By Miguel A Heredia
During the 40th week of the year (October 03rd to October 09th, 2022), at least 20 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico, and 4 news published by the media with seven reporting resources and developments of their properties, four announcing financing issues, four discussing social issues, three informing on exploration results, two communicating production and financial results, two commenting on Mexican issues, and two discussing deals and corporate issues. ON MEXICO ISSUES, The Discoveries Mining Conference 2022 was held in Hermosillo, Sonora on October 4-6, 2022. The Governor of Guerrero, Evelyn Salgado announced the reinstatement of the State Mining Council and confirmed that Acapulco will host the 35th edition of the Mining Convention in 2023. ON EXPLORATION, In Sonora, Canuc reported that recent work at its San Javier project has identified eight targets within four distinct mineralized zones. In Durango, Orex announced the completion of the Phase-1 reconnaissance exploration drilling program on its Sandra project. In Oaxaca, Vortex provided an update of the exploration work completed to date at its Riqueza Marina project. ON MINING, Bear Creek presented Q3, 2022 production results from its Mercedes mine in Sonora. Guanajuato Silver provided an update highlighting the impact of additional production from the Topia and San Ignacio mines in Durango and Guanajuato states respectively. ON FINANCING, Advance Lithium closed a previously announced private placement financing for gross proceeds of $75K (Sarape project, Sonora). Capitan Mining announced a non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of up to CAD $3M (Cruz de Plata project, Durango). Guanajuato Silver has arranged to issue 2,468,750 common shares of the company in settlement of outstanding accounts payable and accrued liabilities to various parties totaling approximately CAD $987K (Pinguico mine, Guanajuato). Barksdale announced that Teck Resources has elected to exercise its pro-rata equity participation rights for gross proceeds of $264K (San Javier project, Sonora). ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Azucar Minerals completed second hole into the large porphyry lithocap target at its El Cobre project in Veracruz. Gatos Silver provided updates on its Cerro Los Gatos Mineral Resources, Mineral Reserves, and Life of Mine. Minera Alamos announced positive results of an independent Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) for its Cerro de Oro project in Zacatecas. Oroco announced that, based on drill results, expanded the North Zone mineralization, and confirmed higher grade at its Santo Tomas project in Sinaloa. Tarachi Gold received final metallurgy results for its Magistral Mill and Tailings project in Durango. Torex received key environmental permit for its Media Luna project in Guerrero. Prime Meridian provided an update on its La Verde project in Michoacan. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Starcore announced results of its annual general meeting of shareholders (San Martin mine, Queretaro). Riverside regained 100% control of the La Union project in Sonora after Hochschild announced its decision to not to proceed with the option. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, Peñoles and Fresnillo Plc work together for an appropriate and healthy habitat. Peñoles and Fresnillo Plc were awarded with a distinction in Ethics and Values of the Industry 2022. GoGold presented its second annual sustainability report that sets out the company´s performance and achievements with respect to its environmental, social, and governance practices. MAG Silver announced the publication of its inaugural Sustainability Report.
ON MEXICO ISSUES
- The Discoveries Mining Conference 2022 was held in Hermosillo, Sonora on October 4-6, 2022, and included more than 50 talks covering topics ranging from the latest geological discoveries, new technologies applied to mining and exploration, social, legal and political issues affecting the industry, and the challenges and obstacles confronted and overcome on the way to production.
- The Governor of Guerrero, Evelyn Salgado announced the reinstatement of the State Mining Council and confirmed that Acapulco will host the 35th edition of the Mining Convention in 2023. She also recognized this industry, which each year leaves an approximate spill of MXP $3,400M. The Governor pointed out that the mining sector is one of the main economic activities in Guerrero, which has a presence in 29 municipalities in the Central, Tierra Caliente and North regions of the state, with an important gold production that places the entity in the first places. She stressed that the mining industry in Guerrero generates more than 4,500 direct jobs and more than 22,000 indirect jobs, with an economic benefit of more than MXP $3,400M, which translates into development and well-being, for which she urged that the Mining Council in Guerrero, be a space for dialogue and consensus that allows the construction of shared strategies and programs hand in hand with the various sectors with a comprehensive perspective seeking the development of Guerrero. In addition, she declared that Guerrero is the state of the country with the largest investment announced for this year for more than USD $1,327M for new mining projects, estimating growth with a favorable environment.
- Canuc Resources Corporation reported that recent work at its San Javier project in Sonora has identified eight targets within four distinct mineralized zones, which now merit-follow-up work. At the Silver Zone, about additional 100 soils samples were collected to better define a strong Ag and Au anomaly. Now, the Ag soils anomaly is 750m in strike length with values up to 21 g/t Ag and 1.65 g/t Au, and remains open in both the southwest and northeast direction. Recent prospecting and rock sampling (10 samples) on the northeast end of this zone, approximately 400m of the soil survey has returned Ag values from 38 g/t Ag to 1,533 g/t Ag associated to magnetite veins which daylight near the margins of a magnetic high. Additionally, seven samples were collected near old artisanal workings and assayed from 27g/t Ag to 604 g/t Ag and from 0.1 g/t Au to 1.2 g/t Au. More sampling is planned throughout this area. At the Gold Zone South and Gold Zone Central, the company collected 1,829 channel samples from 11 bulldozed trenches. All the trenches contain elevated Au values ranging from 0.2 g/t Au to 40 g/t Au. At the South Gold Zone, two targets measuring 300m to 400m in diameter have been outlined. Sampling on one of those called La Cascada returned 0.16 g/t Au and 0.48% Cu over a width of 13m, while the other called Loma Pelona assayed 0.59 g/t Au and 0.47% Cu over a width of 10.5m. The Central Gold Zone contains 3 distinct targets measuring 300 to 400m in diameter. La Mesa target includes elevated Au values ranging from trace to 1.42 g/t Au. One section returned 0.28 g/t Au over 16m. At La Curva target the trenching sampling returned 0.45 g/t Au over 6m; 0.48 g/t Au over 4m; and 0.45 g/t Au over 4m. At La Quebrada target, trenching sampling returned 0.68 g/t Au over a width of 14m. Six channel samples collected over a an area of 100mlong by 50m wide, located approximately 80m southeast of the trench area, returned an average grade of 3.09 g/t Au, ranging from 0.018 g/t Au to 11.4 g/t Au. At the North Zone, a target called Chapoteados was prospected and sampled on an area of 600m long by 200m wide. Twenty two samples were taken and contained an average grade of 0.38% Cu, 0.3 g/t Au, and 4 g/t Ag. A second target called Arroyo Hondo, located 800m northeast of the Chapoteados target also was sampled. Twenty five samples collected on an area of 300m by 100m averaged 15 g/t Ag, (ranging from trace to 145 g/t Ag), 0.14 g/t Au, (ranging from 0.01 g/t Au to 1.19 g/t Au), and 220 ppm Cu, (ranging from 20 ppm to 0.38% Cu).
- Orex Minerals Inc., announced the completion of the Phase-1 reconnaissance exploration drilling program on its Sandra project in northwest Durango. Sandra project is a JV agreement between Pan American Silver Corp., (60%) and Orex Minerals (40%). Phase-1 consisted of 2,665.30m in 8 diamond drill holes. Four holes were drilled on targets in the Central Corridor aand four holes were drilled in the Eastern Corridor. Drilling highlights include hole SA-22-066 collared in the Central Corridor with 1.04 g/t Au over a true width (TW) of 1.53m; and hole SA-22-.073 collared in the Eastern Corridor with 39 g/t Ag, 0.1% Pb, and 0.2% Zn over a TW of 14.5m, including 51 g/t Ag, 0.2% Pb, and 0.,2% Zn over a TW of 5.1m.
- Vortex Metals Inc., provided an update of the exploration work completed to date at its Riqueza Marina Volcanogenic Massive Sulphide project in Oaxaca. The company completed a gravity and magnetic survey at the Rhyolite Dome target that produced extensive geophysical anomalies coincident with geochemical anomalies, including the West and East Gossan Areas. Rock sampling returned 12 samples with more than 1% Cu, up to 20.2% Cu and an additional 34 samples contain more than 1,000 ppm Cu. Vortex plans to drill this target once the drill permits are secured.
- Bear Creek Mining Corporation, presented Q3, 2022 production results from its Mercedes mine in Sonora. The company mined 128,698 tonnes and processed 148,211 tonnes of 2.45 g/t Au with metallurgical recovery of 95.53% to produce 11,169 Oz Au. Bear Creek sold 12,310 Oz Au. It also reported a gold stream of 2,759 Oz Au.
- Guanajuato Silver Company Ltd., provided an update highlighting the impact of additional production from the recently acquired Topia and San Ignacio mines in Durango and Guanajuato states respectively. Guanajuato Silver increased 85% its production from July to August 2022. The company reported that in August, 2022 it mined from the El Cubo & San Ignacio mines in Guanajuato, and Topia mine in Durango 41,372 tonnes and milled 36,948 tonnes to produce 128,780 Oz Ag, 1,091 Oz Au, 348,137 Lb Zn, and 266,881 Lb Pb (267,525 Oz AgEq) with metallurgical recoveries of 88.9%, 85.6%, 81.8%, and 89.5% respectively, at a cash cost of $15.09 per Oz AgEq.
- Advance Lithium Corp., closed a previously announced private placement financing for gross proceeds of $75K. Proceeds will be used to advance the Lithium and Sarape projects, and for general corporate purposes (Sarape project, Sonora).
- Capitan Mining Inc., announced a non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of up to CAD $3M. It will consists of 15M of common shares at a price of CAD $0.20 per share. Net proceeds will be used to advance drilling and work program at the Cruz de Plata project in Durango, as well as for working capital and general corporate expenses.
- Guanajuato Silver Company Ltd., has arranged to issue 2,468,750 common shares of the company at a deemed price of CAD $0.40 per share in settlement of outstanding accounts payable and accrued liabilities to various parties totaling approximately CAD $987K (Pinguico mine, Guanajuato).
- Barksdale Resources Corp., announced that Teck Resources Limited has elected to exercise its pro-rata equity participation rights for gross proceeds of $264K. Teck will hold approximately 9.9% of Barksdale’s equity on a partially diluted basis. Net proceeds from the financing will be used to advance the Company’s mineral projects and for general corporate and working capital purposes (San Javier project, Sonora).
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
- Azucar Minerals Ltd., completed second hole into the large porphyry lithocap target at its El Cobre project in Veracruz. “This hole passed trough typical clay dominant lithocap alteration into phyllic alteration. Large intervals of brecciated rock were intersected possibly reflecting a diatreme like body that may have disrupted any earlier porphyry alteration zonation in this area. Alteration data has been collected from the core using a Terraspec infrared spectrometer along with samples for assay and fluid inclusion analysis. Any future drilling in this area will be guided by the results and interpretation of these analyses from both holes”.
- Gatos Silver Inc., provided updates on Mineral Resources, Mineral Reserves, and Life of Mine for its Cerro Los Gatos and Esther mines in Chihuahua. Figures are shown in the tables below:
Cerro Los Gatos – Mineral Reserves as at July 1, 2022.
Cerro Los Gatos – Mineral Resources as at July 1, 2022.
Esther – Mineral Resources as at July 1, 2022.
*Mineral Resources are exclusive of Mineral Reserves.
As for the Cerro Los Gatos Life of Mine plan using only the 2022 Mineral Reserves, the company reported that the current reserve mine life continues to 2028; the average annual production of 7.8M Oz Ag will generate an average annual cash flow of USD $79M (after tax) through 2028 at USD $22 per Oz Ag price; an all in sustaining cost (AISC) of USD $7.06 per Oz of payable Ag, net of by-product credits; an average cost of USD $89.76 per tonne milled ; and a net present value (NVP) at a discount rate of USD $491M(USD $337M after tax).
- Minera Alamos Inc., announced positive results of an independent Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) for its Cerro de Oro project in Zacatecas. Highlights of the PEA include an average annual gold production approaching 60K Oz (approx. 60K-to 70K Oz in years 1 through 4); a 8.2 mine life based on initial mineable total of 59M tonnes of 0.37 g/t Au, heap leached at an average rate of approximately 20K tonnes per day of over 0.4 g/t Au in years 1 through 4; 477K Oz Au produced in loaded carbon/doré; a life of mine (LOM) strip ratio of 0.3:1(waste: mineralization); a LOM all included sustaining cost (AISC) of USD $873 per Oz Au , averaging USD $763 per Oz Au in years 1 through 4; an after tax NPV at 5% discount rate of USD $150.5M and an internal rate return (IRR) of USD $111%; a pre-production capital cost of USD $28.1M (includes 30% contingency); a payback period of 11 months; and used crushing plant already purchased to reduce up-front capital requirements. The company also reported an updated mineral resource estimate containing 67M tonnes of 0.37 g/t Au(790K Oz Au contained) based on an upward revision of the base case resource metal price to USD $1,700 per Oz.
- Oroco Resource Corp., announced that, based on drill results, expanded the North Zone mineralization, and confirmed higher grade at its Santo Tomas project in Sinaloa. Extension drilling highlights include hole NO19 with 0.26% and 0.006% Mo over 127.8M, plus 0.21% Cu and 0.008% Mo over 126m; hole NO21 with 0.34% Cu and 0.008% Mo over 81.4m, plus 0.41% Cu and 0.018% Mo over 32.9M, and hole NO24 with 0.30% Cu and 0.016% Mo over 86.6m, plus 0.22% Cu and 0.007% Mo over 90.1m. High grade drilling highlights include hole NO22 with 0.37% Cu and 0.009% Mo over 152.1m, plus 0.21% Cu and 0.005% Mo over 102m; hole NO23 with 0.31% Cu and 0.005% Mo over 139m, including 0.55% Cu and 0.006% Mo over 56.7m; hole NO25 with 0.40% Cu and 0.004% Mo over 286m; and hole NO26 with 0.6% Cu and 0.01% Mo over 92.2m, plus 0.25% Cu and 0.009% Mo over 69.8m. A total of 35 holes (22,769m of drilling) have now been completed in the North Zone, spanning approximately 1,300m of strike length, with intersections of good grade mineralization returned in all holes for which the company has received assays.
- Tarachi Gold Corp., received final metallurgy results for its Magistral Mill and Tailings project in Durango. Highlights include up to 99% of Cu in solution precipitated into high-grade in sulphidation, acidification, recycling and thickening (SART) concentrate; more gold expected to report to Merrill-Crowe circuit for greater metal value payability compared to assumptions used in Preliminary Economic Assessment; and lower mercury CN-solubility than previously assumed and potential for 2-stage SART process to remove mercury from concentrate.
- Torex Gold Resources Inc., received approval from Mexico’s Secretariat of Environmental and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) on the key, culminating environmental permit for its Media Luna project in Guerrero. The approval (MIA Integral) allows for operations to begin at Media Luna and builds on the receipt of the MIA Modification received last year, which allowed for the execution of development activities on the south side of the Balsas River. The Company has also received approval to increase the power draw at site to 45 megawatts.
- Prime Meridian Resources Corporation provided an update on its La Verde project in Michoacan. The company and the vendor have elected to modify the La Verde project purchase agreement by changing the requirement for two USD $200K option payments due under the current agreement to USD $20K minimum monthly payments. With this modification, the work program expenditures for the next six months are projected as follow: USD $165,600 for monthly options payment; USD $22,434 for La Verde project-mining duties; and USD $262,200 for La Verde project-Phase 1 work program. The Phase 1 program will consist of Structural Mapping / Magnetometer Study; Prospecting / Geochemical Sampling; and 1,200m of Definition Drilling.
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- Starcore International Mines Ltd., announced results of its annual general meeting of shareholders (San Martin mine, Queretaro).
- Riverside Resources Inc., regained 100% control of the La Union project in Sonora after Hochschild Mining Corporation announced its decision to not to proceed with the option. Riverside was reimbursed for past taxes and fees with more than USD $500K of new mineral exploration and consolidation work completed to-date as per the option agreement with Hochschild. “Exploration work completed to-date includes extensive field mapping, sampling, and geochemistry. The newly mapped and sampled areas show alteration features typical of CRD targets and particularly the gossan oxidation of potential sulfide bodies at shallow depths (<100m) that remain wide open for relatively low-risk, high-potential exploration”. Riverside will integrate all of the data and evaluate new partnership opportunities in the near future.
ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
- Industrias Peñoles S.A.B. de and Fresnillo plc., work together for an appropriate and healthy habitat. Both companies have the purpose of contributing to the well-being of the population through sustainable mining practices. Therefore, they recognize the shared responsibility to create, maintain and develop an appropriate habitat for the life of all species, including people. Octavio Alvídrez, CEO of Fresnillo plc., stated that “promoting the urban development of the communities in which we operate, as well as preserving and restoring the biodiversity of the areas surrounding our facilities, is a priority in our management and a constant throughout the life cycle of each of our mining units”.
- Industrias Peñoles S.A.B. de and Fresnillo plc., were awarded with a distinction in Ethics and Values of the Industry 2022 in recognition of their corporate responsibility practices. Both Peñoles and Fresnillo plc have a social impact strategy through various outreach programs and thereby contribute to the well-being of families in the communities where they operate, in addition to promoting values and self-development among their neighbors.
- GoGold Resources Inc., presented its second annual sustainability report that sets out the company´s performance and achievements with respect to its environmental, social, and governance practices (ESG). Highlights of this report include 0.006 tCO2 per Oz AgEq produced; 0.004 tCO2e per tonne of ore processed; 9,500 hours of safety and professional development training; awarded the ESR distinction (Empresa Socialmente Responsables – Corporate Social Responsibility); USD $17.1M spent in local purchases, including USD $422K in community investment; and adoption of new policies related to Environment, Human Rights, Diversity Equity and Inclusion, Climate Change, and Water Resources.
- MAG Silver Corp., announced the publication of its inaugural 2021 Sustainability Report. Highlights of this report include zero fatalities at the Juanicipio project and MAG Silver´s exploration projects; a Juanicipio project(one million hours) lost time injury frequency rate of 10.8 (employees and mine contractors; excluding construction contractors; over 51,000 hours dedicated to safety training in 2021 at the Juanicipio project; risk management system reviewed and updated in 2021 and 2022; a freshwater use ratio of 4% and a renewable power ratio of 84% at the Juanicipio Project while in the construction phase; in 2021, MAG Silver benchmarked current Climate-related risk and opportunities performance with the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures; MAG’s 2021 commitment to increase Board and senior management diversity means that currently 38% of MAG’s Board and 40% of MAG’s employees are female; and MAG’s Human Rights Policy and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Policy were updated and approved, complementing and enhancing pre-existing commitments.
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, banded quartz from an intermediate sulphidation vein system in a project in Zacatecas, Mexico. Photo by Miguel A Heredia.