue a 1,000 m drilling campaign.
- Advance Gold Corp. has commenced the second drill hole of the current drilling program at its Tabaqueña project in Zacatecas. This second hole is to test the large IP anomaly that underlies the intersection of 1.70 m @ 9.46 gpt of a previous drilling campaign. The second hole on this campaign was collared 300 north of the location of the first one, with results pending. A second rig is being brought to the site to expedite drilling, now that the IP anomaly has been seen to correspond with a sulphide system.
- GoGold Resources Inc. released results from five more drill holes at its Los Ricos project in Jalisco. Highlighted intersections include 22 m @ 0.22 gpt Au, 60 gpt Ag (1.01 gpt AuEq); 16.5 m @ 4.29 gpt Au, 336 gpt Ag (8.77 gpt AuEq); 5.2 m @ 1.10 gpt Au, 67 gpt Ag (2.01 gpt AuEq); 13.5 m @ 0.82 gpt Au, 215 gpt Ag (3.73 gpt AuEq); 17.4 m @ 0.77 gpt Au, 152 gpt Ag (2.80 gpt AuEq), including 6.1 m @ 2.07 gpt Au, 373 gpt Ag (7.05 gpt AuEq), 23.5 m @ 0.17 gpt Au, 43 gpt Ag (0.75 gpt AuEq). The holes were drilled north and south of the historical stopes to test the continuation of the structures.
- Gainey Capital Corp, has had successful meetings and communication with the local communities at Las Margaritas project, Durango. “Discussions with State and Federal government representatives have been held to ensure that exploration on the property continues to the benefit of all stakeholders”.
- Kootenay Silver Inc. released assay results from seven more drill holes completed at its Columba property in Chihuahua. Highlighted intervals comprise: 11.35 m @ 103 gpt Ag, including 2.28 m @ 405 gpt Ag; 23.0 m @ 60 gpt Ag, including 3.0 m @ 274 gpt Ag, including 1.35 m @ 494 gpt Ag; 7.05 m @ 114 gpt Ag, including 1.0 m @ 547 gpt Ag (the three intercepts in one hole); 10.0 m @ 175 gpt Ag, including 4.63 m @ 301 gpt Ag, including 1.5 m @ 628 gpt Ag; 4.9 m @ 194 gpt Ag, including 0.88 m @ 808 gpt Ag; 39.90 m @ 159 gpt Ag, including 7.45 m @ 650 gpt Ag and 1.15 m @ 919 gpt Ag, and 1.0 m @ 953 gpt Ag, and 1.0 m @ 527 gpt Ag, and 1.0 m @ 860 gpt Ag, and 1.8 m @ 715 gpt Ag. High Ag grades have been intercepted over 700 m of strike length on the F vein, and also 650 m from old workings on the B vein.
- Sable Resources Ltd. provided an update on the ongoing drilling campaign at its Vinata property in Chihuahua. Six drill holes have been completed, amounting to 1,753 m of core, with results for 530 samples on the first five holes. Highlighted results comprise 51.3 m @ 0.28 gpt Au, including 30.3 m @ 0.44 gpt Au; 61.8 m @ 0.079 gpt Au, including 12.4 m @ 0.24 gpt Au; 198.25 m @ 0.063 gpt Au, including 8.9 m @ 0.24 gpt Au and 22.1 m @ 0.11 gpt Au; 30.45 m @ 0.035 gpt Au. Low grade gold argillic stratabound alteration in volcanic rocks is open in every direction, except to the East. The drilling program has been increased from 2,000 to 4,000 m to define the limits and grade on the argillic alteration, and also for the existence of a high-grade feeder with more classical epithermal textures.
- Tocvan Ventures Corp. and Colibri Resource Corp. reported high Au and Ag values from two new showings that extend known mineralization at its Pilar project in Sonora. Highlighted results comprise 4.3 gpt Au, 172 gpt Ag, 1.1% Pb; 23.7 gpt Au, 116 gpt Ag; 4.4 gpt Au, 44 gpt Ag; 7.5 gpt Au, 42 gpt Ag; 0.5 gpt Au, 323 gpt Ag; 1.4 gpt Au, 2 gpt Ag; 2.2 gpt Au, 15 gpt Ag; 5.6 gpt Au, 84 gpt Ag, 1.7% Pb; 0.7 gpt Au, 20 gpt Ag; 9.3 gpt Au, 76 gpt Ag, 2.2% Pb. The new assays support additional areas to develop and define mineralization east and south east of the main areas that have seen over 17,700 m of drilling.
- Alien Metals Ltd. is submitting applications for drill permits at its Los Campos and San Celso projects in Zacatecas. At Los Campos a six hole program that could grow to 47 holes and 3,250 m of drilling is planned. At San Celso a grid based drilling plan has been designed, with a total of up to 30 drill holes for 2,550 m, aiming to start with four to six key holes.
- Magna Gold Corp. reported assay results from surface sampling at its San Judas project in Sonora. Several targets have been delineated: Santa Lucia-Las Palomas is a bulk mining target in sheared granite with quartz veins and stockworks, on which samples returned up to 0.5 m @ 26.4 gpt Au, 1.5 m @ 14.6 gpt Au, 0.7 m @ 12.9 gpt Au, 0.8 m @ 7.3 gpt Au, 1.0 m @ 6.14 gpt Au, 0.8 m @ 5.54 gpt Au; At San Martin there is a quartz stockwork in granite and gneiss that opens the possibility to a high volume bulk deposit, in an area 1,250 m x 750 m, on which samples returned up to 1.5 m @ 13.7 gpt Au, 2.0 m @ 9.20 gpt Au, 1.0 m @ 7.12 gpt Au, 1.0 m @ 6.7 gpt Au, 1.0 m @ 6.23 gpt Au, 2.0 m @ 5.16 gpt Au, 1.9 m @ 4.1 gpt Au; Represo Seco displays a high-grade sheeted and brecciated quartz system with three generations of quartz, two meters thick and exposed over 65 m, where samples returned up to 0.5 m @ 7.4 gpt Au, 1.9 m @ 6.0 gpt Au, 1.8 m @ 5.1 gpt Au; Cueva del León hosts argillic altered intrusive felsic rocks, with assays of up to 1.1 m @ 4.99 gpt Au, 1.0 m @ 4.28 gpt Au, 1.2 m @ 2.03 gpt Au, 1.5 m @ 1.9 gpt Au. All the areas are strongly anomalous in Pb (up to 1.45%), Zn (up to 0.35%) and Cu (up to 0.12%).
- Vizsla Resources Corp. has started its drilling program at the Pánuco project in Sinaloa. The company plans to drill 14,500 m in 19 prospects, starting with the Vetas Animas corridor. Ten geologists are mapping and sampling in the district at the time being.
- United Sates. Antimony Corp. reported that production testing of the cyanide leach circuit at the Puerto Blanco mill in Guanajuato has begun. “The Los Juarez mineralization is disseminated in jasperoid pipes that are present over a strike length of 3.5 kilometers, up to 1 kilometer in width, and are believed to be continuous below 400 meters”. “A global assay” of shallow drilling, sampling and mill testing is @ 1.09 gpt Au, 102 gpt Ag and 0.65% Sb (or 2.6 gpt AuEq), with individual assays of over 1 Oz/t Au, 47 Oz Ag/t and 10% Sb.
- Hecla Mining Co. released preliminary results for the fourth quarter 2019, including figures from its Mexican operations. At the San Sebastian mine in Durango, 1.9 M Oz Ag, 15,673 Oz Au were produced during 2019, and 422.4 K Oz Ag, 3,897 Oz Au during the fourth quarter. With the Hugh Zone production included, AgEq production for the year is the same as 2018. The mill operated at an average of 479 tpd in 2019.
- Torex Gold Resources Inc. announced 2019 production of 454,810 Oz Au (Q4 2019: 125,150 Oz) at El Limón Guajes mine in Guerrero. During the fourth quarter plant throughput averaged 12,120 tpd, with 1,060 tpd ore mined underground and 16,030 tpd ore mined by open pit, with a pit strip ratio of 7.3:1.
- Leagold Mining Corp. reported 2019 production results, including figures from its operations in Mexico. At Los Filos, in Guerrero, quarterly production was 64,028, 44,896, 40,922 and 51,010 Oz Au for the Q1, Q2, Q3 and Q4 respectively, adding to 200,856 Oz Au in the year. The Los Filos Expansion Feasibility study was completed during the year, commencing expansion during the third quarter.
- Argonaut Gold Inc. informed its mining unit El Castillo, in Durango, is to stop operations in 2022, after 12 year of work. These operations had $900 M of economic impact which includes investments, operation costs and $82 in taxes paid. To date the company has 347 employees and 249 contractors. Starting this month the crushing operations have been decommissioned, impacting on personnel numbers, and another reduction in the labor force will take place in April.
- Endeavour Silver Corp. delivered production reports for the fourth quarter and full year 2019. Gold and silver production decreased 27% in the year, to 38,907 Oz Au, 4.02 M Oz Ag. The El Cubo mine suspended mining operations on Q4 2019, as reserves were exhausted. During the first quarter Endeavour plans to update the Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) for Terronera, in Jalisco, and deliver an initial Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) in Parral, Chihuahua.
- Silver Spruce Resources Inc. closed the first tranche of its non-brokered financing on December 31, 2019, for gross proceeds of $237 K (Pino de Plata, Chihuahua).
- Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. announced the issuance of common share purchase warrants in connection with the loan agreement of December 2019 between Agnico and Orla Mining Ltd (Camino Rojo, Zacatecas).
- Sierra Metals Inc. announced it has approved a plan to return up to US$30 M to shareholders. Sierra Metals intends to launch a substantial issuer bid pursuant to which the Company will offer to repurchase for cancellation up to US$15 M of its common shares from shareholders for cash (Bolivar and Cusi, Chihuahua).
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
- Prime Mining Corp. updated on work at is Guadalupe de los Reyes project in Sinaloa, pointing its aim to become a gold producer. The acquisition was completed in August 2019, the due diligence concluded, a team was assembled, and an initial financing of CAD$8.7 M and USD$4.5 M of property payments were made, with only a payment of USD$1.5 M remaining, due October 2021. The long term land access agreement was signed and led to the implementation of 5,000 m of road cut and trenching that aided defining wider and longer structures than anticipated. The project is being evaluated at a mining rate of 4,500 tpd of mineralized material from five to seven pit locations, with Prime aiming to make the initial mining permitting submissions during 2020.
- Sierra Metals Inc. updated the mineral resource estimate for its Bolivar mine in Chihuahua. The mineral resource update includes 13,698 m of infill drilling and 41,553 m of exploration drilling, with 11.63 M tonnes @ 0.95% Cu, 18 g/t Ag, and 0.24 g/t Au (or 1.16% CuEq) for a total of 244.3 M Lb Cu, 6.8 M Oz Ag, 90.4 K Oz Au (300.1 M Lb CuEq) as indicated resources, and 16.69 M tonnes @ 0.93% Cu, 17 g/t Ag, 0.30 g/t Au (or 1.16% CuEq) adding to 342.1 M Lb Cu, 9 M Oz Ag, 162.7 K Oz Au (428.1 M Lb CuEq) as inferred resources.
- Discovery Metals Corp. announced results from the last four diamond drill holes at the Cordero project in Chihuahua. The program is designed to look for high grade and to test other areas of the 35,000 ha property. Highlighted intervals comprise: In hole 295, 81.82 m @ 63 gpt Ag, 0.35 gpt Au, 0.9% Pb, 0.9% Zn, including 4.1 m @ 517 gpt Ag, 1.32 gpt Au, 7.6% Pb, 5.7% Zn; 68.1 m @ 117 gpt Ag, 1.96 gpt Au, 1.7% Pb, 1.1% Zn, including 34.7 m @ 200 gpt Ag, 3.04 gpt Au, 2.9% Pb, 1.6% Zn, including 3.7 m @ 512 gpt Ag, 21.52 gpt Au, 6.9% Pb, 0.2% Zn; 11.5 m @ 284 gpt Ag, 0.88 gpt Au, 4.1% Pb, 2.8% Zn; In hole 296, 47.1 m @ 71 gpt Ag, 0.45 gpt Au, 1.0% Pb, 1.2% Zn; 61.6 m @ 42 gpt Ag, 0.39 gpt Au, 0.6% Pb, 0.4% Zn; in hole 294, 94.3 m @ 47 gpt Ag, 0.27 gpt Au, 0.7% Pb, 0.6% Zn; 10.8 m @ 93 gpt Ag, 0.46 gpt Au, 1.3% Pb, 1.2% Zn; in hole 293, 59.9 m @ 37 gpt Ag, 0.06 gpt Au, 0.9% Pb, 1.5% Zn; 4.3 m @ 111 gpt Ag, 0.10 gpt Au, 2.2% Pb, 2.9% Zn. “Discovery believes that definition of these veins has the potential to significantly enhance the high-grade component of the deposit”.
- Azure Minerals Ltd. recommenced reverse circulation drilling (RC) at its Alacrán project in Sonora. The program is aimed at resource expansion of the Loma Bonita deposit, which currently extends for 600 m, and is up to 200 m in width and up to 100 m in depth. Early drilling is located east of two holes that intersected 47.2 m @ 2.79 gpt Au, 33, gpt Ag and 67.1 m @ 1.56 gpt Au, 23 gpt Ag. Drilling is also planned on Cerro San Simon, where previous drilling has intercepted up to 29.6 m @ 0.56 gpt Au, 27 gpt Ag; 12.6 m @ 0.37 gpt Au, 8 gpt Ag; 63.0 m @ 0.47 gpt Au, 27 gpt Ag.
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- Goldplay Exploration Ltd. entered into a non-binding Letter of Intent (LOI) with First Majestic Silver Corp. to acquire the 8,514 ha Plomosas silver project in Sinaloa. The terms of the transaction are expected to include a $100 K cash payment to First Majestic and a 2% NSR royalty to First Majestic, with 1% of the NSR subject to a buyback option for $1 M, and the issuance of 19.9% of the total issued common shares of Goldplay. In December 2019 Goldplay announced another LOI with Mako Mining Corp. on a significant land position in the region (San Marcial, Sinaloa).
- Goldplay Exploration Ltd. announced name change to GR Silver Mining Ltd., effective January 13, 2020 (San Marcial, Sinaloa).
- Oroco Resource Corp. registered at the Public Registry of Mining (Registro Público de Minería) the transfer of the seven core concessions of the Santo Tomás copper porphyry project to Xochipala Gold, S.A. de C.V., which is now the registered holder of 100% interest on these concessions. Oroco “holds an irrevocable option to acquire, via the ownership of Altamura Copper Corp., a net 56.7% interest in the collective 1,172.9 ha seven core concessions of the Santo Tomás Project in NW Mexico, and may increase that majority interest up to a net 81.0% interest with project investment of up to CAD$30 million”. The company also holds a 77.5% interest in 7,807.9 ha of mining concessions surrounding the previously mentioned core claims.
ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
- Peñoles open to support the reactivation of agriculture in Naica, directly cooperating with the Naica ejido (communal land) by providing the pumping equipment and its maintenance. The water is to be extracted from the Naica mine, in care and maintenance for the last five years.
- Peñoles organizes a robot building contest (FIRST robotics competition), supporting more than 1,500 students. The event is to take place in the Instituto Tecnologico de Monterrey, on the Torreon Campus.
- Endeavour Silver summarized its sustainability work for 2019, which includes: 1) Guanacevi, Bolañitos and El Cubo received the annual “Socially Responsible Company” distinction from CEMEFI (Mexican Philanthropy Center); 2) Ceased operations at the El Cubo Mine in a collaborative manner with the employees, provided a social plan to mitigate risks and addressed community concerns resulting from the suspension of mining operations. 3) Made community donations including a recreational sports facility at El Cubo and partnered with the local Municipal Government to open a cultural community center at Bolañitos. 4) Carried out a Social Impact Study at Parral to identify and address important issues to the local community. 5) Continued to engage with the surrounding communities of the Terronera Project including San Sebastian Del Oeste, San Felipe De Hijar, and Santiago De Pinos, and hosted multiple events and programs during 2019 to which over 1,000 locals attended. 6) Invested in its scholarship program at Guanacevi, Bolañitos and El Cubo, benefitting over 100 students from high school and university levels. 7) The Company planted 52,000 trees to reclaim disturbed ground at all its mines and projects.
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: sheeted quartz veining in an orogenic gold system of Oaxaca. Picture by Jorge Cirett.
Mn-Fe/calcite fault-bx in rhyolitic tuffs.
By Miguel A Heredia
During the first week of the year (December 31st to January 05th, 2020), at least 19 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico, with six announcing financial rounds, three disclosing deals and corporate issues, three commenting on Mexican issues, two communicating production results, two reporting on resources and development of their projects, two discussing issues on social responsibility, and one informing on exploration results. ON MEXICO ISSUES, La Caridad mine in Sonora, one of the most precious jewels of the Mexican mining. Lithium can turn Mexico into the planet´s rechargeable battery. Mexico announced USD $4.65B in capital expenditure for new mining projects in 2020-2021. ON EXPLORATION, In Jalisco, GoGold filed a NI 43-101 Technical Report on its Los Ricos project. ON MINING, Telson reported some of the reactivation activities carried out at its Campo Morado mine in Guerrero to bring it back into production by mid January 2020. Newmont Goldcorp provided an outlook for the year 2020 on its Peñasquito mine in Zacatecas. ON FINANCING, Sonoro Metals received proceeds of $875K from the sale to Agnico of the 1% NSR on the Chipriona property in Sonora. First Mexican closed the third tranche of its private placement for gross proceeds of $95K (Guadalupe project, Sonora). Great Panther announced USD $10M concentrate prepayment (Guanajuato mine complex, Guanajuato). Telson announced its intention to conduct a non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of up to CAD $3M (Campo Morado mine, Guerrero). SilverCrest announced that SSR mining elected to exercise its SilverCrest equity participation with CAD $13.25M private placement (Las Chispas project, Sonora). ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Sierra Metals updated mineral resource estimate for its Bolivar mine in Chihuahua. Leagold announced expansion plans for its Los Filos mine in Guerrero. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Prospero sold its Mexican subsidiary Minera Fumarola S.A. de C.V. to an arm’s length purchaser, Aquatio S.A. de C.V. of Jalisco State, Mexico (Pachuca SE project, Hidalgo). Equinox Gold and Leagold mailed management information in order to approve business combination and create a premier Americas Au producer (Los Filos mine, Guerrero). Goldgroup provided a legal update on its dispute with DynaResources concerning the San Jose de Gracia mine in Sinaloa. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, Fresnillo plc created more than 9,000 jobs in 2019. Zacatecas students created a protective device for miners to reduce accidents.
ON MEXICO ISSUES
- La Caridad mine in Sonora, owned by the Grupo Mexico, is one of the most precious jewels of the Mexican mining. Its activity dates back to the pre-Hispanic era, but which had its greatest boom in the early twentieth century and that today is recognized in the history of our country as a factor of advancement and economic development for all Mexicans. Today it is the best integrated mine in the world, a mine where Cu is split and extracted for plate refinement. But this is not the only thing that is exploited in La Caridad, because large quantities of refined Au and Ag are also obtained, as well as Moly, a metal highly prized for its ability to create alloys with steel. But beyond its metallurgical production, La Caridad is also important for the entire region and the surrounding villages, as the mine generated multiple infrastructure works, thus generating a chain of well-being for its inhabitants. Developing new schools, cultural, sports facilities, housing, personnel transport systems and a supply network for workers, known as the “miner’s stores”, in addition to thousands of direct and indirect jobs.
- Lithium can turn Mexico, in the planet´s chargeable battery. After one of the biggest Li deposit was discovered in Sonora by Bacanora, a Canadian mining company. The technology industry has set its sights on the country with multiple requests from mining companies that want to exploit it, including Chinese corporations. Given this news, the head of the SEMARNAT, Victor Manuel Toledo, described the potential that this represents for Mexico in terms of tax collection and economic recovery, saying that worldwide Lithium has become “the new oil.” Bacanora, in collaboration with the Chinese Ganfeng already plans to raise at least USD $400M to request a license from the Mexican government for the exploitation of a Li quarry allegedly made up of 4.5 M tonnes of this element that has detected, which would later generate profits for these companies of at least USD $1B.
- Mexico announced USD 4.65B in capital expenditure for new mining projects in 2020-2021. A series of mining companies will commence to build various mining projects in Mexico in 2020. Minera Alamos, expects to initiate construction of its Santana-Los Verdes project in Sonora in Q1, 2020 with an investment of USD $7.55M, which includes the construction of a coal plant, platforms, ponds and various earthworks at the mine site. The complex should start producing in Q3, 2020. It also plans to begin construction of its la Fortuna mine in Durango at the end of 2020 at a total cost of USD $26.9M. Torex Gold Resources Inc., expects to start the construction of its Media Luna mine in Guerrero in Q1, 2021, with a capital expenditure of USD $482M. Media Luna has a capacity of 47M Lb Cu, 170K Oz Au, and 1.7M Oz Ag per year. Prime Mining Corp., plans to begin construction of its Los Reyes project in Sinaloa in June 2021 and end in December of the same year. The capital expenditure of the project is set as USD $89.5M and its capacity is 35K Oz Au and 253K Oz Ag per year, with a useful mine life of 11 years. VVC Exploration Corp., owns the USD $4B Samalayuca copper project in Chihuahua. Samalayuca, currently awaiting a construction decision, has an estimated useful mine life of 16 years. Southern Copper Corporation, is the owner of Mina Pilares in Sonora, which will produce Cu in concentrates to be processed in the La Caridad mine. Mina Pilares, currently awaiting a construction decision, should start producing in H2, 2021. Southern reported that it has already obtained environmental permits and is currently trying to acquire additional land.
- GoGold Resources Inc., filed a NI 43-101 Technical Report on its Los Ricos project in Jalisco. Work done by GoGold confirms that the drilling program continues to intersect wide zones of Au & Ag from surface to vertical depths of 300m. The Los Ricos deposit is still open along strike to the north and at depth. It also concludes that although high-grade portions of the vein have been mined out, the structures still have wide mineralized intervals potentially amenable to surface mining methods. A budget of USD $5.3M was proposed to continue the exploration work at Los Ricos project in Jalisco for the year 2020. The company also announced that plans to complete an NI 43-101 compliant Mineral Resource Estimate on Los Ricos in 2020.
- Telson Mining Corporation, reported some of the reactivation activities carried out at its Campo Morado mine in Guerrero to bring it back into production by mid January 2020. The company has already restored electrical power to the mine site, and personnel have commenced dewatering the mine. Access has been restored to the El largo Zone where there are approximately 50K tonnes of ore available to transport to the mill site that along with 20K tonnes of ore previously transported to the mill will be available for processing upon start-up. Personnel are also advancing on the process of checking, servicing, and repairing as necessary, all mill processing equipment, mobile mining equipment, underground mining equipment, ventilation systems and safety equipment, etc.
- Newmont Goldcorp, provided a 2020 outlook for its Peñasquito mine in Zacatecas. It plans to produce 575K Oz Au at a cash cost of $570 per Oz Au and AISC of $725 per Oz Au. In addition, the company plans to produce 30 M Oz Ag, 200M Lb Pb, and 425M Lb Zn, at a cash cost of $515 per Oz AuEq and AISC of $805 per Oz AuEq.
- Sonoro Metals Corp., received proceeds of $875K from the sale to Agnico of the 1% NSR on the Chipriona property, located in the Mulatos mining district in Sonora. The NSR originated from the sale of the Chipriona property to Agnico in December 2019 for the amount of $4M plus the NSR.
- First Mexican Gold Corp., closed the third tranche of its private placement for gross proceeds of $95K. In total, the company issued 20M shares for gross proceeds of $1M (Guadalupe project, Sonora).
- Great Panther Mining Limited, entered into a USD $10M prepayment agreement with the IXM Group for 100% of the Au-Ag concentrates produced from the Guanajuato mine complex in 2020 and 2021. The prepayment will be repaid on December 31, 2020 and will bear interest at an annual rate of 3-month USD LIBOR plus 5%.
- Telson Mining Corporation, announced its intention to conduct a non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of up to CAD $3M (Campo Morado mine, Guerrero).
- SilverCrest Metals Inc., announced that SSR Mining elected to exercise its shareholder participation right, pursuant to an agreement between the company and SSR Mining dated November 28, 2018. Accordingly, SSR Mining has agreed to purchase 1,819,074 shares of SilverCrest for aggregate proceeds of CAD $13.25M at the same price of CAD $7.28 as the bought deal public offering announced by SilverCrest on December 3, 2019. SSR entered into a transaction with a third party to divest of the 1,819,074 SilverCrest common shares to be acquired pursuant to the private placement at a price of CAD $8.45 per common share for a pre-tax gain of approximately CAD $2.1M. Net proceeds raised by SilverCrest will be used to continue exploration and development of its Las Chispas project in Sonora.
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
- Sierra Metals Inc., updated mineral resource estimate for its Bolivar mine in Chihuahua. This mineral resource update includes 13,698m of infill drilling and 41,553m of exploration drilling. Total indicated mineral resources are 11.63M tonnes of 0.95% Cu, 18 g/t Ag, and 0.24 g/t Au (or 1.16% CuEq) for a total of 244.3M Lb Cu, 6.8M Oz Ag, and 90.4K Oz Au (300.1M Lb CuEq). Total inferred mineral resources are 16.69M tonnes of 0.93% Cu, 17 g/t Ag, and 0.30 g/t Au (or 1.16% CuEq) for a total of 342.1M Lb Cu, 9M Oz Ag, and 162.7K Oz Au (428.1M Lb CuEq). Sierra Metals plans to update a PEA for the Bolivar mine which is expected to be released in Q3, 2020. Goal of the PEA is to increase tonnage throughput in excess of 5,000 tonnes per day, which is expected to be reached by the end of 2020.
- Leagold Mining Corporation, announced a USD $180M expansion plans for its Los Filos mine in Guerrero. Expansion began in July, with the final phase of development scheduled to conclude by end-2021. The Los Filos expansion will play a key role to consolidate the recently merged Equinox-Leagold combined company as a producer of 1M Oz Au per year in 2021, based on output from current mines in Brazil, Mexico and USA. This expansion will position Los Filos mine as one of the Mexico´s biggest Au mines, combining underground and open pit operations across the Los Filos, Bermejal and Guadalupe deposits. The expansion is expected to roughly double production at Los Filos in 2021 from around 200K Oz Au produced in 2019 to 400K Oz Au.
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- Prospero Silver Corp., sold its Mexican subsidiary Minera Fumarola S.A. de C.V. to an arm’s length purchaser, Aquatio S.A. de C.V. of Jalisco State, Mexico, for a cash purchase price of USD 5K, and assumption of all statutory liabilities and obligations of the subsidiary in Mexico, including property maintenance and abandonment, statutory employee severance, and tax obligations, estimated to aggregate to USD $95K.
- Equinox Gold Corp., and Leagold Mining Corporation, mailed management information to approve business combination to create a premier Americas Au producer. “Pursuant to the transaction, Leagold shareholders will receive 0.331 of an Equinox Gold share for each Leagold share held. At closing, existing Equinox Gold and Leagold shareholders will own approximately 55% and 45% of the combined company, respectively, on an issued share basis. The combined company will continue as Equinox Gold under the ticker symbol “EQX” on both the Toronto Stock Exchange and the NYSE American Stock Exchange” (Los Filos mine, Guerrero).
- Goldgroup Mining Inc., provided a legal update on its dispute with DynaResources concerning the San Jose de Gracia mine in Sinaloa. It is awaiting the written judgment of the 11th Federal Circuit Collegiate Court in Mexico to be published to assess its contents and reason for judgment. The Company will continue to pursue all legal avenues in Mexico to achieve a favorable resolution to the DynaUSA dispute. It also will continue the enforcement of the final judgment from the US District Court for the District of Colorado which confirmed the company´s previously announced favorable award in the arbitration against DynaUSA.
ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
- Fresnillo plc., generated more than 9,000 jobs in 2019. The company is making every effort to be competitive, to continue generating jobs for Fresnillo and generate economic benefits for the population.
- Zacatecas students, created a protective device for miners to detect risk of fatigue, heart rate and blood pressure. The intelligent device called EPIMIN is set inside the hard hat of the miners to detect fatigue of the miners, based on heart rate, blood pressure, and temperature, with the variable that, in case of presenting any irregularity, the device will issue a sensory alert to the user and will alert a monitoring center located on surface with the person in charge. “An investment in technology like this will allow mining companies to control work risks, anticipate them, prevent them and get to the longed for zero accidents.”
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 Mn-Fe/calcite fault-bx hosted in rhyolites in a prospect in Chihuahua, Mexico. Photo by Miguel A Heredia.
By Miguel A Heredia
During the fifty-one week of the year (December 16th to December 22th, 2019), at least 28 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico, with nine announcing financial rounds, seven disclosing deals and corporate issues, five discussing social issues, four reporting on resources and developments of their properties, two communicating production and financial results, and one commenting on Mexican issues. ON MEXICO ISSUES, Mexico mining production showed signs of recovery. ON EXPLORATION, no relevant news. ON MINING, Starcore presented production and financial results for the second quarter ended October31, 2019 from its San Martin mine in Queretaro. Premier provided a year end operations update (Mercedes mine, Sonora). ON FINANCING, Defiance extended its loan until December 21, 2020 for a balance of $1.2 M (San Acacio project, Zacatecas). Alamos Gold announced renewal of a normal course issuer bid, and an increase of a credit facility from USD $400M to USD $500M (Mulatos mine, Sonora). Orla finalized a credit agreement for USD $125M for the development of its Camino Rojo project in Zacatecas. First Mining closed a non-brokered flow-through equity financing for $2M (San Ricardo project, Sonora). SilverCrest closed a CAD $92M bought deal financing, including CAD $12M over allotment option exercised in full (Las Chispas project, Sonora). Golden Minerals sold two non-strategies Mexican exploration properties to Industrias Peñoles for $3M. Mexus paid off two loan agreements which were coming due (Santa Elena mine, Sonora). Mithril announced its plan to raise up to A$4.9M by way of an entitlement issue to shareholders (Copalquin project, Durango). ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Argonaut presented a positive PFS for its Cerro Del Gallo project in Guanajuato, and increased company´s mineral reserves by 48%. Coeur provided an update on its exploration program at Palmarejo mine in Chihuahua. Azure commenced a 7,000m RC resource expansion drilling at its Loma Bonita deposit in Sonora. Industrias Peñoles commenced extraction and grinding tests at its Capela mine (former Rey de Plata mine) in Teloloapan, Guerrero. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Discovery Metals announced the appointment of its new VP of Corporate Development and Investor Relations (Cordero project, Chihuahua). Equinox Gold and Leagold entered into a definitive agreement to combine in an at-market merge (Los Filos mine, Guerrero). Goldplay entered into a letter of intent agreement with Mako Mining Corp., to acquire 100% of the shares of Marlin Gold Mining Ltd. (San Marcial project, Sinaloa). Oroco presented results from its special annual general meeting for shareholders (Santo Tomás project, Sinaloa). Prize Mining announced the resignation of its CEO and the appointment of its replacement (Manto Negro project, Coahuila). Mithril entered into an exclusive option agreement to acquire all the issued share capital of Sun Minerals Pty Ltd., which holds an exclusive option to earn up to 100% interest in the high grade Copalquin Au & Ag project in Durango. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, Zacatecas Mining Cluster held its second Talent Meeting with participation greater than the 30 people who previously registered to participate in the event. Ladies Committee of the AIMMGM and Outlet Minero promoted the environmental education in Zacatecas. Grupo Mexico participated in the conference of preventive culture in San Luis Potosi. Minera Peñasquito held Christmas celebration in Mazapil, Zacatecas. It also informed about the progress of the social programs that the mining company performs in the 25 communities of direct influence.
ON MEXICO ISSUES
- Mexico mining production, showed signs of recovery, at a time when companies move forward with their efforts to face the problems that hinder operations in a series of large mines. General production increased 1.0% in October compared to the same month last year, led by increases in Pb, Zn, and Ag, according to the INEGI statistics agency. The October increase was largely due to the improvement experienced by three metals. Pb production increased 22.7% to 26.1M Lb, Zn production rose to 12.2% to 78.5M Lb, and Ag production rose to 11.6% to 10.3M Oz. The hike occurs despite a major disruption during October at the Peñasquito mine in Zacatecas, one of Mexico’s largest producers of Au, Ag, Pb, and Zn.
- No relevant news.
- Starcore International Mines Ltd., presented production and financial results for the second quarter ended October 31, 2019 from its San Martin mine in Queretaro. It milled 54,100 tonnes of 1.78 g/t Au and 34 g/t Ag to produce 2,700 Oz Au and 31.1K Oz Ag (3,100 Oz AuEq), at a cash cost of USD $71 per tonne milled or USD $1,259 per Oz AuEq, and AISC of USD $1,527 per Oz AuEq Starcore had Au & Ag sales of CAD $ 5.8M, a loss of CAD $1.1M, or CAD $0.02 per share, and an EBITDA of (CAD $342) for the six months period ended October 31, 2019.
- Premier Gold Mines Limited, provided a year-end operations update. The company reported that the successful 2019 drill campaign resulted in the discovery of higher-grade zones located near existing mine workings, and plans are emplaced to benefit from them. Also, it plans to enter in identified near-mine areas in the Lupita extension and Marianas in order to multiple the numbers of headings and stopes, allowing for more flexibility and increased production. At the end of Q3, 2019, year-to-date mine production totaled 47.6K Oz Au and 146.5K Oz Ag, with total co-product cash costs of $973 per Oz Au and co-product AISC of $1,226 per Oz Au.
- Defiance Silver Corp, announced that it has extended the loan for an additional year until December 21, 2020, with a reduction of $500K. The balance on extension is $1.2M at a rate of 10% per year (San Acacio project, Zacatecas).
- Alamos Gold Inc., announced its intention to make a normal course issuer bid permitting Alamos to purchase for cancellation up to 28.7M class A common shares, representing 10% of the company´s public float of the common shares as of December 11, 2019, being 287.3M common shares issued and outstanding. The price for any repurchased common shares will be the prevailing market price at the time of the purchase. All common shares purchased by Alamos will be cancelled. In addition, the company increased the size of a credit facility from USD $400M to USD $500M on more favourable terms. “The increase in our facility on more attractive terms is a reflection of the increased scale of Alamos as well as our strong operating and financial outlook. Combined with our existing cash, this further strengthens our financial flexibility with no debt and nearly US$700 million of available liquidity,” said Jamie Porter, Chief Financial Officer (Mulatos mine, Sonora).
- Orla Mining Ltd., finalized a credit agreement for USD $125M for the development of its Camino Rojo project in Zacatecas. The credit comprises three tranches: an initial tranche for USD $25 M once the agreement is closed and two subsequent tranches for USD $50M each available once Orla satisfies certain conditions, including the receipt of key permits required for the development of Camino Rojo. After the closing of the credit facility, the board of directors has approved the start of construction spending at Camino Rojo, allowing the continuation of detailed engineering and the ordering of long lead items, such as the crushing system. Commencement of project construction has also been approved, subject to receipt of all required permits. By the way, SEMARNAT has granted to Orla the approval of the change of land use permit, one of the two key permits required for the development of its project.
- First Mining Gold Corp., closed a non-brokered flow-through equity financing for $2M. Gross proceeds will be used to fund exploration programs of their mining properties (San Ricardo project, Sonora).
- SilverCrest Metals Inc., closed a CAD $92M bought deal financing, including CAD $12M over allotment option exercised in full. Gross proceeds will be used to continue the exploration and development of its Las Chispas project in Sonora.
- Golden Minerals Company, sold two non-strategies Mexican exploration properties to Industrias Peñoles for $3M. The Mogotes and Pistachon properties are located near the Velardeña mine in Durango. None of the claims contain any identified mineral resources. The cash received will be used to advance key exploration projects in Mexico and Nevada.
- Mexus Gold US, paid off two loan agreement which were coming due. The company does not have the funds to hire additional crew to run all aspects of the mine continuously, so it is seeking the necessary funds by selling a portion of its non-producing properties, selling equipment not needed at the mine site, and/or funding from its shareholder base. It also is considering selling a small royal interest in its Santa Elena mine in Sonora.
- Mithril Resources Ltd., announced its plan to raise up to A$4.9M by way of an entitlement issue to shareholders. Net proceeds will be used to complete a drilling program at Copalquin project, Durango, and to continue work on the company´s existing projects.
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
- Argonaut Gold Inc., presented a positive PFS for its Cerro Del Gallo project in Guanajuato. It increased company´s mineral reserves by 48%, and measured and indicated Au mineral resources by 36%. The project has 91,754,000 tonnes of 0.56 g/t Au, 13 g/t Ag, and 0.09% Cu to contain a total of 1.64M Oz Au, 39.1M Oz Ag, and 192.15M Lb Cu. Metallurgical recoveries are 60%, 53%, and 43% respectively. Cerro Del Gallo is a low-cost asset, with estimated cash cost of $597 per Oz Au sold and AISC of $677 per Oz Au sold. The project has an after-tax internal rate of return of $20% and a NPV at a 5% discount rate of $175M, assuming metal prices of $1,350 for Oz Au and $16.75 for Oz Ag. Argonaut plans to produce as an average 64K Oz Au, 1.3M Oz Ag, and 5.4M Lb Cu per year, and has estimated a life of mine of 15.5 years.
- Coeur Mining Inc., provided an update on its exploration program carried out at its Palmarejo mine in Chihuahua, which has been focused on resource expansion drilling. Highlights from the 2019 drilling campaign at Palmarejo includes positive infill results at the western and southern portions of the Guadalupe mine complex, including hole DC3-ZPA-0010 with 12.8 g/t Au and 1,047 g/t Ag over 5.7m; new resource expansion intercepts from the northern portion of the Independencia mine complex, including hole VIDH-120, with 1.5 g/t Au and 179 g/t Ag over 9.3m; and new resource expansion intercepts from the northeastern most portion of the Independencia mine complex, with hole BVDH-039 with 1.1 g/t Au and 165 g(/t Ag over 5m. “Coeur’s geologic team also expanded its footprint in the district by mapping and sampling exposures of new veins southwest and northeast of the two underground mining complexes as well as new veins west and east of the legacy open pit mine. Coeur expects to seek drill permits for several new areas in 2020 based on positive surface trace-element geochemistry and alteration results”.
- Azure Minerals Limited, commenced a 7,000m RC resource expansion drilling program at its Loma Bonita deposit in Sonora, where a channel sampling in a road returned 3.6 g/t Au over 35.5m. Alacran project includes Mesa de Plata and Loma Bonita deposits. Initial focus is on growing the Alacran Au & Ag resource of 32.2M Oz Ag and 150K Oz Au. Loma Bonita deposit is open for expansion in most directions with good drill intersections of Au including hole MDPC-131 with 2.8 g/t Au and 33 g/t Ag over 47m; hole MDPC-096 with 1.6 g/t Au and 21 g/t Ag over 67m; and hole MDPC-102 with 1.1 g/t Au and 89 g/t Ag over 44m. In addition, Azure is continuing to undertake reconnaissance and follow-up work throughout the Alacran project where first pass surface sampling of historical dumps returned high grades of Au-Ag and base metals with maximum values of 24.1 g/t Au, 3,675 g/t Ag, 33.5% Pb, 21% Zn, and 2.3% Cu.
- Industrias Peñoles S.A.B.de C.V., commenced extraction and grinding tests at its Capela mine (former Rey de Plata mine) in Teloloapan, Guerrero. Capela mine is expected to begin operations in 2020 with a daily production of 4,500 tonnes per day. According to the general director of Industrias Peñoles, Fernando Alanís Ortega, the mine located in Teloloapan required an investment of USD $340M.
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- Discovery Metals Corp., announced the appointment of its new VP of Corporate Development and Investor Relations (Cordero project, Chihuahua).
- Equinox Gold Corp., and Leagold Mining Corporation, entered into a definitive agreement to combine in an at-market merge, creating one of the top Au producing companies operating entirely in the Americas. The combined entity will continue as Equinox Gold. “Pursuant to the Transaction, Leagold shareholders will receive 0.331 of an Equinox Gold share for each Leagold share held (the “Exchange Ratio”). This implies at-market consideration of C$2.70 per Leagold common share, using closing prices for both Equinox Gold and Leagold common shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange on December 13, 2019. At closing, existing Equinox Gold and Leagold shareholders will own approximately 55% and 45% of the merged company, respectively, on an issued share basis”. (Los Filos mine, Guerrero).
- Goldplay Exploration Ltd., entered into a letter of intent (LOI) agreement with Mako Mining Corp. to acquire 100% of the shares of Marlin Gold Mining Ltd. (San Marcial project, Sinaloa). Marlin owns, amongst other assets, Oro Gold de Mexico, S.A. de C.V. , a Mexican company that owns the La Trinidad mine facilities, currently being decommissioned. Oro Gold also controls 100% of nine concessions totaling 104,094.5 ha located adjacent to Goldplay’s existing portfolio in the historic Rosario gold-silver Mining District, Sinaloa, Mexico. “Under the LOI, upon payment of $50K by Goldplay to Mako the parties have agreed to a binding exclusivity and non-solicitation period from the signing of the LOI until December 31, 2020, or such later date as the parties may agree, which is binding on the parties. Exclusivity will otherwise terminate on the early of the completion of the proposed acquisition or earlier termination of the LOI or the definitive agreement, as the case may be”. The terms of the transaction are subject to negotiation and will include a nominal cash payment to Mako and the issuance of a small NSR royalty to Mako on the concessions currently owned by Oro Gold. Goldplay will assume all remaining tax liabilities of Oro Gold.
- Oroco Resource Corp., presented results from its special annual general meeting of shareholders (Santo Tomás project, Sinaloa).
- Prize Mining Corporation, announced the resignation of its former CEO and the appointment of the new CEO (Manto Negro project, Coahuila).
- Mithril Resources Limited, entered into an exclusive option agreement to acquire all the issued share capital of Sun Minerals Pty Ltd., which holds an exclusive option to earn up to 100% interest in the high grade Copalquin Au & Ag project in Durango. Copalquin contains 32 known historic Au and Ag underground mines including the La Soledad and El Refugio mines. Historic drilling highlights project’s exploration potential with multiple high-grade drill intercepts including hole UC-03 at el Cometa mine with 45.16 g/t Au and 118 g/t Ag over 17.77m; hole UC-024 at El Refugio mine with 6.54 g/t Au and 140 g/t Ag over 7.9m; and hole MP-07-101 with 28.99 g/t Au and 2,350 g/t Ag over 4.53m.
ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
- The Zacatecas Mining Cluster (CLUSMING), held its second Talent Meeting with participation greater than the 30 people who previously registered to participate in the event. The goal of the Talent Meeting is to identify personnel with the skills and attitudes necessary for certain companies in the mining industry (mines and suppliers or contractors), and be part of a talent group that can be subsequently hired by companies, according to their profiles.
- The Ladies Committee of AIMMGM and Outlet Minero, promoted the environmental education in Zacatecas. Attendees gave a brief talk to the groups about culture for sustainable development, highlighting the importance of carrying out actions such as recycling and reusing objects to make new creations at school and at home. Likewise, about the importance of mining and its presence in objects such as pencils, benches, blackboards, among others, that makes everyday life possible. In this context, the Outlet Minero team organized a Christmas tree contest made with recycling and reused material.
- Grupo Mexico, promoted preventive measures against hydro metereologic phenomena in San Luis Potosi during the conference of preventive culture. Some emergency brigade collaborated in the event with five members, who gave prevention talks with the community of San Luis Potosí and made a demonstration with a fire truck and own safety equipment. SEMARNAT, Civil Protection, and San Luis Potosi Fire Department participated in this conference of preventive measures.
- Minera Peñasquito, held Christmas celebration in Mazapil, Zacatecas, where the company distributed thousand of toys in 25 communities belonging to the mine´s area of influence. “Minera Peñasquito is not just about removing the ore, about removing the Au. The responsible mining that we want to do cannot work without working with the community. For us being part of the community is a priority, throughout the year, with social investment, entrepreneurship or infrastructure works. It’s fundamental, “said Nelson Núñez, sustainability manager at Newmont-Goldcorp”.
- Minera Peñasquito, informed to the community leaders about the progress of the social programs that the mining company performs in the 25 communities of direct influence. Among the programs to be reported, the rehabilitation of houses in Nuevo Peñasco was highlighted in infrastructure, which benefited 22 people from that community, as well as maintenance of roads in Santa Rosa, Cuitláhuac, La Mejorada, Charcos, Cedros y Mesas, as well as the maintenance and operation of wells for human consumption in El Vergel and plants and wells in Mesas, Cedros y Charcos. Regarding social responsibility, the company informed about the project “Together We Left a Legacy” that improves the conditions of educational, social infrastructure and promotes sports. This year furniture was delivered to 17 schools to benefit 1,137 students, as well as Ejidos to benefit 310 people. There was talk of Peñasquito Open Doors, a program that offers guided tours so that members of neighboring communities know about the mining operation. 71 sports academies were also held, supporting 70 teams, with 1,224 beneficiaries where 830 uniforms were delivered. Another important item is the educational scholarships, which grant economic incentives to students from primary to university. There are two types of scholarships: by agreement, which in 2019 allowed the delivery of 411 supports, and scholarships of excellence, which is open call and that this year, benefited 192 students. For the entrepreneurs there is the “Ideas con Valor program”, for the creation and strengthening of micro businesses, which supported 120 families with the participation of 300 people. Through the ‘Local Employment Program”, 765 people from the communities surrounding the operation have been hired, who through specific training were able to develop the capabilities required for the mining operation.
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, phyllic alteration in an IOCG project in Jalisco, Mexico. Photo by Miguel A Heredia.
TORONTO, Dec. 18, 2019 /CNW/ – Argonaut Gold Inc.(TSX: AR) (the “Company”, “Argonaut Gold” or “Argonaut”) is pleased to announce the results of a pre-feasibility study (“PFS”) for its 100% owned Cerro del Gallo project (“CDG” or the “Project”) located 30 kilometres east of Guanajuato City, Guanajuato, Mexico. The National Instrument 43-101 Technical Report will be filed and available within 45 days on www.sedar.com and the Company’s website at www.argonautgold.com. All dollar amounts are expressed in United States dollars, unless otherwise specified.
By Jorge Cirett
During the 50th week of the year (December 9th to December 15th, 2019), at least 18 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico. ON MEXICO ISSUES, Bacanora Minerals lithium deposit in Sonora is considered the biggest resource of the metal in the world, according to Francisco Quiroga, Mining sub-secretary. Camimex calls to maintain the competitivity of the mining sector, as it is being threatened by a environmental tax proposal. Newmonts Goldcorp´s Peñasquito mine in Zacatecas is to lift Mexican gold production in 2020, according to BNamericas. Camimex invited the secretary of the environmental agency (SEMARNAT), Victor Manuel Toledo to visit one of the mining units, for him to review what sustainable mining is. He will also be visiting Hermosillo and Ures, meeting with authorities of the municipalities affected by a toxic leak on 2014. ON EXPLORATION, in Chihuahua, Mammoth Resources updated on exploration efforts by partner Centerra at its Tenoriba project; Kootenay Silver released good drilling results on its Columba property. ON MINING, Alamos Gold and Golden Minerals released results for the third quarter 2019. GoGold released results on the year ending in September 2019. ON FINANCING, Advance Gold closed the second tranche of its private placement for gross proceeds of $42 K. Azure Minerals announced the receipt of A$467 K of VAT back taxes (dating to 2016) from the government. Tamino Minerals is planning to become “Pink Current” very soon on the OTC. Odyssey Marine Exploration obtained commitments for up to $4.2 M. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Candelaria Mining released results on 15 new holes from the Mirador mine at the Altagracia project in Oaxaca. Pan American Silver announced an initial resource estimate, on the polymetallic skarn deposit at La Colorada, of 72.5 M tonnes @ 44 gpt Ag, 0.17% Cu, 2.02% Pb, 4.40% Zn, remaining open in most directions, and containing over 100 M Oz Ag. Defiance Silver updated on exploration efforts at its San Acacio project in Zacatecas and at its Tepal project in Michoacán. Prime Mining released surface road cut and trench assays from its Guadalupe de los Reyes project in Sinaloa. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Tamino Minerals has signed a LOI on the Ofelia property, in Sonora. Discovery Metals informed Eric Sprott now owns 21% interest in the company. Newmont Goldcorp announced a deal with the Cedros community on water resources. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY. A mining gathering was held in Banamichi, Sonora. The Asociación de Mineros de Sonora celebrated its 40th anniversary. The first “Comité de Desarrollo Regional para las Zonas Mineras” was created in Sonora, to recommend the use of the Mining Fund in certain infrastructure projects in mining areas. Dr. Vagón, Grupo Mexico’s health itinerant clinic was at La Junta, and soon to be moved to the nearby Ciudad Cuauhtémoc, both in Chihuahua. The Consorcio Minero Benito Juárez and the Fundación Bécalos Televisa delivered 120 scholarships to excellency students. A fair was held in Tayoltita, Durango, to bring awareness of the mining work and environment to inhabitants and family members of mine workers. Minera Media Luna is showing a strong support for education in Guerrero, with shcolarships, internships and support to local schools. The Sonora miners association (AMSAC) signed an agreement with the Consejo Regulador del Bacanora, to source agave saplings on its greenhouses to the agave growers. The Mexican gray wolf has left the list of extinct species in the wild, moving to the category of species on extinction risk.
ON MEXICO ISSUES
- The lithium deposit in Sonora is the major project of its type in the World, according to Francisco Quiroga, Sub-Secretary of Mining, on an interview by a journalist known country wide. He cautioned on not hurrying up to celebrate, as the lithium still has to be extracted, and be metallurgically separated of the other minerals present in the ore (In this project, unlike other, lithium is contained in a clay). This project is assumed to have 243 M tonnes of lithium, surpassing the Thacker Pass deposit in Nevada, the second lithium deposit, with reserves of 179 M tonnes of lithium. The deposit is co-owned by the English company (not Canadian, as stated in the note) Bacanora Lithium and the Chinese Ganfeng Lithium, and located in the Bacadehuachi municipality (tens of kilometers from the Campo Verde Protected Natural Area and the Chihuahua border).
- Camimex calls for maintaining the competitivity of the Mining Sector in Sonora. The call was made by Karen Flores, Camimex head, on the first Universitary Mining Gathering held in Banamichi, Sonora. She called for a proposal to tax mining operations on environmental grounds to be repelled. Such tax would transform Sonora in one of the more expensive places to mine, in an industry that is already heavily regulated and taxed. According to the authorities, mining in 2018 provided more than 46 billion pesos (US$2.36 billion) in taxes, 9,000 billion pesos (US$461 M) in rights and more than 4,500 billion pesos (US$230 M) in resources for the Mining Fund.
- Newmont Goldcorp’s Peñasquito mine in Zacatecas is to lift Mexican gold production in 2020, when production by other big players is to decline. The combined production by the three biggest producers in Mexico, Fresnillo, Newmont Goldcorp, and Alamos Gold should reach 1.59 M Oz Au, above the 1.22 M Oz Au mines in 2019. This is a 30% increment year on year, achievable if the companies reach their mid-point guidelines. According to BNamericas this figure is more than half the 3.15 M Oz Au to be produced by more than 20 companies in Mexico. Fresnillo’s production reached 923 K Oz Au in 2018, expects to produce 885 K Oz in 2019, 785 K Oz in 2021 and 665 K Oz in 2022; the decline motivated by the end of production at the Noche Buena mine and less production at Herradura. Meanwhile, Peñasquito expects to produce 575 K Oz Au in 2020 , and a little bit more in 2021, before production starts to decline due to lower grades. Alamos Gold expects to produce 150 – 160 K Oz Au during 2019 in Mulatos, while the Chanate mine is to produce only 5 K Oz. Minera Frisco and Agnico Eagle have seen their gold production dwindle in 2019, while Torex Gold reached 138 K Oz Au produced during the third quarter, and the company expects to sell 430 K Oz Au this year. Leagold also is to increase production at Los Filos, expecting to double on the 200 K Oz Au forecasted for this year.
- Camimex invited Victor Manuel Toledo, secretary of the environment and natural resources (SEMARNAT) to visit one of the mining units, for him to review what sustainable mining is. Earlier in the day, in the morning presidential conference, Toledo stated that Semarnat is not against mining: “For Semarnat there is not good or bad mining, revisions have to be on a case by case basis, and confirm through inspection its adherence to norms”.
- Victor Manuel Toledo, secretary of the environment and natural resources (SEMARNAT) is to be in Hermosillo in December 18th for the presentation of a book on the toxic leakage of 2014, and in Ures to meet with affected parties and authorities of municipalities within the Rio Sonora basin.
- Alberto Orozco, president of the Sonora Mining Cluster, praised the visit that Victor Manuel Toledo (Environmental Secretary) is to make next week to a mining unit in Sonora. Orozco stressed the presence in Sonora of companies highly involved in the social and economic development of the producing regions in a sustainable manner. He also pointed that the Sonoran mining production is 36% of the national production, contributing with 18% of the State gross domestic product.
- Mammoth Resources Corp. updated on exploration efforts at its Tenoriba project, funded by partner Centerrea Gold Inc.. Field logistics have been set, all historical geologic data compiled for Centerra’s review and interpretation and a 3D model is under preparation; all un-assayed core was sent for analysis, and the previous drill program permit is being closed, and a new one is to be prepared. Strong argillic, argillic and minor vuggy silica is present on volcanic rocks on a 4 to 6 Km long belt, with geophysics re-processing pointing to a larger target than previously envisaged, and a new 30 line-Km survey is being planned. A large soil anomaly highlights the eastern part of the corridor. Mammoth is working on community consultation processes with the two ejidos (communal lands) involved.
- Kootenay Silver Inc. released results from six holes drilled at its Columba project in Chihuahua. Highlighted intervals comprise: 25.85 m @ 200 gpt Ag (including 11.5 m @ 415 gpt Ag, which includes 4.0 m @ 721 gpt Ag, which includes 1.9 m @ 982 gpt Ag) in silicified breccias in proximity to a lithological contact; 6.25 m @ 67 gpt Ag (including 2.09 m @ 172 gpt Ag); 3.0 m @ 314 gpt Ag (including 0.63 m @ 776 gpt Ag); 59.8 m @ 48 gpt Ag (including 9.57 m @ 146 gpt Ag); 6.63 m @ 103 gpt Ag and 1.0 m @ 124 gpt Ag. Several of the intercepts are in quartz veins in rhyolite, as quartz stockworks and as quartz-barite veins.
- Alamos Gold Inc. released some production figures for 2019, including data on its Mexican production. At Mulatos, in Sonora, during the first nine months of this year 20 K tonnes per day were stacked @ 0.92 gpt Au, with a recovery of 67%, to produce 108 K Oz Au at cash cost $772 and a mine-site AISC of $861. Production from the Mulatos district is expected to total 150-160 K Oz Au in 2020, with ore mined from the Mulatos, El Victor and San Carlos open pits, as well as new production from Cerro Pelon. “A total of $7 million has been budgeted at Mulatos for exploration in 2020 which includes 14,000 m of drilling focused in the Mulatos near-mine, Carricito and La Yaqui Grande areas. A number of regional exploration targets have been identified in 2019 from the property-wide VTEM geophysical survey that was completed in late-2018. A focus of the 2020 regional exploration program will be to further evaluate these targets through systematic mapping, sampling, and ground geophysics”.
- Golden Minerals Co. released results for the third quarter 2019. During the period Golden reported revenue of $1.9 M related to the lease of Velardeña’s oxide mill and costs of $0.6 M related to the services provided under the terms of the lease, for a net operating margin of $1.3 M. Exploration expenses were $0.9 M, Velardeña care and maintenance $0.4 M, administrative expenses $0.7 M for a total loss of $1.8 M for the quarter. Last October Golden entered into an agreement with Magellan Gold Corp. to sell the company’s option to earn a 100% interest in the Santa Maria and Las Marias exploration properties in Chihuahua. Cash and cash equivalents of $2.9 M by the end of the period.
- GoGold Resources Inc. announced financial results for the year ending 2019. During the last quarter period the company acquired the Los Ricos project in Jalisco, for share consideration of $5.4 M and cash $4.5 M, of which $3.9 M is payable over three years. During the period the company sold 1 M Oz Ag and 8,752 Oz Ag, produced 1.78 M Oz AgEq, had income of $8.1 M at an AISC of $14.82 per Oz AgEq and cash cost $11.80 per OZ AgEq, a gain of $11.8 M on the sale of the Santa Gertrudis project royalty and has a net working capital of $13.1 M.
- Advance Gold Corp. closed the second and final tranche of the private placement previously announced, for gross proceeds of $42 K (Tabasqueña, Zacatecas).
- Azure Minerals Ltd. announced that the Mexican tax office has paid this week the amount of MX$6.19 M, approximately A$467 K. This is the interest component from a previous payment, bringing the total received by Azure to A$1.23 M. The payments are the result of the successful resolution of the company’s legal action for the recovery of IVA (the equivalent to GST, or VAT) dating to the 2016 financial year. A fee of 15% is payable to the legal and tax advisors involved (Alacrán, Sonora).
- Tamino Minerals Inc. is planning to become Pink Current very soon on OTC markets, abiding to OTC disclosure lines. As of the end of September 2019, the company has 370.6 M shares, of which Pedro Villagran holds 138.8 M and Joseph Berry 33 M.
- Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. obtained commitments for up to $4.2 M in funding in two separate arrangements. A group of existing shareholders is to provide up to $2 M in funding ($539 K already submitted) as advance against a portion of multi-million dollar payment Odyssey expects to receive within the next six months, related to a previously completed ship-wreck project. In addition, “a term sheet has been executed and definitive agreements are being drafted with the group that has already committed up to $6.5 million in non-recourse legal funding for the NAFTA action for up to an additional $2.2 million” (Bay of Ulloa, Baja California Sur).
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
- Gold Resource Corp. released drill results from 15 holes from the Mirador mine area in the Altagracia project in Oaxaca. The Mirador mine is 16 Km NW from the Company’s Aguila project and processing facilities. Highlighted results comprise: 9.21 m @ 0.24 gpt Au, 260 gpt Ag (including 0.73 m @ 0.58 gpt Au, 1,085 gpt Au); 1.38 m @ 4.39 gpt Au, 1,455 gpt Ag; 1.08 m @ 1.81 gpt Au, 2,190 gpt Ag; 5.99 m @ 1.04 gpt Au, 206 gpt Ag (including 1.54 m @ 2.02 gpt Au, 590 gpt Ag); 3.72 m @ 1.44 gpt Au, 910 gpt Ag (including 1.0 m @ 2.84 gpt Au, 2,610 gpt Ag); 2.67 m @ 1.10 gpt Au, 354 gpt Ag.
- Pan American Silver Corp. announced an initial mineral resource estimate for the large polymetallic deposit discovered in 2018 at La Colorada mine in Zacatecas. The inferred mineral resource is 72.5 M tonnes @ 44 gpt Ag, 0.17% Cu, 2.02% Pb, 4.40% Zn, remaining open in most directions and containing 102 M Oz Ag, 3.2 M tonnes of Zn, 1.5 M tonnes of Pb, and 121 K tonnes of Cu. Most of this mineralization is contained within a larger mineralized skarn 500 m x 600 m, between 600 and 1,700 m of depth. To make the geologic interpretation and resource estimation, 65 drill holes totalling 54,000 m of drilling were utilized.
- Defiance Silver Corp. updated on exploration efforts to be made at its San Acacio project in Zacatecas. Targeted core re-logging and selective re-assay is on-going and will continue through 2020, while field exploration involves surface geochemistry outside the resource area, systematic underground mapping and sampling and regional targeting are carried out.
- Defiance Silver Corp. announced OreQuest has been planning an exploration program at Tepal, in Michoacan. The aim is to follow up on high-grade drill results as the 1.42 m @ 25 gpt Au, 565 gpt Ag of last year campaign, which is coincidental with highly anomalous surface geochemistry and an untested chargeability anomaly.
- Prime Mining Corp. released results from surface exploration at it Los Reyes property in Sinaloa. The trenching program has an advance of 25% with highlighted results of 5 m @ 1.0 gpt Au, 11 gpt Ag; 10.5 m @ 2.0 gpt Au, 18 gpt Ag; 16.5 m @ 2.5 gpt Au, 40 gpt Ag; 36.0 m @ 1.84 gpt Au, 13 gpt Ag; 34.5 m @ 4.2 gpt Au, 21 gpt Ag; 13.5 m @ 1.54 gpt Au, 37 gpt Ag in rod cuts, and 9 m @ 0.92 gpt Au, 22 gpt Ag; 4.5 m @ 2.66 gpt Au, 30 gpt Ag; 13.5 m @ 1.42 gpt Au, 49 gpt Ag; 13.5 m @ 1.59 gpt Au, 28 gpt Ag; 7.5 m @ 1.84 gpt Au, 37 gpt Ag; 16.5 m @ 1.04 gpt Au, 23 gpt Ag; 15.0 m @ 5.58 gpt Au, 23 gpt Ag in trenches. The company is working with the database of 493 historic drill holes to establish a new 43-101 compliant resource (currently holding 380 K and 155 K Oz Au in the indicated and inferred categories respectively).
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- Tamino Minerals Inc. informed it has singed a letter of intent (LOI) on the Ofelia property in Sonora. The LOI terms state four years of staged payments totalling US$1 M plus a 2% NSR, and provides a 90-day term for due-diligence work.
- Discovery Metals Corp. announced that with the conversion of 3.3 M subscription receipts to shares, Mr. Eric Sprott owns now approximately 21% interest in the company (Cordero, Chihuahua).
- Newmont Goldcorp. announced that the Peñasquito mine and the nearby San Juan Cedros community (one of 25 neighbouring communities) in Zacatecas, agreed to an infrastructure solution for sustainable water availability for the community. The 30-year water agreement includes additional water wells to supplement the 600 K liters per-day reverse osmosis drinking water plant the company built in 2018.
ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
- A Mining Gathering was held in Banamichi, Sonora, with more than 600 attendees, mostly students, with the purpose of letting them know the opportunities for internships and employment in mining units. Among the attendees were also governors of mining states, the ambassadors of mining countries, Congress representatives, Union leaders, 14 majors and representatives for mining companies, mining associations and mining communities.
- The Asociación de Mineros de Sonora (Sonora’s Miners Association, or AMSAC) celebrated its 40th The celebration included a series of presentations and a formal dinner. Among the speakers were Francisco Quiroga (Mining Sub-secretary), Karen Flores (Camimex), Ernesto [Ríos (Americas Mining) and Lourdes McPherson (Argonaut Gold).
- The first “Comité de Desarrollo Regional para las Zona Mineras (Mining Zones Development Committee) was created in Hermosillo, Sonora. The finality of such committees is to assess and approve investment projects derived from the Mining Fund, incorporating all interest groups. The committee is integrated by:The fist session is to be held in February 28, 2020, and the second on August 28, 2020.
- Dr. Vagón is to be at La Junta, Chihuahua. From the 12 to the 16 of December, 2019. Among the services to be provided are: general consult, dermatology, pediatric care, geriatric care, odontology, chiropractic, physic rehabilitation, optometry, audiometry, mastography, colposcopy, family planning, lab test, diabetics clinic, psychology and nutrition. This itinerant train-mounted clinic has the capacity to Attend 550 persons daily.
- The Safety, Environment and Social Responsibility Fair San Dimas 2019, was held on December 6 in Tayoltita, Durango. The different departments of the First Majestic mine displayed details on their work on the mining process, in a didactic and entertaining way, to workers, suppliers, municipality and State authorities, as well as their families and local inhabitants. Radio Plata (Silver Radio) was commissioned, the first radio station to be located in the vicinity, is part of the company’s Centro Cultural, where educative, social and cultural activities are to take place.
- Minera Media Luna is showing a strong support for education in Guerrero. With support from local authorities in Cocula, the Instituto Tecnológico de Iguala, the Universidad Tecnológica Autónoma del Norte de Iguala, the State government, the Instituto Estatal para la Educación de Jóvenes y Adultos de Guerrero and the general population in Cocula, the company has: installed programs for diminishing the educative lag in primary and secondary education; taken 36 students in internships from local universities; supported 86 students through scholarships; invested $500 K pesos along with the Cocula municipality for the hiring of primary education personnel; participated in the Fourth Week of Mining on the Universidad Autónoma de Guerrero…. And several other programs in education not posted here for lack of space.
- AMSAC, the Sonora Miners Association, signed an agreement with the Consejo Regulador del Bacanora (Regulatory Council for Bacanora, a spirits drink). Under this agreement , several mining companies are to grow the needed agave saplings for the production of Bacanora in their green houses, to be transplanted in the field by the agave growers.
- Minera Peña Colorada presented the “Ilustred Guide to Wildlife in the Minatitlan Microbasin”, at the Feria Internacional del Libro 2019, in Guadalajara, Jalisco. This work was accomplished with the support of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, and the Benemérita Universidad de Puebla.
- The Mexican gray wolf has left the list of extinct species on the wild, moving to the category of species on extinction risk. This is the result of an international effort among the USA and Mexican governments, with the participation of Grupo Mexico. The declaration comes after 12 liberations and the documentation of 9 successful litters with some 30 puppies on the wild. Grupo Mexico, as well as other mining companies, has an UMA (Environmental Management Unit) that take care and reproduce threatened species.
- Dr Vagón, Grupo Mexico’s health train, is to be on Ciudad Cuahutémoc, Chihuahua, from December 18 to December 22. The 17 train carriages itinerant clinic has the capacity to attend 600 persons per day, providing for a wide array of services, like diagnostics, ailment prevention, dermatology, odontology, physical rehabilitation, optometry, audiometry, psychology, nutrition, diabetes and chiropractic treatments.
On the image below: Sheeted quartz veinlets from an orogenic gold project in Oaxaca. Picture by Jorge Cirett
By Jorge Cirett
During the 44th week of the year (October 28th to November 3rd, 2019), at least 33 press releases were forwarde by companies working in Mexico. ON MEXICO ISSUES, The Morena party reassigned the Mining Fund, taking it away from its intended purpose of helping and developing mining communities. All big organizations related to mining in Mexico presented a petition to the president to rebuke the channelling of the Mining Fund away from its intended goal of helping mining communities. The governors of Sonora, Durango, Zacatecas and Guerrero sent a letter to the president of Mexico asking not to affect the communities by withdrawing the Mining Fund. On other matters, the AIMMGM informed mining companies expect to invest more than US$26 billion in six years. The illegal blockade on the Peñasquito mine in Zacatecas was lifted, with negotiations to continue shortly. The El Castillo mine access in Durango was illegally blocked for a few days, and then released, while negotiations proceed with community involved. ON EXPLORATION, in Sonora, Magna Gold informed it has two projects in the state, Mercedes near Yecora and San Judas, near Trincheras. In Chihuahua, Wealth Minerals negotiated surface access to its Valsequillo project. In Durango, Gainey Capital halted drilling activities while discussions with the local indigenous groups proceed. ON MINING, Gold Resource, Consolidated Zinc, McEwen Mining, Santacruz Silver, Premier Gold, Torex Gold, Americas Silver and sierra Metals released third quarter 2019 production results. Telson Mining is to re-commence mining at Campo Morado in Guerrero. ON FINANCING, Goldplay Exploration filed an amended and restated condensed interim consolidated financial statement. Oroco Resource informed the exercising of warrants for $720 K. Starcore Interantional has resumed trading on the OTC Pink market. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Pan American Silver released impressive results from 14,300 m of drilling at its La Colorada mine in Zacatecas. Mexican Gold Corp updated on its current drilling program at Las Minas, Veracruz. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Telson Mining is to re-start mining at Campo Morado, in Guerrero, under a notice of default and demand for payment by Nyrstar. Prime Mining signed a public relations contract with Brisco Capital Partners. Oceanus is using now a service for virtual tours on remote locations. Santacruz and Peñoles extended a lease agreement on the Zimapan mine in Hidalgo. Almaden Minerals was informed by SEMARNAT that the permitting process for its Ixtaca mine in Puebla is suspended until a judicial resolution is reached (the head of the institution is openly against open pit mining). ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY. Alamos Gold reunited all the students under its scholarship program in three venues, Matarachi, Sahuaripa and Hermosillo.
ON MEXICO ISSUES
- Last week the Morena party majority reassigned the Mining Fund (Fondo para el Desarrollo Regional Sustentable de Estados y Municipios Mineros) to education spending. The fund is gathered on a 7% (increased to 7.5% in gold and silver) royalties on extracted minerals implemented in 2014 to aid with the infrastructure, health, education and sustainability of mining communities.
- The Asociación de Ingenieros de Minas, Metalurgistas y Geólogos de México (AIMMGM) informed that mining companies expect to invest more than US$26 billion in six years. If such investments come to be realized, 50 thousand direct jobs and 274 thousand indirect jobs could be generated, and mining companies would pay an additional 23,500 million in taxes. Just last year the industry paid 46,159 million pesos on income tax (Impuesto sobre la renta, ISR).
- On October 26th, the Zacatecas governor Alejandro Tello informed that security forces are inviting the group that (illegally) blocks the entrance to the Peñasquito mine to leave the site. The governor also informed that a number of the blockers might be pursued judicially, some by the state and some by the federal government. He stated that he’s is been in contact with the sub secretary of the interior (Subsecretario de Gobernación), with whom also the company executives, communal farmers (ejidatarios) and the state government have been in dialogue rounds.
- The Cámara Minera de México (CAMIMEX), the Grupo de Minería de la Cámara de Comercio de Canadá, the Asociación de Ingenieros de Minas, Metalurgistas y Geológos de México, the organization in mining Mujeres WIM de México and the Colegio de Ingenieros de Minas, Metalurgistas y Geólogos de México received with great worry de Senate decision to approve an unjust redistribution of the Mining Fund (Fondo Minero), braking the spirit on which the fund was created to benefit mining communities. The priority for the sector is that the resources reach the communities and municipalities where they were generated, contributing with independent actions by mining companies to the social welfare and community development in areas away from urban centers, aiding to reach greater life quality, development and wellbeing. Miners are appalled by the Congress decision, same that dismissed petitions by state governors, municipality presidents, from the industry and mining communities to guarantee the return of funds to these localities. A strong and respectful call is made to the authorities to reconsider the distribution methodology for the resources and operational rules of the fund, where it should be clearly established that these funds are to be funnelled exclusively to mining communities, municipalities and states. The mining industry refresh its compromise to continue to be an agent of change, a block that forwards sustainability practices and is and active player that contributes to a greater well-being for thousands of miner families and millions of Mexicans. We consider ourselves as the best federal government ally to achieve the more valuable social objectives sought by new government project. The Camara Minera de Mexico is the first camera of industries formed in the country, representing the interests of the mining-metallurgical industry in the country.
- Argonaut Gold Inc. informed on an illegal blockade at its El Castillo mine in Durango. The Company has a legal and binding agreement in place with Atotonilco ejido that was signed and recognized by both the Atotonilco ejido and the Mexican government in 2012 and runs through 2022. The blockade lifting was announced on October 30, with an agreement with the ejido pending to be ratified on November 11.
- Newmont Goldcorp confirmed that free access to its Peñasquito installations in Zacatecas is complete as of last Sunday (Oct. 27). Access to the mine had been blocked by a small group of communal agriculture workers (ejidatarios) and truckdrivers. The company is to restart the social investment programmes in the next few days, and expects to initiate on November 19 the new program “Juntos Dejamos Legado”, which aims to support schools and sport activities in 25 nearby communities. The ending of the blockade was achieved with government executives having dialog with the blockers, with the presence of the national guard (Guardia Nacional) and the state police (Policía Estatal Preventiva), stressing that further negotiations were to proceed only without the blockade in place.
- The governors of Sonora, Claudia Pavlovich; Zacatecas, Alejandro Tello; Durango, José Rosas, and Guerrero, Héctor Astudillo, sent a letter to the president of México asking not to affect the communities by withdrawing the mining fund.
- Gainey Capital Corp. temporarily halted all drilling activities at its Las Margaritas property in Durango, following discussions with the local indigenous groups (Las Margaritas, Durango).
- Magna Gold Corp. informed it has two projects in Sonora. The flagship 1,239 ha Mercedes project in Yecora, and the recently acquired San Judas project in Trincheras.
- Wealth Minerals Ltd. successfully negotiated surface access rights to its Valsequillo property in Chihuahua. The company has an option to acquire 100% interest in the 2,840 ha property. Past artisanal mining activity concentrated on a number of epithermal, Zn-Pb-Cu-Ag veins, stockworks and silicified zones concentrated within two NW trending corridors. Rock sample results of up to 2.68 gpt Au, 629 gpt Ag, 9.5% Cu, 16.5% Pb, 6.4% Zn have been obtained.
- Telson Mining Corp. announced the recommence of mining operations at its Campo Morado mine in Guerrero. This is the result of improved relations with the local community and a better zinc price. The company anticipates initiating full mining activities and processing operations near the beginning of December 2019.
- Argonaut Gold Inc. informed on an illegal blockade at its El Castillo mine in Durango. The Company has a legal and binding agreement in place with Atotonilco ejido that was signed and recognized by both the Atotonilco ejido and the Mexican government in 2012 and runs through 2022.
- Gold Resource Corp. reported gold production for the third quarter of 2019, including figures from its Oaxaca Mining Unit. The Arista mine milled 163.3 K tonnes @ 1.76 gpt Au, 85 gpt Ag, 0.39% Cu, 1.9% Pb, 4.7% Zn; the Aguila open pit mine milled 3.6 K tonnes @ 1.49 gpt Au, 58 gpt Ag; the Mirador mine milled 11.7 K tonnes @ 0.76 gpt Au, 197 gpt Ag. In total, 178.6 K tonnes were milled at a rate of 2,007 tonnes per day, to produce 7,462 Oz Au, 473.8 K Oz Ag, 492 tonnes Cu, 2,459 tonnes Pb, 6,057 tonnes Zn. Total cash cost after by-product credits was $197 per AuEq ounce and total all-in sustaining cost was $520 per AuEq ounce for the period.
- Consolidated Zinc Ltd. released its third quarter 2019 activities report. The acquisition of the Plomosas mine in Chihuahua was completed, getting the remaining 10% ownership in exchange for a 1% NSR royalty. During the quarter 7,511 tonnes were mined @ 13.5% Zn, 8.2% Pb, and 9,120 tonnes were processed @ 12.5% Zn, 7.9% Pb.
- McEwen Mining Inc. presented its third quarter 2019 report, including activities at its El Gallo mine in Mexico. During the third quarter the mine produced 3,057 Oz AuEq from residual leaching, at cash cost $1,153 and $1,177 AISC per Oz AuEq. Work on the Fenix Project feasibility study and permitting is progressing.
- Pan American Silver Corp. released results from 14,300 m of drilling during the third quarter 2019 on its La Colorada mine in Zacatecas (see Resources and Development section) .
- Santacruz Silver Mining Ltd. reported its third quarter 2019 production. Consolidated production was 956.5 K Oz AgEq. At Zimapan, in Hidalgo, 82.2 K tonnes were processed @ 75 gpt Ag, 0.59% Pb, 2.28% Zn, 0.48% Cu to produce 151.5 K Oz Ag (75% recovery), 463 tonnes Pb, 1,492 tonnes Zn, 316 tonnes Cu. At Veta Grande, in Zacatecas, 44 K tonnes were processed @ 99 gpt Ag, 0.24 gpt Au, 1.45% Pb, 2.11% Zn to produce 62.4 K Oz Ag (45% recovery), 139 Oz Au, 370 tonnes Pb, 519 tonnes Zn. At Rosario, in San Luis Potosi, 22 K tonnes were processed @ 65 gpt Ag, 0.25 gpt Au, 0.40% Pb, 2.04% Zn to produce 43 K Oz Ag (93% recovery).
- Premier Gold Mines Ltd. announced Q3 2019 production results, including 14,481 Oz Au and 37.5 K Oz Ag from its Mexican operations at Mercedes, in Sonora.
- Torex Gold Resources Inc. reported third quarter 2019 results. At its El Limon-Guajes mine in Guerrero, the company produced 138,145 Oz Au, mine production averaged 144,989 tonnes per day (tpd), mine ore production averaged 15,391 tpd @ 3.19 gpt Au, with a plant throughput of 12,380 tpd @ 4.11 gpt Au, recovering 89% Au at cash cost $561 and AISC of $675.
- Americas Gold and Silver Corp. released third quarter 2019 production results, including figures from its Cosalá operations in Sinaloa. At the site 151.2 K tonnes were milled to produce 128.8 K Oz Ag, 10.1 M Lb Zn, 3.7 M Lb Pb (or 1 M Oz AgEq), at cash cost -$10.82 per Oz Ag, and an AISC of -$1.49 per Oz Ag after sub-product credits.
- Sierra Metals Inc. reported its Q3-2019 financial results, not including figures from its operations in Mexico. The company had $29.0 M of cash and cash equivalents at the end of the period (Bolivar, Chihuahua).
- Goldplay Exploration Ltd. filed an amended and restated condensed interim consolidated financial statement and management discussion and analysis for the six months ended June 30, 2019, adding the following disclosure “in Note 11 – Related Party Transactions; The Company issued 480,000 common shares valued at $60,000 as debt settlement with officers and a director of the Company and in Note 12 – Share Capital and Reserves; the Company issued 600,000 common shares valued at $75,000 as debt settlement including $60,000 to related parties” (San Marcial, Sinaloa).
- Oroco Resource Corp. informed that warrant holders from a unit offering completed on April 2018 have fully exercised the purchase warrants providing the company $720 K (Santo Tomás, Sinaloa).
- Starcore International Mines Ltd. announced it has resumed trading on the OTC Pink markets in USA under the symbol “SHVLF” (San Martin, Queretaro).
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
- Pan American Silver Corp. released results (impressive) from 14,300 m of drilling during the third quarter on the La Colorada skarn discovery in Zacatecas. Drill highlights comprise 250.9 m @ 40 gpt Ag, 0.08% Cu, 2.6% Pb, 3.4% Zn (including 78.9 m @ 60 gpt Ag, 0.09% Cu, 3.9% Pb, 4.8% Zn); 72.3 m @ 37 gpt Ag, 0.16% Cu, 3.8% Pb, 6.3% Zn and 56.6 m @ 39 gpt Ag, 0.10% Cu, 3.3% Pb, 6.6% Zn; 124.8 m @ 42 gpt Ag, 0.08% Cu, 2.4% Pb, 3.1% Zn; 252.9 m @ 67 gpt Ag, 0.19% Cu, 3.8% Pb, 6.6% Zn (including 27.3 m @ 108 gpt Ag, 0.20% Cu, 8.1% Pb, 13.7% Zn and 148.6 m @ 81 gpt Ag, 0.23% Cu, 4.4% Pb, 7.7% Zn); 132.5 m @ 56 gpt Ag, 0.19% Cu, 3.8% Pb, 6.3% Zn and 139.2 m @ 54 gpt Ag, 0.15% Cu, 1.8% Pb, 5.9% Zn; 379.0 m @ 54 gpt Ag, 0.50% Cu, 2.0% Pb, 3.7% Zn (including 66.7 m @ 154 gpt Ag, 2.07% Cu, 1.0% Pb, 1.6% Zn).
- Mexican Gold Corp. updated on its current drill program at its Las Minas project in Veracruz. To date 655 m have been drilled on five holes, with three holes testing El Dorado zone, another 261 m hole tested an electromagnetic anomaly, while the hole currently being drilled is also testing a 350 m extension of the same anomaly.
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- Telson Mining Corp. informed that as a result of suspending operations at Campo Morado in August 2019 under force majeur conditions, Telson has been without cash flows resulting in non-payment under the loan agreement with Nyrstar Holdings Ltd. This has resulted in Nyrstar issuing a notice of default and demand for payment. Telson’s outstanding debt under this loan agreement including principal and interest is approximately US$6 M. Telson expects to be able to recommence outstanding payments to Nyrstar while exploring other financing alternatives.
- Prime Mining Corp. entered into contractual agreements for marketing, advertising, shareholder engagement and social media communications with Brisco Capital Partners Corp. for a monthly retainer for a minimum of a CDN$10 K and a maximum of CDN$50 K (Guadalupe de Los Reyes, Sinaloa).
- Oceanus Resources Corp. announced that is now live on VRIFY, a platform being used by companies to communicate with investors using virtual tours of remote mining assets, 3D models and interactive presentations (El Tigre, Sonora).
- Santacruz Silver Mining Ltd. and Peñoles, each by mean of a subsidiary, extended the Zimapan mine lease agreement from December 31,2019 to December 31, 2020. Santacruz must make monthly payments to Peñoles based on a 4% NSR, subject to a minimum US$45 K and a maximum of US$60 K per month. The extension provides more time for the negotiation of terms of a potential acquisition of the Zimapan mine in Hidalgo.
- Almaden Minerals Ltd. was notified by SEMARNAT (Mexico’s environmental authority) that the permitting process for the Ixtaca project in Puebla has been suspended pending resolution of a mineral title lawsuit previously reported. “Under the Lawsuit, certain organisations have supported legal challenges against the Government of Mexico and the Mexican mineral title regime using the Company’s mineral claims as a basis for their challenges. The Lawsuit contends that the issuance of Almaden’s original mineral titles violated human rights and did not respect Mexico’s commitment to indigenous consultation under United Nations Instrument ILO 169…… o. In April, 2019, a Lower Court in Puebla State ruled that the Mexican mineral title system is unconstitutional and as a result these original mineral claims should be held exclusively for Almaden until such time as consultation can be completed. This Lower Court decision has now been appealed by the Mexican Congress, Senate, Secretary of Economy and Mining authorities, as well as Almaden as an affected party. The Lawsuit remains before the Courts”. SEMARNAT was informed on October 24 that the company completed the necessary steps to abandon its mineral claims in the area of the complaint in 2017.
- Bacanora Lithium is using Veolia Water Technologies Division with its HPD evaporation and crystallisation technologies to validate Bacanora Lithium’s product purity requirements at the Sonor lithium project, while removing potassium and converting it into a sub-product. Veolia engineered and designed the production process that recovers lithium carbonate and sulphate of potash from clay deposits.
ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
- Minas de Oro Nacional (Alamos Gold) reunited in Matarachi, Sahuaripa and Hermosillo (Sonora) all the 185 students currently receiving scholarships to study in Matarachi, Sahuaripa, Arivechi, Chihuahua, Cuahutémoc and San Luis Rio Colorado. The ceremony in Hermosillo was held with company and state executives, including the state governor, the Mining Director, the director of DIF, the director of the Sonora Mining Cluster, the director of the Miners Association of Sonora and the SEC sub-secretary of Basic Education.
On the image below: Gneiss hosted quartz veinlet from a project in Oaxaca. Picture by Jorge Cirett.
Fault-bx with Mn oxides
By Miguel A Heredia
During the thirty-seven week of the year (September 09th to September 15th, 2019), at least 31 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico, with ten informing on exploration results, ten reporting on resources and development of their projects, four announcing financial rounds, four disclosing deals and corporate issues, and one commenting on Mexican issues. ON MEXICO ISSUES, Karen Flores was appointed as general director of the Mining Chamber of Mexico (CAMIMEX). ON EXPLORATION, In Sonora, Aloro released drilling results from its Los Venados project, Riverside identified three targets from mapping and sampling its recently acquired Los Cuarenta project, Tamino announced its exploration expenditure guidance for 2019-2020, and Oceanus announced the commencement of the 2019 exploration program at its El Tigre project. In Chihuahua, Radius and Pan American Silver announced the commencement of the phase 3 drilling work at its Amalia project. In Durango, Gainey awarded drilling contract for its Las Margaritas project. In Jalisco, GoGold reported drill results from its Los Ricos project, and Silver Spruce announced high grade Au assay values from surface rock sampling conducted at its Cocula project. In Veracruz, Mexican Gold discovered a new resistivity anomaly at Cinco Señores area within its Las Minas project. ON MINING, US Antimony reported estimated sales for August 2019. Consolidated Zinc announced August 2019 production from its Plomosas mine in Chihuahua. ON FINANCING, Consolidated Zinc announced a plan to rise $3.5M via private placement and pro-rata non-renounceable rights offer (Plomosas mine, Chihuahua). Fortune announced a USD $40M bough deal financing (San Jose mine, Oaxaca), and granted an over-allotment option to purchase up to an additional USD $6M aggregate. Silver Viper increased its private placement to $4M (La Virginia project, Sonora). Defiance announced that it has applied for approval to extend by one year the expiry date of 5.75M of outstanding warrants (San Acacio project, Zacatecas). ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Almaden provided an update of the progress achieved to build its Ixtaca mine in Puebla. Discovery Metals announced mobilization for a 35,000m drilling program at its recently acquired Cordero project in Chihuahua. Azure reported that Au-Ag exploration is underway on its Alacran project in Sonora. Impact released drilling results and expands at depth the San Ramon mine in its Zacualpan mining district in Mexico state. Leagold announced drilling results from its Los Filos mine in Guerrero. Orla awarded the engineering, procurement, and construction contract for its Camino Rojo project in Zacatecas. US Antimony reported progress on its Los Juarez Au-Ag project in Queretaro. Oroco filed a geological technical report regarding its Santo Tomas project in Sinaloa. Sonoro reported that a program of 3D modelling, mapping and sampling is underway at its Cerro Caliche project in Sonora. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Almaden appointed its new VP Project Development to oversee detailed engineering and construction of its Ixtaca project in Puebla. Golden Goliath granted stock options to directors, officers, employees and consultants (San Timoteo project, Chihuahua). Golden Minerals announced termination of sale agreement with Autlan regarding the sale of certain of its Mexican properties. Millrock completed the sale of certain of their Mexican mining concessions to Riverside. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, no relevant news.
ON MEXICO ISSUES
- Karen Flores, was appointed as general director of the Mining Chamber of Mexico (CAMIMEX). It will be the first time since its foundation in 1906 that CAMIMEX will be run by a woman.
- Aloro Mining Corp., released drilling results from the last four holes collared in the southeastern area of its Los Venados project in Sonora for a total of approximately 1,347m drilled. The drilling intersected a felsic dome with 3-10 weight percent pyrite content in pervasive altered volcanic flow units and intrusive dome rock unit up to 200 meters thick. Assay results were discouraging showing very low grade Au, between 0.1-0.2 g/t Au, in scattered intercepts from 1.5-7.6m wide throughout the broad zone of pyritized felsic dome. No more work is planned in this area of the concession.
- Riverside Resources Inc., completed the acquisition of Los Cuarenta project in Sonora from Millrock, where it has identified three targets. The Santa Rosalia target is the highest priority of the 3 targets and is defined by past open cut and underground vein mining where recent sampling has shown a strike length of more than 500 m and open to the east and west.
- Tamino Minerals Inc., announced its business development plan and exploration expenditure guidance for the period 2019-2020. The plan is to identify and acquire high-quality, advanced-stage exploration projects and discover early-stages opportunities that can be strategically tested and quickly progressed to key decision point. Exploration expenditure guidance are planned to be $5M in 2019-2010, with $2M in the Amalia project, $1.2M in the El Volcan project, and $1.8M in other small exploration projects and acquisitions.
- Oceanus Resources Corporation, announced the commencement of the 2019 exploration program at its El Tigre project in Sonora. The Company has recently mobilized the exploration team back to the property to continue prospecting and mapping, as well as, sampling in the area of the Caleigh vein. The objective of this program is to establish drill targets.
- Radius Gold Inc., and Pan American Silver Corp., announced the commencement of the phase 3 drilling program at its Amalia project in Chihuahua. Pan American Silver intends to complete further geological mapping, re-logging of previous drill core, and drilling an additional 2,500 m as part of the phase 3 program.
- Gainey Capital Corp., announced that it has finalized the reparation and construction of approximately 39Km of road and a water reservoir system to support its planned drilling program at its Las Margaritas project in Durango. The company received the approval from SEMARNAT to drill up to 32 targets. Gainey has already awarded the drilling contract and will commence soon a first phase of drilling comprising 2,190m to test 16 drill targets.
- GoGold Resources Inc., released drill results from four new holes drilled at the Main Zone, and underground channel sampling results from its Los Ricos project in Jalisco. Significant intersections were encountered in hole LRGG-19-034 with 0.92 g/t Au and 177 g/t Ag (3.28 g/t AuEq) over 20.1m, including 3.41 g/t Au and 621 g/t Ag (11.68 g/t AuEq) over 4.9m; and in hole LRGG-19-035 with 1.29 g/t Au and 127 g/t Ag (2.99 g/t AuEq) over 24.4m, including 3 g/t Au and 258 g/t Ag (6.44 g/t AuEq) over 9.8m. In addition, GoGold rehabbed the historic El Troce old working where a mapping and channel sampling program was conducted. Encouraging results were obtained with grades varying from 0.98-6.8 g/t Au, and 44-492 g/t Ag over 2-3 m wide. Given the results, the company has decided to move a drill to test the targets at El Troce area.
- Silver Spruce Resources Inc., reported high grade Au assay values from surface rock sampling conducted at its Cocula project in Jalisco. Nine out of twenty six rock chip samples recently taken from surface outcrop returned Au assay values of 0.88 g/t Au up to 12.55 g/t Au, Ag values of 13 g/t Ag up to 53 g/t Ag, and Pb values of 0.2% Pb up to 7.4% Pb. These recent sample assays continue to confirm the presence of widespread Au mineralization at surface, along with Ag and Pb values. The company also announced that it filed the first ever 43-101 technical report for its advanced Au Cocula project. Silver Spruce will continue its due diligence activities designed to support a definitive purchase decision of the property.
- Mexican Gold Corp., discovered a new resistivity anomaly at the Cinco Señores target area in its Las Minas project in Veracruz. This notable TEM resistivity anomaly, similar in size to the El Dorado Au-Cu-Ag resource, extends more than 700m towards the Las Minillas target. The company plans to drill test this anomaly in the near future.
- US Antimony Corporation, reported estimated sales for August 2019. It sold 146.6K Lb Sb and 1159 tons of zeolites. “The Company continues to take steps to reduce its costs of producing Sb products in response to the lower global sale prices.”
- Consolidated Zinc Limited, provided August 2019 production results from its Plomosas mine in Chihuahua. The company mined 2,794 tonnes of 14% Zn, 8% Pb, and 42 g/t Ag, and processed 2,913 tonnes of 13.5% Zn, 8% Pb, and 39 g/t Ag.
- Consolidated Zinc Limited, announced a plan to rise A$3.5M to fund the Plomosas mine operations in Chihuahua, to process the pending sale of Zn-Pb concentrate currently stockpiled, and for working capital. A$2.48M will be rised through pro-rata non-renounceable rights offer, and A$1M through a private placement.
- Fortuna Silver Mines Inc., entered into an agreement to rise USD $40M via a bought deal financing. The company also granted an over-allotment option to purchase up to and additional USD $6M aggregate (San Jose mine, Oaxaca).
- Silver Viper Minerals Corp., increased its private placement from $3M to $4M. The net proceeds will be used to continue exploration and development of its La Virginia project in Sonora.
- Defiance Silver Corp., announced that it has applied for TSX Venture Exchange approval to extend by one year the expiry date of an aggregate of 5.75M of outstanding warrants exercisable at $0.45 per share (San Acacio project, Zacatecas).
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
- Almaden Minerals Ltd., provided an update to their shareholders of the progress achieved to build its precious metal Ixtaca mine in Puebla. The company reported that the waste rock and flotation tailings have low potential for metal leaching. It also reported that the mine plan considers a dry stack filtering tailings facility, and co disposal with waste rock with no tailings dam, eliminating the risk of a tailings dam failure. Almaden has received letters from INAH clearing the area for development, from PROFEPA confirming it has conducted exploration work in accordance with the environmental code, and from the authority responsible for indigenous affairs confirming that no indigenous communities are located in the mine impact area. Local community members have publicly expressed their support of the project. One key aspect to develop the Ixtaca mine was the strong support granted for over 800 people from the local community. They signed a declaration of support for the project and delivered to the environmental authorities, and a Memorandum of Understanding has been signed with local water users. The Municipality has included mining as one of its accepted investment and development activities. Based on the FS, an initial investment of USD $174M is required to generate an after-tax internal rate of return of 42% and NVP of USD $310M, using a discount rate of 5% and precious metals prices of USD $1,275/Oz Au and USD $17/Oz Ag. The project would employ over 400 people during an 11-year mine life and would also provide updated infrastructure to a highly marginalized region.
- Discovery Metals Corp., announced mobilization to conduct a 30,000 – 35,000 m drilling program at its recently acquired Cordero project in Chihuahua. The company plans to commence it in about five weeks from now and expect to be completed in twelve months, with the focus of delineating and discovering the highest-grade phases and domains of the mineralized system, and testing new high priority targets. The company has estimated 20,000-25,000m of drilling at the Cordero deposit and 10,000m on six regional areas that require follow-up work and drill testing.
- Azure Minerals Limited, reported that Au-Ag exploration is underway around Mesa de Plata and Loma Bonita deposits on its Alacran project in Sonora. The Mesa de Plata deposit (10.5M tonnes of 82 g/t Ag for 27.4M Oz Ag, including 1.8M tonne of 275 g/t Ag for 15.5M Oz Ag) remains open to the west but is constrained in this direction by the concession boundary. To the north and east the mineralization has been truncated by erosion, however the mineralized zone remains open to the south. Potential for repetitions of Mesa de Plata exist further to the north, where outcropping vuggy silica forms similar-looking silicified ridges. Further exploration is planned for this area. At the Mesa Bonita deposit (5.4M tonnes of 0.9 g/t Au and 28 g(/t Ag for 150K Oz Au and 4.8M Oz Ag), the mineralized zone is constrained to the west by erosion into a valley but remains open to the north, south, east and at depth down-dip. Being open in several directions, there is good potential that further drilling will significantly increase the size of the resource.
- Impact Silver Corp., presented drilling results from its Zacualpan project in Mexico state and extended the mineralization 50m to depth at the San Ramon mine. Significant drill intersections were encountered in hole MPZ-284-19 with 321 g/t Ag, 0.38 g/t Au, 0.19% Pb and 0.60% Zn over 2.62m true width, hole MPZ-285-19 with 1,393 g/t Ag, 2.15 g/t Au, 2.4% Pb, and 6.4% Zn over 1.58m true width and 305 g/t Ag, 0.97 g/t Au, 0.7% Pb, and 1.7% Zn over 1.38m true width, hole MPZ-287-19 with 418 g/t Ag, 0.5% Pb, and 0.5% Zn over 2.14m true width, and hole MPZ-288-19 with 214 g/t Ag, 0.9 g/t Au, 0.1% Pb, and 0.3% Zn over 1.87m true width, and 317 g/t Ag, 0.3% Pb, and 0.4% Zn over 1.22m true width. Known mineralization over the total San Ramon workings has a down dip length of over 500m. Further drilling is planned to further test the extent of this prolific zone.
- Leagold Mining Corporation, announced drilling results from its Los Filos underground and the Guadalupe open pit mines in Guerrero. Highlights from the Los Filos underground mine include 8.86 g/t Au over 45m and 6.59 g/t Au over 15.46m. Highlights from the Guadalupe open pit include 1.4 g/t Au over 32.73m, including 7.71 g/t Au over 2.67m, and 6.2 g/t Au over 10.61m, including 10.55 g/t Au over 5.2m. The drill program at Los Filos will contribute to the reserve base and extend the mine life. At Guadalupe, the drilling program is testing for extensions of the mineralization at depth and also confirming the limited nature of old underground workings prior to open pit mining in this area.
- Orla Mining Ltd., awarded the engineering, procurement, and construction contract for its Camino Rojo project in Zacatecas. Orla expects to begin the detailed engineering work by mid-September to build a mine that begins to produce Au in mid-2021. Au production is expected to average 97K Oz Au per year at an estimated AISC of USD $576 per Oz Au. Orla submitted permits applications to SEMARNAT for the MIA and change of land use at the end of August. The legislated timelines for the review of properly prepared MIA and change of land use applications and mine operating permits for a project that does not affect federally protected biospheres or ecological reserves are 120 working days and 105 working days, respectively, which can be completed concurrently.
- US Antimony Corporation, announced progress on its Au-Ag Los Juarez project in Queretaro. It completed the installation of the ponder liner in the 2 hectares tailings pond and the deepening of the water well to 222m to provide more than 240 gallons per minute. “The pond and the well will be more than adequate to ramp production from 100 tons per day to 400 tons per day. Projects remaining include fencing the pond, completion of the laboratory for fire assaying precious metals, and atomic adsorption equipment for assaying Sb, Ag, and Au in the leach circuit. The mil fine ore bin has been filled with crushed ore from the mine. Initial testing could start within 30 to 60 days.
- Oroco Resource Corp., filed a geological technical report regarding its Santo Tomas project in Sinaloa. “The report summarizes a data set now controlled by the company that comprises 90 historical drill holes totaling 21,075 m, and recommends a significant program of phased surface exploration, deep geophysical surveys, and diamond drilling that aims to verify and build upon a key new geological model and a substantial body of historical drilling, mineral resource estimates, and pre-feasibility studies. The Report provides the company with a current, technical foundation upon which to advance the Santo Tomás project by confirming the technical analysis of the mineralization on the property”.
- Sonoro Metals Corp., reported that a program of 3D modelling, mapping and sampling is underway at its Cerro Caliche project in Sonora. It also launched a phase 3 drilling program to test the Veta de Oro, La Espanola, Cuervos and Guadalupe/Cabeza Blanca zones, where previous scout holes reported intervals of high-grade vein Au mineralization. “The program is a continuation of the company’s strategy of systematically exploring Cerro Caliche as it concurrently advances its proposed heap leach pilot operation (HLPO). Drilling to date continues to outline shallow, bulk tonnage Au mineralized zones with grades similar to operating heap leach mines in the region”.
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- Almaden Minerals Ltd., appointed its new VP Project Development to oversee detailed engineering and construction of its Ixtaca project in Puebla.
- Golden Goliath Resources Ltd., granted 3M stock options to directors and officers, and 400K to employees and consultants. The incentive stock options are exercisable for a period of five years at a price of $0.10 (San Timoteo project, Chihuahua).
- Golden Minerals Company, announced termination of sale agreement with Compañia Minera Autlan S.A.B. de C.V., regarding the sale of certain of its Mexican properties. The CEO of Golden informed that unfortunately they could not come to terms with Autlan and now they are in position to consider future options for the properties that were included in the Autlan agreement (Velardeña and Rodeo in Durango, and Santa Maria project in Chihuahua).
- Millrock Resources Inc., completed the sale of five of their Mexican properties to Riverside Resources Inc. La Union, Los Cuarenta, El Pima, El Valle and Llano del Nogal, all located in Sonora state, were the mineral concessions sold to Riverside along with a copy of its exploration database and various exploration equipments and vehicles. Consideration paid to Millrock is $35K cash and 300K Riverside shares. Additionally, Riverside will grant a 0.5% NSR royalty on the El Pima and El Valle claims, and in the event that Riverside exercises the option on Santa Rosalia (Los Cuarenta project), it will grant a 0.5% NSR royalty on that claim to Millrock.
ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
- No relevant news
On the picture above, a fault-bx with Mn oxides in a prospect in Chihuahua, Mexico. Photo by Miguel A Heredia.
VANCOUVER, B.C. Almaden Minerals Ltd. (“Almaden” or the “Company”; TSX: AMM; NYSE American: AAU) is pleased to be able to provide an update on its progress and milestones achieved towards building a modern precious metals mine in Mexico. Almaden is committed to international environmental and social standards and
best available technologies. We believe Ixtaca will, long after final closure, make meaningful and enduring positive contributions to surrounding communities and beyond. In December 2018 Almaden announced results of a Feasibility Study (“FS”; see news release dated December 11th, 2018) and based on this study submitted its
environmental impact statement for mining operation (MIA in Mexico) in early 2019. As part of the MIA process a public consultation meeting has been conducted locally by Mexican authorities and was well attended and peaceful. In addition, the Company has recently submitted answers to formal questions posed by the environmental authority, SEMARNAT, as part of the standard MIA review process.
By Miguel A Heredia
During the thirty three week of the year (August 12th to August 18th, 2019), at least 23 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico, with six announcing financial rounds, five communicating production results, four reporting on resources and development of their projects, three disclosing deals and corporate issues, three informing on exploration results, and two commenting on Mexican issues. ON MEXICO ISSUES, Mexican president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, declared that current mining concessions won´t be cancelled but no new ones are going to be issued. Fresnillo plc led the 2018 Pb production in Mexico. ON EXPLORATION, In Chihuahua, Kootenay released exploration drilling results from its Columba project. In Durango, Gainey advanced the drilling program at its Las Margaritas project. In Zacatecas, Galore provided an update of the drilling program performed at its Dos Santos project in Zacatecas. ON MINING, Americas Silver, Aura Minerals, Impact, Odyssey, and Sierra Metals reported production and financial results from their Mexican mining operations for the period Q2, 2019. ON FINANCING, Defiance, Galore, Impact, Kootenay, SilverCrest, Southern Silver, and Valterra announced financial rounds. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Endeavour reported positive drilling and underground channel sampling results from its Parral project in Chihuahua. Minera Alamos announced commencement of phase 2 drilling at its Santana Au project in Sonora. Premier Gold provided an update of its ongoing drilling program at its Mercedes mine in Sonora. Mag Silver provided an update of mine development at its Juanicipio project in Zacatecas. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Santacruz and its 50% owned subsidiary company Carrizal Mining entered into an agreement to extend the expiry date of the current Zimapan mine lease agreement located in Hidalgo state. Telson curtailed mining operations at its Campo Morado mine in Guerrero and plans to focus on construction of mine at its Tahuehueto Au project in Durango. Discovery Metals granted stock options to certain officers, directors, employees, and consultants (Puerto Rico project, Coahuila).
ON MEXICO ISSUES
- Mexican president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, declared that current mining concessions won´t be cancelled but no new ones are going to be issued. He said that concessions have not being held for production purposes but rather for financial speculation. He also asked mining companies to take care of the environment and pay salaries to the miners as in USA and Canada. Mining companies remain to be seen if his vow will translate into action since, until now, there is not a detailed legal and regulatory framework.
- Fresnillo plc., led the 2018 Pb production in Mexico. Five companies produced approximately 73% of the 538.3M Lb Pb produced in 2018, with Fresnillo producing 22.1%, followed closely by Newmont-Goldcorp with 22%.
- Kootenay Silver Inc., announced drill results of the six first holes drilled at its Columba Silver project in Chihuahua. Results have confirmed shallow-high grade Ag mineralization associated to quartz-calcite veins, breccias, and stockworks in five of the six holes. Widths range from 4.8m to 16.5m on the F Vein, and from 1.17 to 1.5m on unknown hanging wall veins in two of the holes. Significant intersections were encountered in hole CDH-19-01 with 93 g/t Ag over 16.5m, including 141 g/t Ag over 9.42m, and including 390 g/t Ag over 1m; hole CDH-19-02 with 104 g/t Ag over 14m and 213 g/t Ag and 0.31 g/t Au over 3.73m, including 328 g/t Ag over 1m, and 332 g/t Ag and 0.55 g/t Au over 0.70m; hole CDH-19-05 with 230 g/t Ag over 4.83m, including 518 g/t Ag over 2m, and including 775 g/t Ag over 1.15m; and hole CDH-19-06 with 133 g/t Ag over 10.45m before entering into a mine stope over 3m wide, including 287 g/t Ag over 1.45m. the hole CDH-19-06 also hit two hanging wall veins with 235 g/t Ag over 1.5m wide, and 267 g/t Ag over 0.87m wide. “Drilling thus far has tested approximately 450 meters of strike in broad spaced fences of holes from depths as shallow as 20 meters to as deep as 150 meters with 5 of 6 holes intercepting the F vein”.
- Gainey Capital Corp., reported that is doing the last activities to prepare the infrastructure required to commence the drilling program at its Las Margaritas project in Durango. The focus now is on repair and constructs 39km of road to facilitate access to and between drill sites. The company will provide further updates as the drilling commences.
- Galore Resources Inc., announced that it has completed four core holes for a total of 1,324m at El Alamo target within its Dos Santos project in Zacatecas. These four holes are part of a 2,500 drilling program. Samples from holes EA-001 and EA-002 were submitted to the lab and results are expected soon. Hole EA-003 was abandoned prior to reaching the target depth due to mechanical issues. “Drill holes have intersected more extensive zones of pyrite mineralization than anticipated, both fresh and oxidized. Pyrite and strongly oxidized zones, normally within brecciated limestone, are of particular interest based on previous sampling of the surface outcrops that were found to contain weakly anomalous gold values to high-grade gold values (high of 20g/t Au) from previous trench sampling”.
- Americas Silver Corporation, reported revenue of $15M and net loss of $8M for the period Q2, 2019. Guidance for 2019 remains unchanged at 1.6-2.0M Oz Ag and 6.6-7.0M Oz AgEq at cash cost of $4.0 to $6.0 per Oz Ag and AISC of $10.0-12.0 per Oz Ag produced. The Company had a cash balance of $6.3M as at June 30, 2019.
- Aura Minerals Inc., announced revenue of USD $50,374,000 for the period Q2, 2019, from which USD $16,828,000 correspond to Cu revenue from its Aranzazu mine in Zacatecas. Total cost of production at Aranzazu was USD $12,915,000, depletion and amortization of USD $1,618,000, gross margin of USD $2,295,000. The company had other expenses for the amount of USD $1,872,000, for a resulting income before taxes of USD $423K.
- Impact Silver Corp., presented Q2, 2019 production and financial results from its Zacualpan mining district in Mexico State. Impact milled 33,616 tonnes of 160 g/t Ag to produce 145.6K Oz Ag. The company reported revenues of $2.8M.
- Odyssey Marine Exploration, announced financial results for Q2, 2019. Odyssey reported a net loss of $2.8M and total revenue of $0.8M (Bay of Ulloa phosphate project, Baja California Sur).
- Sierra Metals Inc., reported Q2, 2019 consolidated production and financial results from their Mexican and Peru operations. The company produced 9.7M Lb Cu, 0.8M Oz Ag, 16.6M Lb Zn, 8.1m Lb Pb, and 2,540 Oz Au. Cash cost per Lb CuEq payable Lb was USD $1.51 and an AISC of USD $2.55, while at its Cusi mine, the cash cost per Oz AgEq produced was USD $16.49 and an AISC of USD $25.67. Sierra Metals announced an adjusted EBIDTA of USD $126M, and an operating cash flow of USD $12.8M.
- Defiance Silver Corp., closed a non-brokered private placement in the amount of $3,323,106. Gross proceeds will be used to continue an aggressive exploration program at its San Acacio Silver project in Zacatecas. It exploration program will be focused on drilling the new Ag shoots along the Veta Grande vein, the recently defined Ag-Cu geophysical anomaly, and further resource expansion.
- Galore Resources Inc., announced that is continuing its effort to implement a non-brokered private placement to raise up to USD $1.5M. Net proceeds of the non-brokered private placement will be used for continued drilling of the El Alamo claim, drilling at the Los Gemelos claim (Dos Santos project in Zacatecas) and for general working capital.
- Impact Silver Corp., completed its second series of the third and final tranche of a non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of $554.2K. Net proceeds will be used for greenfield exploration on its large ground package in Zacualpan Silver mining district, Mexico State, and projects such as San Ramon Deep extension, Manto America, and Santa Teresa.
- Kootenay Silver Inc., announced a non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of $5M. Net proceeds of the private placement will be used to advance exploration of the Columba Ag project in Chihuahua, potentially adding a further drill rig to expedite the current drill program, and to fund further work at Copalito, Sinaloa, La Cigarra, Chihuahua, and other projects as well as for general working capital purposes.
- SilverCrest Metals Inc., completed its prospectus offering for gross proceeds of $25.3M. The company also announced that SSR Mining Inc., purchase SilverCrest stock in a separate non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of CAD $4.6M. The company plans to use the net proceeds to continue exploration and advancement of its Las Chispas project in Sonora to feasibility level, and for working capital purposes.
- Southern Silver Exploration Corp., closed the first tranche of a non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of $3.1M. At final closing, due to increased interest in the offering, the company plans to close on an oversubscribed amount to a maximum of 22.5M units for gross proceeds of $4.5M. Net proceeds will be used to continue the 2019-20 exploration programs on its Cerro Las Minitas project in Durango.
- Valterra Resource Corporation, extended 30 days the closing of its equity financing. The offering is for $375K with an over-allotment option to increase it by up to 10%. Net proceeds from the private placement may be used in part to fund costs associated with initial exploration programs for the Los Reyes Au-Cu project in Chihuahua.
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
- Endeavour Silver Corp., reported positive exploration drilling results from its Parral project in Chihuahua. The company completed 15 surface and underground drill holes totaling 3,160m, and 462 underground channel samples in 3 blocks in the Sierra Plata mine on the Veta Colorada vein system. Significant drill intersections are in hole VCS-02 with 346 g/t Ag over 9.6m true width (TW), including 784 g/t Ag over 0.50m TW in the hanging wall of Veta Colorada, and 283 g/t Ag over 5m TW, including 975 g/t Ag over 0.5m TW in Veta Colorada; hole VCU-03 with 326 g/t Ag over 8.2m TW, including 727 g/t Ag over 0.3m TW in Veta Colorada; hole VCU-04 with 253 g/t Ag over 7.7m TW, including 1,200 g/t Ag over 0.4m TW; and hole VCU-05 with 332 g/t Ag over 13.1m TW, including 3,770 g/t Ag over 0.2m TW. Channel sampling highlights include 2 samples exceeding 1,000 g/t Ag such as 1,705 g/t Ag over 0.55m TW, and 1,480 g/t Ag over 0.95m TW. The rest of the sampling results vary between 509 and 911 g/t Ag in widths ranging from 0.3 and 1.50m. The full width of the vein is not exposed so the sampling is partially indicative of the Ag mineralization.
- Minera Alamos Inc., announced the commencement of phase 2 drilling at its Santana Au project in Sonora. The goal is to expand resources at the main Nicho deposit as well as follow-up drilling on several new discoveries made during Phase 1 work in late 2018.
- Premier Gold Mines Limited., provided and update of its ongoing drilling program at its Mercedes mine in Sonora. The company has confirmed two high-grade zones: the Lupita extension, and the newly discovered San Martin target area. Significant drill interceptions were encountered in hole L19-422D at the San Martin area with 14.02 g/t Au and 136 g/t Ag over 2.9m; hole L19-414D at the Lupita area with 8.41 g/t Au and 68 g/t Ag over 3.9m, including 16.2 g/t Au and 92 g/t Ag over 1.4m; hole L19-414D with 4.57 g/t Au and 27 g/t Ag over 4.5m; and hole UG-RDO19-40 at Rey de Oro area with 18.15 g/t Au and 27 g/t Ag over 2.3m.
- Mag Silver Corp., and its JV partner Fresnillo plc, provided and update of mine development at its Juanicipio project in Zacatecas. The company reported that underground development continues and is now approaching 22km to date, “with the current emphasis on: developing the three internal spiral footwall ramps at depth along the full strike length of the Valdecañas Vein system; constructing the underground crushing chamber; advancing the conveyor ramp from both ends to and from the planned mill site (with the box cut for the underground conveyor exit portal now complete); integrating additional ventilation and other associated underground infrastructure, and starting of the internal shaft sinking (head chamber for the shaft has been excavated and winding equipment ordered)”. Progress at Juanicipio has been rapid with multiple engineering milestones delivered, and construction on track for H2, 2020 commissioning target according to the operator Fresnillo. The mill-site preparation is underway and the construction of surface infrastructure facilities continues.
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- Santacruz Silver Mining Ltd., and its 50% subsidiary company Carrizal Mining S.A. de C.V., entered into an agreement with Minera Cedros S.A. de C.V., (a wholly-own subsidiary of Grupo Peñoles, S.A.B. de C.V.), to extend the expiry date of the Zimapan mine lease agreement, located in Hidalgo state. “Carrizal must make monthly payments to Minera Cedros based on 4% NSR from the concentrates produced by the Zimapan mine for each respective month, subject to the minimum payment each month being USD $45K and the maximum payment being USD $60K”.
- Telson Mining Corporation, curtailed indefinitely mining operations at its Campo Morado mine in Guerrero and placed the mine into care and maintenance. The decision was taken since the company is concerned about certain activities in the vicinity of Campo Morado that put at risk the health and welfare of its workforce. The company plans to focus on construction of mine at its Tahuehueto Au project in Durango.
- Discovery Metals Corp., granted stock options to certain officers, directors, employees, and consultants (Puerto Rico project, Coahuila).
On the picture above, a diatreme breccia in a prospect in Durango, Mexico. Photo by Miguel A Heredia.